__MAIN_TEXT__
feature-image

Page 1

RainbowTimes

VAL E

Year 15, Vol. 2 • February 4, 2021 - March 3, 2021 • www.therainbowtimesmass.com

The

TM

FREE!

NTI NE’ S

EDI TIO

N

PHOTO: DARREN HALSTEAD/UNSPLASH

PHOTO: UNSPLASH

PHOTO: FACEBOOK

PHOTO: PROJECT PUBLICITY

NEW ENGLAND’S LARGEST LESBIAN, GAY, BISEXUAL AND TRANSGENDER NEWSPAPER SINCE 2006

HISTORY IN THE MAKING Biden Wins, Kamala Harris Sworn In As VP, First Woman & PoC As 2nd In Command p5

TRANSGENDER MILITARY BAN President Biden Overturns Trans Military Ban p7

AMERICA UNDER SIEGE TRT Condemns The Capitol Domestic Terrorist Attack p4

JOHN

DUFF

CHALLENGES THE BINARY

MADAM VICE PRESIDENT: A WALK WITH VP KAMALA HARRIS p2 COMPLICIT: SENS. CRUZ & HAWLEY ABET SEDITION AND INCITE PRO-TRUMP RIOTS p8 PHILLY TRANS WELLNESS CONFERENCE: PTWC GOES VIRTUAL IN 2021 SAY PRODUCERS p10

p9


2 • The Rainbow Times • TheRainbowTimesMass.com

February 4, 2021 - March 3, 2021

Kamala Harris: A walk with our Madam Vice-President, a first of firsts By: Nicole Lashomb* TRT Editor-in-Chief

L

ate last month, the nation and the world watched the inauguration of President Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris in what was historic in epic proportions. As a woman, I was filled with immense pride while in awe of Harris’ grit, her brilliance, and her audacity to accept the position of being the nation’s second in command, especially as a Woman of Color. Today, the glass ceiling has been shattered—that same glass ceiling keeping countless women down, a barricade established by the system of patriarchy based on archaic concepts to “keep women in their place,” in our place, has failed. Harris proved that all things are possible and women and girls of all backgrounds will walk in her steps tomorrow and in future generations to come. The feeling that elicits to me as a woman is immeasurable. In February 2019, I penned an editorial when then presidential-candidate Harris announced her candidacy. She was my first choice for president. I saw something brilliant in her and now, as our sitting Vice President, I still see that same brilliance shine. “As a woman in politics, Harris is unapologetic for her views of the reality in which we all live,” I wrote then. “She is not concerned about being politically correct nor does she tiptoe around issues out of concern of getting on someone’s bad side. She is blunt, yet charismatic. She is strong, yet empathetic and she is fierce, yet likeable. Her arguments against the [Trump] administration and her quick wit are so im-

THIS SERVES AS A RADICAL REMINDER THAT THE DOMESTIC EXTREMISM WE’VE EXPERIENCED DURING THE TRUMP ERA IS NOT WHO WE ARE AS A WHOLE. WHITE SUPREMACY, WHITE NATIONALISTS, FASCISTS AND NEO-NAZIS HAVE BEEN OUTWARDLY BRAZEN DURING THE PAST 4 YEARS, CULMINATING IN THE CRIMINALLY CALCULATED INSURRECTION OF OUR CAPITOL. pacting that back when I first started following her career, I hoped she would go head-to-head with Trump one day in a presidential debate. I had hoped she would take him out of office with her brazen intelligence. And, I may witness just that, after all.” While I may not witness her as president per se, Vice President is no small feat by any charge. I am confident that she will do us proud, just as those women who have also dedicated their lives to getting into “good trouble,” as the late Congressman John Lewis would say. Harris is lifted up by modern-day and other notable women that have forged ahead to demand fair treatment under the law, and were, and in many cases still are,

activists in their own right to create a more just world. Some of note are the suffragettes, Michelle Obama, Hillary Clinton, Stacey Abrams, Mary Jane Patterson, Mary Eliza Mahoney, Maggie Lena Mitchell, Rosa Parks, Alice Dunnigan, Coretta Scott King, and countless others not often given their due respect in a male-dominated world, but were also “firsts” holding up Harris’ legacy today. Likewise, I am filled with gratitude and admiration for President Biden who made inclusion a key concept to his campaign platform. He showed his dedication to uplifting the most marginalized among us, starting with his selection of Harris, as his second in command. He has restored our country to represent the clear picture of

