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April/May 2020

PRIDE DRIVES RESPONSE TO COVID-19 VIRTUAL R AINBOW CENSUS 2020: BE COUNTED

Rhode Island and Southern New England's LGBTQ Community Magazine Since 1982


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W e a r e des ign a t ed a M IN O R ITY O R W O M EN B U SIN ESS EN TER PR ISE (M B E/W B E) by t h e s t a t e of R I, oper a t in g in Por t s m ou t h R I s in ce 1989.

April/May 2020


IN THIS ISSUE: 14

7 5

From the Editor

5 Advertisers 6 From the Board 6 Donors 7 RI Pride Establishes Coronavirus Food & Supply Drive

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News Briefs

Felicitations

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10

Virtual Rainbow in the Time of Quarantine

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Census 2020: You Count!

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Report from SAGE/RI

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LGBTQ Concerns in the 2020 Election

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Out on the Town

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Photo: Ryan Welch

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News from TGI Network

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Lessons from HIV for COVID-19

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Providence Human Rights Commission

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Health Guide: Sexual Minority Men

21 Resources 27

Transosaurus Rex

For our free online edition or to subscribe for home delivery ($35/year suggested donation) visit optionsri.org, email subscriptions@optionsri.org, or write to: Options Magazine, PO Box 6406, Providence, RI 02940. Š OPTIONS 2020 Options is published bimonthly. The opinions expressed are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of the volunteers or staff. Listings are provided as a resource and do not imply endorsement. Submissions to Options must include a phone number or email address. Names may be withheld on request. Submissions, ads, calendar, or resource listings for the June/July 2020 issue must be delivered by May 15.

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Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association.

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2019

HR-318236 9/19


From the Editor-in-Chief Dear Reader, Coronavirus dominates this issue of Options, because there isn’t a soul in our local community unaffected by the pandemic. It will not surprise you that Options’ regular nonprofit contributors aren’t conveying messages of doom and gloom. Rather, they’re reaffirming their commitments to their missions, however postponed or diverted their activities may be, and are inviting you along in hopes of brighter days to come. In particular, Rhode Island Pride heroically started a food and supply drive and delivery service for community members in need during this crisis (p. 7). Out on the Town, our regular centerfold photo montage (p. 14), depicts a packed celebration of RI Pride’s 20th Anniversary Goddess Show on March 1. On March 12, Providence entertainment licenses were revoked to slow the spread of COVID-19. Looking through a current lens (as I write to you on March 29), these images of revelry could be illustrative of the way things used to be, of a narrowly averted disaster (had an ill person chosen to attend), or the promise of good times ahead. For the time being, enjoying online performances by local LGBTQ talents will keep you entertained, connected to your community, and safe (p. 10). I've personally valued the connection through live performances more than I ever imagined I could. Anticipating your desire for a shift in focus as you turn our pages, we’ve included stories resistant to coronavirus: the importance of being counted in the 2020 Census (p. 11), a look at the work of the Providence Human Relations Commission (p. 18), and a discussion with community members about election concerns (p. 13). Longtime readers will notice this issue of Options is unlike any other, in that it features no upcoming events, and is unintentionally themed on a subject without an obvious gay angle.You’re unlikely to pick up a copy at your favorite bar or cafe; rather, issues will be found at health centers and grocery stores. We have fewer ads, and therefore fewer pages, than any issue under my editorial direction, and we are headed to press without being fully funded. This partially results from COVID-19-related cancelations, but also because advertisers increasingly opt to advertise through online tech giants. We did not want to suspend printing at a time when our readers are holding onto whatever normalcy they can grasp, our peer organizations are rising to the occasion, and while our local printer needs our business more than ever. Jen and Sarah at the Goddess Show. Please donate at OptionsRI.org if you’re able, and support this truly unique perspective of one community’s – your community’s – grassroots response to a global crisis.

Photo by Jen Bonin.

Rhode Island’s lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer community news source since 1982. April/May 2020 Volume XXXIX, Issue 1

Editor-in-Chief Jen Stevens jen@optionsri.org Resources Editor Myra Shays resources@optionsri.org Copy Editors Rex LeBeau, Joseph Morra, Carson Pavao, Myra Shays Graphic & Layout Design Koki Mendis Advertising Manager Marisa Longolucco advertising@optionsri.org Intern Derek Sherlock Contributors Felicia Nimue Ackerman, Mina Asayesh-Brown, Guillaume Bagal, Matt Collins, Eve Condon, Cathy Gorman, Ethan Huckel, Rex LeBeau, Mike Marrapodi, Jonathan Lucero McKinney, Derek Sherlock, Jen Stevens, Kim Stowell, Bradley Vanderstad, Mikel Wadewitz Photographers Jen Bonin, Gabriel Alvarez, Amanda Dalton, Trish Phelan, Ryan Welch Directors Ashley Delgado, Dr. Mike Marrapodi Calendar calendar@optionsri.org

Contact Us info@optionsri.org

In solidarity, Jen Stevens

Advertisers 2 Aldersbridge Communities

12 PFLAG Providence

2 Firex: Fire Extinguisher Services & Sales

19 Thundermist Health Centers

2 Law Office of Dawn Euer

28 Neighborhood Health Plan of RI 28 Insperiors: Inspired Interiors

4 Blue Cross Blue Shield of RI

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PO Box 6406 Providence, RI 02940 401-217-3939 www.optionsri.org Cover: RI Pride Supply Drive Volunteer Allison Abbott Photo by: Gabriel Alvarez

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From the Board of Directors It is hard to escape the effects of a worldwide pandemic. Even if you don’t become ill, the impact of curbing the spread of coronavirus has impacted us all. Here are a few suggestions to help weather the storm: Reaching in During a time of social distancing, it is important to take care of yourself. While that will mean different things for different people, eating well, exercising regularly, and maintaining contact with friends and family are universal practices that can help us all. Reaching out Human touch may be discouraged now, but human contact is not. We have more tools at our disposal than ever before to connect with other people through social media, but the old-fashioned methods are sometimes the best. Pick up the phone or talk to your neighbor (from a safe distance). Write a letter; send a card; let someone know you are available and thinking about them. Reaching up Our community is diverse in so many ways, and the practice of spirituality is a prime example. Whether you worship with a congregation, practice meditation, or simply recognize you are part of a larger cosmic whole, your belief system can help calm your spirit and restore a sense of personal balance that is often thrown off during times like these. The LGBTQA+ community is many things, but chief among our attributes is resilience. We have faced persecution, isolation, illness, and prejudice before, and we have not only survived, but thrived. Now is the time to show the rest of society how it’s done. Supporting one another, supporting gay-owned/gay-friendly businesses, showing kindness, showing compassion. Let the true colors of the rainbow shine! Be healthy, be safe, be whole. Mike Marrapodi for the Options Board of Directors

Options Donor Hall of Fame Ali & Toni Gorman

Cat Ganim

Leah VanWey

Mike Marrapodi

Amanda Minor

David Regine

Linda Snelling

& Bill Wade

Andrew Lewandowski

Denise Crooks

Lizabeth Bourret

Beth Milham

Donna Heroux-Everson Michael J. Carvalho

Bruce Ingham

F. Ed Webb III

Ronald K. Nelson Steven McCloy

Nostalgia - Jim Fennessy Timothy Empkie Raffaello La Mantia

William Eyman

More Fabulous Donors Alexandre Papa

Daniel Blackford

George J. Lewis

Kody Harrison

Rebecca Oliver

Alfred Anzevino

Debbie DeCarlo

Greta L Cohen

Lionel Savaria

Richard Hite

Anonymous

Donna & John Ahearn

In honor of Arthur Snow

Louise Chapman

Richard M Medeiros

Avril Bently

Douglas Shapiro

Mariah King

Sarah De Ris

Billy Mencer Ackerly

Elda Dawber

James L. Dawson

Martha Stone

Shannon Brennan

Bradford Greer

Elizabeth Edgerly

Jamie Lee Roper

Martin Costa

Steven Pennell

Bryan Conti

Elizabeth Wilson

Jen Stevens

Michael A. Nardone

Susan Glatki

Cheryl Cimini

Evan Nelson

Jenn Lepine

Michael Guy

Vincent Toti

Cheryl Duarte

Frank Carrano

Joanne Rich

Myra Shays

Claudette Rinfret

George Golini

Judith Mendelsohn

Paula Carmichael

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& Cal Krichmar


RI Pride establishes Emergency Food & Supply Drive Photo: Trish Phelan

R

hode Island Pride is pushing forward in our efforts to meet community needs caused by the COVID-19 crisis. In order to help clients comply with the RI Department of Health’s social distancing directive, the Emergency Mobile Supply Drive is well underway. RI Pride has set up a temporary mobile food pantry at its office at 1055 Westminster Street. Food donations are received, sanitized, and organized in a low contact dropoff process in order to mitigate the danger posed by COVID-19. From here, volunteer drivers deliver goods directly to client doorsteps. Volunteers are monitored for handwashing and wear gloves when handling donations. Clients in need of resources fill out a web-based supply request form and await a confirmation call from RI Pride. In its first nine days of delivery, RI Pride has fed more than 1,700 people across the state of Rhode Island and raised over $8,000 from individual donors, and received a $1,000 emergency seed grant from the New England Grassroots

by Bradley Vanderstad, Rhode Island Pride Volunteer Environment Fund to suppor t its work as it relates to the Emergency Supply Drive.The Grassroots Fund is dedicated to co-creating healthy and sustainable communities throughout New England.

Food donations are received, sanitized, and organized in a low contact dropoff process in order to mitigate the danger posed by COVID-19. From here, volunteer drivers deliver goods directly to client doorsteps. RI Pride continues to raise money and engage with partners to suppor t its effor ts. The organization is seeking donations in the form of food and financial contributions to suppor t the additional purchase of food, which it is purchasing at a bulk nonprofit price from the local restaurant depot, BJ’s, and local supermarkets. It is also seeking volunteer food packers and delivery drivers.

If you are in need, please submit a request at http://tinyurl.com/PrideRISupplyDrive. Please contact Rhode Island Pride at info@prideri.com for more information or questions. Rhode Island Pride is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization comprised of individuals with a sincere interest in recognizing, promoting and celebrating the diversity and successes of the LGBTQ community in RI and Southern New England. By creating opportunities for integrating and promoting visibility for the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer community, RI Pride promotes equal rights and diversity through public education and the arts. The year-round programs and services of RI Pride provide safe opportunities and venues for people to come out and express and celebrate their sexual identities. For more information, visit www.prideri.com, email info@prideri.com, or call (401) 4672130.

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NEWS BRIEFS: Open Letter Asks Media and Health Officials to Weigh Added Risk During COVID-19 Pandemic The National LGBT Cancer Network, located in Providence, joined dozens of other organizations to release a letter asking the media to be aware of the increased health risks to LGBTQ+ Americans. In it, health risks such as the increased use of tobacco by the LGBTQ+ community, as well as higher rates of HIV and cancer were outlined, showing that this community is among those who are particularly vulnerable to the negative health effects of this virus. Discrimination by health care providers was also detailed as adding to the risk. The letter went on to say that “LGBTQ+ communities are very familiar with the phenomena of stigma and epidemics. We want to urge people involved with the COVID-19 response to ensure that LGBTQ+ communities are adequately served during this outbreak.” This includes requests that information be tailored to LGBTQ+ populations by including imagery of LGBTQ+ persons in any graphic ads, collecting sexual orientation and gender identity demographic information, and utilizing those organizations trusted by the LGBTQ+ community. Signed by well over 100 organizations located throughout the country, the letter concludes, “The undersigned organizations offer to stand shoulder to shoulder with the mainstream health leadership to make sure we learn from history and do not allow any population to be disproportionately impacted or further stigmatized by a virus.”

