Page 1



L G B T Q +




Equality Begins At Birth! LGBTQ+ and Foster Care Opportunities

Out & About LGBTQ+ and Aging

Chief Editor Charlie Ortiz Design Influential Designs

September 14, 2019 Hartford, Connecticut

Stories Charlie Ortiz AARP Wheeler Clinic Intact Connecticut Pride Committee Pedro E. Segarra Lynette Correa Charlie Ortiz Luis Quiros Rosa Rivera Keith Rhoden, Jr. Web & Marketing

Influential Designs www.influentiald.com

Dear Friends,

We proudly celebrate our Fourth issue of OUTINCT.COM. Our magazine and Pride events continue to grow: and we are mindful of your incredible support over the years. This publication is also made possible through the many volunteers whom selflessly donate their time. Without their help this magazine would not be possible. We continue to celebrate Pride in our LGTBQ+ community and the many successes and accomplishments towards our struggle for respect and equality.

CONTENTS 04 About Us 06 Equality Begins At Birth! 11 LGBTQ+ and Foster Care Opportunities 24 Out & About 2018 30 LGBTQ+ and Aging

Last year, we embarked on a mission of strengthening the relationships and collaborations with our LGTBQ+ organizations. United we stand a better chance of attaining our respective goals. We can also respond quicker to situations that threaten our community. This past year, the OUTINCT.COM publication witnessed another record-breaking number of readers, both in our online and hard copy editions. The attendance at our Capitol City Pride events nearly doubled. More importantly, the participation of allies has significantly increased. Persons of all backgrounds and ages participated and our trans-community was ever-present. We know that many still live in isolation and fear, thus our work is ongoing. This year we will also focus on the youth and elderly members of our community. It is our aim to foster understanding amongst both of these age groups. We should join in acknowledging the contributions of our elders, while recognizing the incredible potential of our youth. I repeat, lets unite: stronger than ever before, strengthening our voices to support organizations that continue to lovingly service our community. Lets bridge the gaps and reconcile the differences for the success of all. Sincerely,

Charlie Ortiz

Chair of Hartford Capital Pride & Chief Editor of OUTINCT.COM LGBTQ+ GUIDE OF CT | 3


OUTINCT.COM relies on the commitment of volunteers and donations to publish this guide to LGBTQ+ life in Connecticut. As a community, we all share in the success of this publication by promoting pride and awareness of LGBTQ+ community supporters during the year. When you make a donation or volunteer with us, you make a difference for your community as a whole. Why it matters? OUTINCT.COM showcases LGBTQ+ accomplishments and the best our community has to offer in Connecticut. We need you to make sure that “Pride, Love, Life and Equality� continue to be alive and well in Connecticut. We will continue to build awareness of our community in order to make Connecticut more inclusive.


Our work is about community! If you want to help make the world you live in better, then the best way is to join in! Make your voice heard and play your part. Volunteering, fundraising, or donating to OUTINCT.COM gives you the opportunity to get involved with the future and success of your community. By volunteering you can gain experience, develop new skills, improve your career prospects, build confidence and meet new, interesting people.

How can you help? Sponsor Events

If you own a business or work for a company that supports our community, please support PRIDE by having a booth or donating towards the event. Your support makes it possible for us to bring events like the PrideFest to Hartford. Events like these raise awareness and help the community as a whole by bringing attention to all the things to do and venues to visit here in Hartford.


There are a whole range of volunteer opportunities for all types of people of all abilities and skills. We need event staff, ad sales, fund raisers, public relations, marketing assistants, photographers, and administrative staff.

Want to know more? Please visit our website or write for more information on how to be part of the OUTINCT.COM team. Give us your contact information and let us know what volunteer opportunities interest you.

info@outinct.com 4|

Impeccable Catering Services For All Your Special Occasions & Corporate Events

| Live Cooking Stations | | Innovative Fusion Cuisine |

| www.hscatering.us | (860) 838.4124 |

We’re a community of many communities.

Be yourself. Be human. Be #ForeverProud.

Working together for a more inclusive future. Learn more at td.com/thereadycommitment.

Member FDIC, TD Bank, N.A.



atBirth! By Brian D. Brown


For many people in the LGBTQ+ community, Pride is a moment in our lives where we can forget the outside world and be ourselves, without fear of discrimination or retaliation. Although we come from many different walks of life, we’re united in the belief that equality is not a special right, rather it is a human right that should be granted to all. We seek to live free of the boxes that our own society has placed us in, and have the freedom to love who we choose, and to determine our own sexual experiences. I came out 20 years ago, while growing up in a suburb of Hartford. I was initially met with name-calling, bullying, and some fear for my own personal safety. Although Pride as we know it today didn’t exist locally then, I eventually found support in the company of understanding friends and family. It was during this time that I met my first boyfriend, which opened up a multitude of questions about my own sexual freedom. You see, I soon discovered that my boyfriend had a foreskin and I did not. When I began to research what I was missing, I learned that foreskin is not ‘just skin.’ I discovered that circumcision destroys a complex structure which includes the highly innervated ridged band and frenulum, and compromises approximately 15 square inches of highly specialized mobile skin in the adult male. It was a painful realization to learn that functional and pleasurable tissue was taken from my body when I was powerless to object.

