The Rainbow Times' New England Pride Guide 2017

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The Rainbow Times’ New England Pride Guide

perils of whitewashing:

The importance of nuanced dialogue in the aftermath of Pulse, 1 yr. later By: Javier Fernandez*/Guest Columnist


n the early morning hours of June 12, 2016, the nation awoke to the tragic news of the Pulse Nightclub mass shooting. While erroneously labeled the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history, a title that belongs to the Wounded Knee Massacre of 1890, it was nevertheless one of the deadliest in recent history and the largest massacre targeting LGBTQ people of color (POC). By the time the bloodshed had ceased, news outlets reported 50 fatalities (including the perpetrator, Omar Mir Seddique Mateen) and 53 non-fatal injuries. I am a firm believer in being intentional

with language, therefore, it is important that media outlets clarify that this shooting was specifically targeting LGBTQ people of color (POC). White-identifying LGBTQ individuals might find this statement alienating and divisive. Some might argue that such a declaration acts as a deterrent against unity. Others may echo that white LGBTQ individuals were just as impacted by the atrocities of that night as their POC counterparts. However, if one looks at the names of those killed at Pulse, it becomes clearly visible that violence and inequity are intertwined. Below are the names of those who lost their lives at Pulse:


The Rainbow Times’ New England Pride Guide


d n a l g New En 2017


s ntent o c f o le e Guide

perils of whitewashing: The importance of nuanced dialogue in the aftermath of Pulse p.3 THE CITY OF BOSTON’S PROCLAMATION p.6 A LETTER FROM BOSTON MAYOR MARTIN J. WALSH P8 PRIDE EVENTS LISTING pP. 7, 9, 13, 19, 22 SAFE SEX PRACTICES P.10 VIOLENCE AGAINST TRANS WOMEN OF COLOR STILL ON THE RISE p.16 misconceptions around sex as told


The Rainbow Times’ New England Pride Guide



The Rainbow Times’ New England Pride Guide



The Rainbow Times’ New England Pride Guide

June 1-4; Women of Color Weekend; P-Town; FMI: qvnvp1 June 2; BP Flag Raising Ceremony; 12pm; City Hall Plaza; Boston, MA; FMI: June 2-10; 30th CT LGBT Film Festival; FMI: MTBqrT

June 3; Hull Pride; Hull Yacht Club (5 Fitzpatrick Way, Hull, MA); FMI: June 3; New Bedford Pride; Buttonwood Park, 1 Oneida St; 9:30a-4p; New Bedford, MA; FMI:

June 3; Concord NH Pride: The Official After Party; 4-10p; Tandy’s Pub; FMI: B36iYe


June 1; North Shore LGBTQ Flag Raising; Salem @ 11a in Riley Plaza; Beverly @ 191 Cabot St., Beverly @ 5:30p; Danvers @ 10a at the Town Hall in 1 Sylvan St., Danvers; Peabody @ 1p, TBA

June 4; The Silver Party; 3-7p; Brookline Holiday Inn; FMI: (857) 313-6590 June 4; AIDS Walk Boston; 10a; FMI:

June 4; North Shore Pride Volunteer Pizza Party; Flying Saucer Pizza Company; 118 Washington St, Salem, MA; 12-4p; FMI: https:// June 5; Empire O.P.E.N. Networking Event; 1 Marina Park Dr, Boston; GPS: 55 Northern Ave; 6-9p; FMI: June 5; Gloucester Flag Raising; Noon; Gloucester City Hall; 9 Dale Ave.


JUNE Events


The Rainbow Times’ New England Pride Guide




STRONGER TOGETHER. The Rainbow Times’ New England Pride Guide

June 5; North Shore Pride KickOff Party at the PEM (Peabody Essex Museum); 161 Essex St; Salem; DJ Andrea Stamas & Gunpowder Gelatine Band; 6-9p; FMI:

June 7; LGBTQ LOL: A Queer Comedy Showcase; 9-10p; VT Comedy Club; 101 Main St, Burlington; FMI: June 8-11; Washington DC Capital Pride; June 11; Washington DC Capital Pride Festival; 12-7p; https://

June 9; Boston Dyke March; Parkman Bandstand on Boston Common. Performers 6p, March @ 7p; FMI: June 8-11; Boqueron, PR Pride

June 10; Boston Pride Parade; 12noon; Copley Square to City Hall Plaza, Boston


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June 10; Boston Pride Festival; 11a-7p; City Hall Plaza; FMI:

June 10; Youth Dance; City Hall Plaza; 6-10p; Under 21; FMI: June 10; ESME Women’s Block Party; Tremont & LaGrange Streets; FMI: Z3qM2J

June 11; Rhode Island Rainbow Flag Raising at City Hall; 6p; Providence City Hall; 25 Dorrance St, RI; FMI: June 11; Back Bay Block Party; 1-9p; St James Ave at Berkeley St, Boston, MA; FMI: UA2R65



JUNE Events

The Rainbow Times’ New England Pride Guide


During Pride season, safe sex practices a key concern By: Al Gentile/TRT Reporter

Pride officially begins in June and, cities and towns across the world are holding festivals, parades, and parties. As with any large-scale celebration, the amount of casual sexual encounters taking place can lead to an increase in instances of unsafe sex.

“There are still a lot of misconceptions about STIs, especially how you contract them and what treatment looks like,” according to Amanda Mehaffey, coordinator of prevention and screening at AIDS Project Worcester (; APW). “I could go on for days about different misconceptions people have about STIs


The Rainbow Times’ New England Pride Guide

and how you could get them.”

Data from the Centers for Disease Control show that about two million people contracted syphilis, chlamydia, and gonorrhea in 2015 (, the highest contraction rate to date for those diseases. With over 1.1 million people living with AIDS, and at least 40,000 new cases of HIV each year ( bxsn4I), the issue of contracting STIs is a fight many organizations are still battling. People are still afraid to speak openly about sex and sexual health, according to Dwayne Stewart, manager of engagement and prevention at Fenway Health in Boston.

