The Rainbow Times August 2019 Issue

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2 • The Rainbow Times •

August 8, 2019 - September 4, 2019

White supremacy, domestic terror- Straight Pride Parade in Boston ism; Pres. Obama releases statement A Stark Reminder That Queer People Are Still Under Attack By: Nicole Lashomb* TRT Editor-in-Chief


am exhausted of reading, watching and listening to news of representatives of this country express “deepest sympathies” to families, friends and neighbors of another 34 more casualties and dozens more injured in the latest round of mass shootings, as if it were as normal as drinking that first cup of coffee in the morning. As Americans, we should be disgusted, we should be taking to the streets religiously in protest of the atrocities that have been committed and encouraged under this “president.” We have the highest incidence of gun violence in the world and 3 mass shootings in the last week alone— Dayton, Ohio, El Paso, Texas, and in Gilroy, Calif., last Sunday, July 28. Let’s call this for what it is: White Supremacist Domestic Terrorism. That’s what this is and the greatest ring-leader of all has been Trump with his outwardly racist, homophobic, transphobic, anti-immigrant, Islamaphobic, Xenophobic and misogynistic, touts, chants, tweets and signaling to others that this hatred, this vile behavior is not only encouraged, but accepted. The man who has the world’s biggest stage uses it to incite hatred and violence against the most vulnerable among us. Some will read this and claim that you can’t blame Trump. I do blame him. He has emboldened and encouraged this behavior. He caused it and so have the members in Congress who have refused to change gun laws (read Mitch McConnell). There is no nation in the world that has the level of mass shootings that we do. This is not a normal discourse. People act on their own cognition, of course, but if you’ve been watching or reading any credible news

“THE EL PASO SHOOTER’S ANTI-IMMIGRANT 2,300-WORD MANIFESTO CLOSELY “MIRRORED TRUMP’S RHETORIC, AS WELL AS THE LANGUAGE OF THE WHITE NATIONALIST MOVEMENT ...” platform, there are clips after clips, tweet after tweet of Trump inciting “exactly” this behavior. As a matter of fact, the El Paso shooter’s anti-immigrant 2,300-word manifesto closely “mirrored Trump’s rhetoric, as well as the language of the white nationalist movement, including a warning about the Hispanic invasion of Texas,” the Washington Post reported ( And, I am furious. I am furious that this “president” is still sitting in that White House after all he has done to incite violence and hatred. I am ...

See Domestic Terrorism On Page 17

Long-term faith over short-term fear; it’ll be ok “ NO MATTER HOW MANY he last two years of our national politics can be described as unsettling. TIMES A LIE, MISCONCEPIndependent of what is experienced as a community; there are personal challenges unique to each family TION, OR BIBLICAL and individual.


By: Paul P. Jesep* TRT Columnist


I’m always looking for a lesson from a national tragedy or personal crisis. Will I, or the nation, benefit from a new perspective? What good can come from something sad, bad, or unjust? If there’s a lesson, it may take many years for the revelation. History is a great teacher. In the moment it occurs there appears no lesson. The passage of time is required. Sometimes you just leave it to a higher power and believe the Cosmos unfolds as intended, and truth and justice eventually prevails. Consider the ministry of a man one hun describes Presbyterian minister Carl Schlegel

MISINTERPRETATION IS REPEATED, DOESN’T MAKE IT VALID OR ACCURATE.” ( as the first “known homosexual emancipation activist.” Schlegel immigrated to the United States in the late 1800s. He attended seminary ...

See Fear On Page 4

By: Mike Givens* TRT Assistant Editor


t’s a difficult time to be a cisgender, heterosexual, able-bodied white male. Since the election of President Donald Trump and the subsequent stepping down of former President Barack Obama, this particular subset of American culture has felt emboldened to take back “their” country. Hate crimes against a number of groups have gone up, pundits regularly lambaste “political correctness” as an attempt to silence their bigotry, and, in general, so many people think that it’s open season on those who’ve been historically silenced and oppressed. Surf a mainstream news website on any given day and you’re sure to see stories of white people calling the police on black people who are just living their daily lives. The media is saturated with Trump’s racism and intolerance towards Central Americans coming across the southwest

Letters to the Editor

[Re: Salem Mayor Kim Driscoll Receives LGBTQ All-Star Award]

Dear Editor, Congratulations Mayor Driscoll! A well-deserved recognition. You are a role model, par excellence, for any and all po,iticians, public service workers and the public, too. You are compassionate, accesible, and a leader willing to publicly advocate for all people including all manner of “minorities.” Grateful to have known you the years I lived in Salem, keep track of your fine work from afar, and look forward to supporting you at the ballot box. Thanks for your service! —Allyan Rivera, Online [Re: Is Pride A Safe Space?] Dear Editor, I am bisexual, but I do not attend any of the Pride events—I would not feel safe. You have to cope with super militant gays and lesbians who don’t welcome the bisexuals. Then you have to contend with anti-LGBTQ people on the streets just looking for an opportunity to bash us. Finally, you have the officials: the town police, the sheriffs, the State Police, and other “official” groups, many of them still stuck in the old days and are definitely not LGBTQ friendly. It is much safer to stay home especially since I am in my 70s and don’t want to wind up in the hospital or jail if I can avoid it.. —Tom McDonald, Online Please send Letters to the Editor to: NOTE: All letters to the editor must be ac‐ companied by a phone # and an e‐mail ad‐ dress to verify your identity prior to its publication. We reserve the right not to publish a letter for any reason at all.

border. LGBTQ people are extra vigilant about their rights. Women are boldly asserting their right to self-determination and freedom from harassment through the #MeToo movement. We live in a nation where the person who occupies the highest office has successfully been able to turn people against one another and empower the bigotry and hatred of those who feel as though they’ve lost control of this country. And here comes the Straight Pride Parade (SPP), a pathetic attempt by straight, conservative white men who feel so threatened by advancements in LGBTQ rights, that they must throw their own public spectacle to proclaim to the world that their virility still exists. Let’s be clear: The August 31 “parade” is nothing more than a desperate attempt by these men to cause division and re-assert their dominance at the top of the social pyramid.

See Straight Pride On Page 16

Multiple Award Winning

The Rainbow Times The Largest LGBTQ Newspaper in New England—Boston Based 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 Steve Jewett Christine M. Hurley Photographer Jenna Joyce

Reporters Mike Givens Jenna Spinelle Chris Gilmore Audrey Cole Ad & Layout Design Prizm PR Webmaster Jarred Johnson Columnists/Guest Lorelei Erisis Deja N. Greenlaw Paul P. Jesep Mike Givens Keegan O’Brien Affiliations QSyndicate

The Rainbow Times is published monthly by The Rainbow Times, LLC. TRT is affiliated with the, National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce, NGLCC, and QSyndicate. The articles written by the writers, columnists, and correspondents solely express their opinion, and do not represent the endorsement or opinion of The Rainbow Times, LLC or its owners. Send letters to the editor with your name, address and phone number to: The Rainbow Times (address shown above), or e-mail any comment/s to the editor-in-chief at: All submissions will be edited according to space constraints. The Rainbow Times, LLC reserves the right not to print any or all content or advertisements for any reason at all. TRT is not responsible for advertising content. To receive The Rainbow Times at your home via regular mail, or through electronic delivery, please visit its website. The whole content and graphics (photos, etc.) are the sole property of The Rainbow Times, LLC and they cannot be reproduced at all without TRT’s written consent. • The Rainbow Times • 3

August 8, 2019 - September 4, 2019

Donations to Anti-LGBTQ pols call into question corporations’ motives Commitment to equality seems minor as anti-LGBTQ political candidates are supported by the same corps. By: Mike Givens TRT Assistant Editor


The summer of 2019 marks 50 years since the revolutionary Stonewall riots in Greenwich Village, a New York City enclave that saw dozens of LGBTQ people—infuriated by decades of mistreatment by the police, politicians, and popular culture—violently revolting against the mainstream and the violence that colored their daily lives. Since then, every summer, from June to September, Pride organizations across the nation have regularly held celebrations lauding the bravery and rebelliousness of those pioneers in New York in 1969. The celebrations are expensive with thousands of dollars going into entertainment, food, security, and other logistical costs. Burlington, Vermont will throw its Pride celebration in early September, and according to Justin Marsh, financial support from local businesses help fund the festivities. “Although the lack of large corporate funds creates a tighter budget for our Pride celebration, it’s nice to know that the money we do receive is from organizations with local ties that support us by also showing up for us, volunteering,

Vermont Pride Festival at Battery Park in Burlington

[and] attending our events,” said Marsh, who uses “they” and “them” pronouns and serves as the communications and development director for the Pride Center of Vermont ( “While we may not be able to book huge pop stars for our Pride, we are able to support our local talents while keeping ‘dirty money’ out of our


Pride.” Dirty Money? The Human Rights Campaign (HRC;, a national LGBTQ advocacy organization, regularly publishes a Corporate Equality Index (CEI;, that is the, “national

benchmarking tool on corporate policies and practices pertinent to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer employees.” Ranked on a scale from zero to 100, the index provides major corporations with a grade that corresponds to HRC’s estimation

See Corporations On Page 21

4 • The Rainbow Times •

August 8, 2019 - September 4, 2019

Homophobic attack on Davin Clemons by Tenn. radio talk show host Clemons would be first LGBTQ Memphis Councilmember; Thaddeus Matthews promotes bigotry to listeners on and on


