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2 • The Rainbow Times • TheRainbowTimesMass.com

April 4, 2019 - May 1, 2019

Trans Visibility: Making the invisible, visible; protecting those who can’t be claiming to support trans rights while sitting back and listening to others slander the trans community, or worse. Being an ally to the trans community or any marginalized community means being proactive. According to the Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI; https://bit.ly/2VfGlxl), one of the many ways you can be an effective ally once you have listened and learned from the struggles of a marginalized group is to “educate your own community,” their website explained. “Your voice is most effective within your own group since you are in the best position to confront its stereotypes and misunderstandings, some of which you may have overcome yourself. You also have a special access to them as an audience that other communities do not. Use it!”

By: Nicole Lashomb*/TRT Editor-in-Chief

L

ast week, we celebrated the International Transgender Day of Visibility (TDOV) and it got me thinking about the role allies play in the struggle for trans rights. Being a part of a trans family, I’ve seen first hand the trials and tribulations that can come as a result of being “out and visible” to the general public. I’ve also seen the benefits when others validate, accept, value and uplift trans people and their voices. In a society where trans people are still largely discriminated against and not protected by laws, depending on where they reside, it is not fair to expect members of the community to “out” themselves with visibility when it can get someone assaulted, bullied or killed (quite literally). Those trans individuals that do choose to be visible should be commended and celebrated without a doubt. However, there are also many people who simply cannot come out as trans for a variety of safety concerns—including the impact that it could have on employment, housing, family and friends’ acceptance, and simply just not being ready. According to the National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs (https://bit.ly/2OHB1R5), 55 percent of all reported LGBT homicide victims were transgender women, and 50 percent were transgender women of color. Furthermore, in the National Transgender Discrimination Survey (https://bit.ly/2TR1OLH), 78 percent transgender/gender non-conforming students in grades K-12 experienced harassment, while 35 percent experienced physical assault and 12 percent experienced sexual violence. With growing pressure on trans people being “visible” and countless others announcing their gender identity on social media, the reality is that there are hardcore statistics that may cause some people to hesitate or refrain from doing it. And, that is ok too. If you are not visibly trans, it does not invalidate your identity, existence or your value to the struggle. We see you, honor and respect you. Substantial portions of transgender people live in poverty largely due to bias, according to the National Transgender Center for Equality (https://bit.ly/2Ac7yu0). Being visible becomes that much more difficult if your livelihood is at risk too. Trans people are four times more likely to have a household income of less than $10,000/year compared to the general population, reported the National Transgender Discrimination Survey (NTDS; https://bit.ly/2TR1OLH). “More than a quarter of transgender people report being denied a promotion, fired or not hired because of their gender identity,” according to Out and Equal’s 2017 Workplace Equality Fact Sheet (https://bit.ly/2iSua7T). “More than threequarters of trans workers take steps to avoid being mistreated.” And, once job loss becomes a reality, catastrophic outcomes may occur. Respondents of the NTDS (https://bit.ly/2TR1OLH) indicated that

*Nicole Lashomb is Editor-in-Chief of The Rainbow Times and Co-founder of Project Out. She graduated from the esteemed Crane School of Music and obtained an MBA from Marylhurst University. Nicole can be reached at editor@therainbowtimesmass.com.

Multiple Award Winning

The Rainbow Times The Largest LGBTQ Newspaper in New England—Boston Based TheRainbowTimesMass.com editor@therainbowtimesmass.com sales@therainbowtimesmass.com Phone: 617.444.9618 Fax: 928.437.9618 Publisher Graysen M. Ocasio Editor-In-Chief Nicole Lashomb Assistant Editor Mike Givens National/Local Sales Rivendell Media Liz Johnson

they also experienced ruinous consequences such as four times the rate of homelessness, 70 percent more current drinking or misuse of drugs to cope with mistreatment, 85 percent more incarceration, more than double the rate working in the underground economy, and more than double the HIV infection rate, compared to those who did not lose a job due to bias. When considering visibility there are some points that should be considered. Some trans people are automatically visible (even if they are not ready to be) by simply walking out the door. Others are able to flow through the day without anyone knowing about their gender identity. Circumstance in relation to how visible someone is depends on a variety of factors during the transition process. I believe Miss Major Griffin-Gracy (https://bit.ly/2U5mg0l) summarized it best

in a recent Facebook video (https://bit.ly/2U5mg0l) published around the time of TDOV 2019. “I really don’t understand why we need a Day of Visibility since for most of us, especially us black girls, we are as visible as we need to be,” said Miss Major, a Stonewall veteran and a fierce activist for trans women of color. “Our visibility is getting us killed. So, it's not that we [trans people] need to be visible. I think the people who care about us, who are involved in our lives, and who know us, they’re the people who need to become more visible. They need to acknowledge that we exist, claim and show that they support us, and the best way to do that is talk about us in a positive light on our day of visibility.” Being a transgender ally carries a great deal of responsibility with it. It is not about standing in the shadows or quietly pro-

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April 4, 2019 - May 1, 2019

Conversion Therapy Ban Bill passed by the Mass. House & Senate Bill between House and Senate shows some discrepancies; Gov. Baker said he’s inclined to sign when ready

By: Audrey Cole/TRT Reporter

IN THE LIMELIGHT

BOSTON—Recently, the Massachusetts House and Senate both passed a Conversion Therapy Ban bill, which would outlaw the practice of conversion therapy for minors, a dangerous practice that harms LGBTQ youth, according to health professionals and activists. “Conversion therapy causes harm to LGBT people, including young people, and it doesn’t work,” said Sean Cahill, Director of Health Policy Research of The Fenway Institute. Although the House and Senate bills show some discrepancies between them, Governor Charlie Baker is “inclined to support” the ban, he said via a press conference last week. “They’re different, so I’m not going to speak to either one of them, but if a conversion therapy bill gets to my desk and we don’t see any other issues with it, it’s something we’d be inclined to support,” he said via the conference. The bills received widespread support by both bodies in the Mass. legislature. The Senate voted unanimously to support the ban, with the exception of five abstentions. The House voted 147-8. “ … conversion therapies are not only in-

PHOTO: JANA SABETH SCHULTZ/UNSPLASH

effective, but they increase depression and anxiety, as well as increase suicidality, and can create trauma symptoms in individuals who are subjected to its techniques,” said Will Halpin, LICSW, MPH, Public Health Social Worker, and Licensed Psychotherapist. “I have worked with LGBTQ clients who have sought extensive psychotherapy to specifically heal from the scars of trauma, self-hatred, shame, and desires to

harm themselves by going through conversion therapy programs.” The bill put forth in the House of Representatives by Rep. Kay Khan is “identical to the legislation that passed both the House and Senate last summer, but stalled in the final moments of the formal session before reaching Baker’s desk,” reported the Boston Globe (https://bit.ly/2TF6cBx). “It would ban state-licensed therapists from

practicing conversion therapy with minors and includes an exemption for religious institutions.” The Senate bill has conditions that are more stringent. According to the Globe’s story (https://bit.ly/2TF6cBx), “The Senate bill

See Conversion Therapy On Page 23


4 • The Rainbow Times • TheRainbowTimesMass.com

April 4, 2019 - May 1, 2019

Twenty Summers launches 6th Arts & Culture festival, large LGBTQ focus By: Audrey Cole/TRT Reporter

