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2 • The Rainbow Times • TheRainbowTimesMass.com

March 5, 2020 - April 1, 2020

Super Tuesday presidential election results: Focusing on the bigger picture Taking back what’s ours, like Congressman Lewis said: “Vote like you’ve never voted before!” #Vote2020 By: Nicole Lashomb* The Rainbow Times’ Editor


he Super Tuesday presidential primary election results where 14 states had their say in which Democratic candidates would move forward in the contest for the White House, where shocking to say the least. Former Vice President Joe Biden demolished Sanders, Warren and Bloomberg in nearly every state, including Massachusetts. However, Sanders did manage to pick up a few states—his home state of Vermont, Colorado and Utah. I found myself glued to the news into the early hours of the morning, waiting anxiously as I do during every major election, for the numbers to start rolling in. One week ago, or even one day ago for that matter, no one would’ve predicted a widespread win across the nation for Biden. Massachusetts was expected to hand the win to Sanders or Warren. Warren, a popular Mass. Senator and neighboring Vt. Senator, Bernie Sanders, both bode well in the commonwealth according to many political analysts prior to Super Tuesday. Previous polls had placed the New England senators in a neck-to-neck contest—yet both lost to Joe Biden. I think for many of us, that was the utmost unpredictable win of the night and maybe for some, the biggest gut punch of the political season.

IF MOST SUPPORTERS OF ALL CANDIDATES RALLY TOGETHER TO UPHOLD THE DEMOCRATIC NOMINEE, REGARDLESS OF WHOM IT IS, WE WILL TAKE BACK CONGRESS AND THE WHITE HOUSE IN 2020. Sen. Elizabeth Warren (https://bit.ly/2PPw4aK) consistently underperformed throughout the night, even in Massachusetts, earning her a third place finish. As the numbers rolled in, I was stunned to see how few people supported this amazing candidate, especially in a state, my state, where she is a popular senator. March is Women's History Month and as history has taught us, misogyny wins again this time. I found myself wrecking my brain trying to come up with another reasonable justification for her loss. Perhaps Mass. isn’t as liberal as I thought. However, that can’t be because Sanders, who some would argue is even left of Warren politically (https://bit.ly/2VM63wC), did much better than she did in the commonwealth. That hypothesis doesn’t hold up. Regardless, with two older, white, cisgender men at the top of the Democratic presidential bid, I realized that this country

hasn’t changed much at all. It wiped out the candidates of color quickly early on, and then the women, until Biden and Sanders were left standing. Objectively, I get the Biden win. People are fed up with Trump and the dismantlement of our democracy. Biden is well known and was a direct part of the solution for the 8 years that President Obama was in office. People are now anxious, unsettled and worried about the ongoing catastrophic future of the nation should Trump win again in 2020. Biden helps to calm those nerves. He knows the ropes and what needs to be done to get us back to where we were before this circus began in 2016. For me personally, it brings me comfort to know that Biden served with Pres. Obama and created what I consider to be the most inclusive administration in our history. Perhaps, that is also why the black vote turned out in exorbitant numbers for Biden. After

Embracing your light to awaken others around you, more By: Paul P. Jesep* TRT Columnist



recent news story reminded me of Genesis (1:31), “Then God saw everything” that was “made, and indeed, it was very good.” The passage is about the ever-unfolding cosmos and how we are part of it. On January 14, 1810, Matthew Tomlinson, a farmer in Yorkshire, England wrote disapprovingly of a naval officer’s persecution and the criminalization of his behavior for loving another man. The diary is being described as re-writing gay history. Sean Coughlan of BBC News reported (https://bbc.in/2woRlRC) that Oxford University historians determined the diary passages were a commentary on the courtmarshal and proposed punishment of hanging an officer for “unnatural acts.” In the diary Tomlinson wrote, “It must seem strange indeed that God Almighty should make a being with such a nature, or such a defect in nature; and at the same time make a decree that if that being whom he had formed, should at any time follow the dictates of that Na-

“WOULD YOU HELP ME TELL THE WORLD I’M GAY TOO? I WANT TO BE BRAVE LIKE YOU,” 9-YEAR-OLD ZACHARY RO ASKED BUTTIGIEG ...” ture, with which he was formed, he should be punished with death.” He wrote of “inclination and propensity” observing “it must then be considered as natural, otherwise as a defect in nature and if natural, or a defect in nature; it seems cruel to punish that defect with death.” The reflective farmer sought to understand same-gender attraction in the context of life’s meaning. He strove to know how everything organically fits into the

greater whole. The society of his day wasn’t mature enough to understand, but he was. The human experience is about awakening. It’s come a long way in many ways, but there have been setbacks and there is more to learn and relearn. Humanity is still in a kind of spiritual birth process. It continues trying to understand the dynamics and creativity of an expanding universe. It’s what each of us is called to do – find our place in the world; to live our truth while knowing we belong to the greater whole. Former Democratic presidential candidate and Indianapolis mayor Pete Buttigieg, a devout Episcopalian, admitted last year (https://bit.ly/39nryI5), "If you had offered me a pill to make me straight, I would’ve swallowed it before you had time to give me a sip of water." He added, "It’s hard to face the truth that there were times in my life when, if you had shown me exactly what it was inside me that made me gay, I would have cut it out with a knife." Sometimes, divine cosmological grace forces us to experience the dark journey of the soul to bring us to a healthy place. It’s through a journey through a spiritual briar patch that deepens consciousness. Inner growth is often not a pleasant

See The Creator’s Plan On Page 10

all U.S. Congressman John Lewis in his remarks from the Selma, Ala. Edmund Pettus bridge on the 55th Anniversary of Bloody Sunday, urged marchers to “vote like they’ve never voted before.” And, that is just what the black community did on Super Tuesday. After all, they’re the backbone of the Democratic Party and this country was built on their shoulders. “We cannot give up now, we cannot give in. We must keep the faith; keep our eyes on the prize,” said Congressman Lewis to the crowd, even as he fights his own battle of Stage 4 pancreatic cancer. “Speak out, get in the way, get in good trouble and help redeem the soul of America in each and every one of you. … We must use the vote as a non-violent instrument of tools to redeem the soul of America.