Despite Coronavirus, LGBTQ Voters Continue Historic High Turnout The presidential primary exit polls in every state show one consistent

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by Myra Shays

trend: LGBTQ voters are fired up and turning out in record-high numbers. From New Hampshire and South Carolina to Texas and Illinois, LGBTQ voters have more than doubled — and in some cases tripled — their proportion in the voting population. Over the last two decades, our rights have been on the ballot, spurring LGBTQ people to register and participate in politics more than many other demographic groups. LGBTQ voters have consistently punched above their weight and solidified themselves as a constituency to court.

RI Pride Launches Drive to Aid LGBTQIA+ Rhode Islanders During Quarantine Acting more out of a sense of urgency than inspiration, Rhode Island Pride launched a drive to help folks in need with food, toiletries, and more, in a response to the tremendous loss of income due to the Covid-19 virus and its quarantines. “So many of our community members are in service industry jobs,” said Pride member and Mr. Gay Rhode Island Bret Jacob, “they need help, just to lessen the anxiety they are feeling.” After a careful study of feasibility and capacity, the drive used social media and email lists to ask for donated items and financial assistance. The Providence Journal helped by picking up the story. Volunteer shoppers spent cash donations on necessities to fill requests. As of March 29, they had helped more than 1,700 people and raised $9000, as well as taking donations of large amounts of food and other supplies. A bakery even sent boxes of pastries. The

group says it is abiding by all safety, food handling, and social distancing recommendations. Other volunteers were dispatched to deliver the food to needy residents. (The organization does not inquire as to the recipients’ orientation or identity before delivering.) “There is no end in sight,” said Jacob, “but the way this community comes together to fill a need is inspiring.” Now, as a result of participating in a citywide conference call, the organization is considering continuing the drive beyond the need brought on by the coronavirus. They expressed surprise at how many other participants on the call were talking about their own needs and not the greater good. Will they be able to meet the demand as the pandemic continues? “So far, so good, “said Jacob.

COVID-19 Affects Pride Celebrations As the number of Pride festivals affected by COVID19 passed 100 on March 20, a new group was formed to coordinate the Pride movement’s overall responses at the international level. The new group met for the first time a few weeks ago, with colleagues from Germany, the UK and InterPride – the International Association of LGBTI Pride Organizers. “As we face an unprecedented global threat, our Pride movement will come together to support each other and create community at a time when we need it most,” said InterPride Co-President Linda DeMarco, also of Boston Pride. Kristine Garina, President of European


Pride Organizers Association, said: “Right now, we must all be focusing first on our own well-being and the welfare of those around us, but we are passionate about Pride and we will work together, and do all we can, to help Pride organizers get through this. “Every Pride organizer in the world has a story of someone whose life was changed by coming to a Pride festival, a story of someone who for the first time felt love and a sense of community. It’s heart-breaking that so many people will miss out on that this year, but we’re determined that Pride will continue and will change many more lives in the future.”

leadership to raise LGBTQIA+ community awareness and resources during this pandemic. Options participated with representatives from Open Door Health,Thundermist Health Center, Interweave at Channing Church, Youth Pride Inc., PFLAG Greater Providence, and Rhode Island Legal Services, Inc. To summarize, all organizations remain operational and may be contacted for information and some services. (See their websites for details and updates.) Both health centers remain open as of March 30. Essentially all in-person events and support groups through April are cancelled or postponed (including the annual Born This Way Prom), though planning for the June 20 RI PrideFest continues.

RI Parents Call for Urgently Needed Comprehensive Parentage Law Reform

Basic Needs for Youth Provided by Youth Pride, Inc. In response to COVID-19, Youth Pride, Inc. (YPI) closed its drop-in programs in early March, though their Basic Needs Pantry remains operational by appointment only. Using premade bags for youth to take, the organization has provided enrolled youth with grains or pasta, canned vegetables and beans, and a few miscellaneous nonperishable food items. Submit your contact information and needs through YPI’s online form (forms.gle/ KQeu6YLPwjAhtZkv9), or email info@youthprideri.org and a staff member will contact you as soon as possible to make an appointment time for pick-up.

RI’s LGBTQ Nonprofits Collaborate on Coronavirus Response by Jen Stevens

On March 18, Rhode Island Pride led a conference call with local nonprofit

“When Eli was born,” said Dr. Sara Watson, who is legally married to his birth mother, “I had no presumed parental rights. Not one. I was not his birth parent and I wasn’t able to put my name on his birth certificate before we left the hospital.” This is just one of many powerful pieces of testimony heard at the House Judiciary Committee’s hearing on the Rhode Island Uniform Parentage Act (H7541) in January. Encouragingly, the

Rhode Island Senate unanimously passed its version of the bill, S2136Aaa, on February 11. “I have the unique experience both of going through the drawnout, expensive, and invasive ‘second parent adoption’ process following my first child’s birth, and of being presumed the legal co-parent at my second child’s birth,” said Aarav Sundaresh. “I am transgender, and our first child was born before my gender transition. I am the same person, experiencing very different situations. The law needs to ensure equality for LGBTQ parents so they can establish their parentage like other families, including through a voluntary acknowledgement of parentage. All children – including children born through assisted reproduction – need a route to secure their parentage.” GLAD Senior Staff Attorney Polly Crozier provided testimony as a family lawyer. “I have seen children effectively kidnapped and separated from loving non-legal parents. I have seen non-biological parents run to court for protection so that their child doesn’t go into the foster care system. No child or parent should have to worry about the loss of this most precious and foundational relationship.”

Felicitations Gay Surprise

By Felicia Nimue Ackerman

Since Jerome goes to Mass every day, I recoiled when he asked, "Are you gay?" But he said, to my happy surprise, "At my office, I'm friends with two guys. They broke up and they're feeling quite low, And I think that you’d really like Joe." He was wrong, but I more than liked Stan, And Jerome says he'll be our best man.

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A Virtual Rainbow in the Time of Quarantine

by Derek Sherlock

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hile the uncertainty of a world grappling to contain coronavirus causes general anxiety and economic turmoil, ordinances and executive orders banning live entertainment have leveled a particularly harsh blow to entertainers. Many resourceful artists have turned to online streaming, mostly on Facebook, to brighten everyone’s days and try to earn an income. Through streaming live, many local LGBTQ artists have found a way to express their beautiful queer selves. This story looks at three such performances:

go on to say that even though there was a lost dynamic to her Facebook Live show, her effort is always the same regardless if she is performing for one person or a thousand. Local musician Becky Chace is offering fans short Facebook Live music performances, playing a number of songs that take influence from rock, blues, and a touch of country. The singer-songwriter is seen armed with an acoustic guitar, and her longtime lead guitarist Brian Minisce is seen performing at a safe distance in a video shot in

There’s nothing like a live audience, but you have to imagine you’re reaching people through that lens, and try to give the same amount of energy.” - Becky Chace two by popular musicians Kim Trusty and Becky Chace, as well as a group of drag performers led by the talented LaDiva Jonz, who all bring us a welcome distraction and sense of togetherness amid current harsh realities. Upon viewing Kim Trusty’s March 20 Facebook Live performance, you’ll understand why former Providence Journal music writer Rick Massimo once said, “Trusty’s voice has long been one of Rhode Island’s treasures: Think Tracy Chapman and give her twice the power, twice the silk, and three times the range.” Just from this stripped-down acoustic concert, you hear influences of jazz and rhythm and blues with just the right amount of rock energy to create the Kim Trusty sound. “It was challenging…I like to play off of the audience as to what song I play next,” Kim told Options. She relied on “visual applause and messages” to gauge if her audience was enjoying her “singing at the top of [her] lungs.” She did, however,

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her Barrington driveway. Without an audience it might seem a little strange, but as Becky said, “There’s nothing like a live audience, but you have to imagine you’re reaching people through that lens, and try to give the same amount of energy.” That visceral amount of energy translated into these artists raising funds for a musician pal who relies on gigs for income. With each new video post there is a link to provide a virtual “tip in the tip jar,” as Chace puts it, for local full-time musician Steve Allain. Chace remarks, “Luckily we have the technology to reach many people, despite our isolation.” If you are employed as a drag queen and every bar is closed and every stage is dark, how do you make a living? Gary Jacques, more commonly known as LaDiva Jonz, gathered some of his fellow queens to perform on Facebook Live as CyberQueens. LaDiva’s March 22 event was hosted by fellow Drag Bingo co-host Haley Star along with

former Miss Gay RI Jacqueline DiMera, and included some of the most amazing drag talents Rhode Island has to offer. CyberQueens took viewers out of the stress of our daily reality and thrust us into a pleasant, familiar place. LaDiva said, “Of course there were challenges to performing online…. It was definitely exciting to be trying something different for all the performers. I found myself standing behind the camera and acting as a sort of producer. Maybe I have a new career when all of this is over.” Since the CyberQueens anticipate future performances, LaDiva welcomes feedback on their show at ldj5ri.gj@ gmail.com. These are definitely some dark and uncertain times, but we will get through this. When things look their bleakest always look for the rainbow. Whether it’s in the bars, at the Statehouse, or online, the LGBTQ community will band together. Why not pick up your guitar and sing for twenty minutes, or start a Facebook “Watch Party” to simultaneously enjoy a drag performance with friends? We’re all realizing how much we count on entertainers to alleviate some of our anxieties and worries. And it goes without saying that nothing transmitted to our devices can replace the energy of live performance. As LaDiva says, “There is an energy in a live performance that the audience gives and receives.” Once it is safe to gather, I imagine our community rejoicing at our favorite local bars and nightclubs like The Dark Lady or The Stable, where we will be covered in glitter, reuniting with friends, and having a fabulous time. Derek Sherlock is a senior at Rhode Island College who is a dual major in Gender and Women’s Studies and English. Derek is Options Magazine's spring intern.

