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hap free! py hol ida ys

Year 10, Vol. 12 • December. 7, 2017 - January 3 , 2018 •

Photo: Julian Cyr’s FB Page


queer & Caribbean:

LGBTQ+ Culture and the Island Identity, Intersectionality p10 Photo: Vincent Peters

Photo: Erick Diaz

New England’s Largest Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Newspaper since 2006

federal attacks

on LGBTQ People, Local Organization Calls Out the Government p5

Mass. State legislators

Pay Attention to LGBTQ Incarcerees, Fight for Better Protections p8

gay anthem & confronting homophobes Holiday Gifts: ideas for 8 types of Queers p15 nagly: campaign launched for lgbtq youth programs p16 Defiance: Living your life as an openly trans person is revolutionary p13


2 • The Rainbow Times • • 10th Year Anniversary

December 7, 2017 - January 3, 2018

December 7, 2017 - January 3, 2018

10th Year Anniversary • • The Rainbow Times • 3

4 • The Rainbow Times • • 10th Year Anniversary

December 7, 2017 - January 3, 2018

10th Year Anniversary • • The Rainbow Times • 5

December 7, 2017 - January 3, 2018

Movement Advancement Project calls out federal attacks on LGBTQ people


By: Al Gentile/TRT Reporter

A recent report by the Movement Advancement Project (; MAP) is calling out conservatives across the country, from Congress to President Donald Trump, for striking out against the LGBTQ community. The 16-page report, “Tipping the Scales” (, details how the federal and state governments have taken steps to allow discrimination in health care, adoption services, and the hiring of federal contractors, while also allowing the concept of “religious freedom” to justify, as the report states, “ … the wide-ranging right to discriminate against others, deny them needed services, and impose their own religious beliefs on others, so long as they cite their religious or moral belief as the reason for doing

so.” Executive Director of MAP Ineke Mushovic said the report indicates a coordinated effort on the part of conservatives to scale back progress made in past years regarding LGBTQ rights. “We feel there’s very little awareness of the coordinated ways this is happening,” Mushovic said. “Standalone, it doesn't look that insidious, but put it all together and it paints an alarming picture.” MAP is a national organization that studies policy and legislation across the nation. As Mushovic puts it, they work to inform

people about changes taking place that can negatively affect the LGBTQ community. They do not offer legal advice. “We use data, analysis, communications, and messaging to change the way the public, the media, and policymakers understand and think about LGBTQ people and other people as well,” Mushovic said. “We’re pulling all that information together and trying to create the thread and story to show people that they need to be concerned about this.” Trump Administration Executive Order and Repeal of the “Johnson Amendment” President Trump signed the “Presidential Executive Order Promoting Free Speech and Religious Liberty” ( on May 4. The order essentially instructs the Department of the Treasury to not lay punitive actions against tax-exempt organizations, such as churches and nonprofits, for engaging in political speech. Under the Johnson Amendment, adopted by Congress in 1954, tax-exempt 501(c)(3) organizations are not allowed to engage in political action, for or against any particular candidate or policy, while engaging in their tax-exempt work. In terms of religious organizations, this is during church events, sermons, and other actions deemed specifically tied to their tax exempt status. Yet Meredith Conway, a professor of tax law at Suffolk University, said the executive order does not hold against an act of

Movement Advancement Project Executive Director Ineke Mushovic

Congress. “The executive order basically said to the IRS that they should not seek to enforce political speech issues against churches that would not otherwise be enforceable against organizations that are non-secular,”


Conway said. “The president cannot unilaterally do anything about it. Congress has to repeal it, so he has no authority to change the law.” New tax legislation in Congress is ...0

See Attacks on LGBTQs 14

6 • The Rainbow Times • • 10th Year Anniversary

December 7, 2017 - January 3, 2018

Happy Holidays is not an assault on Christmas, rather good will toward human kind By: Nicole Lashomb*/TRT Editor-in-Chief


rowing up, Christmas was the accepted and expected norm. As a child, it meant that all that surrounded me was a winter wonderland, with snow banks at least 3 feet tall. We carved out snow and ice forts at the end of the driveway too, which housed my siblings and I for much of the daylight hours during the winter. It was lighting the Christmas tree with the brightest colors we could find and tracking Santa’s sleigh on Christmas Eve by tuning into our favorite radio program. It meant nervously awaiting Santa’s arrival, while I listened for the footsteps of reindeer on our roof as I desperately tried to fall asleep. Unbeknownst to me at the time, my older sister was in on the game. “He’s here, he’s here, he’s here,” she exclaimed! “Don’t you hear the sleigh bells outside of our bedroom window?” Terrified, I pulled the covers over my head, since like many children were told, Santa would not leave any presents for me if I were still awake when he arrived to the house. On Christmas morning, we ran to our parents room as early as I can remember, but we were not allowed to go downstairs until 6 a.m. Little did I know that my parents had gone to bed just a couple of hours before. Being a rascal in in my own way, my excitement got the best of me and every year. I couldn’t help but peak over the banister at the top of the stairs to catch a small glimpse of a row of stockings, bulging with goodies from good old St. Nick. Barely being able to contain my excitement, once the clock struck six, I ran down the stairs and each year, to my delight, there were four mounds of toys and presents from Santa—one for me and one for each of my siblings. Just a month prior, I sat at a large chair in our sitting room for hours jotting down a list of all that my heart desired for Santa to make me in his toy shop from the “Christmas book.” This magical book was

I KNOW IT ALL COMES FROM A VIRTUOUS PLACE, A FOND MEMORY OF THE PAST AND GOOD WILL TOWARD HUMAN KIND. really the Sears seasonal catalog, but I thought it had a direct line to Santa’s workshop somehow. When my siblings and I finished our lists, my father would collect them to mail to Santa. He had a special mailbox at his work to do so, or so we thought. It was magical. Christmas was synonymous with winter for me. It meant family traditions from Thanksgiving through December 25. It was filled with caroling and snow sledding down the steepest hill we could find. It meant hot chocolate to warm our hands after ice-skating outside, no matter how cold it was then. It meant going to Christmas Eve mass and participating in a live nativity scene. It meant dressing up as an angel for my elementary school Christmas concerts and singing in a small musical ensemble with my dad at church to traditional sacred music. It was the most wonderful time of the year to me—that was Christmas. As the years passed, Christmas evolved into something magical in a different way, much like the way my culture did when I got married. When I met my spouse 15 years ago, I didn’t speak a word of Spanish, yet I knew if I wanted to communicate with my in-laws in a familiar tongue to them, I would need to learn. I desired to learn— and so began the lessons with my motherin-law with each trip she visited for extended periods of time. At the same time, I learned to cook Puerto Rican cuisine to which are still my preferred meals to prepare. I learned how warm and welcoming the culture was, and how they kissed on the cheeks to greet each other instead of embracing in a hug. I learned that Christmas

