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ALBANY

R

BOMBE

D

RASQUA

AL INT S’ ANNU

FUNDRAISER GAME A portion of the proceeds goes to the Pride Center

Saturday, March 15th

Troy Knickerbacker Ice Rink, 103 and 8th Ave., Troy.

Open Public Skate with the Bombers before the game, 5:30-6:30 pm

Bombers drop the puck

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$

Game time at 7:00 pm

includes admission to the open skate, skate rental, and admission to the Blue vs. White game.

$5 Students • Kids under 10 are FREE

Raffles • Prizes • Concessions Performance by the Capital Pride Singers

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Albany’s Gay and Gay Friendly Hockey Team


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Director’s Note

How do you define a good life? Running an organization designed to make life better for LGBT people, this is something I think a lot about. We all have different measures of what improves quality of life, enjoyment of life but I think can largely agree that without our health, little else is possible. As a community, we tend to experience health differently and have more difficulty navigating systems that are designed to keep us healthy. The Pride

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Cur r an St r eet t , E x e c u t i v e D i r e c t o r Center has grown significantly in the York State Department of Health and past year, and much of this growth is unsure of what the Affordable Care Act to enhance the support extended to would bring us. While the funding opthe LGBT community to achieve bet- portunity worked in our favor, the After health outcomes. This includes ex- fordable Care Act has brought about panding our team to include health changes that are not all welcome. One insurance enrollment assistors, to en- significant impact includes insurance sure we can afford the healthcare that providers retracting their coverage for exists. Our team has also expanded transition related care for transgender to enhance the types and amount of people. It is clear that no matter the training available to providers. Too of- advances we see, we have much to do. ten, we hear stories of discrimination At the Pride Center, we will continue in healthcare, ranging from subtle to to advocate for our unique and underovert. As we grow as an organization, served health concerns, and encourage we are working to grow our opportu- you to do your part. Actively partake nities as a community, and grow the in healthcare that is available to you. If larger support in the Capital Region. it is safe for you to do so, disclose your This ranges from talks with Salvation identities with your medical providers Army leadership to working with gov- and speak up when your needs aren’t ernmental entities to advocate on our met . Be in touch with us about your behalf. experiences, good and bad. It is as a community, with a unified voice that This year, we celebrate LGBT Health we can make the most change, and we Month in a very different climate than look forward to hearing your voice in last year. We were fighting for our very the conversation. I believe, this is how foundational funding from the New we can get closer to a good life

From The Editor’s Desk

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M i c hael Wei dr i c h,

Street, or simply believing in yourself, everyone usually believes in something. For many people, belonging to and attending a church is a regular exercise in their spiritual health. Their priest, minister or rabbi offers words and advice on how to live a better life and lift your spirit. But what happens when your spiritual leader recommends a course of action that you whole-heartedly oppose?

When we talk about health and wellness, we think immediately of our physical, mental and emotional well being. We see our doctors to check on our bodies. We see our therapists for our emotional wellness. We play sudoku for our mental fitness. We generally take the advice of our practitioners to live better lives. Go to the gym more often. Eat less red meat. Communicate your feelings and don’t bottle them up. Unwind your mind at the end of the day. I believe part of a person’s wellbeing is their spiritual health. Whether you believe in Christianity, Judaism, Buddhism, the philosophy of Star Trek, Wall

A straight colleague of mine who attends a Methodist church in Troy shared a letter with me that his congregation unanimously sent to their Bishop. His church was protesting the United Methodist Church’s trial of Rev. Steve Heiss for officiating same-sex weddings including his own daughter’s. The United Methodist Church is seeking to defrock Rev. Heiss for simply following his heart. My colleague and his congregation could not in good conscience continue to support their leadership in this unjust prosecution. Not only are they withdrawing their spiritual support but their financial support too. Echoed throughout the letter were the words “love without condition”.

c o m m UNITY

Editor

Reading this letter to their Bishop truly moved me, that a group of conscientious people would collectively protest their spiritual leadership because they didn’t feel they were living up to their Christian beliefs. I applaud my colleague and his congregation for taking a stand and exercising their spiritual wellbeing. So as you go throughout your daily life, remember to take care of your complete self, mind, body and spirit, and practice wellness in every facet. Be the best person YOU can be. In the wise words of the immortal RuPaul, “If you don’t love yourself, how in the hell you gonna love somebody else?” Can I get an amen in here!! Letters to the Editor may be sent to Michael Weidrich at mweidrich@capitalpridecenter.org Letters must be 100 words or less and must include name, phone, email.

Registration for Capital Pride 2014 is open!

Download a complete packet on our website: www.capitalpridecenter.org/capital-pride or call the Pride Center @ (518) 462-6138 to have a hard copy mailed.

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Putting the Fun In FUNDRAISING

P i l a r A r t h u r -S n e a d

joins the

Pilar Arthur-Snead is excited to join the staff of the Pride Center of the Capital Region after recently completing her Masters of Fine Art Degree in Photography at the Academy of Art University. She brings an exuberant personality and a creative mind to fundraising. Curran Streett, Pride Center Executive Director, states, “We are delighted to bring Pilar on to our team and know she will help the Pride Center [as we] continue to grow and meet the needs of our community.” Of her career path, Pilar says, “I have a variety of professional experiences but the one thing that brings them all together is people. I enjoy working with people and being a part of a successful team of individuals, working toward a common goal.” At The Center for Photography at Woodstock, Pilar assisted artists-inresidence with their residency projects and gained in-depth knowledge of not-for-profit gallery operations, learning about everything from finance to event management. While serving as Corporate Support Manager for Girls Incorporated of the Greater Capital Region, Pilar worked with corporate sponsors interested in supporting Girls Inc.’s mission to inspire all girls to be strong, smart and boldtm. Lastly, at The New York State Child Care Coordinating Council, now The Early Care and Learning Council, Pilar delivered statewide training programs to member child care resource and referral organizations and implemented standardized methods for the collection of data and metrics concerning child care programs at the state and national

Pride Center

as

Development & Marketing Manager

levels. Pilar has also held positions at New York Life Insurance Company, The Business Review, and Albany Medical Center. Interestingly, Pilar was the photographer for the Pride Center Gala in 2013. She notes, “I was so impressed with the Pride Center’s Gala event. I was struck by a genuine sense of community and care for one another. The room was bursting with positive vibes. I left the gala not only with great photos but also feeling inspired and proud to have contributed to the mission.”

As part of her MFA candidacy, Pilar completed a photographic thesis project. Her project Seeing Me: Archetypes of Beauty is a series of 20 photographic self-portraits printed on silk fabric, and is meant for installation in a gallery setting. The images were created using a 4 x 5 pinhole film camera. Though a personal exploration of the idea of beauty, the project is grounded within the context of photographic history and utilizes a firm understanding of how the black female body has been depicted within that history. The project also examines how feminine beauty has been depicted throughout history in paintings, statues, photographs, and even in writing.

Pilar is a long time resident of the Capital Region. She and her husband, Chuck, enjoy the company of five cats and two dogs: Action Jackson the Dachshund and Coraline the Corgi. She is an active artist and has had her work shown in galleries in Capital Region, Chicago, and Los Angeles. Pilar is also Owner and Chief Photographer of Photographic Expressions Studio & Gallery, LLC, which has operated for five years in the Capital Region. Her clients have included the Albany Colonie Regional Chamber, Northeast Networking Systems, McNeil Media Group as well as many non-profit organizations and individuals throughout the Capital Region. In her spare time, Pilar participates actively in civic activities such as being an election poll inspector for the Albany County Board of Elections. Pilar is most proud of her service as a youth mentor or “Big Sister” for Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Greater Capital Region. She and her “Little” have been matched for nine years. “As the organization strives to better meet current and emerging needs, a dedicated development staff position creates the capacity to achieve success,” states Jeff Baltes, Board Co-Vice-President and Development Committee CoChair. Pilar is, indeed, honored to have been selected to serve as the Pride Center’s Development and Marketing Manager. She looks forward to helping the Pride Center to continue to grow and to being a part of a dynamic team of individuals who bring the Pride Center’s mission to life!

Companions, Aides and Nurses Personal Care, Medication Management Services available 7 days a week Care provided under the supervision of an RN

Caring Caregivers welcomed

(518) 452-3655

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Why Are You Not On PrEP? by Terence Meehan

We have to help people protect themselves, given their proclivities and passions Great news! There’s a once-a-day pill that protects people from getting HIV! Bizarrely, our community has greeted the news with a collective yawn at best and hostility at worst. This needs to change. In fact, the scientific news about the pill is extremely good. The pill is called Truvada or, more often, PrEP (pre-exposure prophylaxis). Since the publication of the original study results in The New England Journal of Medicine in 2010, the news has gotten consistently better. It may offer the missing link that has prevented us from eliminating new infections, especially among gay men and transgender women. First, some important caveats. PrEP offers no protection whatsoever from syphilis, chlamydia, gonorrhea, HPV, herpes or even the next sexually transmitted disease we haven’t yet seen. And PrEP must be taken regularly around the time you’re sexually active to be effective. For many people this is difficult. If you don’t take it regularly, it does not protect you from HIV. The original study showed a 44% reduction in infection rates among those who were given PrEP. Closer study has found that strict daily use provides at least 90% protection. If we encourage the use of PrEP and condoms, and achieve undetectable viral loads for people who already have the virus, we may eventually be able to eliminate new HIV infections entirely. Also, PrEP is safe. Very few people experience side-effects and those are generally minor and during the first two weeks only. Not having sex at all — total abstinence — is the only guaranteed way to protect yourself from HIV and other STDs. That is an option. But we have to help people protect themselves, given their proclivities and passions. Many people have sex. Currently, 30 years into the epidemic, young gay men and transgender women are still at high risk for contracting HIV through sexual activity. Messages about safer sex and condom use have surely helped many people, but plainly they haven’t been enough. About 150,000 people have become infected since we learned about the effectiveness of PrEP, the vast majority of whom are gay men or transgender women, with a majority of

