__MAIN_TEXT__
feature-image

Page 1

February/March 2020

Family Planning Transformative Sports APRI Turns 35

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


options

February/March 2020


IN THIS ISSUE: 12

13 5

From the Editor

5 Advertisers 6 From the Board of Directors 6 Options Donor Acknowledgement 8 Calendar

24

10

News Briefs

12

Passages: Dexter "YoYo" K. Colston Jr.

13

Family Planning Options

15 Felicitations 16

Out on the Town

18

Aids Project RI Turns 35

19

20

Transosaurus Rex

20

Transformative Power of Sports

22

Report from SAGE/RI

22

Be a Part of Pride

23

Open Door Health Opens March 2

24

Queer Studies at RI College

25

Resources

31

News from TGI Network

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 April/May 2020 issue must be delivered by March 13.

optionsri.org

3


4

options

February/March 2020


options

From the Editor-in-Chief

Rhode Island’s lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer community news source since 1982.

Dear Reader, The fight for LGBTQ rights marches on in Rhode Island, with advocates pushing the state legislature to update parentage laws to unburden queer parents of invasive scrutiny and expensive legalities to ensure their children are lawfully theirs. (p. 10) Personally speaking, these laws can’t pass fast enough for my growing family. Love makes a family, true, but our cover story on family planning delves into the choices and necessities along the paths of adoption or biology that you’ll need to consider to include children in your LGBTQheaded family. (p. 13) Perhaps you’ve resolved to be more active in 2020. Fortunately there have never been more options for local queers of varying abilities to sweat together in sport. Writer Ricky Mejia has found that the binding force of local LGBTQ athletic leagues is not competition; it’s acceptance. (p. 20) There is more I could highlight in this issue, but space demands brevity of your editor. I’ll sign off with immense gratitude to our donors, without whom we literally could not have printed this issue. (p. 6) Thank you, donors, for your generosity. Go forth and multiply!

February/March 2020 Volume XXXVIII, Issue 5

Editor-in-Chief Jen Stevens jen@optionsri.org Resources Editor Myra Shays resources@optionsri.org Copy Editors Rex LeBeau, Ricky Mejia, Carson Pavao, Myra Shays Graphic & Layout Design Koki Mendis Online Content Manager Daniel Restrepo danielcanorestrepo@gmail.com

In solidarity,

Contributors

Jen Stevens

Felicia Nimue Ackerman, Ashley Delgado, Cathy Gorman,Tyler Hargis, Ethan Huckel, Rex LeBeau, Ricky Mejia, Jonathan Lucero McKinney, Abigail Nilsson,

Advertisers

Jen (left) and family.

Ray Sirico, Myra Shays, Jen Stevens, Kim Stewell, Mikel Wadewitz Photographers

2

Rhode Island Pride

11 Devereux Therapuetic Foster Care

4

PVD City Council Candidate Town Hall

11 East Coast Mental Wellness

5

Providence Flea

21 Neighborhood Health Plan of RI

7

Firex: Fire Extinguisher Services & Sales

25 Michael O’Mara, Counseling and

7

Insperiors: Inspired Interiors

7

Meeting Street: The Grace School

31 Friends of Toto

7

Law Office of Dawn Euer

32 Blue Cross Blue Shield of RI

9

Campus Fine Wines

Psychotherapy

Jen Bonin, Alejandro E. Carvajal Directors Ashley Delgado, Dr. Mike Marrapodi Advertising advertising@optionsri.org Calendar calendar@optionsri.org

Contact Us info@optionsri.org PO Box 6406 Providence, RI 02940 401-217-3939 www.optionsri.org Cover: Leighton Fernandes Family Photo by: Jen Bonin

optionsri.org

5


From the Board of Directors Dear Readers, Welcome to Options’ love-inspired February/March issue! Love is presented in many ways within our vibrant and resilient community. The goal of this issue is to thoughtfully continue sharing various forms of love, presented throughout these pages and delivered warmly to your hearts. Love is our ongoing efforts for inclusion, and recognizing that there is always more to learn. It is our strength to keep fighting, advocating, and protesting, and our bravery to continue loving in the way that feels best and right for us. Our community is founded on the principles of love for self and others, and we will continue to share this love fiercely. Options is grateful for your response to our calls for help. Thank you to our dedicated team, our loyal readers, advertisers, and donors who keep the presses printing. The Options team is considering alternative possibilities for publication, and is working toward better access to our online content. We are still in need of your support, and are recruiting board members and volunteers. Our ideal board would reflect our diverse community, and would include individuals who are committed to the empowerment of LGBTQIA2S+ people and have a passion for positive social change. February is Black History Month! Let’s express gratitude for heroes such as James Baldwin, Stormé DeLarverie, Marsha P. Johnson, Bayard Rustin, Audre Lorde, and Moms Mabley for the ways they used their strengths, and created movements that positively affect us today. We value these individuals for their truth and passion and we appreciate their contributions to each community they championed. Let’s actively show love within our community by respecting and embracing people's experiences and intersections. It's important to have Options! We hope to continue to provide this resource for our community, as it tends to end up in the hands of those who need it. Please email me (optionsmagazine1982@gmail.com) if you are interested in learning how you can help. We have needs in all areas, from small to more substantial time commitments. Wishing you a lovely February and March, Ashley Delgado Options Board Member

Options Donor Hall of Fame Ali and Toni Gorman

Bruce Ingham

Donna Heroux-Everson

Amanda Minor

Cat Ganim

Leah VanWey

Andrew Lewandowski

David Regine

Linda Snelling

Beth Milham

Denise Crooks

Lizabeth Bourret

Mike Marrapodi & Bill Wade Nostalgia - Jim Fennessy Raffaello La Mantia

Ronald K. Nelson Steven McCloy Timothy Empkie William Eyman

More Fabulous Donors

6

Alexandre Papa

Debbie DeCarlo

Greta L Cohen

Lionel Savaria

Richard M Medeiros

Alfred Anzevino

Donna & John Ahearn

In honor of Arthur Snow

Louise Chapman

Sarah De Ris

Anonymous

Douglas Shapiro

Mariah King

Shannon Brennan

Billy Mencer Ackerly

Elda Dawber

James L. Dawson

Martha Stone

Steven Pennell

Bradford Greer

Elizabeth Edgerly

Jamie Lee Roper

Martin Costa

Susan Glatki

Bryan Conti

Elizabeth Wilson

Jen Stevens

Michael A. Nardone

Vincent Toti

Cheryl Cimini

Evan Nelson

Jenn Lepine

Myra Shays

Cheryl Duarte

Frank Carrano

Joanne Rich

Paula Carmichael

Claudette Rinfret

George Golini

Judith Mendelsohn

Rebecca Oliver

Kody Harrison

Richard Hite

Daniel Blackford options

George J. Lewis2020 February/March

& Cal Krichmar


FI R E SU PPR ESSI O N A N D SA FETY

FI R E EX TI N GU I SH ER S SA L ES & I N SPECTI O N

SU PR ESSI O N SY STEM FO R K I TCH EN S

www.firexri.com (401) 683-5200

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.

optionsri.org

7


CALENDAR February Sun 2

2.2 2.2 Drag Drag Brunch Brunch

Drag Brunch, 12-2pm. Massimo Restaurant, 134 Atwells Avenue, Providence. Glitz, glam, and humor with Drag in RI girls Jacqueline DiMera, LaDiva Jonz, and Vi’let. Reservations encouraged at 273-0650. 25th Annual Langston Hughes Community Poetry Reading, 1pm. Providence Career & Technical Academy, 41 Fricker Street, Providence. Hughes’s powerful, poignant, and often amusing works are read aloud by members of the community, accompanied by Becky Bass and Friends. Coordinated by the Langston Hughes Community Poetry Reading Committee. Refreshments following the reading. Free admission. Sober Super Bowl, 6pm. Health Equity Zone West Warwick, 1229 Main Street, West Warwick. Join Thundermist Health Center and RICAREs for a Sober Super Bowl with snacks and beverages. For more info, email Cathy at CathyS@ ThundermistHealth.org.