See Biden/Warren On Page 12

Multiple Award Winning

The Rainbow Times The Largest LGBTQ Newspaper in New England—Boston Based TheRainbowTimesMass.com editor@therainbowtimesmass.com sales@therainbowtimesmass.com Phone: 617.444.9618 Fax: 928.437.9618 Publisher Graysen M. Ocasio Editor-In-Chief Nicole Lashomb Assistant Editor Mike Givens National/Local Sales Rivendell Media Liz Johnson Lead Photographers Steve Jewett Christine M. Hurley Photographer Jenna Joyce

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

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

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March 5, 2020 - April 1, 2020

LGBTQ entrepreneurs’ rigorous system to cultivate, manufacture, sell cannabis in Mass. Victories, losses and battles with a system/process that seems to work differently for some and not “others” By: Mike Givens TRT Assistant Editor


In this two-part series, The Rainbow Times explores the experiences of several LGBTQ+ entrepreneurs seeking to build successful cannabis businesses in the Bay State. This series will explore the varying stages the business owners are at in the application process and their hopes for the future. Have a conversation with Jordan Grossman about cannabis and he can share a solemn story of hope, dedication, investment, and ultimately, loss, all stemming from a dream to be an openly-gay business owner in the marijuana industry. “I saw immense opportunity in what would be the very first recreational cannabis market on the east coast,” said the 27-year-old in an email interview with The Rainbow Times. Grossman said that in January of 2019 he and his two business partners submitted an application to become a licensed cannabis microbusiness in Massachusetts, a venture called Nor’Easter Remedies based in Leicester. He estimates that the venture cost roughly a quarter of a million dollars. “My biggest source of confidence was

the state’s vision of a diverse market with built-in avenues for small businesses,” he continued. “It seemed like Massachusetts was going to get it right where other states had gone wrong, and we would have a fighting chance as an LGBTQ- and AsianAmerican-owned small business.” However, by the summer of 2019, Grossman said his business was suffering, hemorrhaging money while waiting for the state’s regulatory agency, the Cannabis Control Commission (https://is.gd/nCl6gj; CCC), to approve its application. The business partners had to front thousands of dollars in expenses such as attorneys, rent, and other fees to establish a viable business prior to receiving a license to operate. “We were glad to receive word in September from the CCC that our application had been reviewed and only required minor changes in order to be deemed ‘complete,’” Grossman said, which gave him and his business partners a “cautious optimism.” “Once a business’s application is deemed ‘complete,’ the laws and regulations state that the CCC has a maximum of 90 days to either grant or deny a license,” he added. “In addition to minor edits on our operations and diversity plans, we also needed to create an escrow account with $5,000 for the CCC,” he said. “By the time we got the edits back, we were at the end of our funds because of renting the facility for over a year. [We] were not able to submit again.


Leah and Jaye Cooke Daniels pose for a promotional photo debuting their new CBD sweet tea product.

“It does not matter to the commission if an applicant is pouring rent money into an empty facility for one, two, or even three years like some other small business applicants have.” By mid-January, Grossman and his partners were forced to shut down their business, a decision he described as “heartbreaking.” Question 4 In the early 1900s, Massachusetts reportedly became the first state in the nation to criminalize recreational cannabis use. Nearly a century later in November 2008, the Bay State decriminalized possession of

small amounts of cannabis through a ballot initiative. The law changed so that possession of less than an ounce of cannabis would result in a $100 fine and the offender would not have the offense reported to the state criminal history board. Four years later, another ballot initiative saw more than 60 percent of Mass. voters support the decriminalization of possession of small amounts of cannabis for medicinal purposes. January 1, 2013 began the implementation of a new law forbidding criminal and civil penalties for possession as long as the person in question held a valid Mas-

See Cannabis On Page 10

4 • The Rainbow Times • TheRainbowTimesMass.com

March 5, 2020 - April 1, 2020

Giving voice to the feminine experience and gender equality through dance “... that's what she said” explores gender, identity, love and rage, premieres in Boston on March 12-15 By: Audrey Cole TRT Reporter


BOSTON—Societal resistance to gender equality comes center stage in ...that's what she said, a dance production exposing intersectional societal narratives from the feminine experience, including those who are also a part of the LGBTQ+ community, according to the show’s creative director. “In bringing together a diverse group of femme-identifying choreographers, the production showcases the dynamic range of the feminine experience,” said Kristin Wagner, Creative Director of Lady BOS Productions and member of the ...that’s what she said choreographer cohort. “So much of the narrative of both history and the present is controlled by those with the most privileges. I wanted to create a platform for more perspectives in an effort to challenge, or at least diversify or expand, our usual societal narrative.” In …that’s what she said, part of that “dynamic range” includes artistic works from creative and life partners that are currently researching heteronormativity and public versus private displays of affection.