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those being people of color. Recently, the number of new infections in our communities is actually increasing! Are we, again, going to let fear or standard operating procedures interfere with protecting our community’s health? Apparently, PrEP is controversial in our community. Two articles in Out Magazine about PrEP drew angry comments from well-intentioned readers. Critics have raised plausible objections, but they’re not supported by evidence. Some other objections are just nonsense. Some argue that people who miss doses of the pill will get — and possibly spread — drug-resistant strains of HIV. But researchers have been careful to look out for this possibility and have found that it just doesn’t happen. Others argue that it might encourage promiscuity. Perhaps. But more sexual activity is surely less bad than more sickness and death by HIV. Others complain that the pill is simply another revenue source for pharmaceutical companies. That is true. And so what? Should we let our community get sick in order to withhold money from the drug companies? Why exactly? The most serious objection is that it will be seen as a substitute for condoms. That may be. But 30 years of messaging about the importance of condom use has had limited success. Research has shown that very few people use condoms consistently. They should, but they don’t. We have to try additional, proven methods to protect people from what is an entirely preventable disease. PrEP is not for everyone, but is probably an option for many people in high risk groups, which includes many sexually active gay men. Only a doctor can prescribe PrEP, but a lot of gay men and transgender women could be helped. How much does it cost? A lot. But that needn’t be an obstacle for most people. If you have insurance, it probably covers PrEP. That goes for private insurance you get through your job, insurance you get from the NY State of Health “Obamacare” website, or from any public program like Medicaid. Deductibles and co-pays may be expensive for people with private insurance, but the company that produces the pill offers financial assistance to many people. And if you don’t have insurance

at all, the company offers the pill free for many people who can’t afford it. Talk to a doctor first. And call the manufacturer, Gilead, at 1-855-330-5479 (if you don’t have insurance) or 1-877-505-6986 (if you have insurance) to apply for financial assistance. Or apply online. In other words, cost should not be a barrier for most people. If you’re not on PrEP, but think you have been exposed to HIV ( through unsafe sex on a drunken night, an accidental condom break, a cheating spouse, or any other reason), contact a doctor within 3 days and you can be given a similar regimen, called PEP, that should prevent your getting infected. What now? Talk to your doctor if you have one. If you don’t have a doctor, contact the Pride Center or In Our Own Voices, or call Whitney M. Young. Jr. Health Services in Troy and Albany — (518) 465-4771 — for help in finding a doctor. Or search online for medical services. Visit prepfacts.org for more information. Talk to your friends. If you are sexually active or an IV drug user and at risk of HIV, talk to a doctor about PrEP. The time is now. The tone of this article may sound uncomfortably like cheerleading for a company’s product. It is. I have no affiliation with Gilead, but I am a member of this community. The science is clear and overwhelmingly good. Three years ago, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) “stressed the importance of targeting PrEP to men who have sex with men at very high risk for HIV acquisition.” But very few people have started to take it. We need to put our preconceptions aside and we need to update our opinions and move ahead. Health care providers, community organizations and all of us need to overcome whatever issues we have with Truvada/PrEP as an additional HIV-prevention method. It works. People’s health and lives are at stake. There is simply no reason to wait and every reason to encourage people at high risk to start taking it. Terence Meehan is a Ph.D. student in public administration at the Rockefeller College of Public Affairs and Policy at SUNY Albany. He has a Master’s degree in public administration from Harvard University. He served as Assistant Director of AESOP (An Effective Shield of Protection), an HIV-prevention and outreach NGO in Moscow, Russia in the late 90s. His research focuses on innovation in health care and advocacy in nonprofits and in the public sector.


albany bombers hockey: expanding and success Check out the Albany Bombers on Facebook, and at www.albanybombers.org The words expansion and success are being spoken a good deal in the locker room of the Albany Bombers ice hockey team this season due to the team’s increase in membership, and their accomplishments on the ice. The season began in September of 2013 with a record number of players filling Coach Ken Zalewski’s team roster; the team has welcomed four new players as well as having four players rejoin the team after some absence. Several of our new players were also new to hockey, and so in keeping with our team’s mission they’ve been learning the needed skills to realize their dream of playing hockey. The result of our growth is that the team now has twenty-seven players on our roster which makes for a crowded locker room, but also for a great spirit of camaraderie. The interest in the team is exemplified by the fact that we have players who travel a good distance to play hockey with the Bombers; one player travels from North Creek in the Adirondack’s, and there is also a player who travels from Dutchess County to have the chance to play on a gay friendly hockey team. The team’s lineup also has players of varying ages, skill levels, and genders.

Along with the expanded team roster, our players have shown an increased level of skill that has resulted in the team becoming more successful on the ice when competing against local hockey teams. The Bombers have played 9 games to date, and we are preparing for several upcoming matches against some of the most challenging teams we face each season.

The Blue vs. White game will be a benefit game for the Pride Center as a portion of the proceeds from admission sales will go to the center. Two games that will no doubt be exciting to watch is the March 8th game against the Lucky Bastards of Albany, and the Bombers annual Blue vs. White game on March 15th. Both of the games will be played at the Troy Knickerbacker Ice Rink (103rd and 8th ave.) with a game start time at 7:00 PM.

In fact, the March 15th event not only includes a hockey game, but there is an open skate from 5:30 - 6:30 which will allow folks a chance to dust off their skates, and to enjoy some ice skating with the Bombers. For those who do not have skates, including children, the ice rink will have skates available to use that night. The Albany Bombers hockey team originally started in 2005 with a membership table at the Annual Pride Festival; the solicitation for members brought together six eager players who wanted to learn how to play hockey. The team has continued to grow, and has over the years joined the International Gay Hockey Association, participated in the Montreal Out Games, were included in a “You Can Play Project” video that is dedicated to ensuring equality, respect and safety for all athletes, without regard to sexual orientation as well as initiating a partnership with the Boston, MA. Lobsters hockey organization. Eight years later the team’s mission is still the same which is to be an inclusive hockey team where gay and straight people from all genders are playing hockey together. The Bombers love fans, and we love to share our team spirit with people who enjoy a team sport as well as individuals who might like a great workout on the ice.

Plans to develop a second team are now being considered due to the expansion, and so we encourage anyone interested in joining the team for next season to contact us at info@albanybombers.org.  LAW OFFICE OF ANNE REYNOLDS COPPS Casey Copps DiPaola, Associate Kate Siobhan Howard, Associate

126 State Street, 6th Flr. Albany, New York 12207 518.436.4170

arcopps@nycap.rr.com kdipaola@nycap.rr.com katesiobhanhoward@nycap.rr.com

Adoption Business Formation Education Law Employment Law Estate Planning Family Law Matrimonial Law Medicaid Planning Name Changes Real Estate

www.arcopps.net

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HIV & Beyond: Exploring new frontiers for the aids council by

Michele McClave

The AIDS Council’s new LGBT health project – BeClear – will address concrns related to the many barriers to accessing proper care The AIDS Council of Northeastern New York is viewed by many as an “HIV-only” organization. HIV/AIDS is, and will continue to be, our core concern; we care for people who are living with HIV and work to prevent new infections. However, for quite a while, the AIDS Council has been screening for and preventing other conditions including syphilis, gonorrhea, chlamydia and hepatitis C. We build skills and change behaviors to address issues such as substance abuse and recovery readiness, self-esteem, decision making, negotiation skills and accessing resources, all of which impact choices people make regarding health. In addition to the care coordination and a wide range of services we provide to HIV + people, we also provide care coordination for HIVnegative people with chronic diseases such as diabetes, hypertension, asthma and obesity; and our Navigators recently began enrolling people in the NYS Health Exchange. The AIDS Council has served gay men for three decades, providing testing, prevention and safer sex supplies and linking HIV+ people to care and support. HIV risk is still a real health threat to the gay community, particularly among young men who have sex with men (YMSM). However, we have noticed that stigma against HIV testing among young men is decreasing – and that they are having more conversations about sexual health and HIV testing. But they are more likely to talk about sex and sexual health with their female and heterosexual male friends, which can lead to an increase in HIV/ STI exposure based on a lack of accurate communication about their particular risk. Northeastern New York has remote, rural communities where gay men are isolated, and urban areas where Men of Color may be closeted; online networks play an essential role in social lives, sometimes resulting in anonymous, high-risk sex. Ecstasy and meth use is still present and abuse of alcohol, marijuana, and cocaine is also widespread among at-risk men.

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To highlight our concern: 8 out of 9 people we tested who came back HIV+ in the past year were MSM; half of those were coinfected with another STI; and11% of all MSM we tested were positive for Syphilis. MSM also continue to be at risk for HIV because of a sense of apathy and pathos towards HIV/AIDS; young MSM who did not grow up during the so-called ‘AIDS Era’ are less intimidated by HIV than their older peers. High rates of infection among Men of Color, particularly African Americans, are related to denial, homophobia, lack of access/failure to seek regular primary care, high prevalence of HIV infection among partners, and lack of awareness of one’s HIV status. It is vitally important for MSM to know their HIV status and engage in open dialogue about continuing risk.

High rates of STIs, use of alcohol and other drugs, tobacco, mental health problems, violence or the threat of violence and other negative health outcomes among LGBT individuals in Northeastern New York are attributable, in part, to barriers of access. In addition to the impact of HIV on gay men, high rates of STIs, use of alcohol and other drugs, tobacco, mental health problems, violence or the threat of violence and other negative health outcomes among LGBT individuals in Northeastern New York are attributable, in part, to barriers of access. Barriers to care, prevention, supportive and health services include: societal stigma, social isolation, and a lack of culturally competent health care providers. Many providers assume patients are heterosexual and may fail to ask questions about sexuality; providers who do not use culturally and linguistically gender-neutral language create a challenging atmosphere for disclosure. All lead to a range of negative health outcomes for LGBT populations.

Access to LGBT-friendly services is especially difficult for those outside of the cities in our region. The AIDS Council’s new LGBT health project – BeClear – will address these concerns on multiple levels. The project will offer members of the LGBT community the opportunity to practice disclosing sexual orientation and/or gender identity to health and human service organizations via role plays and provide tools to enhance communication skills by teaching, modeling, and practicing assertive communication. The project will implement social media activities (Facebook, Twitter, YouTube) to increase participation in our skills-building interventions, promote LGBT-friendly resources, provide informational updates, and foster self-empowerment. BeClear recently created a Facebook page (www.facebook.com/lgbtbeclear) and a Twitter feed (www.twitter.com/LGBT_ BeCLEAR). These social media outlets will include helpful hints, eye-opening statistics, fun facts, and important health and resource information tailored for the LGBT community. Also, we will highlight what is happening in the region with articles and videos of news and local events. The AIDS Council is excited to be part of the LGBT Health Network of providers across the state – along with the Pride Center and In Our Own Voices - to improve health access and health outcomes for the LGBT community. Michele McClave is the Executive Director of the AIDS Council of Northeastern New York, a Community Service Provider created to respond to the needs of HIV infected persons and those at risk for HIV in the 15 counties of Northeastern New York. Michele earned a Masters in Social Work from the School of Social Welfare at the University at Albany, SUNY and a Bachelor’s Degree in Nutrition from the Pennsylvania State University.


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T

he discrimination our LGBTQ community faces based on our sexual orientation and/or gender identity and expression does not exist in a vacuum separate from the marginalization that we may face due to our race, ability, age, class and other factors. Rather, our identities intersect. Since March is LGBT Health month, acknowledging these intersections is vital for a nuanced understanding of LGBTQ Health. Poverty in the LGBTQ community is one issue that doesn’t receive enough attention in the mainstream narrative about our community and our struggle for equality and justice. While it may be true that money can’t buy happiness, it can certainly go a long way towards gaining access to services, information and resources. This includes access to direct health care such as medication, doctors and hospitals as well as well as indirect health care such as healthy food, safe and stable housing, accurate and comprehensive education about health issues, adequate transportation, fair working conditions and a variety of other factors that the federal department of Health and Human Service “Healthy People 2020” initiative call the “social determinants of health.” In 2009, the Empire State Pride Agenda completed a Needs Assessment for LGBT people in New York State. This study provided critical data for our community regarding access to health and human services. Their research found that nearly 12% of the overall LGBT community reports a yearly income of $10,000 or less. For transgender New Yorkers, that number rises to nearly 20% according to the New York State specific research jointly conducted by the National Gay and Lesbian Taskforce and the National Center for Transgender Equality. Nationally, 4% of the general population report making $10,000 or less per year, which means that below-poverty-level incomes are three to five times higher for the LGBT community. While $10,000 per year was the official national threshold for poverty in 2009 (a number that was raised to $11,490 for 2013) LGBT individuals who subsist on incomes of eleven, twelve, fifteen or twenty thousand dollars a year and are not legally considered as “living in poverty,” might argue otherwise.

