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options September 2016




Sharing Identity Shapes Classroom Culture

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Who Needs to Know?

Rhode Island’s LGBTQ Community Magazine Since 1982 - FREE


In This Issue:

Rhode Island’s lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer community news source since 1982. September 2016, Vol.XXXV, Issue 5

Team Fusion RI: Radical Acceptance p. 5

ACOS Welcomes George Marley p. 18

Identity Shapes Classroom Culture

4 From the Editor

p. 22

Too Much in Common p. 29

20 Out on the Town

5 Team Fusion RI: Radical Acceptance 22 Identity Shapes Classroom Culture 6 From the Publisher

25 Back to School with YPI

6 Advertisers

26 TGI Network: Who Needs to Know?

8 Calendar

28 Helping Clients with Sex Addiction

10 News Briefs

29 Transosaurus Rex

12 Letters to the Editor

29 Poem:Too Much in Common

14 US Olympians: Out & Proud

30 Resources

16 Being LGBTQ at a Religious School 38 Worth a Look 18 ACOS Welcomes George Marley

Home delivery is free! Subscribe at, email, or write to us at our PO Box. © OPTIONS 2016. Options is published monthly. 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 October 2016 issue must be delivered by September 16.

Options | September 2016

Publisher Kyle McKendall Editor in Chief Jen Stevens Resources Editor Myra Shays Copy Editors Julia Barber, Rex LeBeau, Joseph Morra, Maria Phillips, Myra Shays Graphic Design Theresa “Reese” Barzyk Contributors Felicia Nimue Ackerman, Dawn Anderson, Christion Battey, Adam Brooks, Gary Burkholder, The Lit Chick, Christopher Dalpe, Alexis Hall, Ethan Huchel, Rex LeBeau, Kyle McKendall, Karen Melo, Sabrina Soares, Jen Stevens, Aja VanDyke, Joshua Wolff, Ammar Zia Photographers Jen Bonin, Ryan Clarke, Josh McKenney Finance Director Donny McKendall Subscription Manager Francis Ryan Distribution Advertising

Contact Us PO Box 6406 Providence, RI 02940 (401) 724-LGBT Cover:Team Fusion RI at Aurora, by Josh McKenney


From the Editor Dear Reader, This September issue, my last as Editor in Chief, brings you five pieces that address LGBTQ issues within schooling. Ammar Zia explains how the simple yet courageous act of coming out to his students positively impacted the culture of his classroom (p. 22). A Rhode Island College study explores the influence that religious colleges and universities have on their LGBTQ students (p. 16).Youth Pride Inc. prepares to welcome new and returning students (p. 25). And two readers wrote in to support Andrew Winters (p. 12), who still seeks justice from a widely-publicized discrimination dispute with URI, causing me to wonder: Will Options ever report on a resolution to this problem? I hope so. For those of you whose school days are behind you, not to worry: there are plenty of stories without back-toschool flavor. It has been an honor to serve as Editor in Chief of Options Magazine for 31 issues.That’s not very long when you consider Options’ 34-year history, though the language we use has notably evolved to better serve our community during my time here. The Q solidified its place after LGBT, as gay appeared less often. We now say that people are transgender, rather than transgendered. Gender reassignment surgery was abandoned in favor of gender confirmation surgery. We learned to use they as a singular pronoun. Terms like trans* and Latinx help us to be inclusive (another buzz word). Intersectionality entered our lexicon, leading us to especially consider the unique challenges of people of color within our community, and we recognized that privilege means more than being born with a silver spoon in one’s mouth.We no longer cheer for legislators preaching tolerance; we demand acceptance. Samesex before marriage is becoming superfluous. I so enjoy improving upon how we communicate with each other. This job has been simultaneously the hardest and most rewarding position I’ve ever held. It pains me to be leaving it when I know it has so much more to teach me. I’m bursting with pride for


the accomplishments of this amazing team of talented writers, editors, and photographers, perpetually rising to meet many challenges and deadlines, always aiming to improve. I’ll be forever grateful to my predecessor Kim Stowell for offering me this opportunity to stretch my limits. I’m especially thankful to Options board member Brendan Chipley Roane, who is stepping into my role as Options reorganizes the team and responsibilities. My full faith lies in Publisher Kyle McKendall to steer us forward. He’s been a visionary co captain, and I’ll always smile while recalling our late nights when we first teamed-up, figuring out how to pull this thing together. When designer Reese Barzyk joined the team, she raised the design and production quality of the magazine, and together we streamlined our working processes to shave precious hours off of our production week. Finally, to all the readers who said an encouraging word in my direction, it mattered more than you know. Of course, I won’t disappear entirely. I’ve volunteered to continue to contribute the Options Calendar for the foreseeable future, and look forward to editing sessions with my wonderful friends on the editing team, as we strive toward impeccability with the Options word. Keep reading.

In solidarity, Jen Stevens

We want to hear from you. Send letters to

Options | September 2016


by Karen Melo


artin Rivera and his Team Fusion RI (TFRI) partners are celebrating two years of bringing the Rhode Island Latin dance community together. The team was first established as a result of Rivera’s vision for a supportive group that would provide social events for dancers of all levels. “I wanted to create an environment for local dancers that would encourage radical acceptance,” says Rivera. “No labels are needed, just a desire to share our love for Latin music and dance.” Salsa, Bachata, and Kizomba are three Latin dances becoming wildly popular here in Rhode Island; they are at the heart of the TFRI social events. Diversity is the unifying theme of all events TFRI sponsors and its mission is to provide a space where dancers are respected regardless of experience, age, gender, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, or languages spoken. It’s not unusual for dancers from two different walks of life to find common ground on the dance floor. TFRI’s passion for inclusion is evident even in its use of language. For example, during group lessons which kick off every social event, instructors make it a point to refer to students as “leaders” and “followers,” as opposed to assuming that participants will opt to take the traditional roles of a male leading

Options | September 2016

a female partner on the dance floor. “Our dancers can feel perfectly comfortable dancing with a partner of either sex, without any fear of judgment or speculation on his/her sexual orientation,” says Rivera. “Over the past two years, I’ve watched with great pride as gender norms have been challenged. It’s helped us grow and learn as a dance community.” As a financial advisor dedicated to serving LGBT families, I am well attuned to the subtleties that create an inclusive environment, and I attribute my success to people’s ability to be authentic in my office. My practice is centered on the active welcoming of a diverse population. It is this value system that drew me to Rivera as a dance coach a year ago, and it’s what has made the TFRI community feel like a second family. This isn’t an ordinary organization; this is a group of people that makes any gathering feel like home. We all share the same passion for inclusion. It doesn’t get better than this! Team Fusion hosts two Latin dance social events each month, currently being held at Aurora on Westminster Street in Providence. Find them in the Options Calendar or on Facebook under TeamFusionRI to stay connected and be notified of upcoming events. q


From the Publisher Dear Reader, When I wrote my note in the March 2014 issue, my first as Publisher, the future of the organization was unknown. Those days were trying times for Options: a dwindling bank account, stagnant readership growth, and low advertising sales. I wrote with much optimism about the places we were heading as an organization, and highlighted the potential that the magazine had. The success we’ve experienced as an organization is due in large part to Jen Stevens, who has been a true partner and co-visionary over the past few years. In that March issue, I wrote that I was “thrilled to work alongside Jen, our new editor. Jen’s energy, work ethic, and vision is contagious.” These words remain true today, as she publishes her last issue as Editor in Chief. It’s clear that we need several people to fill Jen’s shoes if we want to keep the momentum going, given the quality of work she has produced. Her dedication to the magazine, to its mission, and to the community at large is distinguished, and she’ll remain a core part of the team as she transitions into the role of Calendar Editor. Because Jen is stepping down, we’re looking for passionate and talented individuals who want to see this 34-year-old publication remain a vibrant and vital asset to our local LGBTQ community. A number of positions – both volunteer and paid – are open. We seek individuals who have an eye for detail, strong skills in the areas of writing, planning, organization, or staff management, legal knowledge of the publishing industry, or experience in advertising sales. I’d love to talk to you more about your potential role within the organization! I was fortunate to be able to spend time in Provincetown last month. Once again, I was inspired by the town’s inclusiveness and its unparalleled over-the-top, in-your-face celebration of all things gay. As reality sets in here at home, it’s apparent how hard we must work to bring that same inclusiveness into our daily lives. We’ll do this with energetic and optimistic minds, like Jen’s, that have an interest in seeing the vision of Options through. We’ve got much work to do, and I hope you’ll be a part of the movement towards a stronger, more vibrant gay community here at home.

Onward, Kyle McKendall

Advertisers in This Issue ACOS - Drag Bingo................................................................... 27 ACOS - Get Tested.................................................................... 11 ACOS - Red Ribbon Auction.................................................. 7 AMC Permanent Cosmetics & Wellness....................... 19 Anthony’s Jewelers...................................................................... 24 Blue Cross & Blue Shield of RI............................................. 24 Bob DaRocha - Realtor............................................................ 13 Brass Ring Dog Treats................................................................... 6 City Kitty........................................................................................... 28 Green Care Landscaping......................................................... 13 Gregory’s Optical........................................................................... 7 Insperiors Inspired Interiors ................................................. 19 JDHS Photos.................................................................................. 28 Jennifer A. Minuto - Attorney................................................ 23 Jodi Jolt and the Volt...................................................................... 9 John D. DaPonte - Counselor............................................... 23 Kellie Marcil - Realtor................................................................ 37 Kitty Litter Cruise........................................................................ 39 LGBT Vacation Planners.............................................................. 4 Michael O’Mara - Counselor................................................ 28 Mister Sister Erotica................................................................... 27 Mulholland Financial LLC......................................................... 27 Neighboorhood Health Plan of Rhode Island............ 27 Plumbing by Paul.......................................................................... 19 Providence Community Acupuncture................................ 7 Psychic Readings by Douglas................................................... 6 Residential Properties............................................................... 25 SERVPRO......................................................................................... 19 Some Assembly Required....................................................... 23 The Stable........................................................................................... 7 The Village........................................................................................... 2 Whole Foods Market................................................................ 40 Wilder Therapy & Wellness................................................... 19