“Unfortunately, talking about sex is still taboo in our society, but it is necessary for optimal sexual health,” he said. “Ask your partners about their sexual history before having sex and discuss when you each were last tested for STIs.”

See safe sex on page 12

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safe sex from page 10 Mehaffey said AIDS Project Worcester, along with other organizations, strives to empower people to have conversations that will ultimately keep them safe, an aspect of the organization’s work, she says, is indispensable to their mission. “At APW, we work a lot with clients to encourage them to have these conversations with partners early,” Mehaffey said. “The best time to talk about safe sex is before the encounter starts. Be confident and informed when you talk to your partners because that will make them more comfortable.”

Dr. Jennifer Childs-Roshak, president and CEO of the Planned Parenthood League of Massachusetts (; PPLM), said the stigma around talking about sex and sexual health needs to end and that people who are experiencing any pressure not to speak or not use protection should think twice about such an encounter.

“These are both big red flags,” ChildsRoshak said. “No one should be shamed, harassed, or judged because they want to use protection, have an STI, or want to have these conversations before engaging in sexual activity. Furthermore, no one should be pressured against using protection.”

Childs-Roshak continued, “Starting these conversations before sex can be challenging, but it is an important part of protecting yourself and your partners, and preventing the spread of STIs. Ultimately, using protection and talking about these issues make sex more enjoyable and stress free.” A Surprising Reality

While misinformation about sex is an issue across the LGBTQ and straight communities, there are some groups bucking the trend. The Boston Alliance of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender Youth (www.bagly. org; BAGLY) has been aggressively working to educate young people on the importance of sexual health awareness. Kurtlan Massarsky, director of development and marketing at BAGLY, said LGBTQ youth are among the best educated, in some cases more so than adults, on issues surrounding STIs. “This is not to discount the many dedicated adult professionals working in sexual health advocacy and in the medical profession, but to discount the information, 12 The Rainbow Times’ New England Pride Guide

training, and drive that LGBTQ youth have to protect their communities from STIs is one of the follies that our communities tend to continue making,” Massarsky said. BAGLY’s Health Educator and Risk Reduction Team (HEARRT) is a group of educators who are specifically trained in the sexual health needs of LGBTQ youth. This is among the numerous programs organizations have to increase education and break stigmas surrounding open and courageous communication regarding sexual health.

“Have fun, but be prepared,” Stewart of Fenway Health said. “Carry condoms with you when you go out during Pride, or keep some accessible by your nightstand.” “Being responsible and looking out for your health and that of your partner doesn’t mean that sex won’t be enjoyable,” Childs-Roshak said.


Many organizations offer services, counseling, and, most importantly, judgment-free zones where anyone in the LGBTQ and straight communities can receive factual information on STIs. Many of the services offered are either free or of very low cost. Each expert quoted in this article urges readers to reach out ahead of Pride to find out more information. Contact information for each of the organizations in this article: Boston Alliance for Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender Youth 617-227-4313 Offers onsite HIV testing, counseling, and referral services. Also hosts educational events across the state of Massachusetts. Fenway Health 617-267-0900 Specialized health center for the LGBTQ community, offering many medical services. AIDS Project Worcester 508-775-3773 Offering screening and support services for all communities in Worcester County. Planned Parenthood 1-800-258-4448 Offering screening services, testing, health counseling, and much more.

June 11; JP Block Party; 1-8p; Perkins St at Center St, Jamaica Plain, MA; FMI: zUKWBu

June 11; Capital Pride Festival (DC); 12-7p; FMI: xOKe5N

June 11; LA Pride #Resist March; 8a-1p; June 10-11; LA Pride Festival; FMI:

June 16; NYC Pride Rally; 6-8p; Foley Sq; FMI: VIYQZD

June 16; Mitchell Gold & Bob Williams Summer Social Event; Burlington Signature Storel 22 Third Ave, Burlington, MA; Cocktails & Social; 6-9p; FMI: https://


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June 17; Chicago Pride Fest; 11a10p; FMI: June 17-18; RI 41st Annual PrideFest & Illuminated Night Parade; 17/11a-18/2a; 1055 Westminster St, RI; FMI: https:// June 18; Philly Pride Parade & Festival; FMI: dJzJTx

June 9-18; Pride Portland!; FMI:

June 22, 2017: North Shore Pride InterFaith Celebration; Tabernacle Church; 50 Washington St, Salem’ 7-9p; FMI: https://goo. gl/fQtc49 June 23: Pride Kick-off Sunset Cruise to Benefit Cruise Fenway Health & North Shore Pride FMI:



JUNE Events

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NEVER FORGOTTEN FROM PAGE 3 • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

Stanley Almodovar III, 23 (Latinx) Rodolfo Ayala-Ayala, 33 (Latinx) Antonio Davon Brown, 29 (POC) Darryl Roman Burt II, 29 (POC) Jonathan Antonio Camuy Vega, 24 (Latinx) Angel Luis Candelario-Padro, 28 (Latinx) Luis Omar Ocasio-Capo, 20 (Latinx) Simon Adrian Carrillo Fernandez, 31 (Latinx) Oscar A. Aracena-Montero, 26 (Latinx) Juan Pablo Rivera Velazquez, 37 (Latinx) Luis Daniel Conde, 39 (Latinx) Tevin Eugene Crosby, 25 (POC) Anthony Luis Laureano Disla, 25 (Latinx) Deonka Deidra Drayton, 32 (POC) Leroy Valentin Fernandez, 25 (Latinx) Amanda Alvear, 25 (Latinx) Mercedez Marisol Flores, 26 (Latinx) Peter O. Gonzalez-Cruz, 22 (Latinx) Gilberto Ramon Silva Menendez, 25 (Latinx) Juan Ramon Guerrero, 22 (Latinx) Christopher Andrew Leinonen, 32 Paul Terrell Henry, 41 (POC) Frank Hernandez, 27 (Latinx) Miguel Angel Honorato, 30 (Latinx) Javier Jorge-Reyes, 40 (Latinx)

• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

Jason Benjamin Josaphat, 19 (POC) Eddie Jamoldroy Justice, 30 (POC) Alejandro Barrio Martinez, 21 (Latinx) Juan Chavez-Martinez, 25 (Latinx) Brenda Lee Marquez McCool, 49 KJ Morris, 37 (POC) Akyra Monet Murray, 18 (POC) Geraldo A. Ortiz-Jimenez, 25 (Latinx) Joel Rayon Paniagua, 32 (Latinx) Enrique L. Rios Jr., 25 (Latinx) Eric Ivan Ortiz Rivera, 36 (Latinx) Jean C. Nieves Rodriguez, 27 (Latinx) Xavier Emmanuel Serrano Rosado, 35 (Latinx) Christopher Joseph Sanfeliz, 24 (Latinx) Yilmary Rodriguez Solivan, 24 (Latinx) Edward Sotomayor Jr., 34 (Latinx) Shane Evan Tomlinson, 33 (POC) Martin Benitez Torres, 33 (Latinx) Luis Vielma, 22 (Latinx) Luis Daniel Wilson-Leon, 37 (Latinx) Jean Carlos Mendez Perez, 35 (Latinx) Jerald Arthur Wright, 31 Cory James Connell, 21

More than 85 percent of those killed identified as people of color. More than 80 percent identified as Latinx specifically and more than half identified as Puerto Rican. But why does it matter? What importance lies in clarifying the ethnicities and racial identities of the victims of Pulse? The truth is, the experiences of all LGBTQ people are not identical. Our identities are intersectional and our narratives are shaped not just by our sexual orientation, but also by our gender expression, socioeconomic status, citizenship, racial identity, and several other factors. There are experiences that queer people of color face that our white counterparts often do not and when white LGBTQ folks monopolize our spaces these important conversations become erased.

For example, Alejandro Barrio Martinez, who was only 21 years old, was a Cuban immigrant. His mother, Orquidea Martinez, had to obtain a U.S. Visa in order to travel to Orlando and claim her child’s body. Thankfully, Miami representative Ileana Ros-Lehtinen was able to secure a humanitarian Visa from the U.S. Embassy in Havana for the grieving mother, but what if it had been denied? What if she had been told she would not be able to bury the child she lost that tragic night?



The Rainbow Times’ New England Pride Guide

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Harper Jean Tobin, director of policy for the National Center for Transgender Equality. Photo courtesy of the National Center for Transgender Equality.

Violence against transgender women of color STILL on the rise Crime reporting, political climate among challenges faced by the community By: Jenna Spinelle/TRT Reporter

Ciara McElveen. Keke Collier. Brenda Bostick. Chay Reed. They are just a few of the transgender women of color murdered in the U.S. thus far in 2017. According to the National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs (; NCAVP), the number of violent crimes reported against this population is on track to surpass 2016—already a record year in its own right. NCAVP documented murders of 23 transgender and gender nonconforming people in 2016, the highest number ever recorded. To an outsider, that might seem shocking but to members of the trans community and their advocates, it’s nothing 16 The Rainbow Times’ New England Pride Guide


The question that remains for the community is whether the increased in violence is a result of more crimes, or better reporting of those crimes as law enforcement becomes better about collecting information related to gender identity and the media keeps a closer eye on these crimes. “We’ve known for a long time that there are uncontainable levels of violence facing transgender people and especially transgender people of color,” said Harper Jean Tobin, director of policy for the National Center for Transgender Equality (https://; NCTE). “It’s difficult to say whether and how it’s increasing because the federal and state governments don’t collect consistent information about us.” Accurate and consistent reporting of violence against trans people can often be complicated.

One reason for that is because federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies depend on each other to collect and share information. No one wants to have a reputation as a place where crimes against transgender people occur, so that information is often left out unless it is picked up independently by media outlets or

See Violence on page 17

Violence from page 16 watchdog organizations like NCAVP or the Southern Poverty Law Center (https://goo. gl/Lm9ab2; SPLC). “The FBI has said for years that hate crime data is notoriously unreliable because federal government numbers depend on what local governments report to them,” Tobin said. “There are some jurisdictions that don’t report any of these incidents, which is highly improbable especially in cities.” Closer to home, Mason Dunn, executive director of the Massachusetts Transgender Political Coalition ( x2aFV4; MTPC), said he was not surprised to hear that violent crimes against members of the transgender community are on the rise.

ostracized or targeted for who they were— something that most people have experienced at one time or another. That gives you and opening to talk about trans people in your life who have told you that they’ve felt targeted because of who they are,” Wu said. “That’s how you build bridges between people’s individual experiences.”

Beyond those individual conversations, Tobin said NCTE works with officials at federal, state and local levels to advocate on behalf of the transgender community and encourage policies that are inclusive rather than oppressive.

“This violence has always existed and will continue to exist until we really address issues of racism, sexism and transphobia.”

“For many people outside the trans community it might be a wake up call, but so many of our community members know this as a continuing reality,” Dunn said. “This violence has always existed and will continue to exist until we really address issues of racism and sexism and transphobia.”

Addressing those issues, however, can be easier said than done. Janson Wu, executive director of GLBTQ Legal Advocates & Defenders (; GLAD) said change comes in the form of standing up when you see someone being harassed and countering hurtful words with positive ones. “People can voice affirmative statements of love and support for members of the trans community, especially trans women of color,” Wu said. “Trying to refute someone isn’t the most effective way to change their mind … rather it’s building on shared values of fairness and treating people the way you would want to be treated.” Wu said GLAD advises people facing hateful situations to ask whether those making the comments have ever been in a situation where they felt like they were

Such efforts garnered support in the Obama administration, but have been met with resistance in the current political climate as protections for transgender people are challenged at the state and federal level. “The government has to speak out against this violence and let the public know that it’s not a normal or ok thing to have happen,” Tobin said. “Under the previous administration, officials at all levels called this out as a problem that was serious, widespread and grave. We do not see that in [this] current administration. The absence of addressing the issue from [the] bully pulpit is alarming.” Still, Tobin did point to areas around the country where progress is being made in areas like crime reporting and training for law enforcement officials.

