2 • The Rainbow Times • TheRainbowTimesMass.com
August 4, 2016 - September 7, 2016
Clinton & Trump: A scandalist mural system of oppression against women to apscantily dressed Hillary peal their case to other women to not supClinton adorned in a re- port her. There are two candidates in this vealing 2-piece American election that statistically have the opportuflag bathing suit with dollar bills nity to win—Clinton or Trump. Regardless bulging out of its side like an adult of whether a third party candidate gets on entertainer decorates an Australian the ballot or not, it will be either the Debuilding in light of the 2016 Election mocrats or Republicans to secure Congress cycle. Painted by a famed Instagram and the Oval. While Democratic ideals may street artist, the work has received not be perfect for everyone, the alternative accolades and outrage from the so- isn’t rocket science. The Republican Nomcial media inee has publicly sphere. Simisought assistance larly, a topless Melania from Russia to hack BE ON THE LOOKOUT e-mails Trump scales buildings for God’s too, with each breast sake! The only plaudepicted as face of FOR A MURAL OF ONALD sible explanation, Donald Trump. As you other than not unsee, this isn’t a contest derstanding the seriRUMP IN A THONG WITH ousness about politics as much of what is at as it is a statement of stake in this election the misogynistic culDOLLAR BILLS TUCKED is the brainwashing ture, which we are of the archaic syswildly aware of and, in tem of patriarchy. INTO IT UST DON T many cases like this, Countless times, street artists and others I’ve heard people— perpetuate. mostly white men HOLD YOUR BREATH UNTIL that Since the days folstood solidly lowing the Democratic with Bernie—ironiYOU FIND IT Convention, I’ve read cally argue that hundreds if not thouHillary Clinton can sands of unsubstantionly be a role model ated Republican attacks on the Democratic to wealthy white women and girls. Along Presidential Nominee. It is to be expected. that same logic, how could they support a But what has set off a firestorm within me white man then? I am assuming they must are those “fellow” Democrats, Liberals, or believe that white men can only relate to Socialists for that matter, that have not only white men if the opposite hold true for played games with Clinton’s candidacy and Clinton. No? To be clear, there is no credibility but who have used the ageless See Scandal on Page 15
By: Nicole Lashomb*/TRT Editor-in-Chief
God’s love & supporting a declining parent By: Paul P. Jesep*/TRT Columnist ad continues to AT AN EARLY AGE I weigh heavily
on my mind. He celebrates his 90th birthday in October. He still drives (gulp) although he does so within a three mile radius for church, shopping, and doctors, he probably shouldn’t. I’m not the oldest son, but I’m the one who tries to force uncomfortable questions. Concern for an elder parent is emotionally exhausting. It’s even more challenging if dad or mom come from very conservative cultures where judgment and don’t ask, don’t tell is the first commandment. Each day my dad needs greater care and attention, making for new experiences for both of us. Dad reflects a great deal on his life still not having sorted some of it out. His near 90 years has included forced labor, the Communist Revolution, the Nazi destruction of his homeland, his displacement, and safe arrival in America. As he refuses to accept his physical decline there are expressions of fear in his face. Mom, who passed away many years ago, remembered the soup lines during the Great Depression. She recalled the miles people traveled without the benefit of cars and pub-
LEARNED NOT TO SEEK THE APPROVAL OF MY PARENTS. lic transportation to find work. Social change of any kind frightened her. At an early age I learned not to seek the approval of my parents. The experiences of war and poverty defined the childhood of my parents. They wrestled with demons and needed consistency. I learned not to expect certain things from them and to look within and later to a higher power. Several years ago, I gave Dad a critically acclaimed book called “The Red Prince” (https://goo.gl/TS1HFa). The Prince was a Hapsburg royal who loved all things Ukrainian. The prince, who was gay, and a member of one of the most powerful families in Europe wanted western Ukraine, a part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, declared a principality and to be its sovereign. The book wasn’t about a gay prince. The prince’s homosexuality was part of a larger story. Dad, a history buff, was horrified I gave him a book about such a man, even though the prince wanted to elevate his ...
See Declining Parent on page 15
Letters to the Editor: Your thoughts today [RE: A Question of Pride and Passing Privilege: To Go Stealth or to Change the World?] Dear Editor, It’s doubtful that going “stealth” was ever going to be an option for me. No matter, if people have a problem with it, it just becomes their problem, and not mine. I have been out happily for six years and am very visible as I use public transportation, and work in many theatres as an usher. Dress very well and receive many compliments for it. Have confidence in yourself and people realize that. Makes for some very good conversations. —ChloeAlexa Landry, Online [RE: Boston-Based Nonprofit Seeks to End Solitary Confinement in Mass. Prisons, Jails] Dear Editor, WOW! Mike Givens did a fantastic job writing this up. I appreciate that he showed the perspectives of the DOC, victims of solitary confinement and the socially progressive groups who advocate for the eradication of these draconian population control tactics. I would just comment that I didn’t appreciate Fallon insinuating that I was fabricating or downplaying the incident when I was placed in solitary confinement for receiving a hug (actually, I wasn’t the one who gave the hug). It was in the middle of an open space and my friend was being locked up for a fight that I had nothing to do with. My friend leaned over to give me a hug in order to say goodbye (as he was going to be placed in solitary). Without actually looking into that incident—which I’m sure was documented—Fallon should not have made a besmirching comment like he did. Even further, Fallon’s comment underscores how PREA is abused by prison staff. He is right that there is more to PREA than just a hug. Which is why it was never truly a PREA incident but rather a pretense to lock me up because my friend was being fresh towards the guards before he was handcuffed and placed in solitary for a fight. We were both two gay inmates and because of PREA I was easy pray for a disgruntled guard to punish me some something my friend had done. —Michael Cox, Online [RE: Ask a Trans Woman: The Importance of Honesty & the Struggle to Tell the Truth] Dear Editor, Great article Lorelei, and awesome to see your willingness to go inside and find the willingness to share your inner struggles—and vulnerable places, with your readers, with honestly as a visible person. Choosing to live our truth, our authentic selves is an issue for all people, not
just trans, or queer, but a challenge for everyone. SO many of us, may here the words reverberate in our minds ‘If they really knew me, they would not like me and even leave me. As a fellow author , who writes about authenticity, I “grok” what you shared and glad that you shared it with us. Also, our truth may change in every moment… .adn it is OK to acknowledge this. —Grace Stevens, Online [RE: Boston-Based Nonprofit Seeks to End Solitary Confinement in Mass. Prisons, Jails] Dear Editor, The good intentions of elected legislative officials striving to protect the religious freedom of expression in this country inadvertently created a weapon of dehumanization and discrimination based on fear. Maybe now, cooler heads will prevail and right the accidental wrong ...
See More Letters on Page 15
The Rainbow Times The Freshest LGBT Newspaper in New England—Boston Based TheRainbowTimesMass.com email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org Phone: 617.444.9618 / 413.282.8881 Fax: 928.437.9618 Publisher Gricel M. Ocasio Editor-In-Chief Nicole Lashomb Assistant Editor Mike Givens National/Local Sales Rivendell Media Liz Johnson Lead Photographers Alex Mancini Steve Jewett Reporters John Paul Stapleton Christine Nicco Sara Brown Luke Sherman Chuck Colbert Keen News Service
Ad & Layout Design Prizm PR Webmaster Jarred Johnson Columnists/Guest* Lorelei Erisis Deja N. Greenlaw Paul P. Jesep Natalia Muñoz* Keegan O’Brien* Mike Givens Affiliations National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association NGLCC, QSyndicate Summer Intern Miguel A. Cuellar *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: email@example.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.
TheRainbowTimesMass.com • The Rainbow Times • 3
August 4, 2016 - September 7, 2016
Mass. bill provides explicit legal protections for transgender people in public spaces By: Mike Givens/TRT Assistant Editor
But in Massachusetts, they had their own set of specific problems. The relationship between Andrew Amanda and the church gradually deteriorated. “ … I didn't pay attention when the priest told me that people felt I was ‘rude’ for interjecting my pronouns in the middle of a conversation,” they said of the experience. “I let myself be talked over, and tried to compartmentalize.” The constant misgendering and lack of re-
PHOTO: CHRISTINE HURLEY, HURLEY EVENT PHOTOGRAPHY
The reason for moving to Massachusetts was simple: an escape from the transphobia of the midwest. “I moved east because in the LGBTQ college group I was a part of, there was a mythos of reaching the liberal coast to get away from discrimination,” said Andrew Amanda, a 26-year-old from Kansas who moved to the Bay State in 2014 as an intern in a church-based service program in Western Massachusetts. Andrew Amanda, who requested to be identified by their first name, is agender. Andrew Amanda defines “agender” as “not having a gendered sense of oneself” and for the purposes of this article will be identified with the pronouns “they,” “them,” and “their(s).” “After job interviews that asked ‘can hormones change your DNA’ and doctors that called my genitalia ‘cute,’ I moved hoping that places that had protections on the books for sexual orientation might be safer for me to grow into my agender identity,” they said.
