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2 • The Rainbow Times • • 10th Year Anniversary

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4 • The Rainbow Times • • 10th Year Anniversary

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February 2, 2017 - March 1, 2017

Thousands protest Trump’s “Muslim Ban;” Judge issues stay, blocks order By: Chris Gilmore/TRT Reporter


Although a federal judge ordered a stay against Donald Trump’s Muslim Ban, demonstrators from Boston to San Francisco continued to protest at airports in over 30 cities in the U.S. for a second day in a row last weekend. Waving pro-immigration signs and chanting against the Trump administration’s Muslim ban, treatment of refugees and immigrants. Immigration attorneys, national security experts and civil rights organizations all criticized the order considering it un-American and a violation of the U.S. Constitution. The online site Mother Jones ( reported that the ruling—“handed down by the American Civil Liberties Union, ACLU, as a first stinging rebuke in Trump’s first week—protects deportation refugees or visa holders who were detained at American airports since the signing of the so-called ‘Muslim ban.’ It also protects those in transit when the emergency ruling was filed.” Trump’s destructive executive order, as the ACLU deemed it, took effect immediately. “At John F. Kennedy International Airport last night, Hameed Khalid Darweesh arrived and was immediately detained. Darweesh worked as interpreter for the Army’s 101st Airborne Division and, according to Brandon Friedman, a platoon leader in Iraq, saved countless U.S. service members’ lives,” said Anthony D. Romero, ACLU Ex-

Thousands across the nation protested the Muslim Ban, this crowd in Boston, Mass.

ecutive Director, via the ACLU’s website. “We don’t know how many other refugees and foreign nationals with green cards or visas might have been detained when they tried to make their way into the United States today, but we intend to find out. We are asking anyone with any information to

get in touch with the ACLU.” And intent was at the helm of it, the ACLU claims. “We have no doubt that the motivation behind the executive order was discriminatory,” explained Romero in his statement. “This was a Muslim ban wrapped in a paper-


thin national security rationale.” ACLU, Attorneys to the rescue The ACLU, along with other organizations jumped into action to challenge Trump’s ...

See Muslim Ban on Page 23

6 • The Rainbow Times • • 10th Year Anniversary

February 2, 2017 - March 1, 2017

Millions rise up in protest & chant “The people united will never be divided” By: Nicole Lashomb/TRT Editor-in-Chief



he Inauguration didn’t go so well for Donald J. Trump, at least not according to photos circulating widely comparing President Obama’s 2009 inauguration to Trump’s 2017 swearing-in. Reports from social networks, TV, web and print media took to the wire by firestorm. The photos originally came from the U.S. National Park Service Twitter account. It was retweeted as an observation from New York Times reporter Binyamin Appelbaum ( as he wrote: “Compare the crowds: 2009 inauguration at left, 2017 inauguration at right.” The tweet contained images from both events showing a very obvious difference in crowd size. Imagine, Trump and his entourage had said over and over via media coverage that the crowds were “huge,” using a word he’s most notable for overusing in his limited vernacular, even claiming to have drawn-in the largest crowd ever. However, CNN (, along with various media cited approximately 250,000 attendees, a relatively small crowd for an initial inaugural event. The next day, we marched. Rising up against the Trump administration’s dismissal and mockery of women, our issues and reality of what this presidency means to us, we showed up in droves. Millions of women, girls and accomplices took to the streets across the globe to express not just solidarity in progressive ideals, but to represent a movement, a mobilization of people who stand for equality in support of


3.3-4.6 MILLION), STILL THERE WAS NO EXPEDIENT ACKNOWLEDGMENT FROM THIS PRESIDENT ABOUT IT, AND WHEN IT DID, IT WAS IN THE FORM OF A COMPLAINT. marginalized communities—including women. These are the same marginalized communities that Trump venomously attacked throughout the campaign season— people of color, immigrants, members of the LGBTQ community, the disabled, Veterans, Mexicans, Muslims, blacks, etc.—and even worse post-election. What is worse is that he lost a real opportunity to address women and

A little spiritual renewal in the mountains By: Paul P. Jesep*/TRT Columnist



ver the Christmas holiday, I spent three nights in Vermont’s Green Mountains on a spiritual retreat. Never before had I seen so many stars. Bright, magical, and twinkling. On Christmas Eve night, I wanted to believe I had seen the Bethlehem Star. And no, I didn’t have too much eggnog with rum while watching a Christmas-themed movie. In most windows of the guest house were views of either forests or mountains. I had to walk a half mile each way from my room to the church for several services in the Benedictine tradition held throughout the day. At night and early morning the day was blacker than black, but for the stars above. You needed a flashlight to walk the dirt road. The mountain winds were cold, strong, and empowering. Tree branches danced with the winds and together made hauntingly beautiful sounds. As a fan of vampire and werewolf movies, I had to stop my mind from occasionally wandering from inner stillness to a comical, unsettledness about things that go bump in the night. The little critters like minks could easily be perceived as something supernatural wanting me for a meal. Everyone—atheist, agnostic, believer, hu-



manist, and searching—could benefit from at least one spiritual retreat each year. There are many types, some LGBTQ-themed, others LGBTQ inclusive, and many avoiding what’s been defined as the “culture wars.” These retreats can be directed by someone at the monastery or community or they can be self-driven where you make it what you want and participate in as many formal worship services as you think best. Just before arriving at the monastery I drove my car into a ditch. I had no cell service. Snow clouds moved in. I was in the middle of nowhere, surrounded by mountains, and needed a tow truck. Obviously, I lived to write about it, but oy. Let’s just say a Christmas miracle occurred when, as the snow fell, a rough-looking man came out of the woods. After I was

See Spiritual Renewal on Page 19

other disenfranchised groups’ concerns in lieu of this worldwide march. Trump’s response? It was mostly not a response at all to the giant crowds ( He merely took to Twitter and asked “Why these people didn’t vote?” We did vote and you lost, according to our votes, Mr. Trump. But like you said throughout the election cycle, the system was rigged—in your favor. No matter how much it was said, or the estimates on the size of the crowds nationally and internationally (over 3.3-4.6 million), still there was no expedient acknowledgment from this President about it, and when it did, it was in the form of a complaint. According to an editorial by the Boston Globe (, “The Trump administration’s response, in contrast, was a juvenile outburst.” Anyone would think that given his low #Inauguration numbers and approval rating—a historical low at just 40 percent when entering office—that he would have addressed the #WomensMarch happening around the nation and world differently. Yet, he continued to go on without addressing the issues that matter to the majority of the American people. How he has responded to the Women’s March on Washington ( and sister marches around the country and globe, has proven just how unfit he is to serve the people, all of us. TV Ratings, Twitter and Inaugural attendance were the primary focus over his first 72 hours in the Oval Office. Little did we know at the time that his unpresidential response to the #Women’sMarch was just the beginning of his un-American worldly view of what was to come. In an onslaught of executive orders in his first 10 days, the president seems to have forgotten that the United States is a democracy, not a dictatorship. The American people, we the people, will not lie down while

Letters to the Editor

[Re: AIDS Action Committee Receives $200K Grant to Support Cambridge Needle Exchange] Dear Editor, Proud of you guys and everything you do. —Dale Orlando, Online [Re: Op-Ed: Resistance Starts on Inauguration Day] Dear Editor, The “RUMP” is NOT our (people’s) president ;he is Russia’s. Shame on the rich & powerful if they let this “sick” idiot assume the powers of the Presidency. —Matthew Jon Caulfield [Organization Elicits a Call to Action to Resist Trump/Pence, Fascism] Dear Editor, Trumps connection to fascist theory explained in 2 minutes. Historical perspective by Dr. Stephen Eric Bronner (

Send your Letters to the Editor to:, along a phone number, e-mail address and town you are from.

human rights are under siege. Just days after the Women’s March, Trump signed yet another executive order, plowing through the barricades and of democracy and violating the very Constitution he claims to defend when he banned citizens of seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the United States for the next 90 days, including refugees for the next 120 days. Protests have erupted throughout the nation and rest of the globe, yet again, to decry such an infringement of human rights and lack of basic compassion for those suffering. Not only did this order affect incoming refugees but also green cardholders, those that have been here on visa and were traveling back to the United States. Needless to say, all seven Muslim-majority countries that were “banned” from entry do not conduct business with the Trump conglomerates. Yet, none of the Muslim-majority countries that do business with the real estate mogul were banned. Coincidence? I don’t believe in them. This inhumane ban also applied to those who were already en route to the U.S.

