2 • The Rainbow Times • TheRainbowTimesMass.com • 10th Year Anniversary
November 2, 2017 - December 6, 2017
Endorsement: When it comes to the Salem Mayoral Race, no one beats Kim Driscoll By: TRT Editorial Board
Since taking office more than a decade ago, Salem Mayor Kim Driscoll has proven herself to be a tried and tested LGBTQ champ, as touted in the August 2016 edition of The Rainbow Times (TRT). Fast forward to its October 2017 edition where TRT highlighted both mayoral candidates and their stances on everything Salem. As an LGBTQ publication committed to social justice values and initiatives across all intersectionalities, it became crystal clear who has the best interest of all Salem residents in mind. Driscoll’s fearless leadership skills have lead the city to not only embrace diversity, but also to ensure inclusion of all of its residents—those belonging to the mainstream LGBTQ community and the subcultures within and outside of it. Under Driscoll’s administration, Salem has consistently earned a 100 percent ranking, according to the Human Right’s Campaign Municipal Equality Index for LGBTQ-inclusive polices and practices. At her helm, the city also developed a non-discrimination ordinance that fully protects the LGBTQ community. It was also under her management that North Shore Pride was established. Salem also hosts the annual LGBTQ Pride Flag Raising Ceremony in recognition of LGBTQ Pride Month each June. With Driscoll’s direction, the municipality created its own No Place for Hate Committee (NPFH), which is dedicated to promoting acceptance of diversity and combating discrimination. Driscoll also appointed the first LGBTQ Community Liaisons in the Mayor’s office and Salem Police Department. But Driscoll’s commitment to the LGBTQ community goes far beyond policy and the corner office. She is an ally, a staunch one at that. Driscoll is in support of the statewide public service accommodations bill to protect the transgender community in public
THAT IS WHAT WE HAVE SEEN COME FROM THE OFFICE OF KIM DRISCOLL THESE PAST YEARS AND SINCERITY THAT SHINES FROM THAT CORNER OFFICE IN SALEM’S DOWNTOWN.
THAT IS THE
spaces and co-chaired the Freedom Massachusetts’ “Mayors for Freedom” Coalition. She has thrown her support behind the North Shore Elder Services’ “Over the Rainbow Coalition” for LGBTQ seniors for years and stands with North Shore Alliance of LGBTQ Youth (nAGLY). “Mayor Driscoll quite literally put her money where her mouth is when it comes to defending the LGBT youth community on the North Shore,” stated nAGLY Interim Executive Director Steve Harrington at an event where they honored Driscoll. In the history of Salem, Driscoll is the first Mayor to include World AIDS Day and the Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDoR) by mayoral proclamation. Driscoll is a no-nonsense mayor of action. In 2014, Driscoll took on Gordon College by terminating its city contract early when the college policy included discriminatory practices directed toward the LGBTQ community, which violated the city’s non-discrimination ordinance enacted earlier that year. “Gordon’s behavioral policies and their president’s advocacy for the ability to discriminate against LGBT individuals violated both the spirit and letter of that law. In Salem, perhaps more so than most other cities, we have an especially unique understanding of the negative outcomes that can follow from any group of people being singled out for discrimination or stigmatization. Our values are shaped by our history and it is a legacy that really impels us to
Lessons learned from a determined frog By: Paul P. Jesep*/TRT Columnist
ou’ve probably heard the phrase, “Two steps forward one step back.” It originates from a story about a frog making a very difficult journey up the wall of a slippery well. For every two steps the little critter was able to move, it slipped one step back. In the aggressive efforts to scale back LGBTQ rights (https://goo.gl/8cqY8M) since January, I’ve stayed focused on the one step net gains. Long time readers of this column may recall I’ve underscored it’s not just about legal protections, but changing hearts and minds. Changing someone’s perceptions and attitudes requires a very different approach. In my opinion, setbacks occur, in part, when there’s a failure to engage and educate organizations and individuals who feel threatened by the LGBTQ movement. As LGBTQ individuals and the collective community manage the anxiety generated by hostility and legal and cultural setbacks, everyone must identify and take comfort in
success stories that suggest civil and human rights are still moving forward. A July article in the Religion News Service (https://goo.gl/GdB6dW) noted “… a prominent group of Christians” have had a change of heart on LGBT issues. “These popular Christian writers,” the piece observed, “have publicly broken from the traditional hardline position against same-sex marriage.” In several cases, its cost these Christian activists financially and caused some to be isolated from their religious communities. In September, the First United Methodist Church of Austin, Texas, announced it will no longer solemnize weddings until they can be performed for both straight and same-sex couples. The national church forbids the marriage of same-sex couples. More than 90 percent of the Austin congregation (https://goo.gl/2vFU2X) voted to stop holding weddings until the love of all couples could be celebrated. It’s a remarkable act of defiance. It’s an example of speaking truth to power. Although pastors are prohibited from solemnizing same-sex
See Frog Lessons on Page 6
stand up and take positive action,” said Driscoll to The Rainbow Times in a former exclusive interview. “Mayor Driscoll quite literally put her money where her mouth is when it comes to defending the LGBT youth community on the North Shore,” said Harrington, referring to the incident, which placed Driscoll on the map nationally. Driscoll used the opposition to her human rights approach with Gordon College and donated $5 to nAGLY for every negative phone call she received regarding her historical decision. When The Rainbow Times’ newspaper box explosion occurred in downtown Salem in August 2016, Driscoll not only offered her support, but she was hands on in ensuring that the perpetrators were caught and that the city was made whole again. One of the first calls The Rainbow Times received after the incident was a message from Driscoll, offering her unyielding support to the LGBTQ community and the publication itself. The hands on approach, amplifying her solidarity and commitment to business owners, residents and the LGBTQ community, spoke volumes about the kind of leader Driscoll was then and is now.
