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2 • The Rainbow Times • TheRainbowTimesMass.com • 10th Year Anniversary

August 3, 2017 - September 6, 2017

Link between erectile dysfunction & trans ban ¡Soy Graysen! Finalmente saliendo del clóset By: Nicole Lashomb*/TRT Editor-in-Chief

N

OPINIONS

ot surprisingly, the Trump administration failed to explain any details of his reckless Twitter announcement of the transgender service member ban from the armed forces. For now, that ban is not being enforced, and the Joint Chiefs have voiced their positions in favor of transgender service members. As reported by Reuters, Army Chief of Staff General Mark Milley also confirmed that the Army will "act when we see directives through the proper chain of command channels," in response to Trump's consecutive tweets announcing the ban on July 26. Although some have already, and will continue to cite “cost control” of the Pentagon’s $700 billion annual budget as a justification for the exclusion of transgender service members, those same people fail to consider the financial and social ramifications of obliterating an entire group of marginalized service members. A 2016 Pentagon commissioned study conducted by RAND Corp. found that there are approximately 11,000 transgender troops in the reserves and active-duty military. If that weren’t enough, the Williams Institute also noted that there are 15,000 estimated service members that are transgender. According to the Military Times and

THAT EXPENDITURE PALES IN COMPARISON TO THE

$84 MILLION SPENT IN 2014 ALONE ON ERECTILE DYSFUNCTION PRESCRIPTIONS. MASSIVE

RAND Corp., transition-related health care costs are estimated to be between $2.4 and $8.4 million annually. However, that expenditure pales in comparison to the massive $84 million spent in 2014 alone on erectile dysfunction prescriptions. RAND Corp. concluded that it would cost less than .0015 percent of the Pentagon’s yearly budget to pay for transition–related health care for transgender service members, just a small fraction of other medically necessary care provided to American troops. The same way that any cisgender troop’s medical needs would not be up for debate if deemed necessary by their physician is the same way a transgender service member’s medical needs cannot be rebutted. Read the rest at: http://wp.me/p22M41-4TK

Faith, God and Family: Society needs to re-message religious liberty for all By: Paul P. Jesep*/TRT Columnist

S

FAITH

ex and love advice columnist and author Dan Savage told comedian and TV host Bill Maher during an interview that Democrats fail to get the message right. His observation has a wider application to “religious liberty.” Social conservatives have co-opted the phrase to argue liberty of faith and religion are under attack. In the interview (https://goo.gl/vweuZx), Savage points out the LGBTQ community shifted from using the phrase “gay marriage” to “marriage equality.” It made all the difference in the world. Who could be opposed to equality for everyone? If you call it gay, a negative stereotype kicks in making a loving, committed relationship into a sexual act and nothing more. This same logic applies to the phrase “religious liberty.” Increasingly, it’s being used as a ruse to limit and scale back LGBTQ civil and human rights. Who could be opposed to protecting an American’s constitutional right to worship in accordance to his or her conscience? Social conservatives are succeeding in the misinformation war arguing the First Amendment (https://goo.gl/V6cPFv) is threatened. The inference is clear. LGBTQ people are a threat to morality and religious freedom. Of course it’s fake news, but take the absurdity seriously. In July 2017, U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions spoke before the Alliance Defending Freedom (www.adflegal.org), described

as an organization of “Christian First Amendment Lawyers.” The Southern Poverty Law Center (www.splcenter.org) designated it a hate group last year. According to Sessions (https://goo.gl/ifrjrm), “the cultural climate has become less hospitable to people of faith and to religious belief ... many Americans have felt that their freedom to practice their faith has been under attack.” Although last time I checked, government wasn’t closing down megachurches in the south or taxing televangelists making millions in salaries. The attorney general pledged the government will never “demand that sincere religious beliefs be abandoned.” In short, businesses should be allowed to discriminate based on “religious freedom.” In the near future, Sessions promised the Justice Department will issue “guidance” to help federal agencies protect religious liberty. What about the religious liberty of LGBTQ Unitarians, Episcopalians, or members of the United Church of Christ, among others? These are denominations that support marriage equality and want an expansion of civil and human rights. By the way, and in case you weren’t already aware of it, no clergy person of any denomination can be forced to use a place of worship or be required to marry anyone—straight or LGBTQ. There is a rainbow in the cultural storm now unfolding. According to the Public Religion Research Institute (www.prri.org), To read the rest of this story visit: http://wp.me/p22M41-4TE

By: Graysen M. Ocasio*/Publicador de TRT

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a semana pasada, luego de haber vivido una vida en tinieblas (llena de ansiedad, incertidumbre y dolor), decidí salir completamente del clóset. Sí, y sé que hay personas que no entenderán, y otros que no comentarán al respecto. Sepan que no necesito de su aceptación. En este momento de mi vida, sé con quién y quienes puedo contar y no busco aceptación. No a esta edad. No con esta madurez. No después de lo que he vivido y sufrido por siempre considerar la aceptación de todos. Desde que tenía dos años de edad he sabido que era un niño— no una niña. Tan es así, que por años le pedí al Todopoderoso que me cambiara, sin entender que ya (desde que nací), Él me había creado especial y auténtico como soy. Años pasaron antes de que pudiera entender lo que era ser transgénero. Lo único que sabía era que no podía ser una mujer, pues nunca me vi o me sentí como una. No entendía tampoco porqué no podía ser un hombre. Al vivir en Latinoamérica hace muchos años atrás, muchas cosas se desconocen. Lo único que sabía era que me gustaba la ropa, los juguetes, y todo lo de hombres—y que prefería a las mujeres como compañeras románticas. Al crecer esta autenticidad no cambió. La adolescencia, al lado de una familia materna extendida que vivía las reglas bi-

