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2 • The Rainbow Times • TheRainbowTimesMass.com

July 8, 2021 - August 11, 2021

LGBTQ+ youth face dire statistics By: Nicole Lashomb* TRT Editor-in-Chief

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OPINION

larming statistics from The Trevor Project’s National Survey on LGBTQ Youth Mental Health (https://bit.ly/2UFLyDe) revealed that approximately 50 percent of LGBTQ+ youth surveyed had considered suicide in the past year. More than half of transgender and non-binary youth also contemplated taking their own lives. This should be no surprise to anyone aware of the record number of anti-LGBTQ state and federal legislation (https://bit.ly/3hWP6sK) proposed throughout the nation during the overlapping time period. In the same survey, 94 percent of LGBTQ+ youth reported that recent politics negatively impacted their mental health. In the U.S., only 1 in 3 LGBTQ+ youth found their home to be LGBTQaffirming of the 35,000 surveyed for this research. When people, especially youth are not in a safe space to be themselves freely, without judgement, condemnation or acceptance, suicide rates skyrocket. Likewise, that is what we are seeing here too. Forty-two percent of LGBTQ youth seriously contemplated suicide during the previous year. That’s a 3 percent increase since 2019. Still, LGBTQ+ youth are disproportionately homeless when compared to their counterparts. Currently, there are more than 1.7 million homeless youth (https://bit.ly/3wB2Uyx) in the U.S., and of the 40 percent that identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or queer, almost all have reported rejection from family, community, and/or peers as the primary reason for being forced onto the streets.

“First it’s likely that LGBTQ youth are more likely to be involved in the foster care system due to facing rejection from their family of origin,” said Corey Prachniak-Rincón, Director of the Massachusetts Commission on LGBTQ Youth to The Rainbow Times in a previous report (https://bit.ly/3i05Qzj). “And second, once they’re in the foster care system, they’re more likely to have projects and face rejection again at their foster care placement. So these youth, who have already faced trauma, stigma, and instability, are just re-victimized as they get pushed from one home to another. It’s really devastating and it’s completely preventable with training and resources.” The results of the survey indicate an adverse cascading effect on LGBTQ+ youth, with the COVID-19 pandemic also further isolating youth from healthy, supportive and affirming spaces. More than 80 percent of LGBTQ+ youth stated that COVID-19 made their living situation more stressful, according to The Trevor Project. It is no wonder that in the two previous weeks leading up to the survey, 72 percent of LGBTQ+ youth reported symptoms of generalized anxiety disorder, including more than 3 in 4 transgender and nonbinary youth. While at the same time, “62% of LGBTQ youth reported symptoms of major depressive disorder, including more than 2 in 3 transgender and nonbinary youth,” the results read. It was also found that nearly half of LGBTQ+ youth have wanted counseling from a mental health professional, but did not receive it. However, when a Read the rest of this story at TheRainbowTimesMass.com

PHOTO: WIC

Op-Ed: WIC’s LGBTQIA+ inclusion, more WIC seeks to bring more accessible services to LGBTQIA+ identities & diverse families By: Kristen O’Brien* Special to TRT

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was eager to find a job within my field after graduating from college in 2012 with a Nutrition and Dietetics degree. I was slightly disadvantaged because I was not a Registered Dietitian, but I had always longed to work in the community. After searching for several months, I came across a WIC Nutritionist role that sparked my interest, and the rest, as they say, is history. As soon as I stepped through the door, or perhaps when the first baby climbed into my lap, I fell in love with working with the WIC community. Working with infants, children, pregnant and postpartum participants has brought me so much joy to my everyday life. Being able to help them increase their self-efficacy, access healthier food options, and nutritional support continues to drive me to do more for this population.

Loneliness, isolation as an LGBTQ+ spiritual being Part II By: Paul P. Jesep* TRT Columnist

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FAITH, FAMILY, GOD

n the last column an extremely basic exploration was made regarding the despair caused by isolation and loneliness. It is an out-of-control national health epidemic negatively impacting mind, body, and soul. Let me be clear, the column is not offering mental health advice, but it humbly offers some recommendations to help get you moving in the right direction. Several of the suggestions below are common sense. Some readers may even say, “I already know that. Tell me something I don’t know.” Perhaps. But ask yourself why you haven’t tried or stayed with it. Admit feeling lonely or isolated. Say it out loud. No one needs to hear it. Just say it. It will be cathartic to let it out. It is also a sign of strength and shows the inner wherewithal to start managing it. Once you’ve let out much needed steam, develop a written action plan. Yes, there needs to be a plan. Otherwise, you will wander aimlessly. Ever wander New York City without a plan? You can wander the streets of one

of the world’s greatest cities without seeing a great museum, enjoy a great meal, see the Empire State building, or experience the beauty and enormity of Central Park. Make a plan and work it; have benchmarks. There are times when professional counseling whether a psychiatrist, social worker, or the use of an employer’s Employee Assistance Program (EAP) (https://bit.ly/2V6sIp5) is the best approach. If such resources are available, use them. Otherwise, it is a helping hand ignored. Be sure the resource selected is LGBTQ+ affirming. Professional associations often have LGBTQ+ groups within them. Some include law (https://bit.ly/3xnUUCl), real estate (https://bit.ly/3hCj8BS), and health professionals (https://bit.ly/36qHpFP). Joining and paying a membership fee is not enough, you need to get involved. Volunteer on a committee. If you don’t hold a professional license, there are still things you can do. Volunteer at an animal shelter. This is especially beneficial if you can’t have a pet because of rental restrictions or job demands don’t get you home at a reasonable hour to walk the dog. Join a LGBTQ+ hiking club or softball league. Several years ago, I penned an article for The Rainbow Times (https://bit.ly/2SVJF52), TRT, on the In-