2.8 Kim trusty

Mon 3, 10, 17, 24

2.14 womxn's night

Free Play Arcade GAYme night, 7pm1am. Free Play, 182 Pine Street, Providence. Over 115 vintage arcade games, pinball, skee ball, and drag shows. All games set to free play. 18+. $4 cover to benefit RI Pride. For more info, visit the FreePlayGaymeNight Facebook page.

Thu 6, 13, 20, 27 Frontrunners RI weekly run/walk, 6pm. Meet at the north end of Blackstone Blvd. path near Three Sisters Restaurant. Runs are 3-5 miles. All levels welcome. For weekly updates, frontrunnersri.com or email frontrunnersri@gmail.com.

2.15 newportout social

2.20 APRI 35th Anniversary 8

options

Wed 4 SAGE/Care workshop (Series 1, Workshop 3): Community-based Agencies, 8am-noon. Radisson Hotel, 2081 Post Road,Warwick. An initiative to improve the quality of care for LGBT older adults in Rhode Island. Health care and social service providers welcome. Registration $35 at Eventbrite.com. For more info, sageriinfo@gmail.com.

Sat 8 A Wicked Cabaret, shows at 6:30 and 9pm.The Alley Theatre, Middleboro, MA. Hosted by Genesis with performances by Jacqueline DiMera, LaDiva Jones, and

February/March 2020

Haley Star. $20 advanced (508-9461071). $20 door. Kim Trusty, Cathy Clasper-Torch, and Partington & Sweeney, 8-10:30pm. Blackstone River Theatre, 549 Broad St, Cumberland. Live music. $16 advanced (508-946-1071). $18 door. Poppy Champlin and Friends with guest Karen O’Donnell, 8pm. Pump House Music Works, 1464 Kingstown Rd, South Kingstown. Stand up comedy show. $15 tickets at Brownpapertickets.com. $20 at the door.

Sun 9 The Providence Flea, 11am-5pm. Waterfire Arts Center, 475 Valley Street, Providence. Market for: vintage goods, artisans, makers, hot coffee, food trucks. Gay-owned and operated. Providenceflea.com. RI Prime Timers, 4:30-7pm. Social, dinner, and networking group for older gay and bi men on second Sundays. For more info, www.riprimetimers.org or call Steve at 996-3010.

FRI 14 Womxn’s Night: Queer Open Mic, 7pm1am. Askew, 150 Chestnut Street, Providence. Want to sing a song, dance a dance, slam or gently read a poem? This is your stage and your night to do your thing. Jodi Jolt and The Volt perform live following the open mic. For more info, facebook.com/WomxnsNight. (Photo by Paul Martin.)

SAT 15 NewportOut’s Winter Social: A Fundraiser for Newport Pride 2020, 3-6pm. Marriott Newport, 25 America's Cup Avenue, Newport. Networking event with entertainment and refreshments. $15 admission benefits Newport Pride 2020. All LGBTQ+ folks, friends, and allies are encouraged to attend. Visit newportout.com for more information. RSVP through Eventbrite. (Photo by Jen Bonin.)

Sun 16

Interweave potluck and programming, 5:30pm. Parish Hall of Channing Memorial Church, 135 Pelham Street, Newport. All welcome. Bring a dish to share. Interweave is Channing's group for LGBTQ people and allies. For more information, contact Rex at interweave@ channingmemorial.org.

wed 19 Queer Book Club, 7-9:30pm. Third Wednesdays at Books on the Square, 471 Angell Street, Providence. Discussing Find Me by André Aciman. For more info, email queerbookclub@gmail.com or join the Providence Queer Book Club Facebook group.

THU 20 AIDS Project RI’s 35th Anniversary Red Ribbon Cocktail Gala, 5:30pm. G Ballroom, 100 Dorrance Street, Providence. Featuring Bruce Richman of the U=U/Prevention Access Campaign. $100. Info and tix at aidsprojectri.org/ celebrate. Drag Bingo: Hurray for Love Valentines Bingo!, 6-9pm. Riviera Bingo Palace, 1612 Elmwood Avenue, Cranston. Hosted by Haley Star and LaDiva Jonz. $20 gets you in all games with over $2,000 in cash and prizes awarded monthly. 18+. No alcohol. All funds raised benefit AIDS Care Ocean State. For reservations, email bingo@aidscareoceanstate.org with name, number of people, and phone number. LGBTQIA+ Town Hall with Providence Ward 1 City Council Candidates, 6:30 seating/7pm discussion. URI Feinstein Campus, Paff Auditorium, 80 Washington Street, Providence. (Photo by Paul Martin.)

fri 21 SAGE LGBT Café, noon-2pm. Church of the Transfiguration, 1665 Broad Street, Cranston. A delicious, low-cost lunch in a gay-friendly setting on third Fridays sponsored by Meals on Wheels, the Department of Elderly Affairs, and SAGE-RI. $3 donation suggested for LGBT people 60+ and people with disabilities; $6 donation suggested for all others. Reservations required. Call Pauline at 351-6700.

wed 26 The SAGE/RI’s LGBT History Club, 2-4pm. Church of the Transfiguration, 1665 Broad Street, Cranston. Informal gathering to learn and preserve LGBT history. All are welcome. Bring pictures, memorabilia, and recollections. For more info, sageriinfo@gmail.com.

sat 29 RI Women’s Association Dance, 6:3011:30pm. The Nelson, 225 Niantic Avenue, Cranston. DJ Karen, cash bar, food menu. Members free/guests $12. For info, riwa.net.


2.20 Candidate Forum

March SUN 1

sun 8

sun 22

The Providence Flea, 11am-5pm. Waterfire Arts Center, 475 Valley Street, Providence. Market for: vintage goods, artisans, makers, hot coffee, food trucks. Gay-owned and operated. Providenceflea.com.

RI Prime Timers, 4:30-7pm. Social, dinner, and networking group for older gay and bi men on second Sundays. For more info, www.riprimetimers.org or call Steve at 996-3010.