Kim Trusty

Becky Becky Chace Chace &


&& Brian Brian Minisce Minisce

CENSUS 2020: You COUNT! by Mina Asayesh-Brown

2020 Haley Star Photo: Ryan Welch

isn’t just a leap year, an election year, and a now-postponed summer Olympics year. It’s also a census year, meaning that amidst these trying times, we have the opportunity to make sure every Rhode Islander is counted – including every member of our LGBTQIA community. Every ten years, the United States undertakes what is often referred to as the “largest peacetime mobilization” – a constitutionally mandated effort to count everyone living in the country, regardless of immigration or housing status. The census is important because Lil’ Rhody, the tiniest state in the country, receives nearly $4 billion in funding every year based on census results. Simply put, that’s a lot of money – money that goes toward everything from roads and schools to healthcare and housing. The census also decides political representation at the federal, state, and local level. Due to a downward trend in reported population size, our beloved Ocean State is in danger of losing one of our two congressional seats. To combat this trend, many local organizations are participating in Rhode Island’s first ever state sponsored “Complete Count” project, aiming to increase census participation so “undercounted populations,” such as LGBTQIA folks, don’t fall through the cracks. And for the first time ever, the number of same-sex couples will be counted. Though improvements have been made, it is important to acknowledge that the census remains flawed. Despite a lot of advocacy from the LGBTQIA community, there are no questions about gender identity and sexual orientation. The current questionnaire only accounts for “sex.” While the binary nature of the question can’t be helped this go round, you should complete this question. Census responses are confidential, and according to the National LGBTQ Task Force’s Queer the Census project, the U.S. Census Bureau doesn’t cross-check its surveys with any other documents that

may have your gender listed differently. As a trans and genderfluid person, these two options still feel insufficient and make me uncomfortable. But for me, it helps to think about how important this survey is, and that checking an arbitrary box says absolutely nothing about the validity of my identity. It’s okay to see the census as a means to an end, as we continue to push for more accurate representation in the future. Thankfully there is no citizenship question on the 2020 census. There was an attempt to add a question about citizenship status and this attempt failed. The misinformation around the issue still contributes to the distrust many feel towards the census. A key goal of Rhode Island’s complete count effort is to use community outreach and education to ensure everyone is aware of the facts and not deterred by misinformation. You can make a difference simply by filling out the census yourself for everyone in your household, and by encouraging your family and friends to do the same. To fill out the census, please visit www. census2020.gov. If you have questions, contact me at: ​MinaA@thundermisthealth.org. Sources: www.providencejournal.com/news/20200106/ political-scene-ri-foundation-grants-helping-topromote-states-census-count www.ri.gov/press/view/37901 www.npr.org/2018/09/20/649752485/trumpofficials-did-not-want-census-survey-to-ask-aboutsexual-orientation www.thetaskforce.org/queerthecensus.html

Thundermist Health Center is a Federally Qualified Community Health Center, serving Woonsocket, West Warwick, and South County for 45 years. For more info, visit thundermisthealth.org or call (401) 7674100 to schedule an appointment.

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REPORT FROM SAGE/RI by Cathy Gorman, SAGE-RI Steering Committee

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ur uncertain times have become even more uncertain due to the COVID-19 public health crisis most seriously threatening adults over 60 years of age. SAGE-RI received valuable information from SAGE/USA to share with members and friends. Our primary concern is the health and safety of older LGBT adults, so scheduled events were canceled or will be rescheduled for when this crisis resolves. We know that natural disasters historically take a greater toll on older adults and adults living with disabilities. The capacity to manage under difficult circumstances is enhanced by access to social capital, which is defined as the ability to function effectively through personal relationships built on trust and

Social capital relies on a sense of shared identity, norms, and values, but performs best when networks are diverse.

open cooperation. Social capital relies on a sense of shared identity, norms, and values, but performs best when networks are diverse.To create social capital for LGBT elders in the LGBT community, we are identifying unmet needs, and working to remove barriers to social engagement. SAGE-RI will hold four small group discussions in northern Rhode Island, the Providence area, South County, and Aquidneck Island, to gain a better understanding of the concerns of LGBT older adults, and find ways to improve community services. After we analyze what we’ve learned from these discussions, a series of “Lunch and Learn” community meetings will report results, share information on key resources, and engage a wider audience in planning. This initiative is supported by a grant from the Tufts Health Plan Foundation. If interested, please email sageriinfo@gmail.com or call 406-1714. (Let the phone ring until you are asked to leave a message.) All calls will be returned, and anyone who expresses interest will be invited to attend the luncheon community meeting. SAGE-RI is creating new opportunities for volunteers and for meeting critical individual needs. Lack of transportation is a difficult barrier to overcome and contributes to social isolation. SAGECoach, a pilot volunteer transportation program offering rides to SAGE-RI activities like the LGBT Café, is being developed in partnership with The Village Common of RI. The SAGECoach service will be launched (after we get through

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the current health crisis) with a campaign to recruit volunteer drivers. A key component of the SAGE-RI mission involves offering training to healthcare and social service providers. Though it’s on hiatus during the pandemic, the current series of workshops, “Promoting Quality of Care for LGBT Older Adults: Issues and Strategies,” aims to develop cultural competence among Rhode Island’s elder service network. The curriculum, supported by the Rhode Island Foundation’s Equity Action Fund, addresses demographic factors, care planning, and gaps in knowledge regarding HIV and transgender issues. An educational version of the acclaimed Gen Silent documentary identifies caregiving concerns. Guidebooks and resource material provided by SAGE/USA and the National Center on LGBT Aging inform discussions on strategies for creating welcoming policies and procedures. Notices will be sent on rescheduled programs. In order to build capacity, the SAGE-RI steering committee recently conducted an organizational assessment that outlined necessary steps to strengthening its foundation. Strategic planning during the next several months will lead to greater opportunities for member services and volunteer engagement. SAGE-RI looks forward to overcoming the COVID-19 crisis and commits to ensuring a safer and more inclusive community for our LGBT seniors. SAGE-RI (Services & Advocacy for GLBT Elders) addresses issues of concern to LGBT elders and is an organization of diverse people of all ages. For information on programs or to join SAGE-RI, drop us a line at sageriinfo@gmail.com; find us on Facebook as SAGE-Rhode Island; or send correspondence to SAGE-RI c/o the Church of the Transfiguration, 1665 Broad Street, Cranston, RI 02905.

Greater Providence Chapter

Giving Caring,   Confidential Suppor�  When You Need It Most  

HELPLINE: (401) 307-1802

Providence: meets1st Wednesday of the month at The MET School, Unity Building,325 Public Street, Providence, RI (No January meeting)

Parents, Friends & Members of the LGBTQ Community

Newport: meets 2nd Monday of the month at the Parish Hall, Channing Memorial Church, 135 Pelham Street, Newport, RI www.PFLAGprovidence.org for more information Email: PFLAGprovidence@gmail.com Like us on Facebook: PFLAG Greater Providence, RI Follow us on Instagram & Twitter @PFLAGProvRI


LGBTQ Concerns in the 2020 Election by Jonathan Lucero McKinney

Our rights as LGBTQ individuals are in a state of flux, and the 2020 election will be a turning point in our community’s history. We at Options wanted to hear your perspectives on the November election to see what issues matter most to you. Army National Guard veteran Jay Potter explains, “My right to exist has been threatened – housing, healthcare, the right to adopt, and my rejection from the military – all are correlated to this election cycle's staunch turn to Christian Conservatism.” Jay’s status as a post-op, intersex veteran left him in the line of fire when President Trump signed an executive order that vaporized the previous administration’s cumulative and inclusive policy on trans and intersex soldiers serving in the military. “The [Obama] policy worked. It actually increased unit cohesion… Soldiers were embraced as who they were for the first time, [and] were performing better than ever,” says Jay. Since Trump’s decree, “Seasoned soldiers [with] two or more tours in Iraq were unceremoniously discharged, losing their retirement, healthcare, and housing. It was easy to pick them off one by one.” Jay left the military in 2013, with the expectation to return in 2019 as a mental health provider. His livelihood hangs in the balance of this election. “We don’t want special treatment; we just want to continue serving our country the way we always have, but without the secrecy.”

Samantha Jones, a trans woman, says, “I have experienced discrimination and [lost] three different jobs because of who I am, so I understand there is a really big cause for concern.” Samantha alluded to the Equality Act, which would prohibit the discrimination that she has endured. 2020 could be the year that the act finally passes Congress, though President Trump has been outspoken in his opposition to this legislation. “[The Trump administration] isn’t being truthful to us,” she says. “Let’s not forget that they were saying they would fight for our rights back in 2016, and look at all of the things that he has done since” When asked if she feels that leading Democratic candidates would expeditiously fight for the Equality Act, Samantha explains, “Bernie has been fighting for transgender rights since the 1960s. Biden being a Republican up until 1997, for all we know, he could be a wolf in sheep’s clothing.”

Brian Merrill, a 59-year-old gay realtor living in Providence, says he’s somewhat concerned about marriage. “I don’t think they would ever take that away from us, but I’ve heard rumblings of it.” He went on to say: “Healthcare is a huge issue for people, not just LGBT. We’re the only industrialized country that doesn’t provide healthcare to its citizens. It’s ridiculous.” The prevalence of surprise medical bills, high deductibles, and uncovered life-saving treatments makes healthcare a huge consideration in this election.

Thirty-six-year-old Stephen McGuire is a Department of Defense subcontractor, union employee, and VP of a local nonprofit. “We as the LGBTQIA+ community have more to fight for than ever before. Our rights are being peeled back little by little and our president and the Republican-controlled senate will make it impossible to change…. It shouldn’t matter if your preferred candidate didn’t make it. What matters is that we move the USA forward on all policies – and to do that, vote blue this year." In true non-partisan spirit, we tried to obtain an LGBTQ Republican’s perspective for this story. Evidently, the pickings are slim and the individual that we were able to contact refused to provide comments. In summation, these voices from our community offer perspectives I’m sure we can all relate to on some level. As you watch the news and collect your information for the 2020 election, remain mindful of the candidates’ stance on the issues discussed here, and take into account your own perspective. A simple way for your voice to be heard is by voting. Complacency accomplishes nothing, so get out there and vote to secure basic rights for yourself and the rest of our community.

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OUT ON THE TOWN

GODDESS SHOW 20TH ANNIVERSARY MARCH 1ST, ASKEW PROVIDENCE | PHOTOS: JEN BONIN


OUT ON THE TOWN

PRIDE THEME REVEAL MARCH 6TH, GRADUATE PROVIDENCE PHOTOS: AMANDA DALTON

News from TGI Network of Rhode Island Remi

Denise

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arch 31 was the International Trans Day of Visibility. For the last few years, TGI Network has marked this annual holiday with an Empowerment Breakfast that celebrates work being done to improve the lives of Rhode Island’s transgender and gender-diverse community. Notably, we focus on empowerment rather than visibility, because we understand visibility to be a fraught concept. Many of our most vulnerable peers have no choice about being visibly gender diverse; many make an appropriate personal choice for privacy; and among those choosing visibility as a conscious step toward greater social awareness of trans identities, visibility remains a challenge metric for justice. You can likely guess that this year’s Empowerment Breakfast, scheduled for March 28, was postponed due to the developing crisis surrounding COVID-19. It is clearer each day that the recipients of this year’s Empowerment Awards, Remi Graber and Denise Crooks, exemplify what we most need in this challenging time. Remi Graber—a paramedic, nursing student, and founder of the Not 1 More Campaign—has consistently shown up to support their fellow community members. They work each day to provide vital health care services, life-saving information, thoughtful insight, and advocacy. Denise Crooks—a committed social worker, devoted Rhode

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by Ethan Huckel Island Trans Health Conference organizer, and tireless advocate with LGBTQ Action RI and Rhode Islanders for Parentage Equality—is a driving force behind much of the recent legislative wins that have profoundly bettered the lives of transgender and gender-diverse Rhode Islanders. It is clear from her reputation in our community that Denise provides the kind of life-saving care in her practice that our community most needs in order to thrive. When Remi and Denise were selected as award recipients, we at TGI Network were not yet aware of the looming pandemic, but we knew that the empowerment of our community has hinged on access to equitable, affirming care, and has been fostered by the passion and commitment of individuals. Now, more than ever, we need to see Remi and Denise as examples of commitment to community that we all can emulate. Our contributions will be unique, but our focus will be on the strength and health of our community as a whole. TGI Network of Rhode Island provides support, advocacy, and education for the transgender, gender-diverse, and intersex community (aka trans community). Visit us at www.tginetwork.org.