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Tue. 6 Flatbread Company fundraiser for the Pride Center of RI, 5-9pm. Providence Flatbread Company, 161 Cushing Street, Providence. The Flatbread Company will donate a generous portion of the proceeds from eat in, take out, or delivery. For further details contact jlglass53@ Fri. 9 Comedy with Kristen Becker and Ellen Moschetto, 8pm. The Village, 373 Richmond Street, Providence. $10. Reservations can be made at www. or 228-7222. Sat. 10 29th Annual Swim for Life & Paddler Flotilla, registration 9-10am. A 1.4 mile swim across Provincetown Harbor from Long Point to the Boatslip beach, to raise funds for a multitude of local nonprofits. $100 pledge minimum. For more info, or thecompact@ Sat. 10 Worcester Pride Celebration. Pride Parade: from Institute Park down Main Street to City Hall, 11am-noon. Pride Festival on the Common: entertainment, food, vendors, 12-5pm. Pride Block Party: outside at MB Lounge, 7:30pm-1:00am. Youth Pride Dance: YWCA, under age 21, 7-10pm. Pride After Party: Electric Haze, 9pm–1am. Visit worcesterpride. org for info about Worcester Pride Week events from September 4-11. Sun. 11 RI Prime Timers, 4:30-7pm. Social, dinner, and networking group for older gay and bi men on second Sundays. For more info, or call Steve at 996-3010.

gets you in all games with over $2000 in cash and prizes awarded monthly. Dress in favorite sports team regalia. Hosted by Haley Star and LaDiva Jonz. All funds raised benefit AIDS Care Ocean State and AIDS Project RI. Fri. 16 SAGE LGBT CafĂŠ, noon-2pm. Church of the Transfiguration, 1665 Broad Street, Cranston. A delicious, low-cost lunch in a gay-friendly setting sponsored by Meals on Wheels, the Department of Elderly Affairs, and SAGE-RI. Programming after lunch. A $3 donation is suggested for LGBT people 60+ and people with disabilities; a $6 donation is suggested for all others. Reservations required: Call Pauline at 351-6700. Sat. 17 Bachata/Kizomba Fusion Night by TeamFusionRI, 8pm-2am. Aurora, 276 Westminster Street, Providence. Open to dancers of all levels of experience. No partner needed. $15 cover, includes a lesson. $10 after 10pm. For more info, Sat. 17 Sheri Lynn Band, 8pm. The Village, 373 Richmond Street, Providence. $5. Reservations can be made at www. or 228-7222. Sun. 18 Interweave Pizza Party and Movie, 5:30pm. Parish Hall of Channing Memorial Church, 135 Pelham Street, Newport. Free and open to all. For more info, contact Rex at 595-9068 or

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Thu. 15 Drag Bingo: What Team Do You Play For?, 6-9pm. Riviera Bingo Palace, 1612 Elmwood Avenue, Cranston. $20


Sun. 18 Rhode Island Pride Honors, 6-9pm. Aqua at the Marriott Downtown, 1 Orms Street, Providence. Annual Gala honoring Jaye Watts with the Pyramid of Pride Award, John Kelley with the Spirit of Pride Award, Parade and Volunteer awards presented. Cash bar, appetizers.

$35 single/$60 couple. For tickets and info, or info@prideri. com. Wed. 21 Queer Book Club, 7-9:30pm. Books on the Square, 471 Angell Street, Providence. Reading: Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green and David Levithan. Discount if book is purchased at Books on the Square. For more info, email

Tue. 27 YPI Open House Week, 4-7:30pm. 743 Westminster Street, Providence. Free and open to youth ages 13-23. Trans Allyship, 4-5pm; Gender Spectrum, 4-5pm; Game Tournament, 6-7:30pm. More info at www. Wed. 28 YPI Open House Week, 4-7:30pm. 743 Westminster Street, Providence. Free and open to youth ages 13-23. Panel Discussion, 4-5pm; Open Mic, 6-7:30pm. More info at www. Thu. 29 YPI Open House Week, 4-7:30pm. 743 Westminster Street, Providence. Free. LGBTQ Allyship, 4-5pm (youth ages 13-23); The Way Out, 4-5pm (youth ages 13-23); 13 & Under group, 6-7pm (youth 9-13 only); Coming Out Panel, 7-7:45pm (youth 9-13 only). More info at Fri. 30 YPI Open House Week, 4-7:30pm. 743 Westminster Street, Providence. Free and open to youth ages 13-23. Back-toSchool Formal, 6:30-9pm. More info at

Options | September 2016

OCTOBER Sat. 1 Cheryl Aruda & Dirty Blonde, 8pm. The Village, 373 Richmond Street, Providence. $5. Reservations at www. or 228-7222. Wed. 5 Salsa night by TeamFusionRI, 8pm-1am. Aurora, 276 Westminster Street, Providence. Open to dancers of all levels of experience. No partner needed. $15 cover, includes a lesson. $10 after 10pm. For more info, SalsaConSoul.

Thu. 6 Special Comedy Show: Comic Suzanne Westenhoffer, 8pm. The Village, 373 Richmond Street, Providence. $20. Reservations at or 228-7222. Fri. 7 Homegrown Comedy Night with host John Kelley, 8pm. The Village, 373 Richmond Street, Providence. $10. Reservations at or 228-7222.

a lesson. $10 after 10pm. For more info, Wed. 19 Queer Book Club, 7-9:30pm. Books on the Square, 471 Angell Street, Providence. Reading: The Naked Civil Servant by Quentin Crisp. Discount if book is purchased at Books on the Square. For more info, email queerbookclub@gmail. com. Thu. 20 Drag Bingo: Nightmare on Elmwood, 6-9pm. Riviera Bingo Palace, 1612 Elmwood Avenue, Cranston. $20 gets you in all games with over $2000 in cash and prizes awarded monthly. $100 to best costume winner. Hosted by Haley Star and LaDiva Jonz. All funds raised benefit AIDS Care Ocean State and AIDS Project RI. Fri. 21 SAGE LGBT CafĂŠ, noon-2pm. Church of the Transfiguration, 1665 Broad Street, Cranston. A delicious, low-cost lunch in a gay-friendly setting sponsored by Meals on Wheels, the Department of Elderly Affairs, and SAGE-RI. Programming after lunch. A $3 donation is suggested for LGBT people 60+ and people with disabilities; a $6 donation is suggested for all others. Reservations required: Call Pauline at 351-6700.

Sat. 22 Mary Day Band, 8pm. The Village, 373 Richmond Street, Providence. $5. Reservations at or 228-7222. Sat. 29 Halloween Bash with Becky Chace Band, 8pm. The Village, 373 Richmond Street, Providence. $5. Reservations at or 228-7222.

Regularly Scheduled Support Groups: ACOS (HIV/AIDS): youth, Tue. 4pm/gay males, Wed. 1:30pm LGBT Alcoholics Anonymous: Tue. 7pm PFLAG (parents, friends, allies): 1st & 3rd Wed. 6:45pm TGI Network (trans): 1st & 3rd Tue. 7pm/Sat. 1pm TransFamily New England: 2nd Mon. 6:30pm YPI (youth): Way Out, Thu. 4pm/Gender Spectrum, Tue. 4pm/youth 13 and under: Thu. 5pm See Resources on page 30 for more info.

Sat. 8 Concordia Center for Spiritual Living presents singer/songwriter Mary Ann Rossoni with special guest Loveday, 8pm. 292 West Shore Road, Warwick. $10. For more info,,, or 732-1552. Sun. 9 RI Prime Timers, 4:30-7pm. Social, dinner, and networking group for older gay and bi men on second Sundays. For more info, or call Steve at 996-3010. Sat. 15 Bachata/Kizomba Fusion Night by TeamFusionRI, 8pm-1am. Aurora, 276 Westminster Street, Providence. Open to dancers of all levels of experience. No partner needed. $15 cover, includes

Options | September 2016



Transgender Speaker Makes History at Democratic National Convention Sarah McBride, a 25-year-old transgender woman, made history when she spoke at the Democratic National Convention in late July. She became the first ever transgender person to address a major party convention. McBride serves as the national press secretary for the Human Rights Campaign and has been on the front lines of the fight for equality for quite some time. In her speech seen by millions of people, McBride highlighted the importance of passing the Equality Act, the federal bill that will ban workplace, housing, and education discrimination against LGBTQ people. McBride further humanized the struggle of being transgender in America, getting personal about her late husband, who was also trans. “Transgender people are so often reduced to just being trans. That’s an important part of who we are, but it’s not all of who we are,” McBride told the Huffington Post. “I also want to demonstrate for a larger audience the humanity behind these issues. That trans people love and dream and hope and fear and cry, just like everyone else.” McBride threw her support behind Hillary Clinton, stating, “Today in America, LGBTQ people are targeted by hate that lives in both laws and hearts. Many still struggle just to get by. But I believe tomorrow can be different. Tomorrow, we can be respected and protected — especially if Hillary Clinton is our president. And that’s why I’m proud to say that I’m with her.” Rubio Still Unwilling to Stand Up for LGBTQ Floridians Months After Pulse Shooting Last month, on the two-month anniversary of the Pulse nightclub shooting that took the lives of 49 LGBTQ people and allies, Florida Senator Marco Rubio courted anti-LGBTQ activists in Orlando ten miles


by Adam Brooks

from the site of the tragedy. The Human Rights Campaign called out Rubio on his transgression. JoDee Winterhof, HRC Senior Vice President for Policy and Political Affairs said, “Unfortunately, Marco Rubio has a long documented history of opposing LGBTQ equality…. Rubio suggested he believes employment discrimination against LGBTQ people is wrong, but yet he has consistently opposed even modest steps to provide non-discrimination protections for LGBTQ people. On a day when he should be honoring the victims of the horrific massacre in Orlando and advocating for commonsense gun safety measures, Marco Rubio is shamefully courting the votes of anti-LGBTQ activists and showcasing his opposition to the fundamental civil rights of LGBTQ people.” Rubio has previously supported discriminatory legislation such as the “First Amendment Defense Act” or FADA, which would allow non-profit organizations and businesses contracted with the government to bypass federal protections put in place to safeguard LGBTQ people from being discriminated against.

