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Sanctuary Cities: Fact from fiction, progressives vs. conservatives, more? By: Nicole Lashomb*/TRT Editor-in-Chief

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OPINIONS

or progressive folks, becoming a sanctuary city or state is likely a no brainer. Recognizing the inherent need to protect and defend the most vulnerable among us, especially those who are silenced, is a moral obligation we must uphold. If you are progressive, you likely recognize there is extraordinary value in diversity and being inclusive albeit as a culture, we are far from achieving full inclusivity. Nonetheless, progressives likely don’t need convincing that developing sanctuary cities are essential, especially with the current presidential administration. We recognize that local communities must take action to protect our residents, neighbors, family and friends. We remember that immigrants often flee their country of origin due to desperate circumstances far beyond their control. In many countries, being a member of the LGBTQ community alone can mean the difference between life and death. Progressives know that immigrants are looking to work hard to build a better life for their family and contribute to the United States by enriching our culture. They better the economy by paying taxes, creating business and products and developing innovative technologies that benefit us all. Currently, progressives are the ones taking to the streets, pounding the pavement, knocking on doors and rallying support behind immigrants and sanctuary city policies and recognize that the immigrant community is a critical component to the fabric of

AS I’VE ARGUED TIME AND AGAIN, UNLESS YOU ARE NATIVE AMERICAN, AND MOST ARE NOT, THEN YOU ARE INDEED AN IMMIGRANT. what we call “our” American culture. We will not stand by while others are attacked by our government—not locally and not at the federal level. I’ve realized through deep discussion with those opposed to sanctuary cities, that appealing to the concept of human dignity and compassion has mostly fallen on deaf ears. Opponents that express a deep concern over loosing federal funding and increased crime rates have met me with great resistance. These concerns have particularly surfaced since the current presidential administration has threatened to defund cities that are sanctuaries and has made inflammatory statements connecting criminal behavior to immigrants. Though after so many falsehoods, Twitter temper tantrums, hateful rhetoric and unconstitutional sentiments and actions demonstrated by Trump, I don’t know how anyone can have an iota of confidence in his knowledge or use of the Oval office. The president is obviously well below the learning curve of how government functions and yet continues to

Faith, Family & God: Finding the silver lining By: Paul P. Jesep*/TRT Columnist ose-colored BY THE WAY, DO YOU REALLY glasses are not part of my WANT TO GO TO A RESTAUwardrobe. In fact, I tend

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FAITH

to lean toward the jaded side, but on a good day I can be a pragmatic-optimist, or an optimisticrealist. Other times I’m a moody, introspective bear with a sign around my neck reading, “Although cute, don’t feed.” I’d also call myself a guarded romantic, but I may share that comedy for a different column. British sitcoms have always been a favorite. Some I call “serious-comedies” because they deal with the difficult realities of life while trying to find humor in events that otherwise could be overwhelming. Or they try to find the sweet in the bitter. They can be hopeful without giving false hope. I’m no Pollyanna, but there can be a silver lining in many harsh realities. Although money can be the source of many social ills like greed and exploitation, for example, it can serve as an unlikely source of positive change. Economics can be a jarring reality check for many people. You can see it in today’s immigration battle. Large technology companies (https://goo.gl/tybLZ1) lined up to oppose President Donald Trump’s poorly-crafted executive order putting a moratorium on persons entering the United States from

RANT FORCED TO SERVE YOU AND WONDER IF THE COOK SPIT IN YOUR FOOD? Muslim countries. The companies did so, in part because it was immoral, but also because it would hurt technology development and, in the long-term, corporate profits. This isn’t to suggest people don’t make decisions to do the right thing based on ethics, values, and morality, but frequently there’s a financial component. Follow the money. The involvement of money can be a double-edged sword. Often people act or vote with their wallets or pocketbooks. I’d like to think First Daughter Ivanka Trump and her husband Jared Kushner acted on personal ethics, values, and morality to stop a draft presidential executive order (https://goo.gl/BUJDjN) that would have allowed broad legal exemptions for To read the rest of this story visit: http://wp.me/p22M41-4J3

double down on despicable and embarrassing behavior. I digress. We must deal in facts, not alternative facts—also known as lies to most people— but concrete and measurable facts. As I’ve argued time and again, unless you are Native American, and most are not, then you are indeed an immigrant. Never forget that this land was not yours to begin with but was rather stolen through colonization and genocide of an entire people. We must deal in facts, as harsh as those may be. The fact is that in sanctuary city communities, crime rates have fallen, not risen. According to the Los Angeles Times, “For America’s police chiefs, calls for enhanced enforcement of federal immigration laws bring a particular concern. Chiefs are afraid that such efforts will have the unintended consequence of actually increasing crime and making their communities less safe. The reasons for this can be found in recent incidents from some of the country’s socalled sanctuary cities.” Although what clearly defines a sanctuary city or state varies among region, the overall understanding is to protect communities and all residents, regardless of immigration status. What sanctuary cities do not do is protect criminals. In incidents where an undocumented person has committed a crime, deportation is probable. Although as Assistant Professor Angela S. García of the University of Chicago School of Social Work found, data verified that foreign-born residents are less likely to be incarcerated. “The incarceration rate for young, foreign-born males is 1.6 percent compared to 3.3 percent for native born,” she noted. Myth debunked. In a recent town hall discussion, House Minority Leader Representative Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) noted that sanctuary cities make us safer.

Letters to the Editor [Re: The Rainbow Times Celebrates 10th Anniversary: Feb. 2007-Feb. 2017] Dear Editor, My idea of this paper is what it is. You somehow know what to write about and you expose wrongdoing and unfairness. You give voice to all of us and you dare to be different, to break the walls and to put the great job you do out there for the world to see. I feel better knowing that the Rainbow Times is out there for me. Thank you for taking my call the other day and for listening to my concerns. That is meaningful to me and I wanted other readers to know. Here’s to 10 more! —Laurenna Sanchez, Online [Re: Hostile Laws & Lack of LGBT Protections Leave Trans People at Risk] Dear Editor, Even states where you don’t have the right to use the toilet, the state treats people in ways that have been deemed unconstitutional by federal courts, and we’re denied access to medically necessary care get high ratings. What a joke; why do these groups keep misrepresenting the state of affairs? —Alena Neumann, Online

“It makes us safer, because people can go to school,” she said. “They [immigrants] can get driver’s licenses. They can be witnesses against other violence that they see in the community … if they came forward to profess that [as a witness], they’d have to be taken up by ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement). We don’t think that we should make our police officers immigration officers.” In regards to the federal funding issue, Barry Friedman, a constitutional law scholar who runs the Policing Project at NYU noted that the Tenth Amendment is on the side of sanctuary cities. "The federal government can't demand that state officials or local officials do their work because of the Tenth Amendment and a court precedent called Printz v. United States,” Friedman said to CNN. “That means the feds can't require local police to collect immigration status from suspects and local officials can tell their police not to request it. So they may never have information to give in the first place."

See Sanctuary Facts on Page 16

The Rainbow Times The Freshest LGBT Newspaper in New England—Boston Based TheRainbowTimesMass.com editor@therainbowtimesmass.com sales@therainbowtimesmass.com Phone: 617.444.9618 Fax: 928.437.9618 Publisher Gricel M. Ocasio Editor-In-Chief Nicole Lashomb Assistant Editor Mike Givens National/Local Sales Rivendell Media Liz Johnson Lead Photographers Alex Mancini Steve Jewett Reporters John Paul Stapleton Christine Nicco Jenna Spinelle Chuck Colbert Al Gentile Chris Gilmore Keen News Service

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

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


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Mass. cities & towns working to protect, support immigrants & refugees “Trump is going to take care of you.” Javier, a Mexican immigrant, alleges that a customer at his job made this remark to him several times since President Donald Trump won the November 8 election. The comment, meant as a threat in Javier’s opinion, was just one of several directed at him in the weeks and months after Trump’s victory. According to Javier, accusatory questions about his immigration status and insults telling him to “go home” have become a part of his daily work routine. “Once the campaign rhetoric of Trump got going, [the customers] would start asking the questions,” he said. Like many Mexican immigrants, Javier, who asked not be identified by his real name, moved to the United States to escape violence, a poor economy, and to simply “find a better life.” With a wife and two children, Javier has lived in Massachusetts for 17 years and has worked in the same customer service job for 16 years. Working a second job as a landscaper, Javier estimates that he works roughly 100 hours a week to care for his family. Javier said that several of the customers, including the one who made the ominous threat, have started referring to him as “El Chapo,” a reference to Joaquín Guzmán, an internationally known alleged drug trafficker in Mexico who made headlines for his bold escape attempts from law enforce-

PHOTO: VICTOR MORALES

By: Michael Givens/TRT Assistant Editor

Victor Morales, a Mexican-American citizen, spoke to The Rainbow Times about his experiences living in the country and the effects of President Trump’s recent executive orders

ment. Guzmán is currently in federal custody in the United States awaiting trial on several charges related to running a criminal enterprise. “I try to tell him to stop, but he does it every day,” Javier said of the particularly

difficult customer he deals with. “It’s his way of amusing himself.” On December 20, more than a month after the presidential election, Javier said he’d reached his breaking point. According to him, a coworker left a threatening note

about “ ... damn Mexicans … ” that instructed him to “ … go home … ” “It was an act of aggression,” he said, one that deeply upset him and made him fearful. Javier said that his supervisor has done nothing about the harassment. “I’m very concerned and worried about the direction Trump is taking on national immigration policy,” he said, noting that prior to Trump’s campaign and controversial stance on undocumented immigrants, his customers and co-workers were not hostile to him. Across Massachusetts, immigrants like Javier are having similar experiences of feeling threatened and at risk of deportation under Trump’s administration. In response, several cities and towns are making extended efforts to ensure they are safe spaces for immigrants, both documented and undocumented, that live in the Commonwealth. Municipalities Providing Safe Spaces In 2011, Amherst became the first jurisdiction to implement policies protecting immigrants and refugees. “The Amherst Police Department does not have the authority to enforce federal immigration laws, unless it is granted by the federal government, which it currently is not,” reads a portion of an Amherst Police Department directive in August of that