Namaste to transgender, NB & gender fluid communities DOES IT MATTER SOMEONE IS NONBINARY, hroughout last year another chapter in my spiritual awakening unfolded. Some of it came from the experiences of those who make up the non- TRANSGENDER OR GENDER FLUID? OF COURSE binary, transgender, and gender fluid communities. NOT. ULTIMATELY, IT’S RESPECTING WHAT’S In 2020, similar to years past, I again read about the struggles, challenges, and victories of brave souls who acknowledge being part of one of these communities. Not only WITHIN EACH DIVINE, SPECIAL BEING WHOSE are they used as pawns in the culture war being waged by the militant right, but they’ve also had to face discrimination LIFE SOURCE ORIGINATED FROM THE SAME among the gay, lesbian, bisexual, and searching communities. For whatever reason, perhaps divine inPLACE AS MINE. tervention, I had a new awareness about the

By: Paul P. Jesep* TRT Columnist

T

soul and spirituality and the limitations and boundaries we set on others and ourselves. It started with me better understanding the holiness residing in myself and thus in others. Too often persons of faith, myself included, seek holiness outside of ourselves. There is a need to seek or experience God, Goddess, Creator, Supreme Divinity, etc., in space, the cosmos, or a place called heaven. Sometimes, we think the Giver of Life is somewhere out there. We attempt to

experience the Supreme Sacred beyond sight or tangible reach. Hence, some of us needlessly detach ourselves from the eternal flame within by looking outside ourselves. We overlook the obvious. Yet, the holy and divine has always been within us. This is not to suggest, for lack of better description, we’re gods and goddesses—to do so hints at a dangerous hubris. It’s been said science without faith and spirituality is hubris leading to all sorts

of diabolical and egoistical manifestations. At the same time, there is a divinity in each of us by the mere extension of where our soul or life source originates. All of us have a special energy coming from the exact same source. Whether a person, a cherished pet, a magnificent tree in the park, the empowering resurrection brought by spring, or the

See Namaste On Page 11

who Americans are, with various backgrounds, races, ethnicities, gender and gender identities, sexual orientations, ages, socioeconomic status and more. His administrative cabinet is reflective of exactly just that. We, collectively, have a seat at the table in proportions never seen before. The rhetoric has changed, the hidden agendas gone because he's setting that example, first and foremost. By emphatically stating that he'd "fire anyone who disrespects" or puts down anyone working with him, he has just set the bar. In October of 2020, The Rainbow Times was proud to endorse Biden and Harris for the office of President and Vice President, respectively. "We, at The Rainbow Times, have condemned Trump and Trump-like politics at the national, state and local levels from day one," the endorsement read. "And, we stand by such a stance. Furthermore, we

See Madam VP Harris On Page 11

Multiple Award Winning

The Rainbow Times The Largest LGBTQ+ Newspaper in New England—Boston Based TheRainbowTimesMass.com editor@therainbowtimesmass.com sales@therainbowtimesmass.com Phone: 617.444.9618 Fax: 928.437.9618 Publisher Graysen M. Ocasio

Chris Gilmore Audrey Cole

Editor-In-Chief Nicole Lashomb

Crossword Puzzle Artist/Designer Luciano Spanto

Assistant Editor Mike Givens National/Local Sales Rivendell Media Liz Johnson

Ad & Layout Design Prizm PR Webmaster Jarred Johnson

Photographer Jenna Joyce

Columnistst Lorelei Erisis Deja N. Greenlaw Paul P. Jesep Mike Givens Keegan O’Brien*

Reporters Mike Givens

*Guest Columnist

Lead Photographers Steve Jewett Christine M. Hurley

The Rainbow Times is published monthly by The Rainbow Times, LLC. TRT is an award-winning publication affiliated with QSyndicate. The articles written by the writers, columnists, and correspondents solely express their opinion, and do not represent the endorsement or opinion of The Rainbow Times, LLC or its owners. Send letters to the editor with your name, address and phone number to The Rainbow Times (address shown above), or e-mail any comment/s to the editor-in-chief at: editor@therainbowtimesmass.com. All submissions will be edited according to space constraints. The Rainbow Times, LLC reserves the right not to print any or all content or advertisements for any reason at all. TRT is not responsible for advertising content. To receive The Rainbow Times at your home via regular mail, or through electronic delivery, please visit its website. The whole content and graphics (photos, etc.) are the sole property of The Rainbow Times, LLC and they cannot be reproduced at all without TRT’s written consent. The appearance of names or photographic representations in TRT does not necessarily indicate the sexual orientation or gender identity of the named or depicted individuals.