Lessons from HIV for COVID-19: LGBTQ People Know How to Take Care of Each Other

by Mikel Wadewitz, Director, AIDS Project Rhode Island (center)

Photo: Jen Bonin

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am writing this in mid-March, as we collectively grapple with the threat of COVID-19 and the rapidly changing landscape it has forged. Many of us in the community have some experience with the fear, anxiety, and uncertainty one tiny virus can cause. As I watch friends, family, and colleagues doing their best in this moment, I can’t help being reminded of HIV and AIDS, and how nearly 40 years ago as people became ill and started dying, many fought back fear and anxiety by stepping up to help the people who needed it most, and educating others with science and facts. Stigma against people with HIV ran deep (and sadly still does). But change came from people living with the virus and their support networks, and they transformed the healthcare system and how people are now treated. As we confront a world

threatened by COVID-19, the advice many of us used to combat HIV/AIDS is worth repeating: Fight the virus, not the person. Educate yourself. Do your part to minimize the potential spread of it. Public health crises can bring out the worst in some people, but they can also energize whole new groups of individuals to stand up and rally for positive change. The history of HIV has taught us that this is, indeed, possible. The LGBTQ+ community was at the forefront of fighting for the rights of people with HIV, and for changes to the status quo. As people who have been marginalized and discriminated against for so long, we know that sometimes we have only each other to rely on for compassion and support. But that’s the beauty of our community: We want to make sure we all can thrive. So, please check in on your friends and family. Pledge

to help those who need assistance—whether that’s dropping off some toilet paper, calling to check in, or having groceries delivered to them. At APRI, we have modified our food pantry to do non-contact pick up and drop-offs of groceries and personal care items—as well as arts and crafts supplies— for folx living with HIV, who might also be at higher risk for COVID-19. You can support our efforts by donating at www.aidsprojectri.org/ donate. RI Pride is conducting an ongoing food and personalcare item drive for the community (see www.prideri. org). Other organizations and health centers which provide LGBTQ+ services and care can use your help as well. Let’s not forget the lessons we’ve learned from another virus, and commit to take care of one another. We need compassion and collective effort, not fear.

This year marks the 35th anniversary of AIDS Project Rhode Island. While we keep an eye on new developments and adjust events accordingly, all our plans for commemorating this landmark will be posted at www.aidsprojectri.org/ celebrate. Please sign up for emails to stay up to date. APRI is dedicated to providing a compassionate, nonjudgmental, and collaborative response to the needs of people living with, affected by, and at risk for acquiring HIV. APRI, a division of Family Service of Rhode Island, currently provides the largest number of support services in the state for individuals living with HIV/AIDS, as well as comprehensive prevention and testing services. For more information, please visit aidsprojectri.org, facebook.com/ AIDSProjectRhodeIsland, or twitter.com/AIDSProjectRI.

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ProvidencE Human RELATIONs Commission by Eve Condon

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riginally impaneled in 1963, the Providence Human Relations Commission (PHRC) “celebrates and elevates Providence’s diverse cultural communities; facilitates digital workshops and trainings to support civil rights; ensures discrimination complaints are investigated and adjudicated properly; [and] advocates for policies that codify and protect the civil rights of Providence residents.” One of the PHRC’s core initiatives is improving the city’s accessibility – both physically and virtually. In 2019 the commission collaborated with the Refugee Dream Center and AMOR (Alliance to Mobilize Our Resistance) to create its Language Access Toolkit, a comprehensive resource for city departments, to ensure that everything from vital records to community events is accessible and inclusive to folks who are hearing impaired and/or whose primary language isn’t English. The PHRC’s 2019 legislative agenda included bills tackling housing discrimination due to immigration status and legal non-employment income sources (e.g. Social Security); a bill protecting consumers from predatory payday loan practices that target lowerincome communities; and bills addressing barriers to employment for formerly incarcerated individuals. Unfortunately, their bills died in committee during last year’s raucous legislative session, but the PHRC has worked to reintroduce several bills this year. For 17 years, the PHRC has held its signature event, Providence’s annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Hall of Fame Awards, to recognize community members who exemplify “the spirit of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s commitment to acceptance, social justice, civil rights, and equality.” The Commission also co-sponsors the city’s observance of the Transgender Day of Remembrance that honors the memory of trans and gender-diverse folks who lost their lives to bigotry and violence. This year, the Commission has a new

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executive director, Andi Wheeler, who has worked in the field of equity and advocacy since 2005 in roles ranging from community organizer for LGBTQIA+ concerns including marriage equality, transgender nondiscrimination protections, and anti-bullying legislation, to electoral consultant and campaign manager on local, state, and federal campaigns. Wheeler views their current role as facilitator of the PHRC and the Providence community’s shared vision of a more equitable Providence. Their work is centered on collaborating with community members, community organizations, and working across City Departments to develop and implement targeted initiatives and policies. Wheeler shared their vision for moving the PHRC forward. What are some ways in which the PHRC has improved accessibility in Providence? Wheeler: The PHRC has done a tremendous job in defining what those barriers to access are and who are most impacted.This has been through a variety of methods, including listening to the concerns of people who have reported it and researching best practices in other communities.Though they seem like small adjustments, the addition of things like door stops and a new wheelchair lift, has made our space more accessible for all people to participate in. We continuously engage [the] community in the initiative and policies we take part in, to ensure that they are equitable and accessible to all. What are some ways in which the city of Providence has utilized the toolkit since the PHRC rolled it out in summer 2019? Wheeler: The commission has been working hard to expand the Language Access Toolkit not just to increase language access, but to also establish an intersectional framework that takes into account diverse communities. Since it was first developed in 2019, we have added sections on LGBTQIA+, disability

Mayor Elorza, MLK Award recipient Joe Wilson, Jr., and Councilwoman Sabina Matos

access, and aging population concerns. This work provided my colleagues in city government not only practical tools to engage our diverse community, but new ways of thinking so that we're constantly working together to innovate for greater access. What did you learn from partnering with Refugee Resettlement Support Network and AMOR RI? Wheeler: AMOR and the Refugee Resettlement Support Network have been instrumental in the language access portion of the toolkit.These partnerships have allowed for a safe and inclusive space to do the hard work of collaborating with community groups and incorporating their feedback into our policies. In my experience, the process of developing the toolkit was just as important as access to the toolkit itself…. I am planning follow-up programming, including hosting trainings with AMOR, to highlight how to be an ethical and effective translator. The Commission’s 2019 legislative agenda was impressive. What were some of the difficulties in getting bills passed last year? Do you feel optimistic about the bills that have been reintroduced? Wheeler: Sometimes progress moves slower than needed. As Director, I am committed to working with the Commission in staying the course on the legislation we have continued to advocate for and that is because the community is equally dedicated to this work. Regardless of how bills were left at the end of each legislative session, with every year we continue to build upon past efforts and incorporate more community involvement to build a stronger, more cohesive message.


What do you hope to see the PHRC achieve in the coming year? Wheeler: The Providence Human Relations Commission has changed and evolved over time and I want the work we're doing to promote long-term gains for the community. As director, I am working to create a 3-5 year strategic plan to advocate, educate, celebrate, and enforce ending discrimination and oppression. Together with the Commission, this plan aims to foster a culture of collaborative governance with the community to meet its changing needs. What can Providence/RI residents do to support the PHRC’s legislative efforts? Wheeler: The only way we get this done is if we do it together, and I encourage anyone that may be interested in learning or doing more to reach out to me or a member of the Commission to see how they can get involved in our work. [Email awheeler@providenceri.gov.] How do Providence residents benefit from PHRC sponsored events? Wheeler:A core value of the Commission is restoring the power of government back to communities who have been

historically disenfranchised. There can be power in reclaiming City Hall, there can be power in reclaiming your community's accomplishments, and there can be power in using government to make sure your community is recognized. Holding that space for people who have historically had power used against them is critical to not only cultural survival, but also the future of thriving communities in Providence.

PHRC Commissioner Kai Lo Muscio emceed the 2019 Transgender Day of Remembrance and the 2020 MLK Awards, and reflected on his experience hosting this event, as well as the commission’s value to the Providence community. What PHRC accomplishments are you personally most proud of? Commissioner LoMuscio: I have enjoyed the opportunities that I have had to participate in initiatives on behalf of the PHRC. For instance, in 2019, AS220 got the community together to have conversations on how to make public art spaces and events more accessible to everybody in the city. This was part of AS220’s All Access Campaign. I shared my experience as a queer/trans person with an invisible disability and talked

about navigating event spaces (both as a performer and as an attendee). This was a forum to discuss how we could change things for the better as a community. I also had a chance to describe what our commission does and how the audience could contact us if they wanted to file a complaint of unlawful discrimination. The PHRC has city, state, and federal resources we can point people to depending on the type of complaint. We also make recommendations to the mayor based on the data from these phone calls. What have you personally found meaningful about PHRC’s sponsored community events? LoMuscio: The Transgender flag raising during the month of November at City Hall is a demonstration that Trans and gender-nonconforming people are a recognized part of the Providence community. Being able to sponsor that event along with a recognition of the Trans Day of Remembrance is one of the things that we do that I really connect with on a personal level. Walking through Kennedy Plaza the first time that flag was up there was a great feeling. (NOTE:Wheeler’s and LoMuscio’s responses represent their personal perspective, rather than the Providence Human Relations Commission as a whole.)

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Health Guide: Sexual Minority Men by Matt Collins, M.D., MBA, Executive Vice President and Chief Medical Officer and Guillaume Bagal, diversity & inclusion lead, Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island

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tudies show that members of the LGBTQ+ community don’t always receive the same level of healthcare as their heterosexual counterparts. This disparity is often attributed to actual or anticipated discrimination or lack of access to health coverage. We encourage you to be as open as possible with your healthcare provider(s) about the health concerns described below, to ensure you get the best care. The Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion’s most recent Healthy People initiative outlined the past decade’s health goals in the United States and flagged several physical, mental, and sexual healthcare disparities impacting men in the LGBTQ+ community. Much of the care for gay, bisexual, queer, and other cisgender men who have sex with men, reflects the standards of recommended care for all men. However, there are nuances in both medical and behavioral health for sexual minority men that should be addressed. These unique factors can negatively impact their healthcare, unlike their straight counterparts. Healthcare providers might lack the knowledge, training, or willingness to treat patients, while sexual minority men may have concerns over confidentiality and compassion from the provider. Quality care involves mutual respect and understanding, so the possibility of a disconnected relationship may prevent sexual minority men from seeking testing or prevention and treatment services that they may need, furthering the risk of poor health.

number of eating disorders. According to the National Eating Disorder Association, gay males are thought to represent only five percent of the total male population, but among males who have eating disorders, 42 percent identify as gay. TT

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Individual health risks are shaped by factors beyond sexual orientation — including family history, age, and geography — but it's important for healthcare providers to understand and screen for health concerns that may be more common for sexual minority men. TT

Eating disorders – Gay and bisexual men are more likely to experience body image issues, resulting in a higher

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with men are affected by higher rates of HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases. According to the CDC, sexual minority men make up more than half of the people living with HIV in the United States and experience two thirds of all new HIV infections each year. Routine checkups can help identify HIV or STI status, and reduce the likelihood of unknowingly spreading these diseases to sexual partners.