Members of the trans community and their allies sign an enlarged copy of the public accommodations bill on July 11
spect for their preferred pronouns caused a fracture, one that forced Andrew Amanda to step away from the church.
“Being misnamed and misgendered is harder than simply being ‘too weird’ of a gender to understand,” they said. “I began to
get more and more frustrated with being lumped in with the ‘guys’ in choir just
See Public Spaces on Page 6
4 • The Rainbow Times • TheRainbowTimesMass.com
August 4, 2016 - September 7, 2016
Food for thought as you vote in the upcoming elections in Nov. By: Deja Nicole Greenlaw*/TRT Columnist
It’s a presidential election year in the good old U.S.A. and everyone has their own opinions about where the country is headed and who would be the best fit, or the worst fit, to lead the country. I personally love to hear everyone’s thoughts and arguments because they usually either make me think and/or they make me chuckle. I think that it’s great that we have so many different points of views and I never want that to change. If everyone thought the same way that would be quite boring and it really wouldn’t be good for the country. We need different avenues of thought to move this country forward. I don’t know what your particular views are in politics and I will support your right to vote any way that you see fit even if I don’t agree with it. After all, you might have some thoughts that I have never explored and you just might be right in the long run. Speaking of long runs, I want to offer you some food for thought as you navigate your way through this election year. I will only
stick to the topic of voting as an LGBTQ person. Yes, I know that I can be accused of voting on one issue but there are actually many issues that one might think about when voting as an LGBTQ person. First of all, when it comes to any bills that will advance the rights of LGBTQ people,
Case in point: I watched the Connecticut state senators vote on trans rights in 2011 and every single Republican voted against trans rights while every single Democrat voted for trans rights. I would call that a party line vote. I also watched the Massachusetts state representatives vote on trans
NOT ALWAYS, BUT USUALLY THE REPUBLICANS WILL VOTE AGAINST LGBTQ RIGHTS AND THE DEMOCRATS WILL VOTE FOR LGBTQ RIGHTS. there is usually a party line divide between the Republicans and the Democrats. Not always, but usually the Republicans will vote against LGBTQ rights and the Democrats will vote for LGBTQ rights. Many times the lawmaker has to vote along party lines no matter how they personally feel about these bills, but the Republican Party lines are usually against LGBT rights while the Democrat party lines are for LGBTQ rights. This is not always true, but I have watched different votes time and time again and I have seen the results.
rights this year and the results were fairly similar although I did see some Republicans cross party line to vote for trans rights. Yes, the Republican lawmaker just might be on the side of LGBTQ rights but you really should remember that many times Republicans vote against LGBTQ rights. What you can glean from my thoughts is that if you are an LGBTQ person it will behoove you to elect as many Democratic lawmakers as possible. Of course, the choice is yours, but please keep the party line vote in mind. As far as the presidential vote, it will make
a difference whether there is a Republican or a Democrat in office because of the fact that the next president will probably appoint three or four Supreme Court Justices during the next four years. The Republicans usually opt for conservative folk while the Democrats usually opt for liberal folk. If you are LGBT I would think that you would want liberal folk in the Supreme Court, so voting Democrat is probably the best way to go. Once again it is, of course, up to you to vote however you see fit. I hope that you are enjoying this election year with all of the different thoughts and points of view, but again I ask you to think about the consequences that might arise with your vote. The way I look at it, me being an LGBTQ person, it might be a lot better for me to vote for as many Democrats as I can for nothing else but to keep and advance our rights. We’ve made many good gains the past few years and I would hate to see them overturned. Of course you may vote any way that you want, but I do ask you to think about how your rights could change in the future. *Deja Nicole Greenlaw is retired from 3M and has three grown children and two grandchildren. She may be contacted via her e-mail at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ask a Trans Woman: The questions I ask myself, shared truths & resonant connections By: Lorelei Erisis*/TRT Columnist
PHOTO: DAVID MEEHAN
often ask myself the question, “Why should anyone listen to my advice?” I don’t mean this as selfdeprecation or to indicate a lack of confidence. I just think it’s an important question for any public figure to consider, especially writers and politicians. If you’re a regular reader of this column, or you follow me on social media, have watched me on stage, or just listened to me in person over a glass of whiskey or several, you will know I have a lot of stories. I’ve had a life that could be easily described as adventurous. In many ways, my life is seriously atypical, I know I’m a bit of an outlier. Stuff happens to me that most people will probably never experience. I like to tell people that being trans is pretty much the only thing about me that is normal. Everything else is very odd! If there’s some strange thing that’s going to happen, it will usually happen either to me, or while I’m around. Still, in many other ways, I am not so different from you. That’s how I’m able to write a column like this. And it’s the basis for my activism. I try to find the ways I can connect with people. I look for shared experiences, commonalities.
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.....
The style of improv I studied is at its heart about trying to find basic human truths. I look for those moments that the audience can recognize and identify with. More often than not, it’s those basic connections, more than anything else, that actually make people laugh, or otherwise moves them emotionally. It’s the recognition of shared truth that makes improv, and activism really work. The way I usually answer the question I began this column with is to think about
to be challenged. I think it helps enormously, when I am faced with people or ideologies that I disagree with, to try to get at the “why” of their arguments. I want to understand, to empathize because I believe that helps me to find those shared things with which we can move forward together. These are the little “ins” that will allow me to make my own argument more persuasive, stronger. I truly love to be proven wrong by a really good argument. I believe that flexibility is
I WANT TO UNDERSTAND, TO EMPATHIZE BECAUSE I BELIEVE THAT HELPS ME TO FIND THOSE SHARED THINGS WITH WHICH WE CAN MOVE FORWARD TOGETHER. those shared truths. I’ve had a lot of experiences in a wide array of things. I also read a hell of a lot—I always have—on just gender theory or sexuality. I read about politics and media and science and history, literature, old and new, classic and silly. I’m fascinated by how things work. I love the stories of individual people and the larger societies they live in. And I’m always looking for the connections. Additionally, I read a wide sampling of news from multiple perspectives. I try really hard to not limit the voices I listen to simply to viewpoints I share and agree with. I like
important. Only when I am prepared to say, “I don’t know,” or, “Clearly I was mistaken. Let me reconsider,” only then can I trust myself to be flexible enough to keep learning and growing. Only then can I trust my own expertise enough to share it with others. And even when I do, you will notice that I try to avoid words like, “all” and “every” in favour of words like “many” and “some.” I don’t like absolutes and I do not presume to tell any other person how they should live their own lives or what choices will be best for them. I only offer my own, well-informed point of view, share the wisdom
gained from my own experiences and study. I give you my own stories, and the stories that have been shared with me. Then, I’ll wrap it all up in my own carefully thought out conclusions and considered analysis. Hopefully you will find in my advice and analysis, some of that recognition I was talking about earlier—some shred of shared human truth. Perhaps you will find my guidance useful, my stories resonant. Ideally, you will be able to benefit from my experience, find the results of my own studies helpfully illuminating. Ultimately, what I want is for you to think for yourself. And I mean really think. Pay attention to the world around you and how you are being constantly influenced. And then make the choices that are best for you and the world we all share, based upon your own informed and carefully thought-out conclusions. Let my words be a map to show the directions you might go, the roads you might follow. Perhaps we can go down those roads together. I certainly hope so. If no one else has told you this, know that I trust you and I love you. I believe in you. You have my promise I will always give you the best advice I can. I’ll keep reading and thinking and having adventures. And when I have something worth saying, you can bet I won’t hesitate to share it with you. And maybe we will find some of those truths together. Slainte! *Lorelei Erisis is an actor, activist, adventurer and pageant queen. Send your questions about trans issues, gender and sexuality to Lorelei’s e-mail address at: email@example.com.