While it appeared that my sexual revolution may have ended before it ever began, I soon learned about the concept of foreskin restoration. I discovered that although it’s not currently possible to regain all that is lost to circumcision, with some time and patience, a man can restore much of the form and function of the foreskin. Today, hundreds of thousands of men living with varying degrees of circumcision damage are choosing to reclaim their bodily autonomy through restoration. Whether you have your own children or not, we should all be advocates for keeping children intact regardless of their sex, and allowing them the right to determine how their own genitals should look and function when they are old enough to consent. It is impossible to advocate for the sexual freedom of adults while simultaneously advocating for cutting off intimate, erogenous, functional tissue from the genitals of a child. Thousands of people, many from within the LGBTQ+ community, are publicly standing for the rights of innocent babies and the adults they will become. I encourage you to connect with us, and help spread the word that equality begins at birth! The author is Director of Intact Connecticut, a local not-for-profit educational effort to raise awareness of genital autonomy, intact care, foreskin restoration, and the dangers of circumcision. Learn more at Facebook.com/IntactCT and IntactNetwork.org


OPEN HEARTS “GLBT” MINISTRY at the Franciscan Center for Urban Ministry MISSION STATEMENT The Open Hearts Ministry provides educational experiences to build greater visibility and understanding of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender (GLBT) experience within our Church community, and develop faith-building outreach programming to the diverse spectrum of the GLBT community. As a Catholic parish committed to social justice, Open Hearts Ministry of the Franciscan Center for Urban Ministry actively provides and promotes faith opportunities that build community for those who have experienced spiritual disconnection. For more information email us at info@spsact.org.

The Franciscan Center for Urban Ministry at St. Patrick-St. Anthony 285 Church Street Hartford, CT 06103 860-756-4034  www.spsact.org  info@spsact.org

Hartford Psychological Services

Just Peace Open & Affirming Multi-cultural Environmentally-conscious

You are welcome here! Sunday Worship: 10am

Immanuel Church, 10 Woodland St., Hartford, CT 06105, 860.527.8121 www.iccucc.org, facebook.com/iccucc


Richard W. Stillson, Ph,D. Psychologist

210 Wethersfield Avenue Hartford, CT 06114

(860) 296-0094

The stronger the love, the greater the responsibility.

LCN-1417268-021016 Lincoln Financial Group is the marketing name for Lincoln National Corporation and insurance company affiliates, including The Lincoln National Life Insurance Company, Fort Wayne, IN, and in New York, Lincoln Life & Annuity Company of New York, Syracuse, NY. Variable products distributed by broker-dealer-affiliates. Lincoln Financial Distributors, Inc., Radnor, PA. Securities and investment advisory services offered through other affiliates Š 2018 Lincoln National Corporation. LGBTQ+ GUIDE OF CT | 9

10 |



Foster Care


s a recruiter, I attend many events in the community. I get a number of different questions but none that surprised me and changed my way of thinking as much as one in particular. As I stood at my table, with all my foster care info and small items with our logo on it, ready to disseminate to anyone that would take it, I was approached by an older gentleman. I could immediately tell he had something important to ask as he hurried over. Before I could introduce myself, the man asked, “Is it illegal for same sex-couples to adopt in Connecticut?” My immediate answer was, “Of course it’s not illegal. We have numerous same-sex couples in our program.” He then went on to tell me that this was, or previously had been, the case in many states. I assured him that this was not the case in Connecticut and that Wheeler Clinic Foster Care is proud of all the amazing work our same-sex foster parents do. He was happy to hear this, thanked me, and went on his way. But this wasn’t where this question ended for me.


by Chris Popilowski, Senior Foster Care Recruiter Wheeler Clinic

adoptive parents is quite obvious. Children need homes. In this state, we are facing a crisis, and we need homes for them more than ever. What we don’t need is to make outdated and unfair judgments of people based on how they identify. I look for good homes for our kids. A good home does not have anything to do with a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity. It isn’t about what they look like or where they live. It’s about who they are on the inside, how they treat people, and how much compassion and concern they have for those around them. And we can’t overlook the need for patience. How many caring and loving parents have not even approached the table because of a fear of rejection? Even one is too many. For information about foster care opportunities, call 860.793.7277 or email FosterCarePrograms@ Wheelerclinic.org or www.wheelerclinic.org/foster.

The magnitude of the problem of not allowing same-sex or transgender couples to be foster or LGBTQ+ GUIDE OF CT | 11

12 |


MHD_HH_PrideFest 2018 final with bleed.pdf



10:42:01 AM


Just steps away from endless entertainment and world-class dining in downtown Hartford. Enjoy the style and luxury of our downtown Hartford hotel. Located in the Front Street District of Hartford, the Marriott Hartford Downtown overlooks the Connecticut River and is interconnected with the Connecticut Convention Center. Our 409 room upscale hotel has so much to offer and is conveniently located within walking distance of Hartford’s best attractions.