See People United on Page 7

The Rainbow Times The Freshest LGBT Newspaper in New England—Boston Based Phone: 617.444.9618 Fax: 928.437.9618 Publisher Gricel M. Ocasio Editor-In-Chief Nicole Lashomb Assistant Editor Mike Givens National/Local Sales Rivendell Media Liz Johnson Lead Photographers Alex Mancini Steve Jewett Reporters John Paul Stapleton Christine Nicco Jenna Spinelle Chuck Colbert Al Gentile Chris Gilmore Keen News Service

Ad & Layout Design Prizm PR Webmaster Jarred Johnson Columnists/Guest* Lorelei Erisis Deja N. Greenlaw Paul P. Jesep Mike Givens Natalia Muñoz* Keegan O’Brien* Mike Yepes* Affiliations National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association NGLCC QSyndicate *Guest Freelancer

The Rainbow Times is published monthly by The Rainbow Times, LLC. TRT is affiliated with the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association, NLGJA, National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce, NGLCC, and QSyndicate. The articles written by the writers, columnists, and correspondents solely express their opinion, and do not represent the endorsement or opinion of The Rainbow Times, LLC or its owners. Send letters to the editor with your name, address and phone number to: The Rainbow Times (address shown above), or e-mail any comment/s to the editor-in-chief at: All submissions will be edited according to space constraints. The Rainbow Times, LLC reserves the right not to print any or all content or advertisements for any reason at all. TRT is not responsible for advertising content. To receive The Rainbow Times at your home via regular mail, or through electronic delivery, please visit its website. The whole content and graphics (photos, etc.) are the sole property of The Rainbow Times, LLC and they cannot be reproduced at all without TRT’s written consent.

10th Year Anniversary • • The Rainbow Times • 7

February 2, 2017 - March 1, 2017

LGBTQs & allies take on the cold to battle Trump admin By: Al Gentile/TRTReporter

BOSTON—In below-freezing temperatures, hundreds from the LGBTQ and ally community took to the Massachusetts State House last month to stand against bigotry, inequality, and the Donald Trump presidency. It was at once a stand for solidarity and a call to action. “Call [your legislators], tell them you support immigrant rights in Boston, you support Boston being a sanctuary city, and you support transgender rights and public accommodations here in the state of Massachusetts,” said Michelle Tat, one of the organizers of the demonstration. More than 200 people of all ages, walks of life, and sexual and gender identities called for a rejection of the hateful rhetoric of the new administration. Tat, a transgender woman, made it clear nothing can be done without further sustained action. “We really need to convince the hearts and

minds of folks here in Massachusetts,” she said. “Call them to talk to them and tell them you support equal rights here in Boston.” Maxwell Eng, a queer transgender man and volunteer for the Massachusetts Transgender Political Coalition (MTPC,, said the fight for equality goes beyond talking to legislators. “Listen to your neighbors, to your coworkers, to the person who fixes your car, or sits across the aisle in your sociology class,” Eng said. “This is not going to be a fight with legislators and speeches, this is a fight that is going to be fought [around] kitchen tables, with pie.” The event was sponsored by more than two dozen civil rights and equality organizations both in and outside the LGBTQ community. After several speakers took to the megaphone, School of HONK ( a local street band, led the charge through Boston Common and into other parts of the city. Evan Greer, a queer activist singer/song-

“That kind of anger and derisiveness spreads down among people who believe what he says, and I fear for my safety and for the safety of my family with people who think Trump speaks the truth,” Matheny said.

said. Afterwards, many demonstrators began chanting “No Strangers Left!” Estrangement between people, along with other factors, is something Jaime Matheny said she believes is at the heart of the Trump administration. “That kind of anger and derisiveness spreads down among people who believe what he says, and I fear for my safety and for the safety of my family with people who think Trump speaks the truth,” Matheny said. “I’m here to show support for the queer and trans [community] in the face of the upcoming presidency, which is horrific. It’s like watching a horror show. This is not the country I live in, this is not the country I believe in.” A transgender woman by the name of Mitzzyanne, who did not provide a last name, said she was demonstrating for others. “I have friends who have been killed by trans violence, and I’m here because of

writer also performed several songs on guitar. While marching, pansexual woman Asia Bridell told The Rainbow Times people living in the shadows out of fear need to know a community exists for them with open arms. “Even if the people you’re closest with now won’t accept you, there are people here who will accept you,” Bridell said. “You can always find someone who will take you for you.” To aid the marchers through the cold temperatures, Food Not Bombs-Boston/Cambridge (, a grassroots collective of independent organizations who voluntarily supply vegan and vegetarian food for various causes, served a hot meal of spaghetti at the sight of the demonstration. The sense of community present amid strangers was part of what Eng said he believes will bring true, lasting change. “Only a stranger will deny our rights,” Eng

them,” she said. “I’m hoping love trumps hate, and I hope groups with like minds like this can help.” The warmth of community and pulsing horn music brought happy faces and good cheer in a population which often feels disenfranchised and left behind, according to Eng. “This beautiful queer community that has always understood equality in all its shades, because we are not political footballs,” Eng said. “The rights of me and my family are not up for debate; they are civil rights. They are unalienable rights, yet oppression knows no boundary.” Another message, the need for the LGBTQ and ally communities to come together and stand in solidarity, was evident to Matheny. “It’s hard to stand up for what’s right, but somebody has to do it, and this is why we’re put on this planet,” Matheny said. “To take care of each other and lift each other up.”

People United from Page 6 However, large-scale protests erupted at airports across the nation after travelers were detained due to the ban. If it were up to Trump, he would have deported all travelers; even those who were refugees fleeing a warridden oppressive regime and when going back to their country of origin would likely result in death. After lawyers lined the country’s terminals, filing court petitions and advocating on behalf of those being held, a federal judge granted an “emergency stay for people who have already arrived in the United States, those who were in transit, and who hold valid visas, ruling they cannot be deported,” reported CNN. Already Trump has seen some limits to his assumed “power.” And, I can assume he will continue to be challenged. Our efforts are not in vain as nationwide and global movements have sparked. Despite massive numbers participating in marches and protests worldwide, the next step in this demonstrative process is critical. We’ve proven that we can mobilize and organize. Now, what do we do with it? Strategy is pivotal in phase 2. One thing I know

for sure is that complacency is not an option. Remember that revolution (#TheResistance) spoken about so fervently throughout the Democratic primary? It’s begun. The messages in speeches throughout the country, the crowd numbers domestically and internationally, and the words and images depicted on demonstration signs paint a picture of the deep distress that the majority of Americans are facing. We are upholding the most consequential concern for the violation of human rights and of empowering ourselves through grassroots activism. The mere fact that we are rising to the occasion, demanding that the president is held accountable, refusing to allow disenfranchised groups to continue to be disenfranchised by our own government and that the world has joined in solidarity with us proves that we are on the right path. There is always strength in numbers. As the chant goes “the people united will never be divided.” The opposition is always loud—we have proved we can be louder. Onward!

8 • The Rainbow Times • • 10th Year Anniversary

February 2, 2017 - March 1, 2017

How will the Trump administration impact HIV health policy, the Affordable Care Act? By: Eric Bruss*/Special to TRT

In the nearly seven years since the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) was signed into law in March 2010, there have been many unsuccessful attempts led by House Republicans to repeal the ACA entirely, change or eliminate some of its main provisions, or restrict the funding necessary to implement the law. With the inauguration of President Donald Trump and the election of Republican majorities in the House and Senate, proposals to repeal and replace the ACA are now being pursued with renewed energy. However, these efforts are also being met with strong opposition from supporters of the ACA who fear that many people, especially persons with low incomes or chronic conditions, may lose health coverage or be burdened with higher health care costs. This issue, completed during the first week of the Trump Administration, is devoted largely to recent news about health policy changes expected under President Trump and the 115th Congress. We have also included coverage of the hopes and concerns of proponents and opponents to the proposed changes in U.S. health care—with an emphasis on the impacts of these changes on the care and treatment of HIV and viral hepatitis. President Trump’s First Executive Order Directs Agencies to Scale Back Parts of the ACA On January 20, President Trump issued his first executive order, which explicitly states

his Administration’s intention to promptly repeal the ACA and directs the heads of federal agencies and executive departments to scale back implementation of the law. In particular, the order states that, “To the maximum extent permitted by law, the Secretary of Health and Human Services (Secretary) and the heads of all other executive departments and agencies (agencies) with authorities and responsibilities under the Act shall exercise all authority and discretion available to them to waive, defer, grant exemptions from, or delay the implementation of any provision or requirement of the Act that would impose a fiscal burden on any State or a cost, fee, tax, penalty, or regulatory burden on individuals, families, healthcare providers, health insurers, patients, recipients of healthcare services, purchasers of health insurance, or makers of medical devices, products, or medications.” News summaries of the executive order published by Health Affairs, Kaiser Health News, the Associated Press, and elsewhere indicate, however, that its immediate impact may be limited. Since the current healthcare rules under the ACA have already been incorporated into insurance company contracts for 2017, the order may have little effect on coverage this year. In addition, as of this writing, no highlevel political appointees had yet been installed at the Departments of Health and Human Services (HHS), Labor, and Treasury, which have primary authority over the law. President Trump had nominated secretaries for each of these departments—U.S.

House Budget Committee Chairman Tom Price (R-GA) for HHS, CKE Restaurants CEO Andrew Puzder for Labor, and Dune Capital Management CEO Steven Mnuchin for Treasury—but none had yet been confirmed. Once the heads of these agencies are confirmed, the agencies will need time to develop policies implementing the executive order. Republican members of Congress broadly support President Trump’s intention to repeal the ACA. However, their views on which parts of the ACA should be replaced, modified, or retained vary widely, as evidenced by the differing provisions of the healthcare proposals that Republicans have

floated before and after the 2016 election. (See additional coverage of these proposals in the article below.) Negotiating, reaching consensus, and passing comprehensive healthcare legislation to replace the ACA will likely take considerable time. ACA advocates are expected to fight hard to retain the law or, failing that, some of its key provisions, such as coverage for pre-existing conditions and premium subsidies for lowand middle-income persons. Finally, assuming a new healthcare law is passed, new regulations implementing the legislation cannot be issued immediately.