See Sanctuary on Page 12


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LGBTQ immigrants face persecution in U.S. as executive orders loom By: Michael Givens/TRT Assistant Editor

IN THE LIMELIGHT

Two flags adorn one of the walls of Mohamed’s bedroom in his Boston-area apartment. The American flag gave him a sense of hope and security, unlike the flag of his home country. The rainbow flag was an affirmation of living in a nation that was much more accepting of an openly-gay man such as himself. The path that lead him to proudly display these two flags in his home was often fraught with anxiety, fear, and a deep-seated struggle with his ethnic and sexual identities. “ … every time I have nightmares, especially with what’s happening in Syria, when I wake up and see the American flag and the rainbow flag, I feel like, ‘Okay, I’m here’,” he said with a sigh. “In Syria, you cannot really be out. The more exposure you have, the more risk you have. It doesn’t make sense to be out.” On March 11, 2010, Mohamed, who asked not be identified by his real name, graduated with a degree in art and literature from Al-Baath University in Syria. On March 31, Mohamed flew to Qatar, a country nearly 1,000 miles southeast of Syria for a job opportunity. March 31 was also the day that Mohamed was mandated to register for two years of army service with the Syrian government. Having been outed to a member of his conservative Muslim family and fearing

Gay Syrian refugee Mohamed stands outside of the State House in February;

that he could either be incarcerated for his sexual orientation—a crime punishable by up to three years in prison—or conscripted into the army, Mohamed said he was thankful to receive the job offer in Qatar.

“I wanted to be somewhere where no one knew me,” he said. “I didn’t even check the salary, the job title, or the company.” In March of 2011, the Arab Spring (https://goo.gl/fszlPh), a series of pro-

PHOTO: TRT/ALEX MANCINI

democracy protests across several Middle Eastern countries, had begun to foment political discontent amongst Syrians living ...

See Immigration on Page 10


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New study highlights Transgender disparities found in health care settings into four areas: insurance coverage and acBOSTON—Massachusetts is known as a cess to coverage, seeking and accessing leader in providing health care for trans- care, provider knowledge and experience gender people, but a recent study finds that and treatment in the health-care system. “Harvard Pilgrim was a bit ahead of the inequities still exist. curve for covering transA report released by gender folks,” said Shani Harvard Pilgrim Health Dowd, the report’s author. Care Foundation “But the question that we (http://goo.gl/5oGtiA), the had was now that we have charitable subdivision of coverage in place for four the insurance carrier, recyears, how is it working?” ommends several key In June 2014, Massachuareas for improvement to setts became the third state ensure members of the in the country to require transgender community state-run insurance compahave access to specialized nies cover medical services services and a welcoming for transgender people such environment in health care as surgeries and hormone settings. replacement therapy. In adThe report is based on a dition, the law specifies focus group held in March that private insurance com2016 as part of the Harpanies cannot deny covervard Pilgrim Health Eqage to a patient because uity Roundtable. It was they identify as transgenthe first in a series of events designed to receive Harvard Pilgrim Health Care report au- der. Dowd said that overall input from various seg- thor Shani Dowd the system is working and ments of the Harvard Pilgrim market. The goal of the roundtables is people are able to access the care they to break down barriers and burdens to need. However, obtaining services often rehealth care faced by racial and ethnic quires time-consuming research and long wait times. groups. Dr. Josh Safer, medical director of the Of the group’s 33 participants, 27 identified as transgender. Findings were broken Center for Transgender Medicine and Surgery (http://goo.gl/I09b1g) at Boston Medical Center (BMC), said the center has about 600 patients on its roster and tries to get everyone in for an initial consultation within a few weeks of initial contact. From there, wait times range depending on urgency and services needed. BMC is home to the only two surgeons in New England who perform male to female genital (MTF) reconstruction surgeries. Safer said the hospital is capped at performing 25 procedures per year and currently has a waiting list of about 300 patients. Long wait times mean those seeking surgery travel outside the state to places like Pennsylvania, California, Texas, or Florida. In addition to travel costs, doctors outside New England are considered out of network for insurance purposes, which mean surgeries are even less likely to be covered. Safer said the backlog will be addressed as the Center for Transgender Medicine and Surgery continues to grow in the coming years. “Getting the center open was step one, and step two was getting things done well and streamlined where we are right now,” Safer said. “The next step is to determine how far behind we are and what kind of bandwidth do we need to expand to meet the demand.” Mason Dunn, executive director of the Massachusetts Transgender Political Coalition (www.masstpc.org) said the report provides an outlet for those outside the transgender community to learn about issues related to health care. “Having such a large and reputable group PHOTO: HARVARD PILGRIM HEALTH CARE

By: Jenna Spinelle/TRT Reporter

See Trans Health on Page 16


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Mass. new legislative session: Strong support for LGBTQ, youth, seniors and women By: Al Gentile/TRT Reporter

Amid turmoil in the national political scene, legislators and advocates in Massachusetts are pushing hard to pass legislation to protect LGBTQ people. “A lot of these [bills] have been introduced before,” said Deborah Shields, executive director of MassEquality, a grassroots advocacy organization working to protect vulnerable populations from discrimination based on gender expression, sexual orientation, and gender identity. In the current legislative session in Massachusetts, MassEquality (www.massequality.org/), Planned Parenthood League of Massachusetts (PPLM; https://goo.gl/xXaVnA), and other organizations are advocating to have bills passed, which would provide LGBTQ people with more legal protections. Many of the bills, Shields said, are making multiple rounds through the Legislature simply because, “one for each community” is all State House is willing to take. “Many of these bills have been introduced before, but as we were told in the last session, several [legislators] said they would only do so many LGBTQ bills in any session,” she said. Sen. Julian Cyr (D-Truro), an openly gay man, said legislators have so many bills to consider each session that it can be difficult to prioritize them. “We all struggle to be able to pay attention to everything because there’s so much coming at each individual legislator,” Cyr said. “There’s been a tendency to say,

PHOTO: ADRIANNE MATHIOWETZ

A recent sexual health lobby day at the State House sponsored by the Planned Parenthood Advocacy Fund of Massachusetts

‘Here [are] the priorities for this session.’ I think part of that is a lot of competing demands for priorities in the State House.” Cyr is a sponsor of the bill SD.2023, “An Act Relative to HIV Screening and Prevention” (https://goo.gl/ThJThx). The bill would direct the Massachusetts Department of Public Health to research the costs associated with requiring insurance companies in Massachusetts to reimburse pa-

tients being tested for HIV and other sexually transmitted infections. Another bill, SD.1272, “An Act Relative to LGBTQ Awareness Training for Aging Service Providers,” (https://goo.gl/o9kqtb) is on MassEquality’s legislative agenda. The bill would require the Executive Office of Elder Affairs to develop a curriculum to train elder service providers on how to appropriately care for LGBTQ seniors in

Massachusetts. Shields said the bill would stem the tide of LGBTQ seniors going back into the closet. Home health aides, nursing home employees, and senior living center staff among others would be provided with training developed as a result of this bill. “Anyone who receives state funding to do elder affairs work would receive this kind

See Mass. Legislation on Page 10


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Mass. Legislation from Page 8 of training,” Shields said. The Williams Institute at the University of California at Los Angeles School of Law released a 2016 study called “LGBT Aging: A Review of Findings, Needs, and Policy Implications,” (https://goo.gl/5aOZr2), which shows LGBTQ seniors often do not disclose their gender identity or sexual orientation because they fear discrimination. This leads to poorer physical and mental health outcomes on average compared to straight, cisgender seniors. “So many elders in our community talk about being discriminated against, or having horribly insensitive things said to them,” Shields said. “There [are] reports of thousands of elders going back into the closet.” Conversion Therapy and Homeless Youth Sexual conversion therapy, as defined by the American Psychological Association, refers to therapeutic practices aimed at eliminating the urge for people to feel sexual desires for the same sex (https://goo.gl/60pXYU). There are also widespread therapeutic practices that seek to change gender identity, specifically the gender identities of transgender people. In Massachusetts, conversion therapy, efforts to change sexual orientation or gender identity in a mental health setting, is legal, though many organizations and professional medical affinity groups have disavowed the practice.

SD.1213, “An Act Relative to Abusive Practices to Change Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity in Minors” (https://goo.gl/eExcDJ) looks to ban licensed psychological professionals from engaging in the practice of changing the gender identity or sexual orientation of any minor under the age of 18. “Much of it is religious groups, and this bill won't touch religious groups," Shields said. “It's certainly overdue to pass, and we hope it will." Politifact (www.politifact.com), a Pulitzer Prize-winning political fact-checking website, confirmed that while governor of Indiana, Vice President Mike Pence publicly supported using tax dollars to fund institutions supportive of gender identity and sexual orientation change efforts. Another bill, HD.2600, “An Act Relative to the Health Care of Minors,” looks to ease the process of allowing minors to make medical decisions on their own behalf, specifically LGBTQ minors. The Urban Institute (www.urban.org) authored a study reporting that 20 to 40 percent of all homeless youth in the United States identify as LGBTQ (https://goo.gl/BG2WuW). “The bill would allow them to prove their financial independence so they can consent to their own medical care without having to be emancipated from their parents,” Shields said. “A lot of LGBTQ youth end up homeless, and we anticipate [the need for] them to obviously access healthcare services."