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LGBTQ people find themselves living in poverty for a variety of reasons. Some grow up in families that have been struggling with poverty for generations and generations, with few opportunities to break the cycle. Young LGBTQ people may lose the family and financial support they rely on after coming out or being outed. LGBTQ adults may face discrimination in the workplace either during the jobseeking stage, or after coming out or being outed on the job in nearly 40% of New York State there are no local anti-discrimination laws to protect transgender

people on the job. For LGBT people who are living in areas where legal protections exist, proving bias discrimination a difficult and expensive process and certainly not a fail-safe shield against discrimination in the workplace. Economic instability often means lack of access, and access to services, information, and resources is central to our health as LGBTQ people. Research tells us that many LGBTQ people delay or avoid seeking healthcare out of fear of anti-LGBTQ discrimination in healthcare settings and that LGBTQ people are undereducated about the specific healthcare needs of our community. Anti-LGBTQ discrimination

does happen in healthcare settings at an alarming rate, particularly for transgender people and LGBTQ people of color. For the LGBTQ community, this fear combined with a greater likelihood of being uninsured and the other financial barriers to physically getting to a healthcare agency (such as lost wages, a lack of paid sick-time at

work, the cost of transportation – if transportation is even available), and the high price of some prescription medication makes accessing healthcare a struggle. While LGBTQ-friendly health clinics and services are on the rise, especially in urban areas, low income LGBTQ people in rural spaces often find these services wholly out of reach unless they are able to pay high travel costs. Mental health care is often forgotten about in discussions around health due to the societal stigma of mental health concerns. It has been well publicized that, due to systemic discrimination, LGBTQ individu-


als are more likely to experience mental health concerns such as depression, anxiety, PTSD, and suicidality. Academics call the psychological, physiological and emotional effects of systemic discrimination “minority stress.” LGBTQ people face many barriers to mental health treatment due to the historical, and ongoing, propensity for mental health providers to pathologize our experiences and identities. Additionally, the mental health care system does not fully represent the

transition that includes surgery. Gender affirming surgeries are not desired by every transgender person, are not in the best interest of health for every transgender person and are often not covered by insurance plans – despite being seen as medically necessary care for those who desire them by the American Medical Association and a host of other public health agencies. This requirement also leaves transgender people vulnerable to anti-trans discrimination each time they may need to display a birth certificate. It is very difficult to

histories and experience of people of color, and far too often is unresponsive to the needs of this group. Mental health care is also very expensive. Many health insurance plans offer limited if any coverage for mental health treatment and many mental health providers are unable or unwilling to accept health insurance in the first place. Private pay treatment for mental health concerns is often out of reach for all but the economically privileged. Our healthcare decisions should be a private matter between doctor and patient. Often this social understanding is disregarded completely for transgender and gender non-conforming individuals. Transgender and gender non-conforming individuals often face frequent invasive and unnecessary questioning regarding their bodies. In much of New York State, it is currently a requirement for transgender individuals to undergo surgery before updating the gender marker on their birth certificates. This requirement assumes that all transgender individuals seek, are eligible for, and can afford a medical

take good care of one’s health without a safe place to lay your head each night. Accessing affordable housing is an almost Sisyphusian struggle for many LGBTQ individuals particularly youth, people of color, transgender individuals, seniors, people living with HIV, and people with disabilities. For those who are homeless or unstably housed (meaning someone who is “couch-surfing” or living out of a motel) many programs designed to provide a safety net are unwilling or unprepared to serve LGBTQ individuals. Of the programs that are available, long waiting lists and complicated application procedures can be additional barriers. Unstable and substandard housing can lead to and exacerbate health problems, and force desperate individuals into high-risk behavior such as survival sex . Job training programs, which are sometimes a requirement for utilizing the services of a homeless or transitional living center, are often geared toward low skill jobs that do

not pay a living wage. For LGBTQ people living paycheck to paycheck, a relatively “small” set back in income such as a minor change in work hours to a mild illness can spiral into the inability to pay ones rent and lead to cyclical homelessness. LGBTQ individuals living in poverty are often invisible in the mainstream narrative surrounding our community. This invisibility is unacceptable and directly impacts our community’s health outcomes. Local, regional and statewide LGBTQ health-centered organizations should devote more focus to economic issues. I’m proud to work for the Pride Center and to serve as our LGBT Health Specialist. Two years ago this month I was hired with the directive to create Case Management Services, a component of our Center Support program. The Center Support program focuses on the physical and mental health of our community. Each component of the Center Support program is cognizant of the economic concerns of our community. We provide psychotherapy on a very low-cost sliding scale and never turn anyone always based on their ability to pay, free LGBTQ-friendly health and human service referrals, free assistance in enrolling in public and private health insurance and free HIV testing onsite. Since the launch of Case Management Services in July of 2012, the program has flourished and remains in high demand. The design of the program is to connect LGBTQ individuals to health and human service resources and to advocate for LGBTQ individuals served by health and human service agencies in order to reduce health disparities in our community. With nearly all of my clients identifying as low-income, the national and state level research of why health disparities exist in our community plays out on the individual and family level in my office each and every day. For more information about Center Support at the Pride Center, please call 518.462.6138 or email casemanagement@capitalpridecenter.org.

Sources: Case Management Services program at the Pride Center, Center for American Progress, Queers for Economic Justice, National Gay and Lesbian Taskforce, SAGE, National Center for Transgender Equality, Healthy People 2020, National Black Justice Coalition

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PROMOTES COMMUNAL BONDING • EMPOWERS PEOPLE •

It’s Good for Your Health! Do you sing in the shower or the car? Do you have an untapped desire to entertain? Would you like to harmonize with other male voices? Good news! The Albany Gay Men’s Chorus is looking for singers. Please check us out! Rehearsals are on Tuesdays from 6:45-8:45pm, at First Lutheran Church of Albany, 181 Western Ave. For more information: e-mail to albanygmc@yahoo.com, or visit http://www.albanygmc.org/ .

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IMPROVES MOOD •

Our thinking is not.

IMPROVES BREATHING • MOTIVATES •

Our faith is over 2000 years old...

IMPROVES SENSE OF RHYTHM •

 

Worship Every Sunday 10:00 a.m. “Comma Club for Kids” 9:00 a.m. Children’s Program during Worship

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Journey United Church of Christ NEW LOCATION: 27 Hannay Lane (off 9W) (Cyprus Shrine) Glenmont, NY 12077 (Behind Milestone; near Johnny B’s)

No matter who you are or where you are on life’s journey, you’re welcome here. God is Still Speaking

518-729-7127 www.journeyucc.com find us on Facebook

Seeking to be a Multicutural, Multiracial, Accessible to All, Open and Affirming, Peace and Justice Congregation that welcomes all regardless or frace, gender or sexual orientation.

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  

  

LOWERS BLOOD PRESSURE • REDUCES STRESS • FORGES COMFORTING MEMORIES •

BOOSTS IMMUNE SYSTEM •

PROMOTES WELL-BEING •


Transgender Youth on TV versus real life by

Samantha Armer, MSW

Change in the world ripples throughout, changing what and who we see portrayed on television In recent years there has been an explosion of young people exploring sexual orientation and gender identity earlier than ever before. Twenty years ago it was unusual for youth to come out as gay or lesbian in high school, and unheard of in middle school, but today this is increasingly common.

The images and story lines in shows like Glee can only touch on some of the concerns that affect us all when someone begins to identify as transgender. Change in the world ripples throughout, changing what and who we see portrayed on television. The characters and information conveyed in programming are limited by advertisers, conservative family groups, GLAAD, and the knowledge of the writers. Moreover the images and story lines in shows like Glee can only touch on some of the concerns that affect us all when someone begins to identify as transgender. Transgender people were rarely referred to, let alone shown on television, but on shows like Glee, Degrassi High, and Two and A Half Men they have become more visible. Changes in societal norms, the political landscape, and open dialogue in the psychological field have shifted these topics from hushed whispers to more open conversations at home, in school, everywhere. However, these bold declarations do not represent the whole picture for LGBT youth, their families, or the other adults in their lives (educators, doctors, coaches) that care for a youth navigating the waters of questioning sexual or gender identities. It is easy for people to become confused in the face of gender identity as something separate from sexual orientation but the two are not automatically connected.

For most of us our gender identity “matches” our biological or assigned sex; some people do not feel who they are internally matches their natal sex. Gender identity is a person’s self concept of their gender (regardless of their biological sex). How unique is Unique Glee is a popular Fox Network television show that has tackled teen pregnancy, obsessive-compulsive behavior, eating disorders and gay identity along with internalized homophobia since its first season. In season three, a transgender character, Wade/Unique, was introduced and in the fourth season was made a full cast member. The easy time that Unique experiences does not mirror the reality for many youth in our community. Unique’s challenges about bathrooms, and lack of role models are closer to the truth for many trans* youth nationwide. The support and thoughtful information of the school staff on Glee, like much of television, is closer to fantasy than the actual experiences of most students. What is accurately portrayed on Glee is the lack of support groups, and the fumbling of parents and staff alike to make good and safe choices for these youth. Local Resources Television programs that have characters are encouraging; books like those listed below, and some websites are great resources of information and education but there are still the feelings of isolation that can occur. Talking in person, meeting potential friends and allies are still critical pieces for families that cannot be achieved via websites and books. At Choices Counseling, we work with families of children as young as 5 who are living full time in their chosen gender. To assist the youth and their families we have monthly support groups for parents of gender non-conforming children, a group for younger children

(ages 6-12), and a youth group (ages 13-20) to assist with feelings of isolation, to be a source of information. All of our groups are facilitated by a therapist with a specialized training and background in sexual orientation and gender identity. Our training institute TIGRIS (Training Institute for Gender, Relationships, Identity, and Sexuality) offers seminars and workshops for schools, educations and other professionals. In addition we are lucky in the Capital Region to have a strong Pride Center that acts both as a place for trans-individuals to gather and connect, as well as acting as a clearing house of information for local resources. Suggested Readings In the last few years there have been a proliferation of books to help parents, such as: Now What, For Families with Trans and Gender-Nonconforming Children by Rex Butt; Gender Born, Gender Made: Raising Healthy Gender-Nonconforming Children by Diane Ehrensaft; Helping Your Transgender Teen: A Guide for Parents by Irwin Krieger; and On The Couch With Dr. Angello: A Guide To Raising & Supporting Transgender Youth by Michele Angello For young kids there are titles such as: My Princess Boy by Cheryl Kilodavis, When Kayla Was Kyle, by Amy Fabrikant, When Kathy is Keith by Wallace Wong, and Goblinheart by Brett Matthew Axel Samantha Armer is a clinical social worker at Choices Counseling and Consulting, where she sees individuals, couples, and families. She facilitates trans* groups for children (ages 6-11) and youth (ages 13-20) on a monthly basis. More information can be found at the Choices website: choicescounsulting.com or by calling 518-438-2222.