“Mayor Driscoll doesn’t see black or white, male or female, straight or gay, cisgender or transgender—she stands for what is right no matter what,” said Kirsten Freni, Chair of the nAGLY Board of Directors, to The Rainbow Times. Perhaps the fiercest debate in recent months in Salem lies with the passage of the Sanctuary for Peace Ordinance, which codified the city’s policies and practices as they relate to immigrant rights and protections under the law. Incorporating and echoing the voices of those most often marginalized, Driscoll spearheaded the initiative and worked tirelessly to ensure its passage by the City Council with relentless conviction. She succeeded in doing so. Such an ordinance aids in providing public safety and protection to all the city residents. In contrast, her opponent Paul Prevey stands in strong opposition to this measure. In a recent report published by The Rainbow Times, Driscoll explained her ardent support of the Sanctuary for Peace Ordinance, up for public vote on the November ballot as Question 1. “I support the Sanctuary for Peace ...
The Rainbow Times The Freshest LGBT Newspaper in New England—Boston Based TheRainbowTimesMass.com firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com Phone: 617.444.9618 Fax: 928.437.9618 Publisher Graysen M. Ocasio
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Dear Editor, Very glad to see poly relationships discussed in your publication — thank you! Longtime reader, out bisexual for over 20 years, —Sunny S., Online [Transgender Parent & Friendly Picture Books for Young Children] Dear Editor, If you were a student at Rhode Island College you could check them out but a few that are very rare are only to be read in the library. You might also contact some of the transgender or LGBT groups like PFLAG or GLSEN in your area to see if they have any of these. ... —Elizabeth Rowell, Online [The Future Is Nico Tortorella’s: Actor Embraces Polyamory and Being a ‘Proud’ Bisexual] Dear Editor, What an amazing young man — thank you for highlighting his story with this Interview! —Sunny S., Online
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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: firstname.lastname@example.org. 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.
10th Year Anniversary • TheRainbowTimesMass.com • The Rainbow Times • 3
November 2, 2017 - December 6, 2017
Local queer dance party brings activism, inclusivity, and boogie to Boston By: Al Gentile*/TRT Reporter
IN THE LIMELIGHT
For queer people of color, and many people within the LGBTQ community, few places exist that function as an altogether safe space, political action stage, and inclusive social experience. Evan Greer, a trans woman, accomplished musician, community organizer, and activist, set out to change that more than three years ago. Break the Chains has been serving that purpose for the LGBTQ community since then. Part political action stage, part social club, and part experiment, the monthly happening has become a well-known catalyst for strength, solidarity, and fun. “Break the Chains is about tearing down the systems of oppression that divide and hold back the LGBTQ community,” Greer said. “I wanted to create a place where everyone can come together around our common goals of collective liberation and have an amazing time doing it.” For Greer, the inspiration is personal. As a professional queer musician and activist, she said Break the Chains was both a way to strengthen the community of LGBTQ people and give back to queer artists. “I’ve spent years working as a touring queer artist working to support my family with music and activism, and I know how hard that can be. I’ve gotten so much love
Taína Asili y la Banda Rebelde
from Boston’s queer community, and I wanted to give back by creating a consis-
PHOTO: KIKI VASSILIAKIS
tent, solid paying gig for local and touring LGBTQ artists,” Greer said.
