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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Links to gay community can be hard to discover



 (The Spokesman-Review)
(The Spokesman-Review)
Kat Olson Correspondent

The difficulty of finding information for the Spokane gay community is astounding. When I began writing my first article last week, I scoured the internet for information in regard to specifics on Spokane Pride Week (which is a celebration of all that is gay or gay-supporting in the area of Spokane and the Inland Northwest). I barely found anything of use.

There were several supposed connections to Spokane Pride via some Web sites, but they led to the dreaded “this page cannot be displayed, no connection.” This can be most frustrating, especially when trying to establish my faith and others’ in the Spokane gay community. I suppose it could mean I should get myself up and start a site, but hey, I’m trying to write this article, go to school, work, and live. Why doesn’t someone else do it? Which is one of the problems.

We are so busy these days trying to keep up with life in general that details are being missed. We depend on others to do this or that and assume the work is being delegated, when in reality, the task never is started and/or finished.

What is out there are hundreds of Web sites I would be embarrassed if anyone walked by and saw as I was searching for Pride news and other events. I felt like an explorer trying to find information on lost artifacts, with lots of dead ends. More frankly, I was getting pissed off.

So I’ve turned to more reliable resources – people. Connections and who you know seem to be the best way to find what you need. Spokane has a wonderful cache of citizens that are highly involved, such as Marvin Reguindin, a board member of the Inland Northwest Business Alliance ( www.inbaspokane.org) who is helping bring the film “Key West, City of Colors” to Spokane during Pride Week on June 7.

“The problem is our community is still fragmented,” Reguindin said. “We do not have a physical area – no normal gathering place is [accessible]. Hopefully we will in the future. The solution is to let organizations in our community know what our needs are.”

He said that if organizations are informed of the high reliance on internet information, things will change. He also would like to see more sharing of events between organizations. For example, the INBA will list others’ events provided to them on its internet calendar.

In writing this column, I feel responsibility in providing information. I want to give you, Spokane, the best I can. I have seen Spokane gradually change in the four years I have lived here, and I have high hopes for its future.

Other sites to look at for information are:

www.geocities.com/West Hollywood/3100/spk.html – a listing of area health organizations, including religious and nightlife.

www.search4bars.com/ spokane/spokane-gay-lesbian- bar.html – clearly has a Spokane list of bars and clubs.

www.spokanefilmfest.org – the updated site for the Spokane Gay and Lesbian Film Fest this year (more news on this to come).

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