PROVINCETOWN, Mass.—Twenty Summers’ Arts & Culture Festival enters its 6th season this year, according to its Executive Director. “We fulfill our mission by hosting a month-long arts and culture festival in the [Hawthorne] Barn each spring where we present an eclectic mix of both emerging and established musicians, writers, cultural figures, activists, and artists,” said Camille Ives Beck, Twenty Summers’ Executive Director. “Our hope is to introduce, and encourage patrons to engage with, new ideas and artists.” This year’s festival line-up includes diverse representation on a variety of social justice issues, with a particular focus on the LGBTQ community. “The LGBTQ community is an integral part of Provincetown’s history, culture, and identity,” said Ives Beck. “Being an organization in Provincetown, our festival is curated for both the local residents and seasonal visitors alike, and so we think it’s important to host events that not only dive into certain topics that are important to the LGBTQ community but to highlight artists, authors, activists and cultural figures who have been inspiring or impactful to the LGBTQ community—both locally and nationally.” Celebrating and honoring the 50th Anniversary of the Stonewall Riots, events will be dedicated specifically to the LGBTQ civil rights movement.

“Our event on Saturday, May 25 is part of a national celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots,” said Ives Beck. “We chose to honor this pivotal moment of the LGBTQ civil rights movement by hosting a conversation featuring Matthew Riemer and Leighton Brown, creators of Instagram’s @lgbt_history (https://is.gd/cOsCv7) , and acclaimed author Garrard Conley (Boy Erased). “The three authors and activists will talk about Riemer and Brown’s wildly popular @lgbt_history page and their debut book, We Are Everywhere, a rich and sweeping photographic history of the Queer Liberation Movement, along with Garrard Conley’s best-selling memoir. Boy Erased was adapted for the 2018 film of the same name, as well as the podcast UnErased: The History of Conversion Therapy in America. Their shared experience casts a powerful light on the LGBTQ+ community’s hardships in the past, its challenges for the future, and what Stonewall means to us today. The conversation will be followed by an audience Q&A.” According to Ives Beck, one of this year’s festival highlights includes a conversation with social activist, public figure and author Monica Lewinsky with NBC host Ari Melber. “They'll be discussing Lewinsky’s experience and fight against bullying and how public perspective on women’s stories has evolved in the #MeToo era,” Ives Beck said. “Plus, she'll be sharing her unique,

To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall riots, Twenty Summers will host a conversation featuring Matthew Riemer and Leighton Brown, creators of Instagram’s @lgbt_history, and acclaimed author Garrard Conley (Boy Erased). PHOTO: WWW.20SUMMERS.ORG

and very timely, insights on how an independent counsel probe of the White House works.” Other features include a “conversation with authors Rebecca Makkai (The Great Believers) and Christopher Castellani

THIS YEAR’S FESTIVAL LINE-UP INCLUDES DI-

VERSE REPRESENTATION ON A VARIETY OF

SOCIAL JUSTICE ISSUES, WITH A PARTICULAR FOCUS ON THE

LGBTQ COMMUNITY. (Leading Men) on May 31 to discuss their latest novels, which both capture pivotal historical moments in gay history and on

June 8, cultural critic Emily Bobrow will interview playwright and actor Jeremy O. Harris, who was recently named by Out magazine as ‘the queer black savior the theater world needs,’ Ives Beck noted. Different than year’s past, this season marks a first for the festival as well. “On June 14, we will be hosting our very first film screening in the Barn,” Ives Beck said. “Co-presented with the Provincetown Film Society and Festival, we will be showing a 100-year-old film called "Different From the Others" which is the firstknown pro-gay film. We are proud to present the newly restored silent film with live musical accompaniment featuring an original score by Billy Hough and Sue Goldberg (of “Scream Along with Billy”), followed by a Q&A with an expert on LGBTQ film and history.” Though centered on the arts, the purpose of the festival goes beyond what meets the eye. “Our conversations are a vital element of our programming to ensure that our contribution to the general public goes beyond entertainment—their purpose is to nourish the academic and cultural needs of the year-round and seasonal community, fostering new ideas and concepts for our audience members to reflect upon long after they leave the Barn,” said Ives Beck. “Provincetown is rich in its history as a center for artists and thinkers, and these events that tackle current or ongoing political and cultural issues aim to reinvigorate and sustain that tradition.” The festival will take place from May 10 through June 15. For complete details and event listings, visit www.20summers.org.


April 4, 2019 - May 1, 2019

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April 4, 2019 - May 1, 2019

In honor of and in solidarity with the transgender community, the City of Salem & Project Out, a trans non-profit organization dedicated to eradicating bias and empowering the trans community to live authentically, raised the transgender flag in front of Salem’s City Hall in support of TDOV 2019.

Salem Mass. flies transgender flag in support of Transgender Day of Visibility By: Audrey Cole/TRT Reporter

SALEM, Mass.—The transgender flag soared in front of Salem City Hall earlier this week as a visible sign of solidarity for the transgender community, marking the International Transgender Day of Visibility. “I think March 31st represents an opportunity to express support for the trans community and to raise awareness of the discrimination and inequality the community still faces on a regular basis,” said Salem Mayor Kim Driscoll. “We have work to do to ensure that the transgender community is supported and respected.” Project Out (www.projectout.org), a nonprofit organization dedicated to eradicating bias against the trans community and empowering trans people to live authentically produced the impromptu transgender flagraising event in collaboration with the City of Salem. “Visibility must include allies, supporters and anyone willing to stand up in solidarity with the trans community,” said Nicole Lashomb, Co-Founder, and Co-Executive Director, Project Out. “This flag raising is about sending a clear and proactive public message to our family, friends and the broader community that we honor and celebrate the lives of trans individuals and recognize the struggle that still exists in the fight for equality. We stand with the trans community in proactive action to create a more just society and value their existence.”

Miss Major Griffin-Gracy, a veteran of the Stonewall Rebellion, a long time community leader and activist, challenges the need for trans-specific visibility but calls on allies to step up to the plate and own their part in making trans lives count. “I really don’t understand why we need a Day of Visibility since for most of us, especially us black girls, we are as visible as we need to be,” said Miss Major via a Facebook video (https://bit.ly/2U5mg0l). “Our visibility is getting us killed. So, it’s not that we [trans people] need to be visible. I think the people who care about us, who are involved in our lives, and who know us, they’re the people who need to become more visible. They need to acknowledge that we exist, claim and show that they support us, and the best way to do that is talk about us in a positive light on our day of visibility.” Standing in support at the flag raising were members of the trans community and allies that lined the sidewalk during the afternoon event at City Hall. Once mast, the flag’s bright colors were a poignant contrast to City Hall’s gray brick backdrop. Shantel Alix, a trans woman, Salem resident, and Community Engagement Coordinator at the North Shore Community Development Coalition shared the impact the event had on her personally. “Seeing the flag in front of the City Hall

See Salem Trans On Page 23


8 • The Rainbow Times • TheRainbowTimesMass.com

April 4, 2019 - May 1, 2019

Pride Events in New England Part I: Celebrating 50 years post Stonewall By: Chris Gilmore/TRT Reporter