ternational Gay Rodeo Association (https://bit.ly/3yAqsEX). It’s a great group with amazing people who look out for one another. You might not be a cow- boy or girl, but the point is there is something for everyone to get connected. Try MeetUp.com (https://bit.ly/3jRGLZX). You’ll find LGBTQ+ social groups for seniors, cyclers, book clubs, software developers, fine arts enthusiasts, and more. Get involved in a political campaign. You can meet great people this way. Because this is a faith column, I’d be remiss not to underscore the importance of taking care of your soul. Why join a church, mosque, temple, or coven? Fellowship, friendship, and family. You can find a lot of support in a spiritual community. It can become a loving, accepting part of your life. There are places for witches, atheists, and agnostics in a faith community. The Unitarian Universalist Church, for example, has a place for Pagans, (https://bit.ly/3jWrW8z) Wiccans, and Humanists (https://bit.ly/3qSjNmW). Unity Church (https://bit.ly/3qQvpHn), Episcopal Church (https://bit.ly/3xoII4a), United Church of Christ (https://bit.ly/3AFnmkS), MetRead the rest of this story at TheRainbowTimesMass.com

I have worked with WIC participants from all different backgrounds, races, ethnicities, and family structures over the years. While WIC strives to create

See WIC 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 Editor-In-Chief Nicole Lashomb Assistant Editor Mike Givens National/Local Sales Rivendell Media Liz Johnson Lead Photographers Steve Jewett Christine M. Hurley Photographer Jenna Joyce Reporters

Mike Givens Chris Gilmore Audrey Cole Crossword Puzzle Artist/Designer Luciano Spanto Ad & Layout Design Prizm PR Webmaster Jarred Johnson Columnistst Lorelei Erisis Deja N. Greenlaw Paul P. Jesep Mike Givens Keegan O’Brien* *Guest Columnist

The Rainbow Times is published monthly by The Rainbow Times, LLC. TRT is an award-winning publication that started printing in late 2006. The 1st print issue was published in Feb. 2007. 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.


July 8, 2021 - August 11, 2021

TheRainbowTimesMass.com • The Rainbow Times • 3


4 • The Rainbow Times • TheRainbowTimesMass.com

July 8, 2021 - August 11, 2021

Brief: Shockingly unequal damages inflicted on LGBTQ+ PoC Research highlights disproportionate harm & discrimination that LGBTQ+ People of Color face

QTBIPOC NEWS

WASHINGTON—Recently, a coalition of leading LGBTQ rights groups joined together to release the most extensive summaries to date of scholarly data on the intersection of antiLGBTQ and racial discrimination (https://bit.ly/2SVCgCE). The research brief, authored by the What We Know Project (https://bit.ly/3jWxArp) at Cornell University, found overwhelming consensus among peer-reviewed and other studies that discrimination inflicts profoundly greater harm on LGBTQ people of color in a wide range of areas, including grossly disproportionate rates of experiencing discrimination over the past year, poorer mental and physical health, greater economic insecurity, and attempts to die by suicide. In addition, LGBTQ people of color are more likely than their counterparts to live in states without protections against discrimination and that state anti-

Living in rural, remote and southern parts of the country is a factor in the discrepancies found and the “resilience” of the QTBIPOC communities. “The majority of Black LGBTQ people live in the South, with nearly half (44%) of all Black women couples raising children,” said Kierra Johnson, Executive Director, National LGBTQ Task Force. “Even today, most of these states still do not protect LGBTQ people from discrimination and have overtly discriminatory laws on their books. It is no wonder the disparities are so profound and it is a testament to the strength and resilience of our people that they are doing as well as they are. For our community and for our children, it’s time for federal action!” Such a combination of factors, according to Imani Rupert-Gordon, Executive Director, National Center for Lesbian Rights, can be disastrous to the community as a whole. “This important brief only further solidifies what we have known for a very long time—the combination of racism

HUNDREDS OF STUDIES CONCLUDE THAT EXPERIENCING ANTI-LGBTQ DISCRIMINATION INCREASES THE RISKS OF POOR MENTAL & PHYSICAL HEALTH, INCLUDING DEPRESSION, ANXIETY, SUICIDALITY, PTSD, SUBSTANCE USE & PSYCHOLOGICAL DISTRESS. LGBTQ laws harm LGBTQ people. “This research brief makes clear the tangible harms that discrimination inflicts on LGBTQ people of color, and the urgent need for public policy that reflects what the research tells us about how we can reduce those harms,” said Dr. Nathaniel Frank, (Nathaniel@NathanielFrank.com) the study’s author. David Johns, Executive Director, National Black Justice Coalition, asserted the links between race, socioeconomic status, wealth, stigma and prejudice are forces that cannot be disputed in the conclusions of the research. “These painful figures highlight an indisputable link between discrimination, economic security, mental and physical health,” said Johns. “People with multiple stigmatized, marginalized social and political identities, particularly Black LGBTQ+/Same Gender Loving people, bear a disproportionate amount of the weight illustrated by the data in this study. Statutory equality for LGBTQ+ people nationwide is a necessary foundation to remove the gaps in existing civil rights laws if we are to ever live up to our country’s founding promises of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness for all.”

and anti-LGBTQ discrimination has serious and long-lasting effects for the health and well-being of LGBTQ people of color,” said Rupert-Gordon. “This research highlights why federal non-discrimination protections are overdue and vital to protecting the most some of the most underrepresented and vulnerable members of our community. Federal anti-discrimination protections are absolutely necessary in protecting and supporting all LGBTQ people, and this is especially true for LGBTQ people of color.” And, even though nondiscrimination is key for communities to flourish, it’s still not happening for LGBTQ+ PoC at this time in history. “Study after study shows that nondiscrimination protections improve economic opportunities, public safety, and physical and mental well-being of LGBTQ people,” said Kasey Suffredini, CEO and National Campaign Director, Freedom for All Americans. “It is well past time for the essential protections available only in some of our states and cities to be extended to all LGBTQ Read the rest of this story at The Rainbow Times’ website