See HIV/AIDS on Page 22

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Military discharge upgraded to honorable discharge for 91-year-old veteran NORWALK, Conn.—Nearly 70 years after being discharged from the United States Air Force for being gay, H. Edward Spires can finally hold his head high when discussing his service to his country. Spires, 91, had his military discharge upgraded to honorable in January after a threeyear legal battle involving multiple organizations. He is one of hundreds of LGBTQ veterans discharged from the military for being gay who’ve had their discharges upgraded to honorable in recent years. An honorable discharge allows veterans access to military benefits, including education stipends and health care at Veterans Affairs (VA) hospitals around the country. “It’s about time…the humiliation is gone,” Spires said, speaking from his home in Norwalk while recovering from pneumonia. “It’s been a long haul.” Spires enlisted in the Air Force in 1946 as a way to avoid being drafted into the U.S. Army after graduating from college. He served as a chaplain’s assistant at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, where he was responsible for maintaining the chapel, playing the organ at services, and typing letters to families. He was promoted to a sergeant after 18 months. He served two years and two months of a three-year commitment before he was accused of dressing in drag at an off-base Halloween party, which lead to questioning about his sexuality. Spires underwent a twoweek interrogation and was threatened with


By: Jenna Spinelle/TRT Reporter

Edward Spires, left, stands next to his spouse David Rosenberg after a press conference held by the Veterans Legal Services Clinic at Yale on Friday. In 1948 the United States Air Force discharged Hubert Edward Spires with an undesirable discharge for being gay. At age 91, Spires has waited nearly seventy years for the Air Force to recognize that he faithfully served his country.

a court martial before being dishonorably discharged in March 1948. Spires, an Ohio native, returned home embarrassed and ashamed and destroyed much of the evidence that he was ever in the mili-

tary. He eventually moved to New York City, where he met husband and longtime partner David Rosenberg in 1958. “It was pretty hairy when Ed was first called and asked about being gay,” Rosen-

berg said. “There was a lot of fear of his family finding out why he left the service.” After building successful careers and

See Honorable Discharge on P. 22

10 • The Rainbow Times • • 10th Year Anniversary

February 2, 2017 - March 1, 2017

The Frivolist: 8 pieces of ridiculous relationship advice you should disavow By: Mikey Rox*/Special to TRT


nother Valentine’s Day is sneaking up on us, and if you’re currently in a relationship, you’re probably acting a little more lovey-dovey than usual. There’s nothing wrong with that, of course—do you, I say—so long as it’s not a dog-and-pony show to cover up underlying relationship issues that you’d like to keep brushed under the rug. In that case, you may need couples’ counseling or fair-trade relationship advice from a friend. What you don’t need, however, are these eight outdated tidbits that you’ve already heard but which only stand to exacerbate your problems. Take a look and steer clear. 1. Long-Distance Relationships Never Work Out Meeting a guy who lived hundreds of miles away and falling hard for him seemed to be my M.O. for the first seven years of my dating career. After the first two long(ish)term relationships fizzled out—for reasons related to lack of intimacy (basically I cheated on them)—I finally met someone who made staying faithful despite the distance worthwhile. I don’t think I loved this person any more than I did the others—I consider myself rather in touch with my feelings, and I love hard (even though my actions don’t always prove that)—but with experience and age came wisdom. For one, I didn’t like how I made the first two guys feel, one of whose heart I just about broke in two, and I didn’t like how I

felt about myself afterward—especially after they dumped me. The third time, however, I was determined to get it right, and it worked because it was the right relationship for me at the time. Despite the 300-plus miles between us, we scheduled time to see each other (on average, two weekends a month). We looked forward to that time together and the weekends were full of excitement and passion. After a year and half of traveling back and forth we decided to move in together, and eventually we married. More on that later. 2. Never Go to Bed Angry You’ve heard over and over again that you should never go to bed angry at your partner from your parents and grandparents, who claim to abide by this “rule”—but I call bull$hit. In a perfect world, sure, we’d kiss and make up before falling into a comfortable slumber together, but sometimes— sometimes!—our S.O.’s make us so f#$king mad that all we can think about in the moment is slipping them an Ambien and smothering them in their sleep. (Real talk, y’all; don’t pretend you haven’t digressed to that space.) The underlying issue of this anti-logic, however, is that not all arguments can be resolved right away, and forcing yourself to extinguish your fiery feelings oftentimes only serves to distance yourself from the actual problem just so you’re not yelling at each other anymore. Thus, get it all out. If you need to scream at each other one night, go to bed angry, and dole out the

the dishwasher half the time—and it made me furious to the point that I started lashing out. I discussed this problem with my friends and family, and all I heard was, “He’s just a man.” This unanimous retort burned me to the core. Why? Because I’m a goddarn man, too—but I’m also a growna$$ person who doesn’t live like a slob. This approach to mansplaining applies to many aspects of masculine culture, like dudes’ desire to cheat, too. I can’t say I’m completely innocent in that regard, but I would never tell somebody it’s just what I do because I’m a man. I cheated because I was being an inconsiderate a$$hole—end of story. Thus, the faster you shut down the “all guys act this way” bull$hit and maintain your high expectations, the better off you’ll be. silent treatment for the next few days, so be it. Soon enough, cooler heads will prevail so you can really talk about what’s going—and that’s the best thing for your relationship. 3. Holding Out On Sex Will Get Their Attention If you think withholding sex from your partner to get their attention is a smart move, prepare to have your feelings hurt—perhaps worse than you ever imagined. For starters, couples can be very stubborn toward one another, especially if each individual thinks they’re “right” in a situation. Then it becomes a battle of wills, and that’s not a healthy way to deal with the issues at hand. Secondly, your partner may misinterpret your unwillingness to connect sexually in many ways—for instance, that you’re not attracted to them anymore or you’re finding pleasure elsewhere—which could lead to retaliation tactics, like bangin’ a side trick for instant gratification. You’ll regret your presumed power play at that point, but the damage will already be done. Avoid certain disaster by skipping the passive-aggressiveness body language and verbally discussing what’s bothering you. 4. Dote on Your Partner to Keep Them Happy I’m all for doing nice things for your partner—I enjoy planning dates, cooking dinner and surprising mine with the occasional gift—but your efforts should be reciprocated for you to maintain satisfaction in your relationship. That doesn’t mean that you should expect your partner to do exactly what you do for them, but they should show their appreciation for you in their own way from time to time. On the other hand, if your partner doesn’t put much effort into the relationship but takes advantage of all the nice things you do for him or her, ditch the dirtbag. You’ll save a lot of time, energy and heartache by leaving that leech. 5. “He’s a Man. That’s Just What They Do” When my husband and I first moved in together as boyfriends a decade ago, our oncethriving long-distance relationship turned upside-down in our new cohabitation situation. We both had our own living styles, and to say they clashed is a gross understatement. My biggest gripe was that he never cleaned a single thing in the house. He didn’t make the bed or sanitize the bathroom or sweep the floor or even put the dishes in

6. Keep Some Things to Yourself So You Don’t Seem Crazy I’m married but on my way to an amicable divorce—which might make you question why I’m handing out relationship advice like snack-size Kit-Kats. Well, I’ll tell you: I’ve been through it _all_ in the past 10 years with my husband, and as someone who prides myself on living and learning and trying to avoid the same mistakes again, I think I’m more than qualified to dispel advice by way of my experiences. As such, one of the most important things I can impart unto you is to always be your authentic self in your relationship—from the very beginning. If you get a little crazy sometimes—f#ck it— let that shit show. Your partner will eventually see that side of you anyway, and it’s better to spread your undiagnosed bipolar disorder all over the table so everybody knows what they’re getting into from the start. From there, you two can decide if the relationship is worth pursuing or if you’re better off without each other—a decision that’s only made that much harder with time. 7. If You’re Unhappy, Leave If your relationship is irreparable, I recommend cutting your losses and going your separate ways—but that’s not an endorsement to be hasty. Couples get angry at one another, annoy each other, and fight. That’s the byproduct of loving someone so much. But that doesn’t mean you should throw it all away because you’ve made each other unhappy. If your overall outlook on life is dismal because of your partner, yes, it’s time to reevaluate your togetherness, but if your feelings got hurt or they did something to piss you off, step back, breathe and remember why you want to be in this. It’ll make all the difference. 8. Move On If They Don’t Want to Get Married My husband and I have been separated for about two years, divorce is imminent, and I consider myself a one-and-done kinda guy now. That’s not to say I’ll never get married again, but I’d prefer not to. My boyfriend (yep; not ashamed of it, either) may feel differently in a few years—he’s never been married before—but I’ve been honest with him from day one about my circumstance and why another marriage may not be in my future. Nonetheless, if he wants to tie the knot down the road and I’m still anti-nupRead the rest of this story at:

February 2, 2017 - March 1, 2017

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12 • The Rainbow Times • • 10th Year Anniversary