See Mass. Legislation on Page 14

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Immigration from page 5 under the presidency of Bashar al-Assad. Seeking to quell unrest, al-Assad ordered the Syrian army to execute hundreds of protesters. In July, several top military officers broke away from the government forming their own army to overthrow alAssad and the country was soon in the midst of a civil war, one that has seen several factions arise as well as outside involvement from more than a dozen countries. The latest estimates have put the death toll at more than 450,000 people (https://goo.gl/SupW8h). By October 2013, Mohamed had been living and working in Qatar for more than three years and said that he was uncertain as to whether his contract would be renewed. He hadn’t visited Syria in three years due to the war and decided to take a vacation. Later that month, Mohamed arrived in Boston; it was his first time visiting the United States. The stress of learning that his contract might not be extended with his employer paired with the possibility he’d have to return to Syria when his work visa expired lead him to apply for asylum. “I can’t imagine going back there,” he said, noting that he learned through the application process that he could apply for asylum based on his sexual orientation and fear of being persecuted in his home country. In early January 2014, Mohamed applied for asylum, and as of February 2017, he has not been granted a hearing on his application. In January 2017, he applied to have his Employment Authorization Document (EAD), a legal permit that allows him to work in the United States pending asylum, extended. His current EAD expires in May. He said he lives in fear that under the administration of President Donald Trump he could be deported back to Syria if his EAD is not renewed. A return to Syria would introduce Mohamed to the war and persecution for his sexual orientation. “Violence is ongoing. The gay community is the most vulnerable community [when it comes to being] exposed to violence,” he said. After President Trump enacted several strict immigration executive orders in late January, Mohamed’s fear of being deported increased dramatically. In the middle of the night, he said he awakes to see those two flags on his wall and the feelings of safety, acceptance, and security are no longer there. “Now I have this anxiety again,” he said. “When I wake up and see the American flag, I do not feel comfortable. I don’t know what’s going to happen. It’s very scary.” The Executive Orders On January 25, President Trump signed Enhancing Public Safety in the Interior of the United States (https://goo.gl/g27WWR), an executive order limiting federal funds to so-called “sanctuary cities,” local municipalities that either through ordinance or resolution have pledged to not comply with federal civil detention policies for undocumented immigrants. The order also increased the number of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officers by 10,000.

Of the 11 million undocumented immigrants in the United States, more than 260,000 identify as LGBTQ, according to the National LGBTQ Task Force. That same day, the President signed Border Security and Immigration Enforcement Improvements (https://goo.gl/eSHmms), an executive order upholding Trump’s controversial campaign promise to build a wall along the US-Mexico border. Two days later, President Trump signed a third order, Protecting the Nation From Foreign Terrorist Entry Into the United States (https://goo.gl/fqGnAo), which banned travel from seven countries with large Muslim populations including Somalia, Syria, Iraq, Iran, Libya, Sudan, and Yemen. Protests rocked the country as activists decried the orders as racist, xenophobic, and Islamophobic. Attorneys descended on major airports to provide legal advice and support to people entering the country from these nations. Within days of the executive orders being passed, a federal judge issued a ruling temporarily suspending the travel ban. Federal judges in the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the suspension. The Justice Department, which represents the President, will file arguments in the 9th Circuit court in response to a lawsuit filed by the state of Washington. Attorneys General from the District of Columbia and 15 states—including Massachusetts, Vermont, Rhode Island, and Connecticut—filed an amicus brief joining Washington in its lawsuit (https://goo.gl/ZAM8rt). Numerous protests have been held to oppose the immigration ban and the President has taken an immense amount of criticism for signing the executive orders, including assertions that the actions are unconstitutional. Massachusetts’ Reaction Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey signed on to a lawsuit filed by the Massachusetts office of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU; https://aclum.org/) and private attorneys against the President. “Harm to our institutions, our citizens, and our businesses is harm to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts,” Healey said in a press statement (https://goo.gl/K2I9PW). “The President’s executive order is a threat to our Constitution. Rather than protecting

See Immigration on page 19


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year (https://goo.gl/wsA7rC). “The Amherst Police Department will not independently conduct sweeps or other concentrated efforts to detain or identify suspected undocumented aliens,” according to a later section of the directive, which does allow for the assistance of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) only under the circumstances of a specific request from the agency and the consent of the chief of police. Responding to a controversial 2012 immigrant detention program launched by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) named Secure Communities, the Town of Amherst voted overwhelmingly in May of that year to opt out of any activities related to monitoring the movements of undocumented immigrants (https://goo.gl/EOwjv6). The Secure Communities program required local law enforcement officials to collect immigration data related to arrested individuals in cities and towns across the nation. Two years later in May of 2014, Somerville Mayor Joseph Curtatone signed an executive order expressly forbidding law enforcement from detaining undocumented immigrants for the purposes of handing

high-profile threat has been the withholding of federal funds from these cities and towns who rely on the revenue to provide public services. “I am concerned that the President may target Cambridge due to our status as a Sanctuary City, although it is not yet clear if he has the discretion or legal authority to specifically punish communities by withholding funds,” said Simmons. “The City provides education, housing, health and other services to all our residents, regardless of their immigration status. “We receive approximately 14 million dollars in federal funds that help support these initiatives, so the concern is that the President could seek to withhold funds for these programs. This represents just a fraction of the City's overall budget, and should the Trump Administration follow through with this threat, the city manager and the city council will take whatever steps we must to ensure that our programs continue to run and serve our constituents.” At roughly the same time the Cambridge City Council passed its ordinance, the Boston City Council did the same. In early February, Boston Mayor Marty Walsh made national headlines when he publicly rebuked the President’s executive orders and subsequent threats of withholding fed-

with exploring the development of programs and/or legislation to ensure that all are able to safely and fully participate in the civic life of our city and our economy. The committee shall explore opportunities for city agencies, non-governmental organizations, and individuals to work together to protect the civil rights and civil liberties of all Bostonians. The committee shall concern itself with promoting equal and fair access to public and private services and facilities for all residents, regardless of race, color, national origin, national ancestry, creed, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, age or disability. Boston is also considering the production and distribution of a municipal identification card (https://goo.gl/LCJg7Z), which would provide immigrants an official form of identification. The card would also be beneficial for the homeless, elderly residents, and transgender people. Also in February, Boston City Councilor and mayoral candidate Tito Jackson announced plans to launch an immigrant defense fund (https://goo.gl/30gQIE) to help support immigrants attempting to obtain citizenship. Still in its early stages, city officials are hoping that the project can be privately funded. In August 2014, Northampton Mayor

ruary, Northampton welcomed an Iraqi/Kurdish family of three as part of the beginning of the program. "Were exercising our right to not participate in a program that the Department of Homeland Security has made optional,” he said. “I don't believe local police departments can be compelled to do the work of the federal government." Narkewicz also said that he believes what Trump is threatening is unconstitutional. “It's a great campaign slogan to say that I'm going to defund these … sanctuary cities … But in terms of actual implementation, I think that the President will find it much harder to do,” he said. According to Narkewicz, Northampton received about $3.4 million in federal funding in its last fiscal year, $64,000 of which came from the Department of Homeland Security. Like many cities and towns across the country, the funds were earmarked for an array of public services, from free school lunch programs to large grants to build affordable housing for low-income families. However, he firmly stated his contention that he doesn’t think the President can completely withhold millions of dollars of funding for public services over noncompliance with an immigration policy. "I don't actually think that there's a way

them over to federal authorities (https://goo.gl/FB0FTi). The Rainbow Times attempted to interview the Mayor for this piece, but his office did not respond to repeated requests for an interview. In June of 2014, the Cambridge City Council voted unanimously to pass an ordinance protecting undocumented immigrants from police detention. “I think people generally feel Cambridge is maintaining our sense of diversity and inclusiveness, even as there is a more generalized anxiety about the national climate,” said Cambridge Mayor E. Denise Simmons. The President has made several threats against municipalities who refuse to comply with his demands that they acquiesce to ICE’s efforts to implement detention programs across the country. The most

eral funds from the city. Boston receives about $250 million in federal funding (https://goo.gl/vD4VSa). In February, the Boston City Council created a special committee in response to the President’s executive orders. The creation of the Special Committee on Civil Rights has , “ … taken another affirmative step towards protecting and defending all Bostonians,” according to City Councilor Josh Zakim, who chairs the committee. According to a press release (https://goo.gl/Yx3o98) the committee will: … concern itself with matters relating to equal access to education, housing, employment and health care services. The committee shall have jurisdiction over matters relating to city, state, and federal laws prohibiting discrimination. The committee shall concern itself

David Narkewicz made the the city the fifth in the Commonwealth to provide explicit protections for immigrants and refugees. The Mayor issued a four-point executive order mandating that police not cooperate with non-criminal federal detention policies, ensuring that immigrants have access to police services in their native languages, and banning immigrants from being detained over traffic infractions. “These are hard-working people who have not committed any crimes and they are trying to navigate a broken immigration system,” said Narkewicz in an interview with The Rainbow Times. Narkewicz emphasized that the City of Northampton has been working to take in immigrants and refugees and currently has an agreement with a local nonprofit to accept 51 refugees into the city. In mid-Feb-

they can defund us,” he said, noting his belief that detainer requests are a violation of the Fourth Amendment prohibiting illegal searches and seizures and the Tenth Amendment, the delegation of power and control to the states in areas where the US Constitution has not expressly empowered the federal government. “Rather than focusing on these Draconian measures … the federal government should focus on reforming our immigration system,” he said. Just 11 miles to the south of Northampton is Holyoke, which became the sixth jurisdiction to pass what has commonly been referred to as a “Trust Act” policy to protect immigrants. In November of 2014, Holyoke Mayor Alex Morse signed an executive order protecting immigrants within

See Sanctuary on page 20


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March 9, 2017 - April 5, 2017

Ian Harvie: Transforming minds one truth at a time & how ‘we’re all trans’