Angelina Benitez and Rebecca Lang, members of the ...that’s what she said choreographer cohort, explore their unfiltered relationship, not only through movement but by a soundscape of intimate, candid and private conversations the couple have experienced in their home. “In the process of creating this piece, we became fixated on what our sound should be,” said Benitez. “We considered silence among other things but when we turned to the other women in our cohort for advice, one of them suggested the idea of recording the sounds of our home. I took this one step further and started to record us—without Becca’s knowledge. The recordings are candid but have been edited so everything is jumbled. We felt that this would add a layer of vulnerability and context. We wanted to expose things we actually say to each other; the different tonalities, vocabulary, and content that is usually filtered.” Wagner, also an ally of the LGBTQ+, applauds the work of the women and relates the conversations exposed to her own relationship experiences. “I absolutely love this element of the work,” said Wagner. “As a witness to the work. I can only make out bits and pieces of the actual conversations. When I do pick up on the specifics, the content

ranges from comical to intimate, which feels so relatable to my own experiences in relationships. It adds a layer of authenticity that is not always present in dance theater.”

uine,” she said. “I’ve caught myself letting go of Becca’s hand to refrain from being judged. We’re always aware of other people’s reactions.” Familial expectations and assumptions can be at the epicenter of the adversity and consequential impact of heteronormativity. “I think the largest way heteronor-

When others come first In a scenario all too familiar to samesex and/or queer partners, relationships are often muted, or downplayed in an effort to make others around the couple feel comfortable. “I feel a constant need to create more space between us in order to make other people feel comfortable,” said Lang. “This comes from a place of internalized homophobia as well as a response to external homophobia.” According to Benitez, t h e couRebecca Lang and Angelina Benitez share an intimate moment in To Be Alone Together PHOTO: OLIVIA MOON PHOTOGRAPHY, COURTESY OF DANCING QUEERLY

ple is constantly aware of the reactions and subsequent treatment from others. “It’s a constant challenge to stay gen-

mativity has impacted us as a couple was when my parents assumed that I would be

See Gender Equality On Page 11

March 5, 2020 - April 1, 2020

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Creep of the week: MA’s Scott Lively The openly anti-LGBTQ Springfield pastor keeps on hating and judging others By: D’Anne Witkowski* TRT Reporter



nce upon a time in a land far, far away—aka Germany—there was an ambassador from the United States. That man “represented our country exceedingly well” according to Donald Trump, and so he was named acting director of national intelligence. And that man was gay. Is gay. This is actually present tense. Richard Grenell is acting director of national intelligence and also a gay. Reuters describes Grenell as “a strong supporter of [Trump’s] policies,” which explains why Trump was willing to look past the gay thing. Loyalty to Trump trumps all. Rumor has it that Grenell was known in Germany to be kind of a jerk. According to Reuters, a German lawmaker told them, “His actions have an audience of one: the U.S. president.” Anyway, as you might imagine, there are people upset with Grenell’s new gig. And they should be. After all, Trump’s policies are cruel, short-sighted, woefully uninformed and serve one thing, and that thing is Trump’s ego. So, since Grenell is a big fan of these policies: boo. Ah, but you might imagine that there are some who have a problem with Grenell simply because he is gay. Scott Lively calls Grenell a “homosexual Trojan horse.” I’m not sure what that is, but I’d like to think it is a giant wooden horse that, instead of being filled with Greek soldiers, is filled with nothing but condoms and d!cks. Honestly kind of shocked the Trojan condom company hasn’t already done this as a giant promotional event. If they ever do, I want credit. Anyway, Lively writes in a Feb. 21 WorldNetDaily column that he is concerned that “the hero we’re rallying behind to fight the progressive agenda has embraced one of its most insidious and destructive tenets.” And by “hero,” yes he means Trump. And by “insidious and destructive” he means a gay man. Grenell should have “kept his sexual proclivities to himself,” Lively writes. But he didn’t. And by being an out gay man “he crossed the line from expecting reasonable tolerance from our genuinely magnanimous live-and-let-life society to demanding public acceptance.” And Lively has no intention of every accepting homosexuality, something he claims is an attack on “the natural family of one man and one woman united in lifelong monogamous heterosexual marriage.” In fact, Lively claims that “acceptance” of homosexuality will eventually lead to “forced participation in LGBT culture” and the “punishment of dissenters.” And by that I think Lively means that men like him will one day be forced to compete on “RuPaul’s Drag Race” and will ultimately be punished by having to

Scott Lively

“sashay away.” But don’t get Lively wrong. “I’m not saying that a homosexual can't be a conservative,” he wrote. “I've known many.” The problem is the “openly declaring oneself homosexual instead of keeping one's sexual issues private” part, which kind of makes me skeptical about his “I’ve known many” claim. If these gay conservatives were out to him, then they are by Lively’s definition an unwitting arm of the progressive movement, “carrying the progressive agenda behind enemy lines.” Like, you know, a horse filled with condoms and d!cks. So, like, how does Lively know these gay conservatives if being gay is a deal-breaker for him? Does he just have really good gaydar? Do they just present with better grooming habits and fashion sense? I seriously want to know. Lively, DM me. “Richard Grenell is a Trojan Horse,” Lively wrote. “President Trump should not trust him and neither should we Deplorables.” Interesting that he should mention that, because you may recall that Trump pretty much hates the national intelligence community because they have facts that conflict with Trump’s alternative universe. Lively is telling his followers that they shouldn’t trust Grenell even though Trump literally chose him because he’s a yes man, living in the same alternative universe as Trump. So everyone in the U.S. should sleep very soundly because what harm could possibly come from having our national security in the hands of people who don’t know nothing but think they know everything? I agree, no one should trust Grenell. No one should trust Trump, either, but you’ll recall that Lively referred to Trump as a “hero.” So. Gays? No. Adulterers and accused rapists? AOK. It’s all in Read the rest at: God’s plan. TheRainbowTimesMass.com