“I’ve worked with folks from California to Wisconsin who are doing work on supporting transgender acceptance and folks from New York to Georgia who are doing work around police reform,” Tobin said. “[In] The big picture we are making progress. We have ways to make it better and we have to have the will to do it … it’s just that the change is terribly slow and comes too late for those people are victimized.”

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The Rainbow Times’ New England Pride Guide

JUNE Events

(continuedfrom page 13)

June 24; North Shore Pride Parade; Steps off at Riley Plaza, Salem, Noon; Ends at Salem Common at 1p; fQtc49 June 24; North Shore Pride Festival; Salem Common; Washington Square, Salem; 1-5p; FMI:

June 24; North Shore Pride Official Adult After Party; Patio @ Murphy’s Pub; 300 Derby St; Salem; 5-9p; FMI: https:// June 24; 2017 Youth After Party Sponsored by North Shore Pride; nAGLY Center at Museum Place Mall; 2 East India Square, Suite 121; Salem; 5-9p; FMI: June 24; NYC Youth Pride; 12-6p;

June 24; 2nd Annual Greater Lowell Pride Event; 1-5p; Utopia Park; FMI:

June 25; First Annual Senior Pride Celebration Tea Dance; Salem Waterfront Hotel; 225 Derby St, Salem; 2-6p June 25; The Ultimate Pride Splash Benefit Cruise; Join Pulse Orlando survivor Christopher Hansen & DJ Andrea Stamas for the ultimate final bash to North Shore Pride weekend on the water! 3-5:30p; Pickering Wharf Marina; FMI: https://goo. gl/yqeeAl June 25; NYC Pride Parade; noon; FMI:

June 23-25; Pride Toronto Festival Weekend; Toronto, Canada FMI: https://

June 25; Pride Toronto Parade; Toronto, Canada; FMI: June 25; 48th Annual Chicago Pride Parade; 12-3p; FMI:


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NEVER FORGOTTEN FROM PAGE 14 Latinx people face struggles with legal documentation, immigration, deportation, and xenophobia at far more alarming rates than their white counterparts. As a result, when coverage about the Pulse shooting revolves around the faces of white gay men who respond to Pulse by posting photos of themselves kissing their partners under the caption “Love is Love,” they erase coverage of these important topics that matter to ethnic and POC communities. The result is a second layer of violence through silencing, which is experienced by the communities at the focal point of the massacre.

In the aftermath of the Pulse shooting, a Puerto Rican victim’s father refused to claim his body because the father was vehemently homophobic. It was not until local authorities convinced relatives residing in Orlando to claim his body that a funeral was performed. Some might argue that homophobia extends to all queer communities, but homophobia often takes an exceptionally violent turn in Latinx spaces as a product of hypermasculine culture. Machismo defines manhood in the context of physical power, wealth, suppression of emotions, and the sexual conquest of all womyn identifying partners. Any man who shifts from this definition is swiftly punished with emotional, physical, and sometimes fatal violence. By dismissing conversations around race and ethnicity, media coverage around Pulse fails to explore the perils of machismo and why it

must be dismantled in Latinx communities. This negligence functions as a form of violence where the reluctance to “speak up” by allies (i.e. media) means machismo goes unchecked. This only serves to harm Latinx LGBTQ individuals through femmephobia, homophobia, and transphobia.

The aftermath of Pulse also saw a rise in Islamophobia against the Muslim community. Despite confirmation by FBI investigators that there was no established connection between Mateen and the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), many continued to fixate on Mateen’s personal desire to join ISIL as a platform to demonize all Muslim-identifying individuals as terrorists. The rapid surge in bigotry toward Muslims and the constant fixation on terrorism as the basis for the attack, rather than homophobia, led to a surge in hate crimes against Muslim communities throughout the U.S., allowing our nation to exhibit the very violence we admonished in Orlando.

It is paramount that when we discuss events such as Pulse that we make sure to take a backseat and elevate the voices of those most impacted by this violence. This is not to imply that the voices of others, such as our white LGBTQ family, do not matter. Rather, we are simply asking for an opportunity to speak about our own lived experiences in the pursuit of social equity. To my New England readers, I ask that you all take these words to heart and make sure this Pride season that you make the extra effort to allow those who do not identify as white, cisgender gay men the space to speak on what they need to achieve equity for LGBTQ communities. To the families and friends of the Pulse victims—may they rest in peace and may they rest in power. I wish you all love and solidarity. *A New England native, Javi is a vocal and passionate genderqueer activist and advocate with a strong interest in racial, ethnic, gender, and sexual identities and how those identities converge within the LGBTQ community. An enthusiastic academic, Javi is devoted to understanding and discussing a range of issues including immigration, healthcare, and public portrayals of queer identities. Javi can be contacted at FernJavi2009@


The Rainbow Times’ New England Pride Guide


misconceptions around sex as told by several health advocates By: Al Gentile/TRT Reporter

The Rainbow Times engaged several New England-area organizations to ask sexual health experts about the biggest misconceptions concerning safe sex. Even with the information available to people through marketing campaigns and the internet, people like Amanda Mehaffey, coordinator of prevention and screening for AIDS Project Worcester, say misinformation is still rife throughout the communities they serve.

1. LGBTQ Women can’t contract STIs Kurtlan Massarsky, BAGLY

“These pervasive misconceptions lead to an increase in untreated STIs, a cavalier dismissal of conversations about STIs, and a decrease [in] good information about risk reduction techniques for women in LGBTQ communities.”

2. You can contract HIV from saliva Dwayne Stewart, Fenway Health

“This is just not possible. The main bodily fluids that carry HIV are blood, semen, vaginal secretions, and breast milk.”

3. HIV is a death sentence

Amanda Mehaffey, AIDS Project Worcester “Many people still believe that getting HIV means you are going to die and are often uninformed that you can live a very long life with HIV and never progress to AIDS. With proper treatment persons living with HIV can become virally suppressed which makes transmission to others rare.”