Are you your own worst enemy today? By: Paul P. Jesep*/TRT Columnist



ometimes I can’t stay out of my own way. There are days I can’t find my butt with both hands. Occasionally, I wonder if the last several months were a comedy of errors. If like me you have not reached the nirvana of the Dali Lama, chances are you have unconscious obstacles. It is negative energy you feed without realizing you’re doing it. There are folks who think it takes too much time and energy for vengeance, to hold a grudge, or have a bad attitude. I disagree. It’s easier, at least for my flawed soul, to let yourself fall into a place of anger and frustration. It’s a bit like eating a pastry, a pound of pasta, or drinking a large bottle of wine on an empty stomach after a bad day. It feels good at the time, but it is very destructive behavior. Spiritually and emotionally, there are other issues faced by persons within the LGBTQ community that limit relationships and personal and professional growth.

Sometimes it’s tough to let go of demons buried deep in the subconscious. Sometimes we think they’re familiar “friends” and it’s better to keep them. I was in college when I encountered rejection and abandonment. He was an older man I met while volunteering on a Democratic campaign. We became friends. I trusted him. He guided me toward law school. I looked up to him as an older brother. He asked why I didn’t date women. I was honest. In that moment my world changed. He and his wife rejected me. I went off to law school and gained within the first year more than 100 pounds. It impacted my grades and initiated a failure to make genuine friendships. It happened a long time ago, yet it can still sting in 2017, if I let it. No doubt I’ve allowed this betrayal, rejection, and humiliation to hold me back spiritually, emotionally, and intellectually. I need to take responsibility for allowing it to limit me. I’ve been an adult for quite To read the rest of this story visit:

extended far beyond December 25, lasting until the Epiphany—Día de Los Reyes—as they call it, when another feast is prepared and gifts are exchanged as the three kings are said to have presented gifts to Christ. Had I not been open minded, willing to learn, live and love wholly, I would not have been exposed to the beauty of another culture. I am better because I was and proudly am bicultural and bilingual because of it. Though during the holiday season I find myself turning on classical Christmas music from early November until the season is officially over, it has developed into focusing on giving, “paying it forward,” and being a good steward of humanity. Unlike when I was a child, it isn’t about Santa and what I receive, but about what I can give. Even though I’ve celebrated Christmas throughout my entire life, the holiday season is not only about you or me. Whether you celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanza or any other holiday, each person holds those family, cultural, religious traditions and beliefs dearly, just in the same way that I fondly remember my humble origins and traditions too. If we think about the world as one people, one human race, just perhaps we can get to a place where we celebrate our diversity instead of condemning it. Because I recognize the importance and significance

Letters to the Editor [Re: TRT About Us Section] Dear Editor, Love this pub. Seriously, your voice is needed in our community. You’re the only publication that truly represents my progressive views and isn’t afraid to say it. The topics you cover are impressive and demonstrate a clear understanding of what it means to be LGBTQ vehicle for ALL of us. Thank you for all you do. —Martin DeGaude, Online [Re: Unitarian Universalist Church in Malden Welcomes First Openly Transgender Minister ] Dear Editor, Wait wait wait, What about the UU minister who wrote a UU World article last year about his transition, about his voice changes and finding his place in gospel song as a black man? Hurrah for us all, but let us not eclipse any of our brothers and sisters! —Saro Hendrickson, Online Dear Saro, It is the first one in Malden, Mass. not the very first one ever. I wanted to clarify that. I hope you enjoyed the story, otherwise. Best, The Editor

of not only my traditions but those of others, I will continue to say Happy Holidays from the depth of my being. I honor and respect the humanity around me, those who are different from me and those that share my background. I am still eager to learn. If someone tells me “Merry Christmas,” I will not be offended, even though I consider myself more interfaith oriented. As a matter of fact, you will remind me of my childhood Christmases, a magical place I visit in my mind. I thank you for that. Similarly, if you bid me a Happy Hanukkah, I will wish you one as well. And, if you celebrate Kwanza, I will wish you a joyous one too. Holiday wishes far exceed the religious concepts of the season. It is a feeling, a sense of being, and a place we all can travel to in our minds, hearts and souls. Whatever way you express your good tidings, I welcome it. I know it all comes from a virtuous place, a fond memory of the past and good will toward human kind. I bid you a Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, and joyous Kwanza. Happy Holidays.

The Rainbow Times The Freshest LGBT 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 Alex Mancini Steve Jewett Reporters Jenna Spinelle Chuck Colbert Al Gentile Chris Gilmore Sandra Dias

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

The Rainbow Times is published monthly by The Rainbow Times, LLC. TRT is affiliated with the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association, NLGJA, National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce, NGLCC, and QSyndicate. The articles written by the writers, columnists, and correspondents solely express their opinion, and do not represent the endorsement or opinion of The Rainbow Times, LLC or its owners. Send letters to the editor with your name, address and phone number to: The Rainbow Times (address shown above), or e-mail any comment/s to the editor-in-chief at: 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.

December 7, 2017 - January 3, 2018

10th Year Anniversary • • The Rainbow Times • 7

8 • The Rainbow Times • • 10th Year Anniversary


December 7, 2017 - January 3, 2018

Mass. Senator Julian Cyr

State legislators fight to improve protections for LGBTQ incarcerees By: Al Gentile/TRT Reporter

A new criminal justice reform bill slated to be voted upon by the Massachusetts legislature in 2018 could explicitly mandate protections for LGBTQ people in prison. “An Act Relative to Criminal Justice Reform” (, is an omnibus bill covering a wide range of criminal justice issues in Massachusetts and was voted out of the Senate earlier in the fall and will soon be considered by the House. “Currently, the [Department of Corrections] has regulations that are voluntary, that do acknowledge the needs of LGBTQ people in the correctional system. [This amendment] basically establishes those protections in law, which is a stronger set of protections from a legal perspective,” said Senator Julian Cyr, D-Truro, Mass., who introduced an amendment with specific language protecting LGBTQ incarcerees. “It also establishes a special commission to look at the experiences of LGBTQ people in our criminal justice system.” One of the major reforms the amendment mandates is for inmates to be addressed and treated in accordance with their lived gender identity when purchasing commissary items, being searched by correctional

officers, and assigned housing. The amendment also calls for LGBTQ people to receive independent health care services consistent with their gender identity, should the prison’s facilities be unable to address their medical issues properly. Finally, the amendment calls for the formation of an eight-person commission, which will investigate and monitor the conditions of LGBTQ incarcerees and ensure compliance with the protections sought in the amendment. Appointees would include law enforcement, social workers, health professionals and an advocate for formerly and presently incarcerated LGBTQ people. Black and Pink (, a national organization advocating for the abolition of prisons and for the rights of incarcerated LGBTQ people, has been outspoken about the discrimination that LGBTQ incarcerees face, particularly with practices such as solitary confinement ( A 2015 study by the organization, “Coming Out of Concrete Closets,” ( reported that LGBTQ people experience higher rates of incarceration, solitary confinement, ...