TheRainbowTimesMass.com • The Rainbow Times • 5
August 4, 2016 - September 7, 2016
Exclusive: Mayor Driscoll, the Salem All-Star and LGBT community champ SALEM, Mass.—Perhaps most known in the LGBTQ community as the champ who publicly took on Gordon College (http://goo.gl/qFZv7I) by opting to terminate its city contract due the violation of Salem’s non-discrimination ordinance involving the LGBT community, Mayor Kimberley Driscoll was thrust into the national spotlight as the pro-LGBT small city Mayor with big city actions and expectations. The former college athlete is no stranger to taking one for the team and that’s what she does in the Mayor’s office while tackling the “hardest job in the world,” she said. Sworn in a decade ago, Driscoll has lead the efforts of Salem’s revitalization, a blend of the old and new, in just about every aspect of life and culture. In this exclusive sitdown interview with the mayor, The Rainbow Times learns of the motivations of one of Salem’s best, her inevitable political future, aspirations and insights for continuing to ensure Salem, Mass. remains at the competitive forefront, fiscally and culturally, while addressing the needs of marginalized groups within the city of change. TRT: You've been in office for a decade. Do you consider yourself the Tom Menino of Salem? Mayor Kim Driscoll: [Laughs] That would be quite a compliment because I think Tom was a real urban mechanic and was very thoughtful about both the people in Boston and the way he hoped Boston would be developed. And, I think we probably share the same desire to be someone who connects with the people. Ultimately, any city is about the people who live there, but also as we're changing and every city changes and grows, that we are being really thoughtful and intentional about that. But nobody is, there will never be another Tom Menino. For a big city Mayor … to connect with people so frequently and at that level is just phenomenal. Q: What is the key to your success with such high favorable ratings each year? A: I think that democracy is hard, so we do our best to share information with individuals, including how you came up with decisions. At local government, when you think about it, local government is the thing that, for people’s lives connects with them the most, whether it’s picking up trash outside their door, or educating their children, providing safe parks and safe neighborhoods. All of those services are delivered at the local level. As much as we are enamored of state government and of congress and federal government—we know we need those areas—but one thing that’s key and touches every single individual, who lives or passes by Salem, are the services we deliver locally. We try to do a really good job. I really do believe that part of my job is making sure things go well, always looking for us to continuously improve and trying to create a culture like that, and then [focus on] that really big vision. … That’s what we strive to do and to share our rational for decision making. I think that’s the other key
Salem Mayor Kim Driscoll
piece when you're local. I know the people who are affected by the decisions we make and that means I need to explain it. I hope at the end of the day when people disagree with me, and there are plenty of people we'll have disagreements with, that they respect the process that we went through or understand the rational even if they don’t necessarily agree with it. Q: What are the two or three priorities that you have for the rest of 2016 and going into 2017? A: I would say that I view finances as really critical. When I took office there was a major deficit. So we have tried to ensure that we have a good fiscal house and that enables us to do really sexy projects, so we'll continue to do those sorts of things. We just started the new fiscal year; we really keep tabs on that. That also means trying to keep Salem affordable. We are growing as a city and that also means there are more demands but for some people who live here, their tax bill is really hard for them to afford right now and I think we are trying to strike that balance. We have people who have been living here their whole life or new people who are like “Salem is so affordable!” So it's that balance that you're certainly trying to strike and we will continue to do that. Throughout the next I'd say year, we are focused on public schools and education, really trying to create not only a culture of educational excellence within our district but within our community. Having our entire city engage in thinking about the importance of educating children here for the next generation and that is not how it’s always been in Salem. This is really a community mission, if you are a gateway city that has folks with limited means and folks with great wealth [and] all these different cultures, that makes passing a standardized test a little trickier and it needs to be a community mission to make sure we have high quality schools ...
See Mayor Driscoll on Page 9
6 • The Rainbow Times • TheRainbowTimesMass.com
TransTalk 101: “No” to Defamatory Terms By: Christine Nicco/TRT Reporter
In the final installment of this three-part series, _The Rainbow Times_ has compiled a list of defamatory terms to avoid when discussing issues of gender identity, particularly transgender identities. The first part of the series (http://goo.gl/z2RTkn) explored a list of common—and not so common—words and phrases used when discussing gender identity. Part two of the series discussed terms to avoid in the trans community (http://goo.gl/Z0YsnT). Defamatory Terms • Defamatory: "deceptive," "fooling," "pretending," "posing," "trap," or "masquerading" Gender identity is an integral part of a person's identity. Do not characterize transgender people as "deceptive," as "fooling" or "trapping" others, or as "pretending" to be, "posing" or "masquerading" as a man or a woman. Such descriptions are defamatory and insulting. • Defamatory: "tranny," "she-male," "he/she," "it," "shim" These words dehumanize transgender people and should not be used in mainstream media. The criteria for using these derogatory terms should be the same as those applied to vulgar epithets used to ...
See TransTalk on Page14
Public Spaces from page 3 because I sing tenor.” The dynamics in public spaces were equally upsetting. “To help make it easier I wear an embroidered patch on my left chest that explicitly states, ‘my pronouns are They/Them/Theirs.’ “One day I was riding a bus on a Pioneer Valley Transit Authority (PVTA) route and the driver asked me about my patch. After I explained, he told me that it was ‘crazy,’ in a tone that implied that I was insane. “The public spaces are more complicated because it involves a constant stream of decisions to risk further trauma or avoid accessing a needed resource,” they said. Andrew Amanda said that the transphobia, misgendering, and continual disrespect in both the church they attended and in public, “created an environment where you have to be really intentional about reinforcing your own self-worth because so many places will tell you, even accidentally, that you shouldn't exist.” In January 2015, legislation was filed to provide explicit legal protections for people like Andrew Amanda in public spaces like restaurants, hotels, grocery stores, coffee shops, and other venues open to the public. The legislation galvanized strong proponents and opponents, from the Massachusetts State House to concerned community groups to grassroots advocacy organizations. On July 8, 2016, Massachusetts’ Republican Governor Charlie Baker signed the bill into law, effectively codifying the legal protection of people like Andrew Amanda in
August 4, 2016 - September 7, 2016
public spaces. But the path to its signing was one fraught with partisan politics, transphobia, fears of privacy invasion, accusations of safety threats, and even anti-trans sentiment espoused by the Governor himself. A decade in the making It was November 1, 2005 and Representative Carl Sciortino, an ambitious, intelligent freshman state legislator representing the 34th Middlesex District in Massachusetts, was attending a conference. “Legal Protections for Gender-Variant People: Challenging Discrimination” was a gathering of like-minded progressive legislators, lawyers, and advocates seeking to address the noticeable gaps in state law that allowed for the discrimination of transgender people. “When I realized how complicated and inadequate our current state laws were, I offered to work with some of the folks there to file legislation,” Sciortino remembered. “They took me up on that opportunity very quickly and very excitedly.” An hod-hoc working group was formed and in January 2007, the beginning of Sciortino’s second term in office, a comprehensive bill was filed, one that provided explicit legal protections for transgender people in public spaces, employment, housing, credit/lending, and public education. The proposed bill, co-sponsored by Sciortino and Representative Byron Rushing, also amended the state’s hate crimes law to include gender identity and gender expression. The marriage equality fight was still being waged in Massachusetts, almost three years
after it had been legalized. Friends, colleagues, and allies urged Sciortino not to “rock the boat” by filing the legislation, to devote his efforts to cementing the statewide marriage equality victory. “It’s time to stop waiting. The trans community has been told to wait for too long and we need to get started and do some of the basic education that needs to happen,” was his reply. “You have to keep in mind in 2007 there was no Caitlyn Jenner, there was no Laverne Cox, there was not even a Chaz Bono ‘Dancing With the Stars’ yet,” he said of the effort to educate the public on the need for laws protecting gender identity. “There was really little public understanding of what ‘transgender’ meant, including within the lesbian, gay, and bisexual community here in Massachusetts.” The bill didn’t make any progress during that two-year term and Sciortino and Rushing refiled it in 2009. The Senate filed a similar bill under the leadership of Senator Benjamin Downing. The marriage equality fight had been won, which left the door open for opponents of LGBTQ rights to take on another high-profile issue. “It made some progress in that session in that we were able to do some more public education and education of lawmakers and really build up the coalition” he said. But in 2010 a dangerous moniker made its way around the State House, one that would stay with the bill up until its passage. That year, Charlie Baker ran an unsuccessful campaign for Governor of Massachusetts, losing the seat to Deval Patrick.