TheRainbowTimesMass.com • The Rainbow Times • 5

July 8, 2021 - August 11, 2021

Boston Pride dissolves, refuses to pass leadership to QTBIPOC After Months of Pressure, Boston Pride disbands the organization Instead of adding QTBIPOC and Allies' Voices to the Board; Organizations condemn the move; Support for “Pride 4 The People” grows By: Audrey Cole TRT Reporter

IN THE LIMELIGHT

BOSTON—In a press release received late this week, Boston Pride informed media outlets about their decision to dissolve the organization, according to the statement sent by its current Board of Directors. "It is clear to us that our community needs and wants change without the involvement of Boston Pride," read the release whose letterhead showed the names of its Board one last time, President Linda DeMarco, Treasurer Malcolm Carey, Clerk Martha Plaza, and members Deborah Drew and Tina Rosado. "We have heard the concerns of the QTBIPOC community and others. We care too much to stand in the way. Therefore, Boston Pride is dissolving. There will be no further events or programming planned, and the board is taking steps to close down the organization." On June 9, in a sudden turn of events, Linda DeMarco, Boston Pride president (https://bit.ly/3ea0noI), said to the Boston Globe (https://bit.ly/3eactOA) she would step down. She told The Globe that her exit plan was "a little accelerated now because she thought the boycott was "really hurting the community.” But then, there

PHOTO: PATRICK BEHN/PIXABAY

was silence after that and until this evening. Pride 4 The People, P4TP, replied to the unexpected news. "Today, we were disappointed to learn the board of Boston Pride — who as of February, consisted of Linda DeMarco, Martha Plaza, Malcolm Carey, Tina Rosado, and Deborah Drew — decided to dissolve rather than work with us on a transition and respond to our criticism with a real commitment to serve the community," said Henry Paquin, P4TP, to a direct TRT question about the news. Reactions poured in from social media (below) and other community members. "To close down such a long-standing and critical organization for the LGBTQIA+ community in Boston after

50 years, simply because the community has demanded that Boston Pride represents the people it claims to serve, is a disgrace and further fuels the allegations for how out of touch its board of directors is and how inflated their egos seem to be that they’d rather close down, wiping out the organization's long-standing name and history so that new leadership has to start from scratch," said Liz Towle, a Malden resident. "These are exactly the types of games that Boston Pride’s board of directors have played all along. I hope people see through these vindictive actions. It is beyond shameful. This all could have been remedied by allowing new leadership to lead so all members of our community are heard and represented to

reflect the current issues of our time." Via a press release, MassEquality, ME, and its ED showed its/their consternation. "MassEquality is dismayed to hear that Boston Pride has decided to dismantle its organization rather than transition its assets and reins to new leadership who were prepared to meet the challenge of hosting an intersectional Pride which would better serve all of the members of our community," read the organization's statement. " ... We were perplexed and dismayed to see that their actions had not matched their words. The community provided a lot of guidance and feedback that sadly did not result in meaningful change, instead, it resulted in the loss of an organization with a fifty-year history in our city." ME’s Executive Director chimed in about the news, which they hope were different. “I had hoped to see a leadership transition, rather than a dismantling of the organization,” said Executive Director, Tanya Neslusan. “This will be a loss for our community at a time when solidarity is needed.” Boston Dyke March, an organization that was "originally created in part as a radical response to the corporatization of Pride," also expressed its disappointment via a statement. "As one of the organizations working

See Boston Pride On Page 11


6 • The Rainbow Times • TheRainbowTimesMass.com

July 8, 2021 - August 11, 2021

PHOTO: HAROLD MENDOZA / UNSPLASH

Nationwide AGs push for Equality Act’s passage in the Senate All Urge the Senate to Pass Measure Prohibiting Discrimination Against LGBTQ+ Americans

To our readers, we hope you enjoy a little Rainbow Sudoku while Pride Season 2021 takes place (and beyond) & to de-stress a bit too! The solution is

Enjoy! —TRT

IN THE LIMELIGHT

Rainbow PrideDoku

BOSTON—Attorney General Maura Healey today joined a coalition of 25 attorneys general in calling on the U.S. Senate to pass federal legislation that protects all individuals from discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. In a letter sent to Senate leadership today, the attorneys general call for the passage of H.R. 5, the Equality Act. The legislation would strengthen federal legal protections for LGBTQ+ individuals by clarifying and modernizing federal civil rights laws and would prohibit discrimination against LGBTQ+ individuals in employment, education, federally-funded programs, housing, public accommodations, credit and jury service. The attorneys general argue that updates to the nation’s civil rights laws are long overdue. “Our work to defend and advance LGBTQ+ equality has never been more important as we unwind the harm done under the previous Administration and recover from a public health crisis that has exacerbated persistent discrimination,” AG Healey said. “We’re calling on the Senate to pass this critical legislation so that we can ensure our LGBTQ+ friends, neighbors, colleagues, and family members have the protections they need to thrive.” In June 2020, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 protects employees who are fired because of their sexual orientation or gender identity. The court determined that employment discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity is discrimination on the basis of sex, which is prohibited by Title VII. In their letter today, the coalition points out that despite the court’s decision, the absence of explicit federal prohibitions on discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity leave many LGBTQ+ individuals vulnerable to experiencing discrimination in education, housing, credit, and health care. The coalition also contends that federal law does not currently prohibit sexual orien-