Since the Stonewall Riots 50 years ago, the LGBTQ community has made leaps ahead while backtracking along the way. The latter, being more prevalent today. With basic LGBTQ rights at stake all over again, support of Pride and Trans Pride organizations appears to be at an all time high in recent years. That sentiment is no different in New England, where The Rainbow Times (TRT) caught up with festival organizers about what’s in store for their regional events. Noho Pride – May 4, 2019 JM Sorrell, the spokesperson for NoHo Pride, provided answers for some of the questions below. TRT’s staff gathered other answers, when responses were still needed/unclear. Q: What’s this year’s theme? Logo? Please send it, if different from your own organization's logo. A: Love Happens At Pride! (Reporter gathered the information from the organization’s website). Q: Who are/will be your grand and honorary marshals? Why were they chosen? A: We do not have grand marshals. Q: Send us a list of your events during Pride Week/Day, and explain why are

Boston Pride 2018 City Scene

they relevant in terms of your theme? What are you hoping to achieve at these events? A: The march/parade starts at 11 a.m. and

PHOTO: MARILYN HUMPHRIES

ends at the Three County Fairgrounds where there are events all day (again, see nohopride.org). Q: How has the Stonewall Anniversary changed your preparation and scheduling of events this year? A: In fact, one such workshop will indeed focus on the Stonewall Uprising and the 50th anniversary. Did you also know that May 17, 2019 will mark 15 years of mar-

riage equality in Massachusetts? Another big anniversary is that this marks 30 years since Governor Michael Dukakis enacted legislation for protections based on sexual orientation for public accommodations, employment and housing. We were the second state in the country to have these protections at the time. Still today, over half of our states do not offer such protection, as you may know. Q: How are you being inclusive of PoC and QTPoC people when it comes to Pride this year? Please explain. A: Noho Pride has always been both inclusive and expansive, as the organizers listen to community members to

See Prides On Page 10


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Prides From Page 8

LGBTQ+ community in that time.

meet the needs of participants.

Q: Who are/will be your grand and honorary marshals? Why were they chosen? A: The decisions on the theme and marshals were made through online voting by the community. The community voted Dale Mitchell, founder of the LGBT Aging Project, as Grand Marshal; Ava Glasscott, trans model and former Miss Trans USA Pageant contestant will serve as Marshal; and Honorary Marshals are the late Chris Harris, entertainment impresario and longtime supporter of the LGBTQ community, who passed away in January and the late Marsha P. Johnson, as the Champion Stonewall Honorary Marshal, who was a transgender activist and a veteran of the Stonewall Inn uprisings.

Q: When (date) will Noho Pride be this year? A: The date is always the first Saturday of May—this year—May 4th for the 38-year anniversary event! The after party is the place to be, too! It is at 7 p.m. at the Florence VFW. See the press release and website for more details. Q: What are events that are new to Noho Pride this year? A: See website: www.nohopride.org. Q: What are the prices to be a part of the Parade/become a vendor? Where can they be found? A: There is no fee for entrance or parking at the Fairgrounds. To offset increasing costs, we are charging a minimal fee for the

Q: Send us a list of your events during Pride Week, and explain why are they relevant in terms of your theme? What

PHOTO: EMMA EGAN

Attendees representing the City of Portland, ME marching in the 2018 pride parade.

for-profit contingents in the parade. Nonprofits are free of charge. Q: If there are people who have felt unwelcome in the past, what do you say to them this year (if any)? A: I have been asked the question you pose over the years: "Does anyone feel unwelcome?" My answer is that all LGBTQ people and allies are always welcome. If someone feels there is something missing, I fully encourage joining the all-volunteer staff to get involved in the creation of the day each year. The volunteers work very hard to create a magical day for our region. Also, our vendors and sponsors offer the support we need to cover Fairground, permit, police and other costs. Boston Pride – May 31- June 9, 2019 (Parade & Festival: June 8) Linda J. DeMarco in her role again as Boston Pride’s president, sent her replies to TRT as Boston Pride prepares for a large celebration due to their recognition of the 50th Anniversary of the Stonewall Riots. Q: What’s this year’s theme? Logo? Please send them, if different from your own organization's logo. A: 2019 Boston Pride Theme: “Looking Back, Loving Forward” represents the recognition of the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots and is meant to encourage the community to reflect back on the many challenges and incredible victories of the

Queer Puzzle this April 2019: Gay World Leaders

are you hoping to achieve at these events? A: This year, Boston Pride Week begins on Friday, May 31 with the Pride flag raising at City Hall Plaza and our signature events include Pride Day @Faneuil Hall on Saturday, June 1, Pride Community Forum on the 50th anniversary of Stonewall Inn uprising on Monday, June 3 at historic Faneuil Hall, the annual Pride Parade and festival on Saturday, June 8, Pride Block Parties in the Back Bay and Jamaica Plain on Sunday, June 9 and Pride Night @Fenway Park on Tuesday, June 11. Q: How has the Stonewall Anniversary changed your preparation and scheduling of events this year? A: Boston Pride created a separate committee to work on events and programming for the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Uprising, a defining moment in the history of the LGBTQ civil rights movement. Boston Pride plans to raise awareness of this anniversary through exhibitions, public discussions, and other events, acting in collaboration with local community-based organizations. It is important that, throughout Greater Boston, community people observe this milestone in our progress toward full equality. In addition to the Community Forum on Stonewall at Faneuil Hall, there are events throughout the month of June to commemorate this historic event. Information is on Boston Pride’s website at ...

See Prides On page 19

Across 1 Early AIDS play 5 Weathercock 9 Fairy tale start 13 Wise guy 14 Debussy contemporary Satie 15 Vague sense 16 His brother laid him in his grave 17 Garb for Troy Perry 18 The life of Riley 19 Xavier Bettel's country 22 Home st. of Tallulah Bankhead 24 Make airtight 25 Rainbow shape 28 ___ Tin Tin 29 Starts 30 Opponent of Wade 31 Comic strip named for a vine 33 Online prostitution? 35 The Orlando shooting, for example 40 Go across 43 On-line 'zine 44 Two queens, e.g. 48 Terse oral refusal 49 Disney's That ___ Cat! 50 Rubik of cube fame 51 "Climb Ev'ry Mountain" peak 52 Ana Brnabic's country 54 Dam agcy. 55 Susan Feniger may pleasure it 57 Bear or bull 59 Gay leaders of three countries in this puzzle

62 Positions for Patty Sheehan 63 Emma Donoghue's country 64 Official records 65 Petrol station choice 66 Initiated phone sex 67 "Methinks thou ___ protest too much" Down 1 Khan's title 2 Where to put your meat, in a deli 3 Leo Varadkar's country 4 George Takei's role on Star Trek 5 Dancer Ben 6 They come from pansies 7 Tug on a fishing line 8 Barely make 9 Out partner 10 1953 Marilyn Monroe film 11 Some of My Best Friends network 12 Shrek's shoe size, perhaps 20 Lines through 21 Unexpected victory 22 Boat with a pair of bears 23 Lucy of Charlie's Angels 26 Rimbaud's king 27 Animation unit 32 Billy of Titanic 34 Be a hunter and pecker 36 Christ the ___ (Rio landmark) 37 Sharif of Funny Girl 38 Prep for a marathon, with "up" 39 Arsonist activity