US Navy To Name New Ship After Harvey Milk The US Navy plans to name one of its new oil tankers after gay rights activist Harvey Milk, who served in the Korean War as a diving officer. LGBTQ people were banned from serving in the U.S. armed forces until 1994 when the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy was enacted. The policy, which lasted until 2011, would have allowed Milk to serve, but only if he had hidden his sexuality. The ban on openly transgender people serving ended at the end of June of this year. Scott Wiener, an openly gay man who holds Milk’s former seat on the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, has campaigned for Milk to receive the prestigious honor since 2012, and said, “When Harvey Milk served in the military, he couldn’t tell anyone who

he truly was. Now our country is telling the men and women who serve, and the entire world, that we honor and support people for who they are.” Once the USNS Harvey Milk is built, it will be part of a fleet of six new ships that will bear the names of other civil rights champions, including women’s rights activist and abolitionist Sojourner Truth. Lesbian Fire Lieutenant wins Discrimination/Harassment Case Against City of Providence In April of this year, a federal jury sided with former Providence firefighter Lieutenant Lori Franchina in a gender discrimination and sexual harassment case against the city. Franchina filed her suit in 2012 after she said she endured years of harassment, insubordination, discrimination, and lewd nicknames. Franchina moved up the ranks at the fire department quickly, but retired in 2013, saying she was targeted because she is a woman and a lesbian. “It had an effect almost every day,” Franchina told WPRI. “It breaks you. It wears you down. You still try to come to work every day and do your job well.” In the federal court lawsuit, Franchina said she filed dozens of oral and written complaints detailing incidents of harassment and insubordination and even had a restraining order against a fellow firefighter who allegedly assaulted her. But her complaints fell on deaf ears. Last month a federal judge denied the City’s motion to throw out the April decision, as well as another motion requesting a new trial, and Franchina was ultimately awarded a total of $806,000.

Vice President Biden Officiates Same-Sex Wedding Last month Vice President Joe Biden officiated a wedding for two longtime White House employees. Brian Mostellar and Joe Mashie were wed at the Vice President’s residence on the U.S. Naval Observatory in Northeast Washington, according to NBC. The ceremony was attended by immediate family only..

Options | September 2016

Mosteller works as a special assistant to the President and director of Oval Office operations, and Mashie serves as a trip coordinator for First Lady Michelle Obama. “Proud to marry Brian and Joe at my house. Couldn’t be happier, two longtime White House staffers, two guys,” Biden said in a tweet on the day of the wedding. In response, Biden’s wife, Jill, tweeted, “Love is love!”

RuPaul’s Drag Race Returns with All Stars Season 2 Emmy Nominated series RuPaul’s Drag Race returned in August for a second season of its wildly popular All Stars series. This season’s guest judges include Raven-Symoné, Ross Mathews, Jeremy Scott, Nicole Scherzinger, Graham Norton, Aubrey Plaza, and, of course, staples Michelle Visage and RuPaul herself. This time around, the queens will be called upon to eliminate one another. Each week, the top two drag queens will “lip-sync for their legacy,” with the winner having the power to send one of her competitors home. “Honey, nobody can claim that this race is rigged,” said RuPaul. “I gave the power to the people. May the best All Star win!” There are bound to be twists, turns, backstabbing, and glamour as this lineup of competitors vies for the crown: Adore Delano, Alaska, Alyssa Edwards, Coco Montrese, Detox, Ginger Minj, Katya, Phi Phi O’Hara, Roxxxy Andrews, and Tatianna. The full season will be simulcast on Thursdays on Logo and VH1. Lack of Trans Visibility at Olympic Games Despite a new policy on transgender athletes, there were no openly transgender athletes competing at the Olympic games in Rio this year. In January of this year, the International Olympic Committee changed their policy on transgender athletes to be a bit more inclusive. Previously, transgender athletes were required to undergo gender reassignment surgery and wait two years before competing in their sport. The new policy allows female-to-male athletes to compete without restriction, while male-to-female athletes must undergo hormone therapy and will need to prove that their testosterone level has been below a certain cutoff point for at least one year before their first competition. While several transgender athletes competed in the games, none in Rio were publicly out. Chris Mosier, a transgender duathlete was featured in a Nike ad that aired during the games, but as the duathalon is not currently an Olympic sport, he did not compete. Even though these games offered very little visibility, the future of transgender people in Olympic games looks bright. Trans athletes like Chloe Psych Anderson, a women’s volleyball player who has been gaining national attention, and Harvard swimmer Schuyler Bailar, are serious contenders for the 2020 games in Tokyo.

Options | September 2016

The Rhode Island Foundation Awards $50,000 in Grants to LGBTQ Nonprofits The Rhode Island Foundation has awarded over $50,000 in grants to seven nonprofit organizations that benefit Rhode Island’s LGBTQ communities.The money, from the foundation’s Equity Action Fund, will go a long way to benefit the nonprofits. Project Weber/Renew was awarded $10,000 to extend a program that reaches out to transgender sex workers. Youth Pride Inc. received $10,000 to improve its Gay Straight Alliance Program. Sojourner House was awarded $8,000 to extend more help to LGBTQ victims of intimate partner violence.Thundermist Health Center was awarded $7,400 to improve its Trans* Health and Wellness Program. GLBTQ Legal Advocates & Defenders (GLAD) received $10,000 to support its ongoing work with Rhode Island organizations and agencies that address issues facing LGBTQ youth and families. New Urban Arts was awarded $3,200 for the Untitlement Project, which enables low-income youth to use writing and art to explore issues of identity including sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression. Finally, Flickers, the Newport Film/Video Society & Arts Collaborative, was given $2,000 for its Forward Movement Program. “These organizations work to ensure the health, safety, and fair treatment of all LGBTQ Rhode Islanders,” said Adrian Bonéy, who oversees the Equity Action Commitee.“This important work is enhanced by strengthening alliances between nonprofits working to address the most critical needs of Rhode Island’s LGBTQ communities, including investments in health, education, and the arts, as well as issues critical to young and elderly members of the community.” q .

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Letters to the



recently read with great interest a story that ran in Options in February 2015 about Mr. Andrew Winters, a colleague and friend of mine, who greatly contributed to the evolution of the LGBT climate on the University of Rhode Island campus. I have not been deeply involved in the URI activities since graduating in 2000, but I wanted to weigh in on his contributions. I came to URI as a graduate student in Psychology in 1992. At that time, I was just in the process of coming out, and I found an outlet for my desire to get involved – the GLBA [Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual Association] at URI. That year, another graduate student (Anne Dineen) and an undergraduate student (Rich Defaria) revitalized the GLBA. We were able to establish it as a formally recognized undergraduate student organization and secured money that year to charter a bus for students and community members to attend the March on Washington. The following year, the group obtained funding to sponsor film nights, dances, and other activities to promote awareness of LGBT issues on the campus. We also started meeting regularly in the Women’s Center on Lower College Road – a safe space where people who were not out could meet with less visibility. That year, Anne Dineen and I worked with Grace Frenzel in the Counseling Center to offer a LGBT support group and to offer GLB panels in classes to further raise awareness among the general student population. In 1994, we co-founded RINGS (the Rhode Island


Network of Gay Students) with other college centers,. Overall, I found a lot of support for activities and awarenessraising on campus. Andrew came to URI in 1995 at a time when the GLBA was fracturing due to internal politics among some of its members. The group needed something very important: ongoing and consistent faculty/staff support to maintain the strength and persistence of the GLBA, which had undergone previous cycles of activity and dissipation. Andrew came and immediately assumed that role. He was able, through his work with Residence Life, to find a safe space in which students could meet. That became the first “center” (albeit informal) in the early 2000s. He established relationships with graduate and undergraduate students and helped them to keep the group alive. Andrew brought awareness of LGBT issues into residence life by including awareness sessions in Resident Assistant and Hall Director training. He secured space for the Diversity House, the first residence hall dedicated to diversity for any interested students. He, Wally Sillampoa, and I organized the Second Conference of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender issues; every year after that, with the slimmest of budgets, Andrew ensured that the conference continued. He was also a tireless advocate for a formal center that would serve as a safe space as well as coordination point for LGBTQ awareness on campus.

I recently watched an old video of the RINGS rally we sponsored at the State House in 1994, and it reminded me of how small efforts over the years have led to the rights we enjoy today – civil equality and marriage. I was sorry to read your article and see how Andrew has been marginalized from the history of the LGBTQ center at URI. The center that exists today would not be there had it not been for the years of work he invested and the hours of love and support to the many graduate and undergraduate students he mentored, encouraged, and advocated for over the years. I am honored to have had him as my supervisor for many of those years while working in Residence Life. But I was also glad to see this article that highlights his story and helps ensure recognition for the important contributions he made to the campus during his tenure at URI. Some day the full story will be told, and he will be an unquestionable and integral part of it. - Gary Burkholder, Oro Valley, AZ Gary J. Burkholder, PhD is Vice President for Research and Accountability at Laureate Education, Inc. He is a University of Rhode Island Alumnus (BA-1992; MA-1996; PhD-2000) and is the 2014 recipient of the URI Alumni Association Distinguished Achievement Award. q

Options | September 2016


eptember 2016 marks the fifteenth anniversary of the inception of the URI GLBT Center, Rhode Island’s first campus center for LGBTQ people. The Center was established to provide education, advocacy, and support, and it did so for students, faculty, staff, and other Rhode Islanders. This community center no longer exists on the URI campus in Adams Hall. Andrew Winters, the man who created it, was bullied out of his career because of his advocacy for LGBTQ [rights], and other social justice issues. To hide the injustices done to him, the URI administration has censored any mention of the original GLBT Center [and] its location, and has stolen Andrew’s work without giving him due credit. As a poor replacement, URI built an often-closed Gender and Sexuality Center at the far end of campus. URI’s student orientation leaders and media relations have complied with the [administration’s request] to erase any reference to the original GLBT Center and its mission to advocate for LGBTQ people in Rhode Island higher education, effectively removing Andrew’s role as pioneer. Most shocking of all, as Options, Jim Hummel, the Providence Journal, and many others have reported, the outrageous conspiracy to silence and remove Andrew Winters from his role as Assistant to the Vice President for Student Affairs for GLBT Programs and Services has remained unaddressed. Since Andrew was harassed and removed [from his position], URI and [its students] have been deprived of his passionate leadership and decades of experience. I came to the GLBT Center in its second