tation and gender identity discrimination in other areas, such as federally-funded programs and the jury system. As a result, individuals who do experience such discrimination are left without legal recourse. The Equality Act addresses these gaps by clarifying that existing protections under federal civil rights laws include discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. The legislation will create and expand protections for LGBTQ+ individuals facing discrimination in education, employment, housing, credit and public facilities. It will also prohibit discrimination on the basis of sex, including sexual orientation and gender identity, in sections of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 that prohibit discrimination in public accommodations and federal funding. Additionally, it expands the definition of public accommodations to expressly prohibit sex discrimination, such as denying services to people because they are pregnant or breastfeeding, or denying transgender individuals access to sex-specific restrooms corresponding to their gender identities. It further clarifies that the U.S. attorney general may intervene in federal court actions alleging denial of equal protection of the laws based on sexual orientation and gender identity. The Equality Act would also expand State attorneys’ general authority to launch investigations, bring legal actions and enforce laws on behalf of their states. For instance, the legislation adds sexual orientation and gender identity to the list of groups protected under the Equal Credit Opportunity Act and the Fair Housing Act – both of which state attorneys general routinely enforce. The letter also argues that the Equality Act is needed to create a national standard, expanding civil rights protections beyond what is currently in state laws. The coalition specifically argues that the legislation is needed to fill the gap in the 27 states where LGBTQ+ individuals currently have no state-level protection against discrimination. Read the rest of this story at The Rainbow Times’ website


TheRainbowTimesMass.com • The Rainbow Times • 7

July 8, 2021 - August 11, 2021 PHOTO: JEFF ADAMS

Women’s Lunch Place Advocate at Work

Natasha on being Trans at WLP, a TRT guest feature Trans poet shares raw poem on gender identity By: Henry Morris Special to TRT

OP-ED

This month, we had the pleasure of sitting down with Natasha, a Women’s Lunch Place, WLP, guest for the past four years. Natasha shared her story and spoke with us about why she advocates for trans women to rely on WLP as a daytime haven and resource center. In 2016, Natasha came out as trans in a small, conservative town. After years of keeping her identity a secret, she knew that a public transition meant that her support network would immediately vanish. “It’s like burying your family before they die,” Natasha said. “Initially, I thought there might’ve been one or two other trans girls in Massachusetts.” In search of a more progressive place to live, Natasha decided to move to Boston; however, without any friends or family in the area, she quickly found herself homeless and in need of help. Natasha checked in at Pine Street Inn and was referred to Women’s Lunch Place by a new acquaintance at the shelter. A self-described extrovert, she found WLP to be an environment in which she was free to be herself. “The staff, they treat you like a woman. They don’t question you,” said Natasha. Despite suffering from extreme anxiety and depression, Natasha established a trusting relationship with members of the Direct Care team. “When I was being quiet, they knew something was wrong,” said Natasha, remarking on the WLP staff’s perceptiveness and attention to detail. It wasn’t long before Natasha became an essential fixture at the shelter. Hoping to share her newfound safe space, she began inviting other trans women, briefing them about WLP, and encouraging them to join our community. The Direct Care team took notice and started relying on Natasha to assist with welcoming new trans guests and easing them into an unfamiliar environment. This is a task that she still enjoys today, and one that has resulted in a significant increase in trans guests at WLP since Natasha’s arrival. “Unfortunately, Women’s Lunch Place is one of the only environments

where trans women can count on being treated with kindness and respect, instead of violence and aggression,” said Nancy Armstrong, Director of Operations at WLP. “We have been dedicated to fostering and maintaining a warm and protected place that is intentionally inclusive to all who identify as women.” Massachusetts State Rep. Jon Santiago, who has continued to serve as an attending physician in emergency medicine at the Boston Medical Center since taking office, confirmed these thoughts from his perspective in the medical and political world. “In conversations with my own patients, I am constantly disheartened to hear countless stories about how inaccessible critical and basic healthcare services are to those in the trans community, especially Black trans women,” said Rep. Santiago. “Discrimination and transphobia in housing, healthcare, and jobs only serve to exacerbate inequities and induce further trauma. We have a responsibility to provide safe, supportive spaces for our neighbors in the trans community. Thank you to Women's Lunch Place for being one of those safe spaces." Currently, Natasha is working on several things at WLP: publishing a book of poetry, scheduling upcoming surgeries, and moving into her new home––a space that she found through working diligently with a WLP Advocate. “When you have nothing and you’re out on the streets, a little kindness can go a long way,” said Natasha. “Women’s Lunch Place not only does the little things, but they’ll also go out of their way to help you with the big stuff… and sometimes you need that, because it gets pretty hopeless out there.” This is the reality that guests like Natasha are facing: • Trans people are over four times more likely to experience violent crime, including rape, sexual assault, and aggravated or simple assault (https://bit.ly/2Ut0rce). • One in five transgender people in the U.S. have been refused a home or apartment and more than one in ten have been evicted because of their gender identity (https://bit.ly/3yrqUp4).

See Natasha / WLP On Page 8


8 • The Rainbow Times • TheRainbowTimesMass.com

July 8, 2021 - August 11, 2021

Mazzoni Center announces exciting plans for its 1st 2021 Virtual edition Save the date for July 22-25 to virtually attend the largest Transgender conference in the country from Philly, Pa.

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Associates; Philly AIDS Thrift at Giovanni’s Room; Philadelphia’s Department of Behavioral Health and Intellectual disAbility Services; Plume, Quiet Wealth, Fenway Health, Walgreens, RMA of Philadelphia, Arrive Therapy; Phoenixville Hospital; The Rainbow Times/Project OUT; Philadelphia Gay News (local); and POZ Magazine.