Prostate, testicular, and colon cancer – While skin, prostate, lung, and colorectal cancers are four of the most prevalent cancers for all men, the American Cancer Society cites studies suggesting that sexual minority men are less likely to get routine care and screenings, increasing their risk of certain cancers. Depression and anxiety – Homophobia, stigma, and discrimination may have negative effects on sexual minority men’s mental health that their heterosexual counterparts typically don’t endure. Research shows that, compared to other men, gay and bisexual men have higher chances of having major depression, bipolar disorder, and generalized anxiety disorder. However, like everyone else, sexual minority men can be successfully treated for mental health disorders if connected to the right resources. Alcohol, substance, and tobacco use – Substance use disorders affect 20 to 30 percent of the LGBTQ population, compared to 8.4 percent of the general population, according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. Isolation and lack of supportive services as a result of homophobia, stigma, and minority stress increase the risk for alcohol, tobacco, and substance abuse among sexual minorities. Sexually transmitted infections – Compared to heterosexual men, gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex

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Domestic violence – Most studies have found that the prevalence of intimate partner violence among sexual minority men is not significantly higher than the U.S. general population. However, research shows that LGBTQ+ people face barriers to seeking help that are unique to their sexual orientation and gender identity. These include legal definitions of domestic violence that exclude samesex couples; the dangers of outing oneself when seeking help and the risk of rejection and isolation; and lack of, or survivors not knowing about, LGBTQ+-specific or LGBTQ+friendly assistance, resources, or service providers.

The increase in LGBTQ drop-in centers, gay-straight alliances, gay sports leagues/ teams, LGBTQ community centers, and LGBTQ-inclusive healthcare locations like BCBSRI’s Safe Zones have created more safe spaces to access support and healthcare. Improving access to inclusive healthcare, regardless of sexual identity, is critical to providing the best healthcare possible for all men. For more information, visit www.bcbsri.com.


RESOURCES Options originated in 1982 as the offical newsletter of the Rhode Island Gay Task Force. Editor Jos Fayette explained, “The RIGTF wants to make the homosexual community aware of their options as gay men and women in Rhode Island. And it’s only because we live, work, love, and play in this state that there are such a large number of options available to all of us.” Options has always, and will continue to print LGBTQ resources so that

you can, as Fayette went on to say, “Exercise your OPTIONS today to make positive changes in your life tomorrow.” Help us help you! Email info@optionsri.org if you come across a resource listing that needs updating. New, updated, and featured resources are highlighted. Phone numbers are in the 401 area code and addresses are in Rhode Island, unless otherwise indicated.

ADDICTION SUPPORT GROUPS

programs, advocacy, strength training, prevention education, HIV testing. 9 Pleasant Street, Providence. 831-5522 www.aidsprojectri.org. AIDS Quilt RI: Displays local AIDS memorial quilt panels, panelmaking programs including Anna’s Workshop, HIV/AIDS education for young people. PO Box 2591, Newport. 434-4880. admin@ aidsquiltri.org. www.aidsquiltri.org. Brown University AIDS Program: Clinical trials, public policy, research, lectures, conferences, patient and community education. 121 South Main Street, Second Floor, Providence. 863-6790. brunap@ brown.edu. brown.edu/Departments/BRUNAP. Community Care Alliance: Case management, support, personal care items for people living with HIV/AIDS in northern Rhode Island. 245 Main Street, Woonsocket. 235-6092. lcohen@famresri.org. Community Care Alliance-Agape Providence: Transitional housing, drop-in center, testing, intensive case management, counseling, peer support for people living with HIV/AIDS. 292 Elmwood Ave, Providence. 572-3800. www.communitycareri.org. Comprehensive Community Action Programs: Medical, mental health, dental, social services, LGBT outreach. 311 Doric Avenue, Cranston. Also Coventry, Pawtucket, and Warwick. 467-9610. Gabriel Care, LLC: Nursing/social worker case management and financial compensation for assistance and supervision for those living with HIV. MassHealth funded for MA residents. 376 South Main Street, Fall River, MA. Contact Jenn, (508) 678-1002. HIV Antibody Testing: Anonymous. Free or sliding scale. RI Department of Health. Providence, Newport and other locations. 222-2320. Home and Hospice Care of RI: Medical care management for HIV/AIDS. 24hr nursing staff for treatment. 1085 North Main Street, Providence. Referrals: 782-0725. Bereavement groups: Contact John Charette, 727-7079. Main Office: 415-4200 or toll-free 800-3386555. www.hhcri.org. House of Compassion: HIV/AIDS housing. 2510 Mendon Road, Cumberland. 658-3992. LGBT Caregiver Online Support Group: For LGBTs caring for someone with chronic health problems. www.caregiver.org. Luis E. Martinez House CHS, Inc.: Supportive, permanent housing for 10 adults living with HIV/AIDS and/or substance abuse. New Bedford, MA. Contact Joe Taylor. (508) 984-7514. Miriam Hospital HIV & STD Testing Clinic: For gonorrhea, chlamydia, syphilis, HIV, Hep C, and trichomoniasis. Linking to physicians for PrEP. Wed. -- Fri. 12:30 -- 3:30. 1125 N. Main St., Providence (rear of building). 793-4715.

AA Brothers in Sobriety: Gay men's open meeting -- all welcome. Saturdays 7:30 -- 8:30 pm. 296 Angell St., Providence, basement, 2nd door on side street (Diman Place). 419-0051 AddictionCenter.com: Web information guide for addiction resources nationwide. Or call 1-877-830-2915. Alcohol/Drug Helpline: RI Council on Alcoholism & Drug Dependence. 24hr. (866) 252-3784. RI LGBT AA Group: Tuesdays 7 -- 8 pm Bell Street Chapel, 5 Bell St., Providence, 273-5678. All are welcome. Seven Hills Behavioral Health: Addiction support services and Narcan. 1173 Acushnet Avenue, New Bedford, MA, 508999-4159. 310 S. Main Street, Fall River, MA, 508-235-1012. Leonard Amaral, Program Manager, lamaral@sevenhills.org. Project BREAK: Outpatient mental health program focussed on substance abuse in gay/bi men. Miriam Hospital. Free. Contact Sabrina Strong, strong@Lifespan.org. Sex and Love Addicts Anonymous: 12-step program. Fridays at 7pm. Providence Presbyterian Church, 500 Hope Street, Providence, side entrance, downstairs to the left. Gay, but all are welcome. YPTQ (Young People, Queer, Trans) meeting of AA: Wednesdays 7:30 -- 8:30pm, “common room” of Brown University Alumni Hall, 194 Meeting Street, Providence.

AIDS/HEALTH RESOURCES Afia Center for Health & Wholeness: Meals, food pantry, HIV support groups, recreational and social activities. Sponsored by AIDS Project RI. Free to clients.. Wed. and Thurs. 12 -- 3pm. 134 Mathewson St., Providence. Info: Kim Clohecy, 831-5522, Ext. 2299. AIDS Action Hotline: MA only. (800) 235-2331. www.aac.org. AIDS Care Ocean State: Confidential HIV & Hep C testing, safer-sex supplies, case management, emergency funds, clinical services, assisted and supportive housing for people living with HIV/ AIDS, street outreach, free needle exchange, HIV+ support groups. Speaker’s Bureau, 18 Parkis Ave., Providence. 521-3603 (call 7810665 to schedule an appointment). www.aidscareos.org. AIDS Project RI: Division of Family Service of RI. Case management, buddies, COBRA and dental services, emergency fund, mental health counseling, nutrition support, assessment and referral, wellness

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Partners in Learning About AIDS: Outreach to minorities, women of color, and LGBT community at clubs and other locations. North Providence office provides free condoms and information about STIs and post-exposure prophylaxis for HIV. 1006 Charles Street, Suite 5, North Providence. 484-7523. info@plaidsproject.org. www.plaidsproject.org. Planned Parenthood of So. New England: Confidential, low-cost, same-day & walk-in STD and HIV testing. Commonsense approach to health. 175 Broad Street. 800-230-7526. www.ppsne.org. Prima CARE Transgender Clinic: Fall River, MA. Counseling, hormonal reassignment, referrals for surgery. Kishore Lakshman, MD. 508-235-0481. Project Weber/RENEW: Confidential, free HIV, Hep C and syphilis testing. Links to physicians for PrEP. 640 Broad St., Providence. info@ weberrenew.org. 383-4888. Seven Hills HIV Prevention & Screening: TWIST program, HIV and STI prevention and testing, partner care. 1173 Acushnet Avenue, New Bedford, MA, 508-999-4159. 310 S. Main Street, Fall River, MA, 508-235-1012. Contact Leonard Amaral, lamaral@sevenhills.org. SSTAR (Stanley Street Treatment & Resources): Counseling, drug treatment, detox, domestic violence programs, free and confidential HIV, HEP C, and STD testing, education, case management and support. MA and RI locations. 386 Stanley Street, Fall River, MA. (508) 679-5222. Project Aware (HIV/HCV); (508) 324-3561. Family Healthcare Center; (508) 675-1054. www.sstar.org. Steppingstone, Inc.: Welcome Home Medical case management program. One-on-one peer support in Somerset to Wareham area. HIV support groups available. Free and open to any HIV+ person 18+. 5 Dover Street, New Bedford, MA. (508) 984-7514. www.steppingstoneinc.org. Tranquil Mind & Wellness: Counseling, alternative healing, yoga, Pilates, meditation.109 Rhode Island Road, Lakeville, MA. (508) 9471683. www.tranquilmind.net. Thundermist Health Center: Provides HIV/AIDS services including medical care and treatment by an HIV specialist, dental care, behavioral health counseling, nutritional assessment and counseling, pharmacy consultation, free and confidential HIV testing. 450 Clinton Street, Woonsocket. Contact Philip Kane. 767-4100 ext. 3516.

INFORMATION/EDUCATION The Center for Sexual Pleasure & Health: Education, pleasure, health, advocacy. Tues. -- Sat. 12 -- 6 and by appointment. 250 Main Street, Unit 1, Pawtucket. 489-5513. www.thecsph.org. Fenway Community Center LGBT Helpline: Support, information and referrals. Fenway Community Health Center, Boston. Open daily 6-11pm. (617) 267-9001 or 888-340-452 GLBT National Help Center Hotline: Local resources nationwide provided by social services agency. 888-843-4564. www.glbtnationalhelpcenter.org. LGBTQ Action RI: Advocacy organization to secure equality & justice for LGBT people through legislative and policy work. www.facebook.com/LGBTActionRI. NewportOut: LGBT website for Newport. www.newportout.com. RILGBT-News: Low-volume email distribution list for LGBT & AIDS news from RI. Not a discussion list. To subscribe: tinawood@cox.net.