200 Columbus Blvd. | Hartford, CT 06103 | (860)249-8000 | hartfordmarriott.com








Whether you’re looking for a romantic getaway or to take in a ball game or a concert, the Hartford Hilton’s ideal location in the heart of the dining and entertainment district makes it the perfect place to spend the weekend in Hartford.

Hartford Hilton | 315 Trumbull Street | Hartford, CT 06103 (860) 728-5151 | hartfordhilton.com 14 |



Connecticut Conference, United Church of Christ supports

PRIDEFEST 2018 We invite you to visit one of our Open and Affirming congregations.


United in Christ’s Love, a just world for All. 16 |

Gay Owned & Operated


It’s Time To Clean Your Chimney!


Caps & Dampers, LLC is proud to be your #1 family and lesbian owned chimney solution company. We are thrilled to help you keep your home safe by providing nothing but the best in chimney maintenance. If a chimney is involved, we are your solution. Chimney Cleaning, Rebuilding & Repair Chimney Maintenance (Caps & Dampers, Flashing Repair, Waterproofing, etc.)

Masonry Work Full Home Exhaust System Safety Inspections Gutter Cleaning & Dryer Vent Cleaning



To Schedule Your Cleaning Call (860) 323-8123 or visit CapsAndDampers.com/Schedule-Online

$2 5 OFF Chimney Cleaning

Expires 12/31/2018. Cannot be combined with any other offer. Offer subject to change without notice.

$50 OFF Chimney Liners

Expires 12/31/2018. Cannot be combined with any other offer. Offer subject to change without notice.





FEBRUARY 14 – MARCH 10, 2019 By Dominique Morisseau · Directed by Jade King Carroll


A New Play from the Works of P.G. Wodehouse By The Goodale Brothers DETROIT · Directed by Sean Foley ’67



By Dominique Morisseau · Directed by Jade King Carroll UPCOMING MAY 9PRODUCTIONS – JUNE 9, 2019 DETROIT ’67 By Dominique Morisseau · Directed by Jade King Carroll

JEEVES & WOOSTER & WOOSTER Book & Lyrics by FEBRUARY Robert L. Music by Scott Frankel 14Freedman – JEEVES MARCH 10,∙ 2019 Choreography byMorisseau Denis Jones ∙ Directed by Darko IN “PERFECT NONSENSE” IN “PERFECT NONSENSE” By Dominique · Directed by Jade King Carroll Tresnjak

DETROIT ’6721 – APRIL MARCH 21 – APRIL 20, 2019 MARCH 20, 2019

FEBRUARY 14&–from MARCH 10, 2019 JEEVES WOOSTER A New Play the Works of P.G. Wodehouse

A New Play from the Works of P.G. Wodehouse

By The Brothers · Directed by Sean FoleyFoley “PERFECT NONSENSE” ByGoodale The· Goodale Brothers · Directed by Sean By DominiqueIN Morisseau Directed by Jade King Carroll

MARCH 21 – APRIL 20, 2019 For ticketsA New or Play more information, THE FLAMINGO from the Works of P.G. WodehouseKIDKID THE FLAMINGO JEEVES & WOOSTER By The Goodale Brothers MAY · Directed by–Sean Foley visit hartfordstage.org 9 – JUNE 9, 2019 MAY 9 JUNE 9, 2019

& Lyrics by Robert L. Freedman ∙ Music by Scott Frankel IN Book “PERFECT Book Lyrics byNONSENSE” Robert L. Freedman ∙ Music by Scott Frankel THE& FLAMINGO KID Choreography by Denis JonesJones ∙ Directed by Darko Tresnjak Choreography by Denis ∙ Directed by Darko Tresnjak MAY 9 – JUNE 9, 2019

MARCH 21 – APRIL 20, 2019

& Lyrics by Robert L. Freedman ∙ Music by Scott Frankel ABook New Play from the Works of P.G. Wodehouse Choreography by Denis Jones ∙ Directed by Darko Tresnjak By The Goodale Brothers · Directed by Sean Foley

For For tickets or more information, tickets or more information, visit hartfordstage.org visit hartfordstage.org THE FLAMINGO KID

18 |

For tickets or more information, MAY 9 – JUNE 9, 2019 visit hartfordstage.org Book & Lyrics by Robert L. Freedman ∙ Music by Scott Frankel

AT&T JUST REINVENTED UNLIMITED. GET OVER 30 CHANNELS, LIVE AND ON-DEMAND STARTING AT $40/MO. PER LINE FOR 4 LINES.* PRICE REQUIRES AT&T may temporarily slow data speeds when the network is congested. to AT&T Unlimited &More plan. Price shown is after paperless bill & autopay discounts which start w/in 2 bills. Video ltd. to SD. AUTOPAY & *Add Must add TV benefits at attwatchtv.com/verifywatchtv. Streaming limits apply. Content, programming and channels subj. to change. PAPERLESS BILL.