February 2, 2017 - March 1, 2017

Malcolm Ribot: FTM Traveler trailblazes a path for trans men across the U.S. By: Gricel M. Ocasio/TRT Publisher


thentically. In this candid, one-on-one interview with The Rainbow Times, Malcolm discusses all of this, where and how his name came to be, and where he sees himself in the near future. Not surprisingly, his answers to our questions are as genuine as the man who has given so much of himself to others. Q: Now 28, you’ve been “out” for 3-anda-half years. Who did you come out to first? A: I came out when I was 24 to some of my friends first. Eventually I came out to my dad, since I didn’t grow up with him. I came out to my mom. She ended up crying when I came out to her. She seemed okay about it because she could see this was something that was right for me. It’s who I am. They’ve been incredibly supportive, they both call me their son, and they use he/him pronouns, even though they mess up every once in awhile. I feel very grateful for their support. Q: From the time you came out to taking testosterone, how long did it take? A: Six months. When I first started transitioning I lived in a suburb of Chicago. Q: What was the most challenging aspect of coming out? What was the most rewarding? A: The most challenging part for me was the fear and anxiety that came with the unknown—“What will they think of me? Will I lose friends or family?” and then accepting

that if I did, they weren't meant to stay; A: It actually happened pretty organically “Will they think ill [or] less of me?” Will I after my plans to move to Hawaii fell be rejected? Will I be supported and through. I had originally planned a short loved? Will I disappoint my road trip that was meant to last mom?” … Making her only a couple of months proud had always been until I would ship my my biggest motivapup, all my things, tion. and myself over to The most rethe island. PHOTO: warding [asWith the [onTRT /SA RA pect] has line] following H V been rethat I had in ceiving the beginlove, acning, I had c e p contacted tance, a number a n d of brothsupport ers along to a dethe way g r e e that I that I planned didn't to meet expect. and hang Though o u t n o t with—just everyone for fun at has been first. When accepting plans to or supportive move to (and some Hawaii fell left), others' through, I decided love, acceptance, to travel anyway and support far outsince my lease had alweighed those that deready ended, I had quit cided not to remain present my job, and had sold most of in my journey going forward. what I owned that didn't fit into The fact that I was so confident and com- my car. fortable with my identity combined with that I started out going east, and by the time I love, acceptance, and support from many, made it to Massachusetts, I figured out why gave me a wealth of joy and strength. I've the universe had lead me down this path. since had the incredible opportunity to ex- The first fellow trans man I met there hadn't plore, embrace, and learn to love myself as met any other trans men before meeting me, I am. And now, I get to be openly me. and I was surprised and taken aback by this. My reality was that I knew of several othQ: Your quest to unite or connect trans- ers that I spent time with often—especially gender men includes those who are pre-T after feeling isolated during the week in the (pre-testosterone), no plans to start testos- suburbs at my work and near my apartment, terone at all, or are already on testos- where I didn't know of others closer than terone. What’s the most positive aspect of Chicago at the time (I lived and worked it? about 45 minutes away). I would travel to A: When someone tells me they’ve never the city on the weekends and bond and feel met anyone else [female-to-male] and when accepted, loved, and safe to be myself there their face lights up, when they are like, with my fellow brothers—especially before “there’s a whole lot of us in the area.” I want I came out at work. I began my social and them to see they’re not alone. There are medical transition with their support, had the other people around you that you can relate ability to speak with them [about] trans-rewith and then just seeing them open their lated issues, shared celebrations and mileeyes in surprise—It’s really nice to be in the stones with them, and grew in brotherhood. presence of like-minded individuals and When I met the brother in Massachusetts who’re going through similar experiences. I mentioned, my heart hurt for him, knowing that he didn't share the same reality. The Q: When did you start this project? next day, I met someone only 30 minutes A: I originally started traveling June 11, away from him, and they didn't know of 2015. each other. As I met several others in Boston and spent a week and a half there, I was seeQ: Approximately, how many trans men ing similarities, and eventually it clicked that have you met through your travels? I could help these individuals connect with A: I've met at least 1,000 trans men at this one another and help them feel less alone. point. I have met with various families, partI was also posting pictures with them, ners, parents, etc. as well, as the opportunity which seemed to help spread visibility in arises. Seeing and meeting supportive loved and out of our community. I would receive ones, has been beautiful, and it’s been espe- messages from fellow trans men that said, cially wonderful when younger individuals "With each new post you make, I'm realizing are brought by their supportive parents. how much less alone I am." So, I kept going, and it grew. It got to the point where I had Q: Why and how did you come up with this idea? See FTM Traveler© on page 13 LI AL

he man behind the wheel. The humble smile and coyness that charms. His life path, dreams and hopes drove him—literally and symbolically—to be known in the cyber world as the FTM Traveler(c). Malcolm Ribot and Grayson— his best friend and canine companion—have traveled to all of the continental states in the nation with one goal in mind: to help connect transgender men with one another. This objective, born out of a sense of isolation and desire to seek out other trans men to talk to, became this young man’s passion. His love and dedication to improve other trans men’s lives is contagious, admirable, and, most importantly, palpable to those who know him and the thousands who follow him online. The quest also took him to places like Standing Rock, where he donated time and goods to the Sioux tribe and supporters. Malcolm, before becoming known as the famed FTM Traveler, was an Internet celebrity who meticulously tracked his transition via his YouTube Channel “gorillashrimp,” in front of thousands of fervent followers and subscribers’ eyes. Closely following his journey, onlookers were taken down a path of intense physical and emotional transformation on his quest to become the man he already knew himself to be. Part of Malcolm’s magnetic personality is derived from his openness and willingness to share his experiences with others; a trait which allows him to live life openly and au-

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FTM Traveler© from Page 12 so many individuals on my list, and a deadline to get to a certain point when I would be able to see my mom for dinner one evening (who also travels), but I didn't want to have to skip meeting with people I had on my list, so I took the suggestion a couple other brothers made along the way and started bringing together groups. Then I saw them connect with one another right in front of my eyes. That was amazing. (Smiles) So … it’s been evolving organically as I believe it has meant to since the beginning, and I have since been to and met and connected fellow trans men in 48 of the 50 states so far.

A: It can be kind of lonely sometimes, which is ironic. It’s difficult meeting a lot of new people. I’ve discovered I miss the familiar, going long periods of time without friends who are familiar or family. It’s difficult meeting brand new people all of the time. I’d crave that familiarity every once in awhile. My mom travels, so when she was near, I’d try to travel to areas close to where she was to see her and have that familiar hug, that familiar conversation. So, I find that it can get pretty lonely traveling with just my pup, Grayson, and I. The bitter sweetness about that is that now I know all of these new people and I wish I could pull the friends I have made into one place.

Q: Do you think it’s helping other trans men? A: Yes! I've actually heard from several others since I began that it has helped them already. Hearing these affirmations has been the greatest motivation to keep going. I've received messages that my efforts have helped them feel less alone and have provided inspiration and hope to them. It's been especially heartwarming to hear them say so in person. Many individuals had never met other trans men before or didn't realize or know there were others nearby. Seeing their faces when they look around the room/table and meet others of similar experiences for the first time, I could see the light in their eyes; their bright smiles spread across their faces, and my heart filled [with joy].

Q: Life changes. With that said, how do see your plans change when you meet your better half? A: (Sighs) That depends on what their path is too. The ideal situation would be to find someone who is interested in traveling, who has a job that is remote or mobile as well, so they can come with me. That’s definitely something that’s been missing in my travels as well. If I could change one thing, it would be that loneliness. If I had ‘my person’ along with me during all of this, that would be, like, incredible (smiles). I feel that loneliness wouldn’t have been as difficult because I’d have that constant familiarity in my life. I’d love to find somebody who has the ability and flexibility to do so, to come along with me. That’d be so amazing!

Q: What do you like the least about what you’re doing?

Q: Do you feel that your level of notoriety places you at a higher risk for hatred and

I feel like the help that I am giving to others outweighs that for me. I’ve been able to handle those comments when they come in. I’ve been trying to do a lot of self-work, meditation, and affirmation that help me combat those things internally when they do come up. But, in terms of outside of the Internet, I have the ability to “blend.” Passing is such a social construct, that I become a bit invisible because the outside world, I can only assume, sees me as a cisgender male at this point. So, I’m fortunate to have that, but because of it I feel that I receive less of what you’ve mentioned, like hate or transphobia. Q: Do you see a difference in the privilege you have now or the way that society treats you as a whole? A: I notice that cis men are more apt to be buddy-buddy in the way they speak to me now. They call me bud, or dude or man, those types of buddy-buddy terms. Other than that, I’m not sure I’ve noticed much has been different for me personally.

Malcolm Ribot

transphobia? A: I’ve definitely gotten negative comments here and there on social media. It’s been kind of difficult to figure out how to handle, I guess. If I weren’t openly out on the Internet I wouldn’t have gotten those comments.

Q: When you walk down an alley, do you feel fear or are you just confident when you do that? A: It’s interesting that you mentioned about walking down a dark alley. I have noticed that even though I am small in stature [5’1”] I do feel safer now than when I was viewed as small in stature as a female. I feel that combined with the increase in confidence that I have, maybe that’s part of it, and maybe I am seeing as a male that it’s safer at night.