The Providence Flea, 11am-5pm. Waterfire Arts Center, 475 Valley Street, Providence. Market for: vintage goods, artwisans, makers, hot coffee, food trucks. Gay-owned and operated. Providenceflea.com.

Drag Brunch, 12-2pm. Massimo Restaurant, 134 Atwells Avenue, Providence. Glitz, glam, and humor with Drag in RI girls Jacqueline DiMera, LaDiva Jonz, and Vi’let. Reservations encouraged at 273-0650. 20th Anniversary RI Pride Goddess Show, doors noon/show 1-6pm. Celebration of Women in the Arts featuring: Mary Day, Kim Trusty, Mary Ann Rossoni, Karen O’Donnell, Young Kaii, Ashley Delgado, Sarah Rich & Invincible We, Jen Minuto & the Better Angels, and more. For tix and info, prideri.org.

Mon 2 Open Door Health Ribbon Cutting, 10am. 7 Central Street, Providence.

mon 2, 9, 16, 23, 30 Free Play Arcade GAYme night, 7pm1am. Free Play, 182 Pine Street, Providence. Over 115 vintage arcade games, pinball, skee ball, and drag shows. All games set to free play. 18+. $4 cover to benefit RI Pride. For more info, visit the FreePlayGaymeNight Facebook page.

thur 5, 12, 19, 26 Frontrunners RI weekly run/walk, 6pm. Meet at the north end of Blackstone Blvd. path near Three Sisters Restaurant. Runs are 3-5 miles. All levels welcome. For weekly updates, frontrunnersri.com or email frontrunnersri@gmail.com.

FRi 6 Chris Pureka, 8pm. Askew, 150 Chestnut Street, Providence. Tickets at Eventbrite. com.

mon 9 Thundermist Health Center Annual Breakfast Meeting, 7:30pm. Crowne Plaza, 801 Greenwich Avenue, Warwick. Individual tickets $35, tables of ten $300. Student rates available upon request. Contact Kayla Mudge at KaylaM@ ThundermistHealth.org or 401-7674100 ext. 4208 with questions.

thu 12 Sweet Little Variety Show, 8-10-pm. Askew, 150 Chestnut Street, Providence. Featuring Empress & The Night Moves, Arolin Hughes, Jacob Haller, Christopher Johnson, host Eva Destruction, and more. $7. 18+ unless accompanied by an adult. Food and drink available. For details, facebook.com/ sweetlittlevarietyshow and sweetlittlevarietyshow.com.

Sun 15

Interweave potluck and programming, 5:30pm. Parish Hall of Channing Memorial Church, 135 Pelham Street, Newport. All welcome. Bring a dish to share. Interweave is Channing's group for LGBTQ people and allies. For more information, contact Rex at interweave@ channingmemorial.org.

wed 25

SAGE/RI’s LGBT History Club, 2-4pm. Church of the Transfiguration, 1665 Broad Street, Cranston. Informal gathering to learn and preserve LGBT history. All are welcome. Bring pictures, memorabilia, and recollections. For more info, sageriinfo@gmail.com.

3.1 Goddess Show

Visit OptionsRI.org/calendarplus for updated event information. See Resources on page 25 for regularly scheduled support group meetings. Email your event information to: Calendar@Optionsri.org.

3.2 Open door health open kickoff

wed 18 Queer Book Club, 7-9:30pm. Third Wednesdays at Books on the Square, 471 Angell Street, Providence. Discussing La Bastarda by Trifonia Melibea Obono. For more info, email queerbookclub@ gmail.com or join the Providence Queer Book Club Facebook group.

thu 19 Drag Bingo: End of the Rainbow, 6-9pm. Riviera Bingo Palace, 1612 Elmwood Avenue, Cranston. Hosted by Haley Star and LaDiva Jonz. $20 gets you in all games with over $2,000 in cash and prizes awarded monthly. 18+. No alcohol. Theme dress encouraged. All funds raised benefit AIDS Care Ocean State. For reservations, email bingo@ aidscareoceanstate.org with name, number of people, and phone number.

fri 20 SAGE LGBT Café, noon-2pm. Church of the Transfiguration, 1665 Broad Street, Cranston. A delicious, low-cost lunch in a gay-friendly setting on third Fridays sponsored by Meals on Wheels, the Department of Elderly Affairs, and SAGE-RI. $3 donation suggested for LGBT people 60+ and people with disabilities; $6 donation suggested for all others. Reservations required. Call Pauline at 351-6700.

optionsri.org

9


NEWS BRIEFS: Buttigieg Campaign Moved Fundraiser Due to "Dancer Pole" On January 17, Chasten Buttigieg, husband of Pete Buttigieg, presidential hopeful and former mayor of South Bend, IN, was slated to headline a fundraiser at the Dark Lady in downtown Providence. Buttigieg, the first openly gay candidate to mount a major campaign for president, has been endorsed by Providence Mayor Jorge Elorza and is believed to be in the top tier of candidates in the runup to the Democratic primaries. But campaign workers who arrived at the club ahead of the event asked the staff to remove the "dancing pole" in the middle of the club. Manager Buck Asprinio refused, saying, "It's been here since we opened and it's not going anywhere…. It's part of who we are." He claims the campaign knew in advance the pole was there, and they cancelled with only 20 minutes' notice, sending attendees to the Hotel Providence with no explanation. He regretted that they chose the hotel instead of a "gayoriented" venue. The campaign says it offered to compensate the Dark Lady for the agreed-on price for the event.

by Myra Shays

through surrogacy. Says Julie Keller, coalition member, "RIPE... parents have experienced firsthand the anguish of not being able to establish a clear legal tie to their children. That creates barriers to doing fundamental things like making school or medical decisions, forces parents into…costly legal proceedings and [puts us] at risk." The reform law was passed unanimously by the senate last year but must be re-introduced in this session. Supporting organizations include Adoption RI, TGI Network, GLAD, National Association of Social Workers, RI NOW, and several others.

But the other key piece of the story remains unresolved: that the Port Authority Police Benevolent Association also pushed false claims about HIV and disclosed the suspect's HIV status to CBS, and has not apologized or retracted anything. Many advocacy organizations have reacted with shock and anger, including Gay Men's Health Crisis, ACT-UP NY, Housing Works, and VOCAL-NY.

Home Needle Delivery Offered by ACOS To help prevent the spread of HIV and Hepatitis C among injection drug users, confidential home needle delivery is now offered by the RI Dept. of Health through the ENCORE program of AIDS Care Ocean State (ACOS). The clean needle exchange is also done at locations throughout the state and at ACOS, 557 Broad Street, Providence. ENCORE also provides HIV prevention education, substance abuse treatment, and medical care. For more information about ENCORE and confidential testing, visit aidscareoceanstate.org or call 781-0665.

Coalition Formed to Reform RI Parentage Laws

Reporter Fired for Pushing HIV Fears

Rhode Islanders for Parentage Equality (RIPE) is a coalition launched in early January to pass comprehensive parentage law reform. The state currently has no statutes clarifying parentage for children born through assisted reproduction or

Gay City News (GCN) announced that CBS New York fired a reporter who they say described insensitive and misleading "facts" about HIV/AIDS in early December. His story implied that an HIV-positive man who allegedly spit on a Port Authority police officer

10 options

was somehow putting the officer at risk for the virus, despite the fact that HIV cannot be transmitted by saliva. The reporter also called the alleged spitting incident an "HIV attack" in a tweet. “This online story should not have been published," CBS wrote to GCN.