40 Type of fruit juice 41 Shiny part of the Little Bear's tail 42 Brings to bear 45 Erte's style 46 Turns inside out 47 Guffaws about, as a Kate McKinnon skit 52 Sault ___ Marie 53 Caesar's arts 56 Schoolyard retort 58 Not much 60 "Got a Rainbow" lyricist Gershwin 61 Anais who went both ways

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April 4, 2019 - May 1, 2019

Top: Special TRT cover designed for Mary Lou’s 80th B-day in 2007. RIP Beautiful Mary Lou. R: Mary Lou Perkins’ 80th B-day Celebration (2007). Below: Attending Noho Pride. PHOTOS: TRT Archives

Western Mass. community bids adieu to activist & pioneer Mary Lou Perkins

OBITUARY

Mary Louise Perkins, mother, teacher, passed away from lung cancer on April 1st, 2019 at 91 years. In every aspect of her life, she lived life to the fullest. She leaves her nine children, Mary Chandler of Hatfield, Kathryn Chandler of West Springfield, John Chandler of Chesterfield, Sarah Sansom of Webster, Margaret Chandler of New York City, Anne DePalma of Marco Island, Fla., Joseph Chandler of Florence, Gregory Chandler of Hatfield and Paul Chandler of Haydenville. Her daughter Elizabeth predeceased her in 2002. She leaves 14 grandchildren and 12 great grandchildren. As a teacher, Mary Lou was an exemplary first grade teacher in the West Springfield public schools for 25 years, providing innovative and exciting classes—a teacher’s teacher. She was an advocate for the developmentally disabled for 43 years, starting the first nursery school for the disabled in Westfield, continuing with summer camps, a developmental center and bussing for special needs children. She established and maintained a fund for developmentally disabled in memory of her daughter Elizabeth. Mary Lou grew up in Lockport, NY, the second child of Kathleen Murphy and Adelbert Perkins. She was predeceased by her older brother James. She graduated from St. Joseph Academy in 1945 and the College of Mount St. Vincent, NY in 1949.

She was married to John Chandler of Florence for 35 years. In retirement Mary Lou traveled extensively, always seeking adventurous trips, sailing among the icebergs in Alaska, cruising on a barge on the Canal du Midi in France, backpacking across Mexico and driving her motorhome across country winters. As a volunteer, she worked for the Holyoke VNA Hospice, the Northampton Senior Center, and as an ombudsman for Highland Valley Elder Services. She sang with the Sweet Adelines for many years as well as the Sapphonics and the Timeless Tunes, a senior’s band based out of the Northampton Senior Center. She loved dancing and socializing with women, attending for many years the Golden Threads in Provincetown and the Silver Threads at St. Petersburg Beach, Florida. At home she loved parties, dancing and never missed an opportunity to empower women. She encouraged women to support each others’ endeavors. Mary Lou’s herstory is stored at the Sophia Smith archives. She supported LGBTQ programs for the gay community. She was a firm believer in the saying “stand up and be counted” and as all her friends know “given a choice to sit out or dance, I hope you always choose to dance.” Memorial donations may be made to “Lizzie Chandler Memorial Fund” in care of Community Foundation of Western Massachusetts, 333 Bridge St., Springfield, MA 01103.


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April 4, 2019 - May 1, 2019

PHOTO: MAGDIEL LUGO/@MNIKON

Puerto Rico’s Governor Ricardo Rosselló

Puerto Rico’s Governor signs Executive Order banning conversion therapy in the Island By: Audrey Cole/TRT Reporter

SAN JUAN, PR—The governor of Puerto Rico signed an executive order banning conversion therapy for LGBTQ minors in the U.S. commonwealth earlier this week. “As a father, as a scientist and as the governor for everyone in Puerto Rico, I firmly believe that the idea that there are people in our society who need treatment because of their gender identity or whom they love is not only absurd, it is harmful to so many children and young adults who deserve to be treated with dignity and respect,” Puerto Rico Governor Ricardo Rosselló said in a statement (https://bit.ly/2HSARWC) to the media. The decision to sign an executive order came after failed attempts by the legislature to end conversion therapy, a harmful practice intended to change the sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression of LGBTQ people. “Senate Bill 1000, tried to eliminate such therapies in Puerto Rico, however, after several legislative debates and hurdles by conservative legislators of the House of Representatives, the Senate project failed to pass,” said Alberto Valentín Camacho, Governor Legislative Advisor, and executive director, LGBTT Advisory Council of La Fortaleza de PR. Executive Order Number 16-2019 was approved on March 27, 2019. This Order prohibits any governmental or private entity or health service provider from practicing conversion therapy, Valentín Camacho said. The social media sphere has widely lauded the governor’s order. On The Rainbow Times’ social media (https://bit.ly/2HTxWwx) sites alone, the publication’s post announcing Rosselló’s executive order has gone viral, reaching upward of ,000 followers, creating more than 6,300 active user engagements and receiving hundreds of shares within a 24hour window. Although Rosselló used executive privi-

lege to order the ban, he is met with substantial backing from major education, health, and religious organizations. “A number of prominent national professional health associations—including the American Medical Association, the American Psychological Association, and the American Academy of Pediatrics, among others—have issued public statements opposing the use of conversion therapy because it is harmful and ineffective,” read a recent Williams Institute study (https://bit.ly/2DJEgRE).

“ ... THE IDEA THAT THERE ARE PEOPLE IN OUR SOCIETY WHO NEED TREATMENT BECAUSE OF THEIR GENDER IDENTITY OR WHOM THEY LOVE IS NOT ONLY ABSURD, IT IS HARMFUL ...” — PR GOV. RICARDO ROSSELLÓ Failure to comply with the conversion therapy ban would result in tangible consequences for the island’s practitioners. The Executive Order directs agencies and departments to “restrict benefits, permits or licenses to any health service provider that does not commit to prohibiting these therapies as part of their services,” Valentín Camacho said. According to the UCLA Williams Institute study (https://bit.ly/2DJEgRE), more

See PR Conversion On Page 23


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10 great small towns for LGBTQ travelers By: Andrew Collins*/TRT Travel Writer

T

LGBTQ TRAVEL

hroughout the 20th century, as particular neighborhoods in America's largest cities became LGBTQ strongholds, a number of corresponding resort towns became similarly famous as gay vacation spots. Provincetown, Fire Island, Key West, Palm Springs, and the Russian River grew into international queer havens, united by their creative spirits and often flamboyant and permissive personalities. Slightly more low-keyed burghs— Laguna Beach, Saugatuck-Douglas, Ogunquit, Rehoboth Beach, New Hope-Lambertville—also developed big-time gay followings despite their tiny populations. While all of these places—albeit to varying degrees—remain touchstones of queer vacation life; they also now have plenty of competition. In recent years, dozens of small communities with less pronounced queer cachet but nevertheless progressive vibes, alluring settings, and sophisticated cultural offerings have become increasingly fashionable with the LGBTQ set, both as places to live and travel. Listed in alphabetical order, here are 10 of the most compelling of these diverse and desirable little towns with emergent gay followings. To be considered for this list, each community (as well the accompanying alternative recommendations) had to have fewer than 10,000 year-round residents, at least a couple of reliably inclusive lodging options (plus plenty of vacation rentals and Airbnb listings), and an exceptional mix of enticing activities and attractions. Astoria, Oregon (pop. 9,800) travelastoria.com Dramatically situated where the mighty Columbia River empties into the Pacific Ocean, Astoria was visited by the Lewis & Clark expedition, permanently established as a fur-trading outpost, and eventually developed into a prominent port city and salmon-canning center. Today, with many of its stately downtown buildings and riverfront wharves occupied by hip lifestyle boutiques, artisan breweries and coffee

roasters, and retro-chic cocktail bars, this hilly town at the northern tip of the spectacular Oregon coast has begun to resemble a miniature version of Portland (two hours away), complete with a sizable LGBTQ population and a super-fun Gay Pride weekend in mid-June. Pop culture alert:

April 4, 2019 - May 1, 2019

Bethlehem, New Hampshire (pop. 2,600) bethlehemwhitemtns.com Although neighboring Vermont contains the lion's share of liberal mountain hamlets in northern New England, this diminutive New Hampshire village—an ideal base for ascending Mt. Washington or skiing Bretton Woods and Cannon Mountain—cultivates a decidedly bohemian air. Its quaint main street is home to a clutch of women-

Astoria

The Goonies was filmed here, and the former Clatsop County Jail—featured prominently in the movie—now houses the Oregon Film Museum. Stay: Commodore Hotel (commodoreastoria.com) and Cannery Pier Hotel & Spa (cannerypierhotel.com). Also consider: Hood River, Manzanita, and Yachats, OR; Bainbridge Island, Orcas Island, and Port Townsend, WA; and Homer, AK.

Bisbee, Arizona (pop. 5,200) discoverbisbee.com A rollicking erstwhile copper-mining town near the Mexico border that boasted the largest population of any city between St. Louis and San Francisco during its early 1900s heyday, quirky Bisbee feels today like the set of a vintage Hollywood Western, albeit with John Waters sensibilities. Hippies, artists, queer folks, and plenty of

PHOTO: ANDREW COLLINS

owned businesses, from gallery co-ops to restaurants, and nearby you'll find one of the world's longest-running lesbian resorts, Highlands Inn.

Salida, Colorado

Stay: Adair Country Inn and Restaurant (adairinn.com) and Highlands Inn (highlandsinn-nh.com). Also consider: Franconia, NH, and Chester, Manchester, Stowe, Waitsfield, Waterbury, White River Junction, and Woodstock, VT.

self-proclaimed oddballs have been living in—and restoring—the town's ornate buildings and homes since the 1960s, and Bisbee hosts a vibrant Pride festival over

PHOTO: ANDREW COLLINS

three days in mid-June. It's a terrific getaway for stargazing, gallery-hopping, touring haunted buildings, and hiking throughout the dramatic surrounding high desert. Stay: Canyon Rose Suites

See LGBT Travel on page 15


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LGBTQ Travel From page 14 (canyonrose.com) and Hotel San Ramon (hotelsanramon.com). Also consider: Jerome, AZ and Silver City, NM.

Hudson, NY (pop. 6,300) visithudsonny.com Among the string of appealing, queerfriendly destinations in the Hudson River Valley—many of them (Beacon, Hyde Park, Kingston, New Paltz) too large to be considered for this list—the compact and densely settled city of Hudson has enjoyed

Marfa, Texas (pop. 1,800) visitmarfa.com Rock Hudson, James Dean, and Liz Taylor spent weeks in this high-desert ranching town in far West Texas while filming the Hollywood epic Giant in the mid-1950s. Two decades later, the late minimalist artist Donald Judd began snapping up local buildings, and eventually ranches, ultimately spurring Marfa's transformation into a center of contemporary art and— over time—fashion, photography, and striking, if sometimes jarringly self-conscious, hipster culture. Tours of Judd's Chinati Foundation are a must for art lovers, and outdoors enthusiasts can use the town as a base for exploring nearby Big Bend National Park. Occasional sightings of the "Marfa Lights" lend a touch of mystery to any visit, and a growing clutch of stylish eateries and cool hotels have helped vaunt this visually striking town into a favorite destination for LGBTQ weddings and romantic getaways. Stay: El Cosmico (elcosmico.com) and Hotel Saint George (marfasaintgeorge.com). Also consider: Alpine and Wimberley, TX. Nevada City, California (pop. 3,200) nevadacitychamber.com A short drive from both Lake Tahoe and

2.4 Million Monthly Visitors

PHOTO: ANDREW COLLINS

Sacramento, this former Gold Rush town and its similarly inviting neighbor, Grass Valley, have become increasingly popular enticing among LGBTQ Northern Californians, especially given its relative value compared with Napa and Sonoma, and because it's just a three-hour drive from San Francisco. An easy jumping-off point for swimming at clothing-optional Hoyt Crossing as well as myriad hiking and snowsports activities, atmospheric Nevada City remains a friendly, unpretentious town with a growing bounty of notable places to eat and drink. Stay: Harmony Ridge Lodge (harmonyridgelodge.com) and Pines Motel and Cottages (grassvalleypines.com) Also consider (all in CA): Calistoga, Ferndale, Forestville, Idyllwild, Mendocino, and Solvang. Salida, Colorado (pop. 5,300) salidachamber.org Ski towns are usually what jump to mind when you think of little LGBTQ-welcoming towns in the Rockies, and indeed, the jet-set-approved winter-sports hubs of Aspen, Telluride, Vail, and Park City are all first-rate places for slopeside fun (especially during annual Gay Ski weeks). Nestled in the less-touristy but nonetheless breathtaking Arkansas River valley and still close to world-class skiing, hiking, rafting, and cycling, sunny Salida offers plenty of galleries and public art installations, festivals and concerts in Riverside Park, and a burgeoning culinary scene. It's at once easy-going yet packed with opportunities for adventure, and it's also a kidfriendly spot that's perfect for LGBTQ families. Stay: Mountain Goat Lodge (mountaingoatlodge.com) and Palace Hotel (salidapalacehotel.com) Also consider: Pagosa Springs and Victor, CO, Moab UT, and Taos, NM. Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin (pop. 9,200)

doorcounty.com It's fair to call western Michigan's twin coastal towns of Saugatuck and Douglas the LGBTQ vacation capital of the Great Lakes. But a number of other stunningly situated and gay-welcoming communities throughout North America's inland seas abound with charming waterfront inns, folksy cafes and ice cream shops, and an array waterside activities, from kayaking to beachcombing. The largest town on Wisconsin's famously charming Door Peninsula offers plenty to see and do, from a first-rate maritime museum to wineries, regional theater, and stunning beach parks. Stay: Chanticleer Guest House (chanticleerguesthouse.com) and Cliff Dwellers Resort (cliffdwellersresort.com) Also consider: Bayfield, WI, Honor, MI, Grand Marais, MN, and Wellington and Gananoque, ON (Canada). *Writer Andrew Collins divides his time between Mexico City, Oregon, and New Hampshire. You can read more of his work at AndrewsTraveling.com. http://bit.do/hrcspan

http://bit.do/hrcspan

Hawi, Hawaii (pop. 1,100) gohawaii.com The vast majority of visitors to Hawaii spend their vacations in sprawling oceanfront resorts, which tend—with the exception of Lahaina on Maui—to be relatively modern and heavily developed. But the progressive Aloha State has a number of low-keyed, historic, and utterly bewitching smaller communities that offer a happily authentic slice of free-spirited Island life and authentic Old Hawaii culture. Occupying a lush plateau that's perched atop sheer sea cliffs at the North Kohala tip of the Big Island, Hawi Town is anchored by a cluster of funky cafes and galleries, which thrive along its colorful main drag of 19th-century wood-frame, plantation-style buildings. It's close to the stunning and rarely crowded Pololu Valley black-sand beach, and it's a good base for exploring the island's rugged and mountainous Upcountry and the white-sand beaches and swanky resorts of the volcanic Kohala Coast. Stay: Hawaii Island Retreat (hawaiiislandretreat.com) and Puakea Ranch (puakearanch.com). Also consider (all in HI): Hana and Paia (Maui), Hanalei and Waimea (Kauai), Volcano and Pahoa (Big Island), and the entire island of Molokai.