F

or Ian Harvie, it’s not about earning the title of “first trans person in the world with a one-hour standup special.” Though that’s a tag the FTM comedian can now claim, for him, he’s hopeful more trans comedians will walk through the door he swung open with May the Best C@ck Win, airing on NBC’s digital network, SEESO. “I’m so excited that a digital network like SEESO, an NBC-based company, has said ‘yes’ to the first trans comic special, which will provide a pathway for others to come through,” remarks the Portland, Maine native. Harvie, who made his acting debut as Dale during the premiere season of Amazon’s Emmy-winning Transparent, recently opened up about how Margaret Cho was instrumental in helping him discover his standup voice, being a “butch dyke who was only visible because I looked like a man with huge t!ts,” and the unifying power of comedy. Q: I have a feeling people will be questioning their own p@nis adequacy after seeing your comedy special. A: Because you get what you get? Don’t overthink it! I make jokes, but people think I must have it bad because I’m a guy without a di@k, but really I have many. I have tons of di@ks. I have a range: softies that you can pack in your underwear to make it look like you have a penis, but, really, I’m too lazy to even remember to do that. Small, medium, large. … Different colors. Ones that look kind of alien that don’t have a penis head. All kinds of different d!cks. I’m old enough to have a collection. (Laughs) Q: Do you see your comedy as a bridge to trans acceptance? A: Yeah, I do. I think it’s one of the most powerful ways to help people access something that they haven’t been able to access before. I marched with ACT UP and Queer Nation back in the late ’80s, early ’90s. Started waving signs. I actually had blank foam core and markers in the trunk of my car ready to go anytime, and I remember going to marches and getting in people’s faces. That resistance is effective—it absolutely is. But I also found this other medium in comedy, where you walk into a comedy club and the audience is so incredibly diverse. People just want to laugh, and it doesn’t matter what you’re talking about. If you can make them laugh, you can access them and give them information about something that they had no idea about before. So, I think comedy is a really amazing tool to change people on old ideas they had. And this is part of the privilege of being a dude. I get there, I look like a dude, I sound like a dude, and grossly people listen to dudes more. I think what happens is people walk away without realizing it, having this new frame of reference for who trans people are. We’re not weirdos. We’re not freaks. We’re not all the stereotypes that people have put out there in the media in the past. And there’s not a f#@king foam core sign in their face. That has value too, absolutely. But it’s a totally different way

of accessing them. I’m not wagging my finger at them. I’m making them laugh. Q: You say that an audience is more apt to listen to a man rather than a woman. Is that based on any personal experience of your own? A: It’s this weird shift for me to go from this butch dyke who was only visible because I looked like a man with huge [breasts]. I mean, I was visible for that, but I wasn’t sexually visible to people. I d e fi n i t e l y wasn’t anything near a sort of female standard that culturally we have, so I was largely invisible until they figured out that I was female. Then, I was just weird. Now, there’s a shift in how people look at me and listen to me. PHOTO: SEESO

By: Chris Azzopardi/Special to TRT

Q: How did getting to know and touring with Margaret Cho in 2006 help you find your voice? A: I consider Margaret one of those people

who’s an absolute truth-teller on stage. She’s very raw and open about who she is, what she’s done, what’s she’s seen, how she deals with things. Traveling with her absolutely cracked me open and helped me be more brave about exactly who I was. I remember saying to her that I was scared to tell LGBT audiences that I was trans, and she’s like “Why? These are your people!” But I’m like, “I know, but they’re the ones I want to love me the most.” She’s like, “We need representation from the trans community. We really need that. They need to hear your story.” It really changed my perspective because I was like, “I can actually be of service here. I can tell my story.” Q: Because you’re a public figure, many trans people may see their story reflected in yours. A: Listen, you can

identify with feelings—you don’t have to identify with a person’s exact story. I want to make a distinction because it’s so funny when people come out—if you like what they have to say, people call them a role model; if you don’t like what they have to say, they’re a public figure. That’s the difference. (Laughs) So, I may be a public figure, but being a comic, just by the nature of the art, people aren’t always going to agree with me, and that’s OK. I don’t mind being a public figure. I hope that some of the things that I have to say actually resonate with people. I had a guy come up to me after a show who was a cisgender male—a straight guy—who was tortured in junior high because his nipples were raised. He started to play sports and people tortured the shit out of him. He was labeled as feminine because of his raised nipples, which today would be worshipped in gay culture! (Laughs) But he said he had surgery to correct this thing that he had been tortured by. He wanted to do it for himself to feel better in his body, and he came up to me after a show and was like, “Listen, I never, ever thought of it that way, and I never thought anybody would speak to me like you did.” What I realized by doing these shows: At first I thought this was gonna be great for the trans community. We’d have this shared experience, and I can speak and they can have things that resonate with them. Now, Read the rest of this story at: http://wp.me/p22M41-4IZ


14 • The Rainbow Times • TheRainbowTimesMass.com • 10th Year Anniversary

March 9, 2017 - April 5, 2017

Mass. Legislation from Page 10 Renewing Strength in the Current Political Climate With the election of President Donald Trump, renewed political turmoil threatens the work of LGBTQ and women’s rights advocates to pass these bills and other legislation. While Massachusetts can be broadly considered a socially progressive state, challenges still arise. “To a certain extent we are [progressive], but in many other ways we are not," Shields said. In the case of sexual education, Shields said Massachusetts is far behind other states such as California, a state with sexual education programs inclusive of LGBTQ identities. California made sexual education mandatory for all public school districts through Assembly Bill No. 329 (https://goo.gl/8HKndQ) in 2016. SD.912, “An Act Relative to Healthy Youth,” (https://goo.gl/qbhDWF) would require all school districts which elect to teach sexual education to use a curriculum that is not solely abstinence-based. “It's been turned down so many times,” Shields said. “It's simply stating if you're doing it[,] the curriculum needs to be scientifically accurate and evidence based. It can't be only abstinence-based." PPLM is advocating for SD.912 as the Commonwealth’s school districts are not required to teach evidence-based, age-appropriate, medically accurate sexual education. Dr. Jennifer Childs-Roshak, president of Planned Parenthood’s Advocacy Fund of Massachusetts, the lobbying arm of PPLM, said this kind of legislation is much-needed given the political assaults on the Affordable Care Act, ACA. “With threats to health care access and reproductive rights looming on the national level, it has never been more important to increase access to comprehensive sex education that empowers young people to take charge of their health,” she said. Childs-Roshak explained that the bill would encompass both abstinence-based education and what many experts would say is a curriculum which addresses real-world realities. “A comprehensive sex education curriculum teaches students about the benefits of abstinence and delaying sex, effective contraceptive use, and the prevention of pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections,” she said. “It also teaches students about building healthy relationships, consent, gender identity and sexual orientation.” Massachusetts Senate President Stan Rosenberg (D-Amherst) said it is difficult to fight for LGBTQ and women’s issues because long-held fundamental rights are now under assault. “Now, because of the current political environment and what’s going on in Washington, we have to split our efforts between moving legislation that will solve specific problems and efforts to ensure we protect fundamental civil rights and civil liberties,” he said. Rosenberg hopes in the current legislative session he and other lawmakers will be able to harness the power of the Massachusetts Gay and Lesbian Political Caucus, a group of LGBTQ lawmakers at the State House. The caucus, he said, might be able to push more LGBTQ-friendly bills through the leg-

“... VERY CONCERNED THAT TRUMP WILL MOVE TO ADVANCE A RELIGIOUS EXEMPTION.” islature. “It can help, it certainly won’t hurt,” Rosenberg said. “Some caucuses are extremely effective putting issues on the front burner and helping to move them through.” Arline Isaacson, co-chair of the Massachusetts Gay and Lesbian Political Caucus (https://goo.gl/gZ54Jd; MGLPC), a political and advocacy organization that lobbies regularly at the State House, said the new political climate surrounding the Donald Trump presidency sets Washington D.C., more than legislators in Massachusetts, as an enemy. Isaacson said one thing she most fears is the potential for an executive order which would allow LGBTQ people to be discriminated against based on religious objections. “For the most part, the threats will be generated from D.C.,” Isaacson said. “We’re very concerned that Trump will move to advance a religious exemption. That could create a loophole that you could drive a truck through.” When posed with the threat of losing civil liberties, Isaacson said what people need to do is harness the power of the state to protect them. “State legislators are more important now than ever before to protect us, to protect our freedoms and to protect us against the excesses and the overreach of the Trump administration,” she said. Further, Isaacson said the populations threatened by the Trump administration need to see many of their struggles as one in the same. “I hope that the LGBTQ community will understand their interconnectedness with other groups,” Isaacson said. “We’ve got to work together if we are going to defeat these lousy proposals.” When asked about what people concerned with LGBTQ legislation can do to support the efforts of pro-LGBTQ legislators, Sen. Rosenberg said people need to reach out to lawmakers who are traditionally antiLGBTQ. “You [can help] by communicating with family and friends who live in those other districts,” Rosenberg said. “Join statewide organizations and support their efforts to help move people in other districts. Ultimately, legislators respond to the calls, letters, and stories of their own constituents first and foremost.” Republican House Reps. Keiko Orrall (RLakeville) and James Lyons (R-Andover) both longtime opponents to LGBTQ-friendly legislation, did not respond to inquiries for comment. Cyr said sharing personal stories are an incredibly effective way of turning the tide against anti-LGBTQ legislators and voters. “Personal stories that are directly related are powerful,” Cyr said. “If you are someone who has faced discrimination as an LGBTQ person, or experienced homelessness or know someone who has, those stories are very powerful, and should be told to people who are on the fence.”