March 5, 2020 - April 1, 2020

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Wilson Cruz knows the power in storytelling “Visible” exec producer talks new LGBTQ docuseries, groundbreaking gay teen role, more By: Chris Azzopardi* Special to TRT

The first openly gay actor to play an openly gay series regular in a leading role on TV, Wilson Cruz has witnessed firsthand the changing tides of TV representation. Cruz paved the way for shows such as Will & Grace and Ellen with his portrayal of Rickie Vasquez, the troubled gay Latino high schooler on the teen drama My SoCalled Life, which ran for one season in 1994. Cruz was 21 when he played Rickie. Now 46, the actor reflects on the role as one of the interviewees in the new Apple TV+ five-part documentary, Visible: Out on Television, which, along with Wanda Sykes, he also executive produced. Emmynominated filmmakers Ryan White and Jessica Hargrave directed the series. Through a wide range of archival footage and interviews with actors, journalists and activists, the docuseries investigates how TV has shaped the American conscience. During it, Cruz recalls auditioning for My So-Called Life and turning back to late veteran casting director, Mary Goldberg, and telling her: “I don’t know if I’m ever going to see you again, but please tell whoever wrote this that it means a lot to me, that it would have made a difference if I had seen this when I was 15.” Then, as Goldberg replied, the twist he didn’t see coming: “Don’t worry,” she said, “you’re going to be able to tell it yourself.” Here, Cruz talks about the docuseries’ evolution, Rickie as his own personal catharsis, and his issue with studios casting straight actors to play gay as awards bait. Chris Azzopardi: How did you get involved with Visible? Wilson Cruz: Seven years ago (political activist and Visible producer) David Bender, who had been working on this project for

many years, reached out to me because he was interested in interviewing me for the documentary, for obvious reasons (laughs). We had a long lunch and it became pretty clear really quickly that I had a passion for this subject matter, but also that I had access to many of the people he wanted to interview just because of the nature of my career and my relationship with GLAAD for over a decade, and so I could be very helpful to him. That’s how it happened. Eventually we interviewed 60 people on our own, and it became clear that this was going to be more than two hours and that we were going to need some help. We came to Apple and Apple brought on two amazing documentary filmmakers, Ryan White and Jessica Hargrave, in order to finish the film and really mold it. Then I came back on to help them continue to bring them who they needed to speak to, and also to make sure that we always had an eye on this not just being a documentary about the LGBTQ movement but really about how television was used as an agent of change by the movement. Q: Looking at the work that you’ve taken on, from Noah’s Arc on through Star Trek: Discovery, the transformative power of representation seems to be something you still believe in. A: Whenever I take a project on, one of the first things I ask myself is, “What is the message that this is going to leave an audience member with? What are we offering through this?” The other thing that it is for me is that so many actors are like, “Oh, I don’t want to play too many gay roles (laughs) because I just don’t want my career to be about that.” Whereas I have gone Read the rest of this story at: TheRainbowTimesMass.com

10 • The Rainbow Times • TheRainbowTimesMass.com

March 5, 2020 - April 1, 2020

Cannabis From Page 3 sachusetts Medical Marijuana card. Medical conditions like cancer provide a valid reason to purchase the card. By 2016, there was another push for the complete decriminalization of cannabis, another ballot initiative known as Question 4. Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker was, “in bipartisan opposition to legalizing a recreational marketplace for a drug that would put our children at risk and threaten to reverse our progress combating the growing opioid epidemic so this industry can rake in millions in profits,” according to a statement released to The Boston Globe in April 2016 (https://is.gd/FpOmbJ). Baker partnered with Boston Mayor Marty Walsh and Speaker of the House Robert DeLeo in animated opposition to fully legalizing recreational use of cannabis. Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey echoed similar sentiments. The politicians were adamant that cannabis could serve as a “gateway” into more harmful drugs such as opioids. Despite high-profile opposition to Question 4, a strong pro-legalization movement mobilized and educated Massachusetts’ voters on what a cannabis-friendly Bay State could look like. By November of that year, the ballot question passed with nearly 54 percent of the vote (https://is.gd/2TbdZl). As of January 1, 11 states and the District of Colum-

Ture Turnbull and his business partner Wes Ritchie stand in front of their cannabis retail business, New England Craft Cultivators, in Dracut. PHOTO: TURE TURNBULL & WES RITCHIE

bia (https://is.gd/1j8T5J) have legalized recreational cannabis sales and usage across the nation. Maine, Massachusetts, and Vermont are the only three New England states with legislation legalizing recreational cannabis use. The Process According to the CCC’s website, there are eight types of categories available to a business owner (https://is.gd/e4M3MU) interested in cultivating, manufacturing, or selling cannabis, a few of which include “Marijuana Retailer,” “Marijuana Cultivator,” and “Marijuana Transporter.” Grossman applied for a “Marijuana Mi-

crobusiness” license. “The microbusiness license category was originally developed by the state to increase license accessibility for small, locally-owned cannabis businesses,” he said. “Microbusinesses are limited to the smallest cultivation and manufacturing restraints and do not have retail abilities. With modest ambitions, compared to the rest of the players in this industry, we felt the microbusiness license was an ideal fit for our vision of a craft cannabis grow operation.” The CCC has divided its application process into three “packets.” By the fall of 2019, two more categories were added to the list of available business licenses, including a “Social Consumption Pilot Program,” which authorizes 12 cities and

cannabis on site. Before this process is even started, a host-community agreement (HCA), a legal contract between the business owner and a city or town agreeing to host the business, must be signed. Roughly half of Massachusetts’ cities and towns have banned the recreational sale of cannabis. While Grossman was able to secure a property in central Massachusetts, other business owners have struggled. Cannabis entrepreneurs have, in several instances, accused city and town officials of making unrealistic demands (https://is.gd/kCUKnX) in order to secure an agreement. State law mandates that an HCA can last no longer than five years and up to three percent of a cannabis business’s