See Queer Dance on Page 10
4 • The Rainbow Times • TheRainbowTimesMass.com • 10th Year Anniversary
November 2, 2017 - December 6, 2017
The Welcoming Congregation at First Parish Chelmsford that's organizing a TDOR on Nov. 18; left to right: France Killam (co-chair), Warren Flewellen (former chair), Dee Halzack (co-chair), Tim O'Hara, and Jackie Diamond. PHOTO: FIRST PARISH CHELMSFORD
Communities come together for Transgender Day of Remembrance vigils BOSTON—After a year that has seen continued violence against transgender people, the LGBTQ community and its allies will come together later this month to honor those who lost their lives and celebrate the work that’s being done to advocate for trans people across Massachusetts. The Transgender Day of Remembrance (https://goo.gl/XxFftP; TDOR) was started by trans advocate Gwendolyn Ann Smith in Allston, Massachusetts in 1998 to remember the life of Rita Hester, a trans woman who was murdered that year. “The Transgender Day of Remembrance is a day of solemnity,” Smith said in a 2013 essay (https://goo.gl/94VQR3). “It is a day where we remember those we have lost, when we mourn, and when we consider that we live in a world where we or our friends could very well be next on the list. We know that we live in a time when the right to live our genuine lives without fear of murder is far from guaranteed.” TDOR vigils typically occur on November 20 and toward the end of Transgender Awareness Week (https://goo.gl/8XkeTt), which begins on November 14. The Trans Murder Monitoring (https://goo.gl/HEDzvU) project, part of Transgender Europe, tracks the deaths of trans people and each November provides a list of names to be read during TDOR events around the world. Numbers for 2017 were still being calculated as of press time. In 2016, the total was 293, and in 2015 it was 271. Many of these deaths occur in Brazil, Mexico and the U.S.—all of which have strong trans communities and mechanisms for reporting the deaths of trans people. Trans Murder Monitoring estimates that there are many more trans people who die around the world but are not tracked because of gender-binary reporting methods used by law enforcement and information suppression from countries like Russia and China. Several events throughout Massachusetts
this month will honor and remember those who lost their lives. Every event includes a reading of the names of each trans person killed in the past year and the lighting of candles in their memory. Beyond that, each TDOR event in the area has a slightly different focus, with some encouraging political action and others focusing more on the victims. Each service is a culmination of months of planning by community volunteers who are inspired to serve after learning about violence against trans people and its impact on the community. They hope that people from all walks of life will attend to learn more about trans people and the struggles they face on a daily basis. Cape Cod: Nov. 17 Organizers in Cape Cod are hoping to reinforce the importance of voting to uphold trans equality on the ballot next November. Cape Cod’s TDOR vigil will begin at 5:30 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 17 at the Harwich Community Center in Harwich, Massachusetts. The event will include remarks from Mason Dunn, executive director of the Massachusetts Transgender Political Coalition (www.masstpc.org/) and part of the Freedom for All Massachusetts (www.freedommassachusetts.org/) coalition working to gain support to uphold the state’s nondiscrimination law that went into effect in 2016. Event organizer Sarah Carpenter said she hopes the event will draw people from all walks of life who want to separate fact from fiction when it comes to trans people. “We want to present the idea that transgender men and women don’t pose a threat,” Carpenter said. “So many horrible things are said about people who are transgender but the facts are just the opposite. People who are transgender are more at risk than the general public.” Carpenter, who has been a trans advocate
See TDoR on Page 23
November 2, 2017 - December 6, 2017
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MA AG: No to “religious freedoms” used to discriminate, leads 20 states in Supreme Court brief Amicus Brief filed by Healey in case over Colorado business that refused to serve Same-Sex couple BOSTON—Arguing that a business owner’s personal beliefs do not give him a right to discriminate against customers, Attorney General Maura Healey early this week joined with Hawaii Attorney General Doug Chin and a coalition of 18 other attorneys general in filing an amicus brief (https://goo.gl/2WFV7f) with the U.S. Supreme Court defending the constitutionality of Colorado’s anti-discrimination law. “More than 50 years after we desegregated lunch counters in this country, businesses cannot pick and choose which customers they’ll serve based on their race, gender, religion or sexual orientation,” said AG Healey. “We are filing this brief to stand up for the rights of all Americans to fair and equal treatment.” The brief (https://goo.gl/2WFV7f) was filed with the U.S. Supreme Court in the case of Masterpiece Cakeshop, Ltd. v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission. The owner of the bakery is challenging the Colorado public accommodations law, claiming it violates his rights to freedom of speech and free exercise of religion. The attorneys general filed the brief in support of the Colorado Civil Rights Commission and the couple to whom Masterpiece Cakeshop refused to sell a wedding cake. In the brief, the attorneys general write that states across the country have enacted laws to prohibit discrimination against