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The gender revolution: Comparing the past, present & hoping for the future By: Deja Nicole Greenlaw*/TRT Columnist

A

TRANS OPINION

fter watching the Katie Couric special on “The Gender Revolution” (https://goo.gl/x93zoV), I teared up a bit. Although there was pain depicted in the special, there was also a lot of hope and love present. It felt so good to see supportive parents, children, life partners, friends, and public institutions. This sure is a far cry from what many of us experienced back in the old days. Oh, I remember those days! As a child in the 1950s, I knew that I was different as most transgender children know. I also knew that I needed to keep quiet about my gender or else it would be trouble for me. Because of that, I just kept it hidden, way down deep in my soul. Understanding of and support for transgender children were not even a thought back in those days. The rule on gender then was that gender was binary, either you were male or female, period. I accepted that old gender rule and I challenged it only within myself. I felt that I had to do so in order to survive. I would wait until everyone was out of the house and then I would look for female

clothing, dress in it, and live as female for those few precious minutes. Sometimes, I would get an hour or two, and that was heavenly! Then the sound of a car in the driveway or the sound of one of the doors opening made my heart stop! I knew that my female time was over and that I needed to quickly return any female clothing to their

at her college in hopes of “straightening” me out. The therapist took us both in at once and told me that I was very wrong to wear my wife's clothing and to never do it again. I felt so awful and ashamed. The therapist then said that we should go shopping so that I could buy some women's clothing of my own to wear. Suddenly, I perked up! My

NONE OF MY CHILDREN ACCEPTED ME UNTIL A FEW YEARS LATER WHEN ONE OF THE THREE DID. respective closets and wash off any makeup that I applied to my face before anyone in my family would discover anything. I wasn't much of a dater in high school and it wasn't until I was in college that I dated someone. Eventually, we married. After it, she did catch me wearing her clothes, not in person, but in the fact that one of her dresses was stretched out. I confessed and promised never to wear her clothes again. She got us an appointment with a therapist

wife, however, did not like that idea and that was the end of seeing that therapist. I kept my promise not to ever wear her clothes again and stuffed myself deeper into my closet. It wasn't until the attacks on the Twin Towers and the Pentagon in 2001 that I let it resurface. My wife was still against me wearing female clothing, this time it was clothing that I had bought for myself, so we tried another therapist. This therapist told me that I could be cured. This time it was

me who ended the visits. Within two years, I moved out and we were divorced. Soon after the divorce, my family members found out about me and I was excluded from just about all gatherings and events. The only invites I had were ones from my mother who would badger my children to show up. At first my mother did not accept me, but after a while she did her research, thought about it, and accepted me. None of my children accepted me until a few years later when one of the three did. I don't remember anyone, family or friends, initially accepting and supporting me—such a far cry from the Katie Couric special. To see the acceptance and the support given to the trans people in that Katie Couric special really touched my heart. I felt so happy that many trans people today have understanding, acceptance, and support. There was even support for the non-binary folks, which delighted my heart even more. Katie's special brought to light a lot of good things that are happening. I'm hoping that more and more good things continue to happen and that someday trans people will be fully accepted as equals all over the world, hopefully within my lifetime. We'll see. *Deja Nicole Greenlaw is a trans woman who has three grown children and is retired from 3M. She can be contacted via e-mail at dejavudeja@sbcglobal.net.

Intriguing & Fun: How do we know the difference between “sex” and “gender?” enough of the time that generally people Dear Trans have little cause to question it. But it’s a HECK, FOR THAT MATTER, ASK A CISGENDER PERSON false correlation. Here’s what you need to Woman, I have some know and keep repeating, “sex” and “genconfusion you der” are different things and refer to someWHAT THEIR GENDER IS. ... THE MOST RELIABLE INDImay need to what different ideas, though the lines school me on, be- between them are often blurry and hard to cause it still does- separate. CATOR THAT SOMEONE IS A WOMAN, A MAN, OR EN“Sex” generally refers to the observable n’t register. Is it true people can biological characteristics of a species, parchoose their gen- ticularly in regards to reproduction. This der because it’s a may seem simple enough. But, what is “obTIRELY OTHER IS THAT WE “JUST KNOW.” social thing? But “sex” actually servable” is not always easy to observe. For PHOTO: DAVID MEEHAN

ASK A TRANS WOMAN

By: Lorelei Erisis*/TRT Columnist

deals with biology? Right? Wrong? What’s the difference? Help! I know it’s a touchy subject I didn’t wanna offend anyone, but would you care to clarify or verify?

I

saw this last night and have had this tumbling around in my head ever since. It’s one of those, “more complicated than you expect/simpler than you realize” things. And, forgive me dear readers if I’m restating, rephrasing, or repeating anything that’s you’ve heard already. But it’s important to get back to the basics sometimes. First of all, let’s start with the idea that sex and gender are two entirely separate things. The main reason most folks don’t get this is that they happen to be things that line up

THE RAINBOW TIMES DIVERSE............just like our team is OBJECTIVE..........someone has to be INCLUSIVE........no one is left behind .....That is HOW media should be.....

instance, possession of a vagina does not necessarily mean a person has a uterus or ovaries or is capable of reproduction as a female. It doesn’t even mean a person has XX chromosomes. Similarly possession of a penis isn’t a reliable indicator of sperm, reproductive capability, or XY chromosomes. And I’m talking about AFAB (Assigned Female At Birth) and AMAB (Assigned Male At Birth) people, never mind transgender folks. And when you add intersex people into the mix, there isn’t even a reliable or easily identifiable binary when referring to “biological sex.” So then we have “gender,” which is often thought of by the kind of people who think about such things as being a “social construct.” I mean, we have a generally agreed upon idea of what constitutes a “man” and what constitutes a “woman” and how those roles are identified. Except, you guessed it, those social constructs kinda fall apart pretty easily too. For one thing, ideas change and are changing all the time. What we think of as a man or a woman is pretty completely different today than it was 50, 100 or 1,000 years ago. Culture is not static. Anyone who has spent any time on Tum-

blr at all will tell you that “culture” and “society” are hardly singular. This world holds a dazzling array of different cultures all with their own unique ideas about social structure and interaction. So, what we generally refer to as a “woman” or a “man” is really only the general social constructs recognized by “Western” (by which I mean “European,” and I am also implying “colonialist”) society. And even at that, it’s hardly consistent with biological sex. People have been identifying and living as gender identities that differ from the sex they were assigned at birth for quite some centuries (probably millennia) before we invented the word “transgender.” And that’s only in “Western” society! Many other cultures and societies break things down in ways that would be practically unrecognizable to our “Western”-indoctrinated ideas. Heck, a lot of them don’t even think of gender as a binary! If you want some additional info on this, here’s a simple list I put together years ago of third gender and gender variant groups in various cultures and time-periods around the world (https://goo.gl/2xZU8F). So, to bring this all home and back to the

statement, “not all men have a penis or XY chromosomes” and “not all women have a vagina or XX chromosomes.” Speaking as a trans woman and a newspaper columnist who has a vested interest both personally and professionally in the hows and whys of gender and why we identify as we do, I can tell you that there are lots of scientific, medical, and social theories as to why someone identifies as a “man” or a “woman” or as neither/any of those options. There are new studies, new theories, all the time. Some are pretty interesting, quite possible even. But ultimately, we have no real strong or immutable grasp on exactly what makes anyone a man, woman, or other. Not biologically. Not socially. The best we have is that people seem to know, inherently and often quite strongly, what their gender actually is. Ask any trans person. We know, for sure, who we are and how we identify. Trans kids will tell you even more clearly. Heck, for that matter, ask a cisgender person what their gender is. Then ask them, really, how they know beyond what they have Read the rest of this story at: http://wp.me/p22M41-4IT


16 • The Rainbow Times • TheRainbowTimesMass.com • 10th Year Anniversary

Ciudad Santuario está en sus manos Por: Gricel M. Ocasio*/Publicadora de TRT

S

i no entendemos lo que necesitamos, si no participamos en organizaciones cívicas, si no nos educamos sobre quienes son aliados de nuestras causas, y si no nos votamos, no podremos salir hacia adelante. En este momento en el que la moral humana y los derechos de la comunidad inmigrante de Salem, Mass. y otras ciudades y estados están a la deriva, dadas las instrucciones de la nueva administración de Trump, usted tiene el deber de hacer su voto contar. Si usted es latinx y puede votar, ejerza su voto. El Concejo Municipal (City Council, en inglés) actual en Salem está compuesto de 11 concejales, cuatro de ellos son Libres (At-Large, en inglés), lo que quiere decir que todos los votantes en todos los distritos y condados de Salem pueden votar por ellos. Algunos de ellos, hasta ahora, parecen estar en contra del documento de Ciudad Santuario. Uno es Arthur Sargent III. Otros dos que no sabemos cómo votarán (si a favor o en contra) lo son Jerry Ryan y Elaine Milo. Thomas Furey sí está apoyando la ordenanza hasta ahora. El con-

Sanctuary Facts from Page 2 And, if sanctuary cities are not in violation of federal law, then funds cannot be withheld. If the opponents of sanctuary cities are provided information that debunks the myths with verifiable facts and data and yet they continue to oppose such measures that protects our communities, then

cejal del Punto lo es Robert McCarthy. No sabemos cómo él votará. De los candidatos que se están postulando para Concejales Libres en el 2018, están David Eppley y Jeff Cohen. Debemos considerar apoyarles si deciden seguir votando por iniciativas que ayudan a las comunidades marginadas. Tenemos que envolvernos en grupos de acción como lo es el sub-comité de Integración Comunitaria (Community Engagement, en inglés) del grupo “No Hay Lugar Para El Odio” (No Place For Hate, en inglés). Este grupo tendrá una manifestación el 25 de marzo. Necesitamos su presencia ahí. Habrá música, entremeses, y mesas de información y luego se llevará a cabo la manifestación. El grupo tiene fechas pautadas para hacer los letreros y para escribirle a su concejal y a los concejales libres. Únase al sub-comité para que ayude a la comunidad inmigrante de Salem. Es lo correcto. Es lo honorable. Es lo justo. Para más información sobre como participar y hacer su voto contar, únase al grupo aquí: https://goo.gl/WR7LOC. *Cominíquese con Gricel vía su e-mail a: publisher@therainbowtimesnews.com. one begs to know what is really behind their opposition. Perhaps it is the same mindset that led to erasure of so many Native Americans. We shall rise. *Nicole Lashomb is the Editor-in-Chief of The Rainbow Times. She holds an MBA from Marylhurst University & a BM from SUNY Potsdam. Contact Nicole at: editor@therainbowtimesmass.com.