WASHINGTON—Last week, the LGBTQ Victory Fund condemned Memphis-based radio talk show host Thaddeus Matthews for homophobic comments and false accusations ( at 2:17 mins.) targeting Memphis City Council candidate Davin Clemons. Clemons would become the first openly LGBTQ person elected to the city council if he wins his race in October. On his radio show last week, Matthews stated he is only interested in the Memphis mayoral race and the district six council race–and it becomes clear his interest in district six is because Clemons is an openly gay candidate. Matthews says, “I’m not going to hold him being a homosexual against him,” but Matthews repeatedly stated he supports Clemons’ opponent because he is a “family man” and that his “wife is a woman.” He also promises to “look for the dirt” on Clemons. Matthews notes Clemons is a police officer, goes on to talk about his “sexual preferences” and says: “they do all that in the bedroom … unless you got a record as a police officer of fraternizing with other men while on the job.” There have been no such accusations against Clemons and

Fear From Page 2 here and was ordained in America as a Protestant minister. dred years ago. describes Presbyterian minister Carl Schlegel ( as the first “known homosexual emancipation activist.”

warning: hate speech and profanity): • Holds up a copy of Clemon’s marriage license while repeatedly calling him "the wife;” • Gets in a heated exchange with a caller: "I don’t want nothing in your a$$, d!ck down your throat fa&&ot" and calls Clemons his “fa&&ot friend;” • Tells listeners that as a police officer, Clemons “probably asked people to suck his d!ck and he'd let them go.” A transcript with hyperlinked timestamps can be found here (

Unabashed Discrimination Mayor Annise Parker, President & CEO

of LGBTQ Victory Fund, condemned Matthews’ comments in a statement: “Thaddeus Matthews’s bigoted attack on Davin is both cringe-worthy and insidious—an unsubtle and failed attempt at doublespeak that insults the intelligence of his listeners and the people of Memphis. But the most repulsive moment in his diatribe is when he attacks Davin—a police officer who risks his life for his community—with a vague and false accusation for which he offers zero evidence. He is attempting to exploit the tired and homophobic stereotype of gay men as sexual predators, but we have learned these attacks are increasingly rejected by voters in Tennessee and across the country. Matthews is a charlatan going after ratings through provocation. It will not stop this historic LGBTQ candidate who spends his days going door to door to speak with voters about how to uplift and unite Memphis, not divide.” Clemons currently serves on the Memphis Police Department as its LGBTQ liaison. The clip from Matthews’ show can be seen online here ( The homophobic assault on Clemons was greatly amplified last week on Wednesday and Thursday night when Matthews devoted two two-hour podcasts to lambasting Davin's sexual orientation. Some of the most egregious moments include (content

Schlegel immigrated to the United States in the late 1800s. He attended seminary here and was ordained in America as a Protestant minister. By the way, if you’re not familiar with, founded by Jonathan Ned Katz (, you’re missing out on an invaluable resource. It’s especially useful for those interested in or who write about LGBTQ history. In 1905, according to Katz, a New York church fired Rev. Schlegel “probably for promoting … homosexual emancipation ideas and literature.” Katz also reported two years later the Minutes of the Presbytery of New Orleans found Rev. Schlegel violated church teachings. Minutes from 1907, record that the church’s governing body determined Rev. Schlegel engaged in "the lawfulness and naturalness of the condition, and in some cases of the actual practice of homo-sexualism, Sodomy, or Uranism." Rev. Schlegel wanted the same laws applied equally and fairly to every citizen regardless of sexual orientation. He’s quoted as having said to church leaders during the trial, “Let the same laws

for all the intermediate stages of sexual life: the homosexuals, heterosexuals, bisexuals, asexuals, be legal as they are now in existence for the heterosexuals …” Unfortunately, large gaps still exist about this early Christian-gay pioneer. How did Rev. Schlegel come to his conclusions within the context of scripture? Today, there are many LGBTQ theologians providing scriptural analysis justifying civil and human rights. Rev. Schlegel may have envisioned the inevitable revelation of Christianity. Declaring something to be God’s truth, as Evangelicals often do, doesn’t make it truth. No matter how many times a lie, misconception, or biblical misinterpretation is repeated, doesn’t make it valid or accurate. It’s one of the lessons from Rev. Schlegel’s life. Ultimately, truth and justice does prevail, though it may take time. Although forgotten until Katz’s scholarship, Rev. Schlegel planted seeds. The Protestant minister made a difference. Over a century later we now have the benefit of his wisdom, courage, and determination. Think back twenty-five years. Go back

further back to the time of Rev. Schlegel. Compare it with today. Will there be delays or some setbacks for civil and human rights? Probably. Overall, progress. In one era, it may be three steps forward and one or two backward. The sun will always rise. Long-term progress will be made. You can think about your own life the same way. Reflect on some crisis and how you pushed on. At times it’s important to stay focused on the “big picture” and longterm, while not always living in the moment. The anxiety many are experiencing due to the national social and political climate will pass. Hope, kindness, patience, persistence, and living your truth are some of the cornerstones of the new day whether as a community or individual. Gratefulness and belief in a better tomorrow is a form of prayer.

Memphis, Tenn. Radio Talk show host Thaddeus Matthews makes a living out of defaming and harassing others from marginalized groups PHOTO: THADDEUS MATTHEWS/IG

Matthews makes no attempt to clarify or provide evidence for his claim. He says simply, “we’ll save all that for a later date.”

Arrests? Defamation lawsuits? According to WMC5 Actions News (, this same “controversial” host was arrested in 2016 for harassment and for posting nude, uncensored photos of a male victim. And in 2014, the New Life Holiness Church pastor Frederick Smith filed a defamation lawsuit against Matthews ( The lawsuit claims that Matthews said that Smith "had sex with his adult nephew," "is HIV positive," and that he maintains a "female concubine in a home in East Memphis." About LGBTQ Victory Fund The LGBTQ Victory Fund, the only national organization dedicated to electing LGBTQ leaders to public office.

*Paul is a personal chaplain, seminary trained priest, and lawyer in greater Albany, NY. He’s also author of “Lost Sense of Self & the Ethics Crisis (” He can be reached at

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August 8, 2019 - September 4, 2019 • The Rainbow Times • 5

6 • The Rainbow Times •

August 8, 2019 - September 4, 2019

Rebuttal: GLAAD Report on LGBTQ discrimination rising among youth Accelerating Acceptance Report draws surprising findings from survey BOSTON—Although more young people are outwardly identifying as LGBTQ than ever before, there is allegedly a greater lack of queer acceptance by peers, according to the executive summary of GLAAD’s Accelerating Acceptance report. “The younger generation has traditionally been thought of as a beacon of progressive values,” wrote Sarah Kate Ellis, President & CEO, GLAAD, in the executive summary report. “We have taken that idea for granted and this year’s results show that the sharp and quick rise in divisive rhetoric in politics and culture is having a negative influence on younger Americans.” The report, conducted by Harris Polls, noted that there has been a decline in overall comfort and acceptance of LGBTQ people from respondents, ages 18-34, with allies steadily declining among this audience since 2016. Corey Prachniak-Rincón, Director, MA Commission on LGBTQ Youth weighed in. “Addressing bullying of LGBTQ youth is one of the main charges of the Commission under our legislative mandate … we still see much higher rates of bullying of LGBTQ youth than of their peers,” they said. “These numbers seem to trend down over time, but there is still a ways to go— the most recent numbers show that

LGBTQ youth were 70% more likely to be bullied than their non-LGBTQ classmates.” But, it doesn’t stop at bullying, Prachniak-Rincón added. “… When we look at a lot of other safety and wellbeing indicators—things like being threatened or injured with a weapon, skipping school out of concerns about safety, and facing unwanted sexual contact—LGBTQ youth were at higher risk for all these forms of bullying and abuse,” they explained. Federal Anti-LGBTQ hostility Boston’s Fenway Institute has researched and documented ( the impact that government related antiLGBTQ actions have had on the community, which, according to the organization, has caused a surge in homophobic and transphobic behavior. “I think that a lot of the recent uptick probably has to do with the anti-LGBT hostility that we’ve witnessed at the state and federal level,” said Tim Wang, Senior Policy Analyst at The Fenway Institute. “We’ve authored two reports ( on the anti-LGBT actions of the Trump Administration over the first two years of his term, which includes rollback of LGBT nondiscrimina-

tion protections, promotion of religious refusal policies, the transgender military ban, and the list goes on.” No healthcare for LGBTQs? A new health care regulation proposed by the Trump Administration in June 2019 can reverse the 2016 final rule implementing the nondiscrimination provision of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). That measure,

according to a recent story in The Rainbow Times (TRT; is “known as the 2016 Section 1557 rule that explicitly prohibits gender identity discrimination, including discrimination against intersex and non-binary people, in health care facilities and programs receiving federal funding.” “Initial news reports about the proposed rule characterized it as anti-transgender,” said Fenway Institute Health Policy Fellow Katherine Laurila, author of the brief. “At the state level, we recently had the referendum campaign for the gender identity nondiscrimination law, which was very difficult for the transgender community in Mass,” said Wang. “I think that with all these anti-LGBT actions at the federal and state level, it can embolden people to be more outspoken with their anti-LGBT views.” The executive summary of the Accelerating Acceptance report also noted that the lack of LGBTQ acceptance among younger people is seen in both male and female respondents, particularly in personal scenarios. Survey results? However, Prachniak-Rincón calls out the

See GLAAD Report on Page 10 • The Rainbow Times • 7


August 8, 2019 - September 4, 2019

Ryan Cassata

Cassata’s national tour debuts “Bamboo Plants”; amps up queer romance By: Chris Gilmore TRT Reporter