February/March 2020

Largest LGBTQ-Friendly Housing Site Opens The nation's largest LGBTQ-friendly senior housing complex opened in December on publicly owned land in Brooklyn. Developers of the apartment tower, dubbed Stonewall House in honor of the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall demonstrations, celebrated its opening on St. Edwards Street, managed by the NY City Housing Authority, bringing long-awaited housing to queer seniors. It is well known that older LGBT people are less likely to have family to rely on as they age or become infirm. The 17-story building contains 145 units, all priced below market rates, targeting residents with income of no more than 50 percent of the area's median income, which is $96,100 for a family of three. Applications must include at least one resident aged 62 or older. One quarter of the units are earmarked for formerly homeless households.


optionsri.org

11


Passages:

Dexter “YoYo” K. Colston Jr. 1988-2019 by Tyler Hargis

D

exter “YoYo” K. Colston Jr. was a prominent drag queen and AIDS activist whose years of advocacy work resulted in bringing overlooked issues in our community to the forefront. On December 29, 2019, they passed away peacefully at home with their best friend Courtney and loved ones by their side, at just 31 years old. Dark Lady proprietor Rande Diantuono said that their name choice of YoYo for their drag persona “ironically described the colorful ups and downs and tangled ways of this very special person’s life, who opened many eyes to a different way of thinking, to help

and the trans community. They lived and breathed Pride here in Rhode Island,

They always intentionally created space for queer people of color, folks in wheelchairs, and the trans community. understand a more current dynamic of a diverse and struggling community.” YoYo/Dexter cohosted Fly Fridays and bartended in drag at the Dark Lady, a queer nightclub located in downtown Providence. The Dark Lady was where YoYo/Dexter found their family, as it provided them both support and a platform to create change as an openly queer person overcoming addiction and living with HIV. We were blessed to witness YoYo/Dexter’s advocacy work for misrepresented groups with Pride, Worlds AIDS Day, and during their reign as Miss Gay RI 2018, to name a few. No matter what the occasion, they always intentionally created space for queer people of color, folks in wheelchairs,

12 options

often reminding folks it all started at Stonewall in 1969, with trans women of color, and it was a riot. A celebration of life was held January 12 at the Dark Lady with speeches, drag performances, and refreshments. The place was packed with a diverse crowd that celebrated YoYo/Dexter’s legacy. When YoYo/Dexter began their battle with cancer a year ago, they knew they needed to be even louder, and remained consistently active in the community. When I addressed the crowd, I fittingly asked everyone to “Cheer for the ways they made you feel important. Echo their

February/March 2020

tenacity and adventurous spirit in the way you live your life. Effect real change in the world, just like they did. Find ways to express yourself and your creativity, whether through drag or other avenues. Be brave, loyal, and caring to one another just as they did for us. To thank YoYo/ Dexter for the memories and friendship that they gave you... embark on your own epic journey as they did so many times.” In November 2019, YoYo/Dexter was honored with the annual Spirit of Pride Award for their commitment and dedication to Rhode Island Pride and the broader LGBTQIA+ community. The RI Pride board of directors also posthumously named YoYo/Dexter as an Honorary Marshall of the Illuminated Night Pride Parade this June 20, 2020. Now it’s our duty to carry the torch to fight for what’s just.

As YoYo/Dexter would say quoting Keith Haring: “Ignorance=Fear. Silence=Death. Fight AIDS. Act Up!”


Family Planning: Options for LGBTQ Couples by Jonathan Lucero McKinney

Denise and family

W

ith over 114,000 samesex couples raising children around the U.S., our desire to become parents and build a family around love and equality has never been more accepted than it is today. Descrimination on this front has been a long fought battle, and there still exists legislation that may prevent you and your partner from sharing a child to love and raise as your own. Marriage equality – check! Family planning – check minus? Let’s discuss why. To review the obvious, LGBTQ couples make pretty fabulous parents. The National Longitudinal Lesbian Family Study is the longest known study following children of LGBTQ couples. It published results in the New England Journal of Medicine stating that children raised entirely by same-sex female couples have outcomes no different from children raised by male-female couples. These children, now in their mid-20’s, scored the same compared to children reared by male-female couples on metrics of social functioning, mental health, education and job performance, and virtually all measurable life outcomes. Another study by the University of Kentucky published in Developmental Psychology (2016) followed same-sex male, same-sex female, and male-female couples which concluded the same results: children raised in an abundance

of love and support perform well, independent of their parent’s sexual orientation. As Cornell University cites in its research on public policy, there is an overwhelming scholarly consensus that having gay or lesbian parents does not harm children. In the beginning of 2019, FamilyEquity. org stated that 63% of LGBTQ millenials expect to become parents and have children. The most common methods are assisted reproductive technology and adoption. Let’s break each of these down and identify tips to help you plan for parenthood.

In the beginning of 2019, FamilyEquity.org stated that 63% of LGBTQ millenials expect to become parents and have children.

Assisted Reproductive Technology Sperm. Egg. Womb. Fundamentally, these three components are needed to make a baby, and a couple can decide to modify literally every component,

depending on the biology of the couple. Whatever your couple’s biology, you’ll need to figure out which permutation of sperm, egg, and womb is right for you. Sperm. You’ll need to decide who donates the sperm. Regardless if it’s just one partner, both partners, or an anonymous donor, the sperm will be analyzed for its ability to make a baby. You can even decide to have the sperm genetically tested for many inherited diseases. Denise Crooks, a bisexual/queer woman living with her wife in Rhode Island, decided to use donor sperm for intrauterine insemination. A month after getting married in 2011, the two eagerly planned to grow their family. Today, the couple have a seven-year-old son and a one-year-old daughter. The cheek-pinching cuteness of their kiddos is unmeasurable, just like the love Denise and her wife share to make this family possible. Egg. Same goes for the egg. If your partnership has two people with an egg, you may need to decide whose egg will be used. Denise’s pregnancy used her egg. Just like the sperm, eggs are screened for viability to create a baby. You can source the egg from egg banks, known egg-donors, or use your own – that is, if you happen to have them.

optionsri.org

13


Family Planning Continued Womb. Who will carry the child through gestation? If your relationship has a womb, AKA a uterus, is that partner willing to experience pregnancy? Denise wanted to carry the children, so she opted to be the one with the baby bump. Or, especially for male couples, who will you enlist as a surrogate? Will it be a friend you know, or a stranger you contract with who is willing to help you bring life into this world? When you break it down to three components, it can seem less complicated. But there are medical, legal, and financial issues to consider. LGBTQ couples must decide who will be genetically related to the child. While a family is not defined through genetic similarity, but rather by a shared love among its members, it still raises some concern for prospective parents. Some couples have opted for one partner donating the egg or sperm, and getting a close family member from the other partner to contribute the missing piece of the puzzle. In this scenario, there is genetic information connecting both partners to the baby.