PHOTO: MA ZZONI CEN TE

TRANS NEWS

Due to the uncertainty of the pandemic back in December 2020, Mazzoni Center (https://bit.ly/2SLQExg) made the decision to move its Philadelphia Trans Wellness Conference—usually held at the Pennsylvania Convention Center—to an entirely virtual format on July 22-25, 2021. While the conference looks different this year, Mazzoni Center is hoping the all-virtual format will draw in additional participants who would otherwise face the barriers to access presented by a physical conference in Philadelphia. The virtual conference will still honor its physical roots by bringing back old favorites such as “Show & Tells,” 101 sessions on HRT and Puberty Blockers, and will introduce some exciting new programs touching on the current state of legislation, topics such as trans and plural experiences in the health-care system, a screening of an interview with Charlene Arcila (one of the conference’s original founders), harm-reduction in the Philadelphia trans community, the emerging landscape of TeleHealth, Youth Space workshops led by the Trevor Project, and content that centers BIPOC voices. “This virtual conference will not fully replace the beauty that our community creates when we hold space together, inperson. But will still achieve our goals of empowering the trans community

and the providers who serve us,” said Dani Murano (she/her & they/them), Logistics Coordinator for PTWC. PTWC 2021 is presented by Mazzoni Center and made possible through the generous support of the following or-

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.

ganizations: Comcast NBC Universal; Jefferson University; LabCorp; Einstein Pride (Einstein Healthcare Network); DCAP Media; Gilead Sciences Main Line Health, Folx Health, Malvern Treatment Centers and Align Surgical

Natasha/WLP From Page 7 • One in five trans people has experienced homelessness at some time in their lives because of discrimination and/or family rejection (https://bit.ly/3AE4T8j). • One in three trans people report being turned away from a shelter due to their transgender status (https://bit.ly/3ACOSzH). • Twenty-two percent of those who stayed at a shelter report experiencing sexual assault from staff or other residents. (https://bit.ly/3hJtZKr). • Forty-one percent of 6,450 trans survey respondents said they had attempted suicide at some point in their lives. (https://bit.ly/3xqz4Om). WLP is committed to providing a safe space for trans women, connecting them to the resources they need, and treating them with dignity and respect. Click here (https://bit.ly/3yCWMr7) to learn more about WLP. You can also donate to WLP by clicking here (https://bit.ly/3wup99u). Or, you can send a check with your donation to: 67 Newbury St., Boston, MA 02116

About Mazzoni Center Mazzoni Center is Philadelphia’s leading health center focused on the needs of the region’s lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer/questioning (LGBTQ) community. Mazzoni Center’s mission is to provide quality comprehensive health and wellness services in an LGBTQ-focused environment, while preserving the dignity and improving the quality of life of the individuals it serves.

“ S i m p l e Tr a n s g e n d e r G i r l ” By: Natasha

You spit on me and call me names, A mistake I bear, who’s to blame? Life is hard, the world is cold, As I change, my life unfolds. You call me queer, you call me freak, But never listen or hear me speak. It’s who I am, what’s in my heart, Trying to be me, not play a part. But you turn away and cast me out, I scream in vain, you holler and shout. What does it matter, what can you see? I’m just trying to live my life as me. But like a cancer, you hold a knife, To cut me out and end my life. Who would choose to be cast out, to be unloved, to live in doubt? I want to dance, twist and twirl, The body of a boy, the soul of a girl. So try to see me, a second glance, See what’s in my heart, give me a chance. This is my life, this is my world, I’m not a freak, I’m a transgender girl.

AMA Reinforces Opposition to Restrictions on Transgender Medical Care CHICAGO—The American Medical Association (AMA) recently strengthened its established position opposing the governmental intrusion into the practice of medicine that is detrimental to the health of transgender and genderdiverse children and adults. Legislatures in 20 states this year proposed banning physicians and other healthcare profes-

sionals from providing medically necessary gender-affirming care to transgender and gender-diverse youth. In response to this legislative trend, physicians and medical students at the AMA’s House of Delegates meeting voted to meaningfully expand the organization’s strong opposition ... [Read the rest at TheRainbowTimesMass.com.]


TheRainbowTimesMass.com • The Rainbow Times • 9

July 8, 2021 - August 11, 2021

Undercover summer: Tom Goss, pals serve up the hot sounds, sights & smells Deven Green & Ned Douglas join Tom in “Undercover Summer” in Palm Springs, Calif. By: Tom Tietjen Special to TRT

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om Goss and his partners in good times — comedic chanteuse Deven Green and music producer Ned Douglas — are serving a feast for the senses this summer! Their new single, “Undercover Summer,” is a super fun retro pop track that celebrates friends, having fun, and enjoying life together. The accompanying music video, shot poolside in sunny Palm Springs, matches the song’s steamy summer vibes. And to give fans the complete SoCal experience, the trio have partnered with Brent Leonesio of SmellBent.com to craft an “Undercover Summer” perfume! The intoxicating blend of coconut oil, suntan lotion, and a light breeze transports fans into the bikini-clad party! “I went to Palm Springs to spend the weekend with Deven and Ned,” explains Tom Goss on the inception of the song. “We knew we wanted to write a big, fun, summery track so we went into the studio. Ned immediately locked into the sound with his incredible bass line. The lyrics poured out of Deven and me and the instrumentation started flying from there!” Tom Goss is an indie singersongwriter whose typical songs mix tender ballads with folk/pop. He has released seven albums and has had songs featured on ABC, HBO, and in several films. His music videos (including “Son of a Preacher Man,” “Breath and