See Public Spaces on Page 10
TheRainbowTimesMass.com • The Rainbow Times • 7
August 4, 2016 - September 7, 2016
The “Transform Me” mini-ball in November 2010
PHOTO: RONIA PEGUERO OF BLUEAZUL
Voguing not just about striking a pose, but saving young lives By: John Paul Stapleton/TRT Reporter
BOSTON, Mass.—Boston’s Finest New England Mother, Athena Khan, sits on the stage in her canary yellow dress calling out the names of award winners. While she’s calling, the winners are soaked in cheers that coalesce with the beat of the DJ’s pounding mix. Some winners humbly grab their award, but others make a spectacle. People take to the floor to vogue as if they were going to lose the award they just won. Sometimes challengers would come out. These performances have the crowd going wild. At a certain point, one inaudible name is called and the winner comes to the center platform of the stairwell entrance from the balcony. Rather than walking down the beautiful spiral staircase, he jumps over the banister and lands majestically to keep his performance going. This kind of spectacle people only get to see when they watch “Paris is Burning” (https://goo.gl/g7ZdIa), but this isn’t a movie, and it’s not in New York. This is the second annual awards ball held by BAGLY, the Boston Alliance of Gay Lesbian Bisexual Transgender Youth (www.bagly.org/), a group that works to support LGBTQIA youth, at the Villa Victoria Center for the Arts. It turns out that Boston is actually the center of a huge New England ball scene. Many of the international houses have chapters here and they’re thriving. “It started off as a family aspect,” Khan said. “There was a time that a lot of GLBTQ people were becoming homeless because they were coming out of the closet and there was the whole HIV and AIDS epidemic.” Youth would get picked up by or join the collectives of LGBTQIA people called “houses.” At first they were local, but now there are houses all over the world. In some cases, each individual house may have hundreds—or even thousands—of members. House mothers are often stand-in parents for many of the youth. From providing food and shelter to promoting self-confidence to helping youth perfect their craft for the ball scene
itself, these houses have become a transformative force for many young people. “Now ballroom, that started with pageants,” Khan went on to say. “The families from each of these houses would come together and compete. It was like queen for a night. You had the opportunity to be who you want to be. At the time GLBTQ people weren’t allowed to express themselves.” The manner of dress at these balls is always extravagant. Whether presenting as male, female, or any other identity, that presentation is to be emphasized as much as possible. The attire can be a part of the competition at these pageants as well as voguing. This dancing got mainstream attention when Madonna incorporated it into her 1990 video for “Vogue” (https://goo.gl/nJ4POG). For this dance, the performer uses their body to make geometric or symmetrical poses, fluidly moving between them to a beat. The ball scene is the main place to test this craft and gives youth a skill to work on with their other house members. As with any job, a youth must be qualified and give something in return. Legendary New England Mother, De’Zyre Revlon, says that many houses expect something from you. Some houses want you to participate in a ball or win a certain number of pageants. Above all, the house has to want you and want the best for you. “I was a young knucklehead who was making a lot of mistakes and someone was willing to give me the opportunity,” Revlon said. “They said, ‘I don’t like what you’re doing. I want you to come and meet these people.’ So I was adopted into a family that way and the ballroom aspects were introduced at a later time.” Evidently, it can go beyond the competition, but also if the house is no longer doing something for a youth, then that youth can leave and find another. “It wasn’t always handouts,” Revlon said. To read the rest of this story visit: http://wp.me/p22M41-4qV
8 • The Rainbow Times • TheRainbowTimesMass.com
August 4, 2016 - September 7, 2016
“Congratulations,” an art piece by CATHERINE GRAFFAM, that will be shown in the “You Think It’s _____, But it’s Really _____.” exhibit
Art exhibition highlights diversity of LGBTQIA people with disabilities By: Luke Sherman/TRT Reporter
BOSTON, Mass—It was over dinner earlier this spring when the idea came to Allison Rodriguez and her four friends. Artist LB Lee (who prefers the pronouns they/them/their) mentioned that many of their colleagues identify as both LGBTQ and have a disability, which led the group to discuss the idea of putting together an art exhibition exploring the intersections between sexual orientation, gender identity, and having a disability. Rodriguez, a volunteer for the Boston LGBTQIA Artist Alliance (BLAA) (http://blaa.us/), proposed to BLAA Director Dylan Hurwitz that the association curate such a show. “It was kind of a way to bring both those communities together and allow artists who don't have a high level of visibility an opportunity to show their work, to represent themselves, and to network, to build their community beyond what it already was,” Rodriguez said. The result? “You Think It's ____, But It's Really _____.,” a group exhibition featuring 23 artists living and working at the intersection of LGBTQIA issues and notions of disabilities, according to Hurwitz. A working artist and experienced curator, Rodriguez served as the primary coordinator for this exhibition. While putting it together, she collaborated with two artists featured in the show, Hurwitz, and two other BLAA members to choose the exhibition's pieces. Approximately 40 artists based in the Greater Boston area submitted works of art, and the selection committee ultimately chose to exhibit 23 of them. All 23 selected artists identify as LGBTQIA and either have a disability or feel that society has classified them as having a disability. To YoAhn Han, one of the two artists who served on the exhibition's selection commit-
tee, the title of the show communicates an occasion for queer artists with a disability to highlight misperceptions of LGBTQIA people with disabilities. “There are two blanks in the title, right? So, your first sight of having a cognitive decision—which is maybe not always right, or not always the way you understand—when you see, for example, the person with a disability as a third person, it's totally different from the one who's actually functioning with the disability,” said Han, a native of South Korea who has two pieces in the show. “I think this title has kind of a word play in a way.” Lee, who is exhibiting in an art show for the first time, emphasized that this exhibition provides a critical opportunity to LGBTQIA disabled people to represent themselves artistically, particularly because multitudinous barriers prevent them from doing so. “Being disabled often means it's hard to get to shows. Either they're inaccessible– like, you have stairs, well, sucks to be you if you're an artist with a wheelchair; you're not going to get in there … ” they said. “There's also sometimes this thing where disabled folks, we're almost not allowed to be queer, where it's considered a symptom of our disability so therefore not something that should truly be respected, or because we're disabled we're assumed to have no sexual or gender identity at all.” In light of these challenges, Rodriguez said BLAA took great care to make the show as accessible as possible, including hiring an American Sign Language interpreter. In Rodriguez's mind, one of the exhibition's greatest strengths is the featured artists' diversity of experiences.
See LGBTQIA People on Page 15
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Mayor Driscoll from Page 5 that serve all, big capital letter A-L-L, ALL our kids. So, I think that would be a big push. Certainly, with the the new superintendent we’re poised, we think, to come out of level 4 status from the state and are really working hard on, trying to ensure that our educational systems are strong, not just an initiative but that strengthening on those opportunities. And, then there’s the waterfront. We are really focused on the re-development of the power plant site [and] the 45 acres around that, that we hope to develop a cruise port in as well as having more waterfront activity. We started a water taxi this year, water shuttle I should say, a harbor shuttle. We'll have more visiting vessels coming in beyond cruise ships, the coast guard Eagle’s coming. We really see an opportunity to take advantage of this beautiful Salem Sound that as a coastal community, for too many years, we sort of turned our back on. Salem with this great maritime history, for a good numbers of years we sort of have forgotten about that, it was much more industrial. We'd love to continue to work on allowing access and proving public access and getting people out on the water more frequently, both as [leisure] and a means of travel. I mean the least cars we can have on the road, the better and it is an opportunity to take in, just to treasure the harbor that we are so fortunate to live next to. Then, there's the last piece [which] would be continuing the focus on the downtown revitalization. We love having an urban, livable, walk-able downtown and want to continue to treasure that and see it grow in a thoughtful and intentional way.