LGBTQ people in the commercial marketplace, and that “these laws ensure equal access to goods and services and combat the severe personal, economic, and social harms caused by discrimination.” The attorneys general argue that, under a long line of Supreme Court precedent, requiring businesses to comply with such laws does not violate the Constitution. The attorneys general further argue that the First Amendment exemption to public accommodations laws sought by the bakery would dramatically undermine anti-dis-
crimination laws. “Allowing commercial businesses to use the First Amendment as a shield for discriminatory conduct would undermine state civil rights laws and the vital benefits they provide to residents and visitors, leaving behind a society separate and unequal by law. Many Americans would face exclusion from a host of everyday businesses or, at the very least, the ever-present threat that any business owner could refuse to serve them when they walk in the door—simply because of their sexual orientation, or their race, religion, or gender,” write the attorneys general. Joining AG Healey and AG Chin in the amicus brief are the attorneys general of California, Connecticut, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Minnesota, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia and Washington. The brief (https://goo.gl/2WFV7f) follows many steps taken by AG Healey to protect and expand the rights of LGBTQ people. When she was an assistant attorney gen-
Frog Lessons From Page 2 weddings, they will not be stopped from attending same-sex weddings performed by other religious leaders. The Rio Texas Conference, which the church is a part of, did not denounce the position. It issued a statement (https://goo.gl/5H1oSp) noting that there will be a review of, “ … every paragraph of the Book of Discipline concerning human sexuality … ” The intention of the review will be to, “ … explore options that help maintain and strengthen the unity of the church.” In 2019, a commission will report its findings on handling the conflicting views on same-sex marriage. In October, students at a Maine high school voted Stiles Zuschlag (https://goo.gl/VuLnBL), a transgender peer, homecoming king at a football game. Not long before receiving the honor, Stiles had been asked to leave a private Christian school in New Hampshire. According to the academically accom-
eral at the AG’s Office, AG Healey served as the lead attorney on the first successful challenge brought by a state to the federal government’s Defense of Marriage Act and won when a federal district court and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit ruled DOMA was unconstitutional. In 2015, AG Healey led a coalition (https://goo.gl/SFWKm8) of states in filing a friend of the court brief with the U.S. Supreme Court arguing that the Constitution requires marriage equality nationwide. Last year, AG Healey worked closely with advocates, the business community and transgender families to successfully garner support for the Public Accommodations Law (https://goo.gl/W24vEi) , one of the strongest transgender protection bills in the country, protecting transgender people from discrimination in places of public accommodation including restaurants, movie theaters, hospitals, and parks. Earlier this month, AG Healey led a coalition (https://goo.gl/vrAjDA) of attorneys general in filing an amicus brief (https://goo.gl/xt2KGC) strongly opposing the Trump Administration’s plan to ban military service by transgender service members. AG Healey partnered (https://goo.gl/FYhTYW) with the medical community to hold trainings to teach hospital personnel best practices in improving access to medical care for LGBTQ patients across the state. The AG’s Office also hosts a wide variety of outreach events for the LGBTQ community throughout the state, at which AG staff meet directly with members of the LGBTQ community to inform them of their rights under the law and how the AG’s Office can assist them. The amicus brief was handled in Massachusetts by State Solicitor Bessie Dewar, Assistant State Solicitor David Kravitz, and Assistant Attorney General Jon Burke and Division Chief Genevieve Nadeau, both of the AG’s Civil Rights Division, and in Hawaii by Solicitor General Clyde Wadsworth and Deputy Solicitor General Kaliko onalani Fernandes. plished teen, the Maine school, “ … took on my burdens as if it were their own, and they made me a comfortable person here. They made sure I was safe and happy … ” In the Judeo-Christian tradition, there is a belief that each person can be an instrument to further the Creator’s goodness in the world. The Giver of Life acts through individuals to fulfill a divine plan where truth, justice, empathy, compassion and, most importantly, love triumph over fear, darkness, insecurity, ignorance, and indifference. Clearly, that was evident in Maine. Make no mistake I’d be delusional if I didn’t acknowledge the vicious, terrible things unravelling in the country today. It would be dishonest to readers and myself if I didn’t acknowledge the anxiety and unsettled feelings I have. I’d also have no reason to get out of bed in the morning, if I didn’t have hope. Nurturing my personal faith helps remind me goodness and justice will prevail. SomeRead the rest of this story at TRT’s Site
November 2, 2017 - December 6, 2017
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As Boston’s Second Saturdays comes to a close, impact and memories live on By: Al Gentile/TRT Reporter