February 4, 2021 - March 3, 2021

TheRainbowTimesMass.com • The Rainbow Times • 3


4 • The Rainbow Times • TheRainbowTimesMass.com

February 4, 2021 - March 3, 2021 PHOTO: DARREN HALSTEAD / UNSPLASH

Capitol Hill’s attack condemned: Statement by The Rainbow Times

I

PRESS STATEMENT

n the strongest of terms possible, The Rainbow Times condemns and denounces the domestic terrorist assault and attempt to overthrow our government at the nation’s Capitol yesterday. We are equally disturbed and outraged at the lack of police response to protect our Capitol, the people’s house, and our Senate and House Representatives. Likewise, we call for the immediate removal of Donald J. Trump from the office of the President after holding a premeditated rally to incite and encourage his blind followers into a military-like coup of our government. He is a traitor to our nation and must be held accountable for fanning the flames of hate against those most marginalized among us. In this case, he made an outright call to arms against our own leaders and republic. America has stood to oppression, genocide, political unrest, and the such when other nations have undergone it. America has condemned it of others. Yet, it was permitted on our own soil yesterday and watched everywhere in the world, to our embarrassment and horror, dismay and repulsion. Such actions—by those inciting them and by those carrying them out—should never be tolerated or accepted under any circumstance, let alone by a sitting president. Instigating violence against our own government and institutions, Congress in this case, under the false pretense of a fraudulent election and demanding unlawful acts to overturn the people’s will and votes is unconscionable. The national attack was largely committed by white supremacists, domestic terrorists, and right-wing extremists who not only physically scaled the walls of the Capitol, defiled and ransacked government official’s offices, and held them hostage,

but those same terrorists escaped the building while boasting about their lawlessness uninjured, untouched. Yet, 4 deaths resulted in their onslaught against the American people and our democracy, and we lost credibility, power, and our place on the world’s stage—our ability to use our voice and expertise forever questioned in global affairs and within our own borders. We are infuriated at the lax approach of some law enforcement officers against these thugs and mobs that committed such acts of violence simply because they didn’t get their way—because they couldn’t coerce the election process or thwart the will of the people. We demand to know why some officers are seen taking selfies with the criminals and others that removed the barricade to let them into the sacred space of the Capitol to assault the American legislative body. The police were sparse and not able to contain the rioters and the National Guard, FBI, and other law enforcement officials never arrived at the scene until hours into the insurgency. We demand answers to this despicable lack of response and allowance of the attempted coup to occur in the first place. These are the acts we expect in nations around the globe that do not have a democracy—only the nation this time was the United States. We are not a banana republic although yesterday’s disgrace would appear otherwise. When Black Lives Matter (BLM) protests erupted around the country, in response to the numerous murders of black people at the hands of biased law enforcement officers, they were infiltrated by some of these same outlaws who set fires, looted, and created mayhem to allege that the BLM protesters were responsible for it. In all actuality, it was later reported that white nationalist insurgents disguised themselves as BLM protesters to mislead the American

See Domestic Terrorism On Page 7


TheRainbowTimesMass.com • The Rainbow Times • 5

February 4, 2021 - March 3, 2021

OP-ED: PRESIDENT JOE BIDEN & VP KAMALA HARRIS — A RENEWED AMERICA Vice-President Kamala Harris shatters the glass ceiling as the first woman of color elected to such a high office By: Editorial Team

IN THE LIMELIGHT

A few minutes before noon, former VP Joseph Robinette Biden Jr. and former Senator Kamala Harris were sworn in on the West Front of the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C. Biden and Harris are now the U.S.’ new President and Vice-President, respectively. A little over two centuries after John Adams became the nation’s first vice president, Kamala Harris made history as she became the first African American woman, and the first woman of South Asian descent that has ever been sworn into such a high-profile position in the country — and it was Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor, the first female Justice of Latinx descent to serve on the Supreme Court, who administered the oath. At a tumultuous time and inheriting what many have deemed as the most perilous time in modern American history, President Biden took the oath of office today — two weeks after a Trump mob, incited by Trump himself and composed of white supremacists, desecrated Capitol Hill and murdered five people (two of which were police officers) — compassionately

but with resolve, promising Americans and the world an end to division and hatred, and a promise of hope for the future. “Few people in our nation's history have been more challenged or found a time more challenging or difficult than the time we're in now,” President Biden said to the crowd and the millions of others around the globe watching virtually from their homes. “Once-in-a-century virus that silently stalks the country. It's taken as many lives

in one year as America lost in all of World War II. Millions of jobs have been lost. Hundreds of thousands of businesses closed. A cry for racial justice, some four hundred years in the making moves us. The dream of justice for all will be deferred no longer. “We've learned again that democracy is precious. Democracy is fragile. At this hour, my friends, democracy has prevailed. From now, on this hallowed ground, where

just a few days ago, violence sought to shake the Capitol's very foundation, we come together as one nation, under God, indivisible to carry out the peaceful transfer of power, as we have for more than two centuries.” Soothing the nation and the world, Biden assured Americans that unification was key to our collective success. “We will get through this, together, together!” President Biden asserted during his inaugural speech. “… We will repair our alliances and engage with the world once again. We’ll lead not only by the example of our power but by the power of our example.” Unlike his predecessor, who broke tradition in most ways and refused to be present at the customary inauguration ceremony, President Biden first recognized and honored the lives lost to COVID-19 through prayer and acknowledgment, something that Mr. Trump never spoke about during his own pandemic crisis and “played down” until the end, as he told award-winning journalist Bob Woodward in February 2020. “Let’s say a silent prayer for those who lost their lives and those lost behind and those who love their country,” said Biden during that moment of prayer.