March 9, 2017 - April 5, 2017

Trans Health from Page 6 articulate these needs can and will be helpful in the movement for health care equity in the trans community,” Dunn wrote in an e-mail. “If providers and insurers want to see change, they need to start talking internally, and externally with the community to move that change forward. We can't move inclusivity forward without their buy-in.” Roundtable participants also noted an inconsistency concerning insurance coverage for hormone replacement therapy. For example, injectable hormones might be covered by insurance while gels or patches were not, the report said. Hormone replacement therapy is often used as a first step on the path toward changing an individual’s gender. It involves a series of testosterone or estrogen injections given at a health care facility or at home after receiving instructions from a medical professional. “Out-of-pocket expenses were seen as disproportionately impacting trans people—who tend to be un- or under-employed—and continued to be barriers to care, especially for underserved communities and low-income people,” according to the report. Dowd said one of the most surprising findings to come out of the roundtable was the experience transgender people have in the emergency room. According to several participants, an already stressful experience is exacerbated by a lack of knowledge and empathy from medical staff. “The level of mistreatment and really problematic encounters people had … that

was surprising,” Dowd said. The report also noted a lack of understanding on the difference between gender identity and sexual orientation, and providers pressuring patients into choosing a binary gender identity. To combat these issues, the report recommends introducing basic knowledge of transgender patients into medical school curricula, making continuing education mandatory for all levels of medical staff, and pursuing disciplinary action when a transgender person is treated poorly or refused care. Safer said BMC started a Transgender Task Force that is looking at improving training and reducing instances of discrimination for transgender patients and employees. “We are starting with nurses on the floor where patients go for their surgeries, then moving to front desk staff at places where trans patients are likely to go,” Safer said. The report was sent to organizations with which Harvard Pilgrim has a relationship with including Boston Children's Hospital, Boston Medical Center, Brown University School of Medicine and Connecticut Children's Medical Center. “We chose not to send it out ‘cold’ to a lot of hospitals and clinical care systems because all too often it would not get to the right person,” Dowd said. “If the person receiving it had no particular interest in trans health, it would likely go no further than a desk somewhere.” The report is also a step toward a closer Read the rest of this story at: http://wp.me/p22M41-4IV


March 9, 2017 - April 5, 2017

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18 • The Rainbow Times • TheRainbowTimesMass.com • 10th Year Anniversary

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March 9, 2017 - April 5, 2017

QPuzzle: This month’s “Mother-in-law”

Across 1 Y.M.C.A., e.g. 5 Type of father Robert Reed played 9 Madea cross-dresser Perry 14 In the pink 15 Greek queen of heaven 16 ___ Cologne 17 First name among lesbian poets 18 Auth. unknown 19 Emulated Neil Patrick Harris 20 Samantha's husband on Bewitched 23 "___ Enchanted Evening" 24 Owl sound 25 He played 20-Across on TV 29 Shakespeare's Puck, e.g. 32 Like Parminder Nagra's parents 33 Diana of Lady Sings the Blues 34 Lesbian opponent of Wade 35 "Doggone!" 36 Sweetie pie 37 Salty, white stuff from the Greeks 38 B'way hit sign 39 Deli side dish 41 More fruitless 43 Pro follower 44 He played 20-Across in the movie 46 Cabaret singer Edith 47 ___ Upon a Mattress 48 She played Endora, the

mother-in-law of 20-Across on TV 54 It may be out on a limb 55 Positive sign 56 Bone shot, often 58 Make easy to swallow 59 Desire Under the ___ 60 Trials and tribulations 61 Great balls of fire 62 Sally Ride's org. 63 Work your fingers to the bone

Down 1 Mandy Patinkin's Evita role 2 Cheryl of Charlie's Angels 3 Wrist bone 4 Hairy guy's hide? 5 Hairspray scorer Marc 6 Equivalent of two fins 7 Boy who shoots off arrows 8 Group of Greek gods 9 Oolong brewers 10 Cruise in style 11 Guitar of Shakespeare's day 12 James Dean's East of ___ 13 Cincinnati team 21 Painter Bonheur 22 Years on end 25 Performed, for Byron 26 Harden 27 PC drive insert 28 Kennel warning 29 Cara of Fame fame 30 Norman Bates' place

31 Jethrene Bodine's mother 36 Like a suggestive blouse 37 Way out 39 Nothing-but-net sounds, for Sue Wicks 40 Kinsey title role portrayer Neeson 41 Williams of Ugly Betty 42 Rainbow shape 45 Open discussions 46 Pears or Paige 48 Biters of Marc Antony's girlfriend 49 Excess supply 50 You've Got Mail female 51 Earthenware jar 52 The younger Guthrie 53 "Limp Watches" painter 57 Fashion initials

SOLUTION

Immigration from page 10 our national security, it stigmatizes those who would lawfully [immigrate] to our state. With this policy, our global universities, hospitals, businesses and start-ups, and far too many students and residents have been put at risk. On behalf of the Commonwealth, my office is challenging the immigration ban to hold this administration accountable for its un-American, discriminatory, and reckless decision-making.” “A lot of what’s happened recently has been, in its verbiage, targeting folks from Muslim countries and specifically Muslim countries that are people of color countries,” said Carl Williams, a staff attorney for the Massachusetts chapter of the ACLU, about the perceived racism inherent in the executive orders. “No one said anything about Bosnia, no one said anything about Azerbaijan, about Muslim countries that are countries where white folks come from.” Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), an executive resolution passed under the Obama administration, provides a path for young immigrants, under certain conditions, to legally live and work in the United States. The more than 750,000 estimated DACA beneficiaries, also known as “DREAMers” (for the Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors Act) have been able to secure legal documents, attend college, and hold jobs. However, under President Trump’s administration, this population of immigrants is highly at risk. In early February, the arrest of a Seattle immigrant by federal authorities sparked national outrage (https://goo.gl/9inAQF). Daniel Medina, 23, was accused of having gang ties by ICE and immediately detained as a public safety threat though he had twice qualified for DREAMer status under former President Obama’s resolution. “There is still not a lot of information on what will happen with DREAMers, and in that case we will have to fight alongside with them to ensure our universities are speaking up and those of us who are privileged enough to be citizens are showing up for immigrants across the board,” said Santiago Nariño, president of the College Democrats of Massachusetts (CDM; http://macollegedems.org). On February 20, the President issued a memo (https://goo.gl/H1sIWo) providing protection for DACA recipients from deportation. An immigrant from Colombia, Nariño said that the executive orders and Trump’s actions to secure the nation’s borders have had a personal effect on his loved ones. “The executive orders … [have] put in danger some of my family members who are here with student visas and also who are completely undocumented,” he said. “His orders have psychologically taken me back to an era in my family's history where we were afraid of Immigration and Customs Enforcement … coming to the door.” Nariño said that he’s channeled that fear into helping immigrants to this country currently at risk of deportation. “That is something I don't wish for anybody and that is why I have built CDM on the basis of communicating and building bridges of knowledge for students and ensuring that those students are connected to

the communities that are most affected by Trump's policies.” CDM has mobilized since the executive orders were issued and are involved in a range of projects with community-based organizations and elected officials to fight back against the President’s immigration policy. “We want to make sure we are supporting the local community organizations like Cosecha (lahuelga.com) and Student Immigrant Movement (http://simforus.org/) as much as possible. We also are keeping in communication with SIM and other immigrant community groups to ensure we show up when deportation raids happen and we bring light and physically show up when we are needed.” Other organizations across the Commonwealth have mobilized to support, advocate for, and protect immigrants, refugees, and asylees and several high-profile demonstrations have been held to protest increased federal deportation efforts. “These executive orders have a chilling, paralyzing, and crippling impact on a large swath of the American Muslim community,” said John Robbins, executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations-Massachusetts (CAIR; www.cairma.org). “It's difficult to overstate their negative impact on so many lives.” LGBTQ People and Immigration “I see Trump's anti-immigrant propaganda as the continuation of the disenfranchisement that I, and many immigrants, especially refugees and asylees like me, have been suffering from for years,” said Pante-a, an Iranian asylee living in the Greater Boston area. “But now it feels like this administration is pressing the gas pedal all the way to the maximum speed, trying to get rid of us and making our lives harder than ever.” Pante-a, who asked not to be identified by their real name, moved to the United States nearly 10 years ago on a student visa to pursue an undergraduate degree. “In college, I came out as queer and after seeking legal counsel, I was strongly advised to seek asylum,” Pantea-a—who uses the pronouns they, them, and their—said. “I applied for asylum and was granted protection in the US. Currently, I hold a green card and am waiting to obtain my citizenship.” Though they were able to secure their degree, college life was particularly stressful for Pante-a, who said that traveling outside of the country was nearly impossible. “I finished my undergraduate studies unable to ever travel outside of the United States to see my family, or to attend a conference, or for any other personal or professional reason,” they said. “I was afraid that if I left, I would have to apply for another visa and the background check might take so long that I would miss a semester of college.” Immigrants like Pante-a and Mohamed often face severe consequences if outed in their home countries, as do many other LGBTQ people in African and Middle Eastern countries. For example, OutRight Action International (https://goo.gl/EpT8bS), co-authored a Read the rest of this story at: http://wp.me/p22M41-4IP