BOSTON—For the last decade, Kristen Porter has produced and managed Kristen Porter Presents Second Saturdays at Machine Nightclub in Boston and her reputation, above all, is evidenced by the people who have attended the monthly event and have come to know her.. Jullieanne Doherty has attended the event since its genesis and attests to the importance of Porter’s work and the bitter sweetness of the closing of Second Saturdays on November 11. “I think Second Saturdays, and pretty much in general what Kristen Porter does, is a connector, a bridge of diversity with different cultural backgrounds, races, gender expressions, and even religions,” she said. “Specifically one thing I love about it is that it’s pretty intergenerational.” Second Saturdays’ themed events often featured two sides of nightlife culture—on one end, Machine Nightclub’s atmosphere with the beat of pumping dance music, and on the other, an intimate place for people to sit, talk, and unwind. “There were more chill areas for conversations, then obviously going inside it allows for a sense of community, and whatever you need it to be that month,” Doherty continued. “If you needed to go wild with your friends and have a party night, if you wanted to literally break away from home and break away from your work week, you could do that. I’ve equally taken part in drinking and had sober nights, and that was a really great part of Second Sat-
A Second Saturday event presented by Kristen Porter
urdays.” Thaís Valadares, a tattoo artist who will be judging the “INK” tattoo competition at the final Second Saturday event, said as one of the larger gatherings for LGBTQ people in Boston outside of the annual Pride celebration, Second Saturdays was an
PHOTO: CHRISTINE HURLEY
important destination to come together. “I think it’s a really an important place to have, someplace to gather and meet other people from your community, especially for those that didn’t have the opportunity growing up. It puts you in perspective, and makes you realize you’re not the only person going through what you’re going through,” Valadares said. “Seeing all these happy people is the best part about it, because you know you’re going to have a good time.” Valadares, who met her current girlfriend two years ago at a Second Saturday event, said they are still enjoying the reverberations of that fateful night. “When I met my girlfriend, that was her first time there, and she wasn’t out to her family or anything,” Valadares said. “That definitely started something in her to grow, because I think there are a lot of different levels of being out and being gay. It was a growing step for her.” Doherty also walked away from one Second Saturday Pride after party event with a gift.
“I fell in love with my wife at Machine, we went out for a date night, and I just remember that I wanted to have her dancing by my side,” Doherty said. “I literally fell for my wife. I twisted my ankle badly, and we were covered in glitter and Pride, and she helped me off the dance floor and took care of me, and we were laughing and smiling and full of love.” The event’s longtime photographer, Christine Hurley, said Second Saturdays has given her an opportunity to grow in her field. “At Second Saturdays at Machine Nightclub, I am able to push my creativity and take advantage of the lighting and crowd to take interesting photos. I have learned so much just by doing and experimenting,” she said. In fact, beyond the creative gains Hurley has made working for the event, it has also helped to push ahead the reach of her business. “While working with Kristen Porter and
See Second Saturdays on page 23
November 2, 2017 - December 6, 2017
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Queer Dancefrom page 3
Hong Kong presumptive Gay Games XI host city; Paris Gay Games X The Federation of Gay Games (FGG) General Assembly voting took place 30 October 2017 in Paris, France; Hong Kong is the 2022 Gay Games XI presumptive host city. Site inspections of the three finalist cities took place June & July 2017 by a team of inspectors from Australia, Germany, Canada, and the USA. The team spent 3.5 days in each city, toured all venues and attended local supporter civic events. The FGG expresses gratitude to the record number of 17 cities that expressed interest in 2022 Gay Games XI. Five of these cities made it to the semifinal round (Austin, TX, Dallas, TX, Denver, CO, Salt Lake City, UT, and San Francisco, CA). In the first phase, an additional nine cities had expressed interest: Cape Town, South Africa, Tel Aviv, Israel and USA cities Anaheim, CA, Atlanta, GA, Des Moines, IA, Los Angeles, CA, Madison, WI, Minneapolis, MN, and San Antonio, TX. The impact that the Gay Games has in host cities is incredible in terms of culture, sport, economic impact, history and most importantly elevating all matters of LGBT+ equality. Paris 2018 (https://goo.gl/8BghnZ) Gay Games 10 takes place during August 4-12 and features 36 sports, 14 cultural events, academic conference and up to 15,000 participants from 70 countries. Since 1982, the FGG mission promotes equality and is the largest sport and culture event in the world open to all. Its legacy changes social, and political attitudes towards LGBT+ people through the core principles of "Participation, Inclusion and Personal Best™". The Gay Games was conceived by Dr. Tom Waddell, an Olympic decathlete, and was first held in San Francisco in 1982. Subsequent Gay Games are San Francisco (1986), Vancouver (1990), New York (1994), Amsterdam (1998), Sydney (2002), Chicago (2006), Cologne (2010), Cleveland+Akron (2014), and Paris (2018). Find more information about the Gay Games on FB at https://goo.gl/VzcnkA, on Instagram at https://goo.gl/KqBQ2W and via Twitter at https://goo.gl/4fhzB6.