Sound,” and “Bears”) have been viewed more than sixteen million times. “We shot the ‘Undercover Summer’ video in beautiful Palm Springs,” says Ned Douglas, an audio engineer and keyboardist who has worked with major music artists including Mick Jagger, Stevie Nicks, Ringo Starr, Katy Perry, and No Doubt. “We got all our closest friends to come by and join us in a pool party! No one wanted to leave.” “After we had created our summertime feast for the ears and eyes, we thought, why do noses always have to miss out on the fun?” continues Deven Green. “With the ‘Undercover Summer’ fragrance, we can all smell like the season all year round!” Green is an award-winning comedy and musical performer. She has performed with the biggest drag queens in the world and appeared as a judge _RuPaul's Drag Race_. On August 6 and 7, she and Ned Douglas will perform The Art House in Provincetown. Tom, Deven and Ned became fast friends several years ago, when Tom moved full-time to Los Angeles. The trio started performing live concerts together on Facebook every Friday. “We’re like the movie Threesome but without the benefits,” exclaims Tom. They’re excited to perform their song live on stages this summer. Tom Goss’s “Undercover Summer (featuring Deven Green and Ned DougRead the rest of this story at TheRainbowTimesMass.com


10 • The Rainbow Times • TheRainbowTimesMass.com

July 8, 2021 - August 11, 2021 PHOTO: TOBIAS JØRGENSEN GETZCOOL MEDIA

"From Archie to Zack" by Kirsch By: Terri Schlichenmeyer* Special to TRT

T

THE BOOKWORM

he girl who sits right behind you at school is really nice. She shares her things if you ask nicely, and she likes to make you laugh. She seems very smart and polite and she never says mean things to anyone, even if they deserve it. All the kids in your class like her; you like her but in the new book “From Archie to Zack” by Vincent X. Kirsch, there might be someone you like just a little more. There was no doubt in anyone’s mind. Everybody knew it: Archie loved Zack and Zack loved Archie. The two boys were happiest when they did everything together, but the funny thing was, neither of them could say “I love you.” Oh, but you can bet they both really wanted to say it. Very much so. And then one day, Archie wrote Zack a note that said “From A. to Z. it’s true. I love you.” Archie read the note to himself and it really made him smile. But that note wasn’t quite right, so he hid it in a tree and Zack was still his best friend. He wrote another note, kind of the same. He read it to himself but it just wasn’t quite right. He hid the second note in his band case and he and Zack were still best friends. Just before Halloween, Archie wrote

another note, with just a little more oomph and he read it to himself many times. What he wrote finally seemed right this time. He loved Zack! But for some reason, he couldn’t give the note to Zack, so Archie hid it in his desk at school. Then one day, Zuzella found a note in a desk. Zinnia found one in band class. Zelda found one in a tree trunk and all three girls knew who wrote them. They delivered the notes to Zack and that made him smile because he’d been working on a note that wasn’t quite right. One that said the truth that everybody already knew. Nothing unusual. That’s not normally what you want to hear about a new book; you probably want to hear enthusiastic things like WOW! but that’s not what you’ll find here. “From Archie to Zack” tells young readers a sweet story in a calm, even, nothing-unusual manner. Read the rest of this story at: TheRainbowTimesMass.com

Everything you need to know about WorldPride 2021 Party in Scandinavia with the happiest people on Earth By: Mikey Rox* Special to TRT

I

t’s been two years since Stonewall 50 – WorldPride NYC 2019 became the largest international Pride celebration in history, but the “bye” year of 2020 (spoiler alert!) wasn’t due to the pandemic. The global celebration has been held every odd-numbered year since 2017 given its massive logistical undertaking (with sporadic celebrations in 2006, 2012 and 2014 before then), and WorldPride Copenhagen — Malmö 2021 couldn’t have come at a better time. Hundreds of thousands of cooped-up queer revelers and allies will flock to the twin host cities in Denmark and Sweden, respectively, from August 12 to 22, to party with the happiest people on the planet, a delightful distinction provided to the Scandinavian countries by the United Nations’ famous World Happiness Report. (The United States ranked number 19 in the most recent report, FYI.) So what’s in store for this year’s allout progressive-flag-flying festival? Read on for more. WorldPride 2021 will coincide with two LGBTQ+ anniversaries in Denmark If you can believe it, it’s been 70 years since Danish doctors in 1951 performed the world’s first successful genital reconstruction surgery (put that in your trivia hat), a medical marvel that provided hope to transgender people the world over. This year is also the 50th anniversary of the founding of the Gay Liberation Front’s Danish chapter, which has been instrumental in blazing trails toward equality for the country. Look how far it’s come! Opening ceremonies kick off in Copenhagen … with (dun, dun, dun!) COVID restrictions In conjunction with Copenhagen Pride, WorldPride will officially start late afternoon on Aug. 13, but in adherence with COVID-19 protocol the opening ceremony won’t be held in WorldPride Square (at least not as of press time; things could — and probably will — change). That potential snafu notwithstanding, Denmark welcomes

vaccinated U.S. travelers, and if any testing is needed, both PCR and antigen tests will be available free to everyone, including tourists, 24/7. Mmhmm, Copenhagen is OPENhagen again, y’all. WorldPride Square will be open for the rest of the fest WorldPride Square — a makeshift village of sorts (similar to the Olympics) located within Copenhagen’s main square — will provide a gathering place for all attendees that have traveled far and wide. LGBTQ+ and non-government organizations spanning the globe will set up shop in the square to greet pedestrians, provide information, and invite folx to get involved. Art exhibits also will be a centerpiece of the village, alongside a street-food market and bars with plenty of space to relax. EuroGames will be held simultaneously If you enjoy watching hims, hers, and thems compete in variety of sports that range from boxing and badminton to dancing and dodgeball, add the spectator-friendly EuroGames to your list of to-dos while you’re in Copenhagen. If you want to get hands-on (but not handsy; mind ya business, see), consider signing up to become a volunteer at the games, to be held Aug. 18 to 20; EuroGames’ website is currently accepting those applications. Spread out and explore other WorldPride villages While WorldPride Square will serve as the jump-off for the 10 days of festivities, other available villages will allow crowds to spread out and explore their individual interests. In addition to Sports Village for EuroGames athletes and fans, other villages will focus on kids and families, youth, women, and the queer community, among others. Programs and content of these villages will be target-audience specific but open to everyone. You might have a brush with royalty Mary, Crown Princess of Denmark, Countess of Monpezat, is patron of Copenhagen 2021, making her the firstRead the rest of this story at: TheRainbowTimesMass.com