The Creator’s Plan From Page 2 process. Being LGBTQ+ is beautiful, awesome, and meant to be as deemed by God (gender neutral). Like the expanding universe it has a rippling effect where one action creates another. We are all Creators empowered by the Ultimate Creator to awaken ourselves while helping others to do the same. Jews, Muslims, Mormons, Catholics, Jehovah Witnesses, and the list goes on, all have their heroes who have come forward to live their truth as the Giver of Life intended. They become spiritual role models. “Would you help me tell the world I’m gay too? I want to be brave like you,” 9year old Zachary Ro (https://bit.ly/38jLJFI) asked Buttigieg at a voter’s forum. The courage and innocence of this boy was inspiring and heartwarming. Zachary was brave because of someone he identified as a role model. Now, Zachary passes it on as a role model himself too. You are a divine, cosmological light. Share it with those who are afraid, lonely, and needing a hero like you. If you are afraid, lonely, or needing a hero, embrace your fear knowing you will make a difference in the world. *Paul is a personal chaplain; seminary trained, and ordained priest, and lawyer in greater Albany, NY. He's the author of “Lost Sense of Self & the Ethics Crisis (https://amzn.to/2VIfygc).”

gross revenue can be paid to the city or town as a fee. The CCC does not have the authority to review or enforce HCAs. Just a little over 50 miles south of Boston, the city of Fall River found itself at the center of controversy last year when it came to light that the city asked several cannabis businesses to pay four percent of their gross revenue (https://is.gd/d1ZFaj), violating the three percent cap. Former Mayor Jasiel Correia II, already facing multiple federal charges for fraud stemming from a 2018 arrest, was charged on September 6 with extortion. According to the charges, Correia demanded payment in exchange for agreements for four businesses to set up shop in Fall River (https://is.gd/hWK7mO). He currently faces more than 20 federal charges related to his 2018 and 2019 arrests; 11 of the charges stem from the extortion allegations. On February 5, An Act Relative to Host Community Agreements (https://is.gd/RbiDbT) was passed in the House of Representatives. This bill more stringently regulates the terms of HCAs and reaffirms the three percent cap. “Without the authority under state law to review host community agreements (HCAs), the Commission currently does not collect HCAs from licensees,” a Commission spokesperson said in an e-mail interview with The Rainbow Times. “License applicants are required to submit a form that certifies an HCA has been reached with a municipality as part of their license application. Since the Commission has approved 309 provisional licenses in total, at least 309 HCAs are currently in existence

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Gender Equality From Page 4 straight,” added Benitez, who is also a member of the Latinx community. “I was closeted to most of my family when I started dating Becca. I wanted so badly to introduce her to them as my significant other and have it be ‘normal.’ The entire process of coming out to my parents was physically and emotionally tolling but I’m grateful for the counseling and support I received from my community. Thankfully, my parents have since expanded their views and are very supportive of our relationship.” Olivia Blaisdell, a biracial student, exposes the damaging effects that labels can place on young people, using her intrigue of computer game avatars to explore identity. “I have struggled most of my life with labels and how I should act with those assigned labels,” she explained. “I believe assigning myself labels in the first place was definitely a result of growing up female. My mother always read me those books specifically for the development of a teenage girl as if I was supposed to resemble the cookie cutter figure in the book.” Blaisdell’s work uses The Sims as a catalyst to express identity through projection and dance. “In my piece, I focus on identity. I use the Sims video game to build metaphorical societal constructs, and throughout the piece you see my dancers try to break out of this mold,” she said. “I think it’s a comment on


LANG. “THIS COMES FROM A PLACE OF INTERNALIZED HOMOPHOBIA AS WELL AS A RESPONSE TO EXTERNAL HOMOPHOBIA.” my personal experience, but I think [it’s] an experience that everyone has at some point in their lives.” The impact of oppression “As a social worker, I’ve been trying to understand the way privilege and oppression affect different identities,” Lang said. “I feel safe day-to-day within the supportive Salem community. I’m able to feel supported emotionally and financially by the people I love. So many parts of myself allow me to experience privilege compared to other people. I’m really lucky, but people are still ignorant.” Benitez said that tokenism often comes to the forefront of the struggles she’s experienced and ultimately how those struggles have hindered her experience to be authentic at the time. “I’m Mexican but was raised in a primarily white town,” Benitez said. “I could count on one hand how many other Latinx people were in the entire student population. At times, I was so proud and also so embarrassed of being ‘the Mexican.’ I did-

n’t understand it at the time, but teachers tokenized me. They had the best intentions, but it was inappropriate. My biracial experiences definitely influenced my understanding of my sexuality. I constantly felt like I wasn’t Mexican enough or white enough—why would I want to debate feeling queer enough? Why would I want to identify with another marginalized group?” Microaggressions Microaggressions, says psychologist Derald Wing Sue (https://tgam.ca/2PLJNz7) author of the book “Microaggressions in Everyday Life”, are deemed as the “everyday slights, indignities, put downs and insults that people of color, women, LGBT populations or those who are marginalized experience in their day-to-day interactions with people.” Wing Sue, also professor of psychology at Columbia University's graduate school of education, explained in an interview given to the Globe and Mail (2016; https://tgam.ca/2PLJNz7), that in his dayto-day interactions with people, “they