4. Contraception doesn’t work

Dr. Jennifer Childs-Roshak, Planned Parenthood League of Massachusetts “Unfounded claims that contraception does not prevent pregnancy are simply false. When used correctly, birth control is highly effective, and long-acting reversible methods, such as the IUD, are more than 99 percent effective, at preventing pregnancy. It’s critical that a person use the contraception method that is best for their body and lifestyle so they are better able to use it consistently and correctly.”

5. If I don’t have symptoms, I don’t have an STI Dwayne Stewart, Fenway Health

“Many STIs don’t show symptoms right away, especially in people assigned female at birth. Chlamydia is a common example of this.”

see misconceptions on page 24

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JUNe Events

(continued from page 19)

June 25; 48th Annual Chicago Pride Parade; 12-3p; FMI:

June 30; CT’s Youth LGBTQ True Colors End of Year Celebration; 6:30p; 30 Arbor St; FMI:

JUly Events

July 18-22; Girl Splash – A Summer Week for Women; Provincetown; FMI:

august Events

August 12-18; P-Town Carnival (Gods and Goddesses); FMI: y0AQpL

August 16-20; 20th Annual NYC Black Pride; FMI:

september Events

Sept. 6-10; Hartford Capital City Pride Week; FMI:

September 6-10; Worcester Pride; FMI: or ixlAIH September 7; Pride Flag Raising; 3p; Worcester City Hall Plaza, 455 Main St; FMI:

September 9; Hartford Capital City Pride Pride Fest; 12-6p; Pump House, Prattt St.; FMI:

october Events

October 1-15; Miami’s Hispanic LGBT Pride Festival; Oct. 9-15; Women’s Festival; Provincetown; FMI:

*These events come from the hosting organizations and time, dates and places can change at the last minute given any number of reasons. Please always double check the information page for each event before attending it. If you’d like to add to this list, please send your events for July, August, September and October 2017 to



The Rainbow Times’ New England Pride Guide

The Rainbow Times’ New England Pride Guide 23

misconceptions from page 21

6. Sex toys cannot spread an STI Kurtlan Massarsky, BAGLY

“If not carefully cleaned and maintained, sex toys can be a deceptively easy method of STI transmission.”

7. STI testing is difficult to access

Dr. Jennifer Childs-Roshak, Planned Parenthood League of Massachusetts “STI tests are generally quick, simple, and painless. You can get tested for STIs at your doctor’s office, a community health clinic, or your local Planned Parenthood health center. These tests are confidential and many insurance plans cover STI testing. STI testing can also be free or low cost if you don’t have insurance.”

8. I don’t need to worry about HIV. If I get HIV, I can just take a pill and I’ll be fine Dwayne Stewart, Fenway Health

“This is a common misconception among youth today who feel the HIV fight is over


The Rainbow Times’ New England Pride Guide

and the epidemic is under control. There are still approximately 40,000 new HIV infections a year in the United States and 1.1 million people are living with HIV. The fight is far from over. And the medication is still not easy to access for marginalized communities.”

9. I don’t need to get tested for STDs

Dr. Jennifer Childs-Roshak, Planned Parenthood League of Massachusetts “Getting tested for STIs is a basic part of staying healthy and taking care of your body— like brushing your teeth and exercising regularly. Knowing your status is one of the most important things you can do to protect your health and take control of your sex life.”

10. Having an STI is shameful

Dr. Jennifer Childs-Roshak, Planned Parenthood League of Massachusetts “Having an STI is nothing to feel ashamed of, and it doesn’t mean you’re ‘dirty’ or a bad person—it just means you’re a human who has an infection. The reality is that STIs can happen to anybody who’s ever been sexually active with someone and they are way more common than you think!”

????? Pride season is upon us,

but whose Pride is it? By: Lorelei Erisis*/TRT Columnist

Happy Pride season! Let’s talk about trans representation and presence (or lack thereof) in Pride parades and festivals. It’s a complicated and sensitive topic—so I’ll start with a few disclaimers before we dive in. I’ve done my best, as always, to fairly represent the incredibly diverse trans community. This column draws on years of conversations with many diverse trans folks, but it’s still biased by my own point of view and experiences—as a trans person, and as a Pride attendee, marcher, and organizer. I’m a columnist, not a reporter.

The views and opinions in this column are mine, and not those of this newspaper, nor of any organization I represent or have represented previously.

As I write about Pride events—their strengths and their flaws—I want to recognize what it takes to create them. From working with Northampton (Noho) Pride, I know that Pride parades and festivals are labor-intensive and expensive, requiring long hours from hard-working volunteers.

Pride events also vary widely. Jami Shofner, a trans comic from Texas, notes: “In some places, Pride is very trans-inclusive and some are most definitely not, to the extent that alternative events have come into

existence in order to actually be all-inclusive.”

So, first of all: I like Prides. I’ve marched in Prides all over the Northeast, and it’s always a good time. Rather than ride on floats, I prefer to march with my Miss Trans New England crown and sash, with my fist raised high and my voice loud and clear. I get to meet wonderful folks and spend time with old and new friends, many of whom I only see during Pride season. And I often hear that seeing me loud and proud at Pride made someone feel safe, welcomed, less alone, or inspired to start their own transition.