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South Coast LGBTQ Network: Information & advocacy network for individuals of all ages. 774-371-0711. info@ sclgbtqnetwork.org. www.sclgbtqnetwork.org. United Way of RI Referral Line: 2-1-1 on your telephone.

NIGHTLIFE The Alley Cat Providence: Downtown neighborhood bar. Monday-Thursday 3pm-1am, Friday 3pm-2am, Saturday 2pm2am, Sunday 2pm-1am. 19 Snow Street, Providence. 272-6369. Bobby’s Place: Dancing, pool, video lounge, karaoke. SundayWednesday 5pm-1am, Thursday-Saturday 5pm-2am. 62 Weir Street, Taunton, MA. (508) 824-9997. www.bobbysplacema.com. Brooklyn Coffee Tea House: 209 Douglas Ave., Providence: public/private venue for music, art, film screenings, weddings, showers, etc. RHODYWOOD@yahoo.com; 359-0192. Club Body Center: Gay men’s sauna. Membership required. One-day pass available. Open 24hr. 257 Weybosset Street, Providence. 274-0298. www.cbcresorts.com. The Dark Lady: Downtown bar and nightclub. TuesdayThursday 9pm-1am, Friday & Saturday 9pm-3am, Sunday 9pm1am. 17 Snow Street, Providence. 272-6369. EGO: Providence’s newest gay nightlife performance/event space. Sunday and Thursday 9pm-1am, Friday and Saturday 10pm-3am, 73 Richmond St, Providence. 383-1208. www.egopvd.com. Mirabar: Downtown bar and nightclub. Monday-Thursday 3pm-1am, Friday and Saturday 3pm-2am, Sunday 3pm-1am. 15 Elbow Street, Providence. 331-6761. www.mirabar.com. Providence Eagle: Leather, Levi, bear cruise bar. MondayThursday 2pm-1am, Friday 2pm-2am, Saturday-Sunday 12pm2am. 124 Snow Street, Providence. 421-1447. The Stable: Downtown video bar. No cover. Monday-Thursday 2pm-1am, Friday 2pm-2am, Saturday 12pm-2am, Sunday 12pm1am. 125 Washington Street, Providence. 272-6950.

POLITICAL & LEGAL GROUPS American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU): 128 Dorrance Street, Suite 400, Providence. 831-7171. riaclu.org. Amnesty International OUTfront: Program to campaign globally for LGBTQ human rights. (212)807-8400. Cvohs18904@ yahoo.com. www.amnestyusa.org. Brown University Queer Alliance: Student advocacy and support organization. queer@brown.edu. Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders (GLAD): LGBT/HIV legal info hotline. Weekdays 1:30-4:30pm. 30 Winter Street, Suite 800, Boston, MA. (617) 436-1350 or (800) 455-GLAD. gladlaw@ glad.org www.GLAD.org. Lambda Legal Defense & Education Fund: 120 Wall Street, Suite 1500, NY. (212) 809-8585. www.lambdalegal.org. Lawyers for Equality and Diversity (LEAD): Advocates for LGBT causes. lawyersforequality@gmail.com. National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Assoc./New England: Works for fair and accurate media coverage of LGBT issues. info@ nlgja.org, www.nlgja.org. The Next Thing (TNT): Political and support group for queer people of color located at Brown University. 863-3062. tnt@ brown.edu. RI Commission on Prejudice and Bias: Hate crime awareness training program. www.calloutprejudiceri.org


RI Socialist Action: 952-5385, adgagneri@gmail.com. Spanish: 351-3514, walsil@cox.net. RI Human Rights Commission: Anti-discrimination law enforcement agency with jurisdiction in employment, housing, public accommodations, and credit. 180 Westminster Street, 3rd floor, Providence. 222-2662 TTY: 222-2664, richr.ri.gov. Scouts for Equality: An organization composed largely of Boy Scouts of America alumni dedicated to ending the BSA’s ban on gay members and leaders. Contact Carol Crowther. ccrowther1@ gmail.com. Facebook.com/riscoutsforequality. Servicemembers Legal Defense Network: Serving LGBT military personnel and veterans. PO Box 65301, Washington DC. (202) 328-3244. or (800) 538-7418. sldn@sldn.org. www.sldn.org.

RELIGIOUS & SPIRITUAL All Saints Memorial Church: 674 Westminster Street, Providence. 751-1747. asmcri@verizon.net. www.allsaintsmemorial.org. Amicable Congregational Church: UCC. Open & Affirming. Pastor William Sterrett. Sunday 10am. 3736 Main Road, Tiverton. 624-4611. amicablechurch@aol.com, www.amicablechurch.org. Association of Welcoming & Affirming Baptists: robin@awab.org, www.awab.org. Barrington Congregational Church: UCC. “The white church.” Sundays 10am. 461 County Road, Barrington. 246-0111. office@bccucc.org, www.bccucc.org. Bell Street Chapel: Unitarian Universalist. A Welcoming Congregation. Sundays 10am. 5 Bell Street, Providence. 273-5678. www.bellstreetchapel.org. Beneficent Congregational Church: UCC.An Open & Affirming congregation in the heart of Providence. Sundays 10am. 300 Weybosset Street, Providence. 331-9844. BeneficentChurchUCC@ gmail.com, www.beneficentchurch.org. Berean Baptist Church: A safe and welcoming place for all God’s children. Sunday 10am. 474 Chapel Street, Harrisville. 568-5411. bereanbaptist@verizon.net. www.bereanri.net. Calvary United Methodist Church of Middletown: LGBTQ early dementia support group. Contact Amy. Sundays 10:30am. 200 Turner Road, Middletown. 847-6181, www.middletownmethodist.com. Central Congregational Church: UCC. An Opening & Affirming Congregation. Sundays 10:30am. 296 Angell Street, Providence. 331-1960. www.centralchurch.us. Channing Memorial Church: Unitarian Universalist. A Welcoming Congregation. Sundays 10am. 135 Pelham Street, Newport. 846-0643. administrator@channingchurch.org. www.channingchurch.org. Chapel Street Congregational Church UCC: Open & Affirming. 185 Chapel St., Lincoln, RI. 722-7934. www.chapelstreetucc.com. Charter Oak Grove ADF: An Open and Welcoming Congregation of Neo-pagan Druids in CT. charteroakadf@gmail.com, www.charteroakadf.org. Christ Church in Lonsdale: 1643 Lonsdale Avenue, Lincoln. Services 8am and 10:30am.725-1920.office@christchurchlincoln.org. www.christchurchlincoln.org. Church of the Ascension, 390 Pontiac Ave., Cranston, RI 02910. Sundays at 10am. 461-5811. www.ascensioncranston.org. Church of the Epiphany: A diverse Open & Affirming Episcopal congregation. 1336 Pawtucket Avenue, East Providence. 434-5012. info@epiphanyep.org, www.epiphanyep.org. Church of the Redeemer: a Welcoming Episcopal church. 655 Hope St., Providence. www.redeemerprovidence.org. office@

redeemerprovidence.org. Rev. Patrick Campbell, 331-0678. Concordia Center for Spiritual Living: A diverse community welcoming all spiritual paths to God. Sunday Celebration 9:15am. 292 W. Shore Rd., Warwick. Rev. Ian Taylor, 732-1552. info@concordiachurchri.com. www.ConcordiaCSL.com. Edgewood Congregational Church: UCC. Open & Affirming. Service 10am. 1788 Broad Street, Cranston. 461-1344. office@edgewoodchurchri.org. www.edgewoodchurchri.org. Emmanuel Episcopal Church: Sundays 8 and 9:30am. 120 Nate Whipple Highway, Cumberland. 658-1506. office@emmanuelri.org. www.emmanuelri.org. First Unitarian Church: A welcoming congregation. Sunday 10:30am. 1 Benevolent Street, Providence. 421-7970. admin@firstunitarianprov.org, www.firstunitarianprov.org. First Unitarian Church: Service 11am. 71 8th Street, New Bedford, MA. (508) 994-9686. admin@uunewbedford.org, www.uunewbedford.org. First Universalist Society: UU. Welcoming congregation. Samegender weddings. 262 Chestnut Street, Franklin, MA. (508) 5285348. fusf@verizon.net, www.fusf.org. Foxboro Universalist Church: UUA. Service 10am. 6 Bird Street, Foxboro, MA. 508-543-4002. chair@uufoxborough.org. www. uufoxborough.org. Grace Episcopal Church in Providence: 175 Mathewson Street, Providence. 331-3225. hello@gracechurchprovidence.org. www. gracechurchprovidence.org. Hopedale Unitarian Parish: Sundays 10:30 am. 65 Hopedale St., Hopedale, MA. www.hopedaleunitarian.org, 508-473-0745. Rev. Tony Lorenzen. Immanuel Lutheran Church: A Reconciling in Christ congregation. Pastor Sandra Demmler D’Amico. 647 North Main Street, Attleboro, MA. (508) 222-2898. www.immanuellc.org. Interweave at Channing Memorial UU Church: Organization for the spiritual, political and social well-being of LGBTQ persons, and their allies, confronting oppression. 135 Pelham Street, Newport. 846-0643. Lutheran Church of the Good Shepherd: A “Reconciling in Christ” congregation (Welcoming). 3383 Old North Rd., Kingston, RI. Sundays 9 am. Pastor Mary Hansen-Joyce. 789-7776; office@ goodshepherdri.org. Mathewson St. Church: United Methodist. 134 Mathewson Street, Providence. 331-8900. MathewsonStUMC@gmail.com. Mercy of God Community: Christian, inclusive religious order. mercycomm@yahoo.com, www.mgc.org. Murray Unitarian Universalist Church: Marriage and commitment ceremonies for all. Rev. Bob McKetchnie. 505 North Main Street, Attleboro, MA. (508) 222-0505 www.murrayuuchurch.org. Newman Congregational Church: Open & Affirming. 100 Newman Avenue, Rumford. 434-4742. www.newmanucc.org. Newport Congregational Church: UCC. Open & Affirming. Rev. Hayes and Rev. Baker. 73 Pelham Street, Newport. 849-2238. Park Place Congregational Church: 71 Park Place, Pawtucket. 726-2800. office@ppucc.necoxmail.com, www.parkplaceucc.com. Pilgrim Lutheran Church: An inclusive congregation. Sundays 8 and 9:30am. 1817 Warwick Avenue, Warwick. 739-2937. parishasst@pilgrimlutheranri.org, pilgrimlutheranri.jimdo.com. Pilgrim United Church of Christ: Open and Affirming. 635 Purchase Street, New Bedford, MA. (508)-997-9086. Providence Presbyterian Church: 500 Hope St., Providence. Service 10 am. 861-1136. www.provpresri.org. provpresri@ verizon.net.