Letters to the Editor [Re: Fenway Denounces Trump’s Attempts to Prohibit Transgender People From Serving in the Military] Dear Editor, This is another kick the dog temper tantrum by a man totally unfit to lead his way out of a paper bag, let alone to have his tiny fingers on our nuclear arsenal. His only goal is to have the Midwest and Southern Headlines scream, “Trump Prevents Transgenders from Using Our Military Money for Their Health Care” rather than “Trump Fails to Win Conservative Approval for His Wall” or “GOP Loses Effort to Repeal and Replace Obamacare”. Any self respecting member of our community who voted for him or worked to defeat Ms. Clinton should hang their head in shame today, then forgive themselves and get working to defeat the entire pack of them in 2018 and 2020. They will do us all harm to make themselves richer. —Dale Orlando, Online Dear Editor, As co-editor of the anthology RECOGNIZE: The Voices of Bisexual Men, I thank you for speaking out. Heterosexism and toxic masculinity cause so many bi+ men to live in fear and silence. I’ve identified as a bi woman for almost 41 years, and I’m heartened to see more bi+ folks (those who identify as bisexual, pansexual, fluid and other non-binary sexualities) finally speaking their truth. Our voices and our stories will serve as beacons to others and — person by person — we will make a difference. —Robyn Ochs, Online

narias al pie de la letra, fue muy difícil para mi. No pude ser “genuino” para nada. Al salir del clóset en Salem, Mass., me di cuenta del apoyo tan grande con el que cuento en esta ciudad. No tan sólo cuento con el apoyo de personas cercanas a mí, sino de colegas, candidatos a la política local y estatal, y hasta la alcaldesa. En PR, tengo apoyo de primas maternas, paternas, mi madrina, hermana, y hasta mis padres, quienes continúan aprendiendo desde que les hablé por primera vez al respecto. Lo que quiero decir es que nunca es muy tarde para salir del clóset y repudiar a las personas que, como Trump, hieren a otros que no son iguales. Su último ultraje ha sido hacia los sobre 15,000 miembros transgénero de la milicia, a quienes los quiere sacar del ejército. La milicia Israelí dijo en nuestra página de Facebook que “ellos son bienvenidos a servir” en su ejército. Lo mismo dijeron los canadienses. ¿Por qué no ha sido impugnado ya? Verdaderamente, lo que importa es que aunque muchos no acepten a otros por que son diferentes, siempre va a haber alguien

Vea Transgénero en la Página 13

The Rainbow Times The Freshest LGBT 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 Lead Photographers Alex Mancini Steve Jewett Reporters John Paul Stapleton Christine Nicco Jenna Spinelle Chuck Colbert Al Gentile Chris Gilmore Keen News Service

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

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


10th Year Anniversary • TheRainbowTimesMass.com • The Rainbow Times • 3

August 3, 2017 - September 6, 2017

Policymakers continue fight for funding of LGBTQ youth programs and services By: Al Gentile/TRT Reporter

IN THE LIMELIGHT

BOSTON—Funding in the amount of $500,000 that was earmarked for LGBTQ organizations providing youth services and programming is in jeopardy on the heels of a decision by Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker to reduce the line item by $340,000. Senator Julian Cyr, D-Truro, and Representative Sarah Peake, DBarnstable, have launched a congressional signature campaign, addressed to Senate President Stan Rosenberg, House Speaker Robert DeLeo, Senate Ways and Means Committee Chairwoman Karen Spilka, and House Committee on Ways and Means Chairman Jeffrey Sanchez, to overturn the cuts to the Youth At-Risk Grant (YARG) Program. The program covers a range of services for youth, including antibullying and anti-suicide initiatives, violence prevention, and teen dating support. Cyr and Peake are also advocating for approximately $3.7 million to help fund programs for unaccompanied homeless youth services, HIV treatment and prevention, school-based health programs, and summer jobs programs. “If Governor Baker’s vetoes stand, nearly 5,000 LGBTQ youth across the Commonwealth are in peril of losing critically important training and resource development provided by the Boston Alliance of LGBTQ Youth to promote healthy relation-

ships and combat intimate partner violence among young people of all our communities,” the campaign letter read. The YARG program, through the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, supports various programs throughout the state to benefit at-risk youth. For several years, 36 organizations around the state have benefitted from money in past budgets earmarked for LGBTQ youth. Corey Prachniak-Rincón, director of the Massachusetts Commission on LGBTQ Youth, said the issue goes beyond a single group of youth.

“The key thing to remember with this funding is that LGBTQ youth don’t exist in a bubble. Many LGBTQ youth are people of color, youth with disabilities, homeless youth, immigrant youth,” PrachniakRincón said in an interview with The Rainbow Times. “This funding has never been just for LGBTQ youth, and many of the benefiting programs have not been LGBTQ-focused initiatives or organizations.” A previous iteration of the fiscal year 2018 line item titled “Youth At-Risk Matching Grants” only included money for

the Boys and Girls Club and the various YMCA organizations throughout the state. The current version of the line item (https://goo.gl/7ZKkbo) earmarks $500,000 for “competitively procured grants for youth at-risk grants utilizing an evidence-based positive youth development model, including programs that serve lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and questioning youth.” Lasting Legacy Last fiscal year, $1.8 million was cut ...