After the success of his 2018 release music video “Daughter” which has gained 300,000 streams on Spotify and an astonishing 500,000 views on YouTube, LGBTQ indie artist Ryan Cassata is at it again. Cassata’s songs have a collective meaning, focusing on the empowerment of others. The star offers hope to the community again, creating what he calls a “new queer song and music video for people who could use seeing positive representation of queer love.” “Bamboo Plants” is born out of that need to represent and amplify queer romance and love. The piece debuts on August 23 on all streaming platforms. The video chronicles the meeting of a couple that moves in quickly together after having a love-at-first-sight experience. The song serves as a teaser to Cassata’s upcoming LP that will release in 2020. Cassata co-wrote “Bamboo Plants” with his girlfriend, a couple weeks into knowing her. “My life completely transformed as I fell in love rather quickly,” he shared of the lyrics the duo wrote. “The song is about that immense love, and feeling at home and accepted by each other.” Cassata, also a book writer, producer and actor, said “Bamboo Plants” was recorded with a live band and came to life naturally. “We recorded this to tape with a full band,” he proudly said to The Rainbow Times (TRT). “It was so awesome to work with the tape machine in a studio that only runs on analog. I really wanted to dive into a more classic rock / lo-fi sound and I feel like we were really able to accomplish that here while capturing all the emotion behind every note. I love this recording because it's exactly the way we sound. There’s no auto

tune, there’s no note fixes or punch in’s. [This is] how we sound at a live show.” TRT sat with Cassata to find out more about what’s been happening, his upcoming national tour (August 25th-Sept. 28th), his new love, where he’s going with “Bamboo Plants” and his latest career moves. TRT: How long have you been writing music for now? For how many years? Ryan Cassata: I have been writing music since I was 12 years old. I'm 25 now … so over half of my life. Q: Do you write all of the music that you sing or have you also sung cover music? A: I've done some covers and try to throw 1 cover in at each show, if time permits. I like to make cover songs my own by either changing the genre or the intended mood to make it more personal to me. Q: Why the name “Bamboo Plants”? Is there a specific meaning about that. A: All the lyrics in the song are true. I hadn't gone back to my apartment in a while so I was thinking that the bamboo plants on my porch had probably dried up. They were turning brown by the time I brought them to my girlfriend’s but she brought them back to life and they are green and growing tall now. Q. Congrats on your girlfriend! Will she be listed as a co-lyricist for the song too? A: She's a co-writer! We've been writing tons of music together and I am really excited to bring it into the world because I believe that it’s a celebration of queer love. Q: What message were you trying to send to the LGBTQ community through

See Ryan Cassata On Page 11

8 • The Rainbow Times •

August 8, 2019 - September 4, 2019

Driving California’s Iconic Highway 1: San Francisco to Los Angeles By: Andrew Collins* TRT Travel Writer



t's just a 90-minute flight between two of the world's legendary LGBTQ destinations, San Francisco to Los Angeles. Or you can make the drive in just six hours via bland but efficient I-5. If you're not in a hurry, however, and you're keen on experiencing some of the most eye-popping scenery on the West Coast, take coastal Highway 1 instead. Without stops, the nearly 500-mile drive takes a little over 10 hours. But that begs a reasonable question: why on earth would you bother taking this circuitous but breathtakingly scenic route without stopping—and stopping often for that matter. The best approach is to give yourself at least a couple of days, and as long as a week, to journey along this fabled stretch of California's Central Coast. You won't run out of intriguing things to see and do, especially if you're a fan of wine-tasting. Here are some key highlights along this route, organized north to south, including a handful of both fancy and economic overnight accommodations. San Francisco to Santa Cruz As you drive south from San Francisco, follow Highway 1 about 30 miles south to picturesque Half Moon Bay (, a lovely stopover with some memorable seafood eateries overlooking

The Pritzlaff Conservation Center at Santa Barbara Botanic Garden sits high on a bluff in the Santa Ynez Foothills, offering sweeing views of the city and ocean.

the ocean—Sam's Chowder House and

Barbara's Fishtrap are among the standouts. You'll encounter virtually no traffic and few signs of civilization over the next 60 miles, as Highway 1 closely hugs the shoreline. The hippie-surfer vibe is palpable in the seaside collegiate city of Santa Cruz ( Its retro charms are many, including the endearingly creaky municipal wharf and the old-school amusements of the adjacent Santa Cruz Boardwalk, whose 342-pipe organ and massive wooden Giant Dipper roller coaster have been entertaining visitors for generations. Also check out the interactive Santa Cruz Museum of Art & History, which presents thoughtful rotating exhibits and adjoins Abbott Square Market. Here you can grab a cold brew from Cat & Cloud Coffee, Neapolitan-style pies from Pizzeria La Bufala, and other treats from this hip food hall. For a memorable dinner, book a table at Shadowbrook, a romantic old-world restaurant in the adjacent community of Capitola. You enter by riding a tiny cable car down a lushly landscaped hillside to this restaurant overlooking pretty Soquel Creek. Appealing overnight options include Chaminade Resort & Spa (, an idyllically situated Mission-style property set amid eucalyptus-dotted grounds high on a hilltop on the north side of the city. Or if you'd rather be in the heart downtown, book one of the urbane rooms at the stylishly mid-century modern Hotel Paradox ( Monterey, Carmel, and Big Sur Long famous for the golf courses at Peb-

ble Beach and the bustling—albeit touristy—attractions of Cannery Row, Monterey County ( is also home to the intimate and low-key town of Carmel-By-The-Sea, a wonderland of English-style fairytale-esque cottages, many containing art galleries, boutiques, and wine tasting rooms. Among the many outstanding restaurants in Carmel, Porta Bella serves deftly executed modern California fare, and Flying Fish is known for stunning Pacific Rim seafood and a superb local wine list. Make a point of visiting the historic Carmel Mission Basilica Museum and walking along aptly named Scenic Road as the sun falls over the ocean. It’s a short drive west to Carmel Valley, where a slew of prestigious wineries await. Carmel Valley is also home to some of the most sumptuous accommodations in the region, Bernardus Lodge & Spa (, a serene retreat of chic yet unfussy guest suites and spectacular villas with vaulted ceilings, private terraces with fire pits, and commanding views of the Santa Lucia Mountains. In the village of Carmel-By-The-Sea, the old-world Pine Inn ( occupies a rambling old-world late-Victorian building on the town's lovely main drag, just a short walk from the beach. Hearst Castle to San Luis Obispo One of the world’s most breathtakingly beautiful coastal drives, the 85-mile Big Sur ( stretch of Highway 1 begins just south of Carmel and ends in San Luis Obispo County, by legendary

See California Hwy. 1 on Page 19

August 8, 2019 - September 4, 2019 • The Rainbow Times • 9

10 • The Rainbow Times •

August 8, 2019 - September 4, 2019

GLAAD Report From Page 6 restraints that this singular survey places on the outcome and warns that this particular result is already contradicted in other documented data. “I would always caution folks about reading too much into one survey,” they said. “Just look at political polling over the past few years—it has really not proven to be too reliable, and folks aged 18-34 are exactly the right age group to not have a land line and not be answering unknown numbers on their cell phones. If we start to see lots of studies coming out that show that adults aged 18-34 are turning against acceptance of the LGBTQ community, I’ll believe it, but for the moment I don’t think LGBTQ people and advocates should panic. It goes against a lot of data and common sense to think that young adults are suddenly reversing course on feeling comfortable with LGBTQ people.” Prachniak-Rincón explained how this report doesn’t capture the socialization of young people within and outside of the LGBTQ community nor does it build on what is already known about the acceptance of LGBTQ people between generations. “For one thing, the younger of an age bracket that you look at, the higher the proportion of LGBTQ-identified people that are in that bracket,” they said. “Statistically speaking, folks 18-34 are way more likely to have LGBTQ friends than are, say, folks 65-plus. And we know that having LGBTQ friends and family members is one of the main ways that people open their hearts and change their minds. So it just kind of strains credulity to think that, all of a sudden, the most LGBTQ-populated generations in our history are growing more close-minded. And there is a ton of data to back this up, including survey after survey over the years showing increasing acceptance.” However, Prachniak-Rincón also said there is danger of becoming complacent and cautions against making assumptions. “None of this means that we can take those gains for granted,” they said. “We certainly can’t be complacent. Nor should we ‘write off’ older generations and assume people in those brackets won’t be accepting. We should actively work to make people of all ages and experiences more accepting because if we stop working on it, we could well see that tide reverse someday.” Steve Harrington, Executive Director of the North Shore Alliance for LGBTQ Youth (nAGLY ) attributes the results of the report to the current political climate and the vulnerability to be persecuted in a two-fold fashion. “Because more people are coming out (in whatever way that means), they are more susceptible to bullying, degradation, and ostracization,” Harrington said. “Prior generations remained in the closet more frequently, so it was easy for people to say they were accepting of non-traditional gender identity and sexual orientation. Today, with more people comfortable being their true selves, the opportunity for harassment is more prevalent, and those individuals


Queer Puzzle: The question really is, was LBJ Gay?