See Incarcerees on Page 11

10th Year Anniversary • • The Rainbow Times • 9

December 7, 2017 - January 3, 2018

Kelly Clarkson on artistic liberation; confronting anti-LGBT parents PHOTO: VINCENT PETERS

By: Chris Azzopardi/Special to TRT


uring her 15-year career as your friendly pop spirit-lifter, Kelly Clarkson has prescribed a cheap alternative to therapy: anthemic pick-meups like “Since U Been Gone” and “People Like Us,” songs that impel a transcendental, fist-raised state. Late-night Facebook Live sessions are also her thing, and recently, the American Idol alum geeked out like she’d just won Idol all over again about her soulful rebirth, Meaning of Life, released on her new label, Atlantic Records. It was just Clarkson chillin’ on the couch with a glass of red wine that was much deserved, considering the artistic sacrifices she had to make postIdol, when she felt creatively stagnate as a Top 40 machine for RCA Records. But aside from a fat glass of red, Clarkson has other strong urges too. Due, in part, to her simply being so damn cool, Clarkson – who drowned the world in their own tears right along with her own as she was crowned the inaugural Idol winner in 2002 – tells me she feels so compelled to stick up for her LGBT besties she literally wants to go door-to-door and talk some sense into her friends’ homophobic parents. Because her friends ask her not to, she doesn’t. But here, with the ever-outspoken and now-artistically-liberated Clarkson leaving almost no opinion unturned, the Texas native makes that point loud and clear. Before getting back to being a mom to River Rose, 3, and Remington Alexander, 1, as well as husband Brandon Blackstock’s kids Seth and Savannah from a previous rela-tionship, Clarkson spoke like one. Even her simple “diva” request – a “pretty dress to sing in” – is enough to make you wish you were on that couch with her and a bottle of Pinot. Chris Azzopardi: Mariah, P!NK, Kesha – so many female artists have gone through the creative struggles you have. Kelly Clarkson: Oh, every artist. It’s so not unique in any way. Q: How good does it feel to finally be yourself artistically? A: It just feels freeing to make an entire project and, in its entirety, I’m 100 percent excited about it. There wasn’t any compromise. It’s how I feel the creative industry

LGBTQ Ally Kelly Clarkson

should feel. There’s noth-ing like working on something you’re so proud of. Q: Please tell me you at least got a little sloppy at a gay club to celebrate the end of your contract with RCA. A: (Laughs) Brother, I got four kids and a career, I ain’t got time to go to clubs! I’m rockin’ a 1-, 3-, 10- and 16 year-old, man. You know what club I go to? The club of playing board games with my family... which, actually, I love. Q: Plus, you have your farm just outside Nashville. You’ve got chickens to raise! A: We’ve got our chickens, our honeybees, our orchard. We love our farm. Q: Have you sent RCA Records head Clive Davis a copy of the album? A: (Laughs) Be like, “This is what I was wanting to do this whole time!” Yeah, no. (Laughs) You know what’s so sad: I was so excited to work with him. You have no idea. He worked with so many of my favorites: Janis (Joplin), and he worked with Bruce Springsteen way back in the day. All these artists who were very innovative in their time, and I was so excited. That’s been one of the saddest points for me in this industry – just figuring out that someone I really look up to just was not what they seemed. That was a pretty big blow. I was

pretty sad about that. Like, we don’t always need to meet our heroes. Q: In some ways, your story of artistic suppression is relatable to the LGBT community. As an ally, do you recognize that affinity? A: Talking with my gay or lesbian friends over the years, I can’t imagine. I’ve always said I can’t imagine not being able to be myself in and out. And, yes, while I can relate a bit musically to feeling like you’re going over massive hurdles to try and get to a compromise that you’re happy with, that’s nothing in comparison to hearing my friends talk about (being gay), especially in the South where I grew up, and then the faith thing comes into play. I had one friend wait, and this is the saddest thing ever: I don’t think she ever felt comfortable in her skin because her parents were older. So, they passed away and then she finally felt free. I thought, “What a horrible feeling to have to wait until people aren’t around to be yourself.” I could never ever relate to that. I feel horrible that anybody has to go through that. It’s almost like when people ask me about other artists who have all these shticks about them and I’m like, “Oh god, that would weigh on me if I had to keep that up, if I had to keep doing shit to make every-one happy.” Walking onto the stage in, like, a pretty dress to sing, that’s really the extent of my diva, or just my experience on the stage. I’ve always just been very simple. Even in situations, musically, where I really had to

fight or jump through hoops, I still was able to be myself, which I think people didn’t like because I was very open. But I have to do that. I have to express myself. Liter-ally, I would go in such a downward spiral of depression if I weren’t able to, and that’s why, honestly, a lot of friends, especially who are gay and lesbian, felt that way. I pray to God my children never have to feel that, that people around me don’t have to feel that. I always hope that I’m always the one person going, “If they’re upset about it, screw it. It’s your life. You can’t not be you. You can’t suffer just because you’re trying to make somebody else happy. That’s not a life.” Q: From “Since U Been Gone” on through “People Like Us” and “I Have a Dream,” your an-thems have been empowering to LGBT people. What song on this album do you hope becomes the next big gay anthem? A: It’s always my gay boys who come up and go, “Oh my god, I love ‘Whole Lotta Woman.’” And it’s so funny, because I’m like, that is so ironic and amazing! (Laughs) Q: Do you ever get tired of singing your first single, 2002’s “A Moment Like This”? A: I never sing it! Because the song wasn’t meant for me – it was meant for the winner. Read the rest online at:

10 • The Rainbow Times • • 10th Year Anniversary

December 7, 2017 - January 3, 2018

In part one of a two-part series, The Rainbow Times examines the LGBTQ lifestyle through the lens of Caribbean culture. Not too long ago, Erick Diaz and a few of his friends visited a Latin nightclub in Providence, Rhode Island. While socializing together, Diaz overheard a comment that would jolt him from his carefree conversations and remind him of a startling reality for men like himself. “Long story short, I overheard some guys behind me talking about the way I was dressed and how I looked ‘faggety,’” he said. “When I looked back to see who was speaking, the guy looks at me with these piercing eyes.” Like so many openly gay men who express their identity on their own terms, Diaz suddenly became aware that in a bar with straight people, he may not have been completely safe to be himself. Diaz said one of the men aggressively asked him, “What the [expletive] you looking at?” “It was a bit scary,” he continued. “I have had many negative interactions with heterosexual Caribbean men. I blame it on insecurities surrounding their sexuality.” “The Abominable Crime” Composed of more than 7,000 islands and two dozen countries, the Caribbean is home to a diverse and vibrant culture and


By: Mike Givens/TRT Assistant Editor

Erick Diaz

people. The Dominican Republic, where Diaz hails from, is just one of many island nations that dot the southern Atlantic east of Mexico and Central America and north of South America. Other countries such as Jamaica, Haiti, Barbados, and Cuba are situated in the area, as well as the U.S. territories of Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. The history of many of these islands is rooted in colonialism, Christianity, and patriarchy, which directly contribute to the myriad national identities that define the social and moral fabric of the region’s cultures. “We have to be really careful not to talk about Caribbean culture as a monolith,”

said Dr. Diana Fox, a cultural anthropologist and professor at Bridgewater State University (; BSU). “There are certainly important overlaps, all of [the islands] experiencing European colonialism and slavery and East Indian indentureship following the end of slavery, but the various colonial powers left different religions, languages, legacies, and even different attitudes around gender and sexuality. “The Dutch speaking, English speaking, French and Spanish Caribbean are importantly distinct in certain ways. Even within the English-speaking Caribbean, there are variations that have to do with where the islands are located, how close they are to the United States, the demographics, the percentages of African, Indian, and Chinese, Lebanese … The [Caribbean] is an incredibly diverse society and that has some impact on understanding the nature of the conditions of LGBTQ persons in the region.” Though there is an inherent diversity in the region, when it comes to the rights of LGBTQ people in the Caribbean, Fox said that there are general patterns that can be observed. “It’s fair to say [LGBTQ rights are] a struggle … ” she said. Fox referenced the 2013 film, “The Abominable Crime” as a powerful documentary on homophobia in Jamaica ( The film explores the lives of a group of queer Jamaicans and the violence they experience for living openly. The homophobia Diaz experienced in that Providence nightclub by a group of Latin men, though common throughout the United States, has its roots in centuries-old social mores around masculinity that per-


Queer and Caribbean: LGBTQ+ culture and the island identity

Holyoke, Mass. City Councilor Jossie Valentin

meated Caribbean culture. “There were certain behavioral patterns that were introduced during slavery that entrenched existing heteronormativity such as using black male studs as slave breeders, which reinforced a kind of masculinity that was ranked,” said Fox. “ If you were going to be a man selected to reproduce with a woman who was selected, that would heighten the status of the male. That was one factor that has lead to a kind of privileging of heterosexual normativity.” Diaz said that the Dominican Republic is saturated in patriarchy. “There is also a very strong presence of ‘machismo’ in the Dominican Republic, which only exacerbates the homophobia that persists in the culture,” he said. Diaz continued by relating an anecdote that he characterized as chilling. “My recent trip to [the] DR was last summer and the day I got there my mom was telling me a story about how a young, beautiful man was killed,” he related. “The man was robbed for his motorcycle and was then tied up, sodomized, [and] killed. Many people said that the reason they killed that man was because he was out and proud.” Fox also said that colonial “anti-buggery,” or antisodomy

See Queer & Caribbean on page 12

10th Year Anniversary • • The Rainbow Times • 11

December 7, 2017 - January 3, 2018

Incarcerees from page 8 sexual harassment and abuse than nonLGBTQ inmates. The organization’s new national director, Tray Johnson, a lesbian of color who spent 13 years in the federal prison system, said the reality of LGBTQ people in prisons is one of hopelessness and constant fear and that current policy guidance for Massachusetts prisons are not effective in protecting LGBTQ incarcerees. “That’s the age-old, this is all we can do,” she said. “Most of the time, LGBTQ people in prison, especially trans women in men’s prisons, their biggest threat is not other inmates. They’re assaulted by guards at the same rate that they are [by] other inmates.” Often, Johnson said, trans people were placed in solitary confinement not for committing a crime, but for their own protection. There, she said these incarcerees are treated as if they were placed in solitary confinement because of an infraction. “If you’re in solitary for your safety, you’re not supposed to be locked down for 23 hours a day,” Johnson said. “You’re supposed to have regular showers, library access, law library access.” She also said that, since she is often deemed by others as masculine, she was repeatedly searched by male prison guards. “The men say we have to be strip searched by men since we want to be men,” Johnson said. “We have to stand there and they’ll pat us down while we’re butt naked.” The Black and Pink Report, which surveyed approximately 1,200 inmates across the country, indicated that more than onethird of respondents reported being physically assaulted by prison staff, as well as 76 percent claiming prison staff intentionally placed them in a situation where they were at risk of being sexually assaulted by prisoners. Cyr said multiple reports point to a clear indication that where the state government interacts with LGBTQ people, progress is still needed. “Despite a lot of progress in Massachusetts, [LGBTQ people] remain among the most vulnerable populations, specifically among transgender and gender nonconforming people and trans people of color,” Cyr said. “Part of my job is looking out for that community, and looking for opportunities where, from a policy perspective, we

need to be looking everywhere the state government interacts with LGBTQ people. That includes criminal justice, the courts, and correctional systems.” Johnson said that she’d like to occupy a seat on the eight-person commission so as to represent Black and Pink in ensuring the rights of incarcerees. “We push to mandate that not only a person from a non-profit organization, but Black and Pink specifically, [be placed] on an oversight committee, and have access to LGBTQ prisoners in solitary confinement,” Johnson said. “We have put in the work. The groundwork was laid before I got here, and it’s been some tremendous groundwork laid by Black and Pink, and we deserve to have access to our people to be their voice.” Where the Bill Stands Earlier in the fall, the criminal justice bill was voted positively out of the Senate, however, the House version did not include an amendment comparable to Cyr’s. Ahead of the upcoming 2018 legislative session, the entire bill is being reviewed in conference, where three members of the Senate and three members of the House come together to reconcile the two different versions of the legislation. It is this finalized bill that will be up for a vote before the entire legislature. If passed, the bill will be sent to the Governor’s desk for signing. Representative Liz Malia, D-Mass., fought for the amendment in the House, according to Arturo Natella, her director of external affairs. “Liz is going to be advocating for this on the House side,” Natella said. “She is going to do the best she can so that this important amendment gets through.” Malia also supported an amendment authorizing data collection on LGBTQ people murdered in Massachusetts, which she hopes will also be included in a final iteration of the bill. A statement by Natella reads: "Representative Malia filed the LGBTQ Data Collection amendment to the House’s 2017 Criminal Justice Omnibus Reform Bill. Although the amendment wasn’t adopted during House debate, its inclusion in the Senate Criminal Justice Omnibus bill means that it could still appear in a reconciled bill. From marriage equality to public