Options | September 2016

year, seeking refuge from a homophobic, racist, and classist homeowner. Andrew gave me a new place to live in a room next to the cozy center, and a job as one of three unpaid student GLBT Center program coordinators. Our work at the Center was hard, even frightening. One of our gay program coordinators had been assaulted on campus; his assailants went unpunished, and he lived with their lingering threat over his head. We often encountered hatred from administrators and students from other University departments. One of my gay friends had rocks thrown at him after attending a Center conversation group. Once, while we were trying to present LGBT awareness training to students and staff members, we found ourselves facing a room full of people who were belligerently defiant; some told us that they kill people like us in their homelands. We had lesbians sleeping under trees, and gays hiding in the library after closing to escape violently bigoted roommates in residence halls where Resident Advisors refused to intervene. Given this hostile environment, Andrew, his husband Don, and those of us who worked with the Center were almost the only visibly “out” people at URI. Out professors I knew seemed concerned that being involved would risk their tenure. People outside the Center and across campus were constantly called homophobic slurs. My name might as well have been “That Dyke.” In response, we kept the GLBT Center open 24/7, and offered couches where people could sleep and study safely in a friendly and understanding space.Andrew maintained his old conversion van at his own expense to provide safe rides across

campus or transportation to Gay Bingo. We organized and presented the Annual GLBTQQI Symposium with speakers from throughout the country, and beyond. We collaborated with PFLAG, early marriage equality efforts, and Dining Out for Life. Before long, people began coming to the Center from throughout Rhode Island to take advantage of our supportive atmosphere and programs. It truly angers me that what was done to Andrew and Don is still not fixed. Andrew Winters not only deserves to be officially recognized as someone who fought for the rights and dignity of LGBT people and other oppressed groups, he also deserves to have his forced resignation from URI officially acknowledged and reversed with full restoration of his professional status and compensation, along with his place in URI and Rhode Island history. Don deserves the benefits that come with being the spouse of a respected university employee. Many know that these actions are serious enough to warrant intervention from Governor Raimondo and law enforcement officials. Many of us see the retaliation that has been done to Andrew and Don because of their LGBT advocacy, including the continuing official coverup, as a hate crime. As Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King said, “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” - Aja VanDyke, San Antonio, TX q


by Dawn Anderson



ver 40 members of the LGBTQ community proudly and openly represented their home nations in the XXXI Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, last month.The International Olympic Committee earlier this year decided that transgender athletes were no longer required to have undergone gender confirmation surgery (followed by a two-year waiting period) in order to compete, and two transgender Olympians are said to have competed in Rio, though their identities are not known. This story profiles the seven out and proud United States athletes – all happen to be women – whose resilience, perseverance, and dedication have set an example for us all.


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Seimone Augustus Women’s Basketball

This shooting guard/forward for the WNBA’s Minnesota Lynx is a lifetime basketball standout. Hailing from Baton Rouge, Louisiana, she was introduced to the game at a young age by her father, Seymore. She continued to play basketball throughout her youth before deciding to attend Louisiana State University. After her extremely successful basketball career at LSU, her number 33 was retired to the rafters. In 2006, she was selected first in the 2006 WNBA draft, where she went on to win Rookie of the Year honors and has since continued her stellar career with the Lynx. This was Seimone’s third Olympic appearance. She competed in the Beijing 2008 and London 2012 Olympics, winning a gold medal each time.

Brittney Griner Women’s Basketball

Despite beginning to play basketball only in ninth grade, Brittney went on to win several high school awards before beginning her stellar career at Baylor University. It was there that she earned over 30 honors for her outstanding skills in addition to helping Baylor win the national championship during her junior year. In the 2013 WNBA draft, she was chosen first overall by the Phoenix Mercury. The following season, as a starting center, she not only helped lead them to the championship, but was also named Defensive Player of the Year. Born in Houston, Texas, this was Brittney’s first Olympic appearance.

Angel McCoughtry Women’s Basketball

This shooting guard/forward for the WNBA’s Atlanta Dream grew up playing basketball in Baltimore, Maryland, before attending the University of Louisville. During her successful college career, she broke many school records in addition to being named Big East Player of the Year as a sophomore. She was picked first overall in the 2009 WNBA draft and went on to win Rookie of the Year

Options | September 2016

honors. McCoughtry helped the Dream reach the finals in 2010, 2011, and 2013. Not only is she touted as a standout offensive player, but has earned respect as a valued defensive performer, and she has made the All-Defense team throughout her career. McCoughtry also appeared in the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, where her team won gold.

Kelly Griffin Rugby

This was the first Olympic appearance for the United States National Sevens team captain, Kelly Griffin. She grew up in Berkeley, California, playing basketball and soccer before turning to rugby during her freshman year at UCLA. During her successful college career, she was selected to the USA Rugby U23 team in 2006 and 2007 as well as the USA Rugby AIG Women’s Collegiate team in 2007 and 2008. Before appearing in Rio, she was awarded a bronze medal in the 2013 Rugby World Cup and a silver medal in the 2015 Pan-American Games.

Jillion Potter Rugby

Overcoming adversity is nothing new to Olympian Jillion Potter. In 2010, she missed the Women’s Rugby World Cup due to a broken neck, and a few years later she was diagnosed with stage III synovial sarcoma, causing her to miss the 2014-15 Women’s Seven Series. She didn’t begin playing rugby until her freshman year at the University of New Mexico, where she quickly excelled in the sport, making the USA U19 team and being recruited for the U23 team. In 2013, she was awarded a bronze medal in the World Championship. This was her first year competing in the Olympic games.

Megan Rapinoe

and national teams. She was also named Parade Magazine National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) AllAmerican during her successful high school career. She attended the University of Portland (Oregon) on a full scholarship. During this time, she suffered two ACL injuries and was granted a medical hardship waiver (an extension to the length of eligibility) but decided against using it to instead turn professional. She was drafted second overall in the Women’s Professional Soccer Draft by the Chicago Red Stars. She is currently a midfielder/winger for the Seattle Reign FC of the Women’s National Soccer League. She appeared in the Olympics for the second time, after winning a gold medal in the London 2012 Summer Games.

Ashley Nee Kayaking

This Maryland native began kayaking as a young girl while attending summer camp and has never looked back. She was a member of the US Junior National team four times, twice as a US National Team member, and was a bronze medal winner in the 2015 Pan-American Games. Nee was eligible for a spot in the 2008 Beijing Olympics, but a dislocated shoulder made it difficult to compete, and she placed fourth in the trials. In 2012, she lost a tiebreaker which caused her to miss her second chance at the Olympics. Her persistence and determination to bounce back from setbacks has paid off as she competed in her first Summer Olympics. Congratulations and thank you to these seven women. While the USA women did not earn medals in soccer, rugby, or kayaking, the USA women’s basketball team became the first women’s team to win gold in six Olympics in a row! No matter what their Olympic performance was, they are all champions for showing the world that it’s okay to show your true colors. q


Soccer has always been a big part of Megan Rapinoe’s life. Growing up in Redding, California, she played on local



GAY AND RELIGIOUS by Sabrina Soares with help from Joshua Wolff

“Bats for the other team… Plays for the same league… It’s about time… We hate the sin, but love the sinner… Once you go gay, you know right away… We knew all along!” Odds are you’ve heard at least one of these common coming out phrases in conjunction with someone telling their coming out story, or perhaps when sharing your own. Coming out can be fun, exciting, invigorating, and freeing. Yet it can also be scary, isolating, unsafe, terrifying, or just a negative experience altogether, particularly for individuals in non-affirming (rejecting) social environments. In particular, religious environments can be both highly accepting and affirming or highly nonaffirming, with a range of everything in between. Imagine coming out or coming to terms with your sexuality while attending a non-affirming college or university that is religiously affiliated. What’s the big deal about that? Many people come to terms with their sexuality while in college. In a society where oppression still occurs and crimes are fueled by ignorance and hate, it is important to understand the relationship between what can appear


to be feuding variables (e.g., sexuality and religion). A study conducted here in Rhode Island looked at the experiences of sexual minority (SM) college students who attended non-affirming religiously affiliated universities (NARAUs) in Rhode Island and across the nation. NARAUs are religious institutions of higher education that are not inclusive of those who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, queer, or questioning (LGBQ) due to their religious beliefs and organizational policies. Many NARAUs have strict policies against homosexual conduct, restrict college entrance to heterosexual-identifying individuals, restrict whether and where LGBTQ student groups meet, and/or outwardly oppose same-sex orientations. What were we researchers looking for?

students who attended NARAUs in Rhode Island and other parts of the country through ads in Options, social media, and word of mouth. We asked them many questions: basic demographics and scales to measure homo-negativity; how “out” they were about their sexuality to family/ friends/employers and their religious communities; and their psychological and academic distress. Then we plugged all that information into software, ran some statistical tests, got some results, made sense of them, and published it in Psychology of Sexual Orientation and Gender Diversity. What did we find? First, we looked at bullying and harassment on campus:

Who participated and how did we find what we did?

• More than one third (37%) of SM students at NARAUs reported being bullied or harassed at school because of their sexual orientation. This number is almost twice that of the national average (23%) for LGBTQ college students (based on Campus Pride’s 2010 Campus Climate study data).

We recruited 214 sexual minority

We wanted to understand if and how psychological distress, sexual orientation, openness about one’s sexual orientation, and homo-negativity would be affected by attendance at a NARAU, and/or by religious affiliations.

Depression indicators were

Options | September 2016

between their sexual orientation and religious beliefs than other religious groups (Catholic, Evangelical, Mainline Protestant, Nondenominational, other Christian). What about transgender students?

higher for individuals who had been bullied based on their sexual orientation. These people were more likely to have a higher prevalence of substance abuse, social anxiety, poor eating habits, and negatively affected academics. Next, we looked at coming out: • 54% of students reported that they have talked about their sexual orientation with a professor or faculty member at least once. • 51% of students have talked about their sexual orientation with a classmate or peer at least once. • 69% of students with a roommate have talked about their sexual orientation with their roommate at least once. Then, we looked at their experiences with resources and support services, like talking to a mental health professional: • Students who were involved with a Gay–Straight Alliance (GSA) had significantly less difficulty with their sexual orientation, fewer negative feelings about their identities, and less religious incongruence than those students not involved with a GSA. • Nearly half (47%) of the study participants reported talking to mental health professionals who were affirming and/or accepting of

Options | September 2016

their sexual orientation. • In contrast, almost one in five students (17%) reported a mental health professional had attempted to change their sexual orientation, a process known as “conversion therapy.” This means that of all the participants, almost half had positive coming-out experiences. But conversion therapy, although still utilized, is illegal in some states and is opposed by the American Psychological Association. Also, even though participants confided in someone, we don’t know what kind of reaction they received. Did we find anything unique about the religious identity of the school or the participants? Yes. • SM students who attend Mormon, Evangelical, and Nondenominational Christian NARAUs had more difficultly coming to terms with their sexual orientation than those in Catholic or Mainline Protestant (e.g., Lutheran) schools. • SM students in Nondenominational Christian and Mormon NARAUs reported more negative sexual identities (i.e., views about themselves as an LGB person) than students in Catholic NARAUs.