HIGHER THE PROPORTION OF LGBTQ-IDENTIFIED PEOPLE THAT ARE IN THAT BRACKET.” —COREY PRACHNIAK-RINCÓN, DIRECTOR, MA COMMISSION ON LGBTQ YOUTH who self-identified as accepting now are confronted by those non-traditional identities and find they are not as accepting as they might have stated. The obvious second factor is the social/political climate created today which accepts—even celebrates— homophobia, racism, sexism, ageism, and all the other non-white, non-cisgender ‘isms.’ Somehow—in this seemingly parallel universe we are inhabiting—hatred, deceit, lying, and cruelty are virtues rather than vices.” Other possibilities Like Prachniak-Rincón, Wang also questioned the totality of GLAAD’s executive summary and proposes other possibilities that could have lead to the conclusion relating to decreased LGBTQ acceptance among young people. “I think that the other age groups may have had increases in discomfort as well, and that the older age groups may actually have more ‘resisters’ overall,” he said. “I would definitely like to see the full report, but based on other research that shows older people are less likely to identify as LGBT and more likely to hold negative attitudes about being LGBT, I would guess that older age groups are more likely to be classified as the ‘resisters’ compared to this youngest age group. I would guess that the youngest age group had the greatest proportion of ‘allies’ of all age groups so they were the prime age group to examine for drops from ‘allies’ to ‘detached supporters,’ and that’s why this age group was the group that was focused on in the executive summary.” To combat lack of acceptance overall, Wang said that representation, advocacy, education, and unification are critical components to making strides. “I think that a lot of people with negative attitudes towards LGBT people many times have never actually met someone who is openly LGBT,” he said. “I think it’s important for us as a community to lift up each other’s voices and tell our stories and show how this community is vibrant and resilient. One way to combat stereotypes is to strive for more authentic queer represen*Read the rest of this story at:

Across 1 Lanford Wilson's ___ in Gilead 5 Sports figure? 9 Pirate drink 13 Sailing the South Pacific 14 Skilled worker, briefly 15 Green fruit 16 Story teller 17 Aida solo 18 Trouble spots 19 With 31- and 54-Across, how you know LBJ wasn't gay, per Louis Bayard and Danny Salles 22 Swamps, or what tops want? 23 Protector of k.d. lang et al. 26 Cups and such 30 Cowardly lion actor 31 More of how you know 35 Ready for service 36 "___ first you don't suck seed..." 37 Nixon chief of staff 38 Ejaculation of concern 39 Garr of Tootsie 40 Jackie's designer 41 Mama's boys 42 The I in IHOP (abbr.) 44 Borscht veggie 46 B'way hit sign 48 What's cut is in his hand 51 What a man may shoot 54 End of how you know 57 It comes out of your head 58 Horny sound 59 Slightly 60 Diana Rigg's Mrs. 61 Language of Wilde's land

62 Portion (out) 63 Needing BenGay 64 Kind of pressure 65 Lake of Ohio ferries Down 1 Bouncer for Mauresmo 2 Tibet setting 3 Big part 4 Peter Pan portrayer 5 Part of a flight 6 Nero's land 7 Etching fluids 8 Warms to persistent comeons 9 Museum of Philip Johnson 10 Poet Adrienne 11 Old Dodge 12 Bee ___ (disco pioneers) 20 Blow 21 Old nuclear power org. 23 Hit the ground 24 Kind of sex 25 Ben Hur competitor 27 Like three men in a tub 28 Brightly-colored 29 Sounds of "Baby, that was good!" 31 From A to B, to Boulanger 32 Proverb ending 33 Shakespeare's "Phooey!" 34 Whirlybird 43 Cycle beginning 45 Work unit 46 Cut sounds by a barber 47 Brokeback Mountain setting 49 Be nuts over 50 Alice Walker output

52 Valuable strings 53 "Fiddle-___!" (Scarlett saying) 55 In the pink 56 Dick, for one

Have a

Happy & Safe SuMMeR 2019!

SOLUTION • The Rainbow Times • 11


August 8, 2019 - September 4, 2019

Ryan Cassata From Page 7 this song? A: The song is definitely about going with the flow and not letting anything hold you back from falling in love. It’s about following your own path and being happily in love. I want queer people to know that true love is out there. Q: Who made all of this video possible? A: Addy (Instagram: royal_chief ) directed the video! Iy Cardona and Nikki Flores star in it. Q: You're going on national tour. How long, how many cities, how many venues, and what will your set list look like? A: It looks like we have 17 shows booked right now and we are possibly adding more dates. I am going to be doing some of the shows with a violin player and drummer, which will be new for me. I'm excited!! I will be doing some shows acoustic too. My set lists will most likely include songs from all of my albums and I will definitely be playing “Bamboo Plants” and “Daughter” at every show. Q: Tell us more about “Daughter” and its success as of now? A: I am very excited about the success of “Daughter” especially because I didn’t see it coming at all. The music video is about to hit 500,000 views. It’s a record for me. I’m super thrilled about it and want to thank my community for sharing it. Q: You are one of a very select group of trans people who've made it big (Larry King, Tyra Bank’s show, the New York

Times, BillBoard Magazine, documentaries, TV, and soon film too, etc.) in mainstream media, and dozens of interviews with many publications, including this one. What do you attribute all of this success to (the tours, the growing number of viewers of “Daughter”, your influencer status, etc.)? A: Hard Work. I've been working every single day of my life since I was 13 years old. I'm grateful that I am very motivated and driven. I have continuously worked hard and this is proof of that. Q: Tell me 3 words that describe you and three that describe your girlfriend. A: Artistic. Brave. Empathetic. My girlfriend: Independent. Intelligent. Beautiful. Q: What else are you doing these days that you'd like to share with your fans? A: I have some really amazing projects coming up, some in the film and TV world. I'll share more about that as soon as I can. I also dove back into my memoir to do a new edit and am looking for a publisher. I've been writing a lot. I've been writing so many songs that it’s impossible to record them all [at once], and it’s a bit overwhelming, but that’s a great problem to have for me. I’ve also been writing some poetry. I am heading out on tour on August 25th through September 28th. I'm very excited to connect with people on the road! Q: Will you be going to other states during your tour? If so, which? A: These are my tour stops! More info on details and tickets can be found at:

See Ryan Cassata On Page 13

12 • The Rainbow Times •

August 8, 2019 - September 4, 2019

Transgender Projects from California The Television Academy Foundation presented The Power of TV: Trans Visibility in Storytelling on August 1, 2019, at the Television Academy’s Saban Media Center in North Hollywood, CA. The compelling panel discussion focused on the representation of trans individuals, on screen and behind the scenes in television, as well as pathways to increased visibility and authentic portrayals. Panelists included actors Alexandra Billings ( Transparent), Alex Blue Davis ( Grey’s Anatomy) and Brian Michael Smith ( Queen Sugar), Pose’s Executive Producer Steven Canals, Lilly Wachowski, and moderator Nick Adams, Director, Transgender Representation, GLAAD. In 2017, the Television Academy Foundation introduced a captivating new series of public programs titled The Power of TV to examine television’s ability to shape culture and create positive social change.

Moderator Nick Adams, Director of Transgender Representation for GLAAD, from left, and panelists Lilly Wachowskis, Steven Canals, Alex Blue Davis, Alexandra Billings, and Brian Michael Smith take part in The Power of TV: Trans Visibility in Storytelling, a Television Academy Foundation public event focused on representation of trans individuals in television and the pathways to increased visibility, at the Television Academy's Saban Media Center on Thursday, Aug. 1, 2019 in North Hollywood, Calif. (Photo by Phil Mccarten/Invision for Academy of Television Arts & Sciences/AP Images)

Alex Blue Davis, from left, Lilly Wachowskis, Steven Canals, Brian Michael Smith, David Ambroz, Madeline Di Nonno, Alexandra Billings, and Nick Adams take part in The Power of TV: Trans Visibility in Storytelling, a Television Academy Foundation public event focused on representation of trans individuals in television and the pathways to increased visibility, at the Television Academy's Saban Media Center on Thursday, Aug. 1, 2019 in North Hollywood, Calif. (Photo by Phil Mccarten/Invision for Academy of Television Arts & Sciences/AP Images) • The Rainbow Times • 13

August 8, 2019 - September 4, 2019

Ryan Cassata From Page 11 Q: Can people request you to go to a certain place during your tour and if so, how do you decide to go to that specific place? A: I try to go to as many cities as possible and I try to go to the places that are highly demanded by fans. I take polls every so often on my Instagram [account] to find out where my music is wanted the most and compare it to other cities. I do my best to put those cities into tour stops. Of course, traveling and touring is super expensive, so I can't go everywhere yet, but I am doing the best I can to go to as many as possible. One thing I can say, the tours are getting bigger over the years. If you're waiting for me to show up and perform somewhere ... I'm sure I will, someday soon! Q. Who are your sponsors? A: Thank you! My tour is fully sponsored by TomboyX, The Rainbow Times and Trans Headlines. I also partnered with Marvin Guitars, Grover Allman Picks, Canopy Beyond the Brim, Dead Sled Coffee, RTP Music Blog, & Genderbands for this tour! Q: Where do you see yourself in the next couple of years professionally? Personally? A: I feel like I'm on an upward climb right now, so maybe I'll be getting close to the mountaintop soon? Who knows ... I'm just going to keep doing what I'm doing because it makes me happy and I've heard that it helps others too.

Q: Why did you want to highlight queer love with "Bamboo Plants"? A: The songs that I've been writing this year have all just been flowing out of me. I am writing love songs because I fell in love. I think love is worth celebrating. There's so much negativity in this world right now and sometimes we really just all need to see something more uplifting. Q: Do you think it's harder for queer people to find love? A: I think society makes it harder because many people can’t come out and it’s assumed that everyone is straight and cis[gender] until they say they are not. I think it’s an obstacle for sure. I personally believe that there’s someone out there for everyone. Q: How can people support your career? A: Bring friends to shows, tell friends about my music, share my YouTube videos, sponsor tours, buy music, stream music, etc. ... There are many ways. Word of mouth has been the most important and the one that’s given me the most results—people telling their friends and those people telling their other friends, etc. Also live music isn’t dead. Come out to shows! Experience live music. It is really good for your mental health (smiles). To purchase tour tickets to Cassata’s concerts visit To buy merchandise, check out To sponsor the tour, write to FMI on the tour at FB:

Boston Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence take on the “Straight Pride Parade.” Have events planned to keep the community nurtured while STILL giving back to orgs. Thank you!