See Incarcerees on page 15

QPuzzle: We’ve got ‘Another Transgender First’

Across 1 Start of a quote from 22Across 5 Sharon of Queer as Folk 10 See 22-Across 14 Ward of Once and Again 15 Like some old buckets 16 Picks out, with "for" 17 Soft rock for bottoms 18 Love Affair costar Dunne 19 Gets hard 20 More of the quote 22 With 10-Across, the first openly transgender person elected to a state legislature 24 Beat barely 25 Actress Ione 26 "I Will Survive" singer Gaynor 29 Album of Etheridge 33 Mama's boys 34 Make into balls 38 Shakespearean soliloquy start 39 NASA "thumbs-up" 40 Of the body 42 Come out on top 43 More of the quote 46 Since, to J. M. Barrie 47 Gas additive 48 Former Minnesota governor Carlson 49 Shine, in some ads 51 Bill written by Alice Paul 52 End of the quote 61 Heavy horn 62 Targets for Patty Sheehan 63 Land of Sinead O'Connor 64 Othello was one

65 Writer Dykewomon 66 Foot fetish target 67 Watched intently 68 Ready for action 69 Vehicle for a snow queen?

Down 1 Barrier breaker of old 2 The Seattle Storm, for one 3 Earthen pot 4 Fudge ___ (top NFL team?) 5 Deserting one's post, to Cammermeyer 6 Inevitable online claim 7 Barely make, with "out" 8 Tickles pink 9 Rita Mae Brown's cat 10 Most pink 11 Source of oil-based lubricants 12 Katharine's Butch Cassidy role 13 Copies of a feminist mag. 21 The Last King of Scotland character 23 Men Behaving Badly writer Simon 26 Fed. property manager 27 Froot ___ 28 Like Benjamin Britten, pitchwise 30 Dubuque denizen 31 Bear 32 Word on a lavatory door 35 Mingo portrayer Ed 36 Nutty as a fruitcake

37 Lone Star State sch. 40 Took part in a bee 41 Danes of Romeo + Juliet 44 Fencing phrase 45 Lacking support? 50 Colette's The ___ One 51 A Room of One's Own, e.g. 52 Melissa Etheridge's "Don't Look ___" 53 Channel marker 54 Penetrating reed 55 "Hi" to Lorca 56 Liberace's style, for example 57 Get better 58 One of Bernstein's strings 59 Gardner of mystery 60 Rank Billie Jean, e.g.


12 • The Rainbow Times • • 10th Year Anniversary

December 7, 2017 - January 3, 2018

that people in the movement have to do is make it palatable and undo the wronglaws effectively outlawed same-sex rela- headed assumptions.” tions and many of those laws still exist in Fox said that in Jamaica, racial dynamics many Caribbean countries. Around the can mix with gender and sexual politics to same time that slavery was brought by Eu- create a troubling caste system. Darkropeans to the Caribbean, fundamentalist skinned Jamaicans have a tendency to be Christianity was introduced to Caribbean treated poorly, can be the subjects of empeople as colonial ships also brought ployment and healthcare discrimination priests and other clergy members, who set and violence. about converting island natives. “They’re the ones who suffer the most,” Given that anti-sodomy laws are still in she said. “The darker, the poor, and gay effect and anti-LGBTQ sentiment runs men, which is considered worse than leshigh in many Caribbean cultures, Fox said bians … ” that police are often complicit in allowing Fox said that she’s heard anecdotes of acts of homophobia and transphobia to take corrective rape where heterosexual men place and acts of discrimination run high. will gang rape masculine lesbian women Diaz said that the with the intent of making Dominican Republic them straight. She said N UERTO ICO in 2017 has policies she’s also heard stories and practices that of queer people being ALENTIN SAID THAT SHE slashed with glass or promote discrimination. knives and being beaten “Right now queer ENCOUNTERS DISCRIMINA up, sometimes in the people have limited presence of police. rights in the DominiTION AND HARASSMENT Queer people who've can Republic,” he been outed have received said. “Like in many LIVING OPENLY PARTICU threatening notes, had other countries, their tires slashed, and many queer people, LARLY WHEN SHE S WITH have had the walls outespecially transgenside of their homes grafder women, have HER WIFE WHO IS MORE fitied. been victims of hate Fox noted that there attacks. Also, the Doare also positive stories FEMININE minican Republic that she’s heard. Underdoes not recognize ground circuits where same-sex marriage as legitimate.” queer people socialize together, neighborThe homophobia and transphobia is not hoods where same-sex relationships are unchallenged, however. There is a small, tolerated. Two years ago, Jamaica had its but ever-present human rights movement first Pride event in New Kingston. Last active in the Caribbean to support LGBTQ year, there was a full pride week and a papeople and their rights. rade at the University of West Indies Cam“The human rights movements have a pus. There have also been Family Night local flavor to them,” she said. “They tap activities for queer and straight families into important cultural norms and beliefs and other festivities. and value systems, but they’re also transnational. They’re connected to LGBT move- Caribbean Culture Meets Massachusetts ments, particularly in the US, but also in Mores Canada, even Great Britain. They’re Giftson Joseph is from Haiti and says that pulling on energy and support from the there is a misconception that all Haitian global community.” people are homophobic. Though the human rights movement is “The misconception about Caribbean growing in the region, it still faces an uphill culture is that everyone is against homosexbattle when it comes to educating the main- uality or that everyone is violent toward stream public. LGBTQ individuals,” he said. “ … As a “There’s an interesting relationship that Haitian person I can only speak on my exCaribbean people in general, and I would periences in Haiti. It’s really about the losay in Jamaica in particular [have with the cation in Haiti and who you surround human rights movement],” Fox continued. yourself with.” “They’re very suspicious of the movement Joseph said that knowing how to navigate … outside the movement, there's a lot of the social politics of the island nation are critique that it’s a western, white, middle key to protecting oneself from violence and class movement that is bringing American discrimination. culture and lasciviousness [into the “To be queer in Haiti, it’s about navigaCaribbean] … a lot of negative stereotypes tion, knowing where are the right places to … so they associate the human rights go,” he said “There still is a heavy stigmamovement with the LGBTQ movement.” tization and an anti-gay atmosphere that Fox said that negative, fabricated stereo- still reigns over Haiti to this day like most types about queer people have been asso- of the Caribbean.” ciated with the human rights movement in Joseph stressed that religion and class can the Caribbean, which also advocates for play a big role in moving up the economic women’s rights, the environment, an end to ladder and positioning queer people to live child marriage practices, among other is- in communities that are more affluent and sues. open-minded. “Because there are a lot of stereotypes Living as an openly gay male in Massalike gay men are pedophiles, they see chusetts is much easier than in the human rights as a support of pedophilia,” Caribbean, according to Joseph. Fox said. “The human rights movement, in “As a person of Caribbean descent, it is the eyes of many, is a negative. “It’s a real effort. It’s one of the things See Queer & Caribbean on Page 15