Bisbee, Arizona

a dramatic renaissance over the past two decades. The once workaday downtown now buzzes with destination-worthy restaurants and artfully curated homeware boutiques and clothiers. About 2.5 to 3 hours from Boston and New York City, Hudson is also a quick hop from several celebrated arts destinations, such as Frederic Church's Olana and Thomas Cole National Historic Site. Stay: Croff House B&B (thecroffhouse.com) and the Hudson Guest House (thehudsonguesthouse.com). Also consider: Rhinebeck and Woodstock, NY, Great Barrington, MA, and Washington, CT.

http://bit.do/hrcspan

Eureka Springs, Arkansas (pop 2,100) It's strange but true: this tiny village in northwest Arkansas's Ozark Mountains has for decades been a bona fide LGBTQ hot spot, especially among urban dwellers of South-Central U.S. cities like Dallas, Oklahoma City, and Kansas City. Although religious and political conservatism prevail in this part of the world, and this hilly town of quaint Victorian buildings and narrow topsy-turvy streets is home to a 66-foot-tall statue of Christ, Eureka Springs could not be more inclusive. You'll find more than a dozen B&Bs and historic hotels that eagerly welcome LGBTQ guests, and three times a year, the town hosts well-attended Diversity Weekends featuring dance parties, drag shows, arts and crafts fairs, transgender workshops, kids entertainment, and more. Stay: Pond Mountain Lodge & Resort (pondmountainlodge.com) and 1905 Basin Park Hotel (basinpark.com). Also consider: Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge, TN, and Waynesville, NC.

http://bit.do/hrcspan

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April 4, 2019 - May 1, 2019

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Wils makes history as the 1st openly gay Chinese singer Indie Singapore artist sends message to Asian LGBTQs, talks what he’s looking for in a partner By: Robin Garrity/Special to TRT

S

ingapore pop singing sensation Wils is best known for his album, WTF, named Best Pop Album of the Year at the Hollywood F.A.M.E Awards. The album also received a Best Album nomination at the Los Angeles Music Awards where Wils was named Pop Artist of the Year (male). Additionally, Wils is known for his Men’s Health Magazine cover that revealed his washboard abs and established him as the “Beast of The East.” This month, he is releasing “Open Up Babe,” a song he calls his most authentic track to date and the one he says will introduce the real Wils to fans. It’s his coming out song and his hope is that it inspires others to break free from their cages. We spoke with Wils from his LA home. Q: How does it feel to be out of the closet? Wils: I feel super refreshed and really liberated. A little nervous, too, but it’s important that, as an artist, I create from a real part of me. One that isn't in hiding. So yeah, I’m nervous but I'm so excited about the journey ahead. Q: Do you worry about being labeled an out artist? A: I really don't. Unlike many in my generation, I’m ok with being labeled. In fact, I think it's empowering because if people have a stigma about you and you surprise them with things that they don't expect from you, it can change their mind about how they feel about you. I think the stigma will only change when gay people interact with others genuinely in our day to day experiences. Q: What about in Singapore, where you're from? A: It’s tricky. There are no anti-discrimination laws for LGBTQ individuals in Singapore. There is actually a law named the 377A penal code that criminalizes consensual sex between two gay men. Things are changing, though. Families have become much more accepting of their LGBTQ children. However, it’s still kept very hush hush as parents don't want their children and their families to be stigmatized. Q: Do you worry about the impact that being gay and out may have on your career in Singapore? A: Truthfully, I don’t. I'm more excited. I think it’s time for the LGBTQ movement in Asia.

Wils

Q: What has the response been from your mostly female audience? A: A lot of ‘I had no idea’ and ‘we still love you’ and yeah, some ‘no more panties for you.’ (laughing) I think the fans have taken it very well. Most deal with things like how I do: with a joke!

dependently. Have you severed ties with your label? A: Severed? More, like, my hands are untied! My previous label removed all of my social medias after I told them I wanted to come out publicly. They were worried that it would cause a stir and they wanted nothing to do with it. But that's okay. I understand that they didn't know how to handle a situation like me. I'm excited about embarking on this journey on my own.

Q: You're releasing "Open Up Babe" in-

Q: Is there freedom in being an indie

PHOTO: LESTER V

artist? A: I get to write anything, say anything and not worry about what the label might say. I get to work with the creative people I've always wanted to work with but that the label didn’t approve of. I get to collaborate with forward thinking individuals that share my views and I finally get to write the songs I’ve always wanted to! Q: What are some topics that you plan to explore in future records? A: The lonely side of gay culture, friend-

ships, and the power of freedom. Q: Kesha wrote “Praying” about triumphing through adversity, and finding peace in forgiving those (namely her former management) who had hurt her. Would you consider doing something similar? A: Ah, if I could write a song like that, I definitely would! That song is so powerful. Read the rest of this story at: TheRainbowTimesMass.com


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Misgendering: Possible hows, whys, & actions to stop it By: Deja Nicole Greenlaw*/TRT Columnist

I

TRANS OPINION

t seems that I can't go a day without either hearing or reading that a transgender person gets misgendered. Misgendering does happen quite often. I don’t think that I know anyone who hasn’t been misgendered at least once in their life and that’s including cisgender people in the equation. It is a weird, unsettling feeling when you get misgendered and I think that most people are familiar with that feeling. However, I believe that a cis person will probably have an easier time in dealing with that feeling than a transgender person. When you misgender a cis person it can be uncomfortable for the moment and then it’s gone. But, when you misgender a trans person it’s likely to linger and slowly chip away at the trans person’s well being. I've been misgendered many, many times and even though I may deal with it calmly, I have to admit that it still gets under my skin. The reason being is that it gnaws at my core identity—the identity that I wrestled with all of my life. Misgendering knocks me back a step or