14 • The Rainbow Times • August 8, 2019 - September 4, 2019


August 8, 2019 - September 4, 2019

The many sources of stress suffered by trans people By: Deja Nicole Greenlaw*/TRT Columnist



t's not easy being a transgender person. There are various processes that are important to follow, frankly. First, the trans person needs to realize and accept that they are a transgender. This may take a while because of fear from rejection and disapproval from family, friends, co-workers, neighbors, etc. As a result, some may stay in the closet forever, some need a little more time, and some can't wait any longer. Those who stay in the closet forever may be too afraid to make their move. This is sad. However, remember that there are too many people who are going through this. My heart goes out to those of you in that specific predicament. Before a person makes a move towards transitioning, they should seek a therapist’s assistance. I believe that there are many fine therapists out there today who understand the issues most trans people face. Back in the early and mid 2000s, it was very hard finding trans competent therapists. The first therapist I went to wanted me to join a sex addicts group to overcome my “desire” to be female. He had no idea what being a trans person means. I stopped seeing him. After working with a therapist who understands and treats transgender people and how they need to come out, the next step is to tell family, friends, co-workers, neighbors, etc. Sometimes, this doesn't go very well. Many times there are people who will not accept your transitioning. They may refuse to use your new name and they may continue to use the incorrect pronouns when referring to you. They may write you off as crazy, foolish, or narcissistic as they

try to erase your existence. These people may cause you great stress and, often times, they may not seem to care at all about it. Some trans people seek out trans support groups for help. This is a great idea and resource because you can meet others trans people there and you can get information, and support from these groups. Sometimes, though, some of the support group members may try to erase your existence too. I

IMAGINE BEING MISGENDERED SEVERAL TIMES A DAY, EVERY DAY. IT FEELS LIKE BULLETS RAVAGING YOUR SPIRIT. ... THE MAINSTREAM WORLD CAUSES MOST OF THE STRESS WE ENCOUNTER. remember attending trans support groups in the early 2000s and running into folks who plainly told me that I was not a woman because I rejected bottom surgery. This was fairly prevalent in the 2000s but nowadays this has greatly lessened. However, I still see evidence on the internet that this is still happening today. These naysayers also cause you great stress. Your place of employment may cause you stress as some folks will not recognize you in your authentic living. When I transitioned at work at first there were a handful of people who did not support me. As time went on, nonetheless, they accepted me. They may not have supported me, but they accepted me. Nowadays, many places of employment will accept your authentic self, although not all of them will. There is still work to be done in this area. Many folks try to “blend” with the main-

Campaign hails groundbreaking NC order protecting LGBTQ Youth from conversion therapy RALEIGH—Last week, North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper issued an executive order to protect vulnerable young people from conversion therapy, which seeks to change a young person’s sexual orientation or gender identity. The order directs the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services to prohibit payment for conversion therapy for minors by any health care provider receiving state or federal funds. “What leaders do matters,” said Mathew Shurka, Born Perfect Co-founder and conversion therapy survivor. “Governor Cooper’s executive order sends a clear message that he and his administration will protect LGBTQ youth and ensure that no taxpayer money is spent on this life-threatening practice, which has been condemned by every leading professional medical and

stream cisgender community. The ones who look like their new gender may “pass,” but many trans people cannot. The ones who don't blend in may very well be misgendered. Imagine being misgendered several times a day, every day. It feels like bullets ravaging your spirit. Once again, this causes great stress. Many trans people attempt dating outside of the trans community and have a very hard time finding someone who will want

mental health organization. Now more than ever, LGBTQ children need to hear that they are born perfect.” “Thanks to Governor Cooper’s leadership, North Carolina is now the first state in the South to take statewide action to protect youth from conversion therapy,” said Shannon Minter, legal director of the National Center for Lesbian Rights. Kendra R. Johnson, Executive Director of Equality North Carolina said: “This year our campaign ignited a conversation among North Carolinians about the importance of protecting our kids from ‘conversion therapy.’ It’s gratifying to see Governor Cooper take this critical step in the right direction. No child should be told that they must change their sexual orientation or gender identity; we’re grateful ...

See Conversion Therapy On Page 23

to be with them. I know of many, many trans women who want to date cis women but, at this point in time, most of the time it just doesn't work out. Trans women who want to date cis men can find such folks although many times, as I have explained in previous columns, the relationship has to be kept on the down low because the cis

man doesn’t want to be seen with the trans woman for the fear that his friends and family will disapprove. These cis men are in their own closet, indeed. So, as far as finding that special one, many trans people have little to no success. This is also another cause of excessive stress on trans individuals. Another great stressor is lack of money. Some trans people are unable to work and have to rely on government assistance. They have little to no hope of bettering themselves financially. They will most likely be poor for the rest of their lives. Some trans folk may also have to deal with depression, anxiety, PTSD, etc. and this keeps them in their homes, unable or afraid to go out and enjoy this great big world. As social creatures, many yearn that social interaction with others. Some trans folks hardly ever leave their homes and they never get their need for social interaction filled. In retrospect, you can see that being a trans person is very stressful and the stress comes from many places. But truly, others in the mainstream world cause most of the stress we encounter. We need to work on educating these people. *Deja Nicole Greenlaw is retired from 3M and has 3 children and two grandchildren. She can be contacted at

16 • The Rainbow Times •

Straight Pride From Page 2 The SPP is what a temperamental child does when he feels as though his parents are ignoring him. It’s a tantrum. There will always be people like this in the world. They thrive and bask in their privilege, their dominance, their sense of superiority, and when a group of marginalized people come forward to assert their rights, to celebrate their uniqueness and take pride in their culture, the tantrum starts. Enter the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence (, a well-known “ … areligious Order of Queer, Clown Nuns who pledge ourselves to promote Universal Joy and to eliminate Stigmatic Guilt.” While a small and sad contingent of men and women march the Boston Pride Parade route on August 31, the Sisters will be throwing their celebrations in Boston. “We all deserve to feel heard, seen, and safe,” said Sister Lida Christ, a co-coordinator of the event. “The Sisters believe in expiating stigmatic guilt and promulgating universal joy. Part of accomplishing this mission is creating safe spaces for the community to come together and share. As the sacred clown we offer ears to listen, arms to hug (consensual), strength to lean into the things that hurt us, and light to shine into the darkest parts of our reality and spirit.” From August 29 to September 1, the Boston Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence will

August 8, 2019 - September 4, 2019

hold a series of fun, inclusive activities in the Boston area to provide a safe space for LGBTQ people. The event will kick off that Thursday with the “RE-Sister night at Flatbread Pizza Company” in Somerville. The event begins at 5 p.m. “The Boston Sisters will host a night of bowling, drinking, and dining. Come to Flatbread Pizza Company in Somerville, Mass. as we make space for you to communicate, socialize, be heard, and to gather,” reads the description of the event. Throughout the rest of the weekend, the Sisters have lined up several exciting events including a blessing at the AIDS Memorial Tree, a “Bar Ministry” that will see the nuns offering a tour of Boston’s gay bars, and a Parade Day on Saturday, August 31 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. where meditation tents will be set up to offer safe spaces for LGBTQ people who need someone to talk to. An interactive art installation event will be premiered at the Parade Day. The Veil of Guilt and the Veil of Joy invites participants to write down one thing that someone has said to you that made you feel guilty and that you believe; you’re also invited to write one thing that you love about yourself and/or brings you joy. Sunday will see a brunch crawl where the Sisters will make themselves available to discuss the events of the weekend and offer more safe spaces for LGBTQ people. More details can be found about the weekend on the Sisters Facebook page ( “Boston is made strong by the diversity

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SiSTER’S EVENTS** Thursday August 29 Welcoming Sisters from around the US to participate with you. Thursday August 29 Event: RE-Sister night at Flat Bread Pizza Company; Where: Flat Bread Pizza Company Somerville MA; Timeline: 5-11 .p.m What: The Boston Sisters will host a night of bowling, drinking, and dining. Come to Flat Bread Pizza Company in Somerville MA as we make space for you to communicate, socialize, be heard, and to gather Charity: The Boston Sisters Grant Fund Friday August 30 Event: Blessing at the Aids Memorial Tree Where: Club Café (pending confirmation) Time line: 5:30-6 p.m.; What: Glitter Blessing, and calling of the corners, spirit, ancestors to watch over and protect the community. Where: The tree is in the Charlesgate East to Mass. Ave block of the Mall that was planted in 2012 by the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence which I guess would be considered an LGBTQ organization. The tree was dedicated to all those who lost their lives to HIV. It is the first tree on the North side behind the Leif Ericson. Friday August 30 Event: Bar Ministry Where: Various LGBT and Allied establishments around Boston and Cambridge. Time line: 10 p.m. - 2 a.m.


which comprises her,” said Sister Lida Christ on her feelings about the Straight Pride Parade. “We all deserve to celebrate what makes us unique. Personally, I can not tolerate the appropriation of any type of Pride, or the twisting of it into a platform to serve other motives and agendas.” The works of the Sisters will be muchneeded during that weekend, and yearround. The trauma that we LGBTQ people face from bigots and hatemongers requires us to come together for the sake of building community, supporting one another, and propping each other up. We see our best version of ourselves when we serve others. “Safe spaces should not be partisan,” the Sister said. “I think we need to start thinking as a collective. We are not isolated or insulated from trauma. When someone in our community is hurt, scared, or marginalized, we are all affected. Safe spaces should not be provided, they should simply exist. As Sisters, our job is to promulgate this truth by actualizing it into the world. Just remember, you are important, we see you, you are smart, and you are enough.” *A graduate of the Boston University College of Communication, Mike Givens has been a social justice advocate for 11 years. During that time he’s worked on a range of initiatives aimed at uplifting marginalized populations. An experienced media strategist and communications professional, Mike currently devotes his spare time to a number of vital issues including racial justice and socioeconomic equity. • The Rainbow Times • 17

August 8, 2019 - September 4, 2019 PHOTO: ANDRE OUELLET / UNSPLASH

6 tons-of-fun alternatives to your traditional Gay getaway


By: Mikey Rox* Special to TRT


here’s more to gay travel than P-Town, Fire Island and Fort Lauderdale. Every state (yep, even the red ones) has something to offer our community, and with the help of LGBTQfriendly travel site Orbitz, I’ve narrowed them down to the best of the bunch. Start packing.