See LGBTQ Youth on Page 14


4 • The Rainbow Times • TheRainbowTimesMass.com • 10th Year Anniversary

August 3, 2017 - September 6, 2017

Transphobia: It's internal, external, and needs to be addressed asap By: Deja Nicole Greenlaw*/TRT Columnist

O

TRANS OPINION

ne of the major issues that trans people encounter is transphobia, which is the intense dislike and/or prejudice against transgender people. The trans person has to deal with both external and internal transphobia. External transphobia comes from other people while internal transphobia comes from within the trans person. Both can be very detrimental to the wellbeing of the trans person. You can see examples of external transphobia just about everywhere. You can see it in discriminatory legislative bills, reports of trans people who were murdered, and within trans exclusionary groups. Basically, it comes from cisgender people who refuse to recognize trans and/or non-binary identities. Transphobia usually stems from ignorance and it may be taught through religion and/or social mores. Some of the ignorance is deeply-rooted and it may take a lot of rethinking and understanding to move past the ignorance. A lot of external transphobia may stem from misogyny, which is the dislike of

women. Women may be seen as secondclass citizens and, to be a woman, may be seen as a step down from being a man. An example of this phenomenon is a football coach calling his male players, “ladies.” The coach is trying to shame the players. What's so shameful about being a woman? Another example is people laughing when they see someone whom they perceive as male wearing female clothing. What’s so funny about wearing women's clothing?

tle with internalized transphobia and some still do, even if these folks have transitioned to their true gender. Some of these folks may try to distance themselves from other trans people because they may perceive other trans folks as not female enough or not male enough. Some people won't even associate with trans people who don't meet their definition of gender. Over the past two decades, I have personally encountered trans women who plainly told

TRANSPHOBIA USUALLY STEMS FROM IGNORANCE AND IT MAY BE TAUGHT THROUGH RELIGION &/OR SOCIAL MORES. Do they see this person as taking a step down? Internal transphobia comes from within the trans person. The years of seeing discrimination, ignorance, and stigma are deeply ingrained in the trans person and they wrestle with the issue of being trans. There may be confusion, denial, shame, guilt, and self-loathing issues because of internalized transphobia. I cannot speak for others, but I wrestled with internalized transphobia for decades until I finally worked things out with myself. Just about every trans person I know has had to wres-

me to my face to not talk to them in public because they don't want to be publicly associated with anyone who is a trans person. I've also had other trans people refer to me as male because I did not reach their standards for being female. At first I was troubled by these folks, but after a while I understood that they may be insecure about their gender and that distancing themselves from me may have helped them to feel better about themselves. Nonetheless, this is transphobia. Whether it's internal or external, transphobia can do a number on you. One needs

to work through transphobia. I've seen people work through external transphobia in different ways. Some folks may deal with external transphobia by raising their voice, calling out the transphobic person, and basically make a confrontational scene. Other folks may remain calm and use the opportunity to educate the transphobic person. Still others pick and choose their battles and may physically remove themselves from the situation. I personally try to use the education route, but depending on the situation I have often removed myself from toxic circumstances. I have done this because I simply may not have had the time to educate or I may have sensed danger. Other times, I have sensed that I cannot educate the transphobic person no matter what I say, so I just simply move on and away from the transphobic person. As far as working through internal transphobia, it's basically just rethinking and accepting yourself as a trans person. However, it's not as easy as it sounds. One never stops dealing with transphobia when one is a trans person. I hope that at some point in the future transphobia will disappear and that we will be able to finally live our lives in peace. *Deja Nicole Greenlaw is a trans woman who has three grown children and is retired from 3M. She can be contacted via e-mail at: dejavudeja@sbcglobal.net.

Ask a Trans Woman: A path forward through dark and dangerous times By: Lorelei Erisis*/TRT Columnist

W

PHOTO: DAVID MEEHAN

e live in scary times. But, I don’t need to tell you that. I’m sure you know. We have, as trans and queer people, won some measure of progress over the last several years. During which we were helped by an administration, and a political atmosphere, that was more friendly to us than those of the past. By the measure of how far we have to go, our progress has been fairly slight. And most of the best benefits of it have been inside of certain bubbles of progressiveness. Compared to what we’ve had before though, it is leaps and bounds. And one thing is certain: Those leaps have landed us firmly inside the public spotlight ... which is an incredibly dangerous place to be in right now. The present administration, and the political atmosphere that brought it to power, is not nearly as friendly to us, or those who might be allies to us, than it was this time last year. And I’m sure any of you who own a TV or have access to the internet, already know what I’m talking about. The slogan splashed across their social media profiles (the modern equivalent of an

THE RAINBOW TIMES DIVERSE............just like our team is OBJECTIVE..........someone has to be INCLUSIVE........no one is left behind .....That is HOW media should be.....

armband) is, “Make America Great Again!” Colloquially many folks refer to them as “MAGAs.” And “they” are the sitting President and his supporters. But here’s what I want to talk to you all about. We cannot afford for this to become, “Us vs Them.” Most especially because, due to our position in the spotlight, we make for a very convenient “Them” ourselves. Throughout history, every popular movement has needed an “Other” to galvanize its supporters around. It’s a sad statement, but generally true. For the Romans, it was the Barbarians. For the Chinese, it was the Mongols. For the French Revolutionaries, it was the Aristocracy. For the English, it was … well, the rest of the world. And for the Nazis, it was the Jews; also, the Gypsies (Romani), the Communists, and homosexuals. For the MAGAs, it’s us. It’s also, black people, immigrants, and Muslims—fine company, if you ask me. But I digress. It is incredibly convenient and useful to make us the scapegoat that explains, simply, all of the complex problems facing the world. We make a very nice “Other” to distract from the machinations and manipulations of those who stand truly to benefit from the current atmosphere. We as “They” make for a fine enemy with which to justify the worst exploitation and injustices committed, by a relative few, against the whole of the country, and the world. And this is what’s important. That “whole” who are being exploited, is not just us, nor is it just people of color, Muslims, women, or immigrants, or even the poor and the starving of this world--though