Q: Speaking of the Level 4 status of the Salem Public Schools and cultural changes within the city, 50 percent of students, give or take, are students of color, mostly being Latino. Without people of color in key decision-making positions that can understand the students culturally, does that contribute to the low performance level of the school system? A: I definitely think we need to build our cultural competencies and not just within schools but certainly as a community. Our positions of power—whether it’s [with] elected officials [or] appointed bodies— should be reflective and I think could be more reflective of the community make-up here and we are striving to do that. We have bilingual officers [and] bilingual firefighters. We had no Spanish-speaking firefighters when I started here. None. Zero. We now have over half dozen. So thinking about your hiring practice, those numbers will build. The same thing with the police; we really want to connect, not just with the language but also the culture. We’re fortunate to be able to have young men and women who have grown up in Salem and some even in The Point Neighborhood— our large Latino neighborhood—that are now working for the police department. That’s full circle and those are the sorts of barriers we want to break down and continue to do that. Our new superintendent is thoughtful, educated, experienced, technically proficient strong Latina, and I think that is really helping us build systems and connect in a way our thinking around this. You don't have to be Latino to understand the need to educate all of our kids, but we
MY KIDS GO TO SCHOOL AND THEIR FRIENDS HAVE TWO DADS OR TWO MOMS, THEY DON’T LOOK AT THEM ANY DIFFERENT. need that culture to be stronger within our city, within our schools systems that we want to be representative and also responsive. I say to folks, “if I went to Spain and dropped down in the middle in of Spain and had to figure out how to get my three kids into school and what the rules were (Do they wear uniforms? Do they not? Am I supposed to go to parent teacher conferences?), all these things that you don't know [because] it’s a different culture; I’d struggle with that. We have that happening in reverse and I'm not sure that we’ve always done as good a job as we can in breaking down those barriers for people who come here for from a different culture or didn’t have the level of formal education that we have in this country or even a different country. So, we need to do a better job. That’s incumbent upon us to say we need to do more and I’m not sure we are always there, nor do I think we had the population. If you looked at our schools twenty years ago, it was a much smaller percentage of English Language Learners—a much smaller percentage of the population for
whom English was not their first language. So, those tables have turned but we haven’t really changed our traditional teaching methods as quickly or built our cultural competencies as quickly. … I think that people understand that. I think that people are excited about the work ahead and mostly, I think, families, especially some of the young parents and young adults who are settling here, they want to live in a community that has blended cultures. They don’t want a homogeneous population of income, of backgrounds, of sexual [orientations] and we offer that, but it can’t be at the expense of education. We need to make sure that we have a system that works for everyone who walks through the door, not just my three kids who came from a home with two college-educated parents [and] have been read to since birth, but everyone. We had one school that was level 4, that means the whole district is level 4 and we didn’t just focus on that one school, we said, “we are going take this on as a district because we’ve got other schools that needed to advance as well.” I’m really hopeful and really excited about the work that’s under way in our schools. We’ve got the hardest working teachers that I’ve ever seen who have taken on a lot of newer tasks, things that they weren’t familiar with. We had no data platforms here; we didn’t have really solid systems around Special Ed. or ELL. That means there are a lot of new things going on and every time they double down and do more. We've expanded time, we’ve really tried to be, I think, thoughtful about how we use that time because we’re
See Mayor Driscoll on Page 9
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Public Spaces from page 6 During that campaign, Baker was quoted as calling the legislation “the bathroom bill” and voiced his staunch opposition to it. Baker’s comments were part of a growing animus towards transgender people and the lack of public awareness around transgender identities bred confusion and fear. Accusations from conservative legislators and community groups of predatory behavior in restrooms and locker rooms were heaped upon transgender people; the trans community bore the burden of having to prove that its members were not deviants seeking to use sex-segregated facilities to commit crimes against women and children. January 2011 saw Sciortino and Rushing filing the legislation a third time on the House side and Senator Downing was joined by Senator Sonia Chang-Diaz in filing the bill on the Senate side. In November the bill passed, but only after the Judiciary Committee removed the public accommodations language. More conservative lawmakers wanted language included in the bill that specifically defined gender identity. In the 2011 law, it was defined, in part, as: " … a person's gender-related identity, appearance or behavior … sincerely held as part of a person's core identity; provided, however, that gender-related identity shall not be asserted for any improper purpose." (http://goo.gl/GBqx6c) “That was a really difficult compromise for us working on the bill,” Sciortino said. “When I was clear we were not going to get the bill with public accommodations in 2011, I felt it wasn’t my decision to make as to whether to move forward or not. It was really the community’s decision to move forward with a bill that was imperfect without public accommodations [protections] and come back for public accommodations the next session. “Or do you hold out for the whole thing all at once, which could have taken many more
years. That question was given to the coalition and members of the trans community to make that really difficult decision and they came back saying they wanted to move forward even without public accommodations as long as there was a clear commitment to fight for public accommodations in the future.” Under the new law, transgender people were protected in almost every area that other protected classes were covered. However, the absence of public accommodations protections established a noticeable inconsistency in the law that left transgender people vulnerable. For example, a transgender person was protected under the law when it came to applying for a job in a public space, but as a patron of that space, no legal protections existed. People like Andrew Amanda were legally able to work in a retail store as a cashier, but lacked the codified legal protections preventing the store owner from denying them access as a customer. Advocates used this hole in the law to push more aggressively for the protection of gender identity in public spaces and ramped up efforts to pass local ordinances in cities and towns across Massachusetts. From Amherst to Boston, advocates worked their grassroots connections to pass these ordinances and illustrate to the Commonwealth that implementation was not problematic and that concerns over privacy and safety were unfounded. By the time the standalone bill was signed into law on July 8, more than a dozen cities and towns had effective ordinances in place protecting gender identity in public spaces, none of them reporting incidents with implementation or criminal behavior. Another benefit of the 2011 law was the protection of transgender students in public schools. In 2012, the Department of Secondary and Elementary Education (DESE) released a lengthy document to public schools across the Commonwealth with recommended best practices for creating safe and supportive spaces for transgender students in Massachusetts. “Guidance for Massachusetts Public Schools Creating a Safe and Supportive School Environment” (http://goo.gl/HSZ0iS) helped lay the foundation for treating transgender students with dignity. “The reality is that the 2011 law helped lay the foundation
August 4, 2016 - September 7, 2016
On July 20, Keep Massachusetts Safe held a rally at the State House in support of the ballot initiative to overturn the recently passed public accommodations law PHOTO: KEEP MASSACHUSETTS SAFE
for the educational work that remained to be done in order to pass full, comprehensive protections,” said Jennifer Levi, director of the Trans Rights Project at GLBTQ Advocates and Defenders (GLAD) (www.glad.org). “I am proud that we took the risk we did in 2011, and more, that we were able to come back and finish what we started.” In January 2013, a standalone bill seeking public accommodations protections for transgender people was filed. The bill did not pass during the session, but when Sciortino stepped down from his legislative seat in April 2014 to become the executive director for AIDS Action Committee, he left the bill in the hands of several state lawmakers and a coalition of advocates including the Massachusetts Transgender Political Coalition (MTPC) (www.masstpc.org), Massachusetts Gay and Lesbian Political Caucus (MGLPC), the Greater Boston Chapter of Parents, Family, and Friends of LGBTQ People (PFLAG) (www.gbpflag.org), MassEquality (http://goo.gl/RchQvi), GLAD , the Massachusetts Chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) (www.aclum.org), the Boston Alliance of Gay Lesbian Bisexual & Transgender Youth (BAGLY) (www.bagly.org), the Massachusetts Chapter of the Anti-Defamation League (ADL)
(http://goo.gl/48nIMb), the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) (www.hrc.org), and the Massachusetts Commission on LGBTQ Youth (MCLGBTQY) (www.mass.gov/cgly). In 2014, Charlie Baker ran for the Governor’s office again and defeated his opponent, former Attorney General Martha Coakley. A little over a month after his win, Baker was quoted as saying that he opposed any changes to the public accommodations law (http://goo.gl/7Ya92T) and asserted his contention that he was unsure of how the law would be implemented. Baker’s hesitance to endorse the law was emblematic of a fermenting transphobic sentiment that was overtaking the country. Dozens of “bathroom bills” aimed at stripping away the rights of transgender people in public spaces were filed in 2015; many of the bills aimed to reduce transgender people to second-class citizens. With the June 26, 2015 ruling by the United States Supreme Court legalizing marriage equality across the nation, conservatives and anti-LGBTQ pundits needed to recoup their losses and declared open season on transgender people. As bills were filed, heated conversations arose on social and traditional media about gender identity. Read the rest of this terminology list at: http://wp.me/p22M41-4qM
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Queen Latifah, ‘Rebel in the Rye,’ ‘Southwest of Salem,’ ‘The Office Christmas Party’ By: Romeo San Vicente*/Special to TRT
Latifah is taking a Girls Trip If we have one complaint about Queen Latifah’s career, it’s that everything she does isn’t Set It Off. Not only is it our favorite film featuring her, it’s our favorite her: a butch, badass, bankrobbing lesbian. It was a cinematic middle finger to the media construction of ’90s “lesbian chic,” and if she had chosen never to act again after that movie, we’d revere her swagger for all of film history. And for the Queen’s upcoming comedy, Girls Trip, director Malcolm D. Lee (Barbershop: The Next Cut, and cousin to Spike) will reunite her with Set It Off co-star Jada Pinkett Smith, as well as the hilarious Regina Hall (Think Like a Man Too). The plot is a big secret at the moment, and it’s not due to hit theaters until summer of 2017, but we’re ready for this team-up right now. Note to filmmakers: If the ladies rob a bank or two along the way, we will not complain one bit. Rebel In The Rye catches Salinger’s life Actor Danny Strong might not be a person you know by name unless you’re an obsessive Gilmore Girls or Buffy The Vampire Slayer fan (and come on, aren’t you?). In any case, you might know his name from his other career as a successful screenwriter
(The Butler) and for having co-created Empire with Lee Daniels. And he has a new project in the works: Rebel in The Rye a biopic about the life of reclusive author of Catcher in The Rye, J.D. Salinger. Strong will direct from his own adaptation of the book, J.D. Salinger: A Life, by Kenneth Slawenski. The period film will focus on Salinger’s rise to fame and subsequent withdrawal from public life, and will star Nicholas Hoult as the author. Supporting cast includes out actors Sarah Paulson and Victor Garber, alongside Kevin Spacey, Zoey Deutch and Hope Davis, and it’s all due to hit movie theaters sometime in 2017. If we had to guess we’d say the autumn, which is sweater weather, and therefore the most appropriately preppy time of year to see a film about Salinger. Southwest of Salem will make you really angry You’ve probably heard of the West Memphis Three, the young men convicted of murdering children in Arkansas in the mid ’90s. Their agonizing tale of injustice, one that included bizarre accusations of devil worship, was the subject of more than one documentary film and, ultimately, it brought them the exoneration they sought for so long. Well, now meet the San Antonio Four, four lesbians of color accused of raping two young girls, the case against them based on unreliable testimony, elements of hetero male revenge, racism, “Satanic panic,” and the usual homophobia and misogyny. Filmmaker Deborah S. Esquenazi has been fol-
release due in New York and Los Angeles in September. With enough exposure, it could turn into the next Making a Murderer, and possibly result in the justice they’ve been denied.