There simply were not enough transgender study participants (12 in total) to provide a statistically accurate representation of this subgroup. This is a limitation of this study and in the scientific literature as a whole. There is limited published research on transidentifying populations in religious communities. However, because of these concerns, we conducted a followup study on transgender student experiences in NARAUs.The results will be published next year. Why is this so important? History has demonstrated that intolerance, prejudice, and hate can fuel war. Radical beliefs acted upon can cause tremendous loss. Insensitivity causes blame and shame. At this writing, media are reporting that the Orlando massacre was racially based, homophobic, had potential religious ties, and was hate-propelled because of a lack of sensitivity. We will leave you to draw your own inferences regarding the correlation between tragedies such as Orlando and the findings of this study.q Sabrina Soares, BA, is an MSW candidate at Rhode Island College. Joshua Wolff, Ph.D., is an assistant professor at Adler University and a former professor at Rhode Island College. All questions and comments regarding the SM/NARAU study may be forwarded to Joshua Wolff at and/or Sabrina Soares at

• SM students who attend Mormon schools reported significantly more incongruence


ACOS Welcomes

George Evans Marley by Christopher Dalpe


ou may recognize him as one of the 2015 King of Queens winners. Since then, George Evans Marley has hung up his heels and, in July 2016, jumped into the ring as AIDS Care Ocean State’s newest Director of Development & Public Relations. Marley came to the table with enthusiasm, spirit, and a detailed mission to improve our development initiatives as well as increase public awareness surrounding HIV/AIDS and the work we do every day. Marley and our development team have already given our fundraising season a much-needed makeover. We can’t wait to show you what we have in store this year. Marley will oversee the success and growth of monthly Drag Bingo in its 20th anniversary season; BOGO, the Red Ribbon Online Auction; the Halloween Monster Ball; and a whole new ArtBeat scheduled to debut in 2017. George Evans Marley is a highly caffeinated, highly motivated comic book enthusiast born and raised in Rhode Island. He spent some time living in Maine, Florida, Europe, and his home away from home, Block Island. George’s non-profit career started years ago at the Greater Providence YMCA as a camp counselor teaching environmental education to RI youth. He later worked on fund development with Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Ocean State, Youth Pride Inc., and a handful of other nonprofits across Rhode Island. He has been an advocate, donor, and friend of AIDS Care Ocean State (ACOS) for many years. In order to give Options readers a good understanding of Marley’s outlook, he had this to say: “I want Rhode Island to know what ACOS does on a larger scale. It’s time we recognize that HIV/AIDS and Hep C are treatable, preventable, and no longer death sentences. And these are issues that affect us all! It’s time to end the stigma. ACOS would not have been able to survive without support from our community for over 25 years; this is our organization, our mission, and our responsibility. Continue advocating, donating, and volunteering your time. Get tested, encourage others to do the same, and don’t be afraid to seek care if you do test positive. Start a dialogue in your home, place of work, or your social circle about testing. There still is far too much silence about HIV/AIDS and Hep C, and it’s our responsibility to make some noise.

over $1,000,000 for HIV/AIDS services in our state. We have some exciting press coming up around this season, so make sure you make your [Bingo] reservations soon. We don’t want to have to turn anyone away. There are sponsorship opportunities for this year’s Bingo that will get your name and/or business in front of more people than ever before. So if you are interested, visit to fill out a sponsorship form ASAP.” Again, ACOS is thrilled to welcome George to the ACOS family, and we look forward to this next chapter with him guiding our development and communication initiatives. You can contact George at or call him at 521-3603. q AIDS Care Ocean State provides comprehensive AIDS services, supportive housing, emergency funds, and a Speakers Bureau. Located at 18 Parkis Avenue, Providence. (401) 521-3603. Appointments: (401) 781-0665.

“Continue to attend and sponsor events.This year marks the 20th anniversary of Drag Bingo, which has raised well


Options | September 2016

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Block Party Fundraiser for Orlando @ Dark Lady, July 24 p. 20 by Ryan Clarke p. 21 by Jen Bonin

On the Town 20 20

Options || September September 2016 2016 Options

Options | September 2016


How Sharing My Identity Shaped My Classroom Culture by Ammar Zia

accepting and humbling. When I initially grappled with the idea of moving to Rhode Island and taking on the extremely important work of teaching, I immediately thought back to my childhood, when I was told to pack my bags and get on a plane leaving Pakistan with him. I remember holding the fragile arms of my grandmother as we both cried saying our goodbyes. I did not want to leave her or the rest of my extended family. I didn’t know English, and I was scared of being misunderstood and labeled an outcast. I was afraid that people in California wouldn’t look like me, dress like me, or even eat the same foods as I did. Being different seemed horrifying.


s I reflect on my first year of teaching and prepare to embark on another, I can confidently say that this has been one of the most difficult yet rewarding years of my life. When I joined Teach For America (TFA), an organization that recruits diverse leaders to teach in low-income communities across the country to work toward equal education for all students, I was uneasy about moving around the country from California to Rhode Island, from the comfort of familiarity to the unknown. What I found, though, was a community among my students that was remarkably


However, my father’s words carried me forward: We must go. For your safety. For your education. Despite my fears, immigrating to America was a positive choice for us. Similar contradictions plagued me as an adult when I decided to pursue a career in education. I wanted to give back and make a difference in the lives of students, but I also felt displaced. This has been a common theme in my life, especially as a queer person of color. In my last year of high school, I decided to come out to my family. It took years to figure out my identity as a Pakistani, a Southeast Asian, a Muslim immigrant, and then as an American citizen, and now I

was navigating my queer identity. I felt safe at home, and it was the only place where I felt a sense of belonging. However, I knew that by hiding my sexuality, I was unable to become my authentic self, and I desperately needed to release that burden to feel free. Coming out to my family led to a transitional period of my life. I lost all financial assistance, and as a senior in high school, I was ultimately forced to forfeit all of my college acceptances. I had to pack my bags, and move out of my home. I enrolled in a community college, took 16 to 22 credits each semester, and worked three jobs to support myself. The stress of being on my own and feeling lonely was difficult, but worth staying true to my identity. So as I sat at my desk staring at my TFA offer so many months ago, I was reminded of my father’s words and their correlation to my new journey: I must go. For us. For students like me. For education. I wondered how my students would treat me, if my queer identity would be accepted, and how they would react to my Pakistani features. I weighed the possibilities of being judged or mistreated, and hoped I wouldn’t need to pack my bags and, once again, move to another location. For all my fear, however, I felt supported in knowing that TFA could provide me with a community of peers who affirmed me. I knew there

Options | September 2016

Ammar and his students

would be opportunities to connect with other AAPI (Asian and Pacific Islanders) and LGBTQ teachers who could understand my anxieties and offer assistance. However, the first day I walked into my middle school language arts classroom and met my students, all my fears vanished. My students brought their authentic selves to class every day. They were eager to learn, and many of them related to my challenges as a person of color. Students rushed to my classroom to share their stories, to get ideas for their songs, or to get help on various writing assignments. My students trusted me, and they were genuine with their emotions. All of the anxiety and questions I pondered before starting my career as a teacher faded away; that is, until one student asked, “Mr. Zia, do you have a girlfriend?”

Jennifer A. Minuto LGBT Legal Advocacy.

I knew that I could hide and say that I was single, but I decided to be as brave and as authentic with my students as they had been with me. I took a deep breath, and told my students that I did not have a girlfriend, and that I identified with the LGBTQIA community. I remember shifting my eyes, trying to avoid seeing any of their reactions. However, when I looked up, three of my students responded by silently giving me the “shaka” hand symbol, which in my class meant they could empathize or connect with me on a greater level. I felt immediately accepted for the first time in my life, and I felt proud and honored to be their teacher. Now, I see my lively 7th and 8th graders dealing with the same issues that I once faced, but while I felt alone, my students have a place to feel safe and valued. Their acceptance for me and my openness with them have helped us connect in a way that is much more meaningful than I could have ever imagined. Reflecting on the recent tragedy in Orlando, in which members of the LGBTQ community were targeted, I know that my students are proof of the power of openness and acceptance and what’s possible, even in the midst of the hate and fear that exist in our society. I am hopeful about the progress that my students and I made this year on having honest and open conversations about bias, and I plan to do the same with my classes this coming school year. I’m unbelievably proud of my students’ willingness to be inclusive. At a time when there is so much divisiveness in our country, my students give me hope for our future. q Ammar Zia teaches language arts at Trinity Academy for the Performing Arts in Providence. He is a 2015 Teach For America corps member.

Options | September 2016


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Options | September 2016

Back to School with


13 13

don’t grow up invisible

Youth Pride Inc.

Back-to-school season is a great time to get involved with Youth Pride Inc.YPI staff will be hitting the road to visit schools around the state and share information about our services, programs, and ways for youth to get involved. Rock the Block 2016 We’ll be tabling alongside many other youth-focused community organizations at Rock the Block 2016 on Friday, September 23, in the Central High School quad. Stop by our booth to get info on our programs, services, and fall programming schedule. Youth Open House Week YPI will host a youth open house week September 27-30. We’ll be welcoming and orienting new and returning youth to our space, as well as hosting some fun evening programs like game tournaments and an open mic. This week coincides with

by Alexis Hall

GLSEN’s National Ally Week, so we’ll be hosting workshops, panels, and discussions on allyship, also known as how to be a better LGBTQQ ally. If you’re a youth who has been curious about YPI, or a returning youth looking to get more involved, youth open house week is a great opportunity to learn more about all Youth Pride Inc. has to offer. Back-to-School Formal To finish up youth open house week, we’ll be hosting a backto-school formal dance on Friday, September 30, from 6:309pm. Come in your best formal attire and enjoy snacks and dancing in YPI style.q Youth Pride Inc. provides support, education and advocacy for LGBTQQ young people ages 23 and under. Our drop-in center is at 743 Westminster Street, Providence, RI 02903. Visit www., email, or call (401) 4215626 for more info.