Compatible device req’d and (sold separately).

ATT Canton 110 Albany Turnpike Suite 409 • Canton 860-693-9756 AT&T UNLIMITED &MORE PLAN: Avail. to consumers only. Plan start at $70/mo. after autopay & paperless bill discount w/in 2 bills. Must enroll in both to get discount ($10/mo. for single line & $20/mo. for multi-lines). Pay full plan cost (up to $75/mo.) plus per device access charges until discount starts. Multiple Phone Line Discount: Monthly $15 (3 lines) or $35 (4 or more lines) discount applied to plan charge w/in 2 bills. Pricing: Monthly plan charge ($45 single line/$75 multi-line) & monthly per-device access charges apply ($35 per phone; $20 per tablet, camera or Connected Car; & $10 per wearable). Limits: Select devices only. 10 devices/plan. Other line limits & restrictions may apply. See att.com/unlimited for plan details & pricing. Unlimited Data: For use in the United States, Puerto Rico & the U.S. Virgin Islands (the “Domestic Coverage Area” or “DCA”). For all data usage, AT&T may temporarily slow data speeds during times of network congestion. No tethering. Wireless Streaming: Wireless video streaming limited to max of 1.5 Mbps (about 480p). Ability to stream and video resolution may vary and be affected by other factors. Other restrictions apply. WATCHTV: Can be added to &More plan. To add, you must create account at attwatchtv.com/verifywatchtv, verify your wireless account, & then can access through WatchTV app or compatible browser. May require verification via text msg. Req’s compatible device (sold separately). Use of WatchTV is subject to its own terms & conditions, see attwatchtv.com/terms-and-conditions for details. Included channels, programming & content subj. to change & benefit may be terminated. Lost Eligibility: Upon cancellation of elig. wireless plan you may lose access to WatchTV. Limits: Access to one WatchTV acct. per elig. wireless acct. Limit 1 concurrent stream with WatchTV. May not be stackable w/ other offers, credits or discounts. Includes usage only in the DCA. Offers, programming, pricing, channels, terms & restrictions subject to change and may be discontinued at any time without notice. AT&T employees, retirees & IMO consumers are not eligible for the autopay & paperless bill discount or adding WatchTV at no extra charge. GEN. WIRELESS: Subj. to Wireless Customer Agmt at att.com/wca. Svc not for resale. Deposit: Service deposit may apply. Limits: Purchase & line limits apply. Credit approval, activation (up to $45/line) and other fees, advanced payments and other charges apply. Other Monthly Charges/Line: May include taxes, fed. & state universal svc charges, Reg. Cost Recovery Charge (up to $1.25), gross receipts surcharge, Admin. Fee, & other gov’t assessments which are not gov’t req’d charges. See your plan details and att.com/additionalcharges for details on fees & charges. Coverage & svc not avail. everywhere. You get an off-net (roaming) usage allowance for each svc. If you exceed the allowance, your svc(s) may be restricted or terminated. International and domestic off-net data may be at 2G speeds. Other restr’s apply & may result in svc termination. AT&T svc is subject to AT&T network management policies, see att.com/broadbandinfo for details. ©2018 AT&T Intellectual Property. All rights reserved. AT&T, the AT&T logo, all other AT&T marks contained herein are trademarks of AT&T Intellectual Property and/or AT&T affiliated companies.


Colleagues Community Clients

Diversity and Inclusion

We believe our diverse perspectives and backgrounds help us to better serve all of the Americans we are helping to retire better. For more information about our company, visit voya.com

Š 2018 Voya Services Company. All rights reserved. 20 |

voy_D&I_5.25x8.25_ad_final_180910.indd 1

9/10/18 3:41 PM

Take pride in your eyes. Get LASIK now!




Schedule Your Free LASIK Eye Exam Today!

Call 1-855-401-2020 or visit LasikPlus.com/save200 1206 Silas Deane Highway , Suite 2 • Wethersfield, CT

Anthony Salierno, M.D.

Dr. Salierno is board certified by the American Board of Ophthalmology and has performed over 24,000 laser vision correction treatments.

Copyright 2018 ©LCA-Vision, Inc. dba LasikPlus®. λ$200 off applies to bilateral, Custom procedure with Lifetime Advantage Plan. Not to be used in conjunction with other promotional offers, or health and vision insurance plan discounts. Offer void where prohibited by law. Limit one per patient. Offer expires 5/31/19.


We Share Your Dream At Yale Medicine Fertility Center, we can help you to achieve your dream of becoming a parent. Whether you are ready to start a family or would like to preserve your options for the future, we can help to make your dream a reality. Call today to explore your options 203-341-8899. New Haven | Guilford | New London Stamford | Westport



At The Hartford, we believe each person’s differences make us all stronger – in business and in life. It’s why we’re honored to sponsor the Hartford Capital City PrideFest and to celebrate the LGBTQ community. Learn more about us at thehartford.com/about-us/corporate-diversity.