lowing the story and produced the documentary Southwest of Salem: The Story of The San Antonio Four, and it’s been on the film festival circuit for a while, with a theatrical
You’re already invited to The Office Christmas Party Dear Christmas Movie Season, We know you’re on the way, even sooner than we think. The year is already more than half over, after all. But we’ve already decided which holiday-themed film we plan to see when the November onslaught hits: The Office Christmas Party. It’s not because of the premise, which involves a big office party to woo a big client, a client that will save the company from ruin. And it’s not because of the filmmakers, Josh Gordon and Will Speck, who were responsible for the very funny Blades of Glory, but also the not quite funny The Switch. We are there, we are so there, because of Kate McKinnon. She’s been our favorite funny person for a while now, thanks to SNL, but now the moviegoing population knows that, as the MVP of Ghostbusters, she can work wonders on the big screen. There are other people in Office Christmas Party, of course: Jennifer Aniston, Olivia Munn, Jason Bateman, T.J. Miller, Jamie Chung, Randall Park and Rob Corddry, and we like them, too. But all we want for Christmas is Kate, so thank you in advance for this answered wish list item. Sincerely, Romeo San Vicente, who is not a lesbian but is giving it some thought.
12 • The Rainbow Times • TheRainbowTimesMass.com
Mayor Driscoll from page 9 not just kill-n-drill—you know with the idea of just keeping kids in school longer and saying it twice and maybe louder and they’re going to get it. I think we realize that’s not what it’s about. We want kids to be excited and inspired to learn, so we are closing opportunity gaps and building enrichment programs, not just remedial programs within the building, so I’m excited. As Mayor, you chair the school committee so it’s a big part of what I spend my day on and I’m really hopeful. Q: How do you build that cultural competency, particularly in the school system, if the school committee is comprised of mostly white non-Hispanic individuals? If there are not people on the committee that can speak from direct experience of the types of things that Latino kids go through, then how do we build that cultural competency from a deeper level of understanding? A: I don’t think you have to be Latino. I certainly consider myself to come from a blended family. My mother is from the West Indies. It wasn’t a language barrier, but my father was in the navy. I was a new kid a lot. I think you can relate to how people feel, coming into a different environment—not growing up in a similar culture—without necessarily being a part of that culture. But, ideally we certainly want to have members of our school committee, members of our city council, a mayor, future leaders, boarding commission members [and so on] be reflective of our community. I think the way you do it, until that happens, is intentional. [It] is recognizing that we need to build in place protections, advocacy, opportunities among all of our staff to recognize that, not just that it’s not okay, but let’s be thoughtful. Put yourself in somebody else’s shoes. Building family and community engagement is a big piece of that. If I said to you right now, I’ve got 10 boarding commission openings. I want to fill them with 10 Latino residents, I don’t know that there would be 10 Latino residents right now ready to step in … So, it’s building that civic engagement, and by the way … Not everybody wants to serve on the planning board. I think we need to be intentional about it within the schools and it starts at the top. When I came in I said no, I’m not hiring another police officer until we start making sure we have Spanish speaking officers or you want to hire a firefighter, let’s make sure that they start to reflect the community. And, you know what? All of a sudden, we started to figure it out—but unless somebody in positions like mine starts saying, “no, we are not going to just do it the way we’ve always been doing it,” it won't happen. And, do I think that’s in place now to the degree that we want? No. With the depth that we want? No. But we are getting there and that’s not easy either. There’s a little bit of an old and new pull, you know? There are some people who think the system is fine just the way it is! I understand that, they’ve benefited from it, they’re used to it, they know it, figuring out civil service is not a foreign language to them or whatever it might be. Whatever those doors are that need to get open, they know the combination. For others, it’s not [okay] and it
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can be a little tricky but in a community like ours, I think we are trying to be smart about it, we are trying to be open about it, we are trying to be transparent about it and we talk about it with the union members, with the chiefs and I think we’ve got good people here who see the value and making sure that we are more representative. It hasn't been a complete uphill battle. There are times when it’s harder than it should be, but I’d like to think we are getting there.
QPuzzle: Is Being Gay in Your Genes?
Q: While we’re on the topic of diversity, concerning and affecting the reflective faces of city leadership, what do you think is the cause of the lack of engagement from marginalized communities like the Latino community? A: We are a smaller pond and I also think that we’ve had, either because it hasn’t been intentional or on anybody’s list, we haven't had the level of civic engagement even among our Latino residents that other places have had, having worked in Chelsea and other places. So we’ve got some work to do and I think we are all anxious to do it and I’m so glad to see a lot of the younger Latino students that are like the most active and when we did the Point Neighborhood Vision Plan, some of the best meetings we had for input and about what do we want to do and see [suggestions] are coming from kids, you know high school kids—active, engaged, who grew up there, some first generation, some second generation, but wanting to make a difference. So it’s upon us now to figure out how to prepare that next group and there’s a lot of good work going on in that regard. Q: When did you become such an advocate for the LGBT community? A: I played basketball growing up, some of my best friends like had the toughest time, like coming out and it was a different time and different era and I think when you are in women sports, there is certainly a fair amount of folks there who had those same struggles and it hurt me to know, these are good people, who I knew were great friends. I didn’t care who they loved. It’s never been an issue for me personally or for the way I was raised or for the culture I was brought up. My kids go to school and their friends have two dads or two moms, they don’t look at them any different, we don't look at them any different. I think it’s just always been there and not anything that I thought there should be an -ism around. Q: For years now, people have made assumptions that you have your eyes set on something bigger than the mayor’s office. Are you thinking more about sticking around or do you see yourself going in a different direction? A: Since I got this job, people have pigeoned me for something else, right? I don’t think I was Mayor for a year and they’re like ''oh you’re going to be Judge, she’s going to be a judge” or “Oh, she’s leaving to go work in the Patrick Administration to be a Secretary of blah, blah, blah.” And, I have been here now; this is my eleventh year, for three terms and I'll tell you what I tell everybody—I love it. I feel really fortunate to be in local government Read the rest of this story at: http://wp.me/p22M41-4qR
Across 1 Straight, to mixologists 5 Lindsay of Liz & Dick 10 Cut 14 Composer Thomas 15 Commandment word about coveting thy neighbor's ass 16 Whom Lincoln showed malice toward, in a speech 17 Enterprise helmsman 19 Cho, who plays 17-Across as a gay character 20 Screw-up 21 Really sucked 23 Invitation to a top? 26 Cake parts 27 Portrayer of 17-Across on TV and in movies 32 Melissa Etheridge's "___ It Heavy" 33 Complexion affliction 34 Paul of Hollywood Squares 39 Fruits did this in the orchard 40 What the smithy did to a stallion 42 On the calm side 43 Greek fabulist 45 Cinder suffix 46 News columnist Lisa 47 Gene, who created the character of 17-Across 50 Bewitch 54 Cole Porter's "Let's ___" 55 3-D Disney movie of 2000 58 Cicely of Fried Green
Tomatoes 62 With 63-Across, movie with 17-Across as a gay character 63 See 62-Across 66 Toledo's lake 67 James Baldwin work 68 Movie dog 69 "L," in box scores 70 Debussy contemporary Erik 71 Someone who's kind of queer Down 1 Slangy refusals 2 Dancing With the Stars cohost Andrews 3 "Diana" singer 4 No, No, Nanette song 5 SEC powerhouse 6 Understanding comments 7 Dwelling, to the von Trapps 8 Weight loss product 9 Set with an unknown number of members 10 "Have a ball!" 11 Lorna of literature 12 ___ Shoes (Toni Collette movie) 13 Sees to 18 Made a "clang, clang, clang" sound 22 Word with Mary 24 Angry in., for example 25 Emulated Paul Cadmus 27 "Do What U Want" Lady 28 Land of Emma Donoghue 29 They're straight on the Kin-
sey Scale 30 "I'm ___ Cowhand" 31 Passed out, with "over" 35 "Happy Talk," perhaps 36 Glenn Burke, formerly 37 Bambi, e.g. 38 Start of a counting rhyme 41 Paul of Little Miss Sunshine 44 Sheryl Swoopes and Michael Sam 48 Uses a gifted tongue 49 Word before "my shorts" 50 Ford lemon that was not fruitful 51 Big bang cause, briefly 52 Lover of Henry and June 53 Social customs 56 Bear that may be a minor 57 Silence for Saint-Saens 59 "I've had better..." 60 "I'm ___ your tricks!" 61 Minn. neighbor 64 Word after "Cobra" in The Karate Kid 65 Tournament exemption for Mauresmo
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5 financial suggestions for roommate living By: Mikey Rox*/Special to TRT
plitting rent with a roommate saves money—and it can be the ticket out of your parents’ house (which means no more sneaking those Grindr tricks in through the basement window, much to his delight). But while living with a gay brother from another mother can be rewarding, it’s important to protect yourself and make decisions that don’t hurt your finances. To make this living sitch work with few financial disagreements, here are five money tips for bunking with your bestie.