The National LGBT Health Education Center estimates that the process of assisted reproductive technology can cost upwards of $120,000 depending on your permutation of sperm, egg, and womb. Another critical point is legal issues. Some states do not recognize surrogate contracts in a court of law. It is crucial that you consult with surrogacy professionals and an attorney who is familiar with laws in your state. The National LGBT Health Education Center estimates that the process of assisted reproductive technology can cost upwards of $120,000 depending on your permutation of sperm, egg, and womb. That’s a lot of dough to put a bun in the oven! It’s important to plan for these costs. Denise, speaking about her intrauterine insemination, commented “...each round was about $1,000 altogether, through the alternative insemination program at Fenway Community Health Center.” Healthcare.gov states that the same health insurance coverage offered to married opposite-sex couples must be offered to married LGBTQ couples. There should be no discrimination in coverage as long as the couple is legally married, but still, not all insurance companies are required to cover fertility or assisted reproductive technologies. Denise’s health insurance would not cover the cost of intrauterine insemination, because they did not consider the couple infertile, according to medical definition. She would need to try 12-months of inseminations before any coverage would kick in. Call your insurance company and see what services they cover. For example, Starbucks employees have expanded fertility coverage, maximum reimbursements, and equal coverage for LGBTQ couples. If your coverage does not include these

14 options

February/March 2020

benefits, you may need to turn to other programs for financial help. Tax benefits from various inclusive programs or a flexible health savings account could help fund your baby-making process. The administrator of your benefits at work can answer questions about what is offered. Notably, parentage laws in Rhode Island are about 40 years old, and currently do not recognize legal rights to surrogate parents or parentage for children through assisted reproductive technologies. This means that in the eyes of our antiquated laws, your child may not be YOUR child. LGBTQ parents become forced into a costly and lengthy adoption process to legally secure parentage. Denise and her wife face this exact dilemma. Using an anonymous sperm donor meant there would be no risk of that person having any legal claim to the child, but currently only Denise has full parental rights to their children. Her wife, although on the birth certificates for both children, does not have full parentage. They would need to go through a second parent adoption. “We haven’t done that yet. It is a burdensome, invasive, expensive process in Rhode Island that involves a home study by DCYF, an extensive packet of intrusive questions, and parents have been required to place an ad in the paper for the anonymous sperm donor to have the opportunity to step forward and assert a claim on your own child,” says Denise. Legislation in the form of the Rhode Island Parentage Act (RIPA), passed in the Senate last year, seeks to fill the legal holes which many LGBTQ couples are falling into, like Denise and her wife. The couple worked with an especially bold coalition of LGBTQ parents, called RIPE (Rhode Islanders for Parentage Equality), who are diligently working to pass RIPA and protect all families. It’s currently held up in the House Judiciary Committee and advocates believe this will be addressed this year. Visit Glad. org/rhode-islanders-for-parentage-equality for some amazing stories and to learn about the local resources available to you. Fostering and Adoption Adoption is a legal process that grants adoptive parents permanent parental rights over a child, and severs parental rights from the birth parents. Fostering is a different concept,


where legal guardianship is not granted to the foster parents, but they still hold responsibility for the wellbeing of the children. Adoption laws vary widely from state to state, and there are still states that reserve the right to deny adoption rights based on the parents’ sexual orientation. (Insert red-angry-face emoji here.) A public adoption in the U.S can be extremely affordable for LGBTQ couples, yet international private adoption agencies can run upwards of $50,000. Just over a fifth of all LGBTQ couples with children have chosen the adoption route, making us significantly more likely to adopt children than opposite-sex couples. Michael Leighton and Marc Fernandes decided to become foster parents after realizing that something was missing in their family. They had so much more love to give, and they wanted to start growing their family. They signed up for some courses, became licensed foster parents, and then they waited. Michael states, “A few months went by, we contacted Family Service of Rhode Island, and we’re so thankful that we did.” They describe the detailed adoption questionnaire and the financial strain that this process can incur, but in the end, it was totally worth it. “We will never forget that April day when we received a telephone call from Family Service of Rhode Island. They told us they had two children, a 9-month-old girl and a 22-month-old boy, ready for foster care. [They asked] if we would be interested in reading their file.” With much joy and surprise, Michael and Marc would meet and become official foster parents to siblings Zendaiya and Jaydais the next day. The couple is grateful to the Department of Children, Youth and Families, and especially for Family Service of Rhode Island for making the process a smooth one. Michael and Marc fostered for two years, and many everyday struggles occurred, just like in any family. Their relationship was tested and they note, “At times it was a nightmare, but we

stuck it out – that is what families do.” The interracial family got sideways glances from other families, and outright bewilderment of why the two men would want kids in the first place. There was even an incident at a restaurant where another family asked to sit in a different location because Michael and Marc’s family was making them uncomfortable. They comment, “The one constant that kept us strong were these two little children who had been entrusted to our care.” These guys handled any adversity that came their way with grace. A new chapter began for their family when a court decision was made to begin the process of an open legal adoption.Today, their family is four members strong, with Zendaiya, who is in love with gymnastics and ballet, and Jaydais who enjoys reading and challenges anyone to a game on his Nintendo. They are nurtured by two married men whose lives “have been blessed beyond words.” That is clear when you look at a picture of this adorable family. To summarize: LGBTQ couples want the same access to family planning that opposite-sex couples have. Due to the nature of how baby-making works, there is often a fundamental missing piece in LGBTQ couples who want to grow their family. Thankfully modern technology and growing adoption resources have given us more options than we’ve ever had, but it’s clear that there is still work to be done. RIPE is working towards equality, and they serve as a testament that we all need to speak up for equality with our local government. Use their website as a launching pad and resource to plan for your own family. Parentage is a right that we all have, and if that is your wish, don’t let it be squandered because of a few hurdles. Jonathan Lucero McKinney is a clinical consultant and medical writer passionate about public health education. He lives with his boyfriend in Providence.

Felicitations

By Felicia Nimue Ackerman

Caleb's Song I'm coming out now; it's Valentine's Day.

White House Renovation

So look at me, folks; I'm proud to be gay.

Forge ahead with Mayor Pete.

I'm happy to tell you I deeply love Mike.

Make our progress more complete.

And if you don't like it, then go take a hike.

Ready, clever, thoughtful, witty, Skillful at the nitty-gritty, Poised for driving Trump away, Plus, he'll make the White House gay!