See Biden/Harris On Page 6


6 • The Rainbow Times • TheRainbowTimesMass.com

Biden/Harris From Page 5 The 46th President, sworn in by Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts, promised to be honest with Americans, something that was also missing from the Trump administration with the country, with the media, and even with other cabinet officials. “Before God and all of you, I give you my word, I will always level with you,” said Biden intently. Biden spoke of change, regardless of how dim circumstances seem at the present time. “Here we stand looking out in the great mall where Dr. King spoke of his dream,” his speech continued. “Here we stand, where 108 years ago, at another inaugural, thousands of protesters tried to block brave women marching for the right to vote. And today we marked the swearing-in of the first woman in American history elected to national office: Vice President Kamala Harris. Don't tell me things can't change.” Respect above all And, in terms of working for the new administration, Pres. Biden when swearingin presidential appointees made sure to say that he would not tolerate lack of human decency toward one another. "By leading with one core American value, humility and trust ... I'm not joking when I say this. If you're ever working with me and I hear you treat another colleague with disrespect, talk down to someone; I promise you, I will fire you on the spot; on

February 4, 2021 - March 3, 2021

“WE'VE SEEN A FORCE THAT WOULD SHATTER OUR NATION RATHER THAN SHARE IT.” —AMANDA GORMAN NATIONAL YOUTH POET LAUREATE the spot," said Biden seriously to the appointees ahead of the celebration. "No if's, and's or but's, everybody, everybody is entitled to be treated with decency." Former presidents Barack Obama, George W. Bush, and Bill Clinton (with their respective spouses; one of which was a presidential candidate and former Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton) were present at the Inauguration, along with Vice-President Mike Pence, who unlike Trump, opted to follow American tradition. The Biden team couldn’t get up to speed in terms of the pandemic because the Trump administration did not let the transition begin after Biden was declared president on November 7th, a vote that was ratified by the Electoral College and later certified by Congress. However, Trump’s maneuvers and inability to accept defeat,

endangered the lives of hundreds of thousands of Americans who were kept from receiving the COVID vaccine, thus undermining the Biden team’s ability to start working on it and other pressing matters. The virus, under Trump, has already claimed more than 400,000 Americans without counting those who were infected during the Holiday Season and at the Capitol coup attempt by Trump insurrectionists. A-Listers The headliners for the inauguration were Lady Gaga and Jennifer Lopez. Lady Gaga sang the National Anthem, Jennifer Lopez performed “This Land Is Your Land". Later, Garth Brooks performed “Amazing Grace” for those present. There are more inclusive inaugural events planned throughout the day, which include people

from every state and territory. A-Listers like Tom Hanks, Bruce Springsteen, Demi Lovato, the Foo Fighters, Justin Timberlake, Tyler Hubbard, Tim McGraw, John Legend, Jon Bon Jovi, Ant Clemons, Katy Perry, amongst others, are all expected to perform at the inauguration concert, “Celebrating America”. And, the Transgender Chorus of LA is also in the line-up. Check below for more information. And, finally, people of color are back as active members of the U.S. government and as prominent respectable members of society under this administration, and not merely in service positions. A poem recited and written by National Youth Poet Laureate, Amanda Gorman, titled “The Hill We Climb” written after the deadly Jan. 6 insurrection by white supremacists and incited by Trump, some of his family and enablers, were enough to bring impassioned clarity to the young poet. Talking to CNN while referencing the insurrection, Gorman explained how the poem came to be. “We've seen a force that would shatter our nation rather than share it,” she told the news station last week. "Would destroy our country if it meant delaying democracy. And this effort very nearly succeeded. But while democracy can be periodically delayed, it can never be permanently defeated." Inspired by Harris, Gorman hopes she Read the rest at: TheRainbowTimesMass.com


TheRainbowTimesMass.com • The Rainbow Times • 7

February 4, 2021 - March 3, 2021 PHOTO: WHITE HOUSE

LIKE MOST MEDIA, THE RAINBOW TIMES IS ALSO UNDER AN ONSLAUGHT OF ATTACKS ON ITS SOCIAL MEDIA PAGES & HAS RECEIVED THREATS VIA E-MAIL TOO, CLAIMING THAT THE MEDIA IS THE PROBLEM, JUST AS TRUMP INCULCATED IT TO THEM. Domestic Terrorism From page 4