TheRainbowTimesMass.com • The Rainbow Times • 11

July 8, 2021 - August 11, 2021

Boston Pride From Page 5 with Pride 4 the People, a group formed by former Boston Pride volunteers to reform Pride, we are appalled but sadly unsurprised by the statement released today by the Boston Pride Board of Directors," read their statements after hearing of Boston Pride's decision. "Despite being offered every opportunity to be part of the solution, they have chosen to disassemble Boston Pride. Instead of working with community leaders to change leadership without disruption to the organization, they have chosen to close up shop, taking, as they go, resources given to Pride by the community." What propelled its dissolution? Their actions involve a series of events (https://bit.ly/3xAFJ8F) including what has been explained as a “unilateral decision to remove any reference of Black Lives Matter” from an official “statement on police brutality after the murder of George Floyd (May 2020), Breonna Taylor, and Tony McDade,” that lead to an en masse resignation of 80 percent of Boston Pride’s volunteer workforce in June 2020, according to a former statement from Jo Triglio

WIC From Page 2 an environment that is diverse and welcoming to all, there are eligible populations that may not be receiving the adequate support they deserve, most notably the LGBTQIA+ community. I hope to initiate conversations that will create a foundation for change within WIC to be more inclusive and adaptive to better support the LGBTQIA+ community. There have been many positive changes within the WIC program since 2012, including the focus on nutritious, scientific-based foods in the food package, the shift toward partnering with local farmers for fresh produce, and the creation of e-WIC electronic benefits card for a better and simpler shopping experience. However, there has been little change concerning outreach towards the LGBTQIA+ community. As part of my graduate studies, I worked with Massachusetts WIC in partnership with the Fenway Institute in Boston to develop a comprehensive training addressing LGBTQIA+ inclusive language and terminology and it was administered for over 200 staff this spring. In addition to this training, Massachusetts WIC has also been proactive in updating marketing tools to be more inclusive of diverse family structures and gender-neutral language. They hope to eventually assess their record system online to include these changes automatically. My agency has also been increasing efforts to highlight diverse family structures on social media and host tables at local Pride events to introduce potential participants to WIC services. Our area serves one of the largest LGBTQIA+ communities per capita in the nation. Working with this community is not new for our program; however, as a whole, I believe we can do better in making WIC even more accessible to LGBTQIA+ participants. WIC agencies and clinics can better support the LGBTQIA+ community by: • Having inclusive, welcoming signage supporting the LGBTQIA+ community — For example, hanging a rainbow flag

(they/them), former Boston Pride Communications team and co-founder of Pride 4 The People. “… the [Boston] Pride Board … rewrote a statement, written by the Communications Team, condemning unjust, racist police violence, and posted it without consulting the Chair of Black Pride or the Communications Team. The statement was met with public outrage over Boston Pride’s persistent and ongoing neglect of issues of racism and white-centeredness,” read a former release from Pride 4 the People – Boston, and Trans Resistance MA. Other community members had this to say when interviewed for similar stories pertaining to the Boston Pride Board and joining in support with P4TP and QTBIPOC lives. “Boston Pride is a reactionary organization,” said JP Delgado Galdamez, Communications Associate at The Network/La Red to TRT early in 2020 about the organization. “Pride didn’t start showing they cared about Black people and People of Color until members of these communities, often also people who are queer and transgender, started doing actions like blocking the parade route. Boston Pride did not read the room when they decided to post a statein offices or signs that say, 'All are Welcome' or 'LGBTQIA+ Safe Zone.' • Utilizing imagery in communication, marketing, and outreach displays diverse family structures — i.e. two moms, two dads, a trans father chest feeding, etc. • Updating language in educational tools, paperwork, and documentation to include gender-neutral terminology and pronouns. For example, using 'they' or 'child' or 'baby' instead of 'he' or 'she.' Additionally, avoid using 'mom' or 'dad,' 'husband' or 'wife,' and use 'parent' or 'guardian' and 'partner' or 'spouse.' • Changing bathroom signage to be more inclusive of all gender identities — For example, 'All-Gender Bathroom,' 'Gender-Neutral Bathroom,' or 'Family Bathroom.' • Making LGBTQIA+ training a mandatory priority for staff.· Additionally, USDA and FNS can better integrate and promote inclusivity for LGBTQIA+ WIC families by: • Creating national campaigns that utilize images of diverse family structures and update language in educational tools to include gender-neutral terminology and pronouns like above. WIC undoubtedly is a great program that has positively changed my life and continues to significantly impact the lives of many others by improving health outcomes through increasing access to nutritious foods and education. As WIC continues to enact positive changes, I am optimistic that local programs and agencies, as well as state and federal programs like USDA and FNS, will move toward improving accessibility and inclusivity for LGBTQIA+ individuals and families within WIC. As a Queer-identifying person myself, this work is hugely purposeful. I will continue to advocate for WIC to become the utmost equitable program for all eligible participants. *Kristen O’Brien is the Senior Nutritionist for the Franklin/Hampshire/North Quabbin WIC Program in Greenfield, Massachusetts. She is a Registered Dietitian and a Certified Lactation Counselor and a graduate student at University of Massachusetts in the Public Health Nutrition Program.