THE SMALL MINORITY AT THE TOP SEEKS TO CONTROL AND EXPLOIT ALL OF US. EVEN MANY OF THE FOLKS WHO PROUDLY PROCLAIM THEMSELVES “MAGAS.” we may bear the worst of it. The small minority at the top seeks to control and exploit all of us, even many of the folks who proudly proclaim themselves “MAGAs.” When we fight among ourselves, we do not fight the true exploiters. And this is why I would urge you to stop thinking in terms of “Us vs Them.” Start thinking in terms of, “We.” The line that begins our Constitution does not read, “Us the People … ” It reads, “We the People … ” And that’s all of us. Every single person who draws breath, whose heart beats. Certainly I realize this is easier said than done. I know what I’m asking you to do is not easy. It is in fact terribly difficult. The only way forward that does not end in bloodshed, terror and repression is, “We.” We cannot afford to fight among ourselves. Especially those with whom we may have more in common than not. We must support each other and stand up for each other. Gay people must fight for trans people. Trans people for people of color. People of color for Muslims. Muslims for women. Women for immigrants. We must all fight for each other, not against. But also, we must not allow ourselves to be, “othered.” We cannot withdraw from the MAGAs and let them take space from us in which they may nurture their mistaken ideologies. As much as is possible,

we need to participate; speak up when we are spoken against; be part of both our larger and local communities; join civic organizations; run for public office, even if it’s just the local library or school board. Go out. Be seen. The local bar is your bar too. The local park is for all of us as is the courthouse, the statehouse, and the White House. These are the People’s Houses, which means they are ours. It’s not going to be easy, or even safe. You will almost certainly be made to feel unwelcome and unwanted in many of these spaces. Just remember, you belong there just as much as anyone else. Without you, there is no one to speak up, no one to oppose malicious ideologies and insidious untruths. And if you make space and create visibility, then others will feel they might belong too. It takes one person to claim a foothold, so that we all might claim a space. It takes participation and inclusion to become a community. It takes “we” to make it strong. And I have to believe that we can do this. Because the alternative is scary, indeed. Slàinte! *Lorelei Erisis is an actor, activist, adventurer and pageant queen. Send your questions about trans issues, gender and sexuality to her at: askatranswoman@gmail.com.


August 3, 2017 - September 6, 2017

10th Year Anniversary • TheRainbowTimesMass.com • The Rainbow Times • 5


6 • The Rainbow Times • TheRainbowTimesMass.com • 10th Year Anniversary

August 3, 2017 - September 6, 2017

Understanding the most prevalent sexual identity under the LGBTQ+ umbrella, Part I By: Mike Givens/TRT Assistant Editor

In the first of a two-part series, The Rainbow Times speaks with bisexual people about their identities and explores the “B” in LGBTQ. Julia Mahoney grew up in a conservative Catholic household with a mother who did her best to shield her from “nontraditional lifestyles.” She spent most of her youth being protected from messages and conversations around LGBTQ people and their identities. When she was 13, she made the decision to come out as lesbian, a move that was accepted by her parents at the time. “Then, as I showed interest in boys again, they thought they were in the clear and my queerness was a phase,” she said. Mahoney knew it wasn’t a phase, but a key part of her sexual identity. “My first introduction into anything LGBT-wise was my freshman year in high school when someone told me about the [Gay-Straight Alliance] group,” she remembered. “That's where I found out what gay and lesbian was, bisexuality was still sort of taboo even in the GSA community back then—it sometimes can be still. “I just thought that because I liked women that I had to be a lesbian. I still liked boys at that time, too, but I was more drawn to women at that point. As I got older I realized, of course, that I was not a

lesbian and that there was the middle ground in bisexuality.” Bisexuality Begets Bigotry Bisexuality has been defined as an attraction to both men and women or people of various gender identities (https://goo.gl/7y9aXk). According to the Movement Advancement Project (www.lgbtmap.org; MAP), bisexuals compose more than half (52 percent) of the nine million Americans who identify as either lesbian, gay, or bisexual (https://goo.gl/jZ7SNK). MAP studies have documented myriad forms of discrimination and stigma that face bi-identified people. Compared to their lesbian and gay peers, bisexuals face more instances of violence and are three times more likely to be treated violently by the police when reporting crimes. The report also noted that bisexuals have a higher likelihood of poor health outcomes than gays and lesbians. Bisexuals, according to the study, are four times as likely to report attempted suicide than gays and lesbians, and twice as likely than heterosexuals. Forty-nine (49) percent of bisexuals reported not being out at work, compared to 24 percent of gays and lesbians. “I … plan to never come out in my professional life ... because I wouldn’t want to add another layer of discrimination on top of the racism, sexism, and ableism I already face in the workplace,” said Priyanka, a bisexual woman who asked that The Rainbow Times not use her real