would say things or do things that appeared to be compliments but that left me feeling insulted, invalidated and hurt.” “One example I like to give to people is that I'm often complimented for speaking good English. [He was born in the U.S.],” he told the publication. “To the person saying it, it’s perceived as a compliment, but it happens to me so often, as an AsianAmerican, that the underlying, hidden message is that ‘You are not a true American. You are a perpetual alien in your own country.’” Lang, on the other hand, doesn’t believe in microaggressions and instead classifies all aggressions as a form of hate. “I think all agressions are targeted and come from a place of hate,” Lang said. “I was in [a local coffee shop] … and overheard ‘what are real families made of—a woman, a man, and kids.’ If me and Angie ever want to have a family, I fear that it wouldn’t be legitimized the way heterosexual relationships would [be]. There’s a real need for society to approach identity as learners. Mistakes happen—but we need to learn from them. The danger zone is when you think you understand everything.” Intersectionalities Benitez described the toll it takes on her to live authentically due to society’s acceptance of various identities and still strives to understand others who differ from her as well. “Being a queer, biracial woman in Read the rest online at my environment The Rainbow Times

12 • The Rainbow Times • TheRainbowTimesMass.com

Biden/Warren From Page 2 “We have to make America better for all people so no one is left out or left behind because of their race, their color, because of where they grew up or where they were born. We are one people, we’re one family. We all live in the same house, and that’s the American house.” On the importance of voting, the Congressman said, “We have the power to change things. The vote is the most powerful, non-violent instrument of tool we have in a democratic society and we must use it. If we fail to use it, we will lose it.” Warren’s role in Biden’s win Leading up to the contest, Warren eviscerated presidential hopeful Michael Bloomberg on the debate stage for two matchups in a row. Bloomberg was predicted as the candidate who would take away votes from more moderate voters that would likely fall into the Biden camp. Yet, it wasn’t Sanders or Biden who took him on—it was Warren who battled with him head to head and won. Biden owes her a

March 5, 2020 - April 1, 2020

debt of gratitude for Bloomberg’s poor performance on Super Tuesday. Her relentless attacks on Bloomberg clearly worked, benefiting the former Vice President. Just one day after the primary, Bloomberg suspended his campaign and endorsed Biden (https://cnn.it/2PPukOK). Likewise, in states that Sanders was expected to win decisively, especially those he won by large margins in 2016, he lost or barely held on to them on the March 3 Biden blowout. Clearly the momentum was not in his favor. Exit polls on Super Tuesday found that more voters were concerned with defeating Donald Trump than they were with voting for the person that most closely represented their views. Along with several other factors leading up to the contest, that argument is compelling and a likely reason for Biden’s surge. Just a couple of weeks ago, most pundits counted Biden out, as reported by CNN on Super Tuesday. If I had to bet on it, he will be the nominee to take on and ultimately oust Trump in 2020. It appears that the campaigns of Pete Buttigieg and Amy Klobouchar prepared for an inevitable defeat to become the democratic nominee, both suspending their campaigns just days prior to the Super Tuesday contests (https://cnn.it/2wyb8hp). Both hopefuls came out in support and endorsement of Joe Biden leading up to the primary,

Northey Street House Bed & Breakfast Inn Est. 2002

30 Northey St, Salem, MA • (978) 397-1582


*Nicole Lashomb is the Editor-in-Chief of The Rainbow Times. She holds an MBA from Marylhurst University and a BM from the esteemed Crane School of Music (SUNY Potsdam), NY. Contact Nicole at editor@therainbowtimesmass.com. ¡J


which also helped according to reports quoting Biden on it. As other candidates continue to suspend their campaigns, they should come together to create a leadership firewall by vocally supporting the nominee and their enthusiasts should follow suit. If most supporters of all candidates rally together to uphold the Democratic nominee, regardless of whom it is, we will take back Congress and the White House in 2020. During these tumultuous political times, there is not any issue more important than getting Trump out of the White House. From separating families, putting children in cages, repealing critical laws that protect us all as Americans, including those that protect the air we breathe and the water we drink, by fueling hate in the hearts of many, by stripping away protections from elders, racial and ethnic marginalized communities, women, the LGBTQ+ community, the poor and those in need while lining his golden threaded pockets with his business negotiations around the world on our taxpayer dime runs amuck with fascism. From lying about nearly everything, including the Coronavirus “hoax” to Russian interference in our elections to his abuse of power and obstruction of justice as detailed extensively in the Mueller report, the list is endless. Dictatorships, authoritarian governments or fascist regimes do not govern this country, contrary to the matrix in which we are currently living. Regardless of whom you voted for on March 3, the months ahead are what will define the Democratic Party and how its members operate and mobilize for a 2020 win. I was proud to vote for the Democrat I believe will restore our democracy, reputation around the world and the soul of America again. Come November 2020, I will vote blue, no matter who is the nominee. That is the only way forward. I hope you’ll join me.

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

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Cannabis From Page 10 with communities throughout Massachusetts.” However, the existence of more than 300 HCAs in Massachusetts does not mean there are a corresponding number of cannabis businesses across the commonwealth as HCAs are a requirement to enter the application process, but do not guarantee a final license. Once the CCC receives a final and completed application, the host community will be contacted and has 60 days to confirm that the applicant is abiding by necessary local and state laws in running its business. Part one of the application process involves submitting an application of intent providing key information about the business owner and how the business is organized and funded. The second “packet” requires a thorough background check. This process can require the submission of a Criminal Offender Record Information (CORI) form, which documents the criminal history of an individual in the state of Massachusetts. The CCC also requires an applicant’s fingerprints be obtained as well as a full narrative around any criminal or civil cases the applicant was involved in. The final part of the process is a management and operations profile, a series of documents proving the applicant understands how to operate a business. Successful submission of the packet demonstrates that the applicant has an understanding of Massachusetts law and the CCC’s regulations. This packet also requires a plan on how the applicant will train employees ... Read the rest of this exclusive 2 part story at TheRainbowTimesMass.com

Part II of this series will be in TRT’s April 2020 issue. Learn more about Cooke Daniels’ hopes, Wes Ritchie & Ture Turnbull’s progress in finalizing their application, and how Jordan Grossman is doing after all. Also, The Rainbow Times will introduce other LGBTQ+ entrepreneurs seeking to start their own cannabis businesses and find out how the CCC is optimizing its application process.