Prides From page 10 https://bit.ly/2uFAg1O. Q: How are you being inclusive of PoC and QTPoC people when it comes to Pride this year? A: Boston Pride is an inclusive organization and welcomes all to participate throughout the year and during Pride Week. We create safe spaces for the LGBTQ, PoC and QTPoC communities to celebrate, commemorate and be who they are. Q: When (date) will Boston Pride be this year? A: Boston Pride Week 2019 is May 31 through June 11 Q: What are events that are new to BP this year? NOTE: This answer will be provided in the digital version of The Rainbow Times. To access the new events visit Boston Pride at: bostonpride.org/stonewall50/ Q. What are the prices to be a part of the Parade/to become a vendor? A: Info regarding registering for the parade, for the festival and pricing can be found on the Boston Pride website: www.bostonpride.org. We have reduced fees for smaller nonprofit organizations. Q: What do you say to those who have felt unwelcome or left out your events in the past? What message would you like to send them this year (if any)? A: All in the community are welcome to participate in Boston Pride and we invite

two, until I fully process it and move on with my life. Taking a look at misgendering I try to understand why someone would misgender me or any other trans person. First of all it may be due to size. In my case, I am 6’3”, which is actually tall for a male and extremely tall for a female. If I were, say 5’3” tall, I think that my misgenderings would decrease. I would think the opposite would be true for a trans man who is relatively shorter than the average man. I think that the taller the trans man is, the less he would probably be misgendered. Next is voice, my voice is low and I get misgendered on the phone all the time. Of course there are some cis women who have a low voice like mine but they most likely will also get misgendered on the phone. If a trans man’s voice is still relatively high, he may get misgendered on the phone too. Then, there are the primary and secondary sex characteristics, the amount of facial hair and breast tissue on each trans person. People usually equate facial hair with being a male and breast tissue with being a female. For instance, if a trans man has visible breast tissue he may very well get misgendered as female. Movements, or body language, also come into play. The way someone moves may sometimes show a little of their assigned sex at birth rather than their true gender. It’s everyone to have their voices heard by joining our all-volunteer organization to make Pride Week 2019 the best ever. In 2020, it will be the 50th anniversary for Boston Pride and we are looking forward to commemorating that milestone with events, programming and celebrations for all in the LGBTQ community. Pride Portland! – June 7-16, 2019 (Parade June 15) Priscilla Acosta, Pride Portland’s! Marketing Chair, answered the questions for TRT. However, Pride Portland! is still in the midst of planning the parade and festival this year. Acosta explained that this was the reason why she didn’t “have an answer for all of the questions asked” at this time. Q: What’s this year’s theme? A: This year's theme is Stonewall 50. Q: How has the Stonewall Anniversary changed your preparation and scheduling of events this year? A: Without the Stonewall riots and the subsequent marches that came after, modern day pride parades would not exist. We keep that in mind every year when planning. This year, we want to make sure people in the community know the history and how far we still have to go. Q: How are you being inclusive of PoC and QTPoC people when it comes to To read the rest of Pride Portland!, North Shore Pride and Worcester Pride answers visit TheRainbowTimesMass.com

“ ... THE MOST IMPORTANT THAT MAY RESULT IN MISGENDERING SOMEONE, IS PERCEPTION ...” difficult to rewire your movements and, even so, you may still get misgendered. The last thing, and the most important that may result in misgendering someone, is perception—the lack of understanding and the lack of education. For instance, some people might see me as a male instead of a female because they perceive me as male and they don’t quite understand that my true gender is female. They may not have had enough education to fully connect the dots and realize that I am female. So, what can we do to decrease misgenderings? Well, we can’t do anything about our size. We could try to change the pitch of our voice but, in my opinion, most of our “new voices” may sound contrived at times. We could use cross sex hormone therapy and surgeries for our sex characteristics but availability and money issues arise and these courses of action are not available to everyone. Changing our body language is hard to do although we may

have some success in this area. Learned male behavior includes taking up a lot of space with their stances and their hand placements on their hips. They may also sit with their knees far apart. On the contrary, female norms have taught women to take up a minimum of space, and they often sit with their legs crossed. There is some room for hope with this. The most important issue though, by far, is the need to change other’s perceptions of us through understanding and education. Now, I realize that some trans people don’t feel that they should have to educate others, but I personally wish that they would. The more education there is out there, the more that perceptions and understandings will evolve and change. In my opinion, this is the key to stop or at least prevent misgenderings. *Deja Nicole Greenlaw is retired from 3M and has 3 children and two grandchildren. Contact her at: dejavudeja@sbcglobal.net.


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April 4, 2019 - May 1, 2019 PHOTO: DREW COFFMAN/UNSPLASH

5 ways laziness is costing you By: Mikey Rox*/Special to TRT

L

THE FRIVOLIST

aziness is the byproduct of many catalysts—fear, depression, general unhappiness—and it can negatively affect all facets of your life. From costing you money to ruining rela-tionships, here are five ways laziness can turn your world upside down if you let it. 1. Financially There’s a rather exhaustive list on Forbes.com on the ways laziness can bleed your bank account dry (https://bit.ly/2YIYWnG)—from failing to negotiate better deals to putting off opening a retirement fund—but these expensive oversights begin on a micro-level, like buying memberships you don’t justify with enough use, for instance. And then there’s the bad habit of simply paying full price for things you buy because you don’t “feel like” looking for discounts or convince yourself you don’t have the time. With regards to the latter, let me change your mind. Consider, as an example, planning a trip to the supermarket or, on a larger scale, vacation. If you dedicated time to researching savings and discounts, you will find money that you can keep. Using coupons, cash-back deals, and shopping only sale items at the supermarket can reasonably save you upwards of $30 or more on a large order if you’re hitting the savings at all angles. You might think of that as an amount not worthy of your effort, but what if you think of the savings as reward for your time dedication. How much do you make an hour at your full-time? Do you get paid $30 per hour at work? Do you think you deserve to pay yourself $30 an hour at home? Same principle applies to vacations. I spend several hours searching for savings on every getaway and vacation I take. If at the end I’ve spent, say, three hours rounding up deals and I’ve saved $200, I can celebrate a job well done that I’ve managed to make nearly $67 an hour for myself, money that will now be better spent on the actual trip for dinners, drinks, or an experience I’ll remember for a lifetime.

2. In Love My marriage didn’t work for many reasons—both faults of our own—but one of my biggest gripes with my husband was his laziness. For most of our union, I was chef, maid, caregiver to our dog, planner of date nights and vacations, and the instigator of what little sex we had, especially in the later years, and that took a major toll on my self-worth and eventually my general outlook on life. After years of trying to change his behavior (a futile effort in any relationship), I gave up. Not because I wanted to, but rather because I realized that his laziness was a result of not being in love with me. As complicated as our situation was, the root problem was as simple as that. If he could have admitted that about six or seven years earlier, we would’ve saved ourselves a hell of a lot of heartache … and money. 3. Health-wise Your sedentary lifestyle manifests itself in ways that directly impact your health, like weight gain, depression and early death. Any study ever done on exercise will tell you that staying active improves your physical, mental and emotional health in myriad ways. But even if you don’t get too fat to feel good about yourself anymore or kick the bucket in an untimely fashion, the money you will spend on medical services to put a patch on the damage you’re doing to yourself could take you into a debt with no escape or at the very least limit your quality of life because you’re consistently in the doctor’s office when you would have been better off in a gym. 4. Personally We’re so involved with ourselves these days (when our faces aren’t buried in a device) that we’re all but convinced that we don’t have time for relationships. The memes are right—like the one where we make plans but cancel at the last minute because we never intended to follow through anyway. Why though? Don’t our “friends” deserve a couple hours of our time and attention? If not, are they even our friends? Read the rest of this story at: TheRainbowTimesMass.com