20 • The Rainbow Times • TheRainbowTimesMass.com • 10th Year Anniversary

Sanctuary from Page 12 they can defund us,” he said, noting his belief that detainer requests are a violation of the Fourth Amendment prohibiting illegal searches and seizures and the Tenth Amendment, the delegation of power and control to the states in areas where the US Constitution has not expressly empowered the federal government. Rather than focusing on these Draconian measures … the federal government should focus on reforming our immigration system.” Just 11 miles to the south of Northampton is Holyoke, which became the sixth jurisdiction to pass what has commonly been referred to as a “Trust Act” policy to protect immigrants. In November of 2014, Holyoke Mayor Alex Morse signed an executive order protecting immigrants within the city from federal detainer policies. The City of Holyoke received roughly $19.5 million in federal funding in its last fiscal year. Morse has publicly denounced Trump’s executive orders and like several other mayors across the Commonwealth, has pledged to fight them. The Mayor did not respond to a request by The Rainbow Times for an interview. Holyoke City Councilor Jossie Valentin says that Trump’s stance on immigrants has caused a significant amount of division within the country. “It is amazing how quickly some forget that we are a nation of immigrants,” she said. “The message being conveyed by President Trump continues to be erratic, divisive, and wrong. We all need to rise and resist—at all levels of government." Battles Being Waged August 2015 saw Lawrence becoming the seventh city in the state to enact a Trust Act ordinance banning the use of local law enforcement resources for federal immigra-

March 9, 2017 - April 5, 2017

tion detainers. In December, City Councilor Susan Albright introduced an ordinance with the Newton City Council calling for the prohibition of law enforcement from conducting federal immigration detention activities. At one point, Newton Mayor Setti Warren had also introduced his own version of the ordinance. By mid-January, the issue had caused heated debate amongst Newton residents. A city council hearing saw opponents and proponents sound off on the ordinance, but in a February 21 city council vote, the ordinance was passed. “I’m thrilled that Newton is standing with the other cities and towns in Massachusetts and across the country in supporting the

not good for our values and principles. I hope our people will rally together and support immigrants, which is the foundation of our government, the foundation of our country.” During the time Newton city councilors were debating the merits of their ordinance, both Chelsea and Lawrence took up their own fight with the federal government. Both cities have been known as jurisdictions with large immigrant populations, particularly large Latinx populations and the President’s executive orders caused both cities to come together to sue the federal government. “On February 8, the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights and Economic Justice (LCCREJ; http://lawyerscom.org) filed the first

“WHEN CHILDREN OF IMMIGRANTS ATTENDING SALEM PUBLIC SCHOOLS COME TO SCHOOL CRYING ABOUT THEIR FEAR OF THEIR PARENTS BEING ROUNDED UP AND DEPORTED, THAT IS [A] REALITY CHECK FOR THE GREATER COMMUNITY. DOES THIS REFLECT SALEM'S VALUES?

I

WOULD [SAY] NO.” —SALEM CITY COUNCILOR DAVID EPPLEY immigrants who live here and work here in peace and contribute to our lives,” said Albright. The councilor said that she understands the concerns of some Newton residents about the issue of federal funding, but emphasized her contention, similar to that of Mayor Narkewicz, that the federal government cannot deny municipalities federal funding for a broad set of public services over one issue. Her greater concern, she said, is for the immigrants who are currently being detained. “My only concern is that the President has stepped up his deportation efforts. There are people who are being rounded up for minor crimes,” she said. “It’s not good for America, it’s not good for the people, it’s

civil rights challenge to the constitutionality of President Trump’s executive order targeting ‘sanctuary jurisdictions’,” said Iván Espinoza-Madrigal, executive director of the LCCREJ, in an interview with The Rainbow Times. “The lawsuit focuses on [the] principles of federalism and separation of powers. Under the Tenth Amendment, the powers not delegated to the federal government are reserved for the states. Essentially, this means that state [and] local governments can set their own priorities based on community needs. The federal government cannot commandeer state [and] local resources. It cannot impose federal duties and responsibilities— including federal immigration enforcement—on local [and] state governments. Our lawsuit focuses on states’ rights and puts the Trump administration and the federal government back in its place under the Constitution.” Espinoza-Madrigal said that the federal government has not yet responded to the lawsuit, but that defunding both cities would be incredibly detrimental to their residents. “Most of the federal funding received by Chelsea and Lawrence supports critically important public programs … such as free school lunch,” he said. “Defunding sanctuary cities would hurt everyone in the community … regardless of immigration status. It’s deeply unfair [,] illegal and unconstitutional … to destabilize children, families, and communities in this manner.” Espinoza-Madrigal noted that the City of Chelsea has an annual budget of $170 million, $14 million of which comes from the federal government. Lawrence has an annual budget of $245 million, $38 million of

which comes from the federal government. “Most of the federal funding supports public schools,” he said. “Chelsea and Lawrence are both working-class cities. Losing 10 to 15 percent of their funding would have a devastating effect on children and families.” Several cities and towns are in the process of considering ordinances similar to the eight that have already been passed in Massachusetts including Acton, Boxborough, and Watertown. The Rainbow Times reached out to Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno for a comment on his vocal opposition (https://goo.gl/DxIWk8) to the municipality being labeled as a sanctuary city, but the mayor declined to be interviewed. Worcester has also received media attention for the reticence of city officials to declare the jurisdiction a sanctuary city (https://goo.gl/55kxah). Sanctuary for Peace The Salem City Council is considering a “Sanctuary for Peace” ordinance with plans to hold an ad-hoc committee meeting on March 29 to discuss the ordinance in greater detail. “The Sanctuary for Peace Ordinance is necessary for both the immigrant community—primarily of color and primarily speaking a language other than English— as well as the Salem community at large,” said City Councilor David Eppley, who’s playing a leading role in moving the ordinance to a vote. “When children of immigrants attending Salem public schools come to school crying about their fear of their parents being rounded up and deported, that is [a] reality check for the greater community. Does this reflect Salem's values? I would [say] no.” Elaine Milo, president of the City Council, said that she’s being very intentional about her decision whether to support the ordinance or not. “I think it is important to take the time … to hear from constituents. I’ve begun a kind of ‘listening tour’ of neighborhood groups to gain additional feedback,” she said. “I’ve also had conversations with individual members of the group who put this ordinance together. I expect that the conversations will continue going forward.” Milo said that she has some concerns about the language of the ordinance before the city council. Her chief concern is that the language focuses too specifically on undocumented immigrants to the exclusion of other groups. “In short, I propose that we take the language of [the city’s current non-discrimination] ordinance, amend it to include undocumented immigrants and other appropriate language and go forward,” she said, noting that she is fully supportive of the spirit of the “Sanctuary for Peace” ordinance. “I think it is important that we take this opportunity to remind everyone in Salem that we have their backs. We don’t know the next group of people who may be under attack and we should be thinking ahead. My sense is that would go a long way with the majority of people in the community. “This is not an easy conversation to have, especially at this time in our country,” she said, reporting that support for the ...

See Sanctuary on Page 23


March 9, 2017 - April 5, 2017

6th Annual LGBT Elders Conference in Salem SALEM, Mass.—The sixth annual LGBT Elders in an Ever Changing World conference is being held on March 17, 2017 at Salem State University and is sponsored by The LGBT Aging Project, North Shore Elder Services, Salem State University’s School of Social Work, CareDimensions, and AARP Massachusetts. This interdisciplinary conference is a day-long event focusing on issues of older persons and caregivers who are LGBT. Each of the first five conferences drew over 200 social service and health care professionals, including students and older adults interested in the subject of LGBT aging and service needs. The plenary session features remarks by Kate Rohr. Kate is an orthopedic physician and transgender woman who came out at the age of sixty-seven years. She had gender affirmation surgery at age 70 with the support of her wife, Linda. Their story has been featured in the Washington Post and National Geographic’s recent “Gender Revolution: A Journey with Katie Couric.” Seventeen workshops will cover diverse topics including transgender aging, practice skills, caregiving tools, disparities, public policy, advocacy, and more. Presenters are from throughout New England, New York, Texas, India, and Australia. “It is exciting to see this ground-breaking conference to be held once again at Salem State University” noted Cheryl Springer, Professor, School of Social Work, Salem State University. “I know that social work and health care professionals as well as students will gain from a truly interdisciplinary learning experience that sheds light on the challenges facing LGBT elders and highlights the caring capacity of the LGBT community.” “The Elder LGBT Conference is a unique event bringing together human service workers, as well as LGBT elders themselves, with academic experts who have researched the issues of LGBT older adults and caregivers,” sai Paul Lanzikos, Executive Director, Danvers-based North Shore Elder Services. “Our participation is a direct result of our work over the past years with The LGBT Aging Project in Boston involving outreach and programming for LGBT seniors and caregivers on the North Shore and throughout the metropolitan Boston area.” “We are thrilled to partner with North Shore Elder Services, Salem State University, CareDimensions, and AARP Massachusetts to present such a comprehensive view of so many aspects of growing older in the LGBT community” stated Lisa Krinsky, Director, The Fenway Institute’s LGBT Aging Project. The organizers are dedicated to presentations that integrate content pertinent to cultural competency, disabilities and creative programming, as well as direct and interdisciplinary practice with LGBT elders. CEUs are available for social work, case managers, and nurses. The event will be held at Salem State University’s Marsh Conference Center (Central Campus), 70 Loring Ave., Salem, Mass., from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. The cost, which includes breakfast, lunch and reception is $125, includes social work, case management, or nursing 4.5. CEUs Seniors (60+) and students with current student ID: $50 (no CEUs). Register online at https://goo.gl/1RDhMC. FMI: 978-406-4596 or lgbtelders2017@gmail.com.