Queer & Caribbean from page 10










10th Year Anniversary • • The Rainbow Times • 13

December 7, 2017 - January 3, 2018

Lessons learned from confronting a transphobic name-caller in NYC By: Deja Nicole Greenlaw*/TRT Columnist


“Sticks and stones may break my bones, but names will never harm me.” Remember that chant from your childhood? It was first written in 1862 in The Christian Recorder (, a publication of the African Methodist Episcopal Church, and it was meant to be good advice for victims of namecalling. The advice was to ignore taunting. This may work in some situations, but when it’s directed to a trans person, it often doesn’t apply. Trans people may be called numerous names, many of which are very hurtful. I have personally been called faggot, he-she, shim, weirdo, and an abomination, among other names. You might ask other trans people what they have been called. It’s awful. It’s bad enough living as a trans person, but to add hurtful names to the mix may make it unbearable at times. What do you do when someone calls you a name? Sometimes it’s from people in cars

that are driving past you as you walk. Sometimes it’s heard from friends who tell you what others said about you. Neither of these times can lead to an immediate confrontation. Either the person has driven away, or the person is physically far away from you. You have time to absorb and reflect upon the name-calling without having to deal with the offender face-to-face. In some situations, however, the name-caller is standing right in front of you. What do

or suffer damnation in hell. Most of the protestors were silent, but one of them decided to go after me and call me out. I just looked at him and tried to ignore him and his taunts, but he did get to me when he called me an abomination. I stopped, turned around, and looked him straight in the eye. He was about 20 feet away spouting some religious rhetoric and he was walking closer to me. Out of the corner of my eye, I spotted a police officer

... I WAS CALLED AN ABOMINATION, I WAS STANDING FACE-TO-FACE WITH MY NAME-CALLER. THIS IS WHAT I DID. you do in that case? The time I was called an abomination, I was standing face-to-face with my name-caller. I will tell you what I did. I was getting ready to march in my first New York City Pride in 2005. I was with my best friend and it was her first NYC Pride march too. As we walked up Fifth Avenue to find a group to march with, we noticed protesters along the way. The protesters were mostly religious extremists who held signs that implored us to repent

who was 30 feet away and beginning to take notice. I saw the officer take a couple of steps towards us and get into a position to act if necessary. The name-caller was still carrying on and moving closer to me. Time seemed to slow down, and I began thinking about what I should do. I noticed that he was very angry and had a lot of energy. I sensed that he was ready to fight me. I did feel like taking a swing at him, but the police officer was now walking closer to the

both of us. I envisioned being attacked and retaliating with a punch or two, and I knew this might lead to the both of us being arrested. I did not want to spend time in a NYC police station, I wanted to march in my first NYC Pride, so I knew that I had to somehow defuse the situation. Since I was ready to march in the parade, I had a rainbow streamer rolled up in my right hand. As both the name-caller and the police officer were now walking faster towards me I flung my right hand in the air and let the streamer unfold. I put on my best smile and exclaimed, “Happy Pride!!” The police officer stopped walking towards me and began laughing as did some onlookers who noticed the situation. The name-caller stopped dead in his tracks with a very confused look on his face. A friend called him back to his protest position and my best friend and I continued our search for a group to join. From that experience I learned to think and walk the high road, smile my best smile, and take control of the situation with a happy cheer. It worked, but it’s a startling reminder of the things we must deal with when we are trans people. *Deja Nicole Greenlaw is retired from 3M and has three children and two grandchildren.

Defiance: Living your life as an openly trans person is a revolutionary act By: Lorelei Erisis*/TRT Columnist




ow can I tell you, brothers, sisters, zisters, and my many trans siblings, that just living your lives is a revolutionary act? Going to the store to buy milk, holding hands in the street with your lovers, riding the bus to work, casually sipping a beer at the neighborhood bar are acts of protest. All of these things, normal and mundane as they may be for you and me, they are revolutionary acts that upset the cisgender, binary-oriented status quo. To be clear, you don’t even have to be non-binary in any way to challenge the binary. I know for myself that as a binary-female I constantly have to fight to fit within the binary, or rather, to be accepted as fitting within it. I know who I am, and how I identify. It’s getting others, cisgender people, to accept that, which is the revolutionary act. It’s not altering my own life to fit their discomfort that is revolutionary. For trans people, even something so universal and biologically unavoidable as having to use a public restroom is treated as a provocation. We do not have to form cells, or distribute pamphlets, or stand on corners giving fiery speeches to be revolutionaries. All we have to do is continue breathing. Leave the house, live our lives. These are revolutionary acts. And, it doesn’t matter if you’re not someone like me who actively participates in intentional activism. You don’t have to be the

most visible person in the room, the loudest, or the most outspoken. You can be quiet as a church mouse, an introvert who just wants to go to work, play a board game with friends, or sip a latte while reading a book at a local café. If you are trans on top of these things, you are just as much a revolutionary as I am. In this topsy-turvy, ciscentric world, even these simple things are activist acts. Every day, we are beaten, murdered, discriminated against, marginalized, taunted, teased, and dismissed. We may have more allies now than ever, but the society we live in is still overwhelmingly hostile towards our very existence. Most people would not even blink if we all suddenly went back into the closet and disappeared. Given a choice, they would rather not have to deal with us at all. Yet by our very lives, our visibility in our communities, our simple existence, we force the public at large to deal with us, to think about us. When we walk down the street, we take up space in their world. When we wait in line in front of them at the supermarket, we confront their assumed supremacy. When we offer our opinions in a meeting, we refuse to be silenced. If we dare to stand up for each other and support each other, we are accused of creating a politicized atmosphere. If we refuse to be sidelined, we are called troublemakers. If we love who we want, identify our sexualities, there are those who call us rapists and infiltrators. To drive home that point, I am telling you that even to other revolutionaries in this ciscentric society, we often represent a step too far. Those others who live on the margins, those who proudly love others of the same sex, who have faced discrimination and marginalization themselves, even to