1. Have a separate roommate agreement If you’re renting an apartment, you and your roommate will have a lease agreement with the landlord. But in addition to this agreement, you should also establish a roommate agreement between the two of you. Before moving into the apartment, you obviously sat down and discussed how to handle expenses—or at least you should have. Since money can be a touchy topic, the agreement you come up with shouldn’t be a verbal one. Even if you walked away from the discussion on the same page, you need to get everything in writing so there are no misunderstandings down the road. Some roommates choose to split all expenses evenly down the middle, but you and your roommate may come up with a different agreement—perhaps a 70-30 split, for instance. If you don’t get anything in writing, the person paying more may later claim that he’s being taken advantage of. Creating a separate roommate agreement may seem like an unnecessary step, but it can save you from a lot of heartache and stress. 2. Buy your furniture separately When furnishing the new place, some roommates decide to purchase furniture together so it's not a burden on one person. But in all likelihood the two of you will not live together forever—and even if you don’t realize it today, buying furniture together can create problems once you make the decision to part ways. This can start disagreements
about who gets what items, and if you and your roommate part on bad terms, these disagreements do nothing but add fuel to the fire. To make it easy on yourself, agree that everyone buys their own furniture pieces. Once you’re ready to move out of a shared apartment or house, each person leaves with what they brought into the living arrangement. 3. Don’t be afraid to be a landlord When you and your roommate apply for an apartment together, it’s the landlord’s responsibility to confirm your employment and income. But if it’s your home and you bring in a roommate, it's your job to act as a landlord. This can be awkward and uncomfortable, especially if you don't have landlord experience. You may not feel comfortable asking a stranger or a friend for their financial information. But if you want to avoid potential problems, never choose a roommate based solely on what they say they earn. If you don’t confirm this information, you could end up with a roommate who’s not capable of covering their expenses. You don't have to get too personal, but you should at least call your roommate’s employer to confirm they work for the company, and get a copy of their most recent paycheck stub. Don't feel bad; you're doing what any landlord would do, which is ultimately protecting yourself. 4. Maintain a financial cushion Although getting a roommate can improve your finances and help you save money, you shouldn’t blow all your extra cash. It’s important to maintain a financial cushion – just in case your roommate bounces. If your roommate moves out before the end of the lease, and you move out because you can’t afford the rent by yourself, you're also in breach of contract. This can trigger litigation and credit damage. But if you prepare for the worst-case scenario and build a “just in case” fund, you can possibly save enough to cover the rent until the end of your lease. 5. Keep your finances separate Regardless of whether your roommate is a
See Roommate on Page 14
in the JuLY ed.
14 • The Rainbow Times • TheRainbowTimesMass.com
August 4, 2016 - September 7, 2016
Las elecciones del 2016 y las consecuencias de su voto Por: Gricel M. Ocasio/Publicadora de TRT
uralla erigida en Méjico, a ser pagada por el gobierno mejicano. El repudio de latinos, musulmanes, mujeres, personas de la comunidad LGBTT y otros inmigrantes que no sean caucásicos. Las continuas falsedades. Todas éstas y más son parte de la plataforma que ha hecho a Donald Trump tan elegible frente a los racistas y otros que buscan tal división humana. ¿Se ha dado cuenta? ¿Ha leído la prensa? ¿Le molesta que esto suceda? ¿Piensa hacer algo al respecto? Espero que su contestación a la última pregunta sea; “Sí, definitivamente votaré por la candidata que no representa desunión, racismo, anti-etnia, anti-mujeres, anti-musulmanes, anti-árabes, anti-judíos, anti-LGBTT, y más”. Si esa no es su elección o si decide no votar, entonces está eligiendo a Trump. Sé lo que se siente cuando el candidato de nuestra predilección pierde. Existe un tiempo de desamor, de incredulidad y de tratar de ver lo positivo en el otro candidato
LA ELECCIÓN DE UN DÉSPOTA TRAERÍA SÓLO VERGÜENZA Y CAOS, ODIO Y GUERRAS, DISOLUCIÓN DE DERECHOS HUMANOS DOMESTICA E INTERNACIONALMENTE, UNA DEVASTACIÓN ECONÓMICA Y SOCIAL COMO NINGUNA OTRA. que queda. En mi caso, no quería votar por Obama en el 2008. Estaba disgustada de que Hillary había perdido ante un hombre que era un principiante en la política—un hombre que ella misma había apoyado para su puesto en el Senado de los E.U. ¿“Cómo pudo haberle traicionado”? me encontré pensando indignadamente. Pensé en votar por los republicanos por primera vez en mi vida—un pensamiento que cesó tan rápidamente como entró a mi mente. Me di a la tarea de informarme sobre el Senador de Chicago y candidato a la presidencia en ese momento. Sabía que, como miembro de la comunidad LGBTT, él no creía en el matrimonio igualitario. Eso me mantenía a la deriva. Además, los rumores
de que era un novato me preocupaban grandemente. Sin embargo, no tenía otra selección si quería hablar de política luego, o describir como me sentía sobre el “estado en que se encontraban las cosas”. Había algunos planes del candidato en los que creía, sin embargo. Uno de ellos era La Ley del Pago Justo Lilly Ledbetter firmada como ley por el Presidente Obama en 2009, la cual supuestamente les concede pago igualitario a las mujeres del país, entre otras cosas. Aunque todavía la ley no está en vigencia totalmente, fue algo que me ayudó a entender la importancia de haber votado por el Presidente Obama y no por Lea el resto de esta historia en: http://wp.me/p22M41-4qP
MA Passes Insurance Mandate to Cover HIV-Associated Lipodystrophy The Massachusetts House and Senate approved a bill late last night requiring insurance coverage for the treatment of HIV-related lipodystrophy. An Act Relative to HIV-associated Lipodystrophy Syndrome Treatment, sponsored by Representative Sarah Peake and Senator Mark Montigny,
mandates that private insurers and MassHealth cover treatment for a debilitating and disfiguring side effect of the first wave of life-saving HIV medications.The bill is the first of its kind in the country, and now goes to Governor Charlie Baker for signature.
Lipodystrophy is characterized by painful, abnormal changes in body shape, such as fat growths on the back of the neck that press on the spine; and facial wasting that is seen as a public disclosure of HIV status. Lipodystrophy causes spinal malformation, posture problems, headaches, restricted mobility, depression, anxiety, suicidality, and stigma. Despite the existence of simple and inexpensive treatments, insurers have refused to cover those treatments, improperly labelling them “cosmetic.” “People living with lipodystrophy who Read the rest of this important story at: http://wp.me/p22M41-4qZ
GAY TOP 10
1. Margarita With A Straw 2. Parched 3. The Royal Road 4. Orange is the New Black Season 3 5. Packed in a Trunk: The Lost Art of Edith Lake Wilkinson 6. Portrait of a Serial Monogamist 7. All About E 8. Carol 9. The Girl King 10. Liz in September
LESBIAN TOP 10
TOP 10 BEST SELLER VIDEOS 1. Those People 2. Women He's Undressed 3. Holding the Man 4. Henry Gamble's Birthday Party 5. 4th Man Out 6. Beautiful Something 7. You're Killing Me 8. Saved! 9. Vicious: The Finale 10. Hockney
TransTalk from Page 6 target other groups. While some transgender people may use "tranny" to describe themselves, others find it profoundly offensive. • Defamatory: "bathroom bill" A term created and used by far-right extremists to oppose non-discrimination laws that protect transgender people. The term is geared to incite fear and panic at the thought of encountering transgender people in public restrooms. Simply refer to the non-discrimination law/ordinance instead. To learn more about transgender terminology, visit The National Center for Transgender Equality (NCTE) at http://goo.gl/Mt5b3Q. GLAAD can be reached at www.glaad.org and the University of California San Francisco’s Center for Excellence for Transgender Health can be found at http://goo.gl/qbx2WF.