OUT ON THE TOWN Pride on Ice

Bank Newport City Center Providence - Dec. 6, 2019 Photos by Jen Bonin Curated by Kim Stowell


Shade Range

Columbus Theatre, Providence - Dec. 7, 2019 Photos by Alejandro E. Carvajal Curated by Kim Stowell


AIDS Project RI Marks 35 Yrs with Bruce Richman of U=U by Mikel Wadewitz, Director, AIDS Project Rhode Island (APRI)

W

e are nearly 40 years into the AIDS epidemic, and we stand at a moment full of opportunity to finally end it. The search for a vaccine continues. Medications are better than they’ve ever been, and can ensure people living with HIV achieve viral suppression, and thereby cannot pass on the virus. PrEP is almost 100% effective in preventing HIV transmission. And nearly 100 countries are now partnering on getting the Undetectable = Untransmittable (U=U) message out to the public and healthcare providers to make sure people know that if they are virally suppressed, they cannot pass on HIV. The man who started U=U is Bruce Richman, a Rhode Island native who founded Prevention Access Campaign. Bruce has worked in philanthropy and social change for over 25 years, developing cause-related initiatives for high-profile people and brands. In 2012, nine years after his diagnosis, Bruce learned that if HIV is undetectable it is untransmittable. After recognizing that people with HIV and the public were not being informed about this groundbreaking science, he joined with activists and researchers to create a consensus on the science, and to ensure it reaches the people it was intended to benefit. Thus, the U=U campaign was born. Bruce and the U=U campaign have been featured extensively in national and international media. He has been honored by many organizations and

18 options

publications, including Plus Magazine, which named Bruce #1 among the “Most Amazing HIV+ People of 2018." In 2019, Bruce received the Red Ribbon Award from the Vietnam Network of People Living With HIV. And Congress has officially recognized Prevention Access Campaign and U=U. Bruce will be the featured speaker at AIDS Project Rhode Island’s Red Ribbon Cocktail Gala on February 20, marking our landmark 35th anniversary. In advance of that event, I chatted with Bruce about his activism, the future of the fight against HIV, and how U=U has been a game-changer on both local and international levels. Mikel Wadewitz: Have you always considered yourself an HIV activist? Bruce Richman: I’d say I was always an activist at heart since I was a kid growing up in Rhode Island, always challenging the systems that were unfair or unjust. It was my mother who taught me about social justice at a young age and she still does! M: What was the inspiration for you to start Prevention Access Campaign (PAC) and U=U? B: When I learned in 2012, nine years after I was diagnosed, that I couldn’t pass on HIV, it changed my life. I never imagined that I could love, have sex, or conceive children without fear of passing on HIV. That fear had always been present, and I hadn’t allowed myself to love. U=U was

February/March 2020

Bruce Richman a dream come true. But I quickly realized that literally millions of people weren’t being told. Millions of people with HIV were and still are suffering because they and others think they’re infectious. And they’re not infectious. I saw this as a massive global human rights issue. Something had to be done. M: What has been one of the biggest challenges for you since you launched PAC and U=U? B: The biggest challenge surprisingly came from a handful of community organizations. I thought moving federal departments like the CDC would be the most difficult. People are invested in keeping things the way they are, even if change is good for them and their community. M: What do you see as one of the biggest opportunities for the U=U message right now?


B: I’m excited about the opportunity to use U=U in advocacy to increase access and remove barriers to HIV treatment. Policymakers are learning that if people with HIV have the treatment and services they need to get to undetectable, they stay healthy and eliminate new sexual transmission. In other words: If we want to end the epidemic, we’ll invest in the well-being of people with HIV.

leadership that has kept us where we are.

M: What does the future of HIV activism look like to you? Can we end the epidemic?

M: You’ll be coming back to your home state for our anniversary event. How does that make you feel? Has Rhode Island changed all that much since you grew up here?

B: With U=U as the foundation, and PrEP, we can end the epidemic. But in the United States almost half of the one million people with HIV are not getting the treatment and care they need to get to undetectable. Most are declining in health and are able to pass on the virus. We need new solutions and innovation, and we can’t go back to the same

I think the people and organizations that challenged the status quo as part of the U=U campaign are exactly the kind of leaders and innovators that can get us there. Many were the first in their states, like APRI, to speak out and say U=U when most of the world was silent. That’s the kind of leadership we need.

B: Providence is my favorite city, and my family is in the area so I come back a lot, and it always feels like home. I’d been impressed with APRI’s commitment to U=U, so I was excited and honored to be invited back to speak. I’m proud that Rhode Island was the twelfth state health

department in the country to sign on to the U=U campaign, and it’s really moving to know that my work has helped make a difference in the state that I love so much.

APRI’s Red Ribbon Cocktail Gala happens February 20 at 5:30pm at the Ballroom at the Providence G in downtown Providence. To purchase a ticket, visit aidsprojcetri.org/ celebrate. Proceeds from the event support the services APRI provides for people living with, affected by, and at risk for HIV. For more information, call (401) 8315522, visit aidsprojectri.org, facebook.com/ AIDSProjectRhodeIsland, or twitter.com/ AIDSProjectRI. APRI is a division of Family Service of Rhode Island.

optionsri.org

19


The Transformative power of joining an LGBT Sports League by Ricky Mejia

A

round three years ago, I strolled into a gay bar, sat, and asked the bartender for a drink – classic vodka cranberry. While scrolling through my phone and sipping, I overheard the bartender speaking with someone about volleyball. I had recently started playing volleyball at my local Y, and became infatuated with the sport, and eager to play more. I nudged into the conversation. “Where is the league? I just started playing, and I would love to continue practicing,” I said to the bartender. “It’s at the Kent County YMCA on Sundays from 3-6pm. It’s called the Ocean State Pride Volleyball League (OSPVL).” An LGBT sports league!? It never occurred to me that a league like that would exist. Before that I’d seen gay people only in association with same-sex love, friends, and clubs or bars – never in a competitive sports environment. To be part of an LGBT team intrigued me beyond belief. I never had a true, substantial connection with the LGBT community. Everything felt superficial. I was struggling with where I fit in with the world, especially when it came to being gay.

20 options

I’ve always been an athlete, and being part of a team sparked my love for sports, but I haven’t felt like I had a community. Joining an LGBT sports league has made me feel part of something that is bigger than me. And that helps others who were like me, lost and confused. My confidence has grown by leaps and bounds, so much so that it has influenced my demeanor and other parts of my life. Being a part of the OSPVL has made me more comfortable in my own skin, and more able to express myself. When I first participated in the volleyball league I was in awe, struck by how everyone seemed to physically move with confidence and grace. They communicated with empathy, strength, and a willingness to help. Everyone radiated light because they were their true authentic selves with so much freedom. I was shocked because I had never seen LGBT people that way before. There was an immediate shift in my thoughts about queer people and myself. It made me feel hopeful about discovering who I was and where I fit in. My nervous energy took over when I first started playing. I had athletic

February/March 2020

ability, but I felt a barrier. My whole life I've conformed to what kept me safe, but now in that environment, the barrier didn’t have to exist. The walls built inside me were tough, and I was wary about whether I could break them. My innate protection was what I had to fight. Don’t get me wrong, this article is not bashing straight leagues. I’m involved in multiple straight volleyball leagues that are amazingly competitive and funspirited. On the other hand, I’ve been involved in straight leagues where I was immediately written off because I was gay. For that reason I’ve always subdued my personality, as if in a cocoon, and focused purely on the sport itself. Of course, prejudices in sports are endured across all minorities, and intersect to include gender, sexual identities, race, etc. Sarah Rich, a player in the Renaissance City Softball League, said “I had been playing in other co-ed ‘straight’ softball leagues around the state and wasn't having a good time. Many of the men, not all but enough, had no faith in the playing ability of women, and it made the game no fun.”There can be a sense of restriction in some straight leagues that isn’t present within their LGBT counterparts.