Julia Mahoney

name. “I am closeted to everyone in my family except for my parents, sister, and cousin,” she said. They are all accepting, however, I couldn’t gauge initial reactions because I was outed to them several months before I personally came out to any one of them. “Although my parents are supportive, they fear that our larger family would be hostile towards a same-sex wedding or relationship, and so imply I should remain closeted to our larger family.” A concern among many bisexual activists is the erasure of bisexual identities and experiences within the larger LGBTQ community and mainstream society. “We have heard from countless commu-

nity members about times they have had their bi+ (plus) identity passed over or invalidated, and this can be on a macro or micro level,” said Kate Estrop, president of the board of directors of the Bisexual Resource Center in Boston (biresource.org; BRC). Estrop defines Bi+ (plus) as, “an umbrella term used to describe someone who is attracted to more than one gender. Anyone who identifies as bisexual, pansexual, queer, and fluid, for example, is included under the bi+ (plus) umbrella.” The BRC has been in existence since the mid-1980s and serves as a national and international resource on bisexual culture and identities. The BRC authors reports and books, makes presentations, offers support groups, and serves as a convener for bisexual people locally, nationally, and internationally. BRC also co-authored a report with MAP called, “Understanding Issues Facing Bisexual Americans” (https://goo.gl/3z9Udb). Estrop said that it’s not uncommon to see intentional omissions of bisexual people from discussions around sexual orientation. “A news reporter might report on Pride events and say ‘gay and lesbian,’ or even, ‘gay, lesbian, and transgender,’ even in the same article or report that also used ‘LGBT’,” she said. “On a more micro level,

See Bisexuality on page 12


August 3, 2017 - September 6, 2017

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8 • The Rainbow Times • TheRainbowTimesMass.com • 10th Year Anniversary

August 3, 2017 - September 6, 2017

The Stonewall Center at the University of Massachusetts Amherst marches in Pride parades in Western Massachusetts every year PHOTO: TRT ARCHIVES, 2014

LGBTQ students seek culturally competent services from higher education institutions By: Al Gentile/TRT Reporter

As summer comes to a close in Massachusetts, colleges and universities all around the state are anticipating an influx of students from all types of racial, economic, and gender/sexual identity backgrounds. LGBTQ students face many different challenges in college and university environments, not least of which a lack of emotional and psychological support whether having declared their orientation or gender identity or not. Harper Hopkins, who is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in computer science at Tufts University (www.tufts.edu) and identifies as a lesbian and transgender, said the difficulties in both academic and non-academic life are pervasive and in many ways ubiquitous. “As a trans person, there is almost nothing which isn’t just a little bit harder for me than it is for my cisgender classmates and colleagues,” Hopkins said. “Most people of some marginalized identity are familiar with these layers of anxiety that come from being visibly different or ‘other,’ but trans people have to put up with a particularly curious form of discrimination that many other marginalized groups are not affected by: the belief that we don’t exist.” Hope Denese Freeman, director of the Tufts University LGBT Center (https://goo.gl/2HgoqJ), said the university’s open and welcoming environment— especially their recognition of racial and gender intersectionality—is an important reason LGBTQ students attend. “Often new students come to Tufts feeling that they have to pick and choose between their identities. This propensity leads to many students singling out a ‘dominant’ identity and then finding a community to cultivate that one identity,” Freeman said. “The LGBT Center understands that incoming students may have multiple identities when it comes to their racial and ethnic background, sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression. We want

students to know we recognize intersecting identities, and we’re here to support and celebrate students as their whole selves.” The LGBT Center at Tufts University holds an open house every year to help matriculating students get familiar with the resources at their disposal. Associations such as “Team Q”—a group of peer leaders available for one-on-one and group support—at Tufts’ LGBT Center hold events and special programming to give LGBTQ students the help and assistance they need in both the short and long terms. “Diversity and inclusion are fundamental characteristics of the Tufts University community and date to its founding in 1852, when Tufts established itself as significantly more inclusive than other American institutions of higher education,” Freeman said. “Today, the university welcomes students from a range of backgrounds, and it values diverse identities as not only a strength but also an indispensable part of a Tufts education.” Colleges and universities all over the state offer different kinds of services to LGBTQ students. At Salem State University (www.salemstate.edu), the Center for Diversity and Cultural Enrichment provides support for students regardless of race, gender identity, and nationality and provides safe spaces for students based on their intersectional needs. A student-led group called “The Alliance” also offers support by way of peer counseling and events such as drag shows and activities for LGBTQ Awareness Month, the Transgender Day of Remembrance, AIDS awareness, and more. “The offices throughout student life are very aware that we have a high percentage of LGBTQ students who are part of our community, so making sure our services are inclusive and open to students in the ways they need is very important,” said Assistant Director and Training Director of Counseling and Health Services Christine To read the rest of this story visit: http://wp.me/p22M41-4TA


10th Year Anniversary • TheRainbowTimesMass.com • The Rainbow Times • 9

August 3, 2017 - September 6, 2017

How Kinky Boots star Todrick Hall found his yellow brick road PHOTO: AWESOMENESSTV