The Hartford® is The Hartford Financial Services Group, Inc. and its subsidiaries. 18-0673 © June 2018 The Hartford

Together We Prevail™

22 |

Employee Benefits Auto Home

89 Pratt Street Hartford, CT 06103 T (860) 524-8577


“How can we help you with your RECOVERY today?” Hartford Recovery Community Center 198 Wethersfield Avenue Hartford, CT 06114 (860) 244-3343 Mondays/Wednesdays/Thursdays: 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Tuesdays: 9:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. Fridays:

We invite you to join us every Tuesday at 5:30 p.m. for the LGBT Recovery Group

9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

Visit us online at www.ccar.us LGBTQ+ GUIDE OF CT | 23

Out & About



Send your photos to info@outinct.com

24 |

Thousands of LGBTQ+ community members, their families and allies attended PrideFest 2018 in Hartford’s, Pratt Steet. They came together in celebration of love, peace, and pride. PrideFest has become the largest annual LGBTQ+ event in Connecticut. Pratt Street was filled with rainbows, music, and fun, which included over 80 vendors, live music, shows, local business booths and community organizations that sponsored the event. The day’s celebration ended with a late night GLOW party at Infinity Hall on Front Street, Hartford featuring Crystal Waters. Charlie Ortiz, the event’s coordinator, said “We have come together to celebrate our right to be ourselves and to thank our community supporters. We also want to send a message to Washington and the current administration that we will not go back to the way things were before. We are out and proud! Former Hartford Mayor Pedro E. Segarra emceed the event, introducing speakers and performers including Connecticut’s 2018 candidate for governor Ted Lamont. We look forward to welcoming you again on Saturday, September 14, 2019, for our 5th annual PrideFest in Hartford. LGBTQ+ GUIDE OF CT | 25

26 |

Connecticut Chapter Connecticut Chapter Connecticut Chapter Connecticut Chapter Friends Embracing Life

Friends Embracing Life A group of gay seniorEmbracing men and their Friends Life admirers A group of gay senior men and their admirers in an that offer you the opportunity to participate group ofof gay gay senior mento participate and their a that offer you the opportunity intheir an AA group senior men and ad active and dynamic socialsocial environment. active and dynamic environment. Friends Embracing Life

our WEB Siteto participa that offer offer you you the theVisit opportunity www.ctprimetimers.com that opportunity to participa www.ctprimetimers.com active and and dynamic dynamic social social environment. environment. active Visit our WEB Site





Visit our WEB Site Visit our WEB Site

www.ctprimetimers.com www.ctprimetimers.com TU






heard “gay” used in a negative way (e.g. “that’s so gay”)

were verbally harassed because of their gender expression


of transgender students were unable to use the school restroom that aligned with their gender Visit our website to learn how you can get involved and help end bullying/harassment in K-12 schools. GLSEN.org/Connecticut - Facebook.com/GLSENCT - Twitter: @GLSENCT - Instagram: @GLSENConnecticut





you. Janier Caban-Hernandez

for more information. We have several LGBTQ+ and have several LGBTQ+860-236-4511 and x3814 transitioningWe youth in need of foster families who can understand transitioning youth in need of and help them with their unique foster families who can understand issues. Can you be their somebody? andparent help today! them with their unique Become a foster

E AR issues. Can you be their somebody? N E . ! T Become a foster parent today! M EVERYBODY NEEDS SOMEBODY E C F C A I N I Contact: AN HIVA child Y S needs you. P A S T I R OS Janier Caban-Hernandez H D K FO TWe for more information. N have several LGBTQ+ and A W S I O K R 860-236-4511 x3814 transitioning youth in need of H AC H foster families who can understand BL HIG YOU AT HOW and help them with their unique S issues. Can you be their somebody? L L ’ Become a foster parent today! WE 28 |



Janier for mo


Soka Gakkai International-USA (SGI-USA) is a diverse Buddhist community in the US and is part of the global SGI network of more than 12 million people in 192 countries and territories. SGI members base their practice of chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo on the Lotus Sutra and Nichiren Buddhism, which teaches that each person has within the courage, wisdom and compassion to face and surmount any of life’s challenges. Based on Buddhist principles such as respecting the dignity of human life and the interconnectedness of self and the environment, SGI engages in peace activities like human rights education, the movement to abolish nuclear weapons and efforts to promote sustainable development. LGBTG Courageous Freedom members in SGI-USA proudly practice within our organization, meet occasionally for affinity and to represent SGI-USA in Pride events. SGI-USA Connecticut Activity Center 518 Boston Post Rd, Orange, CT 06477 203-799-0512 Open Sat/Sun 8:30am-5pm sgi-ct.org sgi-usa.org

Creating a world where youth of all orientations and genders are valued and affirmed

Your New England LGBTQ and HIV Legal Rights Resource 800-455-GLAD gladanswers.org free & confidential translation available

Proud Supporters of Har4ord PRIDE!