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The Pub Church: An Open & Affirming church that meets in a pub. Location may change. Saturday 5pm. The Dugout, 722 Commonwealth Avenue, Boston, MA. thepubchurch@gmail.com. Riverside Church: UCC.15 Oak Avenue, Riverside. Service 10am. 433-2039. www.rcc-ucc.com. St. Augustine’s Church and Episcopal Center at URI: 15 Lower College Road, Kingston. 783-2153. Sundays 8am and 10am. StAugustinesChurch@necoxmail.com, www.staugustineuri.org. St. James Church: Episcopal. 474 Fruit Hill Avenue, North Providence. 353-2079. St. Martin’s Episcopal Church: Sundays 8 and 10am. 50 Orchard Avenue, Providence. 751-2141. StMartinsNB.Secretary@gmail.com, www.stmartinsprov.org. St. Martin’s Episcopal Church: Welcoming Church. Monthly LGBT Eucharist. 136 Rivet Street, New Bedford, MA. (508)9948972. stmartins1887@comcast.com, www.stmartinsma.org. St. Paul’s Episcopal Church: Sundays 9am. 50 Park Place, Pawtucket. 728-4300. office@stpaulspawtucket.org, www.stpaulspawtucket.org. St. Paul’s Church: A welcoming Episcopal church. Sundays 9am. 2679 East Main Street, Portsmouth. 683-1164. stpaulsportsmouthri. org. St. Peter & St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church: 25 Pomona Avenue, Providence. 272-9649.stpanda25@verizon.net. www.stpeters-standrews.org. Saint Therese Old Catholic Church: Open & Affirming. Fr. David Martins. Sunday 10:30am. 1500 Main St., W. Warwick, RI 02893. 680-9076. stocc134@gmail.com, www.saintthereseocc.org. Second Congregational Church of Attleboro: UCC. Open & Affirming. 50 Park Street, Attleboro, MA. Sunday 10am. (508) 2224677. office2nd@verizon.net. www.attleborosecondchurch.org. Seekonk Congregational Church: Open & Affirming. Sundays 9 and 10:30am. Rev. Joy Utter, 600 Fall River Ave., Seekonk, MA. (508) 336-9355. sccucc@verizon.net. www.scc-ucc.com. Soka Gakkai: Buddhist association for peace, culture, and education. Contact for weekly meetings in Providence. 930 Commonwealth Avenue, Boston. (617) 264-2000. www.sgi-usa.org. Temple Agudas Achim: Reconstructionist congregation. 901 North Main Street, Attleboro, MA. (508) 222-2243. office@agudasma.org, www.agudasma.org. Temple Beth-El: Rabbi Sarah E. Mack. 70 Orchard Avenue, Providence. 331-6070. info@temple-beth-el.org, www.temple-beth-el.org. Temple Emanu-El: A welcoming Conservative congregation. Rabbi Wayne Franklin. 99 Taft Avenue, Providence. 331-1616. info@teprov.org, www.teprov.org. Temple Habonim: A warm, Welcoming Reform congregation. Rabbi Andrew Klein. 165 New Meadow Road, Barrington. 2456536. office@templehabonim.org, www.templehabonim.org. Temple Sinai: A Welcoming Reform temple. Rabbi Jeff Goldwasser, 30 Hagen Avenue, Cranston. 942-8350. webmaster@templesinairi.org, www.templesinairi.org. Unitarian Church in Fall River: Sunday 10:30am. 309 North Main Street, Fall River, MA. 508-678-9700. office@unitarianchurchfr.org, www.unitarianchurchfr.org. Unitarian Universalist Society of Fairhaven: Service 10:30am. 102 Green Street, Fairhaven, MA. (508) 992-7081. www.uufairhaven. org. Unitarian Universalist Congregation of South County: 27 North Road, Peace Dale. 783-4170 or Val 789-7282. uucscri@ yahoo.com. www.uusouthcountyri.org.

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United Congregational Church: 524 Valley Rd., Middletown RI 02842. A Welcoming congregation. Sunday, 10 am. www.UCCMiddletown.org. 849-5444. Westminster Unitarian Universalist Church: A UUA Welcoming Congregation. 119 Kenyon Avenue, East Greenwich. 884-5933. www.westminsteruu.org.

SOCIAL ORGANIZATIONS

Bisexual Resource Center: PO Box 170796, Boston, MA. (617) 4249595. brc@bicresource.net www.biresource.net. Biversity Boston: Mixed-gender social events for Boston and the surrounding area. (617) 424-9595. biversity-subscribe@biversity.org, www.biversity.org. Boston Bisexual Women’s Network: Social activities including monthly brunches and quarterly publication, Bi Women Quarterly. www.biwomenboston.org. Cape and Islands Gay & Straight Youth Alliance (CIGSYA): 56 Barnstable Road, Hyannis, MA. (508) 778-7744. info@cisgsya.org, www.cigsya.org. Communisong: For unity through song. Non-performance monthly singing session. www.communisong.net. Feminist & Queer Happy Hour: Casual meetings to network with people who care about the same things. Email feministandqueerhappyhour@gmail.com. Gay Men’s Social Group: FirstTuesdays,6 -- 9pm,Seven Hills Behavioral Health, 1177 Acushnet Ave., New Bedford, MA. Refreshments. Info: Lenny Amaral, 508-999-4159 or lamaral@sevenhills.org. Imperial Court of RI at Providence: Drag and non-drag performers raise funds for local charities. All welcome to general membership meetings on first Monday at Dark Lady, 17 Snow Street, Providence. icri.prov@gmail.com. www.icriprov.org. Mixed Borders Gardening Group: Gardening and more. Monthly meetings, all welcome. Mixedborders@cox.net. www.mixedborders.com. Old Lesbians Organizing for Change: Local chapter of national network of feminists 60 years old or better, working for justice and wellbeing through public discourse. Regular meetings to share experiences. Contact Mev Miller. OLOCinRI@gmail.com. Opera Club: Enjoy hearing and attending. Last Sunday of each month at 1pm. BrettCornellpi4@aol.com. Providence Gay Men’s Chorus: New season rehearsals begin in January and August. Singers and non-singing volunteers welcome. Monday 7-9:30pm. Beneficent Church, 300 Weybosset Street, Providence. www.provgmc.org. Queer Book Club: 3rd Wednesday, 7pm. Books on the Square, 471 Angell Street, Providence, queerbookclub@gmail.com. RI Association of Gay Professionals: Networking and philanthropy. www.riagp.com. RI Parents Pride: Gay parents socializing together with their children. Contact Melanie. 464-2288. saphicangel120@yahoo.com. RI Pride: Open house 4th Wednesdays. Festival & Parade 3rd Saturday in June. Office: 1055 Westminster St., Providence 02903. Mail: PO Box 1082, Providence, 02903. 467-2130. info@prideri.com, www.prideri.com. RI Pride Lions Club: LGBT-inspired service-oriented club open to all. 3rd Mondays, 6-7:30p.m. at Mentor RI, 2065 Warwick Ave.,Warwick. Ripridelions.com RI Prime Timers: Social and networking group for older gay and bi men. Second Sunday. Call Steve, 996-3010. www.riprimetimers.org. RI Skeptics Society: Yearning to talk with someone rational? Refreshing discussion. Fourth Saturday. East Providence restaurant location. www. meetup.com/skeptics-133/.


RI Women’s Association: Lesbian social group. 21+. Dances & events. www.riwa.net. SAGE/RI (Services & Advocacy for GLBT Elders): Advocacy, education, social events for LGBT seniors. Steering Committee meets first Saturdays at Church of theTransfiguration, 1665 Broad St., Cranston 02905. All members and friends welcome. Write us at the church or sageriinfo@gmail.com. Facebook: SAGERhode-Island. www.sage-ri.org. SEMASSMEN: Social group for GBQ men of southeastern MA & RI to foster strong friendships. Semassmen-subscribe@ yahoogroups.com. rlevass@yahoo.com. South Coast Social Club for Gay & Bisexual Men: Social and networking opportunities for gay & bisexual men in S.E. Mass. www. southeastsocialclub.com. Womxn’s Night: A space for queer women & allies to meet, dance, socialize and make lasting connections. Jeana Marie DeLaire/info@ womxnsnight.com. Yankee Lambda Car Club: Regional club for GLBT vintage and specialty car enthusiasts. www.yankeelcc.com.

SPORTS & RECREATION PrideSports Boston: Network of twenty-plus gay sports leagues/teams in Boston area. www.pridesportsboston.com. Boston Gay BASKETBALL League: ksg.bgbl@gmail.com, www.bgbl.com. BOATING: Yankee Cruising Club, New England’s club for LGBTQ boaters. www.yankeecruising.org. yankeecruisingclub@ gmail.com. Keith (508) 423-6123. Big Gay Al’s Duckpin BOWLING League: Proceeds benefit AIDS causes. Tuesday 6:30pm. 1463 Atwood Avenue, Town Hall Lanes, Johnston. Contact Frank Ferri. 831-6940.www. bgalbowling.com. www.townhalllanes.com. GALA BOWLING League: Sundays 5:50 p.m., E. Providence Lanes, 80 Newport Ave., E. Providence. Season begins in Aug. View us on Facebook or email galabowling1990@gmail.com. FIELD HOCKEY: Teamworks Somerset, 732 Lee’s River Ave., Somerset, MA. New season every 10 weeks. (508-676-3956) info@teamworkssomerset.com. FLAG (For Lesbians And Gays) FOOTBALL: Bostonbased recreational football club. All skill levels are encouraged to participate. Saturday mornings in the fall and spring. www. flagflagfootball.com. Boston Pride HOCKEY Now operating in Rhode Island with scrimmage games in Providence. www.bostonpridehockey.org. Movement Mondays: One hour class open to people in recovery and their guests. Size-inclusive, all body types and fitness levels. Contact MinaA@Thundermisthealth.org. Providence Gay Flag Football League: Registration opens Feb. 4, season starts April. Visit www.pvdgffl.org or write dgosley@gmail.com. Rondeaus KICKBOXING: 272-5425. www. rondeauskickboxing.com. Main Street MARTIAL ARTS: Non-profit. Welcoming dojo and community center. 1282 North Main Street, Providence. 274-7672.www.mainstma.org. Chiltern Mountain Club: OUTDOOR recreation club in New England. events@chiltern.org. www.chiltern.org. Boston Gay ROWERS: Worldwide online community for gay and lesbian rowers, coxies, coaches, and race officials. www.glrf.org. Boston Ironsides RUGBY Football: www.bostonironsides.org. Providence Women’s RUGBY Club: Competitive and recreational. www.providencerugby.com.

Frontrunners Rhode Island: RUNNING group (free yoga Mondays): Newcomers and all abilities welcome. Meet at Hope St. end of Blackstone Blvd., Providence, Thursdays 6pm. Contact Brian 751-7643 or bripm@cox.net. www.frontrunnersri.com. Frontrunners Boston RUNNING Group: Morning walk/ run along the Charles River. Saturdays,10am. Club Cafe, 209 Columbus Avenue, Boston, MA. www.frontrunnersboston.org. OutRyders SKIING: New England’s largest gay and lesbian ski and snowboard club. www.outryders.org. Boston Strikers SOCCER Club: Non-profit social organization to learn and improve soccer skills in a relaxed, congenial environment. www.bostonstrikers.com. Renaissance City SOFTBALL League: New players and boosters always welcome. www.providencesoftball.org. Beantown SOFTBALL League: Friendly competition. 27 teams in four divisions of play: competitive, intermediate, and recreational. (617) 297-7490. www.beantownsoftball.com. LANES (Liquid Assets New England SWIMMING): Fitness and/or competition. (617) 937-5858. www.swim-lanes.org. TENNIS-4-All: Boston area tennis organization. www. tennis4all.org. Cambridge Boston VOLLEYBALL Association: Players of all skill levels welcome. secretary@cbvolleyball.net www.gayvolleyball.net. Ocean State Pride VOLLEYBALL League: Adult coed indoor league following USVBA rules. No try-outs. Fee applies. Kent County YMCA, 900 Centerville Road, Warwick. ospvolleyball@gmail.com. East Coast WRESTLING Club: (617)937.5858 x6. ecwc@juno.com. www.eastcoastwrestlingclub.org.