Prides are great for visibility, for having fun, and for creating safer spaces for LGBTQ people, especially youth, to come out and be themselves—even if only for the day. Jillian Graham from Connecticut shared: “Pride events, like rallies, have always been good for raising our spirits and giving us hope for change. As a young trans woman it was also an effective way to meet other trans folk … Many of the early pride events I participated in helped give me a [feeling] of community power.” But on a less positive note, many trans people feel increasingly pushed out of Pride—an event that’s meant to include our whole LGBTQ+ rainbow—by cisgender (cis) gay men and, to a lesser extent, by cis lesbians. There’s a lot of evidence that the riots that inspired our modern Pride celebrations—from Stonewall, which the first NYC Pride March commemorated, to Compton’s Cafeteria, which predated Stonewall by a few years—were trans-led and trans-centered. This is a contentious topic and I don’t have space to go into it here, but the fact is that many trans people feel a sense of ownership over the genesis of Pride.

see whose pride is it? on page 27

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The Rainbow Times’ New England Pride Guide

whose pride is it? from page 25 When trans people say that they feel marginalized or excluded from Pride, organizers often respond by encouraging them to volunteer or get involved in planning— but it can be hard to get involved, stay involved, and influence these often cis gay and lesbian-dominated organizations. When trans people do try to offer help or advice, they can find themselves ignored— and then organizers wonder why more trans people don’t get involved. Pi Erised Fong, of Massachusetts, shared this example: “I was once chastised at a Pride for leading trans rights chants during the parade. I was told that I was too angry and that it was ruining the party atmosphere.”

woman I really like Pride events and the community that comes with them. I’m also wary of them, and a lot of that comes down to drag performances.” She’s concerned that uninformed people at Pride may confuse trans women with drag queens, something that many trans women, including myself, have experienced. She notes, “Some friends of mine in the LGB community commented at a recent Pride that I was ‘Gettin’ my drag on’… I can understand the mistake … but I was still pretty offended. I’ve seen drag queens who mock femininity in ways I sometimes dislike or don’t agree with and I don’t want to be grouped in with them.” And it’s not just about personal discomfort. Ben Power Alwin, founder and curator of the Sexual Minorities Archives in Holyoke, Massachusetts and a trans elder, shared a powerful critique: “Drag queens are _always_ thrown up on stage to entertain everybody. I get sick of the main trans presence at Prides being entertainers. We are _not_ their (cis LGBQ people) entertainment! That combined with woefully lacking actual activism for trans rights and trans lives …Where is the actual protest? Gays are being killed in Chechnya, trans women of color are being slain every other week, trans kids can’t use the appropriate restroom in their public schools, trans people cannot get employment …We are in need and yet the cis queers just whoop and holler at the drag queen performers.”

“I was once chastised at a Pride for leading trans rights chants during the parade ...”

Sometimes actions speak louder than words. Last year, trans people in Massachusetts fought long and hard for basic rights—yet at Boston Pride, the Massachusetts Transgender Political Coalition (; MTPC) was almost at the very back of the parade. Achieving a historic success for trans rights didn’t keep us from being relegated to the end of the line. And in 2015, a group of local trans people issued a list of demands to Boston Pride ( and the larger LGBTQ community aimed at addressing inequalities for trans people and people of color. Two years later, we still haven’t seen significant, visible action. What started as a protest has become a party, which in and of itself is not terrible. Pride has always had a celebratory aspect, and we deserve the right to celebrate our achievements, enjoy our community, and blow off some glittery steam—but the increasingly corporate culture of many Prides is a serious issue. Someone has to foot the bill for the event, but when trans people and other marginalized groups see more corporate banners than representation of their own identities and communities--it makes an impression.

When I march in Pride, I’m often one of a very few non-drag, visible trans people in the entire parade. I’ve heard from many trans people about the issue of drag visibility being elevated in Pride culture more than trans visibility. Naomi Wixon, a trans woman from Massachusetts, sums this up nicely: “As a trans

I believe that Pride is a vital part of our history and community, and is more positive than negative, but Prides nationwide are going in a direction that’s problematic for trans people and other marginalized LGBTQ+ groups. I hope that Pride organizers will listen carefully and start to make changes so that Pride continues to serve our whole community.

But if Pride continues to drift towards commercialism and away from protest, it may be time for something different. Let the old behemoths rebrand so the rest of us can take back Pride — the Ts, the Bs, the Qs, the Is, and others who are still fighting for equality. We can make Pride our own again: a Pride for the People. Slàinte! *Lorelei Erisis is an actor, activist, adventurer and pageant queen. Send your questions about trans issues, gender and sexuality to her at: The Rainbow Times’ New England Pride Guide 27


The Rainbow Times’ New England Pride Guide

The Rainbow Times’ New England Pride Guide 29

study by the Williams Institute at the UCLA Law School, 14% of those identifying as transgender are over the age of 65. The senior transgender community often faces many difficulties. has identified three of these challenges and has researched ways to combat these issues, including current public and private efforts to improve upon the lives of transgender seniors.

The three challenges of transgender seniors explored by are:

AGING IN THE LGBT COMMUNITY, A LOOK AT TRANSGENDER ELDERS AUSTIN—, one of the nation’s top senior housing referral services, released an article on the challenges and progress of the aging transgender community. The company recognizes that the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) senior community is currently a very important part of the American population, and that the struggle for acceptance and safety among the transgender community has finally reached the national conversation. There is generally less acceptance of the trans community among older generations, which can make it very difficult to find a supportive community within the senior demographic. According to a recent 30 The Rainbow Times’ New England Pride Guide


Isolation and a Negative Social Stigma In addition to the rampant discrimination, loneliness, and violence that all transgender people often encounter, older individuals in this community can face particular challenges in dealing with long-standing familial roles. There can be difficulties when families and friends have to consider modifying deeply established roles and there may be a period of adjustment for all involved. There is also a lack of availability of social groups for seniors, particularly outside of large metropolitan areas, and this can worsen the isolation.


Senior Housing Issues There is a serious lack of availability in LGBT-friendly senior housing and the problem is most severe for those who are transgender. Because there are no legal protections at the national level for transgender people, those seeking nursing home or assisted living care often face discrimination and lack of acceptable living conditions.


Health Concerns Transgender people of all ages frequently lack access to properly-trained healthcare providers who understand their unique medical and psychological challenges. Many within the community even report facing harassment, ridicule, and rough treatment by medical professionals, or are refused treatment altogether. Individuals who are older often face additional complications due to requirements for longer-term and sometimes more intense hormone therapy that require a closer level of attention from their healthcare providers.

see TRANS ELDERS on page 35

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a benefit cruise departing from Pickering Wharf



6.25 2017


The Rainbow Times’ New England Pride Guide

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The Rainbow Times’ New England Pride Guide


Cynthia, whose name was changed to protect her identity, is a parent, a decorated military veteran, and a Purple Heart recipient. She recently began her transition and is the happiest she’s ever been, though she has faced many obstacles along her journey. To further investigate these challenges, conducted an in-depth interview with a retired transgender woman. Cynthia, whose name was changed to protect her identity, is a parent, a decorated military veteran, and a Purple Heart recipient. She recently began her transition and is the happiest she’s ever been, though she has faced many obstacles along her journey.