ment that didn’t even meet the lowest bar of them all, saying #BlackLivesMatter.” History, Support for P4TP; call for BP's Board resignation The fiasco prompted the community — and other organizations who joined in solidarity (Boston Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, GLAD, Trans Resistance, Urban Pride, The Network La Red, Boston Dyke March, etc. — to demand the current board to relinquish its responsibilities to new leadership (https://bit.ly/3zhh22D). Based on that premise and disconnect with marginalized QTBIPOC+ members, Pride 4 the People (https://bit.ly/3kb1Z5w) was born, The Rainbow Times reported at the time. P4TP “demanded the current Pride Board to step down” since May 2020. The organization, composed of QTBIPOC, and allies, “proposed a transition plan to diversify the [Boston Pride] board and rewrite the bylaws to include power-sharing, checks and balances, and transparency.” But, Boston Pride refused and instead hired an out-of-town firm to help them better understand the struggles and reasons that lead them to where they were then but without realizing that to do so they needed to allow QTBIPOC people to lead the organization if BP were to have a future and as other major Pride organizations have done throughout the country. “After six months of silence, the Boston Pride Board has released a transformation plan decorated with bells and whistles that attempts to divert attention away from the lack of structural transformation that is being proposed,” read a P4TP’s statement (https://bit.ly/2U3cf4P) from December 2020. “This proposed ‘transformation’ process is merely a fancy performance designed to protect the absolute and exclusive power of the current board. It includes no structural change: no change to the bylaws, to the distribution of power within the organization, nor to the majority vote of the current Board.” Finances? A 2017 story by The Rainbow Times about the Pride Parade protests, corporate donors/sponsors, and their ties to anti-LGBTQ+ movements yielded information about Boston Pride's revenue. BP took in approximately $348K alone through major donations, according to their 2017 Partnership Packet (https://goo.gl/Ng9bjm) and the donor’s list (https://goo.gl/9KsAFH) that appears on its website. As listed in 2018, Boston Pride revenues were approximately $671,000, according to their returns on CauseIQ (https://bit.ly/3kdVmiC; GuideStar lists it as $697,000, in their 990 Form for 2018). Their travel expenses, showed their 990 Form, were up 236%. Their "Information Tech" expenses were up 999%, and their "Office Expenses" were also almost 78% up. Questions about BP's finances continue to surface, as this release was sent to the media, according to quotes and comments received by this publication. Some in the community speculated last year that there was something wrong with an organization that brought in so much money yet gave away so little to other startups or small non-profit organizations. "Throughout the years, the organiza-

“WE FURTHER HOPE THAT AS PART OF THE DISSOLUTION OF

BOSTON PRIDE ORGANIZATION THAT THEY ARE TRANSPARENT IN THEIR ACCOUNTING & DISTRIBUTE THEIR ASSETS TO ORGANIZATIONS THAT WILL CONTINUE TO SERVE OUR COMMUNITIES.”

—MASSEQUALITY tion has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars from individual, corporate and non-profit organizations," Towle said. "I’d like to know where all of the remaining funds are going since they are closing down without further explanation." Michael Histen aka Majenta, a cis community member who is also a drag queen, said last year that it was important to put the level and amount of the funding into perspective too. She, Majenta, did so by comparing it to what she does for others, with her own self-run show, to what Boston Pride donated just last year to organizations. “I run a digital drag show called ‘Full Spin’, which is funded solely by donations and tips, and over 6 months, as just one person, I’ve managed to get $26,000 into the hands of queer artists and social justice organizations,” she said. “Meanwhile, Boston Pride, which is an entire massive organization, issued [approximately] $46,000 in community grants in 2019 (https://bit.ly/3ATjDAs). I cannot speak to all of their financial actions, but I share this to point out that surely, if one person can raise more than half of their annual grant total, then they could be far more effective at doing their job in supporting the community.” As for MassEquality, the organization hopes that BP is open about the financial process of dissolution and remaining funds. "We further hope that as part of the dissolution of Boston Pride Organization that they are transparent in their accounting and distribute their assets to organizations that will continue to serve our communities," read their statement. Final statement; did they get it? In this final statement to shut down the organization, BP still was not seemingly aware of how prolonging their time and trying to keep the Board intact was only further harming QTBIPOC people's struggles in the region and their protests through the years, demonstrating a lack of understanding of the same community that was asking them to step down and let a PoC-member leadership take the helm instead. "For years, we have volunteered our time with Boston Pride because we care about and are passionate about the LGBTQIA+ community," the BP stateRead the rest of this interview at TheRainbowTimesMass.com


12 • The Rainbow Times • TheRainbowTimesMass.com

July 8, 2021 - August 11, 2021

Starts July 22 Largest Free trans/Non-Binary Conference in the world

featuring Join hundreds of others attendees and professionals in live virtual sessions for both our general track and professional track. Learn the latest in transgender health and wellness. Visit trans, non-binary, and gender-variant vendors, health and wellness organizations, and other vendors in our first ever virtual exhibition. Visit all of the virtual booths in attendance during the conference!

Starts Thursday! Register today:

www.transphl.org Sponsors

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Profile for The Rainbow Times

The Rainbow Times July, 2021 Issue  

Boston and Salem Massachusetts-based, this issue for The Rainbow Times brings you exclusive stories about the Boston Pride dissolution and h...

The Rainbow Times July, 2021 Issue  

Boston and Salem Massachusetts-based, this issue for The Rainbow Times brings you exclusive stories about the Boston Pride dissolution and h...

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