-

Upholding campaign promises, Pres. Biden reverses Trans military ban Last week, President Joe Biden issued an executive order lifting the ban on transgender military service. Since the outgoing administration began to enforce the ban in April 2019, dedicated transgender service members have been threatened with discharge, and qualified transgender Americans have been barred from enlisting, participating in ROTC, or attending military academies. “... this is reinstating a position that previous commanders and — as well as the Secretaries have supported,” said Pres. Biden from the Oval Office. “And what I’m doing is enabling all qualified Americans to serve their country in uniform, and essentially restoring the situation as it existed before, with transgender personnel, if qualified in every other way, can serve their government in the United States military.” From its announcement, the ban was criticized by military leaders and experts and faced broad bipartisan opposition from the public. Multiple federal courts issued rulings against it, which kept the ban from going into effect for nearly two years after President Trump first ordered it in July 2017. GLBTQ Legal Advocates & Defenders (GLAD) and the National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR) filed the first legal challenge, Doe v. Trump, on behalf of multiple current and aspiring transgender service members, in August 2017 and joined in filing a second lawsuit, Stockman v. Trump, on behalf of Equality California and seven additional service members and recruits the following month. GLAD and NCLR anticipate a swift resolution of all pending lawsuits opposing the ban with the issuance of today’s order. “It is my highest goal to serve my country in the U.S. military and I’ve fought this ban because I know that I am qualified to serve,” said Nicolas Talbott, an aspiring service member who is a plaintiff in Stockman v. Trump. “I’m thrilled and relieved

that I and other transgender Americans can now be evaluated solely on our ability to meet military standards. I look forward to becoming the best service member I can be.” The news was met with praise by various prominent organizations for LGBTQ+ rights. "Our fight to end the transgender military ban was about equal opportunity, fairness, and service, and President Biden’s order today honors those shared national values,” said Jennifer Levi, Director of Transgender Rights Project at GLAD. “Transgender Americans can and will bring needed skills to our armed forces at every level, and I look forward to seeing our nation benefit from the contributions of a new generation of transgender leaders and patriots.” “President Biden’s order allows us to put this shameful episode behind us and marks the beginning of a much brighter era in which military service is once again based on a person’s qualifications, not on who they are,” said Shannon Minter, Legal Director of the NCLR. “Transgender people have proved their fitness to serve and ask nothing more than the opportunity to do so based on the same standards that apply to others. This is a great day for our nation and a welcome relief from the negative and divisive policies of the past four years.” “With the stroke of a pen, President Biden has simultaneously put an end to an unpatriotic, discriminatory policy and given hope to thousands of qualified transgender servicemembers and their families,” said Rick Chavez Zbur, Executive Director of Equality California. “Today is the result of countless transgender patriots — like Nic Talbott and so many others — speaking up to defend their livelihoods and their country. Equality California has always Read the rest of this story at TheRainbowTimesMass.com

public into thinking that BLM protests were violent. To imply that the thugs and rioters, the unAmerican cowards that ransacked the nation’s Capitol were anything like the BLM protesters is plainly an inflammatory statement rooted in utter racism, discrimination, and oppression. There is a double standard in this country condemning and ending Black lives while exalting white supremacy, as we witnessed yesterday. Trump, his sons, and even some GOP members of Congress (Senators Josh Hawley, Ted Cruz, Lindsey Graham, Mitch McConnell, etc., though the last two renigged later last night as the body reconvened in the same desecrated Chambers violated earlier) have supported conspiracy theories and disinformation aimed at con-

ning and confusing Americans. By not accepting Joe Biden and Kamala Harris’ victory, this base also has blood on their hands for what took place on January 6th, 2021— a day that will live in infamy as soon-to-be Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said last night as the brave members of Congress reconvened to certify the election results. But, what took place is something that will not be erased in one day, nor one year, nor 10. Our democracy is and has been broken for more than 400 years. By not ensuring that all Americans are treated fairly and equitably under the law without negligent bias, we continue to embolden and encourage behaviors such as the one most of us astonishingly witnessed yesterday as Trump mobs defied American institutions Read the rest of this story at TheRainbowTimesMass.com