March 5, 2020 - April 1, 2020

TheRainbowTimesMass.com • The Rainbow Times • 13

14 • The Rainbow Times • TheRainbowTimesMass.com

March 5, 2020 - April 1, 2020

LGBTQ Puzzle: The purpose of homosexuality

Across 1 Chef Des Jardins 6 Shuttlecock 10 Tops cakes 14 Quinn of Practical Magic 15 Personal lubricant ingredient 16 South Park cocreator Stone 17 Public spectacle 18 Boys Don't Cry character 19 Ask for it while kneeling 20 Start of the purpose of homosexuality, per 58-Down 22 Sequence of unknown length 24 Suffix with profit 25 Dickinson's howe'er 26 Words of empathy 27 More of the purpose 31 Mapplethorpe's "Dark ___ Rose" 34 Steed stopper 35 In Cold Blood writer, informally 36 "Take a crack ___" 37 Bugs or Erin 39 One with a foamy head 40 Went down on 41 Cocksure Aesop character 42 Composer Copland 43 More of the purpose 47 Queens in Las Vegas 48 Essen exclamation 49 TV spots 52 Baum's good witch 54 End of the purpose 56 WKRP actress Anderson 57 Poet Kitty

59 Remarkable hole 60 Quiche ingredients 61 Make money 62 Pirate's stash 63 Enjoy an Oreo 64 Nemesis of Tinkerbell 65 Return key on a PC

Down 1 Queer Eye discernment 2 Nouveau ___ 3 Maria's "Do" equivalent 4 Relief of Lincoln 5 Staying power? 6 Weapon to use against Trump in November 7 "Now ___ me down to sleep ..." 8 Political analyst Reagan 9 Clark Kent portrayer on TV 10 Tainted 11 "Top of the World" singer Karen 12 It comes at the bottom of a list 13 Lid problem 21 TV trigram 23 Mountain pool 26 It comes out of your head 27 "Scram!" to Gomer 28 Goofed up 29 Bite it 30 Alternative to "Go straight" 31 Swedish import 32 Caesar's invite to a threesome?

33 Navel adornments 37 The guys you're seeing? 38 Unrefined metals 39 Ebenezer's exclamation 41 Bunch of stallions 42 Button or Bean 44 Like Hans Christian Andersen 45 Polynesian woman 46 Here to Rimbaud 49 Inside tongue? 50 Dig (into) 51 Look from Snidely 52 One side of Ed Wood 53 HRC's equal sign 54 Treat meat 55 "Nuts!" 58 Composer/lyricist Austin


TheRainbowTimesMass.com • The Rainbow Times • 15

March 5, 2020 - April 1, 2020

Fear & ignorance masquerading as religious freedom & conservatism By: Deja Nicole Greenlaw* TRT Columnist



xtremist religion has been, and still is, a thorn in the side of transgender people’s rights. Of course these religious extremists will cry that it's religious freedom to do what they want to do. But as time goes on, they are seen as parochial, dogmatic, and just plain wrong. The courts will back that statement up. Recently in Ohio, a college professor lost a court case involving his “religious freedom” to refuse to call a student by female pronouns. He claimed that God created people as either male or female and that gender is fixed and cannot be changed. He believes that he has the right to use male pronouns for this particular student. The bill was filed by the antiLGBTQ Christian nationalist legal group, Alliance Defending Freedom. The court ruled that the professor's claimed “right” to misgender the student was not protected under the First Amendment and that the charge should be dismissed. The U.S. District judge agreed to dismiss the case. Of course, the professor has the right to

personally hold whatever beliefs he has in regard to transgender people's rights but the student also has the right to be treated with dignity and respect and to receive an education free from harassment and mistreatment. Therefore, the court and the judge ruled in the student's favor. Currently, there is a bill in Idaho, which would make it illegal for trans youth to re-

documented story in which various health care experts explained in so many words and giving various scenarios how puberty blockers were not only fully reversible but also mentally and physically beneficial to members of this community. I cannot verify if the bills in Idaho and the seven other states stemmed from religious freedom. However, I can definitely

BEING A TRANSGENDER PERSON MYSELF, I KNOW THE STRUGGLES I FACED, AND STILL FACE. ceive any affirming treatment for gender identity from doctors. This includes hormone therapy, puberty blockers, and surgery. This bill was sponsored by an Idaho state representative and will actually call for a punishment of up to life in prison for any doctor who prescribes hormones or performs any transgender-related surgeries on transgender youth. Similar bills have been introduced in Colorado, Illinois, Kentucky, Ohio, Tennessee, South Dakota, and Virginia. Thankfully, the American Medical Association and the American Academy of Pediatrics have evidence-based guidelines supporting doctors who provide gender-affirming care to trans youth patients. This publication (https://bit.ly/3cmZrdY) published a well-