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Options | September 2016






WHO NEEDS TO KNOW? by Ethan Huckel


am a lucky man. As a trans person who has gone through some tumultuous times over the years, I feel particularly grateful to be in the position I am in now: a husband and father, with the means to work for the betterment of my community. I have come to a place where most of the folks who know I am transgender treat me with respect, and I am privileged to be in a position where being outed as trans does not cause me a great deal of concern. I won’t lose family and friends. I won’t lose my job. And if I’m not in a precarious place (like, say, Mississippi), I am not likely to be in any grave physical danger. I am a lucky man.

I ask these questions knowing that some of you are rolling your eyes. You’re thinking, “What’s the big deal? It’s one of my friends, not a stranger with a Confederate flag and testicles on their truck.” Okay, true. Maybe this person isn’t going to hurt me because I’m trans. In fact, in my case, I’m not often worried about how that individual will respond. Your outing me, though, sends me the clear message that you think my gender identity defines me and needs to be provided as context for understanding me.That isn’t a feeling I share. In many cases, it’s perfectly fine for people to not know that I’m trans, even if they are friends.

It is from this place of comfort and privilege that I’m going to speak about the discomforts and dangers of outing trans folks. It is my assumption that folks reading this column do their best to be thoughtful about the impact that they have when talking about their trans friends and family. (And fellow trans folks, I’m talking to you, too.) You love the trans people in your life. You go to community events. You wear “I’ll pee with you” pins and wave trans flags. Thank you for all of that. It makes a difference to have cisgender allies showing their support. This support, though, does not give you the right to out trans folks, even to people you are absolutely sure will be on board.

Some folks are totally fine with being outed in these scenarios but it’s not your job to assume. It is far more appropriate for you to ask first, and since we’re BFFs, it’s no big deal if you call me up and say, “Hey, Ethan, remember that friend we met in the park? They think you’re sexy! What do you want me to share about you?” This allows me to be in control of the information shared about me. That includes my relationship status and other pertinent information, and it may or may not include my gender identity. Either way, that is my information to share.

Let’s consider a scenario. I’ll use myself as an example. You and I are friends. We get coffee and go for walks. We are BFFs. One day, we’re out walking, and we bump into a friend of yours and say hello. Later, that friend says to you (as I’m certain they would),“Wow, that Ethan is sexy.What’s his story?” Here, you might be tempted to tell your friend that I’m trans. If you could see my face right now, you’d know this is not the right response. I want you to consider why you want to share my gender identity in this situation. Does it feel like pertinent information because I might end up dating your friend? Do you think they’d find my gender identity interesting? Intriguing? How about troublesome? Would they be annoyed that you didn’t tell them?


If you are still rolling your eyes, consider this. Some folks consider transition to be part of their medical history rather than their identity. If you wouldn’t introduce someone with a long list of their past medical procedures and treatments, why would you share information about their transition? Now that I’ve got you thinking about your personal interactions, I want to shift your focus to something else. Have you noticed stories in the news about trans people? Maybe you’ve followed the developments in healthcare access and civil rights. Maybe you’ve read human interest stories about local trans folks or national celebrities. Unfortunately, you’ve probably also read stories about trans people who were the victims of crime. I want you to start reading those stories with a critical eye. Not just with the goal of

analyzing systems of oppression (which I know you’re already doing because we are BFFs), but also with this simple question in mind: Did this article include information about anyone’s gender identity without their consent? When you start looking for it, you’ll see it happening all the time. “Transgender” is added to an article’s title, not because it is pertinent to the news story, but because it will add something sensational to the story. If I were hit by a car, the headline would very likely read, “Beautiful Transgender Man Hit by Car.” (Okay, I may have taken some liberties there.) For many people, being outed can cause a great deal of damage in their life. Remember when I told you why I’m a lucky man? Many transgender people are simply not as lucky as I am. So, now that you’re thinking critically about this, what are you going to do? My hope is that you will have a conversation with your trans friends about what information is okay to share and in what contexts. Then I hope you’ll watch the media with a critical eye so when someone steps over the line, you can call them out. Remember not to post or share articles that out people, but take the time to call the editor of the paper to express concern. If you want to suggest other allies do the same, take a screen shot of the article, so you can share the information without giving the outlet the traffic they want. Thank you in advance. I’m glad we’re friends. q TGI Network of Rhode Island is the only statewide organization providing support, advocacy, and education for the transgender, gender-variant, 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

Options | September 2016


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Options | September 2016


Alix Stockwood, LICSW: Helping with Sex Addictions and More

by Christion Battey



lix Stockwood, LICSW, of Providence has been providing mental health care at AIDS Project Rhode Island (APRI) for nearly 15 years, helping hundreds of clients wrestle with emotional issues surrounding HIV/AIDS and life in general.

“Over the years, HIV/AIDS treatments have improved, and people are living longer,” she said. From a mental health perspective, however, people with HIV/AIDS often continue to need counseling for loneliness, grief and loss, depression, anxiety, relationship problems, stress, and more. Stockwood has been helping with these challenges for many years, with one of her specialties being sex addiction and other types of addictions. “When I tell people I help clients with sex addictions, it always gets their attention,” she said. “But addictions to sex are very real, and very much a barrier to happiness.” As Director of Client Services for APRI, she’s responsible for the case management program and other basic needs. “How does somebody recover from a mental health issue if there’s no food in the refrigerator?” she asks. “At APRI, we can address psychotherapy and basic needs at the same time,” adding that psychiatric services for needed mental health prescriptions are also available.


She advises potential clients to simply pick up the phone and give her a call at 831-5522 to talk about possible therapy. “There’s no obligation. I consider it a job interview,” she said smiling. “I’m working for you!” The costs for mental health therapy and other services at AIDS Project Rhode Island are usually free to the client, thanks to Ryan White Title II funding and other sources.q AIDS Project RI is a division of Family Service of RI, providing case management, health-related services, advocacy, and prevention education. APRI offers free, anonymous, rapid HIV and Hepatitis C testing at our Providence office (9 Pleasant Street) on Tuesdays from 4-6pm, Thursdays from 5-6:30pm, and by appointment (831-5522 ext. 3824 or, and at various locations through the United Way 2-1-1 Outreach RV. Visit for more info.


Options | September 2016

Too Much in Common by Felicia Nimue Ackerman

We are such a compatible pair.

We suppose that we shouldn’t complain.

But there’s one thing too many we share, And it’s getting to be quite a pain.

Who can doubt that we’re now in a fix?

And we know that we’re in it for life, Since my name is Victoria Hicks,

And that’s also the name of my wife. Felicia Nimue Ackerman is a Professor of Philosophy at Brown University in Providence, and a prolific poet who has been published in The Providence Journal, The American Scholar, The Emily Dickinson International Society Bulletin, Free Inquiry, The Los Angeles Times, The New York Times Book Review, The New York Times Metropolitan Diary, and Scientific American.

Options | September 2016



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 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 AA Brothers in Sobriety: Saturday 7:30pm. 372 Wayland Avenue, Providence. 751-9328. 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, 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. Young People’s Sexual Diversity meeting of AA. Fridays at 7pm at Center for Sexual Pleasure & Health, 250 Main St., Pawtucket. 489-5513.

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. John Fruscella, 831-5522, Ext. 3835. AIDS Action Hotline: MA only. (800) 235-2331. 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, ENCORE, HIV+ support groups. Speaker’s Bureau, 18 Parkis Ave., Providence. 521-3603 (call 781-0665 to schedule an appointment). 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 AIDS Quilt RI: Displays local AIDS memorial quilt panels, panel-making programs including Anna’s Workshop, HIV/AIDS


education for young people. PO Box 2591, Newport. 434-4880. Brown University AIDS Program: Clinical trials, public policy, research, lectures, conferences, patient and community education. 121 South Main Street, Second Floor, Providence. 863-6790. 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. 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

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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 800-338-6555. 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. 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. 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. Planned Parenthood of So. New England: Confidential, lowcost, same-day & walk-in STD and HIV testing. Commonsense approach to health. 111 Point St., Providence. 800-230-7526. Prima CARE Transgender Clinic: Fall River, MA. Counseling, hormonal reassignment, referrals for surgery. Kishore Lakshman, MD. 508-235-0481. Project Weber: Services for male sex workers. Drop-in center, support groups, HIV and Hep C testing, clean needles. 383-4888.

Seven Hills HIV Prevention & Screening: TWIST program, HIV and STI prevention and testing,partner care.1173AcushnetAvenue, New Bedford, MA, 508-999-4159. 310 S. Main Street, Fall River, MA, 508-235-1012. Contact Leonard Amaral, 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. 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. Tranquil Mind & Wellness: Counseling, alternative healing, yoga, Pilates, meditation.109 Rhode Island Road, Lakeville, MA. (508) 947-1683. 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.


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. 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 Foster Parents needed for newborns to age six. Visit www. or call Joyce, 276-4318. GLBT National Help Center Hotline: Local resources nationwide provided by social services agency. 888-843-4564.

Options | September 2016 Newport Out: LGBT website for Newport. RILGBT-News: Low-volume email distribution list for LGBT & AIDS news from RI. Not a discussion list. To subscribe: South Coast LGBTQ Network: Information & advocacy network for individuals of all ages. 774-371-0711. info@ 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. Brooklyn Coffee Tea House: 209 Douglas Ave., Providence: public/private venue for music, art, film screenings, weddings, showers, etc.; 359-0192. Club Body Center: Gay men’s sauna. Membership required. One-day pass available. Open 24hr. 257 Weybosset Street, Providence. 274-0298. 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.