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It’s Time for tv to represent - for real by

Taylor Keith, Center Youth Action Team Member

Macklemore hit the stage at the Staples Center on Sunday (Jan. 26) for a performance at the 56th annual Grammy Awards. The 30-year-old rapper was joined for the gig by his producing partner, Ryan Lewis, and singer Mary Lambert to play the hit single “Same Love.” The performance was taken to another level with the addition of Madonna, who lent her vocals to the “Heist” track by transitioning into a rendition of “Open Your Heart.” Hours before the show, news leaked that Macklemore and Madonna’s performance would host the marriage ceremonies of 33 couples, to be officiated by Queen Latifah. (http://www.huffingtonpost. com/2014/01/26/macklemore-grammysperformance_n_4639466.html)

by

March is LGBTQ Health Month in New York. To honor that (and because our youth are all so fabulous) the Pride Center is having an event! Points to remember: *The event is FREE so don’t miss it! *Open to anyone 24 and under! *Awesome giveaways from community organizations

I believe that everyone should know about this event because it is one of the only times where I have seen LGBTQA couples and straight couples together being what they are; people. The LGBTQA couples weren’t glorified, their relationship wasn’t sexualized they were just people marrying the person they love. It was a positive image of marriage equality. Thirty-three couples were married, both straight and LGBTQA, and the building did not burn down; no one got hurt or died. I think it’s absolutely necessary to have accurate media representation of our community. We shouldn’t always be depicted as the victim, a sex symbol, someone who preys on the same sex; because, while I can’t speak for the whole community I know enough people in the community to say we aren’t all like how the media represents us in “Orange is the New Black”, “The L Word”, “The Real L Word” or even “Modern Family”. Some people say that any media

representation is good representation but I’m an African American and my race is depicted as ghetto, uneducated, drug dealers. Who is that media representation helping? It’s not helping me, if anything it’s pushing us down and lowering people’s standards of what we can do and contribute to life.

We shouldn’t always be depicted as the victim, a sex symbol, someone who preys on the same sex

Taylor Keith is a member of the Pride Center’s Center Youth Action Team and a student at Albany Leadership Charter High School for Girls

STAY STRONG, LIVE LONG!

James Shutlis, Youth Program Director Stay Strong, Live Long! was created to help promote a healthy and happy self for all of our youth. Mental, emotional, spiritual and physical health and wellness are all an integral part of a person’s happiness and well-being. Knowing this, the Pride Center is hosting the very first LGBTQA Health and Wellness event, Stay Strong, Live Long! on Friday, March 21st from 6:30-9 pm! Youth under the age of 24 are welcome to be a part of the movement for a happier and healthier lifestyle! We’ll have food, activities, short film screenings created by our youth, an open mic, plus community organizations giving away FREE swag and info

If you have any questions, feel free to let us know. You can reach us at (518) 462-6138 or email our Youth Program Coordinator directly at jshultis@capitalpridecenter.org

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These Presbyterian Churches Welcome You Where you can find a place ~ come as you are! Albany First Presbyterian 362 State Street (at Willett) www.firstpresalbany.org Sunday Worship 8:30 am & 10:45 am

Hudson Falls First Presbyterian Church 5 River Street www.hudsonfallspresbychurch.org Sunday Worship 10:00 am

Scotia Trinity Presbyterian Church 185 Swaggertown Rd. www.scotiatrinity.org Sunday Worship 10:00 am

Albany West End Presbyterian 585 Central Avenue westendpc@nycap.rr.com Sunday Worship 11:00 am

Lansingburgh (Troy) Cornerstone Community Church 570 3rd Avenue www.cornerstoneccl.org Sunday Worship 10:30 am

Spencertown St. Peter’s Presbyterian Church 5219 County Route 7 spencertown.wix.com /stpeterspresbyterianchurch Sunday Worship 10:00 am

Albany Westminster Presbyterian 262 State Street / 85 Chestnut Street www.WPCalbany.org Sunday Worship 10:00 am

Putnam Station Putnam United Presbyterian Church 365 County Route 2, PO Box 8 518-547-8378 Sunday Worship 10:00 am

Stillwater Stillwater United Church 747 Hudson Avenue www.stillwaterunitedchurch.org Sunday Worship 9:15 & 10:30 am

Colonie Roessleville Presbyterian Church Elmhurst and Central Avenue 518-459-2816 Sunday Worship 9:30 am

Rensselaerville The Presbyterian Church of Rensselaerville Main Street at Methodist Hill Road 518-797-9303 (June 24 - Sept 2) Sunday Worship 11:00 am (Summer only)

Troy First United 1915 Fifth Avenue (downtown) www.unitedprestroy.org Sunday Worship 10:00 am

Glens Falls First Presbyterian Church 400 Glen Street www.fpcgf.org Sunday Worship 10:00 am

Saratoga Springs Presbyterian-New England Congregational 24 Circular Street www.pnecc.org Sunday Worship 10:45 am

West Charlton West Charlton United Presbyterian 1331 Sacandaga Road www.westcharltonUPC.org Sunday Worship 10:30 am

Guilderland Hamilton Union Presbyterian Church 2291 Western Avenue www.HamiltonUnionPresbyterianChurch.org Sunday Worship 8:30 am & 10:00 am

Schenectady Union Presbyterian Church 1068 Park Avenue www.unionpres.org Sunday Worship 10:30 am

More information at www.presrainbow.org

Nominations now being accepted! 2014 Annual Awards The Pride Center is seeking nominations for the 2014 Annual Awards to be given out at the Awards Gala on October 24, 2014. Do you know someone in the Capital Region who does outstanding work for the LGBT community? If so, please review the award categories and submit your nomination today! The nomination deadline is May 2, 2014.

ad for March 2013 CommUnity

For any questions regarding this ad, please contact Judy Moyer (518) 283-7663 or Moyer.Judith@gmail.com. Presbyterian Rainbow contract for 2013

To nominate an individual, business or organization, download the Nomination Form from www.capitalpridecenter.org and return it to the Pride Center Board of Directors, 332 Hudson, Albany, New York 12210 by fax to (518) 462-2101 or e-mail; cstreett@capitalpridecenter.org Awards will be selected at the discretion of the Pride Center Board of Directors. The Pride Center reserves the right to limit the number of awards and may not give awards in every category. Final selections will be made by the Pride Center Board of Directors.

We are all God’s children ~ Come as you are! ***SAVE THE DATE *** ***PRIDE CENTER GALA 2014*** FRIDAY OCTOBER 24, 2014

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my queer identity.

Ma i y a C e l e s t e p r e s e n t s h e r a r t and h e r s e l f The Pride Center of the Capital Region is pleased to open Maiya Celeste’s first solo show on Friday, March 7th! Maiya is currently a student of the fine arts at Skidmore College and recently told us a bit art, training and…Maiya.

How does your personal life influence your work, if at all? I strongly believe “the personal is political,” and want to pursue identity politics and dynamics within my artistic platform. Even if that means starting with my own identity and queer relationships. What, if any, are themes that run through your work? Do you find yourself returning to certain motifs or ideas, and why? Right now my main motifs relate to gender expression and performance; body pride and dysphoria; androgyny, the idea of being in-between identities, and transitioning. Describe your background- childhood, family, growing up- and how it influenced you?

Who/ what inspires you artistically? I have always been attracted to artists that were marginalized for their radical and flamboyant ways of self-expression. Baroque King Michelangelo Merisi Caravaggio was famous for his dramatic chiaroscuro scenes, controversial yet sensual depictions of young men, and his outlandish behavior. His paintings were often refused or redone because of his bizarre portrayals of iconic imagery. In the same vein I am incredibly inspired by early 20th Century painters Salvador Dali and Frida Kahlo not only because of their exotic use of symbolism, color, and imagination in their work, but I also admire them for their eccentric genderbending tendencies and their sense of self pride. Frida was a quite Queer woman for her time, she wasn’t afraid to break the rules and was not ashamed of her blossoming sexuality. Just as Dali’s iconic mustache and his eccentric narratives will always be something I envy and strive for within my own expression and work. It was not just their art that inspired me but rather it was their artistic way of living. Other art influences include Jenny Saville, Ahola Oe, Sophia Wallace, Wangechi Mutu, and Iona Rozeal Brown, Mickalene Tomas, and Jamie McCarthy.

I was born in St. Croix and grew up in Yellow Springs, a small town that has recently been rated as one of “gayest” places in Ohio. In hindsight I can see how it fostered an open environment for me to be myself as I was, always going and changing. I had a positive childhood experience. I grew up with my single mother, but always had a close-knit community and strong group of friends to support me and motivate. Being raised in such a small community gave me a strong foundation of confidence and its “artsy” nature slowly and subconsciously influenced my future love for the arts. In hindsight my artist identity seems inevitable and when growing up I never thought it was a discipline I would seriously pursue. In 3rd grade when asked, “What is your favorite subject in school?” I would excitedly answer, “Art and Math!” “Painting or Drawing!” was always my answer to, “What is your favorite hobby?”’ and even throughout my secondary education, the visual presentation of my projects were always of equal importance to the content within them. I took two art classes and a photography class in high school, but would have never considered myself an artist at that point.

“The Personal is Political”

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read Maiya’s Artist Statement on the Pride Center Blog: www.capitalpridecenter.org/general/the-personal-is-political/

Have you had any formal training or classes? Did that help or hinder you as an artist? When recognized by Skidmore College, I was granted a full merit and need based scholarship. I took one painting class during my first semester at Skidmore, but explored the social sciences, i.e. Sociology, American Studies, and Anthropology, for two years before jumping into an Art degree. Since I have almost exclusively been studying the visual arts and its histories, Western and Non-Western representations and styles for two years now, I have seen exceptional growth within my technique, passions, and understandings of my need to create and produce artistically. Before I declared my art major I would peruse the advanced studios with eyes of envy, until I too realized it was something that was a tangible dream to pursue. It was during my semester abroad in Florence, Italy that I first started identifying as an artist. What do you think the purpose of art is in the world? What is the purpose of your art? Art evolved and arose from its abilities to appeal to human emotions. There is always a since of resonance that you can feel when you look at a work of art. In many cultures art and ritual went hand in hand, they worked from and influenced each other. However used or produced, art is a commentary of the current climate. I want my art to be a platform for alternative identities to be expressed and shown. Only positive portrayals and a medial attention will make hidden identities seen and taboo themes normalized.


What are your proudest accomplishments, artistic and otherwise?

incorporating sculpture and relief into my paintings.

I think my proudest moment has yet to come. I am proud of the place that I am and the art I have created thus far, but I always feel like I can grow more. I am very proud that I have a show in a queer space. Thank you Pride Center!

What is the theme of your show, and how did you originate, develop and execute it?

What is the medium of your artwork, and why do you use that medium? I have always loved painting, there is something that I find very therapeutic and sensual about it. I have also recently fallen the love with Silk Screening because of its graphic/ illustrative nature, its abilities to mass produce, and its diverse capabilities of printing on multimedia materials. I have recently started

This show is a collection of my queer identity. Most work is not related visually, but rather conceptually. I am now working on a more visually cohesive integration of these ideas for my next show. What are you currently promoting or working on? Working from the foundations of relief painting, I am now moving into large scale contemporary portraits of Drag queens from the local Albany area.