10th Year Anniversary • TheRainbowTimesMass.com • The Rainbow Times • 21


22 • The Rainbow Times • TheRainbowTimesMass.com • 10th Year Anniversary

March 9, 2017 - April 5, 2017


March 9, 2017 - April 5, 2017

Sanctuary from Page 20 ordinance amongst the constituents she’s spoken to is split 50/50. “I’m proud to live in a place where we are not afraid to look in the mirror and ask ourselves ‘How can we be a better community?’ I look forward to listening to residents’ answers to this question as we continue this very important discussion.” “It’s an emotional tender box. Almost like the Hatfields and McCoys,” said City Councilor Thomas Furey referring to the legendary feud between two rural families in West Virginia and Kentucky in the late 1800s. Furey said he’s fully supportive of the ordinance and the spirit behind it. Dr. Analyssa Gypsy Murphy, a Salem resident and Endicott College professor, said that there’s a lot riding on how the City Council votes on the ordinance. “It seems to me frankly absurd that we even have to put this amount of energy into passing it,” she said. “[Not passing the ordinance] would mean that the majority of those people who seek to represent the city of Salem represents fear, hatemongering, and bigotry and not the people who live here and somehow don't understand that a large portion of people who live here are in need of sanctuary.” Salem Police Department Captain Conrad Prosniewski said that the ordinance, if passed or not, doesn’t affect the police department at all as the department has already established a policy concerning immigration status. “What we’ll be doing in the future is what we’ve always done,” he said. “Getting the ordinance passed is giving immigrants a peace of mind in terms of what we do and what we don’t do. Our policy says that the Salem Police has no business [knowing] whether someone is a citizen or undocumented. Regardless of what someone’s status is, we provide equal protection to everyone.” Salem Mayor Kim Driscoll said that she does not fear a reprisal from Trump if the ordinance is passed for two reasons. The first being that she believes it’s a violation of the Tenth Amendment, along with Espinoza-Madrigal and Narkewicz. “The second is that the Ordinance, as it is written, does not violate the president’s executive order, nor does it violate federal law,” she said. “Salem Police will continue to communicate with federal law enforcement, as they do now. Criminals who are undocumented immigrants will not be shielded from arrest, conviction, and potential deportation by ICE if they are in Salem. These are the standards of the order and the law, and we will not contravene them.” Ana Nuncio, president of Salem’s Latino Leadership Coalition (LLC), said she believes that there’s nothing controversial about the ordinance. “It’s an exercise of self-reflection, a presentation of our values,” she contends. Nuncio said that the ordinance is a “confirmation of a commitment” that Salem has long had to equity and justice for all. City Councilor Beth Gerard said that in her conversations with her constituents, she’s been doing a lot of public education. “It codifies whatever practices are already in place,” she said. “The police and City Hall are not immigration officials. When any of my constituents e-mail me whether they are for or against the sanctuary city concept … I’m sending them the draft or-

10th Year Anniversary • TheRainbowTimesMass.com • The Rainbow Times • 23

dinance and the Salem City Police Department policy. An informed constituency is a beneficial constituency.” Gerard said that at the time of her interview with The Rainbow Times she had 70 e-mails from constituents and eight of them were opposed to the ordinance. Gerard said she always responds with key information about what the ordinance does and doesn’t do. City Councilor Josh Turiel said that he believes that though he has a few questions around implementation of the ordinance, he finds it to be reasonable. “ … although minimal, I think the risk is, based on sheer morality, one we should take,” he said, also saying that, in general, conversations with constituents in favor of the bill has been three-to-one in support. Turiel said he disagrees with the “extreme vetting” proposed by Trump, but does believe that a minimal amount of due diligence should be conducted when welcoming new immigrants to the country. “I personally believe in borders that are entirely open. I think that should be the goal for every nation … that said, I do believe that it’s perfectly fair to take people who want to migrate to our country and run basic background checks on them.” On March 25, Salem No Place for Hate

gration that are balanced and fair. “I believe conservatives are finding solutions that are not making sense, but liberals are doing the same thing,” he said. “I don’t think that liberals are really thinking about the issue that conservatives are bringing up, which is we have people coming into the country without permission and there’s no path to citizenship … So what is the solution? It seems that liberals are pointing to the solution of, ‘Well, let’s allow people to become citizens,’ whereas conservatives are [saying] the opposite and there’s no middle ground that says what is the standard, what is the minimum requirement to becoming a citizen.” Morales said he knows several undocumented immigrants and has noticed that the current political atmosphere breeds a sense of terror and silence. “I have a ton of friends who are undocumented … a lot of people who are LGBT are closeted and it’s the same with immigrants,” Morales said. “People who are immigrants often don’t want people to know their status and it should be pretty obvious as to why … it’s a justified fear … if the government were to find out certain information, we could get in serious trouble. We are deliberately hiding and it’s not this sense of, ‘I know I’m a criminal, I know I’m

More about the Salem Rally on Page 6 will be hosting a city-wide rally in support of the Sanctuary for Peace Ordinance from 2-4:30 p.m. on the corner of Essex and Washington St. in downtown Salem. The March 29 ad-hoc City Council meeting will be attended by all 11 Salem City Councilors and invitations are extended by city councilors to Salem residents and other elected officials to speak. The Rainbow Times attempted to interview all 11 city councilors, but did not receive responses from Councilors Arthur Sargent III, Jerry L. Ryan, Robert McCarthy, Heather Famico, Stephen Lovely, and Stephen Dibble. Murphy said that voting in favor of this will set a historical precedent that historians will look upon years from now with respect. “Passing this says that 75 years from now when scholars look back on this time we will be on the side of right and righteousness,” she said. “That when my great-greatgreat-grandchildren ask what I did in this time in history I can be proud and my conscience clear … “ The Effects of Fear Victor Morales’ mother crossed the border from Mexico into the US 25 years ago, just so he could be born an American citizen. A graduate of the Mass. Institute of Technology (MIT; http://web.mit.edu) and a resident of Cambridge, Morales knows that his experience in this country is much different from many immigrants, but his concerns about Trump are very much the same. “My first response has been fear,” he said, noting that he did not actually live in the US until the age of 7. “But the next response after that has been to immediately find people I can relate to, try to reason with them about what it is I’m feeling, and how we can at the very least, be supportive for people in this situation.” Morales expressed frustrations with the political system in the country when it comes to finding solutions to address immi-

doing bad things, I want to hide.’ It’s more of a sense of, ‘I’m doing the best I can. I ran away from evil, I came from a place where there was violence. I came from a country where I could not survive and I came to the United States looking for peace, looking for a job … wanting to work [hard] and instead, what I’m finding is racism … people who don’t want to understand what I’m going through … people who want me to get in trouble and our law labels us as criminals. And people take it one step further and label us as illegals.” Javier knows well the fear of being exposed as undocumented. “We live in constant fear of the police knocking at our door,” he said, even going so far as to say that he’s witnessed dangerous behavior on the part of young people under the influence of drugs and alcohol, but has not approached the police out of fear of being questioned about his status. “It’s unfortunate that [immigrants] feel that way, but I think the fear is because of a lack of education,” said Captain Prosniewski of the Salem Police Department. “Nobody from a local police department is going to ask anybody about their status when they’re trying to report information to them that is going to be beneficial to the rest of the community. “So if someone who is undocumented is afraid to talk to the local police because they are in fear that it will filter from the police to the federal government and ICE agents are going to knock on their door, that’s not going to happen. There is no mechanism for that to happen.” Espinoza-Madrigal of the LCCREJ said that the divide between immigrant communities and the police are the reason why local ordinances are vital. “As a public safety matter, it’s dangerous to have immigrants afraid of interacting with police and local officials,” he said. “This is precisely why sanctuary policies are critical for public safety. They allow vic-

tims and witnesses of crime to come forward to report incidents and to collaborate with law enforcement. If immigrants don’t trust local police—and if they see police as deportation officers—they will go deeper into the shadows. This makes all of us unsafe.” John Robbins of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR; www.cair.com) said that the cumulative effect of the executive orders and the heightened fear of deportation detrimentally impacts the Muslim community. “Here in Boston, we've encountered countless families whose lives have been torn apart because of the Muslim ban, children who are bullied mercilessly at school, women who wear the headscarf who are afraid to go out in public, and direct assaults of visibly Muslim individuals on the street in Quincy, Malden, and Cambridge,” he said. Dr. Alexandra Piñeros-Shields, executive director for the Essex County Community Organization (ECCO; https://goo.gl/lrb6JY), a nonprofit on the North Shore that advocates for racial justice, said that the Trump administration’s executive orders and the fear they’ve spread have illustrated a very dark side to this country. “We are now living through a big jump in what has been an ongoing move towards the building of a police state,” she said. “Muslims, immigrants and all others who have been historically dehumanized and othered are the canaries in the mine. Their suffering and pain expose the political and economic toxicities in the mine, which, of course, will eventually affect us all. Everyone’s human rights are at stake; our democracy is at stake.” Espinoza-Madrigal said that deportation fears only perpetuate hostility and marginalization. “Undocumented immigrants live under the specter of immigration enforcement,” he said. If they perceive local officials as deportation officers, they will not come forward for basic services such as police and fire protection. For immigrants pushed deeper into the shadows, even immunization for children—a basic public health measure—could be deemed too risky.” Workable Resolutions Needed “Building a wall is not a viable solution,” said Morales. “We understand that this only creates more division. This will only create more problems. This is money that the US or Mexico cannot pay.” Javier agrees. His 20-year-old daughter has aspirations of becoming a psychiatrist and is working on a degree in psychology at a local Massachusetts university and he lives in fear that if deported, he will not be able to financially support her. He said he also worries deeply for his pre-teen son. “I’m totally against Trump’s political rhetoric,” he said. “I’m totally against his stance against the entire Mexican and immigrant communities. He’s not the right person to be in office as the president. He’s not professional. He’s not fit to be president.” And as for the wall, Javier says that barriers never stop people from escaping poverty, tragedy, and violence for a better life. “It’s not a good idea. It’s a futile cause. Mexicans will find a way to cross to where they must go.”


24 • The Rainbow Times • TheRainbowTimesMass.com • 10th Year Anniversary

March 9, 2017 - April 5, 2017

The Rainbow Times' March 2017 Issue  

Gay Boston and New England, The Rainbow Times brings you more social justice stories that relate to the LGBTQ experience and its intersectio...

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