By: Chris Azzopardi/Special to TRT

T

odrick Hall grew up in Plainview, Texas, with a dream to be “one of these black women who could sing all these crazy notes.” It is, after all, in his blood—his cousin is none other than Dreamgirls song slayer Jennifer Holliday. But first, as a child, the aspiring soul singer found life in The Little Mermaid, replicating Ariel’s crimson hair with a red towel on his head and gadgets and gizmos a-plenty. Clasping a fork, he created a makeshift fishtail by binding his feet together with a water hose. Meanwhile, to channel another shero of his, Catwoman, he got his hands on some blue tape, nails and a jump rope, which doubled as his whip and tail. “My backyard was my playground,” the 32-year-old singer says of his childhood, when he discovered another one of his female role models: Mariah Carey. His adoration for the biracial diva ran deep. “I think I just was more inspired to be like Mariah Carey,” he says. In 1993, he made a revelation after seeing the “Dreamlover” music video: “I was like, ‘Oh my god.’ I had never seen anyone who appeared to be Caucasian sound like that. I was just fascinated.” His propensity for female vocalists extended to Lauryn Hill’s singing in Sister Act 2 and Brandy in the Whitney Houstonas-the-fairy-godmother version of Cinderella, along with ’90s R&B girl-group sensation SWV. And, because he felt des-

Todrick Hall and his mother

tined to become all these ladies, “I would practice day in and day out.” That practice led Hall beyond his own backyard, from ballet at age 9 to The Color Purple with American Idol alum Fantasia Barrino. Then, in 2009, he impressed the American Idol judges himself, nabbing a spot in the semi-finals. With vocal tributes to artists such as Rihanna, Taylor Swift and Beyoncé, his “4” series on YouTube gave his career a nice boost. (Soon, he says he’ll be honoring his childhood idol with a we-

bisode dedicated to Mariah Carey: “I just have to be on vocal rest for, like, three weeks; her music is so hard!”) After releasing an ambitious, 57-minute conceptual album in 2016 and replacing Billy Porter in Kinky Boots on Broadway that same year, Hall says, “I think my younger self would be really shocked (about my career now) because I didn’t have very high expectations for my life, and I’ve just gotten to do some really, really cool things I never thought I’d get to do.” The album, called Straight Outta Oz, reflects thoughtfully and powerfully on Hall’s coming-of-age as a gay black kid in

Plainview, through his rise to fame while struggling to adjust to a new life in Los Angeles. “Color” ruminates on his first boyfriend, a handsome Londoner named Garrett, “the first to really know me.” Visually, it replicates Dorothy’s own life in a new world, as yellows, blues and greens pop into the video’s stark, black-and-white frame. Guest stars include RuPaul’s Drag Race vets Kim Chi, Bob the Drag Queen and Willam Belli, as well as Joseph GordonLevitt, Nicole Scherzinger and, as Hall’s To read the rest of this interview visit: http://wp.me/p22M41-4TG


10 • The Rainbow Times • TheRainbowTimesMass.com • 10th Year Anniversary

August 3, 2017 - September 6, 2017

UMass Amherst quidditch team offers welcoming environment to LGBTQ students, youth By: Sandra Dias/TRT Reporter

AMHERST—At big universities such as the University of Massachusetts Amherst (www.umass.edu, UMass Amherst), highprofile sports such as football and basketball get all the attention. But another college sport—quidditch, the fantastical competitive sport from the Harry Potter novels and movies—is taking hold, albeit quietly. It has also become a haven of sorts for LGBTQ players—some of whom gained the courage to come out while on the team—in an environment where differences are embraced. Eager to

bring that atmosphere of inclusion to young people, team leaders are launching a new camp this summer to teach children ages 6 through 14 the game of quidditch. “The Quidditch team at UMass is incredibly [welcoming] and warm to people of all diversities,” said Annierose Klingbeil, a rising junior at UMass Amherst and president/captain of the UMass quidditch team. “We have many LGBTQ players on the team and everyone is a supportive ally.” In the make-believe world of Harry Potter, quidditch is a competitive sport involving flying contestants, but in the real world,

PHOTO: ANNIEROSE KLINGBEIL

UMass Amherst Quidditch team

UMass Quidditch players use PVC pipes in place of flying broomsticks. The game is modeled after Harry Potter’s quidditch and Klingbeil describes it as a mixture of dodgeball, handball, tag, and rugby. According to U.S. Quidditch (www.usquidditch.org), the game is played as follows: three chasers score goals worth 10 points each with a slightly deflated volleyball called the quaffle. They advance the ball down the field by running with it, passing it to teammates, or kicking it. Each team has a keeper who defends the goal hoops. Two beaters use dodge balls called bludgers to disrupt the flow of the game by

“knocking out” other players. Any player hit by a bludger is out of play until they touch their own goals. Each team also has a seeker who tries to catch the snitch. The snitch is a ball attached to the waistband of the snitch runner, a neutral athlete in a yellow uniform who uses any means to avoid capture. The snitch is worth 30 points and its capture ends the game. If the score is tied after the snitch catch, the game proceeds into overtime. “I loved the Harry Potter books growing up and tried the game one day at an activity Read the rest of this story at: http://wp.me/p22M41-4TC


August 3, 2017 - September 6, 2017

10th Year Anniversary • TheRainbowTimesMass.com • The Rainbow Times • 11


12 • The Rainbow Times • TheRainbowTimesMass.com • 10th Year Anniversary

Battles of the Sexes Priyanka said that notions around masculinity and acceptable heteronormative behaviors contribute to a stark contrast between the acceptance of bisexual men and

... NOTIONS AROUND MASCULINITY AND ACCEPTABLE

‘L Word’, Kevin Spacey, Barry Jenkins, more By: Romeo San Vicente*/Special to TRT

women. “I think the stigma against bi men is more explicit because our society considers male sexuality more powerful, and thus more important, than female sexuality,” she said. “Accordingly, any deviations from the sexual norm, [like] not being straight, are seen as more threatening in males and thus, bisexual men are more openly stigmatized than their female counterparts. “Female sexuality, on the other hand, is still largely viewed as less powerful and as something that only exists [for] a man to be attracted to … Thus, society belittles female bisexuality as unimportant, weak in strength, or only existing for the satisfaction of men.” Michael Munroe, an openly bisexual male and a member of the BRC board, agreed.