1. Camp Wonderful in New York Leave the glitz and glam of the big city behind and head for the Catskill Mountains where you’ll find a camp for grown-ups unlike its competitors. Camp Wonderful at Timber Lake Camp in Shandaken offers an adult summer-camp experience focused on diversity among campers, building meaningful connections, learning new skills (like pickling vegetables, casting spells, and stargazing), and having a blast in the great outdoors. But there’s a twist: It’s completely alcohol free—because by the time summer closes, we could all stand a detox. Sign up for the “less screen time, more green time” post-Labor Day Weekend session at 2. Cruise Alaska The Frontier State: So much land, so few people! Lesbian cruise company Olivia offers two Alaska itineraries this summer while RSVP Vacations (now owned by Atlantis) offers a “Summer in Alaska” ship that hits up places like Juneau and Ketchikan. Also, most mainstream cruise ships ( offer onboard meet-ups for queer folk. 3. Gay Rodeo in Arizona Gay rodeo is a nationwide phenomenon, and Arizona is as good a place as any to squeeze into your tightest pair of Levi jeans

and give the Cowboy lifestyle a try. The 34th Annual Arizona Gay Rodeo happens in Phoenix ( in February 2020; the World Gay Rodeo Finals happen this October in Scottsdale; and then there’s queer country western bars in Phoenix, including Charlie’s, the Cash Nightclub and Lounge, and Latin-flavored nightclub Karamba (which hosts occasional cowboy nights). 4. Cocktails in Indiana Gay bars have the best names (think C.C. Blooms in Edinburgh or Nellie’s in Washington DC), but surely the best of the bunch belongs to the Back Door in Bloomington ( Hilarious moniker aside, the Back Door is a gay bar par excellence located in one of the coolest college towns in America. The crowd is diverse, energetic and friendly as heck, the lineup includes all kinds of crazy cabaret and queer entertainment, and the gay naming even carries over into the drink menu. Boozy Bottom anyone? How about a Citron My Face? 5. Eclectic Nebraska Omaha ( is quickly becoming one of the hippest cities in the U.S., and a big part of that is the city’s colorful LGBTQ scene. The city doesn’t have a “gayborhood,” per se, but rather its robust gay community is well woven into its tapestry, the most worthy part of which for travelers is festive Flixx Lounge. With weekend performances featuring both drag queens and drag kings in an eclectic range of comedic, dramatic and even burlesque-themed shows, Flixx will shatter the stereotype you probably have of gay life in Nebraska. 6. The Village in Kentucky No, not the boho-chic Village of

See The Frivolist on Page 23

Domestic Terrorism From Page 2 furious that there are some people in this country that will continue to support him no matter what he does. I am furious that he never seems to be held accountable and when he is, someway, somehow, he weasels his way out of it and hides behind the desk of the presidency. I am furious that people that I love are under constant attack by this man who takes aim at any grand stand. I am furious that Congress has grossly neglected to do its job to hold this president accountable. I am furious that as a global superpower, we are the least safe we’ve ever been because Trump would rather play a game of chicken with dangerous world leaders than be diplomatic. I am furious that our elections, according to the Mueller Report, are still being interfered in by the Russians and will likely be hacked again in 2020. I am furious that kids are scared to go to school and learn and instead have to take active shooter drills because our lawmakers refuse to act. I am furious that just last night, I was awakened in the middle of a sound sleep by what I thought could be fireworks but bolted out of bed concerned they were gun shots. I am furious that immigrant kids are in cages and separated from their parents for seeking asylum, a legal process enabled under our constitution. I am furious that some lives matter and

others don’t. I am furious that more people aren’t doing something. I am furious that there are so many who choose to “turn it off because they can’t handle it.” That is the very definition of privilege. I am furious that my family and I have legitimately considered immigrating to another country if Trump gets in office for another four years. I’m furious that nothing is being done about gun control and that the NRA still gets away with it. I am furious of these and so much more. According Terrorism experts, “extremists who don’t know each other in real life are finding one another online and trying to ‘one up’ the attacks” reported MSNBC ( “I call it ‘cascading terrorism,’” Clint Watts, a senior fellow at the Foreign Policy Research Institute, told MSNBC. “At any time around the world there may be one or two extremists that are thinking about an attack. When they see someone in their ideology successfully conduct an attack, it inspires others,” he said to the news outlet ( James Cavanaugh, former special agentin-charge with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives also said to MSNBC that the messaging used—in what I am, and others are referring to as Domestic Terrorism—“feels familiar to those used in pamphlets spread by the Read the rest of this story at:

18 • The Rainbow Times •

August 8, 2019 - September 4, 2019

Justin Utley reveals his beautiful scars after conversion therapy The out singer performs songs from his upcoming Album in Provincetown on September 1st By: John Stein Special to TRT

At this point in my musical journey, the gloves are off,” declares OUTMusic Award winning singer/songwriter Justin Utley. “There was a time for playing it safe, but I’ve come to a space where I am no longer satisfied with the status quo, musically and personally. I don’t want to spend time placating and catering to the willful ignorance and self-induced biases of people, especially to those who have the power to spark change and shape a better life for LGBTQ youth.” Justin Utley, a former devout Mormon who was forced to undergo two years of faith-based conversion therapy—even taking medications prescribed to help suppress his homosexual urges—is about to release his next album, Scars. It is being called one of the most heartfelt, brutally honest, thought provoking and vulnerable collection of songs ever produced by the out singer, depicting his experience with discrimination, religious bullying, his own internal homophobia, and suicide. He performs tracks from the album, including his current hit single, “Survivors,” at Crown & Anchor in Provincetown on Sunday, September 1. Q: It’s been a wild summer for you. Justin Utley: This summer has been exceptional. We’ve seen incredible progress to ban conversion therapy across the United States and beyond. It’s a movement that has built tremendous momentum, and it’s important to me. I’ve been able to participate in many discussions and fundraisers across the country, and have met some of the most tireless and dedicated volunteers in the process. They inspire me a lot. Combine that with releasing one of the most exciting and heartfelt projects I’ve worked on. Q: The album releases September 10 and it’s been getting a lot of hype. Not just for its important messaging on surviving conversion therapy but also for its sound. A: I began working with a new producer and songwriter named Taylor Hartley two years ago. He’s a Utah native and has been through the same religious experience as me. He has a fantastic ear for dance and pop and when we started collaborating, it became apparent that we had a pretty incredible and unique combination. He’s pushed me lyrically, vocally, and musically, and it’s been exciting to explore this new side of my sandbox I didn’t realize I had. Even the more somber songs on Scars are intense and have a quicker tempo. I’ve really focused on keeping this album anthemic and pop-driven. It’s been a refreshing change for me. Q: What impact has your experience with conversion therapy had on your life? A: It created hurdles of trust and intimacy

Justin Utley

on multiple levels. I’ve met and even dated other men who have been through it, too, and years later, they’re still unable to have a normal relationship since anything that would have included being gay as part of their identity has been vilified, stripped of its integrity, broken down, and compartmentalized as a condition. Years later, I am still trying to come off one of the medications I was prescribed. We’ve tried switching the medication and it does not go well. So, every day I take a pill that is a reminder of the lie I was legally sold by an unregulated, religiously biased, licensed therapist.


Q: Have you left the Mormon Church? A: Yes, but my sexuality had little to do with me leaving my Mormon faith, to be honest. It was a catalyst to me digging deeper into its problematic history that had been purposely hidden from me; challenging the statements of those who claimed they had authority to speak directly for God; and even just simply asking “why,” and never getting a clear, honest answer or explanation instead of excuses or convoluted justifications. Love is of God, and God is love. If religious teachings or policies don’t fall within that, then it’s not of God. Scriptures included.

Q: Do you remain a person of faith? A: I am a humanist. I believe that the power of God is in each of us. We have the power to create, change, build, and destroy. It isn’t up to someone in the sky to help people in need. It’s up to us. We have that capability. It’s just a matter of discovering it, ignoring the noise of people who want to control where our attention and money go, and to start using our lives for something good, instead of standing by, watching in complicity.

See Justin Utley on Page 20 • The Rainbow Times • 19

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California Hwy. 1 From page 8 Hearst Castle. A tip: the evening tours, conducted by docents in fancy period attire, are especially fun. Near the entrance to the castle, you can sample stellar Tempranillo and Chardonnay at Hearst Ranch Winery tasting room, which is inside the charming 1850s Sebastian's café and general store— an enjoyable stop for sandwiches or locally raised-beef burgers. From the coast, turn inland—after first stopping in the cute village of Cayucos to stock up on melt-in-your-mouth sweets at Brown Butter Cookie Company—and head for the small cities of Paso Robles ( and San Luis Obispo (, both of which have developed over the past 15 years into highly respected winemaking centers. Paso Robles has more than 200 wineries, plus a clutch of hip, farm-to-table restaurants—including Thomas Hill Organics and the Hatch Rotisserie & Bar. San Luis Obispo's pedestrian-friendly downtown, which abounds with bright boutiques and lively eateries, is also worth exploring, especially on Thursday evenings, when one of California's most famous farmers markets brings in great music, food, and festivity. Add a little eccentric romance to your vacation by staying in one of the over-the-top suites at the retro-kitschy Madonna Inn ( in San Luis Obispo. All 110 rooms have colorful and kooky themes—the lime green Bridal Falls suite with natural-stone accents and a not-to-bemissed waterfall shower is a standout. The