With this project I am interviewing and photographing 5 to 10 Drag queens. Interviews will be discussing their personal performance of gender, masculine and feminine, both in and out of drag. I am very excited about working with these queens and seeing what becomes of this project. Whether am exploring my Biracial identity in relation to the African Diaspora, exoticism, or privilege; my Queer identity in relation to my sexual orientation, gender expression, or visibility; or my socioeconomic status and the ways in which language, intelligence, and opportunity influence the “success” of my experience, I want my art to depict perspectives of this all but too familiar struggle of the “other.” I want to give voice to the voiceless and empower the oppressed, with history and theory as a foundation, and a goal of dialogue, understanding, solidarity, power, and pride.

Maiya Celeste’s premiere show will open during 1st Friday, March 7th with a special artist reception from 5-9 PM and will be featured in the new romaine brooks gallery @ the Pride Center for the entire month of march.

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    

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An Affair to Remember! The community dressed to the nines for the first ever Gay Soiree! on February 8th. Held at The State Room in beautiful Downtown Albany, we journied back in time to the cabaret and clubs of the 1930’s for an evening of high fashion and lots of dancing. The sultry sounds of Sonny & Perley charmed the attendees with standards from yester-year, setting the mood for some slow dancing for couples in love. The State Room, who sponsored the event alongside Barefoot Wine & Bubbly and Albany.com, put out a generous spread of food with multiple tables of cheese, breads, cruditÊs and the like. The wonderful wait staff passed nearly a dozen different delicious hors d'oeuvres throughout the evening, adding to the rich decadence of the venue. Halfway through night, DJ Robb Penders Ganns brought us back to the present day and kicked up the tempo with some dance music of today. From Whitney Houston to Rihanna, the rhythm of the night keep the crowd moving for a wondering evening of fun, friends and community. And everyone who attended agreed, the Gay Soiree must be an annual event-

so look out for Gay Soiree February 2015!

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T rans V iew #120

by

M oonhaw k R iver Ston e

© 2014

The Content Of Our Character... Changing The Story... Hawk provides some guidance as the mainstream media gives more attention to the transgender community A year or so ago, I devoted a column to transgender folks in the media and how the media just doesn’t get it--get our story that is. Journalists and talk show hosts didn’t get “my memo”, or the memos of many of us in the community about how tired we are of being defined by the story the media decides is “The Story To Tell About Transgender People”. That we don’t get to define ourselves and what our story is all about. We are often faced with just responding to what the media thinks is our story, and unless we are as empowered and articulate as Laverne Cox, the impact of our story gets diluted and lost in translation. The challenge of writing a monthly column that’s relevant is that I’m writing either six weeks ahead, or six weeks behind the news. Most readers will have heard about the whole Katie Couric, Laverne Cox, Carmen Carrera interview and what occurred that caused quite a bit of controversy in LGBT media. This event bears scrutiny because what is happening to transgender men and women--all across the spectrum would not happen if we were non transgender (or the new word for that: cisgender). You wouldn’t walk up to a reporter, a grocery store clerk, your mailman/ woman, your legislator, your sanitation worker or your bank clerk and start asking about their genitalia and their relationship to their genitalia as if you had a de facto right to that information. You just wouldn’t. But, as we’ve been complaining about it among ourselves and to the media who will listen is that our genitalia is not the story. What’s under our clothes is private, as in none of your business. It’s not a secret, it’s not shameful, it’s just private. Though many of us have issues with our anatomy to varying degrees, this is NOT THE story.

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Sure, it’s part of the story, only if a trans* person decides of their own free will to share that information. All of us who give media interviews have come to expect what we call: THE QUESTION! no matter how we might set a boundary beforehand, we are sandbagged with THE QUESTION during the interview. When Couric asked very intrusive questions about Ms. Carrera and sex reassignment surgery, Carrera shut off the conversation with a ‘it’s none of your business’ reply. Ms. Cox cut in and spoke about how such an insensitive and invasive question further marginalizes transgender women and makes the actual reality of their lives invisible. Not to mention going back to the previous Trans View #119, the micro retraumatization such questions bring. Cox was incredibly to the point articulate about what was so misguided in Couric’s question. It is that transgender people, particularly transgender women of color, experience enormous amounts of discrimination and violence, lack of access to healthcare, employment and high incidence of suicide. Surviving these challenges and thriving in the face of such daunting odds is the real story. The triumph of the human spirit to survive at almost impossible odds. The media needs to ask trans* folks to tell their story, not the story the media wants to print, or wants to use to sell copies of their paper or magazine. Those who oppose transgender equality, define transgender folks by their bodies, their genitalia and this focus is a distraction to what is most important: civil and human rights for all. The media does not need to continue to feed the bigots fodder for their cannons of hate. Our story is about the content of our character, not the content of our bodies.

What questions do we want to hear you might ask? Here’s a quick list: Ask about the fullness of our humanity beyond our transgender identity, our journey to become comfortable with who we are-being comfortable in our own skin. Ask about our experience of being trans* in the world -the loss of privilege, the heterosexism, the gender stereotyping, the discrimination. Ask about what’s going right, what are our successes and triumphs as individual human beings who happened to be transgender. Some quick media guidelines: If doing a story about a trans* person who’s not out, don’t out them! Ever! Always use the transgender person’s self-identified name and gender-always, no exceptions, no excuses! Always get consent to discuss the person’s pre transition life, and get consent regarding the showing of pre transition photos and never use a former name without express consent. No exceptions, no excuses! And, finally, quoting Zack Ford

(1/21/14, Think Progress blog): “Does

this story do its best to uphold the dignity, privacy, safety and individuality of the transgender people it includes in the same ways it would cisgender subjects?” If the answer’s no, then either ditch the story or start rewriting. Don’t rewrite our history, stories, and experience, write it the way we tell it. Until next time...T Rev. Moonhawk River Stone of Riverstone Consulting is an Interfaith Minister, transgender activist, writer, educator, consultant, keynote speaker and psychotherapist in private practice for over 25 years with experience and extensive expertise in all aspects of transgender policy and health.


A SK THE LAWYER

by

Ge ri Pom e ran tz

Victory for Trans* Students Doe v Clenchy

A landmark decision in Maine helps secure the rights of trans* students The highest court in Maine issued a breakthrough victory for transgender students. The case of Doe v. Clenchy was decided by the Maine Supreme Judicial Court on January 30, 2014.

consistent with her gender identity, denying access to the appropriate bathroom constitutes sexual orientation discrimination in violation of the [statute].”

Susan Doe is a transgender girl who started fifth grade in 2007. She used the girls’ bathroom, until a male student followed her into the restroom, claiming that he should be entitled to use the girls’ bathroom. The student was acting on instructions from his transphobic grandfather. The controversy generated significant media coverage. In response, the school changed its position and forced Susan to use the single-stall, unisex staff bathroom. She was the only student required to do so. As a result of this discrimination and isolation, Susan’s parents moved her out of the school.

The school forced Susan to use the single-stall, unisex staff bathroom. She was the only student required to do so.

This case was filed by GLAD in 2011. The trial court initially ruled in favor of the school. The Does appealed. The case was decided under Maine’s human rights statute. That law prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation in public accommodations, educational opportunities, employment, housing, and other areas. Sexual origination is defined by the law to include gender identity. The court held that the school’s “decision to ban Susan from the girls’ bathroom, based not on a determination that there had been some change in Susan’s status but on others’ complaints about the school’s well-considered decision, constituted discrimination based on Susan’s sexual orientation”. “Where, as here, it has been clearly established that a student’s psychological well-being and educational success depend upon being permitted to use the communal bathroom

It is reported that the Maine case is the first time a state court has ruled that transgender students must be allowed to use a bathroom consistent with their gender identity. In another first, the federal court of appeals for the ninth circuit ruled that prospective jurors cannot be removed based on sexual orientation. The court held that, when a law discriminates on the basis of sexual orientation, it must be closely evaluated to “ensure that our most fundamental institutions neither send nor reinforce messages of stigma or second-class status”. Excluding a gay prospective juror in this federal antitrust case involving an AIDS drug, violated his constitutional right to equal protection under the law. The case involved Abbot Laboratories’ decision to raise the price of the drug.

The ruling in Smithkline Beecham Corporation v. Abbott Laboratories (1/ 21/2014) expanded the bar on peremptory challenges based on race and gender to include sexual orientation. The LGBT Bar has been working on the issue of jury access, and is interested in hearing from people who have been struck from a jury pool because of their sexual orientation or gender identity. There are so many decision of interest to the LGBT community that it is difficult to report on all of them. Please forgive this writer, limited by word counts and deadlines that precede publication by about one month. The legal rights of LGBTQ families are an ever-changing landscape, to be addressed monthly in this column. The material in this article is provided for informational purposes only and is not intended to give legal advice, and should not substitute for the independent advice of counsel. Geri Pomerantz is an attorney in the capital district with a practice focused on family and matrimonial law, specifically including LGBTQ issues. Geri conducts continuing legal education training for other lawyers on issues of importance to the LGBTQ community, most recently in January regarding Representing LGBTQ Clients in a Post-Windsor World, for the Albany County Bar Association and the Empire Justice Center. Amongst other things, Geri is a member of the Collaborative Divorce Association of the Capital District. The views expressed in this column are solely those of Ms. Pomerantz and do not reflect the opinion of the Pride Center. Geri can be reached at pomerantzlaw@albany.twcbc.com.

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T o be a b l essing

by

Jeremy Bork

Finding a Church That Would Love Me Back This article is one of a series provided by Advocates for Welcoming Congregations, a Capital Region group that encourages the welcoming of LGBT persons into the full life and leadership of communities of faith. The group also works to make visible for members of the LGBT community opportunities for practicing their faith traditions.

Growing up in Northwest Iowa, I began taking my faith seriously during my sophomore year of high school. I was active in my youth group, I co-led a weekly ministry for elementary school students, I was in praise and worship bands, and I participated in a number of outreach retreats for high school students. In college, my involvement in ministry only increased. Ask anyone who knows me; ever since I was a baby Christian, I didn’t know how to be part of a Christian community without being ridiculously involved.