L Word revival in development Showtime knows what you want. And because you’re like us, you want—you have always wanted—more L Word. It was trashy, it was silly, it was like very few actual lesbians you know in real life, and it was glorious. Jennifer Beals knows this. So does Leisha Hailey and Kate Moennig. The three of them are working as producers on a revival of the series, currently in development at Showtime. Should it all go well and come to series— that’s what “in development” means, btw; it could all disintegrate over the course of a lunch gone wrong—the premise for now is that Bette, Alice and Shane would still be living in Los Angeles, surrounded by a pack of fresh lesbians. Or maybe more of the original cast will come back, too. Who knows. It’s all so very up in the air that it’s almost jinxing to talk about it. But Beals recently spoke to Entertainment Weekly about the project and she took the words out of our mouth: “We are needed.” Yes, they are. Start praying to the goddess, y’all.

To read the rest of this story go to: http://wp.me/p22M41-4Ty

Kevin Spacey is (and is not) Gore Vidal Author and public intellectual Gore Vidal

HETERONORMATIVE BEHAVIORS CONTRIBUTE TO A STARK CONTRAST BETWEEN THE ACCEPTANCE OF BISEXUAL MEN AND WOMEN.

PHOTO: KATHCLICK

a woman might be monogamously dating a man and be perceived as straight, even if she identifies herself as bi+ (plus) … even more troubling, a person who was previously dating someone of the same gender may be ‘kicked out’ or unwelcome at queer events if they start dating someone of a different gender.” Gabrielle Blonder, who coordinates the support groups for the BRC, echoed Estrop’s observation. “I've witnessed erasure in both pop culture and the lives of me and my friends,” she said. “Bisexual characters are so rare in TV and movies, and often they're either villains, ‘don't like labels,’ or their bisexuality is played off as a joke.” Blonder also said that she’s been asked if her bisexuality is a phase and even told that her orientation “doesn’t matter” when she’s dating men, even if the man she’s dating is also bisexual. Even the terms “gay and lesbian” or “gay rights” or “gay marriage” have devastating effects for bisexual people, Blonder continued. “It may seem like a small turn of phrase, but for someone who feels isolated or alone because of their sexual identity, it can exacerbate those feelings even further,” she said.

DEEP INSIDE HOLLYWOOD

Bisexuality from page 6

August 3, 2017 - September 6, 2017

Jennifer Beals

died in 2012, and his legacy—in the late 1960s, before Stonewall, he calmly and defiantly declared that his homosexuality was absolutely normal on a not-exactly-progressively-minded Mike Wallace news special titled, The Homosexuals—has been in need of a good solid biopic for some time. Now Neflix is shooting one now called Gore. Little is known about the production besides its director, Michael Hoffman (The

See Hollywood on Page 15


10th Year Anniversary • TheRainbowTimesMass.com • The Rainbow Times • 13

August 3, 2017 - September 6, 2017

Transgénero de la Página 2 que le va a aceptar completamente. En mi caso, fueron las personas a quienes menos esperaba, los que más apoyo me han ofrecido. Y, no puedo mencionar a nadie más sin mencionar a mi pareja, mi esposa, la mujer que me ha amado por los pasados 15 años sabiendo ya por 13 años que era y soy transgénero. Ella siempre me ha demostrado que su amor es incondicional y que su respeto y apoyo van mano en mano. Por ella es que finalmente me atreví a “salir” como lo he hecho. ¡Gracias, mi amor, mi Nicole! No importa cuán temprano o tarde salga del clóset. A cualquier edad es difícil hacerlo. A cualquier edad uno aprende. La diferencia es que a mi edad sé que puedo sobrellevar la carencia de apoyo, el desdén,

la transfobia y la ignoracia—mucho mejor que nuestra juventud y que otros quienes quizás no cuentan con la libertad financiera y la estabilidad emocional personal y profesional que poseo. Como dijo mi tía simplemente, “tú has pasado por cosas más difíciles en la vida”. Ella me dió la bienvenida en una llamada telefónica corta. Me preguntó mi nuevo nombre y usó los pronombres adecuados inmediatamente. ¡Eso es amar al prójimo! ¡Soy Graysen! Soy transgénero y mi pronombre es él (en inglés “he/him/his”). *Graysen es el publicador de TRT. Tiene un bachillerato en periodismo y una maestría en administración de empresas. Escríbale a su buzón electrónico: publisher@therainbowtimesnews.com.