True Colors’ Programs LGBTQ Youth Mentoring Professional Training/Consultation LGBTQ Youth Issues Conference Youth Leadership Development Policy & Advocacy

(860) 232-0050 www.ourtruecolors.org


meetup.com/Har4ord-Humanists/ LGBTQ+ GUIDE OF CT | 29

30 |


Aging &


any people have either used or been told the figure of speech “you can’t put the toothpaste back in the tube” to illustrate the difficulty of going back once something has been done.

While it may seem like a stretch of the analogy, try to imagine living a life in which you felt open and comfortable with being who you are with your family, partner, friends and others, only to feel a need to put that life back into the proverbial “closet” as you age. That is the necessity many LGBTQ+ elders in the United States are being forced to confront. The generation of pioneers who created and carried the flag in a charge to gain rights, eradicate discrimination and change laws, now often choose to hide their sexuality out of fear for their safety or quality of life. According to a Gallup poll, the percentage of American adults born before 1964 who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender has declined since 2012, when Gallup began tracking the data. Despite this trend, a record 4.5 percent of American adults overall identified as LGBT in 2017, up from 3.5 percent in 2012. The growth is being driven by millennials, whose self-reporting jumped from 5.2 percent in 2012 to 8.1 percent in 2017. While the growth points to a brighter future, the six-year trend shines a spotlight on a troubling present. The median age of the nation is rising, increasing from 35.3 years in 2000 to 37.9 in 2016, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Connecticut, with a median age of 40.3, is the seventh oldest state in the nation and aging. The number of res-

idents over 60 in the state is projected to hit more than one in four by 2030. The estimated number of older LGBTQ+ residents in Connecticut is 24,000 and, like the rest of the population, that number is growing. While AARP is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization for people 50-plus, we are also on the frontlines advocating on issues that impact residents of all ages. Our membership of nearly 38 million nationwide and over 600,000 here in Connecticut represent every walk of life and reflect diverse populations. We recognize the only way to be successful in our efforts to serve and advocate for the residents is to ensure that the views and interests of all segments of the population – across race and ethnicity, gender, physical ability, sexual orientation, and gender identity – are reflected and included. In a multifaceted approach, AARP Connecticut teams up with diverse organizations around the state, including LGBTQ+, to give everyone a voice and provide information that is relevant to them. As part of this, we provide information and resources on important topics; advocacy on state and federal issues; quality volunteer opportunities; and special access to local AARP events, programs and services. Statistics that make people pause, gasp and speak-up for change are easily found on the internet, but more than reading words, it’s seeing the people being impacted, hearing their stories and feeling their heartbreak that often leads to the foundation of a movement and sustained motivation. The award-winning documentary Gen Silent is one tool that can do that and AARP Connecticut is showcasing the 2010 film to as many people as possible at locations across the state. LGBTQ+ GUIDE OF CT | 31

The critically-acclaimed Gen Silent, directed and produced by Stu Maddux, follows the lives of six LGBT seniors over a one-year period in the Boston area who must decide to either stay open about their sexuality or hide it from out of concern for their safety or quality of life because of the religious objection, bullying and abuse they face. The documentary premiered at the Boston LGBT Film Festival and has won multiple awards, including Audience Award for Best Documentary in the 2011 Connecticut Gay & Lesbian Film Festival.

sues are often overlooked by both the community at large and within the LGBTQ community itself.” There is also now a movable senior center that travels around the state to raise awareness of the issues facing LGBTQ+ elders. The goal of the LGBT Moveable Senior Center – a pilot partnership among senior centers in the Greater Hartford area with goals to expand statewide – is to advocate for and provide resources to help create LGBT inclusive aging services.

AARP Connecticut’s first Gen Silent event was in June of 2014 in front of approximately 100 people at the Avon Senior Center. Since then, AARP Connecticut has hosted nearly two dozen film screenings for more than 1,200 people at places such as community and senior centers, churches, libraries, health organizations, and on multiple secondary education campuses, including Quinnipiac University, University of Saint Joseph, University of Hartford, a variety of University of Connecticut campuses and more.

“As senior center directors, we knew we needed to have specific programming for the LGBT community,” said Jennifer Bennett, Avon Senior Center coordinator. “As a social worker, being culturally aware is in our ethics and making sure older adults of all communities feel welcome in our senior centers is important, necessary, our job and most importantly in our hearts. We want to open our senior center doors so older LGBT adults do not feel their best option to is to go back in the closet.”

“It is crucial to have multigenerational events in which people of every age can share their ideas and opinions if we are going to move this conversation forward and effect change,” said Nora Duncan, AARP Connecticut state director. “Participating in conversations that are representative of multiple perspectives will inspire and help us reach our common goal to build healthier and inclusive environments for all.”

Charlie Ortiz, chair of Hartford Capital Pride and PrideFest coordinator, wrote in the October 2017 issue of Out in CT, “Once again we have come together to celebrate our right to be ourselves and to thank our friends and supporters for making our latest achievement possible…. We are out and proud! We have the right like all to the pursuit of happiness.”

It took a generation to advance gay rights and achieve monumental legal victories, yet we are only in the early stages of an advocacy effort to help eliminate the factors causing LGBTQ+ elders to hide their identity out of fear and concern.