See FTM Traveler (c) on page 20

14 • The Rainbow Times • • 10th Year Anniversary

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The travails of transitioning when others don't and won’t accept it; it hurts By: Deja Nicole Greenlaw*/TRT Columnist



f you talk with a transgender person who has transitioned to their true gender, you may very well hear that there are some folks in their life who will no longer have anything to do with them. It may be hard on both parties, the person who transitioned and the folks who have rejected the transition, so a division is formed which separates the parties. Sometimes it takes weeks, months, or even years for the two parties to successfully deal with the issue of the transition. Sometimes the issue is never successfully dealt with and the division remains. It's sad, but what can one do? On the one hand, the person who transitioned has reached a point in their life where they are finally at peace with themselves after years of dealing with confusion, shame, guilt, and fear. The transitioned person has worked their way through so many obstacles and they are finally ready to live their life as their true self. On the other hand, the person who rejects the transition may not see and understand the amount of work that the transitioned per-

son has been through, they may not agree with the transition, they may be embarrassed with the transition, or they simply do not want anything to do with the person after they transitioned. There may also be other reasons that I haven't mentioned, but the bottom line is that they do not want the transitioned person in their life.

Frankly, it hurts a lot to not be accepted. It hurts a lot to have your loved ones cut out of your life. It especially hurts when the loved ones are family members or close friends. In my case, I initially lost most of my family and friends when I transitioned. There were a few loved ones who maybe didn't quite fully understand my transition,

FRANKLY, IT HURTS A LOT TO NOT BE ACCEPTED. IT HURTS A LOT TO HAVE YOUR LOVED ONES CUT OUT OF YOUR LIFE. IT ESPECIALLY HURTS WHEN THE LOVED ONES ARE FAMILY MEMBERS OR CLOSE FRIENDS. It must be hard on these folks who do not accept the transition for whatever reason. I can't really speak for them, but I can see that they have difficulties in accepting the transitioned person. I can, however, speak a bit on the pain that the transitioned person feels, as I have dealt and am still dealing with the pain of non-acceptance.

but they accepted it. I'm guessing that they probably know unconditional love and I, in turn, love that they are able to accept my transition and can share in the joy of my newly-found peace from within. The majority of my family and friends, however, did not initially accept me and that sent me into a depressed state. To have loved

ones in your life and to be included on all of their milestones and celebrations is wonderful. To suddenly have that door shut on you is awful. No more family holidays together, no more birthdays together, no more getting invited to celebrations of accomplishments such as graduations and honors. No more anything. Yes, you can be shut out. It's been almost 10 years since I transitioned and I have gotten a few family members back into my life. I've gotten quite a few friends back, too, so I understand that sometimes these things can take time. Still, there are family members and some friends who, to this day, will not even speak to me because I transitioned. How long will this take? Maybe it will never take? What can you do? I posed that question once to a therapist. The therapist told me that the only thing I can do is to keep the doors open and wait and hope. I had already been doing that and I will continue to do so. Maybe someday, somehow, somebody or something will change their minds and bring them back to me. I hope so. I guess that until then, I will just have to wait. I also hope that, in the future, there won't be any of us who will still have to wait. *Deja Nicole Greenlaw is a trans woman who has three grown children and is retired from 3M. She can be contacted via e-mail at

Bisexual Woman: A static sense of sexuality vs. dynamic elements of attraction By: Lorelei Erisis*/TRT Columnist




ere’s a problem I encounter as a bisexual woman, particularly as a bisexual trans woman: people who are more concerned with maintaining a strict sense of static sexuality than allowing for realistic dynamics of attraction. “Okay, but Lorelei,” you might be asking, “what the heck do you mean by that?” Let me back up a little and describe the situation. Though I identify strongly as bisexual, I date vastly more women than men. This is because, in my experience, the women I meet who are attracted to me are already halfway to parsing out any of their own issues they might have around my gender. They can easily accept that I am a woman while also understanding that, for instance, I don’t have the standard set of genitalia that cis women are born with. And it doesn’t tend to threaten their sense of my gender as female when I/we experience any lingering effects of my many years being gendered as male.

THE RAINBOW TIMES DIVERSE............just like our team is OBJECTIVE..........someone has to be one is left behind .....That is HOW media should be.....

However, many of the men who find themselves attracted to me seem to be just a bundle of hangups and insecurities wrapped around their perception of my gender. They tell me what a sexy woman I am, but worry that somehow my having the original, factory-installed equipment makes them gay. Or at least it means they’re not not straight. Beyond genitalia, they’re also freaked out by

far as actual dating, I’m working with a vastly larger pool of women I have dated than men. But a big reason for this is the differences in how things can go wrong for trans women who are dating women versus those who are dating men. When things go “wrong” with a woman, there might be some high emotions, or some drama, but nothing more than the standard

A STRAIGHT MAN WHO IS ATTRACTED TO A WOMAN WHO HAPPENS TO HAVE A PENIS CAN STILL THINK OF HIMSELF AS STRAIGHT. the parts of my trans-ness that often prompt other people to male-gender (misgender) me when I’m out in public. For instance, people often associate great height with masculinity, or find my directness of speech to be a “male” quality. Mind you, neither of these are inherently “male” qualities. I have met many tall cis women in my life, and I learned my directness of speech primarily from being raised in a family of strong and direct women, but they often get me called “sir.” It’s not that the women I date don’t notice these things as well. It’s just that they know it doesn’t have to threaten their sense of my gender as female, even—and this is important—if they find these very qualities part of what attracts them to me. Now, it’s important for me to admit that as

range of things that happen when anyones’ relationships go pear-shaped (horribly wrong). With men, however, things can get “murder-y.” As demonstrated by the long list of the dead that we read every Transgender Day of Remembrance (, we as trans women always face the possibility that a man will freak out over his perception of our gender. He may feel that his attraction to us threatens his own static sense of his sexuality and become physically violent. Because of this risk, as a trans woman, I am far less likely to date a man who I don’t yet know really well, than I am to date a woman. I should note that these problems of static sense of sexuality versus dynamic elements

of attraction don’t only come up when trans people date cis folks. They also happen between cis folks and even between trans folks—but it’s a more regular and easily demonstrable pattern in cis-trans relations. I think that’s because trans people, by the very nature of our trans-ness, threaten this sense of sexuality as being static. The easiest and most clearly visible example is trans women who, while living as men, marry or enter into long-term relationships with cis women, and due to the mistakenly perceived gender dynamic in their relationships, they are identified as straight, and often self-identify that way as well. When these trans women transition and find they are still attracted to their cis female partners, they will often change their sexual identification from “straight” to “lesbian” to match their new (or newly public) gender dynamic. I sometimes call these types of relationships “lesbian-by-default.” But even when the cis partner is still attracted to, and accepting of, their trans female partner, she may not be comfortable with changing how she identifies her own sexual orientation. I have observed this phenomenon most visibly, and dramatically, for cis-trans partners where the trans partner previously was identified as a woman and before transition, both partners identified as lesbians. The reasons for this seem pretty straightforward (ha!) to me. In our society, people who have public identities other than heterosexual have often spent much of their lives discovering and fighting for these identities. As a result, they may have a much stronger sense of self and ownership connected to their sexual identities—which makes any threat to Read the rest of this story at:

16 • The Rainbow Times • • 10th Year Anniversary

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February 2, 2017 - March 1, 2017

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18 • The Rainbow Times • • 10th Year Anniversary

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QPuzzle: This month “You Can Look It Up”

Spiritual Renewal from page 6 towed, I made my way to the monastic retreat. It had been a challenging 12 months personally and professionally and the New Year will offer greater tests spiritually, professionally, and emotionally. Also, the presidential election caused extraordinary angst and I listened to the concerns from friends, colleagues, acquaintances, and strangers needing a reassuring ear. I was positive and genuine for all of them. Across 1 Elton John Broadway musical 5 Husband and husband, for example 10 Supporters of drag queens 14 "Nuts!" 15 Not potent 16 "Lesbians ignite!" e.g. 17 Pantyhose woe 18 One you go down on 19 Room for Frida 20 Not solely male or female 23 Peter Pan penner 25 Like Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet 28 Org. for Evan Wolfson's peers 29 Beatnik's abode 31 Castro Street, on BART 32 Game with "Reverse" cards 33 Tic ___ (sometimes fruit candy) 34 Sounds like three men in a tub 36 Hoopl 37 Good buddy on a radio 39 Placed in position 40 Wet spot cause 41 Women live together here 43 "Science Guy" of PBS 44 Parts of floats 45 Sexual identity at birth 48 Smackers that you take home 51 Most like twisted humor 55 With 57-Across, dictionary

that recently added the two LGBTQ terms in this puzzle 57 See 55-Across 58 Acted like 59 Olympic award for Jenner 61 Kind of ranch 62 Jerry Herman musical 63 Sexual favors obtained online? 64 Every 24 hours 65 Aspen vehicle 66 Chicken hawk pads 67 Hungers

Down 1 Certain plugs 2 McKellen of The Da Vince Code 3 Crossdresser on a track? 4 Kenneth of Lucifer Rising 5 Deck problems 6 Date opening? 7 Tin Woodsman's rust source 8 La Salle of ER 9 Walked in a cocky way 10 How sailors come 11 Condom for anal sex? 12 The whole shebang 13 Hearst's kidnappers (abbr.) 21 They may show through a wet T-shirt 22 The Gay '90s, and more 23 Cookies unit 24 Addis ___, Ethiopia 26 Urvashi Vaid's birthplace