8 • The Rainbow Times • TheRainbowTimesMass.com

PHOTO: YOUTUBE/MSNBC

February 4, 2021 - March 3, 2021

Missouri Senator Josh Hawley

Senators Cruz & Hawley abet sedition, incite Capitol riots Trump Loyalists Sens. Ted Cruz & Josh Hawley incite sedition, support unfounded “stop the steal” claims WASHINGTON—On Jan. 6, approximately 2,000+ pro-Trump rioters breached police barricades, in an attempt to overthrow the U.S. government and sabotage Joe Biden's certification process which was taking place at Capitol Hill. Guided by Donald Trump's false messages of a fraudulent election, they took it up on themselves to organize a coup to maintain Trump’s presidency, in lieu of Trump’s failed conspiracy theories and judiciary losses to prove the fraud claims. Countless judges from different circuits denied Trump attorneys’ attempts to challenge the election results due to lack of evidence.Yet, Trump and those who enabled him, like Senator Ted Cruz (R-Tx.) and Josh Hawley (R-Mo.), among many others, cheered on the rioters with actions and words that incited the crowds heading to the Capitol that nefarious day. The insurrection has so far resulted in 4 deaths, one woman was shot and killed and 3 suffered medical emergencies (more updates via The Rainbow Times’ website). As the crowds started learning of Vice President Mike Pence's stance, which he sent to the media via a press release right as he entered the chambers. In his statement, he clarified that he couldn't unilaterally change the people's votes and will, something that Trump and his supporters considered a betrayal. The angry “thugs,” seemingly aware of what was happening and having heard a instigative speech by Trump, his family and

MOSTLY WHITE MEN PARADED OUTSIDE & INSIDE THE CAPITOL BUILDING CARRYING "TRUMP 2020," AMERICAN FLAGS AND TEXAS’ STATE FLAG, .... THE FLAG POLES WERE USED TO BREAK THROUGH WINDOWS, HURT OFFICERS AND TO BREAK INTO THE OFFICES OF THE CAPITOL, SUCH AS THE OFFICE OF HOUSE MAJORITY SPEAKER NANCY PELOSI (D-CALIF.). close circle supporters, went up the stairs, erupted through police guarded areas, broke windows and scaled walls to gain access to the Chambers and even Representatives’ offices. All of it unfolded in front of television and web viewers who'd tuned in for the momentous speeches and to hear the objections presented by Sen. Hawley and Sen. Cruz, amongst other Trump supporters to the election results. The objec-

See Cruz/Hawley On Page 11


February 4, 2021 - March 3, 2021

TheRainbowTimesMass.com • The Rainbow Times • 9

A Call to Action: Singer John Duff pumps up the jam in new single and video “Do It” X Factor competitor challenges the binary, wants others to reflect within themselves By: Shane Gallagher Special to TRT

John Duff’s “Do It” may harken back to early 2000’s house music but its message is pertinent today. It is a call-to-action to the many people who are afraid to pursue their dreams out of fear of public perception. “As a thirty-one-year-old gay man making music, I understand the optics. ‘Are people going to laugh at me?’ Probably ... but then I don’t lose anything if they do. If I give up, however: I do lose something. I lose time, I lose opportunity.” The song’s verses are a series of questions we should all be asking ourselves. Am I living in my authentic truth? Am I actively playing a positive role in my own destiny? What do I have to lose? Who is stopping me? “I have a lot to prove—but only to myself. I’m a science experiment,” Duff said. “I am here to prove that I can keep coming out, falling on my face, and surviving. I’m here to prove that the human soul is more resilient than plastic.” The “Do It” video was shot at his own home. “Essentially, I told the crew to come over and film me for a day. I wanted it to feel carefree and fun, like life should be,” Duff explained. “When I was a kid, I would sit alone in my basement all day learning

songs and dancing with laser lights and fog machines. The video was a way for me to get in touch with that part of myself. “One thing these months of quarantine have taught me is that I’m happy in solitude,” Duff said. “I really only want to come out of my room to perform. That’s all I live for. Socializing is draining, monotonous, and boring.” Duff grew up in a suburb outside of Baltimore, Maryland. After graduating college, he made his way to NYC where he competed on The X Factor. He lost because the judges felt he was too flamboyant. Simon Cowell even implied that he should consider a sex change. He hopes “Do It” will motivate listeners to do something good for themselves. “Maybe they’ll hear it and think, ‘Ugh, that guy is so annoying,’” Duff reflects. “Whatever emotion they get from the song, I hope they feel it to the fullest. Is there anything worse than leaving no impression?” John Duff’s “Do It” is being distributed independently and is available on Apple Music, Spotify and all digital platforms. Its video is available on YouTube (https://bit.ly/3uhK7s6). Follow John Duff on Facebook (https://bit.ly/3aFXRF8) and Instagram @iamjohnduff (https://bit.ly/3aHDlnI).


10 • The Rainbow Times • TheRainbowTimesMass.com PHOTO: PTWC/MAZZONI CENTER

February 4, 2021 - March 3, 2021

Call for proposals: Philadelphia Trans Wellness Conference goes virtual

Northey Street House Bed & Breakfast Inn Est. 2002

30 Northey St, Salem, MA • (978) 397-1582 TRAVEL BACK INN TIME AND STAY IN THE NORTHEY STREET HOUSE BED AND BREAKFAST INN SALEM MA. AN 1809 FEDERAL HOME BUILT FOR A FINE CABINET MAKER WHERE HIS DAUGHTER AND SEA CAPTAIN SON-IN-LAW ALSO LIVED. GIVE THE GIFT OF HISTORY. DISCOVER AN UNFORGETTABLE HISTORICAL EXPERIENCE.