TRT is Everywhere!
Roommate from Page 13 best friend, never combine finances. This person is not your spouse, so there's no need to combine your bank accounts. Some roommates have one joint bank account exclusively for household bills, and each person deposits their share into this account. To each his own. Just know that this approach can lead to problems, especially if one person isn't as responsible with money. This person may dip into the account to cover personal expenses or fail to deposit his share, which forces the other roommate to pick up the slack. A better, safer approach is each person writing a separate check from their own checking accounts, and then including both checks in an envelope to the landlord or a utility company. Or if you’re paying bills online, one person can give the other cash to cover his share. Your landlord and utility companies don't care how you pay a bill, as long as you pay it. *Mikey Rox is an award-winning journalist and LGBT lifestyle expert whose work has been published in more than 100 outlets across the world. He splits his time between homes in New York City and the Jersey Shore with his dog Jaxon. Connect with Mikey on Twitter (https://goo.gl/O9M7rG).
TheRainbowTimesMass.com • The Rainbow Times • 15
August 4, 2016 - September 7, 2016
Letters from page 2 they’ve created and deny those who would discriminate against others for their own comforts sake. —Chutney Gray, Online [Re: Orlando Tribute - Next 3 Letters] Dear Editor, When we were approached by The Rainbow Times to participate in a Tribute to those lost in the Orlando tragedy, the Hartford Gay & Lesbian Health Collective was happy to be involved. This gesture of support from the New England LGBTQ community is a necessary part of coping with this inexplicable event. We hope it may bring some comfort to the friends and family of those lost at Pulse on June 12. When The Rainbow Times was delivered to our agency, we hung the centerfold in the vestibule of the Health Collective. Many clients have commented on those photos of 49 members of our community lost to senseless violence. Emotions range from sadness to bewilderment to frustration. We must never forget this sad event; instead, we must keep fighting for our community. Let us hope this will never happen again. —Daniel Millett, HGLHC, Hartford, CT Dear Editor, AIDS Project Rhode Island thanks The Rainbow Times for the opportunity to remember those who lost their lives or were injured in the Orlando tragedy, and, at the same time, to contribute to the Equality Florida victims' fund. We in the LGBTQQI community, despite important advances in many states, must never forget that we continue to be the targets of those who hate. We cannot and will not let them win; and we cannot and will not forget the victims of the Orlando shootings.
Declining Parent from page 2 ered it a privilege to participate. —Margaret Holland McDuff, CEO, Family Service of Rhode Island [Re: 7 Hard Truths the LGBT Community Must Address in the Wake of the Orlando Massacre] Dear Editor, The Current issue of The Rainbow Times changed my life. In particular Mikey rox’s articles “7 Hard Truths” and more specifically Number 6, allowing anyone to marginalize you. I had already decided just a couple of days before I read this that I was going to come out to my family as bisexual. But, I was going to keep my mother in my life. Because of number 6, I cut my mother out of my life and she is 91 years old and I see her counting on me for support. But, that article changed me. It made me realize that I had to take care of myself and that if anyone is not adding to my joy, then they can’t be in my life. I wrote a group letter to my whole family, a real letter, not e-mail. I addressed them starting with: “The unspeakable recent tragedy at the gay nightclub in Orlando has motivated me to come out as bisexual. I am grateful for the honesty of those who died because it transformed my own ability to be honest. As I set out on this path of greater authenticyty, I aspire to make the words of multi-dimensionality writer Leslie Brooks my own: ‘There to be worthy of love and recognition.’” That was my letter. And, as a stand-up comic, I read that letter to the crowd. I’m completely humbled by all of the bravery that any LGBT person who ever lived exhibited. I am grateful because I’ve finally allowed it to trickle down to me.
—Stephen Hourahan, Executive Director, AIDS Project Rhode Island
—M. Neverchange, aka Miss Turners Falls (stage name) Northampton, MA, via phone
Dear Editor, On behalf of the board of directors and staff at Family Service of Rhode Island, thank you Rainbow Times for your Orlando tribute. It is to your credit that you created the page not only to remember, but [also] to raise funds to help. We consid-
Send your letters to the editor with your full name, town, and phone number to verify your identity, even if you leave the feedback online. Send all “Letters to The Rainbow Times’ Editor-inChief at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Scandal from page 2 collective intersectionality of any one woman that can relate to all women. It is impossible. Or, is it? What is possible is that regardless of whether you like her or not, the very struggle of being a woman in this patriarchal world bonds us. While we are all separate beings and joined together by various intersectional ties of race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, socioeconomic status, and so on, we are united by the strength and perseverance of womanhood … the XX chromosome so many of us proudly carry. We are joined through collective experience and perils of what it is to be a woman in today’s world and what it means to suffer inequities because of just that. These are the same equities that men
cannot understand from their own experience based on their inherent male privilege that their gender provides them. So the next time you’re driving down the streets of Australia or Social Media Avenue, be on the lookout for a mural of Donald Trump in a thong with dollar bills tucked into it. Just don’t hold your breath until you find it. This November, I am not voting for Hillary Clinton because she has a vagina. However, that fact makes me incredibly proud. *Nicole Lashomb is the Editor-in-Chief of The Rainbow Times. Nicole holds an MBA from Marylhurst University and a BM from SUNY Potsdam, Crane School of Music. For inquiries, e-mail her at: email@example.com.
culture and language in a land that had suffered for centuries under Russian oppression. There are many reading this column who were rejected by their parents or have a strained relationship with them. In the end, most of us come with limitations. In addition, you don’t need your parent’s approval. Be a family with the man or woman with whom you come together to create a union. And try to move on emotionally. For some it’s preferable to have mom and dad in your life. If you’re rejected by them or siblings, you can still live joyfully in your truth without them. If you’re parents have died before you reconciled, however, there’s still hope. It’s not uncommon for me to hear LGBTQ men and women speak of a spiritual presence from a parent and a posthumous reconciliation. I’ve known folks visiting gravesites of deceased parents to find closure. It is a cathartic and sometimes life-
changing experience. Regardless, in the end you answer to the Creator, your conscience, and the partner with whom you come together as a family. Embrace your sense of self. Find love and support in something bigger and larger than you—nature, the cosmos, Allah, Jesus, or the Divine Oak Tree. The Eternal Flame calls you to create—a family, a better life for yourself. Duty calls me to be there for dad as he declines. During this difficult time of transition, I’m attempting to reflect on larger life lessons. Dad, like the misguided who call for scaling back LGBTQ rights, has goodness. The challenge is to find the commonality that makes us connected in a positive way, despite the warts each of us possess. It’s also an opportunity to dig deeper within ourselves to find greater meaning and purpose about life and our place in the world. *Paul is a corporate chaplain, lawyer in the Albany, NY area, and author of “Lost Sense of Self & the Ethics Crisis.”
TRT has the largest LGBTQ social media presence in New England LGBTQIA People from page 8 “I think that there is a really diverse assortment of artists in this group, especially in ways that you wouldn't necessarily [know]—experience, age, background, the particular language they have around their disability. It's just all very different,” she said. “They're not the same kind of diversities you necessarily find in other exhibitions, which is really exciting and great.” And the differences don't stop there. Featured mediums include paintings, drawings, sculptures, a projection, performance art, prints, mixed media, and poetry. “You Think It's ____, But It's Really _____.” is BLAA's 10th exhibition since its inception in 2012. In addition to putting together art shows comprising pieces created by LGBTQIA artists living and/or working in Greater Boston, the alliance holds film screenings, panel discussions, potlucks, and
informal gatherings “We're really looking to elevate and highlight artists who are in our region,” Hurwitz explained. BLAA is entirely volunteer-run and managed by a committee, which Hurwitz oversees. The association meets monthly and welcomes new members. “You Think It's ____, But It's Really _____.” opens Monday, August 1 at the Midway Gallery at Midway Artist Studios (http://goo.gl/izs8yv) at 15 Channel Center Street Boston’s Fort Point Channel and will run until September 2. The opening reception will take place Friday, August 5 between 6 p.m. and 8 p.m. There will be a live performance and panel discussion featuring some of the artists exhibited in the show on Sunday, August 20 between 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. For more information on BLAA, visit http://blaa.us.
16 • The Rainbow Times • TheRainbowTimesMass.com
August 4, 2016 - September 7, 2016
A little bit of everything in this issue that, as always, has exclusive TRT coverage by our professional and award winning publication. In t...
Published on Aug 4, 2016
A little bit of everything in this issue that, as always, has exclusive TRT coverage by our professional and award winning publication. In t...