Community through art, intent, and passion Since its inception, Break the Chains has kept the doors open for all. As an all-ages event, LGBTQ youth and people of color have their own place amid a landscape of predominantly 21+ venues. Filling that space is part and parcel of the mission of Break the Chains, according to Greer. “Boston is one of the fastest gentrifying cities in the country, which has always made it challenging for marginalized communities to maintain consistent spaces and events,” Greer said. “So many LGBTQ events happen at 21+ bars and clubs, which excludes many members of our community.” Yet “all-ages” typically connotes an event geared specifically to youth. Liza Behrendt, an attendee of several events, said the all-ages status has attracted people from all age brackets. “I particularly appreciate that Break The Chains is all-ages, since we so rarely party in intergenerational settings. It's great to share music with my peers but also with parents, children, students, and older people,” Behrendt said. Prominent New York riot grrrl punk group “The Shondes” is a mainstay at Break the Chains. Eli Oberman, violinist for the band, said younger crowds bring their own special energy to the event. “It always feels very vibrant and queer, and I especially appreciate that it's all ages. Having young people there feels really special,” Oberman said. Kiara Vincent, a queer person who has also attended in the past, said Break the Chains at-large represents inclusivity and activism. For Vincent, the diversity of talent, affordability, accessibility, and an atmosphere promoting respect make Break the Chains a truly queer-friendly space. “For me, Break the Chains is in every way possible what happens when you take a party and you make it queer,” Vincent said. “It's not made queer simply by the people who attend, though that is a big factor. Break the Chains is an acknowledgment that we all need a place to let loose, decompress and dance while also keeping
The Rainbow Times TRans sisTeRs & BRoTheRs This monTh To RememBeR This yeaR’s joins iTs
Transgender Day of Remembrance
nov. 20, 2017
OBERMAN SAID THE EVENT IS A SOUNDING BOARD FOR THEIR
POLITICALLY CHARGED MESSAGE, ABRASIVE AND ENERGETIC SOUND, AND IMPORTANT LESSONS FOR THE
the sometimes predatory culture often associated with clubbing at bay.” Attracting LGBTQ youth and people of color through art, music, and activism is building progress for these communities, according to Behrendt. “Queer people need to build [their] own spaces, and if you ask me, those spaces should be structured with anti-oppression principles in mind,” Behrendt said. “Dance parties are no different. That's why I appreciate that Evan makes space for us to dance and to organize against queerphobia, transphobia, racism, and other forms of violence.” As a stage for trans, queer, and multiracial artists from all over, Break the Chains has become, in many ways, a second home for touring musicians. Taína Asili, an activist and bandleader for the Afro-Latin and reggae rock group “Taína Asili y la Banda Rebelde”, performed at the Break the Chains event four times over the last two years. Having adopted Boston as her second home—she hails from Albany, New York—Asili said after her time performing across the country, this event makes Boston’s queer community a catalyst for something new. “I travel with my music all over the country, and I can tell you that this is just not something you can find anywhere,” Asili said. “It’s really special, which is one of the reasons why Evan and I have taken Break the Chains on the road before, working with queer folks and organizations to organize performances from Brooklyn, New York to Olympia, Washington, and even a tour through Europe.” Oberman said the event is a sounding board for their politically charged message, abrasive and energetic sound, and important lessons for the LGBTQ community. “I remember once Evan put up some signs reminding people about the importance of consent ... it was the kind of thing that actually invited you to reflect and not just be dogmatic, and it was posted on the inside of the (single) bathroom door …
like, the single bathroom is this place sort of outside of the fray of the party, and by putting it there it really did give me the space to genuinely reflect for a minute before going back out there.” That feeling of transparency, freedom, and respect are a major part of why Asili considers Break the Chains an important stop on her travels around the country. “My favorite part about performing at these parties is the feeling that I can bring my whole self to my performance, including my queer woman of color punk self,” she said. “I can be free in my song choices and the ways I choose to perform them, because people are so open [to] a lot of musical styles. I can be free to jump in and dance with [the] audience, and I can be free [to] talk, sing or scream about any issue that is resting on my heart.” In 2016, Break the Chains was named 2016’s “Best Dance Party” by the Improper Bostonian. This honor, Greer said, signaled a vindication of the space queer people inhabit in the city. Yet, Greer remains humble, regardless of her work. “[That] award doesn’t belong to me, but to all the amazing queer people that make Boston an awesome place to be yourself,” Greer said. “We are shaping the future and changing the world around us, and the fact that an explicitly radical, anti-racist, antiassimilationist queer event organized by a trans woman can win an award like this is a testimony to that.” From humble beginnings as a simple house party, the event has grown to regularly fill Make Shift Boston (https://goo.gl/STG1Pw), an important creative hub and event venue in the city. For Vincent, the reason she attends boils down to a simple question of a desire to connect. “Go, just go. Don’t have friends? Don’t think you’ll like it or the crowd? Go, it’s worth it.” *TRT Assistant Editor Mike Givens contributed to this story.