say they definitely come from conservative values, very much the same as religious extremists values. Even though many national professional medical giants agree and support providers giving trans youth these gender affirming standards of care, these extremists—both religious and conservative—still push ahead with their bills based on ignorance and fear. Why do people think they have the right to push their views onto others? From my viewpoint, it looks like they believe that they are doing God's work and/or looking out for the children. It's also my belief that they most likely do not really know anyone close to them who is either a transgender youth or who are parents of a transgender youth. They don't understand the pain that

the transgender youth and the parents have to endure and that receiving affirming help can greatly ease. These folks need to be educated and they need to cease being so narrow-minded and dogmatic on this issue. Once they can cross those barriers, they might be able to see just how harmful the actions they propose are to transgender youth. Maybe then, they can put aside their dogma of religion and/or conservatism and instead, open their hearts a bit to the struggles of transgender youth. Being a transgender person myself, I know the struggles I faced, and still face. Being older and transitioning in the midlate 2000s, I have had to deal with the sting of being different and of others not only not understanding nor believing me, but also calling me awful names because I was different. I know that it's gotten better in many cases, but still there is this resistance to help transgender people and especially, transgender youth. Yes, it's getting better but the opposition is still there and this resistance needs to back off, reconsider their views, and open up their hearts to the needs of transgender people, especially transgender youth. In the meantime, hopefully these bills will continue to be dismissed. *Deja Nicole Greenlaw is retired from #M and has 3 children and two grandchildren. She may be contacted via e-mail at: dejavudeja@sbcglobal.net.

By: Mikey Rox* Special to TRT


1. Stroll around Winter Park on a Sunday Winter Park, a swanky-ish neighborhood a short drive northeast of downtown Orlando, offers a Sunday Funday’s worth of activities that starts with a farmer’s market where you can snag just-harvested vegetables, fresh-cut flowers, local honey, and more. Afterward, cut through the area’s Central Park, featuring fountains and a rose garden, to stroll along South Park Avenue, where you’ll find a mix of high-end retailers, art galleries and restaurants, some of which offer everybody’s favorite brunch deal—bottomless and BOGO mimosas. Add some culture to your afternoon by visiting the Cornell Fine Arts Museum on the Rollins College campus, where you can enjoy a docent-led tour of the Alfond Inn at no charge; there’s no admission at the museum either. Best of all, abundant free parking is available just west of the Winter Park train station. 2. Hike the Disney Wilderness Preserve While not technically in Orlando, the free-to-visit-and-park Disney Wilderness Preserve, in Poinciana (one hour south of the city), is home to more than 1,000 plant


5 different ways to experience Orlando (mostly) for free

and animal species on 11,500 acres. Hikers can enjoy several well-maintained trails that range from an easy half-mile trek around an upper pond to a six-mile hike that covers a large swath of The Nature Conservancy’s land (pack your sunscreen because most of the hike is under open sky). There’s a welcome center with all the information you’ll need to make the most of your time, plus clean restrooms, and

plenty of shaded lawn space to practice your bird-watching skills (I spotted a yellow-breasted chat while I was there) and throw out a blanket for a relaxing picnic. 3. Visit the swans at Lake Eola Park There are several features you’ll love at Lake Eola Park, including the Walt Disney Amphitheater (which hosts community events and performances on occasion), a fountain, playground and Chinese pagoda (a nice backdrop for selfies), but what you might be most surprised by is the abundance of gorgeous swans and other waterfowl that call the lake home. When I visited in February, I spotted several duckling families and clusters of eggs in nests, which signify a healthy breeding ground for these birds that can’t be found in many places. Take a lap around the park to enjoy this inner-city gem then pop into World of Beer right off the paved loop for a refreshing pick-me-up. 4. Resort hop at Walt Disney World I’m not a huge fan of Disney (don’t take away my gay card), so my trip to Orlando wasn’t going to include waiting in endless lines at its overpriced parks. But I did want to experience at least some of the “magic,” so I researched how to do Disney for free and produced two options: Disney Springs and the Disney Boardwalk, both of which offer free parking—no park pass or resort stay required. Once parked, you can explore these areas on foot, which feature

restaurants and other entertainment options (I saw a movie at the AMC Dine-In at Disney Springs with a free pass I had saved). You also can travel from resort to resort via Disney’s seven-month-old Skyliner, free (and super fun!) to ride, which will zip you between five stations, including three resorts. To access resorts not served by the Skyliner—like Animal Kingdom, where you can view safari animals, like giraffes, zebras and gazelles—take one of Disney’s buses or boats (completely free) to create an entire day of fun without spending a dime. Oh, and here’s a pro-tip if you’d like to have cocktails during your travels: Prepare your drinks ahead of time, bring along your favorite Disney-branded cup, and ask for free ice at restaurants when you’re ready for a fill-up. Nobody will check your bag for your stash, and Disney allows opencarry adult beverages throughout its resorts. 5. Watch a movie with Chip ’n’ Dale Want to sing along and watch a movie with Chip ‘n’ Dale? Head to the Disney Wilderness Lodge and tell the parking attendant that you have a reservation at the Whispering Canyon Café or Trail’s End Restaurant. They’ll direct you where to park for free. Instead of going to the restauRead the rest of this story at: TheRainbowTimesMass.com

16 • The Rainbow Times • TheRainbowTimesMass.com

March 5, 2020 - April 1, 2020

Profile for The Rainbow Times

The Rainbow Times' March 2020 Issue  

Boston-based, this Women's History Month and International Trans Day of Visibility (March 31) month, The Rainbow Times brings you an exclusi...

The Rainbow Times' March 2020 Issue  

Boston-based, this Women's History Month and International Trans Day of Visibility (March 31) month, The Rainbow Times brings you an exclusi...