27 Fowl places 30 Having sex, with "it" 31 Martin of The West Wing 35 Lid problem 38 Emulated Elton John 40 Frequent Rock Hudson costar 42 Rogers of Common Ground 44 Belgrade native 46 Sailors that sound like their discharge? 47 What a liver does 48 Mosque heads 49 Everest is on its border 50 Doughnut filler 52 Piece for Liberace 53 Hardtop 54 They beat queens when they're wild 56 Pass out 57 Hold one's horses 60 Article of Marlene Dietrich


It would be intellectually dishonest if I told you I had no anxiety regarding the next four years, especially about judicial appointments. My reality, and possibly yours, is anxiety and it must be managed. I avoid bakeries and keep my cupboards empty or stocked with protein bars (ich). There are now longer and additional walks in my week. I look at the news less, though I stay connected. Patiently, I must still teach myself to respond, not react. I’m still learning to measure my responses to injustice. In the end, my Vermont sojourn was the first step in a long road to a much-needed inner renewal, but hardly a spiritual awakening. I didn’t hear the voice of God. Problems and worry for others didn’t go away. I didn’t try to pray away poverty or injustice. Misguided prayer, if I did. Walking the dirt road in Vermont through a mountain forest looking into the starlit sky, however, was a spiritual experience where time stood still. Sometimes I daringly flashed my light into a grove of trees in the dead of night and saw snow covered beauty. There were no evil creatures stalking me. Perhaps seeing constellations and walking among trees while hearing them dance with the wind in the surrounding forest was the Creator working through Holy Sophia-Divine Wisdom. Maybe I was being taught another lesson about perspective. In hindsight, I heard the Giver of Life’s whisper as I walked under the stars, among the trees, and between the mountains. Quiet time in Vermont fueled my humanity and supported personal courage to keep challenging uncertainty. I reflected on the past year during my drive through the mountains to and from New York reflecting on how to challenge uncertainty with integrity and persistence. Unfortunately, my almost-mystical spiritual sojourn came to an end as Doris Day popped into my head singing “Que Sera, Sera” (“What will be, will be;” The Creator has an odd, annoying sense of humor. Sometimes you just have to let things go, move on, and not overthink life. Que Sera, Sera. *Paul is a corporate chaplain, lawyer in the Albany, NY area, and author of “Lost Sense of Self & the Ethics Crisis (”

20 • The Rainbow Times • • 10th Year Anniversary

February 2, 2017 - March 1, 2017

Ahora Trump sabe que hace lo que quiera sin consecuencias alarmantes Por: Gricel M. Ocasio*/Publicadora de TRT



l pasado fin de semana fue uno de caos total. Aquellos que tienen condiciones cardíacas quizás tuvieron que tomar más de sus pastillas para poder mantenerse bien. No los culpo. Con el veto a inmigrantes y refugiados de siete países musulmanes el viernes, miles de protestas en los aeropuertos de la nación e internacionales, y la espera larguísima de oficiales y personas que habían recibido la luz verde para entrar al país, los Estados Unidos estuvieron irreconocibles para mí. He vivido la mayor parte de mi vida en esta nación. Nunca pensé que esto pudiera haber pasado. El hombre a quienes los colegios electorales eligieron y llaman su presidente, ha sido un déspota, un tirano, un hombre sin escrúpulos hacia la humanidad de la cual uno pensaría forma parte. Pero, mientras más sucede, menos lo veo como a un ser humano. Disculpen las palabras. Tengo sentimientos encontrados al expresarme de esta forma, pero no sé qué más hacer o decir. Si Trump no está mintiendo sobre la prensa (y mucha sí se lo merece), o se está mofando de reporteros, especialmente los discapacitados, o humillando a un Senador de Nueva York, Chuck Schumer, quién expresó con lágrimas su dolor por la humanidad por este veto proveniente de una nación que no suele actuar de esta forma ante los que buscan refugio político por persecución, cogiéndole los genitales a las mujeres, o abusando verbalmente de otros vía Twitter o viendo televisión, él no hace nada por los seres humanos, punto. Su gabinete, compuesto de hombres caucásicos millonarios demuestra la forma de pensar de este hombre. Mientras hacía todo esto, el primer ministro canadiense, Justin Trudeau, les enviaba un mensaje de bienvenida a aquellos a quienes se les negaba la entrada a los E.U. Este feminista y humanitario canadiense, Trudeau, me recuerda a nuestro Presidente Barack Obama.

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Ambos hombres de una humanidad que no se aprecia en muchos. Ambos hombres que han dicho al aire vivo que son feministas, ante la burla de muchos otros. Ambos quienes tienen más humanidad y compasión en sus corazones que muchas personas juntas. Y, aquí llego al caos emocional en el que nos tiene Trump. Un hombre cuyas esposas son inmigrantes, no quiere inmigrantes. Y, en caso de que no lo sepan, él no les vetó la entrada al país a las personas provenientes de países musulmanes con los que tiene negocios. ¡Claro que no! No dejó de pagar impuestos por 18 años porque es honesto. No ha mostrado sus impuestos, como cualquier otro candidato a la presidencia lo ha hecho por años de años, porque no le conviene. Ha mentido de lo que ha dicho y hecho y ¡con qué carisma lo hace! Y, quienes votaron por él o no votaron pues tenían coraje de que Bernie Sanders no ganó la candidatura del partido demócrata y decían odiar a Hillary Clinton, ustedes son los culpables de todo este revolú, como decimos los boricuas. Siempre dije que si Sanders hubiera sido el candidato, aunque mi candidata no hubiera ganado, le apoyaría. Pero, como suele suceder, esas personas hablaron y juraron que nunca votarían por Hillary. Y, ahora aquí estamos. Muchas veces les dije a aquellos con los que tenía confianza, ¡“mira, piénsalo pues el tener a Trump como presidente sería caótico y horrible para la humanidad”! Nada les hizo cambiar de parecer. Y tampoco a aquellos que creían en las mentiras que decía Trump. Allá había latinos en la televisión, traicionando a sus hermanos inmigrantes, mujeres, hijas, hermanas, abuelas, a los seres humanos, todo porque iban a votar por Trump. Bueno, no se quejen. No tienen el derecho a quejarse. Hoy me siento molesta, tensa, y con ira porque esto se pudo haber evitado. Si votó por Trump, usted quien lo sabe, o si le defendió frente a otros (también lo sabe) sabe que al quedarse callada/o otorgó, ya ve las consecuencias de sus acciones, directas o indirectas, son las mismas. En lugares remotos de Siria hay mujeres, niños, y familias completas siendo asesinadas por genocidio por los rusos y ahora por los

FTM Traveler© from Page 13 Q: Testosterone is a powerful hormone. Are there any other changes that you care to share with our readers? A: Before I didn’t feel it [anger] so much physically, it was just a mental emotion, whereas now, since I started T [testosterone] I feel it much more physically. I feel the anger walling up in my chest as like a heat and a pressure that feels like it needs to push itself out. Before, I could let it up longer because I didn’t feel it so physically. Now I feel I need to get it out in some kind of way, like exercise, or going in my car and letting it out physically, but letting out that pressure, like a scream. It feels like a physical pressure, like a teapot, it boils and it needs to release that air in the form of a whistle, like that. I guess in a way, I’ve had to rework how to handle my anger. I’ve had to learn how to feel comfortable in expressing and dealing with that physical build up. ... I don’t per-


MI CONCIENCIA ESTÁ LIMPIA. americanos también. Esas personas que tampoco pueden entrar como refugiados al país porque Trump tiene alianzas con Rusia; esas son las muertes en las manos de muchos. Mi conciencia está limpia. Recuerdo en el 2008, cuando no tanto estaba en riesgo, todavía mi candidata lo era Hillary. Al ella perder la candidatura, al principio admito que no quería votar por Barack Obama. Me sentí frustrada y pensé que a él le quedaban más años de juventud que a ella. Usé este razonar para explicar mi terquedad inicial. Pero, en el momento de la verdad decidí votar por el candidato demócrata. Decidí darle una oportunidad a Obama y no me arrepiento, ni me arrepentiré nunca. Ese hombre ha restaurado la fe en muchos de nosotros. Lo respeto y entiendo que su presidencia fue muy difícil, llena de discrimen, odio, y de un Congreso y Senado republicanos que desde el primer día que ganó, reportó la prensa Americana a través de CNN, ya habían planeado como deshacerse de él. Pero, no dejamos que eso pasara. Y, Obama es un ser humano como cualquier otro (bueno como la mayor parte, pues ahora con esta experiencia no sé qué pensar hacia otros a los que prefiero no mencionar), él no tuvo todas las respuestas, aunque muchos fueron sonally like to express my anger and frustration. I struggle with that. It is re-learning how to handle that anger. I don’t want to explode or have outbursts on people. It doesn’t feel like myself when I feel that bubbling. That is one thing I’ve struggled with that the testosterone has brought on. Q: There are cis men out there who say that trans men will never be “real men.” What do you say to those young trans youth or kids about that? A: That kind of stuff is heartbreaking to me too. To use the word “real man” is something that has really gotten to me; it really affected me. One of the things that has hurt me the most is that because it is like a fear of mine. It’s that reality that some people don’t see us as real men or women or even when individuals are bi-gender or genderqueer, having others essentially try to take that identity away from us. It’s painful. I have to focus on what I am doing for myself. I’m living my truth and I know that I