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November 2, 2017 - December 6, 2017
Black Venus' Speculum On Oct. 26
PHOTO: DOM WISE
First-ever LGBTQ artists of color festival kicks off in Boston’s Hibernian Hall By: Mike Givens/TRT Assistant Editor
In preparation for her latest album, hiphop artist Billy Dean Thomas decided to utilize a technique that many method actors employ when preparing for a stage, television, or film role: She immersed herself fully in the subject of her work. Thomas studied boxing culture and its nuances to bring to life her latest project. “ ... I even attended boxing lessons to discover the philosophies and how it relates to hip hop,” she said. “While engaging with boxing head on I also spent my time ‘training,’ or trying to sharpen my pen and become a better writer [and] orator by watching videos of hip hop artists who inspire me to work on my craft.” “Rocky Barboa”, Thomas’ latest album, is a lyrical journey that uses boxing as an extended metaphor for her life, one that was, until recently, in a state of tumult. “After experiencing one of the hardest years of my life, losing my band, quitting a job that invalidated my existence and almost losing sight of myself as an artist, I wanted my next project to be my comeback,” she said. “‘Rocky Barboa’ became a testament to redefining who I am despite every area of my life collapsing.” Thomas devoted herself to studying hiphop freestyle rap battles and the “sparring” that happens between rappers as they square off against one another in a cutthroat competition to see who can compose and deliver the best lyrics. “These lyricism tests of adaptability and flow gives the artist a moment to step in the booth, also known as the ring, to fight for your title,” she said. “Not only did I think about how these [two] philosophies collided, but I constantly imagined my moment.” Her intense devotion and observation of freestyle rap often lead her to imagine
when her own time would come in the spotlight. “When I am a featured artist on these shows what will it mean for me, a queer masculine-presenting person of color, to be a part of this sport and lifestyle knowing that the intersectionality of my being sparks fights itself?” she wondered. The Theater Offensive “Young LGBTQ+ artists are bursting at the seams with creative power and ingenuity,” said Abe Rybeck, executive artistic director and founder of The Theater Offensive (https://goo.gl/GJkbs1; TTO), a Boston-based nonprofit providing spaces for LGTBQ+ artists to showcase their work. From Oct. 25-31, artists like Billy Dean Thomas were able to showcase their work thanks to TTO’s creation of OUT’Hood Fest, an exhibition exclusively for queer artists of color held in Boston’s historic Hibernian Hall in the neighborhood of Roxbury. Rybeck emphasized that the artists featured in the OUT’Hood Fest cross generations, which makes for a richer experience for audience members. “This Festival highlights fresh work by folks from their early 20s up through their 50s,” he continued. “The cultural give and take in all directions across the generations has been one of the most inspiring parts of working with this dynamite group of artists.” According to Rybeck, the idea for the festival came from community feedback and extensive discussions. “At our annual SpeakOUT event, The Theater Offensive hears input from folks in the neighborhoods where we work: Roxbury, Dorchester, the South End, and ...