STUDENTS & YOUTH Bristol Community College The Lambda Connection: (TLC@ BCC) Robert Delaleu, Advisor; BCC-G118, 777 Elsbree St., Fall River, MA (774)357-4056. Brown University Queer Alliance: Umbrella organization at Brown University for LGBTQ groups. 863-3062. queer@brown.edu or lgbtq@brown.edu. CCRI Gender Equity Initiative: SafeZone & Trans* 101 training. Support, info for LGBTQ people and allies. www.ccri.edu/genderequity. CCRI Triangle Alliance: an LGBTQQ student-run group at CCRI, on the Flanagan, Liston, and Knight campuses. www.ccri.edu/triangle/. Home to Hope: Support for housing-insecure LGBT youth 13 -- 24. Crisis intervention, medical and other services. At YPI (743 Westminster St., Prov.) and Mathewson St. Church (134 Mathewson St., Prov.) varying days and times. For info/appointments: ayanna@ rihomeless.org or 484-7720. LGBT National Youth Talkline: 800-246-7743. Private one-to-one chat and info on local resources. Peer Listening Line: Youth-staffed hotline for GLBT youth. Support, info and referrals. 5-10pm. Fenway Community Health Center, Boston, MA. (617) 267-9001 or (800) 399-PEER. www.fenwayhealth.org. Queer & Trans Thursdays: 6-8pm. Space for LGBTQ and heterosexual youth (24 and under) of color to foster coalition-building and organize to address intersections of oppressions. 669 Elmwood Ave., Rm. B7, Providence. www.prysm.us. 383-7450.

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Rhode Island College LGBTQ+ Office: works towards inclusion of gender, gender identity/expression and sexual orientation in all appropriate aspects of campus life. 456-9033 www.ric.edu/lgbtq Salve Regina University – The Alliance: 100 Ochre Point Avenue, Newport. Contact: Benjamin Mead, benjamin.mead@salve.edu S.H.E.P.A.R.D. (Stopping Homophobia, Eliminating Prejudices and Restoring Dignity): Providence College, 1 Cunningham Square, Providence. 865-1631. shepard@providence.edu. The Trevor Project: The only nationwide, around-the-clock crisis and suicide prevention helpline for LGBT youth. Also offers social networks. (866)4-U-TREVOR (866-488-7386). thetrevorproject.org. University of RI LGBTIQ2: Alumni association. 874-5808. gsimonelli@uri.edu. URI LGBTQ Center: A cultural department for students, faculty and staff. Florence Badejo. 874-2894. Youth Pride Inc.: Support, education & advocacy for LGBTQQ young people ages 13--23. Tues. -- Fri. 2 -- 8pm. The Way Out peer support group Thurs. 4pm. Gender Spectrum support group Tues. 4pm. Visit our website for full calendar of events. 743 Westminster St., Providence. 421-5626. info@youthprideri.org. www.youthprideri.org.

SUPPORT GROUPS & SOCIAL SERVICES Abuse Victims and Survivors: Support on phone for LGBTQ victims & survivors of partner abuse. Confidential peer-led groups. Hotline: (617) 742-4911. TTY: (617) 2274911. advocate@tnlr.org. Adoption Options: Non-sectarian help. Jewish Family Service, 959 North Main Street, Providence. Contact Betsy Alper. 331-5437. www.adoptionoptions.org. Blackstone Valley Advocacy Center: Offering resources for victims of domestic violence. 723-3057. www.bvadvocacycenter.org. Child & Family Services: Counseling, young parent support, adoption, more. LGBT groups. Open six days. 66 Troy St., Fall River, MA. (508) 676-5708. www.child-familyservices.org Community Care Alliance: Stipend, assistance, training provided by Family Resources Community Action. 235-6095. www.famresri.org. Community Care Alliance-Agape Providence: Transitional housing, drop-in center, testing, intensive case management, counseling, peer support for people living with HIV/AIDS. 292 Elmwood Ave, Providence. 572-3800. www.communitycareri. org Compass: FTM trans info, support and social group. Boston first Thursday 7-9pm. compassftm@gmail.com. www.compassftm.org. Crossroads RI Hotline: (800) 367-2700. Day One: Counseling & legal aid for victims of sexual assault/ abuse & incest. 24hr hotline. (800) 494-8100. 421-4100. www.dayoneri.org. Domestic Violence Resource Center of South County: Support, court advocacy, counseling, safe home, info for women and men in abusive or controlling relationships. 24hr free and confidential helpline. 782-3990 or toll free 800-4948100, www.dvrcsc.org. Family Service of RI: Training, stipend, support provided for nurturing adoptive families. Family Service of RI. Contact Gregary Wright. 331-1350 ext. 3305. www.familyserviceri.org. Foster parents needed: For newborn to age six. 276-4300. www.childrensfriendri.org.

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April/May 2020

Foster Parents wanted: Devereux Therapeutic Foster Care offers generous tax-free stipend, free comprehensive training, 24-hour support. To make a difference, call 734-9680. www. devereuxri.org. Gay Fathers of Greater Boston: Support. 738 Main St. #323, Waltham, MA. (781) 333-8429. info@gayfathersboston. org, www.gayfathersboston.org. Gay Men’s HIV+ Social Group: Third Tuesdays, 6 -- 9pm. Refreshments. Seven Hills Behavioral Health, 1177 Acushnet Ave., New Bedford, MA. Info: Lenny Amaral, 508-999-4159 or email lamaral@sevenhills.org. Gay Officers Action League (GOAL)/New England: Law enforcement officers (sworn & civilian), fire, rescue & publicly employed EMS. Confidential. P.O. Box 171587, Boston, MA 02117. www.newenglandgoal.org. On Facebook at NewEnglandGOAL. Gay Share: Coming Out? Gay men’s support group. No fee. Wednesday 7:30pm. Contact Tom or Mike. 369-9448. info@ gayshare.org, www.gayshare.org. LGBT Grief Support: Monthly meetings, usually 3rd Wed. 3:30 -- 5pm at Hope Hospice, 1085 No. Main St., Providence. Center for Hope & Healing (888-528-9077). Helpline for LGBT Youth: Trevor Helpline and social networks for crisis and suicide prevention. 24/7. (866) 4-U-Trevor. HIV+ Gay Men’s Support Group: Refreshments served. AIDS Care Ocean State, 18 Parkis Avenue, Providence. 5213603. New members contact Scott. 640-3108. LGBTQ+ Pregnancy & Parenting Group: Free support group for people (partnered or not) parenting or considering it. First Saturdays at Open Circle in East Providence. Visit Facebook or email LGBTQpregnancyandparenting@gmail. com. LGBTQ+ Peer: Support group second Mondays 5 -- 6 pm at Hope Recovery, 50 Washington Square, Newport. Adults 16+. Accessible entrance on Farewell St. 619-1343. Mantalk of S.E. Mass: Thurs. eves. in Taunton, MA. Social support for gay, bi, and questioning men from Mass. and RI. Confidential, drug- and alcohol-free. Find us on Facebook and MeetUp. MentalHelp.net: National directory of inpatient treatment options for those with substance abuse problems. www. mentalhelp.net/care/substance-abuse/ri/. Partner Support Group at Fenway Health: A ten-week support group with the purpose of building community and connections for anyone who identifies as non-trans, ages 18+, and is in a relationship with a trans* person(s). 1340 Boylston Street, Boston, MA. Contact Sarah Eley, LICSW. 857-313-6551. seley@fenwayhealth.org. PFLAG (Parents, & Friends of Lesbians & Gays): Attleboro Chapter serves Southeast Mass. Third Wednesday 6:45 p.m., Second Congregational Church, 50 Park St. (side door). email pflagattleboro@gmail.com. Greater Providence Chapter serves all R.I. First Wednesday at 6:45 p.m., Met School, 325 Public St., Providence. 751-7571. PFLAGprovidence@gmail.com. www. pflagprovidence.org. Newport Chapter. Second Monday 6:45-8pm. Channing Memorial Church, Parish Hall, 135 Pelham Street, Newport. 846-0643. Led1pflagnewport@gmail.com. Project Weber/RENEW: Support, HIV testing, prevention for sex workers. Trans support group meets Wednesday. info@ weberrenew.org. 383-4888.


Queer Transformative Roots (QTR): Queer & trans people of color organize campaigns to support stability for our communities. 669 Elmwood Ave., Suite B13, Providence 02907. www.prysm.us. 383-7450. Rape Crisis Center for S.E. Mass: New Hope, Inc. Advocacy, shelter, services for domestic abuse survivors. Hotline (800) 323HOPE. Office (508)226-4015. RI Coalition Against Domestic Violence: 24hr helpline: (800) 494-8100. 467-9940. RI Rainbow Support Group: For people with disabilities who identify as LGBTQ. Last Tuesday. 98 Rolfe Street, Cranston. 6-7:30pm. Contact Ken Renaud. 785-2100. Samaritans: 24hr hotline for suicidal, lonely, despairing, depressed. (800) 365-4044. 272-4044 (RI only). www.samaritansri.org. Seven Hills Behavioral Health: HIV Prevention and Screening. 310 South Main Street, Fall River, MA. (508) 2351012. T.W.I.S.T. (508) 672-0378. Sexual Health Education & Advocacy Program: HIV, sexual wellness, domestic violence risk reduction. Free, confidential, bilingual (Spanish). No caller ID used. Calls blocked for safety. 861-6191 ext. 121. Sojourner House: Call for confidential support group. Support, shelter, advocacy and information for people in abusive relationships. Including specific LGBT services. No caller ID used. Outgoing calls blocked for safety. 24hr helpline. 765-3232. 861-6191. Office 861-6191. www.sojournerri.org.

St. Mary’s Home for Children: Sexual abuse treatment for children. 450 Fruit Hill Ave., No. Providence. www.smhfc.org. Adam Cable, 353-3900. Straight Spouses: Groups and online support. www.straightspouse.org. TGI Network of RI: Support, advocacy for transgender, transsexual, gender-variant and/or intersex people. Borderlands peer group 1st & 3d Tues. and 1st & 3d Sat. of the month. Location & information: 441-5058. info@tginetwork. org. www.tginetwork.org. Trans* Partners New England: Gives romantic partners of transgender people a confidential, safe space to explore the impact of a loved one’s gender identity on their relationships, and to connect with other loved ones of transgender people. First Wednesday 6:30-8:30pm. Providence. Location unpublished for privacy. partners@tginetwork.org. Trans* Youth Family Allies: Support for gender-variant and transgender children ages 3-18. info@imatyfa.org, www.imatyfa.org. Transgender American Veterans Association (TAVA): Growing organization to address the concerns of fair treatment of transgender veterans and active duty service members. www.tavausa.org. Women’s Resource Center of Newport and Bristol Counties: Offering services to victims of domestic violence. 846-5263. www.wrcnbc.org.

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Profile for Options Magazine

Options Magazine April/May 2020  

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