14 • The Rainbow Times • TheRainbowTimesMass.com • 10th Year Anniversary

August 3, 2017 - September 6, 2017

from the fiscal year 2017 budget per Governor Baker’s veto, which had devastating effects on various programs throughout the state. Among those impacted by the cuts was Youth On Fire, a program run under the AIDS Action Committee (www.aac.org), a Cambridge-based drop-off Center for homeless youth set to shut its doors this fall. One of the survivors of the cuts— though under significant duress—was the Hispanic Black Gay Coalition (https://goo.gl/95YhpJ; HBGC), which supports efforts to aid intersectional LGBTQ youth. Bethany Allen, co-chair of the HBGC’s board of directors and director of statewide initiatives at the Boston Alliance of GLBTQ Youth (www.bagly.org; BAGLY), responded to last year’s cuts, which amounted to approximately 15 percent of HBGC’s entire budget. “For a small, fledgling organization like HBGC, this was a devastating blow, and it could not have come at a more inauspicious time for our organization,” Allen said. “We were unable to hire necessary staff and had to end our mentorship program, a collaboration with the Multicultural AIDS Coalition that paired Latinx queer and transgender youth aged 16-21 with LGBTQ professionals of color.” Alongside the programmatic losses, the coalition also lost a newly-acquired office space, which offered a drop-in space for queer and trans people in downtown Boston. All this took place amid the Pulse Nightclub shooting in Orlando in 2016 where 49 LGBTQ people were killed, most

PHOTO: JULIAN CYR

LGBTQ Youth from Page 3

Openly-gay Mass. state Senator Julian Cyr, who is leading legislative efforts to fully fund the Youth AtRisk Grant Program

of whom were (https://goo.gl/vEWns6).

Latinx

The path forward Prachniak-Rincón said their commission works to educate decision-makers about the needs of various organizations that benefit LGBTQ youth, and for the general advocacy for all LGBTQ youth. The commission’s work has somewhat paid off, yet the fight for advocacy continues. “We will continue to represent the best interests of LGBTQ youth and youth generally, with an eye always towards those who are most vulnerable,” Prachniak-Rincón said. “A key action as the budget process moves forward will be to think not only about the YARG funding but also other line items that have gone back and forth, and how those impact LGBTQ youth too.”


10th Year Anniversary • TheRainbowTimesMass.com • The Rainbow Times • 15

August 3, 2017 - September 6, 2017

QPuzzle: We’ve got ‘6 Gay Icons’ lined for you

Hollywood from Page 12 Last Station), and its star, Kevin Spacey. But that star name is enough for now, because it raises some issues, not the least of which is the ongoing dance of denial Spacey has going with the press regarding his own sexuality. On the subject he’s tightlipped, he’s playfully sarcastic, he’s antagonistic, he’s merely silent. He says what he wants, unless he doesn’t want to talk about it at all. And now, like Queen Latifah in Bessie, he’s playing a historical queer public figure while refusing to speak up about the absolutely normal. In the end, though, it’s the performance that counts in art, and Across 1 "I'm not in the ___!" 5 Left to pirates 9 Rubyfruit Jungle writer Rita Mae 14 Shakespeare's Hathaway 15 US citizen 16 The sound of music? 17 One who does it just for the money 19 "___ and tigers and bears..." 20 MLK associate and LGBT advocate 22 Verdi opera 23 Math degree 24 "Till There ___ You" 27 Work unit 29 Cowboy's job in The Boys in the Band 32 Nine inches 36 Zami author 39 Star in Perseus 41 Leave open-mouthed 42 Sing part of "The Lonely Goatherd" 43 San Francisco activist 46 Daly of Judging Amy 47 Time of frigidity 48 Gay rodeo affirmative 50 One who goes after your honey 51 Jude of The Talented Mr. Ripley 54 Bit of dental work 59 Stonewall veteran drag queen 62 On the ocean 65 Type of leather from a rep-

tile 66 Lindsay of Liz & Dick 67 Inedible Apple 68 It's a gas on Broadway 69 Former congressman Barney 70 Like young Abe Lincoln 71 Venus de Milo's lack

Down 1 Latin dance 2 "___ at time!" (serial monogamy motto) 3 Way to serve your meat 4 Kid's "tattoo," for example 5 Eve counterpart on Lesbos 6 Nicky, in Funny Girl 7 The Golden Girls episode 8 No-tell motel meeting 9 Start of a song from South Pacific 10 Totally screw 11 Rene Auberjonois role 12 Come out on top 13 Sixty-nine and others (abbr.) 18 Gardner of mystery 21 Of ___ I Sing 24 Long-winded 25 Shakespearean forest 26 Ancient erection 28 One of the Marianas 30 Like a cunning linguist 31 Crotchety sort 32 Sir, in India

33 Melrose ___ 34 Hollywood Squares choice 35 PBS science show 37 Motoristís offense, briefly 38 Trust, with "on" 40 Stocking stuffer? 44 "We're here! We're queer!" e.g. 45 Spartacus director 49 Nice Nellie 52 To no ___ (in vain) 53 Sprinter Rudolph 55 Trump ex 56 Try to put a restraint on 57 One who handles your horse 58 Picks up 59 Jack portrayer Hayes 60 Tug 61 Six Feet Under creator Ball 62 TV character from beyond Uranus 63 Rocky top 64 Singing syllable

SOLUTION

Spacey will be great as Vidal because he’ll bring the author’s prickly, agitated intelligence to the part. Just don’t blame us for wanting a little more than that. Barry Jenkins is going his own way The temptation for a filmmaker feeling the first flush of success—let’s call that filmmaker Barry Jenkins, whose magnificent Moonlight won the Academy Award for Best Picture—is to take the next big paycheck. And in Hollywood, in 2017, the big paycheck often means joining the MarRead the rest of this story at: http://wp.me/p22M41-4TI


16 • The Rainbow Times • TheRainbowTimesMass.com • 10th Year Anniversary

August 3, 2017 - September 6, 2017

The Rainbow Times' August 2017 Issue  

Boston-based, Inside this issue of The Rainbow Times you'll find LGBTQ stories pertaining to bisexuality, Mass. LGBTQ Youth programs that co...

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