What other groups of people might God be inviting you to love? Who are the ostracized you feel compelled to welcome? Who are the voiceless you have the ability to speak for? Who are the misunderstood you’d like to have coffee with? I knew I was attracted to guys since junior high, but didn’t start telling people until college. Considering the area of Iowa that I was living in, my coming out experience was actually pretty positive. My friends were supportive and compassionate. They asked good questions. Some disagreed with my beliefs, but they still affirmed me as a child of God called to be used by God. My experience was great – until it came to religious organizations. The camp that I had worked at for three summers wouldn’t hire me back because of my being gay and our conflicting beliefs about marriage and sexuality. The church I interned with for a year during college uninvited me to the youth group’s week long summer trip I had been planning to attend all year – the week before it happened – because I “liked” Room for

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All (the LGBT affirming group of the Reformed Church of America) and occasionally posted articles “in support of homosexuality” on Facebook. A few months ago, when I asked my home church to support me in seminary, they suggested I transfer my membership to a church that would be more supportive of my “advocacy for gay marriage and the gay lifestyle.” The only places I continue to feel judged, silenced, oppressed, mistreated, and ignored are in Christian communities. Yet despite the ways other Christians have treated me, I have never lost hope in God and have never doubted my calling to ministry. When I applied for my current internship with First Reformed Church of Schenectady, I was almost numb to rejection but still longed to pursue my dreams of full-time ministry. So before filling out the application, I visited the church website. Across the top of the screen were the words “a welcoming congregation” – words (I have learned) that can mean a number of things. I needed more. So I clicked around and found this, “Our biblical convictions and congregational commitments call us to welcome all people to our community of faith. We are a church where all people are loved and invited to share in our life together, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity.” There it was. That’s what I needed. I have been burned by enough Christian communities to know that phrases like “a welcoming congregation” and “all are welcome” can be misleading and empty. To know that I would be truly welcomed into this community, I needed a bold statement like this. I needed to know I was applying to work in a church that would love me back.

Today, I encourage churches that have made an “all are welcome” statement to reflect on what that means to your church and how it is reflected to the community. I ask churches that are considering making a statement to specifically welcome LGBTQ people to think about what that would mean to someone who has previously been hurt by a religious community. And for churches that are already out and proud, what other groups of people might God be inviting you to love? Who are the ostracized you feel compelled to welcome? Who are the voiceless you have the ability to speak for? Who are the misunderstood you’d like to have coffee with? For me, inclusion goes far beyond the welcome and affirmation of LGBTQ people. It’s about being overwhelmed by God’s inclusive love, sharing it with others, and inviting everyone to be part of a community I like to call family.

I ask churches that are considering making a statement to specifically welcome LGBTQ people to think about what that would mean to someone who has previously been hurt by a religious community. Jeremy Bork graduated from Northwestern College last year with a degree in Christian Education and Religion. Jeremy is currently part of the Covenanter Program at First Reformed Church of Schenectady. As a covenanter, he divides his time between the church youth group, Room for All, the Regional Synod of Albany, and Home Furnishings. He plans to attend Western Theological Seminary in the fall of 2014.


Money Matters

by

Thomas J. Walling CFP® married or dealing with an illness or family emergency. These things should all be sounding bells that you need to have your stuff looked at. Will people depend on you? If so, life insurance is designed to fill the gap of your contributions to the family unit.

Time For A Financial Check Up? Tom looks at some easy steps to improve your finacial health This edition’s theme being GLBT Health makes this an appropriate forum to discuss getting and maintaining financial health. If you are new to the workforce and establishing good habits for the future or are well on your way to succeeding at your financial goals, here are some pointers. In our early earning years, usually youth and immediate gratification win the battle for the left over money at the end of the month. That is why making automatic payments from your paycheck (or other account) is so important. If these payments just happen and you are prepared or never actually see the money, there is a better chance of staying on the right financial track. That does not mean to load up the credit cards to fill an income shortage. Learn to live on what you make so there is not a credit crisis to recover from later on. Workplace benefits should be taken advantage of. Group insurances like Short Term and Long Term Disability Income (DI) Insurance are much cheaper and usually do not require a physical for base amounts offered in your benefits package. In the case of an illness or accident, these policies replace income from work and could very well keep you from having to move back in your parents’ basement. If DI is not available where you work, there are individual policies available, although more expensive and requiring underwriting (assessing your risk to the insurance company). If your company offers a retirement plan match, it will usually not make sense to miss out. This is free money whether or not retirement is a concern at this stage. In investing, time has a value. Investments need time to grow and historically, the longer the time, the higher the compounding interest

amount. So, money saved early in your career can have an astounding future value if invested right and given much time.

In our early earning years, usually youth and immediate gratification win the battle for the left over money at the end of the month. That is why making automatic payments from your paycheck (or other account) is so important. Invested money needs to be monitored. If you do not know why you have a particular investment in your retirement account or in a nonqualified portfolio, it is probably time to have a look at that. Needs change and your risk should decrease as your time horizon decreases. We have all heard of the guy who had to postpone retirement because the market was not performing well. A way to decrease that chance is through early planning and lowering the risk in your portfolio as you age. Is there a life change on the horizon? Maybe you are thinking of changing jobs, moving in with someone, getting

If there is a chronic disease or some other reason you would not normally qualify for life insurance, conversion of your policy when you leave employment may be an option. When you leave employment, there is a window (usually 30 days) where you can convert the workplace policy into a permanent policy at a standard smoker rating. Weigh this out as this may be one of the only ways for you to get life insurance. Check with a financial professional to ensure your money and insurances are positioned in line with your goals and objectives. You can also check with an attorney to ensure your estate planning. Ask a friend or use a trusted organization to get a referral if you do not have one. As you keep your body healthy, so should you with your financial health. Thomas J. Walling CFP® is an Investment Advisor Representative of and offers securities and advisory services through Cetera Advisor Networks.(Member FINRA/SIPC) and a Registered Investment Advisor. Branch office:235 Lark St. #43 Albany, NY 12210. He is also past presenter at the PrideCenter on financial affairs affecting the LGBT community as well as for SAGE of NYC. Tom Is past presidents of the board of directors of The Albany Damien Center, Inc. as well as Our Brothers’ Keepers Foundation. Tom can be reached at 518.878.1294 or Thomas.walling@ceteranetworks.com

Thomas J. Walling Investment Advisor Representative Registered Representative Tower Square Securities, Inc.

235 Lark Street Suite #43 Albany, NY 12210 Thomas.Walling@tssimail.com

Call for a Complimentary Consultation!

518.878.1294 Securities and investment advisory services offered through Tower Square Securities(Member FINRA/SIPC), a registered investment advisor.

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M i c h ae l C o oks a nd You Ca n To o

by

Mich ael Mead e

Pierogies for Lent Michael shares a traditional Eastern European dish that’s perfect for the Easter season The neighborhood I grew up in was spread out over a hill, with steeplyslanted streets lined with one- and two-family homes populated mostly by first- and second-generation Polish, Russian and Ukrainian families. It was the kind of place where old ladies in babushkas came out early in the morning to sweep the sidewalks down. From any window on the hill, you could see the gold spires and onionshaped domes of a half-dozen Catholic and Orthodox churches and listen as their bells tolled away the hours of your childhood. And every year during Lent, the ladies of those churches would crank out thousands of pierogies. Stopping by the church hall on Friday evening to pick up a dozen or so pierogies to take home for dinner was a ritual that continues to this day. Pierogies are of Central or Eastern European origin, though they are perhaps most closely associated with Poland. Cabbage was the traditional filling because it was cheap and easy to grow (we’re talking peasant food here, after all), but potato filling became popular when potatoes were brought from the Americas to become a staple crop in Eastern Europe in the 18th century. Those remain perhaps the two most popular main fillings in most pierogiloving countries.

As Eastern European immigrants came to America in the late 1800s and early 1900s, they brought their pierogies with them, and they quickly caught on with other Americans.

Classic Polish Pierogies Ingredients: 2 cups flour, plus extra for kneading and rolling dough 1/2 teaspoon salt 1 large egg 1/2 cup sour cream, plus extra to serve with the pierogi 1/4 cup butter, softened and cut into small pieces butter and onions for sautéing ingredients for filling of your choice (potato and cheese filling recipe below)

Pierogi Dough To prepare the pierogi dough, mix together the flour and salt. Beat the egg, then add all at once to the flour mixture. Add the 1/2 cup sour cream and the softened butter pieces and work until the dough loses most of its stickiness (about 5-7 minutes). You can use a food processor with a dough hook for this, but be careful not to overbeat. Wrap the dough in plastic and refrigerate for 20-30 minutes or overnight; the dough can be kept in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. Each batch of dough makes about 12-15 pierogies, depending on size.

Potato, Cheese & Onion Filling Peel and boil 5 large potatoes until soft. Red potatoes are especially good for this. While the potatoes are boiling, finely chop 1 large onion and sauté in butter until soft and translucent. Mash the potatoes with the sautéed onions and 4-8oz of grated cheddar cheese (depending on how cheesy you want your pierogies), adding salt and pepper to taste. You can also add some fresh parsley, bacon bits, chives, or other enhancements if you like. Let the potato mixture cool and then form into 1” balls. Assembling the Pierogies Roll the pierogi dough on a floured board or countertop until 1/8” thick. Cut circles of dough (2” for small pierogies and 3-3 1/2” for large pierogies) with a cookie cutter or drinking glass. Place a small ball of filling (about a tablespoon) on each dough round and fold the dough over, forming a semicircle. Press the edges together with the tines of a fork. If you are having a hard time getting the edges to stick together, you may have too much flour in the dough. Add a little water to help get a good seal. Boil the pierogies a few at a time in a large pot of water. They are done when they float to the top (about 8-10 minutes). Rinse in cool water and let dry. When you’re ready to eat, sauté chopped onions in butter in a large pan until onions are soft. Then add pierogies and pan fry until lightly crispy. Serve with a side of sour cream and/or applesauce. Note: If you don’t want to cook all of the pierogies right away, you can refrigerate them (uncooked) for several days or freeze them for up to several months.

Wesołych Świąt Wielkanocnych!

(Happy Easter Holidays!) Michael Meade was trained at the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York, worked at Jack’s Oyster House in Albany and is currently sous-chef for Thunder Mountain Curry in Troy. Send questions or comments to Mmeade1215@aol.com

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Here ’ s G u ffman

by

Patric k Whi te

March’s Blooms Patrick’s top 4 picks for theater this month If September brings the promise of future pleasures with the season kickoffs of our local theatre companies along with the falling leaves; then March blooms with our stages bursting with creative, fertile performance. Whether or not you’re holding the hottest ticket in memory, for the uninitiated that would be “The Book of Mormon” at Proctors - which sold out all unobstructed seats the day it went on sale to the public back in January, there is absolutely a whole lot more theater going on that would greatly reward your attention. My top four picks in alphabetical order: “Figaro” by Charles Morey at Curtain Call Theatre thru 3/22. A free adaptation of the Beaumarchais play which inspired Mozart’s opera, the New York Times claimed of the Pearl Theatre Production (which commissioned the work in ’12) that “Mr. Morey’s mockery of ruling-class entitlement rekindles that irreverence (which got it banned by Louis XVI) while also getting in some amusing swipes about the battle of the sexes.” Featuring the gifted Curtain Call clowns Kris Anderson and Jack Fallon I would guarantee this show will make you laugh. “Gypsy” by Laurents, Sondheim & Styne at Capital Repertory Theatre performances beginning 3/14. Some consider this the greatest musical. It is undeniably a classic

from the golden age of Broadway musicals (premiering in 1959) whose stature only grows with age and each successive revival. The most recent on Broadway drew great acclaim starring Patti Lupone as the ultimate stage mother, Mama Rose. The show tells the story of Rose’s pursuit of show biz success using her two daughters June and Louise to achieve what she never could. Louise takes the lessons to heart becoming the stripper Gypsy Rose Lee. North Pearl Street will be serenaded by such standards as “Some People,” “Let Me Entertain You,” “Small World,” and the ultimate 11 o’clock number “Rose’s Turn.” The overture alone can make you dizzy with delight. This is sacred text for gays. “How the Other Half Loves” by Alan Ayckbourn opening 3/21 at the Ghent Playhouse in Columbia County. Often mistakenly or just lazily referred to as the British Neil Simon, Ayckbourn is a hugely important figure in contemporary theater and if you’ve never seen one of his plays, you’re really missing something wonderful. He differs from Simon in that his comedy comes out far more from his characters and situations than one-liners. This gem of a theatre has a fondness for doing British plays and should do well with this early Ayckbourn crowd pleaser.