súper negativos hacia él aún y cuando trataba de hacer lo mejor que podía ya que no tenía apoyo del Congreso consigo. Aun así hizo más por los derechos humanos de las mujeres, la comunidad LGBTT, el seguro de salud universal (Obamacare) y mucho más. ¿Qué trato de decir? Nada, absolutamente nada. Ya dije suficiente. Ahora, no hay ni portal de la Casa Blanca en español, no hay portal para la comunidad LGBTT tampoco. Hay sobre treinta y pico de estados interesados en quitarnos derechos de matrimonio y negarnos los servicios de sus negocios dadas sus creencias “cristianas” religiosas. Nunca escuché que Jesucristo amó a algunos o les dio de comer a unos y no a otros. Pero, esta es una nueva generación de cristianos que leen sus propias biblias y libros cristianos a conveniencia, y la interpretan como si fueran teólogos, sí son separatistas. Estos son los mismos que cuando una tragedia como la de “Pulse Orlando” sucede se alegran y dicen ¡“habrán menos gays en el mundo, gloria a Dios”! Y así, como hace Trump, excusan su conducta ya sea a través de la mentira o al tratar de convencer a aquellos que no saben cómo discernir bien. ¡Qué Dios les tenga misericordia! Como humana, tan sólo deseo personas como mi madrina Aida que verdaderamente vive bajo las enseñanzas de Jesucristo. De ella aprendo. A ella le escucho. Ella me ama, y ama a mi esposa y lo dice a los siete vientos sin temor al “qué dirán”. Y como ella no he conocido a otra. Espero que lo que nos queda en este planeta no sea con este hombre, y que podamos vivir para verle impugnado, por una pérdida política en cuatro años o pro una derrota a los republicanos en el Congreso. Siempre existe la posibilidad de uno mudarse a otro país, como Canadá. Pero eso es otro cantar. *Gricel es la Publicadora del periódico The Rainbow Times, que está en su décimo aniversario este mes de febrero del 2017. Tiene una Maestría en Administración de Empresas de Marylhurst University y un Bachillerato de Periodismo de Temple University. Comuníquese con Gricel a su e-mail a: am a man and they can’t take that away from me. I focus on that. These people don’t know me personally. Even if they did know me personally, I know who I am at the end of the day. I know there are thousands, thousands of other people who have a similar experience. Just because they don’t understand that experience, doesn’t mean they can’t take that away from us, they can’t take our reality away from us. Q: Describe yourself in 3 words. A: Driven, compassionate, and hopeful. Q: We notice that you took firewood to the Camp of Sacred Stones (Standing Rock). Why was this important for you to do? Have you involved yourself in other humanitarian work in the past? A: Supporting our brothers, sisters, and kin at Standing Rock in this way was the least I could do. I was so happy to be able to do ... Read the rest of this story at:

February 2, 2017 - March 1, 2017

Yes to Trans Boys! Early this week in an unexpected and swift decision, The Boy Scouts of America changed its course and will now admit transgender children, who identify as boys, into its program, ending a longstanding policy of only accepting members based on what’s listed on their birth certificate. According to a message released by Boy Scouts chief executive Michael Surbaugh, the organization will instead go by the gender listed on the application, recognizing that deferring “to the information on an individual’s birth certificate to determine eligibility” may not be “sufficient as communities and state laws are interpreting gender identity differently, and these laws vary widely from state to state.” Going into effect immediately, the new policy is a momentous move for the Boy Scouts, an institution that’s been known to have rigorous and archaic rules in the past. In recent years, it has begun making slow progress. In 2013, for instance, the Boy Scouts ended its longstanding ban on gay scouts, followed two years later by the decision to allow gay scout leaders. “Starting today, we will accept and register youth in the Cub and Boy Scout programs based on the gender identity indicated on the application,” read the message. “Our organization’s local councils will help find units that can provide for the best interest of the child.” In recent years, the Boy Scouts of America has expanded rights for gay people. In 2013, the group ended its ban on openly gay youths participating in its activities. Two years later, the organization ended its ban ( on openly gay adult leaders. According to CNN (, Zach Wahls, co-founder of Scouts for Equality, applauded the decision and credited the New Jersey case with forcing BSA to rethink its policy. "This is another historic day for the Boy Scouts of America. The decision to allow transgender boys to participate in the Cub Scouts and the Boy Scouts is an important step forward for this American institution," Wahls said to the network. The Girl Scouts, in contrast, have long accepted gay scouts and, in 2011, they also accepted transgender scouts to their chapters. “If a child identifies as a girl and the child’s family presents her as a girl, Girl Scouts of Colorado welcomes her as a Girl Scout,” read their statewide statement. “In this case, an associate delivering our program was not aware of our approach. She contacted her supervisor, who immediately began working with the family to get the child involved and supported in Girl Scouts. We are accelerating our support systems and training so that we’re better able to serve all girls, families and volunteers.” To read about more differences between the two youth organizations, visit: The Boy Scouts of America is committed to identifying program options that will help us truly serve the whole family, and this is an area that we will continue to thoughtfully evaluate to bring the benefits of Scouting to the greatest number of youth possible – all while remaining true to our core values, outlined in the Scout Oath and Law.

10th Year Anniversary • • The Rainbow Times • 21

22 • The Rainbow Times • • 10th Year Anniversary

OTHER NEWS REPORTS AND MATERIALS Lancet Paper Examines What Trump Presidency May Mean for Global Health In a recent paper published online in The Lancet, three British and U.S. health policy analysts provide a scorecard for evaluating the potential impact of a Trump presidency and its expected policies on global health. The scorecard, which draws on the healthrelated components of the United Nations’ 17 Sustainable Development Goals, “can form the basis of a system to monitor and hold accountable global health leaders,” according to the analysts. The system uses colors to categorize the level of risk of particular policies to health, with green indicating a low risk, amber a medium risk, and red a high risk. Based on their review of the statements that President Trump has made before and after his election, his nominations for key administration positions, and the level of Congressional support for Read the rest of this story at:

Honorable Discharge from Page 9 settling in Connecticut, Spires and Rosenberg married in 2008 and began pursuing the discharge upgrade in 2014. The application was rejected because the Air Force contended that it could not verify that Spires had served in the military. In early 2016, Spires sought help from Lori Gum, an LGBTQ advocate and program coordinator at Stonewall Columbus ( in Columbus, Ohio. Gum gained national attention for helping

Force in November 2016. The suit is still open but no further legal action is planned at this time, according to Erin Baldwin, an attorney and member of the clinic. “Looking at those types of records it was clear to us that he was discharged for being gay and that he was entitled to the upgrade,” Baldwin said. “There was only one conclusion to draw [as] it was a matter of trying to get [the] correct result [for] him.” Outserve-SLDN has a small team working on discharge upgrade appeals and a network of attorneys who do pro bono work on cases

THE REPEAL OF “DON’T ASK, DON’T TELL,” DADT, IN 2011 OPENED THE DOOR FOR LGBTQ VETERANS TO SUBMIT REQUESTS FOR HONORABLE DISCHARGES. another veteran receive a discharge upgrade and received a cold call from Spires and Rosenberg one day asking if she could help them do the same thing. “I’ve been saying 2017 can’t be too bad because Ed Spires got his honorable discharge,” Gum said. The repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, DADT, in 2011 opened the door for LGBTQ veterans to submit requests for honorable discharges. Washington, D.C.-based OutServe-Servicemembers Legal Defense Network (SLDN; has processed about 400 such requests since 2011 with about 75 more in process, according to Executive Director Matt Thorn. The process for most upgrades is pretty straightforward, Thorn said, but older veterans like Spires face an added hurdle because their records were destroyed in a 1973 fire at the National Personnel Records Center in St. Louis. That’s where people like Thorn and Gum need to get creative. They use things like National Archives records and affidavits from fellow servicemembers to prove military service. With Gum’s help, Spires’ application was resubmitted in March 2016, but appeared to be heading in the same direction as the first one. Reaching the bottom of her toolkit, Gum enlisted the help of Connecticut Senator Richard Blumenthal and the Yale Veterans Affairs Legal Clinic. The clinic filed a lawsuit against the Air

as needed. The entire process can take anywhere from six to 18 months to complete, Thorn said. Thorn encouraged other LGBTQ veterans to complete the discharge upgrade form ( on the OutserveSLDN website to begin the process for themselves if they are eligible. “Whether they use us or someone else, this service is available,” Thorn said. “Some people are just fine not doing anything with it and we respect that decision. But for those [who] want it for employment or VA benefits, there are resources out there to get it done.” Over the course of the application process, Gum said she sometimes feels like she’s playing the part of psychiatrist as veterans relive their experiences of being discharged. “Sometimes you are really ripping the scabs off of a lot of wounds,” Gum said. “These vets in some cases haven’t talked to anyone about these experiences for 20 or 30 or 40 or 50 years.” Rosenberg said he’s relieved that Spires finally has closure on this issue after seeing the pride he had for his service and his country. “You can serve your country and serve it honorably no matter who you are,” Rosenberg said. “There’s a difference between who we are and what we do. Being gay is one aspect of who we are and what we do, but the military didn’t see it that way.”