PrideFest 2017 was the largest LGBTQ+ event in Connecticut. There were over 70 vendors, live music, shows, local business booths and community organizations that sponsored the event.

It may be early, but we have noticed positive developments since 2014. There has been an increase in the number of people who identify as LGBTQ+ volunteering with AARP Connecticut. Our volunteers are the voices and faces in their communities who can deliver the messages best. They are vital to our work.

While social acceptance of the LGBTQ+ community has come a long way since this documentary was filmed, older LGBTQ+ adults still face challenges when it comes to aging and caregiving. LGBTQ+ elders are less likely than heterosexual adults to frequent many of the places older people socialize, access entitlement programs and avoid medical care out of fear of harassment and discrimination. Consider the following data from Services & Advocacy for GLBT Elders (SAGE) that help illustrate why this film and this topic are important:

“Volunteering with AARP Connecticut has offered us a way to give back to our community and raise awareness of the unique stressors of aging experienced by LGBTQ elders,” said Darlene Dunbar and Carol Bozena, AARP Connecticut volunteers. Darlene, who is also a member of AARP Connecticut’s Executive Council, added, “As lesbians who have been in a 36-year partnership, including nine years of being legally married, and as retired Social Workers, we were well aware that LGBTQ aging is32 |

• There are an estimated 3 million LGBT adults over 50 in the United States and a projected 7 million by 2030.

• LGBT elders are twice as more likely to age alone and four times less likely to have children than older heterosexual adults. • Research suggests older adults who are socially isolated experience cognitive decline and are at risk for more medical and mental health complications. Nearly 60 percent of LGBT older adults report feeling a lack of companionship; over 50 percent reported feeling isolated from others. • Older LGBT adults are more likely to become caregivers than those who are heterosexual. Twenty-one percent of LGBT elders have provided care to friends, while only 6 percent of older heterosexual adults have done so. • About 20 percent of LGBT people avoid medical care out of fear of discrimination. Nearly one-third of transgender people do not have a regular doctor and 50 percent have taught their medical providers about transgender care. The LGBT Aging Center published a survey to capture the opinions and experiences of LGBT elders in long-term care facilities. The results from the 769 respondents – ranging from people who identified themselves as LGBT adults, family members or friends, and people in the industry – are very telling. Nearly 90 percent predicted staff would discriminate against an LGBT elder who was living openly. Unfortunately, the feeling isn’t just with staff as a majority felt other residents would discriminate (81 percent) or isolate (77 percent) an LGBT resident. Because discrimination is unacceptable and because we are committed to making Connecticut a great place to live and age for everyone, AARP Connecticut utilizes this moving film as a tool to generate an open dialogue in communities across the state. We hold discussions at the conclusion of the film at every event where attendees are encouraged to get involved with their own reaction to the film and questions. “The University of Saint Joseph Department of Social Work and Equitable Community Practice prepare social workers who are appreciative of diversity in its many forms,” said Raymie Wayne, Saint Joseph professor and department chair. “Gen Silent is a poignant

film that demonstrates the concept of intersectionality, such as how our multiple identities can overlap, and the complexities of aging and navigating healthcare systems – all of which are important lessons for aspiring social workers. Practitioners with raised awareness of clients’ potential identities and vulnerabilities will be more prepared to create safe spaces for all and to provide advocacy when needed.” We want to be a part of your community and welcome any suggestions, feedback and invitations to participate in organized events we may not be aware of quite yet. If you are interested in bringing free AARP programs, such as a showing of Gen Silent, to your community please contact us at ctaarp@aarp.org. There are also many ways for people get involved in helping their community and supporting our advocacy efforts by becoming an AARP volunteer. Through education, advocacy and service, an AARP Connecticut team of nearly 800 volunteers have the opportunity to share the lessons of their life experiences; benefit from high-quality training and education; enjoy stimulating challenges and meet new people; and know that they are truly making a difference. Visit www.aarp.org/volunteer to learn more about the different programs and contact Elaine Werner at ewerner@aarp.org or 860-548-3169 to inquire about how you can share your experiences through volunteering. You can help in a variety of ways, such as: • Become a volunteer • Become an advocate • Sign up to become an AARP activist, and you’ll receive e-newsletters, email action alerts on the issues you care about, and the latest news from the General Assembly, Congress and the White House. Stay informed and join the conversation: • Get the latest local news and information from AARP at www.aarp.org/ct • Facebook: AARPCT • Twitter: @AARPCT


34 |





“When you are financially prepared, it boosts your pride each and every day.” Friends, Family, and Allies united with LGBT people in

At NEFG, we help you achieve what matters to you, like financial security, homeownership and a plan for your future.