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PR Conversion From Page 13 than 700,000 LGBTQ people have been subjected to the “horrors of conversion therapy, and an estimated 80,000 LGBTQ youth will experience this unprofessional conduct” in coming years. “Practicing conversion therapy [in PR] would similarly represent an act of discrimination that could result in the loss of that health professional's license,” Valentín Camacho said. “We are aware that an Executive Order does not have the same force of law as legislation, however, we knew how to use the existing mechanisms so that it was sufficiently strong and legitimate.” In Massachusetts, a conversion therapy ban has not yet been signed into law. However, the state’s governing bodies have passed a bill to do so and Mass. Governor Charlie Baker has expressed likely support

Conversion Therapy From Page 3 filed by Sen. Mark Montigny contains additional mandatory reporting language that would apply to teachers and doctors. It’s unclear if the governor has an issue with any of these provisions.” The Network/La Red (TNLR), a survivor-led, social justice organization that works to end partner abuse in the LGBTQ+ community, linked conversion therapy to abuse. “Abuse exists to achieve and maintain control, and reflects and perpetuates the larger violent culture, which condones and rewards oppression: an abuse of power in order to control and/or exploit groups of people,” said Cristina Dones, Manager of Community Engagement and JP Delgado Galdamez, Outreach and Education Associate at TNLR. “Conversion Therapy uses isolation and gaslighting, two tactics that many people abusers use against their partners, to oppress LGBQ/T children and young adults.” When compounded with various intersectional identities, such as race and ethnicity, Dones and Delgado Galdamez said that conversion therapy creates additional risks. “LGBQ/T communities and communities of color respectively lack positive representation in our society today. Conversion therapy perpetuates that narrative for LGBQ/T people and creates even smaller spaces for our communities to feel safe and validated,” said the pair. “We can make the safe assumption that LGBQ/T people of color would be further isolated and at greater emotional and physical risk than their white counterparts. We cannot ignore the intersections of race, sexuality, and gender expression and identity.” Many ex-gay [conversion therapy] programs are often unregulated, making the practice even more dangerous, according to Youth in the Crosshairs (https://bit.ly/2HOWkQd), a report published by the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force Policy Institute. “Unlike many organizations and individuals who offer counseling and mental health treatment services, the majority of ex-gay programs market themselves as religious ministries and are therefore not governed or overseen by profes-

of its implementation when a copy of the bill gets to his desk, The Rainbow Times (https://is.gd/trtnews) reported. “Today we are moving in the right direction, today Puerto Rico becomes an example to follow …” Valentín Camacho said.

Donate to Project Out To assist transgender people in their quest to authenticity

projectout.org sional associations, licensing boards, state departments of health or other bureaucracies,” the report read. “This is particularly troublesome for ex-gay teen programs like Refuge, which may be providing services to clients against their will.” Conversion therapy is not rooted in science and separation of church and state should apply to this ban as well, other medical professionals stated. “Conversion Therapy should be banned as it is not an evidence-based treatment method and it is a method of torture of people of all ages to undergo,” said Jennifer Nakkai, LICSW, and Owner of AEON Counseling and Consulting. “It is particularly disturbing for young children who are forced to do this by family members without the child’s assent, not just parental consent. Also, conversion therapy is historically a religiously based and funded treatment method and the Church should stay as far away from the State as possible. The church does not employ trained and independently licensed therapists to do this ‘work.’” Late last week, Puerto Rico’s Gov. Ricardo Rosello signed an executive order banning conversion therapy for LGBTQ youth on the island. As a commonwealth of the United States, Puerto Rico has been working on comprehensive LGBTQ Equality initiatives. “As a father, as a scientist and as the governor for everyone in Puerto Rico, I firmly believe that the idea that there are people in our society who need treatment because of their gender identity or whom they love is not only absurd, it is harmful to so many children and young adults who deserve to be treated with dignity and respect,” Rosselló said in a statement (https://bit.ly/2HSARWC) to the media. And, it is past time for Massachusetts to outlaw conversion therapy too. “Gov. Baker should show leadership and sign this bill, joining the other 15 states in our country (plus D.C. [and PR]) that have already banned conversion therapy for minors,” said Halpin. “In my professional opinion, this should be an easy bill to sign, knowing that he is preventing children from being exposed to techniques that cause more harm and damage than they do help.”

Salem Trans From Page 7 makes me feel counted, included, proud, peaceful, and secure,” said Alix. According to the Human Rights Campaign’s website (https://bit.ly/2uDJADg), advocates tracked (https://bit.ly/2HsBUfS) at least 26 deaths of transgender people in the U.S. “due to fatal violence, the majority of whom were Black transgender women in 2018. It is clear that fatal violence disproportionately affects transgender women of color, and that the intersections of racism, sexism, homophobia, biphobia, and transphobia conspire to deprive them of employment, housing, healthcare, and other necessities—barriers that make them vulnerable.” Concerns regarding safety continue to plague some members of the trans community, according to the Co-Ed of Project Out. “While as many transgender people as possible should be proudly visible, the reality is it isn’t always safe to do so,” said Graysen M. Ocasio, who is also The Rainbow Times’ publisher. “Circumstances beyond our control like societal acceptance, racism, sexism, family conditions, ageism, ableism, religion, or even the part of the country in which someone resides, greatly impacts their decision or ability to be visible. We are grateful to those who are able to be ‘out and visible’ and for those that cannot, we will be.” Alix encourages others to consider the impact societal discrimination has on trans identity. “We’re not born in the wrong body. If anything, we were born in the wrong society that being our authentic self has to be questioned,” added Alix. Like Miss Major, Alix sends a message to her fellow trans sisters. “To all trans sisters … it doesn’t matter where you come from, please love yourself, find ways to the common ground within ourselves and support each other as much as possible to be even more united,” she said. Education is critical to eradicating bias against the trans community, Lashomb added. “At the very least, we hope that this flag

“WE’RE NOT BORN IN THE WRONG BODY. IF ANYTHING, WE WERE BORN IN THE

WRONG SOCIETY ...” will shine a positive spotlight on the transgender community and give passersby pause to reflect on why it is hung there in the first place,” Project Out’s Co-Ed said. In attendance at the flag raising ceremony were representatives from various city organizations and businesses such as Salem’s No Place for Hate Committee, Creative Collective, North Shore Pride, HAWC, Salem Chamber of Commerce, the North Shore Community Development Coalition, and the LGBT Youth Commission, among others. “I hope having the trans flag flying in front of City Hall illustrates that we are a community that recognizes the contributions of our trans friends and neighbors and that we stand together in solidarity to support greater protections and equal treatment for our trans citizens,” the lauded LGBTQ champion (https://bit.ly/2FPhdIN) and Salem Mayor said. Project Out was founded in 2018 and is headquartered in Salem, Mass. “That flag streaming in front of city hall helps to give a voice and visible recognition to those that are the most vulnerable among us and who aren't or can't be visible at this time,” Lashomb added. “We at Project Out (https://bit.ly/2HYuYX3) are so appreciative of the Mayor’s truly inclusive leadership and are fortunate to have this organization here in Salem with her at the city’s helm.” For more information about Project Out, visit www.projectout.org


24 • The Rainbow Times • TheRainbowTimesMass.com

April 4, 2019 - May 1, 2019

Profile for The Rainbow Times

The Rainbow Times' April, 2019 Issue  

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