TOP 10 BEST SELLER VIDEOS 1. Me, Myself and Her 2. Summertime (La Belle Saison) 3. Girls Lost 4. The Royal Road 5. Late Bloomers - Digital Only 6. Margarita With A Straw 7. Liz in September 8. Carol 9. Parched 10. Orange is the New Black: Season 3


HIV Medical Professionals Urge Congress to “Do No Harm” in Efforts to Repeal the ACA On January 3, a group of more than 950 medical professionals sent an open letter to members of Congress urging them not to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA) without first establishing a viable replacement plan that will continue to offer affordable coverage to those eligible under the ACA, and to sustain the federal commitment to the Medicaid program. The letter was signed by members of four HIV medical groups: the HIV Medicine Association (HIVMA), American Academy of HIV Medicine (AAHIVM), Association of Nurses in AIDS Care (ANAC) and the Ryan White Medical Providers Coalition (RWMPC). The letter states that, “Prior to the Affordable Care Act, a majority of our patients [living with HIV] were either denied health insurance coverage because of their condition or were unable to afford the extraordinary high cost of the coverage available to them. In most states, Medicaid coverage was available to patients only after they became sick and disabled by AIDS. The ACA leveled the health care playing field by barring plans from denying coverage or charging higher premiums based on health status, setting minimum health coverage standards, and providing premium and cost sharing assistance. Importantly, it modernized the Medicaid program by expanding coverage to families and childless adults up to 138% of the federal poverty level regardless of disability status.” The medical professionals strongly recommend that any changes to the ACA be grounded on three key principles: • “Do no harm” by fully taking into account “the medical needs of low income individu-

als with complex conditions, like HIV, to avoid dangerous disruptions in healthcare coverage for our patients with HIV and millions of others. Meaningful health insurance coverage options must offer uninterrupted, affordable coverage for a range of necessary medical services, including prescription drugs, preventive services, laboratory testing, and substance use and mental health treatment.” • “Sustain the federal commitment to the Medicaid program. Maintaining the current funding structure, including the federal entitlement, to the Medicaid program is critical so that states can respond to fluctuations in the demand for Medicaid coverage due to economic downturns, public health outbreaks such as the HIV and hepatitis C outbreaks in Scott County, Indiana, and medical advances, such as the recent development of curative hepatitis C treatment.” • “Continue Medicaid expansion. In the 32 states (including the District of Columbia) that have expanded Medicaid, our poorest patients were offered access to comprehensive, affordable coverage with consumer protections tailored to their socioeconomic and medical needs. Withdrawing this coverage will threaten the health of millions of Americans and be a significant setback to our nation’s public health, including to our efforts to end AIDS.”


They must follow an established process that requires a period of public notice and the opportunity for interested parties to comment on the proposed regulations before they become law. In fact, one of the provisions of Trump’s executive order explicitly acknowledges this: “To the extent that carrying out the directives in this order would require revision of regulations issued through notice-and-comment rulemaking, the heads of agencies shall comply with the Administrative Procedure Act and other applicable statutes in considering or promulgating such regulatory revisions.”


HIV/AIDS from Page 6

February 2, 2017 - March 1, 2017

1. Shared Rooms 2. Other People 3. Fire Song 4. Hurricane Bianca 5. Looking CSR (Complete Series & the Movie) 6. Akron 7. Jonathan 8. The Falls: Covenant of Grace 9. Those People 10. Henry Gamble's Birthday Party

February 2, 2017 - March 1, 2017

10th Year Anniversary • • The Rainbow Times • 23

Muslim Ban from Page 5 executive order in court as a violation of the “Due Process and Equal Protection Clauses of the U.S. Constitution.” The lawsuit was on behalf of two men detained at New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport. “We immediately got a hearing and argued our case. At around 9 p.m. [Saturday], Federal District Court Judge Ann M. Donnelly issued a stay, blocking President Trump’s discriminatory policy from taking effect and preventing refugees and immigrants from being deported,” added Romero. According to CNN (, the White House maintained Sunday that “the ruling does not undercut the executive order,” amid hundreds of protests still happening at airports around the country. During last weekend, LGBT Rights organizations, attorneys on the ground, family and overall protesters in the U.S. and abroad, assisted families and recorded the demonstrations live via social media, sending yet the strongest message to Trump that they won’t stand still in the face of injustice. The bill’s name: “Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States,” elicited immediate condemnation from people and organizations all over the world. The order banned immigration from seven, primarily Muslim nations, and indefinitely blocked Syrian refugees from seeking asylum, according to the Advocate ( It imposed a 90-day suspension of travel from Syria, Iran, Iraq, Sudan, Libya, Somalia, and Yemen. Trump, who maintained that the action was to keep out “radical Islamic terrorists,” also imposed a religious test that, in the future, would favor Christian immigrants over Muslims. As if signing the order wasn’t enough for Trump, he then added insult to injury as he verbalized his feelings at the signing. “We don’t want them here,” Mr. Trump said during the order's signing, reported The New York Times. “We want to ensure that we are not admitting into our country the very threats our soldiers are fighting overseas. We only want to admit those into our country who will support our country, and love deeply our people.” President Obama, Organization leaders react Since leaving the White House, less than 10 days prior, former President Barack Obama made his first statement early this week, signaling his support with anti-Trump protests and protesters across the nation. With one of the highest approval ratings upon leaving office, the former President expressed, through his spokesperson Kevin Lewis, that “American values are at stake.” “Citizens exercising their Constitutional right to assemble, organize and have their voices heard by their elected officials is exactly what we expect to see when American values are at stake,” the statement read, as Politico ( reported. In addition, President Obama “is heartened by the level of engagement taking place in communities around the country,” Lewis added. “With regard to comparisons to President Obama’s foreign policy decisions, as we’ve heard before, the president fundamentally disagrees with the notion of

Protesters against the Immigration Ban, at Copley Square in Boston, Mass.

discriminating against individuals because of their faith or religion.” The Human Rights Campaign reacted to the order and the dangers it brings on LGBTQ people. “President Trump’s attacks on immigrants and refugees are a direct assault on America’s most fundamental values,” said ( HRC President Chad Griffin via a statement. “Donald Trump’s unjust and unconscionable executive orders make life more dangerous for countless LGBTQ people, and could equal a death sentence for those trying to escape violence and persecution from places such as Syria. No wall, no matter how high, can block America’s promise of liberty and justice for all.” Janson Wu, Executive Director of GLBTQ Legal Advocates & Defenders, GLAD, focused on immigration as the core of American life and what curbing it can cause to the LGBTQ community. “Targeting immigrants, Muslims, and refugees inverts what we know to be America at its best: a country that is made stronger by diversity and a country with freedom— including freedom of religion—as a core value. As the proud son of immigrants, I have witnessed the power of that American ideal firsthand. We in the LGBTQ community stand in solidarity with all immigrants, asylum seekers, and refugees, LGBTQ and non-LGBTQ, at this dark moment. The executive orders are not only un-American, they are ineffectual if they are meant to make America ‘strong.’ They in fact weaken us by dividing us, and we refuse to be divided.” The NCLR, through its Executive Director, Kate Kendell, Esq. also reacted to the discriminatory order by stating the damages it causes to society as a whole. “The announcement today represents a direct attack on our most cherished values as

a nation," said Kendell. "To single out Muslim persons for stigma and suspicion undermines our commitment to inclusion, religious freedom, and our common humanity. Today that Lady of Liberty, symbol of America's greatest promise to the world, hangs her head and weeps." Republicans leading ban’s opposition Two Republican Senators, John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) raised questions about the order on Sunday when they issued a joint press release, according to the Hill ( “It is clear from the confusion at our airports across the nation that President Trump’s executive order was not properly vetted. We are particularly concerned by reports that this order went into effect with little to no consultation with the Departments of State, Defense, Justice, and Homeland Security," they said. “This executive order sends a signal, intended or not, that America does not want Muslims coming into our country. That is why we fear this executive order may do more to help terrorist recruitment than improve our security.” And as the chant was heard through airports around the U.S.: “the people united, will never be divided,” so was their resolve to continue to protest injustice coming from the Oval Office. “The United States is a nation governed by the rule of law and not the iron will of one man,” stated ACLU’s Romero. “President Trump now has learned that we are democratic republic where the powers of government are not dictatorial. They are limited. The courts are the bulwark of our democracy that protects individual rights and guards against the overreaching of an administra-


tion that confuses its will for the American public’s. “Tonight was one of the most incredible experiences of my life, one that demonstrates that the people united will never be divided. This is only the beginning. This is merely the first skirmish in a long battle to vigorously defend the Bill of Rights from the authoritarian designs of the Trump administration. Savor this victory tonight, but prepare to fight on.”

24 • The Rainbow Times • • 10th Year Anniversary

February 2, 2017 - March 1, 2017

The Rainbow Times Feb. 2017 Issue - 10th Year Anniversary  

We did it! It's been 10 Years this month since this Boston LGBTQ News magazine, The Rainbow Times, was launched. In 2007, the idea that star...

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