Matthew Katon had played in many “straight” sports leagues, and describes a change in mindset when he started attending LGBT leagues, including volleyball, basketball, and kickball. “You are subject to judgment and isolation, and you end up building walls in regards to both sports and life. These walls were allowed and encouraged to come down by the teammates and league.” Slowly but surely, the OSPVL started to chip away at my wall. The openness and transparency of the group made me feel safe. It was a competitive environment, but we succeeded in lifting one another up. This quiet and self-conscious boy started to transform. I started engaging with my peers and speaking up. I attended not just to play volleyball, but to engage with wonderful people, who made me feel like myself.

Herson Silva, a player in the Providence Gay Flag Football League, had similar thoughts and stated, “It honestly doesn't feel like a league; it feels like a closeknit gay family. The commissioner had a vision of creating a safe place where you can play a sport and be accepted no matter how you identify, and he nailed it.” The most important thing I learned is that these LGBT leagues are based on acceptance and empowerment, and helping one another be our best selves. Fast forward to January 5, 2020, the beginning of the new volleyball season and decade, and the OSPVL is still growing strong. The turnout is bigger than it’s been in years! Now I find I embody what I first saw in others when I joined the league. I’ve stepped up to be a mentor and leader. I feel passionate about helping new and returning players

become knowledgeable about the sport, while also embracing the qualities of the league. The New Year can be daunting. It’s an opportunity to start fresh. It can also be a time of anxiety, stress, and self-doubt. As I reflect upon 2019, I have to admit it was a bit gloomy for me. There have been some career ups and downs, family health issues, and mental stress. Looking at the glass as being half full, joining an LGBT sports league changed my life. It made me part of a community that’s connected through kindness and acceptance. It has also given me a stronger sense of self and confidence that has seeped into all sectors of my life. Whether you are LGBT or an ally, everyone can find meaning when they join, and make friends along the way!

We make health care easy. Neighborhood has affordable plans for:

• Children and families • Individuals • Small businesses

Contact us today to learn more!

www.nhpri.org optionsri.org

21


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

I

n keeping with its mission, SAGE/RI has planned a wide range of activities for 2020. At press time, the fourth SAGE/ Table, an “After Holiday Intergenerational Dinner,” was set for January 31 at the Hampton Inn in Pawtucket. SAGE/Tables are welcoming to all community members, friends, allies, and new acquaintances, to help celebrate LGBTQ strength and resilience, through good food, music, and conversation. Co-sponsored with RI Pride and the Renaissance City Softball League, this event’s pleasant and convenient venue offers an all-you-can-eat buffet with vegetarian choices. Another collaboration SAGE/RI looks forward to is the “Winter Social: Fundraiser for Pride 2020,” a networking event sponsored by NewportOut on February 15. SAGE/RI’s newly established LGBT History Club has been meeting on the fourth Wednesday of each month at the Church of the Transfiguration in Cranston. Interesting and relevant topics are addressed, at times with special guest presentations. Consider joining to help set the agenda. The Episcopal Charities Fund of Rhode Island has generously provided a grant in support of community outreach activities, including our LGBT Café. Through this funding we’ll explore opportunities for expanding this program beyond the Providence metropolitan area; investigate interest in LGBT Cafés or similar programs in other communities; develop worthwhile programing; and assist participants facing critical unmet needs. SAGE/RI is grateful

22 options

to the Episcopal Charities Fund, as well as the generous partnership offered by the Church of the Transfiguration. This past fall, the first series of SAGE/ RI workshops entitled “Promoting Quality Care for LGBT Older Adults” was successfully completed. Each of three workshops, aimed at healthcare and social service providers, was well attended and well received for the value of information and resources provided. This initiative, supported by a grant from the RI Foundation through the Equity Action fund, continues with a second series of workshops scheduled for March and April to address significant topics in more depth. With support from the Tufts Health Plan Foundation Momentum fund, SAGE/RI is conducting a series of focus groups to better understand the needs and concerns of LGBT older adults. Meetings of 8–10 individuals, age 60+, will be held with pizza and conversation to help identify issues facing LGBT seniors, and to hear suggestions for needed resources. Meetings will take place in Woonsocket, Providence, Aquidneck Island, and South County during March and April in accessible locations with ample parking. We’d especially like seniors who are not already affiliated with SAGE-RI to join us. Please contact Pat at sageriinfo@gmail. com if you are interested, and consider sharing this request with other older LGBT adults. SAGE/RI is an active, all-volunteer organization with an expanding array

February/March 2020

of opportunities for those who are interested in getting involved. Let us know if you have time and talents to help with our outreach and/or organizational development. Many hands make light work! 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.

Be a Part of PrideFest


Open Door Health: opening march 2

W

hile RI has among the highest rates of health insurance coverage in the nation, there is still a disparity in access to care and healthcare utilization for the RI LGBTQ population. RI has among the highest percentage of LGBTQ individuals, yet this population disproportionately experiences poor health outcomes for many chronic and infectious diseases, and mental health. Discrimination and stigma, along with inequitable access to culturally competent care services, cause many LGBTQ individuals not to seek care, to receive inadequate care, or to travel out of Rhode Island to seek care. Located at 7 Central Street in Providence, Open Door Health (ODH) is a program of the RI Public Health Institute (RIPHI) that aims to be an LGBTQ Center of Excellence, providing high-quality, culturally congruent healthcare to RI’s LGBTQ population. ODH’s work is driven by RIPHI’s approach to integrating efforts to advance community health, reduce health disparities, develop innovative programs, and train the public health workforce. ODH will begin by offering express HIV, sexually transmitted

by Dr. Amy Nunn and Dr. Philip Chan disease (STD), and hepatitis C (HCV) screening, given the disproportionate burden among this community. This express screening model is informed by the Dean Street Express Clinic, an LGBTQ health center in London. Patients will receive timely preventative health screenings and follow-up. Patients who require follow up will receive priority appointment slots, as will members of priority populations with greater disease burden. ODH will also provide an important gateway into primary care services and substance use treatment for LGBTQ populations. RIPHI’s team has a strong background in program development, evaluation, and providing clinical services for LGBTQ clients. Both Dr. Amy Nunn, RIPHI’s Executive Director, and Dr. Philip Chan, RIPHI’s Medical Director, have local and national reputations for their novel work with the LGBTQ community. They also have extensive experience conducting research and training health professionals, two services ODH will offer with the goal of improving LGBTQ health. For more info about Open Door Health, visit odhpvd.org. For more info about the Rhode Island Public Health Institute, visit riphi.org.