“The Understudy” by Theresa Rebeck at Schenectady Civic Playhouse running 3/21 thru 3/30. A backstage story of an understudy rehearsal for a Broadway premiere of an unknown Kafka masterpiece run by the stage manager Roxanne while putting her ex-fiancee Harry thru his paces. The understudy, the star and the stage manager grapple with celebrity, art, money and Broadway to do what they love in this comedy by the well-respected playwright.

If that weren’t enough to pique your interest, also on the boards this month are “Fiddler on the Roof” at the Sand Lake Center for the Arts, “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee” at Schenectady Light Opera Company and “Urinetown” at Cohoes Music Hall. Happy playgoing!

Patrick is a Capital Region actor who will be performing in “Finnegan’s Farewell” at Proctors 3/13-3/16.

Mary Anderson invented the windshield wiper. Stephanie Kwolek invented Kevlar®. Margaret Knight invented the grocery bag.

(Leave it to the ladies to come up with great ideas.) If you’re looking for big ideas to power the growth of your company, we’d like to help you. We’re a women-owned business with a team of professionals who not only know how to think, but also make things happen. Communications. Leadership programs. New product development. Public relations. Sponsorships. Customer relations. The list goes on. Call Wanda Zygmuntowicz at 716-983-4239. She’s our President, and she just loves a challenge. www.customericity.com Lifestyle Photography is... Your Everyday, Your Important Moments, Your Once In A Lifetimes, Your Loved Ones. Copyright © 2010 CUSTOMERicity, LLC. All rights reserved. Kevlar™ is a registered trademark of E. I. du Pont de Nemours and Company or its affiliates.

www.JayZhangPhotography.com

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o u t in the garden

by

Judith Fetterley

The Eye of the Camera

record those elements of another’s garden that impress us most.

Judith explores her garden trough a new lens Photos by Beth Meer

This winter I came to appreciate the eye of the camera. In September my friend Beth took photos of my garden in the early morning when the light, I have since learned, is excellent for photo drama. In December I included one or more of these photos in each of the Christmas cards I sent. As I did so, I had the pleasure of seeing my garden all over again and also as if for the first time. The camera caught details I overlooked when focused on weeding or trying to take in the big picture – the lime green artichoke-like interior of an Echinacea bloom; the geometry of the petals of a castor bean flower; the extreme delicacy of the stem of a Thalictrum. It also caught striking combinations that I had never noticed -- the pattern of purple Heuchera against gray green lavender; the effect of spiky white Veronicastrum backed by purple Clematis; the impact of a lawn ornament placed among ground covers. And it has shown me that some of my combinations are worthy of my friend’s photographic artistry -- Sedum ‘Auturmn Joy’ in combination with Miscanthus and cannas; iris, Eryngium ‘Yuccafolium’ and a purple smoke bush; daylilies, conifers, and Geums.

Seeing a garden is difficult. When we are working in the garden we are focused on (dare I say obsessed with) the details of weeding, pruning, staking,

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edging, and we don’t take in the big picture. When we take the time to walk around our gardens we tend to be trying to take in the big picture and we don’t take in the details. When we visit other people’s gardens, we often do not know what we are looking at, in terms of plant material and in terms of design purpose and plan. As I begin to phase out the installation and maintenance components of Perennial Wisdom, I am thinking more and more of how I might use my garden for instructional purposes.

In June I will hold a class in my garden on “Design Challenges and How to Meet Them (or not).” And later in the season I hope to hold one on “Trees for Landscape Interest.” But since my experience with my friend’s camera, I am thinking more and more about how I might help people get more out of the experience of visiting gardens, how I might help people to see rather than just to look. Perhaps I could call it “Garden Hopping, and How to Emerge High but Sober”! We might talk about what to look for as you enter, move through, and leave a garden. Or we could explore how to scan a garden to grasp its fundamental design. We would certainly want to cover how to take notes that will be useful to one’s own garden endeavors and how best to

My friend Sue, a woman well into her eighties, is a model of someone who sees. I have been making and maintaining a garden for Sue for several years now. Each time I come to visit or to work, she has something new to show me – how a blossom has just opened, how a leaf has curled, how petals have patterned. Her eye itself is a camera. She takes in pictures big and little; she tells me how well a shrub at the sidewalk works with one near the house and then points to a drop of water on a dahlia bloom. I want to get a camera like Beth’s and learn how to use it so that I too can take in pictures big and little. Then maybe after I have learned how to use a camera, I will begin to see what the camera sees without needing the camera. Maybe I will be able to become more like Sue.

Judith Fetterley lives and gardens in Glenmont, New York. She also runs Perennial Wisdom, a garden design business for new and existing gardens. Judith can be reached at fetterleyj@gmail.com


Welcoming Congregations

Join Us In Exploring Your Spiritual Side At One Of The Welcoming Congregations Below: Community Congregational Church (UCC) 221 Columbia Tpke, Rensselaer, NY www.clintonheightsucc.org Community Reformed Church of Colonie 701 Sand Creek Road, Colonie, NY www.coloniereformed.org (518)869-5589 Congregation Agudat Achim (Conservative) 2117 Union Street, Schenectady, NY www.agudatachim.org (518) 393-9211 Congregation B’nai Shalom (Reform) 420 Whitehall Road, Albany, NY www.bnaishalom.albany.ny.us (518) 482-5283 Congregation Berith Shalom (Reform) 167 Third Street, Troy, NY www.berithshalom.com (518)272-8872 Congregation Beth Emeth (Reform) 100 Academy Road, Albany, NY www.bethemethalbany.org (518)436-9761 Congregation Gates of Heaven (Reform) 842 Ashmore Avenue, Schenectady, NY www.cgoh.org (518)374-8173 Congregation Ohav Shalom (Conservative) 113 New Krumkill Road, Albany, NY www.ohavshalom.org Congregation Temple Sinai (Reform) 509 Broadway, Saratoga Springs, NY www.templesinai-saratogasprings.org (518) 584-8730 Eastern Parkway United Methodist Church 943 Palmer Avenue, Schenectady, NY www.easternparkway.weebly.com (518)374-4306 St George’s Episcopal Church 30 North Ferry St., Schenectady www.stgeorgesschenectady.org Emmanuel Baptist Church 275 State Street, Albany, NY www.emmanuelalbany.net (518)465-5161

First Church in Albany 110 North Pearl Street, Albany, NY www.firstchurchinalbany.org (518)463-4449

Good Shepherd Lutheran Church 501 Albany Shaker Road, Loudonville, NY www.goodshepherdchurchloudonville.org (518)458-1562

First Congregational Church of Albany UCC & NACCC 405 Quail Street, Albany, NY www.firstcongregationalalbany.org / (518)482-4580

Holy Trinity National Catholic Church 405 Washington Avenue, Albany, NY www.NCCofA.org/holytrin.html (518)434-8861

First Lutheran Church 181 Western Avenue, Albany, NY www.FirstLutheranAlbany.org (518)463-1326 First Presbyterian Church 362 State Street, Albany, NY www.firstpresalbany.org (518)449-7332 First Reformed Church 8 North Church Street, Schenectady, NY www.1streformed.com First Unitarian Society of Schenectady 1221 Wendell Avenue, Schenectady, NY www.fussonline.org (518)374-4446 First Unitarian Universalist Society of Albany 405 Washington Avenue, Albany, NY www.albanyuu.org (518)463-7135 First United Methodist Church 603 State Street, Schenectady, NY www.gbgm-umc.org/schenectady (518)374-4403 First United Presbyterian Church 1915 Fifth Avenue, Troy, NY www.unitedprestroy.org (518)272-2771 Friends Meeting (Quaker) 727 Madison Avenue, Albany, NY (518) 436-8812

Journey United Church of Christ 500 Kenwood Blvd, Delmar , NY www.journeyucc.com Saratoga Springs United Methodist Church 175 Fifth Avenue, Saratoga Springs, NY www.saratogaspringsumc.org / (518)5843720 Saint Aelred’s Priory and Retreat House (National Catholic) 670 Bunker Hill Road Northville, NY Tel. 518-863-8086 or 518-434-8861 staelredpriory@aol.com St. Andrews Episcopal Church Main at Madison Avenue, Albany, NY www.standrewsalbany.org / (518)489-4747 St. John’s Lutheran Church 160 Central Avenue, Albany, NY www.stjohnsalbany.org (518)465-7545 Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Saratoga 624 North Broadway, Saratoga Springs, NY www.saratoga-uu.org (518)584-1555 Unity Church in Albany 21 King Avenue, Albany, NY www.unitychurchinalbany.org (518)4533603 Woodstock Jewish Congregation (Reconstructionist) 1682 Glasco Turnpike, Woodstock, NY www.wjcshul.org (845)246-1671

Proud To Be Open! Affirming! Welcoming! Joyous!

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Pride Center Special Events Friday, March 7: 1st Friday at the Romaine Brooks Gallery, 5-9pm. Come to the Pride Center’s very own art gallery! This month’s featured artist is Maiya Celeste. Maiya’s main motifs relate to gender expression and performance; body pride and dysphoria; androgyny, the idea of being in-between identities, and transitioning. Monday, March 10: Business Alliance LGBT Professionals Mixer, 6-8pm. Aperitivo Bistro, 426 State St., Schenectady., Albany. $5 suggested donation. Don’t miss the Region’s biggest LGBT monthly event! Join us for the February LGBT Professionals Networking Mixer. Come and meet up with friends , distribute your business cards, and make important business contacts. Friday, March 14: GET REAL: Ask the Sexpert, 5:30-7pm. Ages 13-18. Do you have questions about sex and sexuality? Not getting school-based sex ed that meets your needs as an LGBTQA young person? Check out this workshop specifically for queer youth! GET REAL answers - GET REAL knowledge - GET REAL power. Sunday, March 16: Vintage Pride Potluck, 1-3 pm. First Presbyterian Church, 362 State Street, Albany. Bring a dish to share and enjoy drinks and dessert provided by the Pride Center. New topics and activities every month! A casual social opportunity for LGBTQ people 55+. Sunday, March 16: Rainbow Café Movie Night “Victor, Victoria” 6:30pm. Povertystricken singer in Depression-era Paris becomes convinced that the only way she can earn a living on the nightclub circuit is to masquerade as a man who impersonates women. Then she meets the man of her dreams. Sunday, March 30: Supper Sunday, 5-9pm. The Pride Center’s monthly program that offers a free, delicious community meal home-cooked by our fabulous volunteer Mike C. the last Sunday of each month. CHECK OUT THE FULL PAGE LGBT HEALTH MONTH SNAPSHOT FLYER TO LEARN ABOUT MORE FANTASTIC SPECIAL EVENTS THIS MONTH! All events take place at the Pride Center (332 Hudson Avenue, Albany) unless otherwise noted. For more information call (518) 462-6138.