Indigo Lounge: 599 Tiogue Ave, Coventry RI 02816. Breakfast buffet, specialty pizzas, T Dances, live entertainment, karaoke Thurs. Hours vary, closed Mon. Mirabar: Downtown bar and nightclub. Monday-Thursday 3pm-1am, Friday and Saturday 3pm-2am, Sunday 3pm-1am. 15 Elbow Street, Providence. 331-6761. 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. The Village: Downtown Providence’s newest LGBT owned and operated restaurant and live entertainment venue. Lunch & dinner Wednesday through Sunday for varying hours. 373 Richmond St. 228-7222,

Political & Legal Groups American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU): 128 Dorrance Street, Suite 220, Providence. 831-7171. Amnesty International OUTfront: Program to campaign globally for LGBTQ human rights. (212) 807-8400. Brown University Queer Alliance: Student advocacy and support organization. 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. Lambda Legal Defense & Education Fund: 120 Wall Street, Suite 1500, NY. (212) 809-8585. Lawyers for Equality and Diversity (LEAD): Advocates for LGBT causes. National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Assoc./New England: Works for fair and accurate media coverage of LGBT issues.,


The Next Thing (TNT): Political and support group for queer people of color located at Brown University. 863-3062. RI Commission on Prejudice and Bias: Hate crime awareness training program. RI Socialist Action: 952-5385, Spanish: 351-3514, 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, 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. Servicemembers Legal Defense Network: Serving LGBT military personnel and veterans. PO Box 65301, Washington DC. (202) 328-3244. or (800) 538-7418.

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Religious & Spiritual All Saints Memorial Church: 674Westminster Street, Providence. 751-1747. Amicable Congregational Church: UCC. Open & Affirming. Pastor William Sterrett. Sunday 10am. 3736 Main Road, Tiverton. 624-4611., Association of Welcoming & Affirming Baptists:, Barrington Congregational Church: UCC. “The white church.” Sundays 10am. 461 County Road, Barrington. 246-0111., Bell Street Chapel: Unitarian Universalist. A Welcoming Congregation. Rev. Margaret Weis. Sundays 10am. 5 Bell Street, Providence. 273-5678. Beneficent Congregational Church: UCC. An Open & Affirming congregation in the heart of Providence. Sundays 10am. 300 Weybosset Street, Providence. 331-9844., Berean Baptist Church: A safe and welcoming place for all God’s children. Sunday 10am. 474 Chapel Street, Harrisville. 568-5411. Calvary United Methodist Church of Middletown: LGBTQ early dementia support group. Contact Amy. Sundays 10:30am. 200 Turner Road, Middletown. 847-6181, Central Congregational Church: UCC.An Opening & Affirming Congregation. Sundays 10:30am. 296 Angell Street, Providence. 331-1960. Channing Memorial Church: Unitarian Universalist. A Welcoming Congregation. Sundays 10am. 135 Pelham Street, Newport. 846-0643. Charter Oak Grove ADF: An Open and Welcoming Congregation of Neo-pagan Druids in CT. charteroakadf@gmail. com, Christ Church in Lonsdale: Episcopal. 1643 Lonsdale Avenue, Lincoln. Services 8am and 10:30am. 725-1920. Church of the Ascension, 390 Pontiac Ave., Cranston, RI 02910. Sundays at 10am. 461-5811. Church of the Epiphany: A diverse Open & Affirming Episcopal congregation. 1336 Pawtucket Avenue, East Providence. 434-5012.,

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The Chapel of the Holy Spirit: Independent Old Catholic. Fr. Jakob Lazarus. Sunday 9am and 6pm. 155 Douglas Avenue, Providence. 218-0706. Church of the Redeemer, a Welcoming Episcopal church. 655 Hope St., Providence. office@ 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. Edgewood Congregational Church: UCC. Open & Affirming. Service 10am. 1788 Broad Street, Cranston. 461-1344. Emmanuel Episcopal Church: Sundays 8 and 9:30am. 120 Nate Whipple Highway, Cumberland. 658-1506. First Congregational Church in Bristol: An Open and Affirming Congregation. Skip Macaulay, Interim Pastor. 281 High Street, Bristol. 253-7288. First Unitarian Church: A welcoming congregation. Sunday 10:30am. 1 Benevolent Street, Providence. 421-7970., First Unitarian Church: Service 11am. 71 8th Street, New Bedford, MA. (508) 994-9686., First Universalist Society: UU. Welcoming congregation. Samegender weddings. 262 Chestnut Street, Franklin, MA. (508) 5285348., Foxboro Universalist Church: UUA. Service 10am. 6 Bird Street, Foxboro, MA. 508-543-4002. Grace Episcopal Church in Providence: 175 Mathewson Street, Providence. 331-3225. Hopedale Unitarian Parish: Sundays 10:30 am. 65 Hopedale St., Hopedale, MA., 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. 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@ Mathewson St. Church: United Methodist. 134 Mathewson Street, Providence. 331-8900. Mercy of God Community: Christian, inclusive religious order., Murray Unitarian Universalist Church: Marriage and commitment ceremonies for all. Rev. Bob McKetchnie. 505 North Main Street, Attleboro, MA. (508) 222-0505 Newman Congregational Church: Open & Affirming. 100 Newman Avenue, Rumford. 434-4742. 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., The Pub Church: An Open & Affirming church that meets in a pub. Location may change. Saturday 5pm. The Dugout, 722 Commonwealth Avenue, Boston, MA. Pilgrim Lutheran Church: An inclusive congregation. Sundays 8 and 9:30am. 1817 Warwick Avenue, Warwick. 739-2937., Pilgrim United Church of Christ: Open and Affirming. 635 Purchase Street, New Bedford, MA. (508)-997-9086. Riverside Church: UCC.15 Oak Avenue, Riverside. Service 10am. 433-2039. St. Augustine’s Church and Episcopal Center at URI: 15 Lower College Road, Kingston. 783-2153. Sundays 8am and 10am., 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, St. Martin’s Episcopal Church: Welcoming Church. Monthly LGBT Eucharist. 136 Rivet Street, New Bedford, MA. (508)994-8972., St. Paul’s Episcopal Church: Sundays 9am.50 Park Place,Pawtucket. 728-4300., St. Paul’s Church: A welcoming Episcopal church. Sundays 9am. 2679 East Main Street, Portsmouth. 683-1164.

St. Peter & St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church: 25 Pomona Avenue, Providence. Saint Therese Old Catholic Church: Open & Affirming. Fr. David Martins. Sunday 10:30am. 1500 Main St., W. Warwick, RI 02893. 680-9076., Second Congregational Church of Attleboro: UCC. Open & Affirming. 50 Park Street, Attleboro, MA. Sunday 10am. (508) 2224677. Seekonk Congregational Church: Open & Affirming. Sundays 9 and 10:30am. Rev. Joy Utter, 600 Fall River Ave., Seekonk, MA. (508) 336-9355. Soka Gakkai: Buddhist association for peace, culture, and education. Contact for weekly meetings in Providence. 930 Commonwealth Avenue, Boston. (617) 264-2000. Temple Agudas Achim: Reconstructionist congregation. 901 North Main Street, Attleboro, MA. (508) 222-2243., Temple Beth-El: Rabbi Sarah E. Mack. 70 Orchard Avenue, Providence. 331-6070., Temple Emanu-El: A welcoming Conservative congregation. Rabbi Wayne Franklin. 99 Taft Avenue, Providence. 331-1616., Temple Habonim: A warm, Welcoming Reform congregation. Rabbi Andrew Klein. 165 New Meadow Road, Barrington. 2456536., Temple Sinai: A Welcoming Reform temple. Rabbi Jeff Goldwasser, 30 Hagen Avenue, Cranston. 942-8350., Unitarian Church in Fall River: Sunday 10:30am. 309 North Main Street, Fall River, MA. 508-678-9700., Unitarian Universalist Society of Fairhaven: Service 10:30am. 102 Green Street, Fairhaven, MA. (508) 992-7081. www. Unitarian Universalist Congregation of South County: 27 North Road, Peace Dale. 783-4170 or Val 789-7282. uucscri@ United Congregational Church, 524 Valley Rd., Middletown RI 02842. A Welcoming congregation. Sunday, 10 am. 849-5444. Westminster Unitarian Universalist Church: A UUA Welcoming Congregation. 119 Kenyon Avenue, East Greenwich. 884-5933.

Social Organizations Bear Providence: Monthly social events for the bear community. Bisexual Resource Center: PO Box 170796, Boston, MA. (617) 4249595. Biversity Boston: Mixed-gender social events for Boston and the surrounding area. (617) 424-9595., Boston Bisexual Women’s Network: Social activities including monthly brunches, coming out groups and quarterly newsletter “Bi Woman Quarterly.” Bears Ocean State (BOS): Informal e-group for gay & bisexual bearidentified and affiliated men for friendly companionship. All welcome. Cape and Islands Gay & Straight Youth Alliance (CIGSYA): 56 Barnstable Road, Hyannis, MA. (508) 778-7744., Communisong: For unity through song. Non-performance monthly singing session. CORISMA: Potluck get-togethers for couples from RI and southeast MA.

34, Gay Men’s Social Group: First Tuesdays, 6 -- 9pm, Seven Hills Behavioral Health, 1177 Acushnet Ave., New Bedford, MA. Refreshments. Info: Lenny Amaral, 508-999-4159 or 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. Mixed Borders Gardening Group: Gardening and more. Monthly meetings, all welcome. Opera Club: Enjoy hearing and attending. Last Sunday of each month at 1pm. 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. Queer Book Club: 3rd Wednesday, 7pm. Books on the Square, 471 Angell Street, Providence,

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RI Association of Gay Professionals: Networking and philanthropy. RI Parents Pride: Gay parents socializing together with their children. Contact Melanie. 464-2288. 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., RI Prime Timers: Social and networking group for older gay and bi men. Second Sunday. Call Steve, 996-3010. RI Skeptics Society: Yearning to talk with someone rational? Refreshing discussion. Fourth Saturday. East Providence restaurant location. RI Women’s Association: Lesbian social group. 21+. Dances & events.