Support, Education, and Advocacy Visit us @

Are you ready? I’m ready to help.



pflaghartford@gmail.com Life and Health Insurance Licensed in CT, MA

Tel: 860-313-4807 kgallo@baystatefinancial.com www.nefgrp.com

New England Financial Group an office of Baystate Financial 65 LaSalle Road, Suite 200, West Hartford, CT 06107-2312 CRN201808-217506


Adoption from foster care is a rewarding experience for both your family and a youth in need.


a Connecticut child! 1-888-KID-HERO www.ctfosteradopt.com




Best wishes on the 6th Annual Rainbow Ball!



Best wishes on the 6th Annual Rainbow Ball!

Lunch Monday – Saturday 11:30 Dinner 7 Nights a week Saturday and Sunday 4pm


100 Trumbull Street Hartford, CT 06103 (860) 899-1350

36 |

Global scale,local focus Slalom is proud to sponsor the 2018 Hartford Capital City Pride PrideFest Slalom is a purpose-driven consulting firm that helps companies solve business problems and build for the future, with solutions spanning business advisory, customer experience, technology, and analytics. We partner with companies to push the boundaries of what’s possible - together.

We love our future and invite you to love yours.



Primary Care

• Hepatitis C prevention, screening, and treatment • Primary care for the homeless • Substance use disorder management • Sexually transmitted disease prevention, screening, and treatment • Transgender health • LGB-focused primary care www.chc1.com 860.347.6971 X: 3914 http://bit.ly/CenterForKeyPopulations


art, music + culture in the capital city.


Have you ever considered becoming a Therapeutic Foster Parent?

Klingberg Family Centers is looking for single, two parent and same sex Connecticut parents willing to open their lives to a child or adolescent and provide them a safe and nurturing place that they can call Home. You may not change the world but you will make a difference in a Child’s Life.

Let’sCelebrate Celebrate PrideFest PrideFest Let’s 2016 2016 “Thankyou” you”for forthe thecontinued continued commitment “Thank commitment and hard work to our community. and hard work to our community.

We offer 24/7 On Call support Services Extensive & Ongoing Training Tax Free Monthly Stipend

Don’t delay – Call now for more information!


Visit us on the web at www.klingberg.org 370 Linwood St • New Britain, CT 06052


40 |

Who We Are: A group of HIV Prevention Providers and Consumers funded by the CT Department of Public Health to create social marketing/health communication strategies focused on men who have sex with men (MSM) in the state of Connecticut. Our Mission: To educate, decrease stigma, encourage and bring awareness of HIV testing to at-risk individuals, including a focus on MSM of color, via social marketing/health communications campaigns. When We Meet: Meetings are on the second Monday of every month from 10am-Noon at various meeting spaces hosted at members of the group’s agencies. NOTICE: This is a fun, social group to be a part of. If you or someone you know is interested, please contact either co-chair for more information.

Jenn Chase: (860) 247-2437 x 315 or jchase@aids-ct.org Dante Gennaro: (860) 509-8066 or Dante.Gennaro@ct.gov


42 |

CTPrideFest.indd 1

9/7/17 10:48 AM

Bookkeeping Payroll Business Planning Loan Application Resume Preparing Translation Notary Service 2035 Broad Street, Second Floor Hartford, CT 06114 (860) 293-1103 LGBTQ+ GUIDE OF CT | 43

LOVE (and a little help from us)

Makes a Family

Experts in all aspects of LGBTQ family building John Nulsen, MD • Claudio Benadiva, MD, HCLD • David Schmidt, MD Lawrence Engmann, MD, MRCOG • Andrea DiLuigi, MD • Dan Grow, MD

Farmington: 2 Batterson Park Rd (844) 467-3483

New London: 4 Shaws Cove (877) 860-8044

Hartford: 50 Columbus Boulevard (860) 525-8283

www.uconnfertility.com An academic affiliate of UCONN School of Medicine

44 |

Life’s better when we’re connected®

to our environment

to our team

to our communities At Bank of America, we know that we can only be successful if our employees and customers and the communities we serve have the opportunity to achieve their own vision of success. From developing and nurturing a diverse workforce to addressing societal issues like climate change, gender equality and economic mobility, we are using our capital, expertise and innovation to build a better tomorrow - for our company and our world. Shared success means creating responsible, sustainable growth for us all.

Learn more at bankofamerica.com/about

to you

Connect with us:




Prevent HIV with a daily pill Now available at all Planned Parenthood of Southern New England locations

Make an appointment today! ppsne.org 800-230-PLAN

Southern New England

We Share Your Dream At Yale Medicine Fertility Center, we can help you to achieve your dream of becoming a parent. Whether you are ready to start a family or would like to preserve your options for the future, we can help to make your dream a reality. Call today to explore your options 203-341-8899. New Haven | Guilford | New London Stamford | Westport


46 |

In Support Of Hartford Capital Pride Fest

Short Interview

If you are interested in being part of next year’s PrideFest by becoming a sponsor, please call (860) 841-2345 or email info@claroct.org.

Add your business or organization to outinct.com and reach thousands of potential clients and members. By supporting us you help keep PRIDE alive in Hartford.

Profile for Alberto Bonello

Out In CT  

The LGBTQ+ guide to Connecticut.

Out In CT  

The LGBTQ+ guide to Connecticut.