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Ongoing Events Sundays

Wednesdays

Rainbow Café Drop-in Weekly, 1st Floor, 6—9pm

Board of Directors Meeting 1st Wednesday of the month, 3rd Floor, 6pm

LGBT Alcoholics Anonymous* Weekly, Garden level, 7—8:30pm

Women’s Group 2nd Wednesday of the month, 1st floor 6-7pm Social, 7-8pm Discussion

Bisexual Potluck Brunch* 1st & 3rd Sunday of the month , 1st Floor, 11am-1pm Vintage Pride Potluck Lunch 3rd Sunday of the month, 1—3pm First Presbyterian Church 362 State Street, Albany Movie Night 3rd Sunday of the month , 1st Floor, 6:30pm Supper Sunday Last Sunday of the month, 1st Floor, 5—9pm

Mondays

Men's Peer Support Group Weekly, 1st Floor, 7—8:30pm

Live from the Living Room Open Mic* 2nd Wednesday of the month, Garden Level, 7pm LGBT Book Club* 3rd Wednesday of the month, 1st Floor, 7pm

Thursdays

Thrive LGBT Youth Group (Ages 18—24) Weekly, 3rd Floor, 6—7:30pm LGBT Narcotics Anonymous* Weekly, Garden level, 7:30—8:30pm

Gay Men’s Alcoholics Anonymous* Weekly, Garden level, 7:30—8:30pm

Schenectady Rainbow Nights Youth Group (Ages 13—18) Weekly, 6—7:30pm Proctors Theater, Underground Space, 432 State Street, Schenectady

Free Confidential HIV Testing 1st & 3rd Monday, 3rd Floor 4—7pm

Fridays

Tuesdays

Trans Pride Discussion Group 1st Tuesday of the Month, 1st Floor, 7—9pm Capital Region Support Group for Family and Friends of LGBT People 2nd Tuesday of the month, 7pm First Unitarian Society of Schenectady 1221 Wendell Avenue, Schenectady More info: Julia Helfman 518.372.9911 Trans Pride Meet & Greet 3rd Tuesday of the month, 1st Floor, 7—9pm Saratoga Youth Group (Ages 13-18) Every other Tuesday, 4:30-6pm Saratoga Arts Center 320 Broadway, Saratoga

Rainbow Café Drop-in Weekly, 1st Floor, 6—9pm GET REAL: Youth Education (Ages 13 – 18) 2nd Fridays, Garden Level, 5:30-7pm Albany Youth Group (Ages 13 – 18) Weekly, Garden level, 7—8:30pm 1stFriday @ Romaine Brooks Gallery 1st Friday of the Month, 1st Floor, 5—9pm CONNECT: Supporting Families & Friends of LGBTQ Youth 2nd Fridays, 3rd Floor, 7-8:30pm Free Confidential HIV Testing 2nd & 4th Friday, 3rd Floor, 4—7pm

* Indicates outside groups that meet at the Pride Center. All events take place at the Pride Center (332 Hudson Ave) unless otherwise noted.

Pride Center Administrative Office Hours Monday—Friday: 10AM-5PM

Saturday—Sunday: Closed

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March 2014 Pride Center Affiliate Events

Albany Gay Men’s Chorus Rehearsals: Tuesday evenings from 6:45 - 8:45pm at the First Lutheran Church of Albany, 181 Western Avenue (State Street side), Albany. Wednesday, March 12: Saratoga Pride Women’s Coffee, Meets every 2nd Wednesday of the month. Check out our website for location and additional details. www.saratogapride.com Thursday, March 20: Saratoga Pride Lesbian Networking Breakfast, 7:30am. Country Corner Café, Church St., Saratoga Springs. You can find us in the upstairs dining room. Latecomers welcome! www.saratogapride.com

Community Events Sunday, March 2 & 16: Bisexual Potluck Brunch, 11a-1pm. Pride Center, 332 Hudson Ave, Albany, 1st fl. Come for great brunch and a meet other bisexual members of the community! Wednesday, March 5: We Served As Well: Transgender Veterans Group, 4:30-5:30pm. VA Medical Center, Room 806D, 113 Holland Ave, Albany. A peer support group for transgender, crossdressing , gender-questioning, two-spirited and curious veterans. More info: nullwendy@yahoo.com Wednesday, March 5 & 19: In Our Own Voices Out The Closet I Am Support Group (Ages 21-30),* 6:308pm. For more info visit www.facebook.com/outtheclosetiam Tuesday, March 11: In Our Own Voices Black & Latino Pride Committee Meeting 6-7:30pm.

Wednesday, March 12 & 26: In Our Own Voices TransCare* 6-7:30pm. TransCare is a social group for transgender people of color to share their voices about community issues. Wednesday, March 12: Poetry Open Mic Night, 7-9pm. Pride Center, 332 Hudson Ave, Albany. Now meeting in the newly renovated Garden Level space! Friday, March 14: In Our Own Voices Sexversations* 7-9pm. Sexversations is a monthly gathering for women of color who have sex with women. Join us for some intriguing, enticing and thoughtprovoking conversations! We meet at a different location every month. Please call (518) 432-4188. Wednesday, March 19: LGBT Book Club, 7-9pm. Pride Center, 332 Hudson Ave, Albany, 1st fl. Thursday, March 20: Project HOPE Syphilis Testing Drive for Men who have Sex with Men 12-5pm. The River Street Club, 540 River Street, Troy. In 2013 syphilis rates in the Capital District soared to over 100% since the previous year. Syphilis can be cured easily with antibiotics if caught early. Project HOPE is a program of the AIDS Council. Thursday, March 20: Transgender Advocates of the Capital Region (TACR) 6pm. Location TBA Please check Facebook page for location: www.facebook.com/TransAdvocatesCR. Monday, March 31st: Judith Butler, 5-7pm. Siena College 515 Louden Rd,-Maloney Great Room. Judith Butler is one of the most important thinkers of our time and her work on feminism, psychoanalysis, and ethical and political theory has fundamentally shaped much philosophical and political discourse over the last several decades.

*All In Our Own Voices events take place at 245 Lark Street, Albany unless noted. For more info, call (518) 432-4188 or email info@inourownvoices.org

Have an event for CommUNITY? If you would like to have your events posted in the CommUNITY newsletter, please visit our website at www.capitalpridecenter.org and click on the events tab and select calendar of events. From there you can submit your own event. Or email rgalvan@capitalpridecenter.org. Events must be submitted for approval before the 5th of the month.

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QueerEngineer Get to know us & how you can support LGBTQ* students in science, technology, engineering, & mathematics. /QueerEngineer

@QueerEngineer

Advertisers Index Albany Bombers.....2 Albany and Rensselaer Counties Cancer Services Program.....39 Adirondack Oral Surgery.....12 Albany Gay Men’s Chorus....12 The Book House of Stuyvesant Plaza.....18 Buenau’s Opticians.....22 Butchies Poop Patrol.....12 Canterbury Animal Hospital.....18 Choices Counseling & Consulting.....23 Connections Psychotherapy.....15 Steve Cook, State Farm Insurance.....18 Law Office of Anne Reynolds Copps.....7 Customericty.....29 Joseph Dalton/ Prudential Manor Homes.....15 Delmar Family Medicine.....5 GLSEN New York Capital Region.....19 Interim Healthcare.....5 Jay Zhang Photography.....29 Journey United Churchof Christ.....12 JrMac Photography / Massage Therapy.....22 Ronnie Mangione, Merrill Lynch.....18 Law Office of Geri Pomerantz.....25 Prebyterian Rainbow.....15 Queer Engineer.....37 Joseph Roche, Accounting.....7 Saratoga Pride.....37 Security Plumbing & Heating Supply.....7 Skylands Services.....23 The State Room.....22 Sutton Law Firm.....28 Tri City Rentals.....40 United Hearts Ceremonies/Reverend Kay.....23 Thomas J. Walling CFP.....27 Welcoming Congregations.....33 Mark Witecki CPA.....23 Please Support our Advertisers! f

A Pride Center of the Capital Region affiliate

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We’re Proud to Support These Businesses as They Support the LGBT Community Members as of February 19, 2014

AIDS Council of Northeastern New York Athos Restaurant Bombers Schenectady Buenau's Opticians Central Avenue BID Charles F. Lucas Confectionery and Wine Bar Connections Psychotherapy Consumer Optical Crisafulli Bros.Plumbing & Heating Contractors, Inc Customericity, LLC Deja Vu Experience and Creative Design, Ltd. Geri Pomerantz, Esq Grappa '72 Ristorante Hokkaido Albany Interim HealthCare James W. Leone, State Farm Agent

Janet Stein, JMS PSB, LLC Jay Zhang Photography Joseph Dalton / Prudential Manor Homes Joseph Roche Journey United Church of Christ L&P Media Latimer/Stroud, LLP Mark D. Witecki, CPA CFP CFE Ronnie Mangione / Merrill Lynch Security Plumbing & Heating Supply Skylands Services, INC Steve Cook / State Farm Insurance Sunrise Management and Consulting The Point Restaurant Thomas J. Walling/Tower Square Securities, Inc. Tri City Rentals

Don’t Miss The Region’s Fastest Growing LGBT Professionals Networking Mixer: Our Business Alliance mixers have quickly become one of the most anticipated and popular Pride Center events— and are only getting bigger. If you haven’t joined us yet, make plans now for our upcoming mixers! Come and meet up with friends, distribute your business cards, enjoy some light fare and cocktails while making important business contacts. UPCOMING NETWORKING MIXERS: Monday, Mar 10th 6-8pm Aperitivo Bistro 426 State St., Schenectady

Wednesday, April 16th 6-8pm Cannon Barrel Pub 606 3rd Ave, Watervliet

For More Information or To Join Visit:

www.capitalpridecenter.org/resources/business-alliance/

38


Colon cancer is: 

prevenTaBLe, TreaTaBLe,

BeaTaBLe Free, easy take-home screening kits available— for uninsured aged 50+ (Treatment further eligibility rules apply) Learn more and get your kit at the Vintage Pride meeting:

March 20

6:30 p.m. The pride Center of the Capital region 332 Hudson ave. albany, n.Y.

Featuring instruction from Laughing Yoga facilitator Larry Steffler, BSW, CLYL. Vintage Pride provides social opportunities for LGBT individuals ages 55+.

Check cspofalbandren.com or call (518) 525-8680 for details. 39


NON-PROFIT US POSTAGE

P AID PERMIT #798 ALBANY, NY

332 Hudson Avenue Albany, NY 12210

Be with us! Tri City Rentals is a proud supporter of the LGBT community Visit one of our 24 Fine Capital District Apartment Communities

We want to thank the for choosing us as this year’s business of the year!

www.TriCityRentals.com

518.862.6600


CommUNITY Magazine (vol 2 iss 2) LGBTQ Health  

CommUNITY is the premier Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer magazine of New York's Capital Region. www.capitalpridecenter.org...

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