“ continues to be dedicated to the challenges and needs of elder people of all backgrounds. The transgender senior community is a particularly vulnerable group and has been largely ignored for far too long. It’s time to bring their story into the public conversation,” says Ryan Patterson, CEO and Founder. has previously released articles on the “Americas Best Cities for Gay Friendly Retirement” and “LGBT Assisted Living Communities – Finding a Gay-Friendly Facility.”

To view the full article on “Transitioning After Retirement: The Struggles and Triumphs of Transgender Seniors” visit articles/the-struggles-and-triumphs-of-transgender-seniors.

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The Rainbow Times’ New England Pride Guide

Pride preview:

pride celebrations across New England By: Mike Givens/TRT Assistant Editor

In the first part of this series (https://, published in a recent issue of The Rainbow Times, we interviewed several Pride organizations across New England including Northampton, Boston, Portland, the North Shore, and Worcester. This second part features pride organizations in Rhode Island, Hartford Connecticut, and Vermont.

Boston Pride ( June 2-11, 2017

Q: Please state your name and title within your Pride organization A: Sylvain Bruni, President of Boston Pride.

Q: What’s this year’s theme? A: This year’s theme is “Stronger Together.” The theme focuses on the current climate of political uncertainty and marginalization of LGBTQ people. The theme will be used for all Boston Pride events throughout the year, culminating with Boston Pride Week which will be held from June 2 to June 11. Q: Who will be your grand and honorary marshals? A: [The} Grand Marshal will be Kristen Porter, Founder of Kristen Porter Presents Dyke Night, who is celebrating 20 years of serving the LGBTQ community. The Honorary Marshals include Norman Hill, former President of [the] Gay Officers Action League New England; Dr. Judy Bradford, co-chair of the Fenway Institute from its inception in 2001; and John Michael Gray, half of the famous“Hat Sisters.” Q: Do you have a current list of events? Can you explain why they are relevant in terms of your theme? What are you hoping to achieve at these events?


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PRIDE CELEBRATIONS FROM PAGE 38 A: Boston Pride events include: Flag Raising at City Hall (June 2), Pride Day at Faneuil Hall Marketplace (June 3), Pride Night at Revolution (June 3), Pride Night at Fenway Park (June 9), Pride Parade (June 10), Back Bay and Jamaica Plain Block Parties (June 11). Full details on events can be found at These events are relative to the theme ‘Stronger Together’ as they emphasize Boston Pride’s commitment to raising awareness of intersexuality, the overlapping of social identities, and how discrimination against one ultimately represents discrimination against all. We hope these events will further stress the importance of the diverse groups that comprise the LGBTQ community to stand together and fight for civil rights for all. Q: What are you excited about for 2017 Pride Season? A: This season we look forward to having new groups join us for the Parade and Festival to make this year’s Boston Pride week one of the biggest outpourings of celebration and activism for the LGBTQ community, showing everyone that we truly are“Stronger Together.”

Q: Do you consider your Pride to be inclusive and to have members of the LGBTQ community of color on your board? How so? A: Boston Pride is very inclusive and we ensure that our programming includes all members of the LGBTQ community, including through Youth Pride, Latinx Pride, and Black Pride.”

Pride Portland ( June 9-18, 2017

Q: Please state your name and title within your Pride organization. A: Victoria Kuhn and Michael Sweeney, Parade Team Co-Chairs

Q: What’s this year’s theme? A: “Love is Love” (parade theme only, there is no uber Pride theme). Q: Who will be your grand and honorary marshals? A: We are nearly ready to share this info!

Q: Do you have a current list of events? Can you explain why are they relevant in terms of your theme? What are you hoping to achieve at these events? 38

The Rainbow Times’ New England Pride Guide

A: June 11: Pride Portland! Stands With National Pride; June 13: Pride Portland! & Portland Paddle!; June 17: 2017 Pride Portland! Parade and Festival; and June 18: Tea Dance at Peaks Island. For more information, visit: There are so many frankly … we are here to celebrate the achievements of the LBGTQIA community while raising awareness of the work that remains to be done. We’re about building strong connections among individuals and businesses to foster inclusivity, diversity and unity. Q: What are you excited about for 2017 Pride Season? A: We are excited to build on the successes of last year, to remember the past, and to have fun! Q: Do you consider your Pride to be inclusive and to have members of the LGBTQ community of color on your board? How so? NOTE: Although this was one of the standard questions sent to all major New England Pride organizations, Pride Portland never sent an answer for this specific question.

Rhode Island Pride ( June 17, 2017

Q: Please state your name and title within your Pride organization. A: Alex Gorriaran, Past President of Rhode Island Pride and Volunteer.

Q: What’s this year’s theme? A: When We R.I.S.E.—Rhode Islanders Standing for Equality This year’s theme is very relevant considering our current political landscape in D.C. It is a call to action to our LGBTQ community, our friends, and allies to come together to resist the inequalities that exist in our society and our need to rise up to make sure all [of] our civil rights, marriage equality and everything we have fought for through the years does not get taken away. When we rise … our voices will be heard, our rights will be protected, and we will celebrate the diversity of our LGBTQ community in Rhode Island and Southern New England. Q: Who will be your grand and honorary marshals? A: Grand and honorary marshals to be determined.