AMENITIES • Consistently Rated 5-stars on TripAdvisor.com • Walk to waterfront, attractions, restaurants, train. • Private baths, parking, AC, deck, garden, cable TV/DVD/VCR, hairdryers • Year-Round Packages

Commuter Rail Newburyport / Rockport line. Bus #459 from Logan Terminal C

PHILADELPHIA—Mazzoni Center recently announced that due to the ongoing pandemic, its 2021 conference will be delivered in a virtual format. For more than a decade the conference has occupied physical space at the Pennsylvania Convention Center. “We know this is disappointing. We know that for many, the conference itself as a space, represents community, unity, and connection and for some folks, it may be the only space such experiences can be held throughout the year.” Philadelphia Trans Wellness Conference Logistics Coordinator, Dani Murano-Kinney explained. “However, even with a vaccine now at least partially available, a conference with such a high level of international participation and attendance, exponentially creates numerous health and safety risks, drawing folks to airports, to hotels, to public transportation, to the convention center, to restaurants, etc. It felt irresponsible of us to create so many vectors to spread the virus for attendees.” In addition to the move to a virtual format, the conference dates, in consultation with the conference’s Interdisciplinary Review Committee, have been changed from August as previously planned. The new conference dates are July 22-24, 2021. “We’d really like to thank our conference partners—Le Meridien and The Notary hotels, the Pennsylvania Convention Center, and Cvent—for their commitment to ensuring the safety of conference attendees, presenters, volunteers, and staff demonstrated by their flexibility in working with us to cancel the 2020 conference and moving the 2021 conference to a virtual format,” said Mazzoni Center spokesperson Larry Benjamin.

Stay Safe, Stay Well! WEAR A MASK. SAVE LIVES. SAVE YOURS. TRANSHEADLINES. COM

Call for Proposals Mazzoni Center also announced they are now accepting workshop proposals for the upcoming 2021 virtual conference. Workshops are needed for both conference’s two tracks: General and Professional. For details, or to submit a workshop proposal for the conference's General Track, visit: http://bit.ly/gentrack21. For details, or to submit a workshop proposal for the conference's Professional Track, visit: http://bit.ly/protrack21. Workshop proposals must be submitted online by March 8, 2021. About the Philadelphia Trans Wellness Conference Mazzoni Center’s Philadelphia Trans Wellness Conference (PTWC) is the largest transgender health conference in the world. PTWC was founded by Charlene Arcila who was aided by countless community members, to bring the conference to life, year after year. The mission of the PTWC is to educate and empower trans individuals on issues of health and wellness, recognizing the need for expertise surrounding trans health & wellness to rise from within the community. *Read the rest of this story at: TheRainbowTimesMass.com


TheRainbowTimesMass.com • The Rainbow Times • 11

February 4, 2021 - March 3, 2021

Madam VP Harris From Page 2 call on the LGBTQ+ and allied community to cast their vote for Joe Biden and Kamala Harris and in state and local races, to vote blue, as blue as the water of the sea and the calm that we’ll all feel once this chaos is over. 400,000+ people are supposed to die by the end of the year. If that is not enough for you, our reader, then we don’t know what is. What we do know is that we will cast our vote for them—to save America and to save American lives. We know history will be watching and we will stand on the right side of it once again, unequivocally and unalterably.” Watching the inauguration today left me with a kind of pride and hope I’ve not yet experienced since the Obama years and never experienced during the dark and tumultuous Trump Era. As matter of fact, like millions at home and around the globe, I felt the collective sigh of relief, knowing that things will begin to get better. This day, Jan. 20, 2021, served as a radical reminder that the domestic extremism we’ve experienced during the Trump Era is not who we are as a whole. White Supremacy, White Nationalists, fascists and Neo-Nazis have been outwardly brazen during the past four years, culminating in the criminally calculated insurrection of