IF WE REFUSE TO BE SIDELINED, WE ARE CALLED TROUBLEMAKERS. many of them we are revolutionaries and provocateurs. If you are trans, going to the gay bar, or the all-women’s music festival, or the private dungeon, these things are revolutionary. Even, somehow, within circles of folks who may already think of themselves as revolutionary. But despite all this, we live our lives. We work, pay our bills, celebrate holidays, attend church, get married and divorced, run for office, and join the army. And if you are trans, know that I love you. No matter your personal politics, your

age or occupation, whether we would be great friends if we met in person, or oil and water incompatible, you are my comrade on the front lines and I’ve got your back. If no other voice tells you today that you are worthwhile and amazing, let mine be that voice for you. Know that you are seen, recognized, and celebrated simply for being yourself. You don’t have to march on Washington or be a guest on the local news. You are leading the charge of the revolution just by continuing to breathe. You are breaking down the barricades by simply living your lives. You are a revolutionary. We are revolutionaries. Long live the trans revolution. Slàinte! *Lorelei Erisis is an actor, activist, adventurer & pageant queen. Send your questions about trans issues, gender and sexuality to Lorelei Erisis via her e-mail at:

14 • The Rainbow Times • • 10th Year Anniversary

Attacks on LGBTQs from Page 5 seeking to repeal the Johnson Amendment. A first iteration of the repeal only lifted the limitations on churches, but was then extended to all tax-exempt organizations. “That [repeal] is in the House bill. It was intended to just allow people to speak freely from the pulpit, but it could be applied much more broadly,” Conway said. “The executive order did not achieve anything other than what people think it did.” What Conway says is the most troubling part of this development is how it can change the game in campaign finance. United States law allows for an individual to make unlimited donations to charity, and to have those donations be tax-exempt. If the Johnson Amendment is repealed, Johnson said, nonprofits and religious organizations could be used as tools for political speech. “That is scary to some people because it now means that normally, when you make a donation to a political organization, you can’t make a deduction for it,” Conway said. “But now if I know my church can also support a politician and engage in advocacy on political points, I am going to donate to the church because I can donate all of it to the church.” Nonprofit organizations have come out in opposition to the repeal. In a statement, President of the National Council of Nonprofits ( Jim Delaney said, “Charitable nonprofits don’t want to be dragged into the toxic political wasteland.” ( On November 3, the national Joint Committee on Taxation filed a report ( stating the 10-year impact on taxpayers for people diverting political dollars to charitable, tax-exempt organizations could reach approximately $2.1 billion. The First Amendment Defense Act The First Amendment Defense Act ( is a piece of legislation, introduced by Representative Raul Labrador, R-Idaho, in 2015 which states the federal government cannot take action against people who discriminate based on the belief that: “(1) marriage is or should be recognized as the union of one man and one woman, or (2) sexual relations are properly reserved to such a marriage.” Rep. Labrador’s office did not respond to several inquiries for comment for this article.

The bill has not been introduced into the 115th Congressional Session as of November 6—which began in January 2017 and ends in January 2019—according to the Human Rights Campaign (; HRC). The actions described in law include changing a nonprofit organization’s status, levying penalties, or enacting any impact on an individual’s right to federal assistance in any way. The “Tipping the Scales” report outlines how this could affect a wide range of services dependent upon federal funding, including health care, adoption and foster care, and housing. “What it really does is, if you believe marriage should only be between one man and one woman, we want to protect you if you don’t want to follow the rules that would generally apply to you,” Mushovic said. “If I just happen to be single or living with my boyfriend, and if you think about people who have sex before they get married, now a pharmacist can now say they want to see a marriage license because they don’t believe in sex without marriage.” Religious Exemptions in Adoption and Foster Care Services The Child Welfare Provider Inclusion Act of 2017 ( bars the federal government from punishing adoption and foster care services for discriminating based on religious beliefs. “Now you could turn away a same-sex couple that is otherwise very qualified because you don’t believe gay people should be parents,” Mushovic said. “What if I don’t think kids should be gay, so I can insist on conversion therapy in my care?” The report also outlines how Texas and South Dakota have passed laws protecting agencies that provide foster care and child placement services that discriminate based on religious beliefs. “One example is I may not want to adopt a child to a same-sex couple, but another one may be I don’t want to adopt this child out unless you agree with my religious beliefs and [sign] a statement of faith, or swear you are going to raise this child in accordance with my beliefs,” Mushovic said. “If I’m a conservative Christian and you’re Jewish, adoption to you would be contrary to my belief because you’re not going to raise this child in a Christian household.”

December 7, 2017 - January 3, 2018

The Movement Ahead Mushovic said that reaching out to legislators to push back on these actions is crucial, but the true effort lies elsewhere. “If they feel even the LGBTQ community doesn't care about the outcome, we are in serious trouble," Mushovic said. “If we can raise the noise level, that's one very specific and upcoming thing folks can do." Yet, the issue may run deeper, according to Boston College Associate Law Professor Daniel Farbman.


TIONS COULD BE USED AS TOOLS FOR POLITICAL SPEECH “One of the strange things about what a lot of folks on the right are asking for, is for the law to not punish people when they stand up against what people perceive as unjust laws,” Farbman said. “In our pluralistic democracy, if you hold that belief and want to exercise that belief, you have to bear the consequences of that.” The fact that many of these laws aim to essentially excuse discrimination, according to Farbman, runs in conflict with how social regulation laws have changed in the past.