historic and centrally located Paso Robles Inn ( has attractive, reasonably priced rooms themed after local wineries, and many have outdoor hot springs mineral tubs. Santa Barbara to Los Angeles The California shoreline turns easterly about midway through Santa Barbara County (, which is often referred to as America's “Riviera,” with its blissful Mediterranean climate and architecture, sweeping beaches set against a backdrop of craggy mountains, and buzzworthy winemakers. Approaching from the north, amid gently rolling hills cooled by fresh sea breezes, you'll first reach the hamlets of Santa Ynez and Los Olivos, which burst with terrific restaurants and noteworthy tasting rooms—Ellen DeGeneres and Portia de Rossi have a home in the area. Nearby Solvang is known for its Danish-inspired architecture and restaurants specializing in æbleskiver (Scandinavian-style pancake “puffs”) and Danish meatballs. At the southern end of the county, the Spanish Colonial-style city of Santa Barbara makes for a wonderfully romantic getaway—this is another stop along the drive that's worth at least a two-night stay. Fringing a sunny south-facing stretch of the Pacific Ocean, the city gives way to the foothills of the vertiginous Santa Ynez Mountains, where you can stroll the fragrant grounds of Santa Barbara Botanic Garden; from the garden's Pritzlaff Conversation Center, you can see for miles across

the ocean and out toward Channel Islands National Park. The city also offers fans of history and art a wealth of impressive attractions, including the late-18th-century Mission Santa Barbara and the acclaimed Santa Barbara Museum of Art. Definitely explore Santa Barbara's hippest culinary district, Funk Zone, which comprises several blocks of semi-industrial buildings between downtown and the beach. Sip the elegant Rhone-style wines on the pleasant terrace of Margerum Wine Company tasting room—adjacent to the gloriously restored Hotel Californian—or stop by the offbeat Area 5.1 tasting room, which pours first-rate wines as well as craft beers from local breweries. Neighbors include The Lark for well-crafted contemporary American cuisine and Helena Avenue Bakery, a fantastic option for artisan breakfast fare, coffee, and sweets—the space is also home to Santa Barbara Wine Collective tasting room. Operated by the stylish and LGBTQ-popular Kimpton brand, downtown’s Canary Hotel ( has artful Moorish-inspired rooms and a convenient central setting. Check out the rooftop pool area, a sensational spot for drinks. A reasonably priced yet stylish option in the Funk Zone, the Hotel Indigo Santa Barbara ( has 41 cozy but well-appointed rooms and offers guests complimentary bike rentals. Be sure to stop by the hotel's festive little restaurant, Santo Mezcal, to nibble on creative Mexican fare (the adobo-marinated octopus is superb).

Continue south along the ocean, but when your GPS recommends veering inland in Ventura toward Los Angeles along the faster 101, stick instead with Highway 1 for the longer but more rewarding journey along the coast, which takes you past the foothills of the Santa Monica Mountains and the celebrity-owned beachfront homes of Malibu. There's breathtaking hiking in Sycamore Canyon at Point Mugu State Park, and a pretty stretch of sand— that attracts scads of pretty LGBTQ sunbathers—at Will Rogers State Beach in Pacific Palisades. From here, it's just a quick hop to the bustling LA beachfront community of Santa Monica (, which its oft-photographed oldtimey pier, famous Wednesday and Saturday downtown farmers market, and cornucopia of noteworthy restaurants and fashionable boutique hotels. Looking for the ultimate way to celebrate the completion of your magical coastal journey? Grab seat at a sidewalk table in the supremely snazzy Georgian Hotel's Veranda Restaurant, order a ceviche and mahimahi tacos with a glass of rosé, and soak up those ocean views one last time before you make your way inland to LA proper. *Writer Andrew Collins divides his time between Mexico City, Oregon, and New Hampshire. You can read more of his work at (read the unabridged version of this piece online at

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cONT. SiSTER’S EVENTS** fROM PAGE 16 What: For the energizer nunnies we will offer a tour of Boston's gay bars. We will be present in queer spaces to listen to anyone who is in need of a person to talk to. Saturday August 31 Event: Parade day; Where: Aids Memorial tree; Timeline: 10-4; What: We will be offering meditation tents for those who need to hold space. An interactive art installation called the Veil of Guilt and Veil of joy will be present. We invite you all to write onto the veil of Guilt the worst things someone has said to you or things you've believed about yourself. On the veil of joy we invite you to write the thing that you love the most about yourself, or the thing that brings you joy. Sunday September 1 Event: Brunch Crawl (POST CARE) Where: Club Café, Trophy Room, Various LGBT and Allied establishments around Boston and Cambridge. What: The Sisters will be dishing up post care, being present to listen to what people felt, and experienced over the weekend. Time line: 10 p.m. ** Historically, The Sisters have given grants to under-funded, smaller organizations and projects providing direct services to our communities. The majority of these organizations and projects receive little, if any, government or main-stream funding and may be in the early stages of development. The grants are typically $250 to $1,000. In their Grant Fund’s first five years, The Boston Sisters have disbursed $25,000!

“We are especially attracted to progressive projects that promote wellness, identity, tolerance, and diversity within our communities. We have a vision that encompasses diverse communities and groups that have a common interest in human rights—— people of every gender, gender identity, race, class, age, and sexual orientation.” Grant funds will be awarded to select not-forprofit community benefit organizations which are incorporated and have IRS 501(c)(3) designation. Potential grant recipients must submit their requests using the designated Application Form along with required attachments and supporting documents. The Application Form must be completed in its entirety by the deadline so that the Boston Sisters’ 2017 Grant Funding Committee can review your not-for-profit organization’s purpose, charitable goals, and intended use of grant funds and to ensure these works coincide with the world wide mission of the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence as an order of 21st century nuns who minister to the needs and free expression of all aspects of the community in the Boston, Massachusetts area. The BOSTON SISTERS’ COMMUNITY GRANTS HAVE DISBURSED SINCE [2014-2018]: $24,250 Are you interested in becoming a community partner of The Boston Sisters? For more information or to request our presence at your event, please send your contact information and date, times, duties, etc. of the event to **Written by the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence. Edited for space constraints by The Rainbow Times.

PiX Of THE SPi P. 14


Justin Utley From Page 18 Q: Besides your music, what fulfills you today? A: I’m working closely with a number of organizations and mental health professionals to provide a significant resource for survivors of conversion therapy, in the many different places they may be in life. It’s something that I know would have helped me in my journey, so I hope it will be a source of hope and healing to many others out there. Q: Are you excited to come back to Provincetown? It’s been a while! A: My last gig in P-Town was in 2013. Provincetown is unique in that it’s a spot that is always open to the diversity of our community. It’s not just a one-time destination for a pride event here and there. It’s literally a place that everyone can stay and get away from all the noise and judgement.

Most shows I’ve played in P-Town were in the summer months, so the audience is usually tourists, but one of my highlights was performing in the late fall at a benefit for Outer Cape Health Services. It was a great crowd, a sold-out show of local residents. I got to meet the people who keep the town running, who are dedicated to the wellbeing of its residents. Q: Do you worry havens like Provincetown may eventually suffer the same fate as gay nightlife? A: I’d like to think that Provincetown is impermeable to the pseudo-apathetic culture that’s been created by social media and apps. Truth is, it isn’t. We’ve got to be mindfully diligent in supporting the communities that have supported and been a safe haven to our own, otherwise we will lose them overnight. We tend to learn that lesson the hard way. Justin Utley performs Crown & Anchor in Provincetown (275 Commercial Street) on Sunday, September 1 at 7 p.m. Tickets are available at His new album, Scars, releases September 10. Visit Justin Utley’s website @ Follow him on Instagram @justinutley and Facebook @justinutleymusic. • The Rainbow Times • 21

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Corporations From Page 3 Ïof how well the firm treats its LGBTQ employees. For example, household names like Amazon, American Airlines, AT&T, Walgreens, and Walmart received a perfect score for their LGBTQ-friendly employment policies this year. The 2019 CEI also identified 181 firms across the nation that support The Equality Act (, a sweeping federal bill that, if passed, would provide civil rights protections for LGBTQ people in the workplace, public settings, and housing. The bill passed ( the House of Representatives in May. While the CEI provides a metric to assess how corporations treat their LGBTQ employees, the index doesn’t measure whether those firms are consistent in their support of the rights of LGBTQ people. An area that isn’t taken into account is whether these corporations spend their money in accordance with their LGBTQ-friendly values. “While the CEI captures LGBTQ-inclusive policies, practices and benefits, there isn't a one-size-fits-all way to consistently score companies on the scope and impact of their political donations,” said HRC Press Secretary Sarah McBride in a statement e-mailed to The Rainbow Times. Millions of dollars are pumped into state and federal elections and there are several adamantly anti-LGBTQ politicians whose campaigns have benefited from corporate donations; several of these firms tout themselves as supportive of LGBTQ people. “We do monitor employers’ contributions to anti-LGBTQ ballot measures and organizations whose primary mission includes anti-LGBTQ advocacy,” continued McBride’s statement. “It is important for reporting like this that asks tough questions of corporations and brings these donations into the public discussion. The Corporate Equality Index is a critical tool for advancing LGBTQ equality in the workplace, but it is not the only tool." HRC maintains a separate public listing of politicians who seek to limit, or dismantle, the rights of LGBTQ people, which it calls The Congressional Scorecard ( Christine Allsopp of the Stonewall Warriors, an LGBTQ rights group that has vehemently protested the participation of corporations in Pride festivities, told The Rainbow Times in 2017 ( that the inclusion of these firms serves as an injustice to the original spirit of Pride and the Stonewall rebellers of 1969. “Those sponsorships really sully the memory of what those people did for our rights, for my rights,” she said. “Regardless of how many there are or what percentage of them are in the parade, it still sullies the memory … ” Nathan Heathman, a Black and Indigenous person dissatisfied with what he believed was the corporatization of Pride, also said that corporate funds donated to Pride organizations was a disservice. “This was originally something for the QTPoC community,” Heathman also said to The Rainbow Times in 2017. “It was