Namaste From Page 2 extraordinary mystery of the stars and planets, we all possess a special energy from the same universe. On days when I can have an endless conversation with myself about injustice or the meaning of life, I take comfort in knowing the life force found in all things doesn’t just vanish. Energy doesn’t go away when the shells we call bodies reach their expiration. Too often we try to pigeonhole persons into what we think they should be rather than respect them for who they are. We do so based on job title, formal education, or physical appearance. Does it matter someone is nonbinary, transgender or gender fluid? Of course not. Ultimately, it’s respecting what’s within each divine, special being whose life source originated from the same place as mine. Reading about the experiences of the nonbinary, transgender, and gender fluid communities over the past year served as a self re-enforcement that the same inner

our Capitol. That fraction must cease to exist. How we get there is a much larger conversation but what I know today is that they are in the minority and were emboldened by a raging tyrant, a tyrant who has slithered away into the night, along with his alternative facts and disinformation. We must reject all media that exalts this type of behavior. That is what made January 6th happen. There is so much more to us than what we’ve seen these past four years and today was a poignant reminder of that. There is hope once again. It was an emotional day—not just for me, but also for tens of millions of women and men, boys and girls, of all ages and creeds at home and abroad. Today, the air is lighter and I can exhale for the first time again knowing that all of us will be seen and heard, advocated for, and upheld as valuable humans. This is to not say the state of the country is perfect, it is far from it. However, it is symbolic of a brighter future and days ahead. The pendulum is finally swinging in the right direction. *Nicole Lashomb is Editor-in-Chief of The Rainbow Times& Co-ED of Project Out, Inc. She holds an MBA from Marylhurst University & a BM from the Crane School of Music. Nicole can be reached at editor@therainbowtimesmass.com. lifeforce burns in all of us. By finding divine presence within, we also can better understand our path in life and how to get there while respecting in others the divine light within. It provides a deeper awareness of a higher, transcendental reality everyone possesses. Diminishing the holy in others is to diminish the holy in ourselves. The journey is to know yourself in the _divine_ and who the divine is living within. To the courageous nonbinary, transgender, and gender fluid communities and everyone reading this column I offer a sincere Namaste. Bowing to each of you with my hands clasped near the heart. “I honor the place in you where the entire universe dwells.” And “the Divine in me bows to the Divine in you.” *Paul is a personal chaplain, seminary trained, and ordained priest, and lawyer in greater Albany, NY. He’s the author of “Lost Sense of Self & the Ethics Crisis” (https://amzn.to/2NOduBq). He may be reached at Dilovod@aol.com.

Cruz/Hawley From Page 8 tions sought to challenge the veracity of the people’s vote. The web exploded with comments about what they were seeing and theories as to what was taking place. “This is a coup attempt,” read Senator Adam Kinzinger's tweet (R-Ill.). And, many concurred with him. Photos by Getty Images and other media sources depicted white domestic terrorists roaming through Senators and Representatives' personal files and belongings, which were left behind in a hurry as Congressional members were rushed to shelter. Mostly white men paraded outside and inside the Capitol building carrying "Trump 2020" flags, American flags, and the state flag of Texas which also donned a rifle. The flag poles were used to break through windows and enter into the offices at the Capitol, such as the office of House Majority Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D.-Calif.). A photo and videos depicted a rioter seen sitting at her desk with his feet kicked up on top of it, leaving a handwritten message behind that read: "We Will Not Back Down" on the front of a file folder. Precursor Earlier today, Trump's "Save America March" at the Ellipse in Washington D.C., preceded the coup that rioted at Capitol Hill. He used the same false assertions that were disproven by experts, District Attorneys from various states and through recounts that didn't change the results. In the

Courts, he also lost every time, but he continued to express disinformation to those present at the March. Other speakers did the same. "We are going to take our country back," said Lara Trump, TV Host and producer of Inside Edition and Eric Trump's wife during the rally. "We need to stand up for this country, we need to stand up for what's right," said Eric exhorting the crowd to march on Capitol Hill. The most directly racist words came from Donald Trump, Jr. when he compared the "not so peaceful" riots of those present at the march -- unbeknownst to him then - to the Black Lives Matter and George Floyd protests in the country that protested police abuse of African Americans and people of color in general. He said to the crowd that when "we protest we do it without burning buildings, ripp[ing] down churches or without looting," as the crowd cheered. With a bombastic entrance, hiding behind a plexiglass barricade to seemingly protect himself (and himself only) from COVID, Trump addressed the attendees and vowed to "never concede." "We will never give up, we will never concede," said Trump to the audience that seemed to take his words as the truth. And, he claimed that the biggest problem in the country was the radical media, not mentioning the radical right media that he Read the rest of this interview at TheRainbowTimesMass.com

HAPPY

VALENTINE’S

DAY!


12 • The Rainbow Times • TheRainbowTimesMass.com

February 4, 2021 - March 3, 2021

Profile for The Rainbow Times

The Rainbow Times' February 2021 Issue  

Boston and Salem Massachusetts-based, The Rainbow Times brings you LGBTQIA+ news digitally & on print monthly. In this issue, we report on t...

The Rainbow Times' February 2021 Issue  

Boston and Salem Massachusetts-based, The Rainbow Times brings you LGBTQIA+ news digitally & on print monthly. In this issue, we report on t...

Advertisement