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PRIDE CELEBRATIONS FROM PAGE 38 Q: Do you have a current list of events? Can you explain why are they relevant in terms of your theme? What are you hoping to achieve at these events? A: There are [a] diverse mix of events that lead up to the big day on June 17 with our Rhode Island PrideFest and New England’s Only Illuminated Night Parade. There is our annual Countdown to Pride events where each bar and club hosts an event to build awareness on all the happenings, recruit volunteers and raise much needed [funds]. There will be a mix of events, performances, entertainment, and some events focused [on] health and wellness, [but] inclusive for all. Some highlights include the Providence City Hall Flag Raising on Sunday, June 11 and back by popular demand, we will be hosting Pride Yoga on Tuesday, June 13 at 6 p.m. at the site of the PrideFest on the greenway at South Water Street in Providence. A complete list of events can be found at or follow us on facebook at @prideri. Q: What are you excited about for the 2017 Pride Season? A: The Rhode Island PrideFest and New England’s only Illuminated Night Parade is always the highlight of the season. Last year we saw record numbers attend with more than 75,000 participants. The Rhode Island PrideFest hosts more than 200 vendors, businesses, and organizations along with an area for our Kid’s Zone and Youth Center. There will be a main stage and an acoustic stage with entertainment all day along with our beer, wine, and spirits garden. PrideFest is from 12 p.m. - 7 p.m. The parade starts at 8 p.m. on Dorrance Street and continues down Washington Street, then Empire Street and ends on Weybosset Street. Spectators line all the streets and there will be a [viewing] area by the Providence Performing Arts Center. And, of course every bar in the city will be having block parties all night long after the parade. The energy in the city is electric and we send an open invitation to everyone to participate in the weekend events that transform the City of Providence into a Gay Disney World. Please join us when we rise together on June 17. Q: Do you consider your Pride to be inclusive and to have members of the LGBTQ community of color on your board? How so? A: Rhode Island Pride is very fortunate to 40 The Rainbow Times’ New England Pride Guide

Attendees enjoying the illuminated night parade at RI Pride. Photo Courtesy of RI Pride.

have a diverse mix of volunteers and board members. We have a mix of gender, sexuality, range of ages from young to, should we say, “wise and experienced,” along with a cultural mix that includes African American, Asian, and [Latinx].


Join Pulse Orlando Survivor Christopher Hansen, DJ Andrea Stamas & Drag Artist Kristi Kreamm.

Tickets at advance purchase is highly encouraged to guarantee your space.

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The Rainbow Times’ New England Pride Guide

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North Shore Pride

June 22-25, 2017 Q: Please state your name and title within your Pride organization. A: Hope Watt-Bucci, President, North Shore Pride.

Q: What’s this year’s theme? A: All Prides who belong to InterPride, the International Organizations of Prides … As a symbol of solidarity all of the Pride organizations are unified in their theme and have chosen,“Stronger Together” for this year’s theme. Q: Who will be your grand and honorary marshals? A: We will have Pulse nightclub massacre survivor Christopher Hansen as our grand marshal. We will also be honoring several community leaders on the North Shore. Q: Do you have a current list of events? Can you explain why are they relevant in terms of your theme? What are you hoping to achieve at these events? June 22: North Shore Pride InterFaith Celebration June 23: The Rainbow Times’ 10-Year Anniversary Pride Kick-off Benefit Cruise June 24: North Shore Pride Parade June 24: North Shore Pride Festival June 24: North Shore Pride Youth After Party June 24: North Shore Pride Adult After Party June 25: North Shore Pride Senior Celebration Dance June 25: The Rainbow Times’ 10-Year Anniversary Ultimate Pride Splash Benefit Cruise

All of the events held by North Shore Pride are designed with a goal of education and advocacy on behalf of the LGBTQ community. As our tag line indicates, we “Build Unity in Our Community.

Q: What are you excited about for 2017 Pride Season? A: I am most excited about the growth of North Shore Pride in this, our sixth year. We are excited that North Shore Pride is now viewed as a resource for our community. As an all-volunteer non profit, our organization is comprised of board members and volunteers who see the need to advocate for the LGBTQ community and to enhance education for the greater community so that the North Shore embraces inclusion of the LGBTQ community. 44

The Rainbow Times’ New England Pride Guide

Q: Do you consider your Pride to be inclusive and to have members of the LGBTQ community of color on your board? How so? A: North Shore Pride has always maintained our focus on inclusion. We continue to invite board member applicants, as we have done over the last five years. North Shore Pride is proud to have a diverse board that is representative of persons who vary in gender identity, race, ethnicity, and background.

c 1 2 3

oming up in the fall!


Worcester Pride

( September 6-10, 2017

Hartford Pride

( September 7—September 10

Vermont Pride

( September 10, 2017

new england

pride 2017




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SENATE PRESIDENT STANLEY ROSENBERG p.2 GREATER BOSTON PFLAG p.3 STATE TREASURER DEB GOLDBERG P.4 BOSTON GAY MEN’S CHORUS p.5 BOSTON MAYOR MARTIN J. WALSH P.7 Attorney General Maura Healey P.7 CONGRESSMAN SETH MOULTON P.9 CONGRESSMAN JOE KENNEDY p.9 THE TRIANGLE PROGRAM AT ARBOUR-HRI HOSPITAL p.10 5 STAR TRAVEL p.11 ATRIUS HEALTH p.11 SPEAKER BOB Deleo p.13 State representative liz malia p.13 gray ghost inn p.14 fenway health p.15 drag divas give back p.18 the network la red p.19 out metrowest p.19 highlands inn p.20 liquor land p.22 valente insurance p.22 boston medical center, the anchor study p.23 boston medical center, project trust p.24 codman square p.26 the rainbow times p.26, P. 41 wayside youth & family support network p.28 compassion & choices p.28 boch center, hedwig and the angry inch p.29 out film ct p.31 spaulding rehab network/partner’s healthcare p.32 umass fine arts center p.33 columbia marine p.34 holyoke community college p.34 north shore pride p.35 eppley for salem, councillor at large p.37 salem mayor kimberley driscoll p.37 mercy tavern p.39 independent living center of the north shore & cape ann, inc. p.41 the hope & lisa team, coldwell banker p.42 salem cycle p.43 popped! gourmet popcorn p.43 salem chamber of commerce p.43 kirsten freni, direct cellars p.45 salem waterfront hotel p.45 montreal pride p.47 eastern bank p.48


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