R

hode Island Pride is excited to announce that it will begin accepting applications through its website, PrideRI.org, for PrideFest sponsors, vendors, Parade participants, and, of course, volunteers! We can't make Pride happen without your help. As we approach our big 50th anniversary in 2026, we've begun gearing up in very big ways, and we have a number of surprises in store for you this year. Folx will see and experience new efforts to broaden our scope and reach to be more inclusive of those who have been historically left out due to marginalization and inaccessibility. Our efforts will culminate in the opening of a brand new LGBTQIA+ Community Center shortly after PrideFest later this year. Options readers are encouraged to nominate worthy community leaders to serve as this year’s Grand Marshal, and to submit their best ideas for this year's

PrideFest theme at tinyurl.com/RIPrideTheme2020. Follow Rhode Island Pride on Facebook to get news about upcoming events, like the 20th Anniversary RI Pride Goddess Show on March 1 and the PrideFest Theme Reveal on March 6. PrideFest will be held on Saturday, June 20, 2020 along South Water Street in Downtown Providence, culminating with our city's world-famous Illuminated Night Pride Parade, which steps off in front of Providence City Hall at 8:30pm. by Ray Sirico Rhode Island Pride is a 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to promoting the visibility, equality, and diversity of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community, and providing a safe space to come out, express, and celebrate all sexual identities and genders. For more information, visit www. prideri.com, email info@prideri.com, or call (401) 467-2130.

optionsri.org

23


RIC Students Unite for Approval of Queer Studies Minor by Abigail Nilsson

F

or years, students such as Sissy Rosso, Derek Sherlock, and Madeleine Dulude (pictured above) have considered queer studies a topic they would like to learn more about in college. Last spring, Leslie Schuster, who heads Rhode Island College’s (RIC) Gender and Women’s Studies program, worked with Dr. Andrea Dottolo, an Associate Professor of Psychology, to run a “trial” class called Introduction to Queer Studies. Sherlock, majoring in English and Gender and Women’s Studies, was one of the first people to sign up for this class. An executive board member of the RIC Pride Alliance, Sherlock encouraged more students to enroll. While many classes at RIC are taught in a traditional lecture style, Dr. Dottolo worked with the students to apply what they had read or watched ahead of time to classroom lessons and real world situations. Student Sissie Rosso said, “While the professor usually sets the tone for the class, I found that the students really made this class. People were a lot more open-minded and willing to learn without negativity.” About half way through the fall semester, a group of students urged Dr. Dottolo

24 options

to elevate queer studies to its own field of study. Dottolo encouraged the students to share their views with Director Schuster, who sat in on a class and then met with students to discuss the possibility. The students and their friends and peers wrote letters to RIC’s administration, sharing their experience and passion for queer studies, as they requested that it become a minor. “As a student, we don’t get to see the administrative part of it, and it was really interesting to learn about,” said Rosso. The large group of students coming together in one class voicing their interest made their wish a reality. “I wasn’t expecting this to happen so soon. I was expecting it to take years,” said student Madeleine Dulude. Dr. Dottolo remarked, “It was a real inspiration for any student group to organize in this way. I feel really strongly about being at RIC because it does serve the working class and people who have many other outside obligations…. The fact that we can offer this, and that these students organized and articulated this, is really inspiring to watch.” said Dottolo. These students from different backgrounds and majors shared the belief that everyone should have a safe

February/March 2020

learning space where they can challenge what they think they know, feel a little uncomfortable, and take what they have learned to teach others. Students are surprised to find what they don’t know about pioneers like Marsha P. Johnson, Harvey Milk, and Adrienne Rich. Queer Studies will ensure students truly understand what happened during the Stonewall Uprising and the AIDS epidemic. It will explore the glitz and glamour alongside the challenges, many of which continue to this today. Interim Provost/Vice President for Academic Affairs Dr. Sue Pearlmutter said, “This new minor reinforces our commitment to teaching our students to explore the world with a critical lens…. The students who advocated for the creation of this program... are intent on specializing in work with the LGBTQ+ community and expressed their need and desire for focused training.” This is the first time Queer Studies will be offered as a minor at a state funded school. Final approvals are expected in March, making it effective for the fall 2020 semester. Abigail Nilsson is a senior at Rhode Island College studying journalism with extensive background in health and wellness.


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

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.

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 programs, advocacy, strength training, prevention education, HIV testing. 9 Pleasant Street, Providence. 831-5522 www.aidsprojectri.org.

optionsri.org

25


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. 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.

26 options

February/March 2020

www.glbtnationalhelpcenter.org. 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. 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

optionsri.org

27


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. 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

28 options

February/March 2020

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. 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. 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. 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 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. 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. 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. 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.

optionsri.org

29


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. 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.

30 options

February/March 2020

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.

Check out RI’s newest comprehensive facility offering dog daycare, boarding, and grooming.

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.

News from TGI Network of Rhode Island by Ethan Huckel

W

e at TGI Network of Rhode Island are excited to be a part of important work being done to address the needs of the trans community. In January, the Trans Action Coalition hosted a listening session with community members and policy makers to identify existing barriers to housing, and to begin a concentrated and coordinated effort to address these barriers. The event turnout was fantastic, and a great deal of energy was generated to carry this work forward. Additionally, we’re fighting for legislation to update our local parentage laws to be inclusive of LGBTQ families, and children born through the use of reproductive technology. Rhode Islanders for Parentage Equality is continuing an effort that stalled late in Rhode Island’s 2019 legislative session. We are hopeful that this year will end more positively. This March, we will host our third annual Empowerment Breakfast for Trans Day of Visibility, where we will gather to celebrate the work being done to benefit our community. We will present awards to a community member and an ally who have, through their advocacy, bettered the lives of transgender and gender diverse Rhode Islanders. Stay tuned for event and award announcements, coming soon.

10,000 sq.ft. of interior play space and 5,000 sq.ft. of exterior play space. Easily located off of Route 95 in Pawtucket. Designed explicitly for and by commuters. A place like home: safe, clean, & fun! Mention this ad and get 10% off your first stay.

TGI Network of Rhode Island is the only statewide organization providing support, advocacy, and education for the transgender, gender-diverse, and intersex community (aka trans community). Incorporated in 2011, our mission is to be a resource for TGI people navigating their lives and the medical and legal systems; to serve as a resource for professionals working with TGI people; and to serve as a liaison between the TGI and LGB communities and the community at large. Visit us at www.tginetwork.org.

245 Esten Avenue, Pawtucket 401-722-TOTO - www.friendsoftoto.com

optionsri.org

31


SOMETIMES FACE-TO-FACE JUST WORKS BETTER. Especially when it comes to finding the right health plan for your family or business. Or when you’re just looking for new and convenient ways to take better care of—you! Your Blue Storessm—located in East Providence, Lincoln, and Warwick— proudly display the Safe Zone logo, affirming our commitment to a diverse and inclusive community where all people feel safe and accepted.

Safe Zone Committed to providing a supportive environment for LGBTQ individuals

Stop by, get what you need, and learn why helping you get more health from your health plan is more than a promise, it’s what we live for.sm

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

32 options

February/March 2020

2019

HR-318236 9/19

Profile for Options Magazine

Options Magazine Feb/March 2020  

Recommendations could not be loaded

Recommendations could not be loaded

Recommendations could not be loaded

Recommendations could not be loaded