Farbman pointed to civil disobedience, such as the conscientious objectors to Fugitive Slave Laws (, and how pointing out the unconstitutionality of those laws is what truly changed minds. “If you want to struggle against gay marriage, you should be trying to expose it and use the strategies of civil resistance that we've long understood to be effective, in terms of showing the injustices of the law,” Farbman said. To that end, Farbman said working against these actions is not only about fighting executive orders and laws passed in Congress—those over time can change with new administrations and political leanings. “Passing laws doesn’t change how people think about the world,” Farbman said. “You can’t legislate away bigotry. I think it sometimes can be a little of a strategic mistake to insist that it is illegal to be a bigot, and therefore bigotry must end and be eradicated.” Instead, Farbman said the report points to a deeper truth about our society, and how people can propose to change it. “What do we do to solve the problem of this new regime? One answer would be to elect a new president,” Farbman said. “The other is to just return to a more grassroots position where you’re getting local government to punish people, you’re shaming people for doing these things. This is how the movement has always worked.” To see the Movement Advancement Project’s report in full, and to see citations of various state laws, visit

10th Year Anniversary • • The Rainbow Times • 15

December 7, 2017 - January 3, 2018

Holiday in Stereo(type): Gift ideas for 8 types of Queers in your life By: Mikey Rox*/Special to TRT


oliday gift buying for LGBT people is difficult at best, anxiety-riddled at worst. What do you get the him, her or them who already have everything with specific tastes to boot? Play into stereotypes – that’s what. Identify where your favorite queers fall on the spectrum of zero to glittered unicorn then shop this list of cherry-picked presents. The Instagram Thirst Trap 2(X)IST’s soft, muscle-hugging Essential Cotton One-Piece Union Suit – the horizontal printed stripes of which optically flatter waists slim or a bit wider – accentuates all the right areas for maximum thirsttrap potential, but gay-owned Sheehan & Co.’s thigh-bearing Drop Shoulder Onesie is for the real showoffs. $59,; $140,

Queer & Caribbean from page 12 easier to be in Massachusetts because there are laws here that protect you or at least are intended to protect you … ” Joseph also stressed that there is more access to opportunity and the freedom to be yourself without fear that you can be discriminated against without repercussions. Like Joseph, Holyoke, Mass. City Councilor Jossie Valentin agrees that there’s more freedom to be oneself in the Bay State than in the Caribbean. Having lived in Puerto Rico up until she was 21, Valentin realized that it wasn’t safe for her to live openly as a lesbian in her home country. “In the 90s, being queer in Puerto Rico was very much taboo, especially for women,” she said. “The stereotype of the GLBT community was that of the very flamboyant gay man who is always the character on TV that everyone is mocking, and that is still the case today.” Valentin said that she came out when she was 16 while in college and realized that her sexual orientation as well as her gender expression were not welcomed. “For me to be out, to be comfortable and

Incarcerees from Page11 accommodations, Representative Malia has worked to advance LGBTQ civil rights. This data collection is one more way to ensure that government recognizes and respects us every time it touches our lives." Cyr said the most immediate task for people to foster change is to urge the members of the conference committee to keep the amendment. The rest, he said, is up to culture change.

European theater. $100,; games - $60/each,

The Millennial Culture Vulture Hundreds of classic and contemporary works were cultivated to create a revolving gallery of established and emerging artists for Depict Frame, a 49-inch 4K Ultra HD digital canvas that works with a subscription-based app ($20/month but a complimentary collection is included) to instantly turn any living room into the Louvre. $899,

The Loveable Lush Craft beer connoisseurs can enjoy their hobby in the comfort of their homes thanks to Pico Model C, a countertop-brewing appliance that delivers five liters of liquid gold in about two hours, while the amateur mixologists on the other side of the bar whip up precisely portioned jigger-free cocktails with the Perfect Blend Smart Scale (which is great for healthy smoothies, too). $549,; $100,

The Host With the Most Tequila gets a more sophisticated treatment than it’s used to in Pernod Ricard’s limitededition Avión Collection by Waterford, featuring a luxury decanter and rocks glasses crafted by the famed crystal manufacturer, plus a 750ml bottle of Avión’s award-winning Añejo. $399, The Perpetual Activist Raising respectful children who turn into respectful adults is harder than it looks (at least in Hollywood, and Washington, D.C., and most red states), but The Little Feminist hopes to reverse that trend with its children’s book and activity subscription focused on diversity and gender equality – a much-needed resource given that over the past five years only 31 percent of children’s books featured female central characters while a paltry 13 percent featured a person of color. Change the world one kid at a time with three- or six-month subscriptions. be myself, not just as a gay woman, but also with the gender expression I’m comfortable with—I usually present as more masculine—I needed to get out,”she said. In 1998, she moved to Northampton, Massachusetts and described it as “paradise” as she felt accepted in the LGBTQ community in the western part of the state. She later moved to Holyoke, which she said was “night and day” from Northampton, but that over the years, acceptance for LGBTQ people has really grown in the city. “I will always be Puerto Rican anywhere I am, but I am very proud of being a resident of Massachusetts, particularly with the leadership we have statewide,” she said, noting that she’s proud to have elected leaders like U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren and Attorney General Maura Healey in positions of power in the Commonwealth. In Puerto Rico, Valentin said that she encounters discrimination and harassment living openly, particularly when she’s with her wife, who is more feminine. “Straight men have made comments or Read the rest of this story at:

“A lot of progress has been made here, but there’s still plenty of work to do. It’s not as high profile as prior fights, and often it's about protecting a much more marginalized and smaller population,” Cyr said. “We need the entire LGBTQ community, including those of us who are in positions of privilege, and I’m certainly within that, to be committed to lifting up everyone in the community.” To see the amendment as passed by the Senate, visit


The Uber Gay Before he starts kissing ass and taking names at the 25th Winter Party in Miami Feb. 28 to March 6 (this is your cue to buy him tickets!), he’ll tap into his inner gayby to style the queens in RuPaul’s Drag Race Paper Doll Book, featuring 10 illustrated

The Dapper Dandy Leather-strap embossing allows you to personalize the modern minimalism of newly launched Washington Square Watches (the navy-faced Greenwich Gold is a piece to behold), or stick to tradition with Londonbased Oliver Coen’s polished subdial pieces presented in a signature black box. $155,; $190, The Gotta-Have-It Gaymer The only mobile device controller to connect directly to Apple’s Lightning and Android’s USB-C ports for zero latency gaming, Gamevice – compatible with over 1,000 games and apps, including Street Fighter IV, NBA2K18 and The Walking punch-out dolls plus costumes for eight winners and two all-stars, including Sharon Needles, Bianca Del Rio and Alaska Thunderfuck 5000, among others. $25-$2,000,; book - $13,

Dead – also works as a controller for drones and robots (or so the AIs let you think). For stay-at-home console players, pick up holiday hot-tickets Destiny 2 and Call of Duty: WWII, based on the historical events of Operation Overlord and set in the

*Mikey Rox is an award-winning journalist and LGBT lifestyle expert whose work has been published in more than 100 outlets across the world. He splits his time between homes in New York City and the Jersey Shore with his dog Jaxon. Connect with Mikey on Twitter @mikeyrox.

16 • The Rainbow Times • • 10th Year Anniversary

December 7, 2017 - January 3, 2018

The Rainbow Times' Dec. 2017 Issue  
The Rainbow Times' Dec. 2017 Issue  

Award winning and Boston based, The Rainbow Times closes its 10 Year Anniversary Issue with many exclusives to continue to highlight its inv...