SAGE/RI (Services & Advocacy for GLBT Elders): Advocacy, education and social events for LGBT seniors. SAGE-RI at CareLink, 1 Virginia Ave., Providence, RI 02905. 443-4451. sageriinfo@gmail. com. SEMASSMEN: Social group for GBQ men of southeastern MA & RI to foster strong friendships. Semassmen-subscribe@ Smart Monkey Gay Men’s Support Group. Meets twice monthly in Cranston to learn about integrity, intimacy and male roles. Write Paul ( or Steve (43dadzone@ South Coast Social Club for Gay & Bisexual Men: Social and networking opportunities for gay & bisexual men in S.E. Mass. www. Yankee Lambda Car Club: Regional club for GLBT vintage and specialty car enthusiasts.

Sports & Recreation

PrideSports Boston: Network of twenty-plus gay sports leagues/teams in Boston area. Boston Gay BASKETBALL League:, BOATING: Yankee Cruising Club, New England’s club for LGBTQ boaters. yankeecruisingclub@ 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. FIELD HOCKEY: Teamworks Somerset, 732 Lee’s River Ave., Somerset, MA. New season every 10 weeks. (508-676-3956) 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 FLAG (For Lesbians And Gays) FOOTBALL: Boston-based recreational football club. All skill levels are encouraged to participate. Saturday mornings in the fall and spring. Boston Pride HOCKEY: Rondeaus KICKBOXING: 272-5425. Main Street MARTIAL ARTS: Non-profit. Welcoming dojo and community center. 1282 North Main Street, Providence. Chiltern Mountain Club: OUTDOOR recreation club in New England. Boston Gay ROWERS: Worldwide online community for gay and lesbian rowers, coxies, coaches, and race officials. Boston Ironsides RUGBY Football:

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Providence Women’s RUGBY Club: Competitive and recreational. Frontrunners Rhode Island RUNNING Group: Running and walking group. Newcomers welcome. Meet at the end of Blackstone Boulevard at Hope Street, Providence.Thursday 6pm. Contact Brian. 751-7643., Frontrunners Boston RUNNING Group: Morning walk/ run along the Charles River. Saturdays,10am. Club Cafe, 209 Columbus Avenue, Boston, MA. OutRyders SKIING: New England’s largest gay and lesbian ski and snowboard club. Boston Strikers SOCCER Club: Non-profit social organization to learn and improve soccer skills in a relaxed, congenial environment. Renaissance City SOFTBALL League: New players and boosters always welcome. Beantown SOFTBALL League: Friendly competition. 27 teams in four divisions of play: competitive, intermediate, and recreational. (617) 297-7490. LANES (Liquid Assets New England SWIMMING): Fitness and/or competition. (617) 937-5858. TENNIS-4-All: Boston area tennis organization. Cambridge Boston VOLLEYBALL Association: Players of all skill levels welcome. Ocean State Pride VOLLEYBALL League: Adult coed indoor league following USVBA rules. No try-outs. Fee applies. Kent County YMCA, 900 Centerville Road, Warwick. East Coast WRESTLING Club: (617)937.5858 x6.


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 CCRI Triangle Alliance: an LGBTQQ student-run group at CCRI, on the Flanagan, Liston, and Knight campuses. LGBT National Youth Talkline: 800-246-7743. Private oneto-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. Queer & Trans Thursdays: 6-8pm. Space for LGBTQ and heterosexual youth (24 and under) of color to foster coalitionbuilding and organize to address intersections of oppressions. 669 Elmwood Ave., Rm. B7, Providence. 383-7450.

Salve Regina University – The Alliance: 100 Ochre Point Avenue, Newport. Contact: Benjamin Mead, benjamin.mead@ S.H.E.P.A.R.D. (Stopping Homophobia, Eliminating Prejudices and Restoring Dignity): Providence College, 1 Cunningham Square, Providence. 865-1631. 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). University of RI LGBTIQ2: Alumni association. 874-5808. 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.

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) 227-4911. Adoption Options: Non-sectarian help. Jewish Family Service, 959 North Main Street, Providence. Contact Betsy Alper. 331-5437. Child & Family Services: Counseling, young parent support, adoption, more. LGBT groups beginning July. Open six days. 66 Troy St., Fall River, MA. (508) 676-5708. Community Care Alliance: Stipend, assistance, training provided by Family Resources Community Action. 235-6095. Foster parents needed: For newborn to age six. 276-4300. Family Service RI: Training, stipend, support provided for nurturing families. Family Service of RI. Contact Gregary Wright. 331-1350 ext. 3305. Seven Hills Behavioral Health: HIV Prevention and Screening. 310 South Main Street, Fall River, MA. (508) 235-1012. T.W.I.S.T. (508) 672-0378. Blackstone Valley Advocacy Center: Offering resources for victims of domestic violence. 723-3057. Compass: FTM trans info, support and social group. Boston first Thursday 7-9pm. 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. 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 800-494-8100, Gay Fathers of Greater Boston: Support. 738 Main St. #323,


Waltham, MA. (781) 333-8429., www. 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 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. 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@, LGBT Grief Support: Meets regularly at Hope Hospice, 2085 N. Main St., Providence. Rebecca Sizelove, 415-4301. 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. 521-3603. New members contact Scott. 640-3108. Kathys’ Group: Free support group for lesbians with cancer or any life-threatening illness. Partners and caregivers welcome. Meets monthly in Providence. 888-5KATHYS. Mantalk of S.E. Mass: Socializing and discussions for gay, bi and curious men. Confidential. Drug and alcohol-free. 18+. Thursdays in Taunton and first Tuesdays in New Bedford. 7-8:30pm. National directory of inpatient treatment options for those with substance abuse problems. 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.

Options | September 2016

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 Greater Providence Chapter serves all R.I. First Wednesday at 6:45 p.m., Met School, 325 Public St., Providence. 751-7571. www. Rape Crisis Center for S.E. Mass: New Hope, Inc. Advocacy, shelter, services for domestic abuse survivors. Hotline (800) 323HOPE. Office (508)226-4015. Project RENEW: Support, employment services, HIV prevention for male and female sex workers. Amos House, 415 Friendship St., Providence. 272-0220.Trans support group meets Thurs. Info: Queer & Trans Thursdays: Space for LGBTQ and heterosexual youth (24 and under) of color to foster coalition-building and organize to address intersections of oppressions. 6-8pm. 669 Elmwood Ave., Rm. B7, Providence. 383-7450. 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). 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 8616191. St. Mary’s Home for Children: Sexual abuse treatment for children. 450 Fruit Hill Ave., No. Providence. 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. 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 6:308:30pm. Providence. Location unpublished for privacy. partners@ Trans* Youth Family Allies: Support for gender-variant and transgender children ages 3-18., Transgender American Veterans Association (TAVA): Growing organization to address the concerns of fair treatment of transgender veterans and active duty service members. www. Women’s Resource Center of Newport and Bristol Counties: Offering services to victims of domestic violence. 846-5263. www. q

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Options | September 2016

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WORTH A LOOK Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie is, well, absolutely fabulous, sweetie darlings! The movie is the long-awaited return of the bawdy BBC television comedy that follows the many adventures of fountain-of-youthcrazed publicist Edina Monsoon, played by British comedy legend and writer Jennifer Saunders; and her irrepressibly libertine and semipickled childhood friend, fashion editor Patsy Stone, played by the equally legendary Joanna Lumley. The entire cast from the original series is back and as fabulous as ever, and long-time fans will catch many inside references throughout. Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie finds Edina luring her tween-age granddaughter to a debauched fashion party to score Kate Moss as a

My lady turned me on to Wild Things, the newest album by New Zealandnative singer-songwriter Ladyhawke. Known as Pip Brown off the stage, Ladyhawke is a seasoned multi-instrumentalist with a knack for matching eclectic sounds to her well-crafted lyrics. This is an album that begs for headphones: a techno, electronic pop-fest that will drive you through your day and take you into the club at night. At times, the album reminds me of roller skating my Saturday mornings away to the 80s new wave at Bobby’s Rollaway. At other times, the sound is unmistakably modern, the newest of new age. I love Brown’s artful pairing of sounds to the lyrics; each song is thoughtfully playful. Brown recently tied the knot with actress Madeleine Sami, and the album’s title track is an upbeat LGBT anthem. My other favorites are the poppy, synth-filled “Hillside Avenue” and “Dangerous,” and the lesbionic “A Love Song.” This mix may be the perfect soundtrack for your late summer. If you like Wild Things, check out Ladyhawke’s last album, Anxiety (I love its catchy lead single, “Blue Eyes”), and her previous band, Teenager. Their song, “Pony,” featured on the Grand Theft Auto IV soundtrack, is another standout.


by The Lit Chick client, much to Edina’s famously straitlaced daughter’s disapproval. After Kate takes an unexpected tumble into the Thames, Edina and Patsy find themselves on a run to the French Riviera, where the ultimate mixed marriage might mean leading a life of luxury for the rest of their days. Don’t let the limited release fool you; this movie is definitely worth a look, and if you happen to look away, you may miss one of the many, many well-timed cameos throughout, including Dame Edna and 90 other drag queens. Pop a bottle of bubbly or anything else you want, and watch this one wherever you can find it. Saunders has said that she may work on a sequel, and, oh, I do hope she does. In the meantime, I’ll soak up this one, in all of its boozy bliss.

“My mom wasn’t the kind of parent you would go to for practical advice about school or work,” writes award-winning journalist Anderson Cooper in a beautiful essay that serves as the introduction to the book, The Rainbow Comes and Goes: A Mother and Son on Life, Love, and Loss. “What she does know about are hard-earned truths, the kind of things you discover only by living an epic life filled with love and loss, tragedies and triumphs, big dreams and deep heartaches.” Cooper published the book with his mother, the heiress, artist, and fashion mogul Gloria Vanderbilt, who turned 92 this year. The idea came about when he realized that he felt as if he never really had gotten to know his mother, even though the two had been alone together for most of their lives, following the early death of his father and his brother’s suicide. Last year, Cooper decided to launch an ongoing conversation via email, where he would reflect on his family experiences and ask his mother about her history and perspective on the same events.The result is a touching memoir and portrait of a mother and son. “I was born with an appetite for life, a romantic readiness, and I’ve rushed to greet life with an open heart,” writes Vanderbilt, reflecting on a lifetime of extraordinary experiences. “I still have it. It is the key to everything. Because of this, no matter how difficult some of my experiences have been, they have not hardened me or made me tough.” q

Options | September 2016



Options Magazine-September 2016  
Options Magazine-September 2016  

Rhode Island's LGBTQ Community Magazine