TION DID NOT RESPOND TO QUESTIONS E-MAILED TO THEIR REPRESENTATIVES BY THE TIME OF PUBLICATION. very much just a community-oriented working-class type of thing, and it’s gotten co-opted by politicians and corporations, and all kinds of people who don’t understand the roots of the movement. It hasn’t become as much of a political statement, as much as a parade.” What happens when corporations publicly support the rights of LGBTQ people while donating millions of dollars to antiLGBTQ candidates? Bad Actors? With plans to relocate its headquarters to Boston, General Electric (GE; is a $70 billion conglomerate that serves as a major player in the aviation, healthcare, and renewable energy industries. GE received a perfect score on the CEI in both 2018 and 2019, but its donations to anti-LGBTQ politicians numbers in the millions. According to Popular Information (PI;

3 Years Ago ... This Month

In August of 2016, one of The Rainbow Times’ newspaper boxes in downtown Salem exploded. We remember, not the cowardly acts of violence, but instead, we remember how most of the City of Salem, its Mayor, its Chief of Police, its Representatives, many City Councilors, residents, etc. gave us their support & it hasn’t stopped ever since. By uniting against it, we all triumphed and sent a message to haters everywhere. Thanks so much for that! —Graysen & Nicole, a progressive watchdog publication, the corporation donated nearly $1.4 million dollars to 97 antiLGBTQ politicians running for office between 2017 and 2018. The Center for Responsive Politics (, a watchdog thinktank, maintains a website that monitors corporate donations to candidates for office. According to the center, GE donated $14,500 to the campaign of Georgia Rep. Karen Handel (, whom HRC gave a zero on its current Congressional Scorecard and who “laughed at” the thought of supporting marriage equality and same-sex couples adopting children in 2010 ( Sen. John Barrasso of Wyoming received $11,000 from GE ( Barrasso has consistently scored zeros on the HRC scorecard. General Electric did not respond to requests for an interview. “This analysis is a sober reminder of why our work at the Massachusetts LGBT Chamber of Commerce is so important,” said Grace Moreno, executive director of the Massachusetts LGBT Chamber of Commerce (MALGBTCC;, a group of LGBTQ business owners in the Greater Boston area. “We are working each day to identify the barriers that the LGBTQ community faces and to demonstrate how corporations can make changes to level the playing field.”

See Corporations On Page 23

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Corporations From Page 21 The PI newsletter also named a number of other high-profile corporations as major donors to anti-LGBTQ candidates including: United Parcel Service (100 on the CEI); FedEx (90 on the CEI), Verizon (90 on the CEI and a supporter of The Equality Act), Pfizer (100 on the CEI and a supporter of The Equality Act ), Comcast (90 on the CEI) and AT&T (100 on the CEI and a supporter of the Equality Act). The United Parcel Service (UPS) is also one of HRC’s “Platinum Sponsors” while Pfizer is listed as one of its “Gold Sponsors.” HRC did not respond to a request from The Rainbow Times for the exact donation amounts for the Platinum and Gold corporate sponsorship levels. Moreno said that the MALGBTCC was formed knowing that conflicts like this would inevitably arise. “We began our work knowing that the only way we were going to be able to move the needle on the growth of LGBTQ+owned businesses and on opportunities for LGBTQ+ professionals was to partner with some of the biggest players in our country’s [more than] $20 trillion economy,” she said. “In doing so, we anticipated that there would sometimes be conflicts between the support they give us and our membership and the support they might give others that do not keep with our mission.” According to PI, AT&T (, an international telecommunications firm providing telephone services to more than 150 million people, donated approximately $2.7 million to 193 anti-LGBTQ politicians from 2017 to 2018. Tennessee Rep. Marsha Blackburn has consistently received zeros on the HRC Congressional Scorecard. LGBTQ advocacy organization GLAAD ( has catalogued Blackburn’s anti-LGBTQ statements and voting record (, including voting against nondiscrimination protections for LGBTQ people. AT&T donated nearly $37,000 to Blackburn ( in 2018. Former presidential candidate Rep. Ted Cruz from Texas received $19,752 ( from AT&T in the 2018 election cycle. The current Congressional Scorecard gave Cruz a zero. Cruz was a high-profile supporter of the First Amendment Defense Act (FADA) in 2018, which sought to provide legal protections for businesses that discriminate against LGBTQ people on the basis of religion. Arizona Sen. Jeff Flake received $10,500 ( from AT&T despite receiving a “12” on the Congressional Scorecard, which ranks politicians on a scale from zero to 100. The senator has consistently voted against providing protections for LGBTQ people. The Rainbow Times also sought comments from AT&T and cable television and internet provider Comcast, but did not receive responses from either business. An Issue of Pride “I’m not surprised these corporations pink wash themselves to consumers while supporting anti-LGBTQ politicians,” said Michael Cox, director of policy for the

“THOSE SPONSORSHIPS REALLY SULLY THE MEMORY OF WHAT THOSE PEOPLE DID FOR OUR RIGHTS, FOR MY RIGHTS.” Boston chapter of Black and Pink (, a national prison abolition group that has been a long-time critic of corporate sponsorship of Pride festivities. “At the end of the day, corporations care about their bottom line and will do whatever they need in order to grow their revenue.” Cox added that Black and Pink does not accept corporate sponsorships, but that if it did, it “would certainly do a background check on their political contributions and impact on human rights.” Marsh of the Vermont Pride Center said they are disappointed to learn of the corporate trend of donating to politicians who do not support LGBTQ people. “On a national level, though, personally I feel disheartened when a large corporation gives to an LGBTQ organization and turns around and gives to an organization or candidate that’s anti-LGBTQ,” they said. “It [furthers] the ethical corruption of many large organizations and [shows] that their support is deceitful, weak, and a demonstration of simply pandering to the queer community and their allies.” Marsh admitted that a local AT&T store in Vermont made a $100 contribution to march in the Burlington Pride parade. Moreno said that the Chamber of Commerce has actively emphasized the power of the everyday citizen in effecting change when it comes to holding corporations accountable. “We believe that our community needs to continue to be involved in the civic responsibility end of our country’s political process, in order to make people in power more supportive of the LGBTQ+ community,” she said. “Once people are in power, it is more productive to work with them and all of their conflicting interests and ideas.” By way of example, Moreno highlighted MALGBTCC co-sponsor Pfizer, a pharmaceutical company with a long history of perfect CEI scores, but, according to PI, has donated close to $1,000,000 to 52 antiLGBTQ candidates. Anna Hoff, sponsorship coordinator for Northampton Pride (, said she was disappointed to learn that major corporations are obstructing true equality through their political donations. “Corporate sponsorships are often heavily relied upon in order to put on [a] large scale—and subsequently expensive—Pride celebrations,” she said. “Oftentimes it is necessary to seek out funds from these big businesses to support our own platform and

financially back events that promote LGBTQ causes and endeavors. It is disheartening, to say the least, to learn that some of these companies would also fund anti-LGBTQ entities or materials. Any promotion that directly conflicts with the message of acceptance, inclusion and celebration of the LGBTQ community would seem to be a roadblock in our ongoing mission of love, unity and equality.” The Rainbow Times also reached out to representatives from North Shore Pride, Hartford Pride, and Rhode Island Pride, but did not receive a response. In addition, The Rainbow Times reached out to Boston Pride and its public relations firm O’Neill & Associates, but did not receive a response by deadline. The publication contacted Pride Portland, but the organization did not respond to questions e-mailed to their representatives by the time of publication. Sylvain Bruni, executive editor of the Boston Pride Guide and former President of Boston Pride, recently noted in a column in the 2019 issue of the Boston Pride Guide ( that relationships between corporate sponsors and Pride organizations can be transformative. “Partnering with corporate sponsors creates a mechanism whereby Pride can educate and train the company to be a better employer or a better ally to its queer customers,” he said in the piece. “HRC’s CEI can be leveraged as a roadmap to perform this work and to yield tangible, positive outcomes for LGBTQ workers and for our community.” However, Marsh suggested that truly healthy, uncompromised partnerships between the community and businesses are rooted in local connections. “One of our largest corporate sponsors is Hannaford Supermarkets,” they said. “We work directly with the local branches and regional managers to create a partnership that extends beyond simply financial giving. We work together to best match which programs within our organization will benefit from their funding and curate unique opportunities for their company to be involved with the Center.”

Conversion Therapy From Page 15 that Governor Cooper agrees. We are committed to ending this debunked practice and will work for statewide protections.” Allison Scott, Director of Policy & Programs at the Campaign for Southern Equality, added: “Governor Cooper’s order will create a safer North Carolina for LGBTQ youth. Young LGBTQ people who endure ‘conversion therapy’ are at an immensely higher risk for depression and suicide than those whose identities are affirmed, a primary reason that we must do all we can to end this dangerous pseudoscience. As we continue our campaign to end conversion therapy once and for all, we’re looking forward to working across North Carolina to share a message of love and affirmation. We have the momentum, and now it’s time to amplify the voices of North Carolinians everywhere who are taking action to protect our youth.” The Born Perfect campaign to end conRead the rest of this story at:

The Frivolist From Page 17 NYC fame, but rather a city block that sits in Louisville’s Smoketown neighborhood and formerly home to the legendary queer nightclub and entertainment complex The Connection. Now gone, its out owners have kept the block queer by opening Vapor, a men’s spa and bathhouse; Vu Guesthouse, an adult-oriented luxury boutique hotel; and The Eatery, its onsite diner. Although LGBTQ nightlife in Derby City has since moved to Bardstown Road, while catching 40 winks at Vu or making new friends at Vapor, consider the three decades of gay nightlife that happened on this very block. *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 spends his time writing from the beach with his dog Jaxon. Connect with Mikey on Instagram @mikeyrox.

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