See LGBTQ Artists on page 19
12 • The Rainbow Times • TheRainbowTimesMass.com • 10th Year Anniversary
November 2, 2017 - December 6, 2017
By: Jenna Spinelle/TRT Reporter
MALDEN, Mass.—It’s one thing to dream about a life change, but it’s something else entirely to actually go out and make it happen. Otto O’Connor followed his calling to a life of faith and is now poised to help others as a Unitarian Universalist minister. On Aug. 1, O’Connor was settled as the minister of First Parish Malden (http://fpmalden.org), a Unitarian Universalist church. He became the church’s first openly transgender minister and one of the first openly trans religious leaders in the Boston area. O’Connor grew up in Canada and moved to the U.S. to attend Cornell University, where he was part of the Atheist and Agnostic Club. He was called to faith in 2006 after having lunch with a Mormon friend. He found the Unitarian Universalist community a welcoming place that identified with his ideas about the role faith plays in fighting for social justice. He said he hopes to work with his new congregation to achieve some of those goals. “I’m ready to get started [on] the work we’re doing together to achieve a more just and compassionate world,” O’Connor said. “From DACA to hurricanes, I see a world that is so in need of healing and care. Worship is a place where we’re reminded of how we can live out those values in our daily lives.” O’Connor attended Andover Newton Theological School (www.ants.edu) and
completed a two-year residency at First Parish in Sherborn, Massachusetts under the guidance of Rev. Nathan Detering, who is also a faculty member at the school. Detering said O’Connor came to his church as a talented speaker who easily connected with the congregation. He learned to apply those skills to the other parts of a minister’s job, such as one-onone meetings with congregation members and officiating services for funerals and other occasions. “He is very gifted at leading worship and is able to carry his public persona and carry that public part of himself into the more privatized experience of being a minister,” Detering said. “I saw his capability for asking questions and for listening grow over time. So much of the job is in the space between people’s lives that most people never see.” The First Parish Malden congregation unanimously voted to settle O’Connor as its minister following a week-long visit and interview in April. His appointment concluded a two-year search process and he is the 36th settled minister in the parish. “I am so thrilled, not just because Otto is our new minister, but that we called him with excitement and optimism. He is the person to work beside us as we act to live out our faith’s highest values for ourselves, our community and our world,” Parish Board President Heather Vickery said in a statement. O’Connor has lived in Massachusetts for seven years and, during that time, has been
PHOTO: OTTO O’CONNOR
Universalist Unitarian church in Malden welcomes first openly transgender minister
Rev. Otto O’Connor
a vocal member of the LGBTQ community. He previously worked at MassEquality (https://goo.gl/QuVzRq) before going to theology school. His gender transition took place during his time at school, which he describes as a physical and spiritual awakening. “For me in my journey in order to feel integrated enough to lead a congregation, I
needed to go through with that process of transitioning and the self discovery that happens as part of it,” O’Connor said. O’Connor is part of Transgender Religious professional Unitarian Universalist Together (https://goo.gl/X9267f; TRUUsT), a group of about 50 trans religious
See Trans Minister on Page 16
November 2, 2017 - December 6, 2017
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14 • The Rainbow Times • TheRainbowTimesMass.com • 10th Year Anniversary
November 2, 2017 - December 6, 2017
Greg Berlanti’s gay-themed ‘Love, Simon,’ Dee Rees, Lena Waithe, ‘Freaky Friday’ HOLLYWOOD
We are ready to Love, Simon For moviegoing audiences in big cities, access to LGBT film festivals and their myriad coming out-themed movies can lead to a kind of jaded “seen it all before” mentality. But the fact is that queer-themed mainstream film, the kind that shows up in the neighborhood multiplex, is more rare a cinematic product than the latest installment of the God’s Not Dead franchise. So cheers to director Greg Berlanti and his upcoming project Love, Simon, a gay teen coming-of-age tale with some studio muscle behind it. Written by Isaac Aptaker and Elizabeth Berger (This is Us) and based on Becky Albertalli’s novel Simon Vs The Homo Sapiens Agenda, it stars Nick Robinson (Jurassic World) as a closeted boy who falls for an anonymous classmate online before he has a chance to explain his own identity to family and friends. Jennifer Garner, Josh Duhamel, Tony Hale (Veep) and Alexandra Shipp (X-Men: Apocalypse) co-star and it hits theaters in March of 2018. More of this, please; queer kids need love stories. Dee Rees waging An Uncivil War Dee Rees, the lesbian director whose indie hit Pariah was met with critical acclaim, and whose latest, Mudbound, heads to Netflix in November, has another project on her plate, and it’s about the ERA. Now, maybe you’re young and don’t remember the Equal Rights Amendment, a sweeping and progressive piece of legislation that died a long, protracted death in the 1970s, but it was hugely divisive and it was fought against tooth and nail by the very people whose anti-woman, anti-queer social agendas led, eventually, to the election of people like Ronald Reagan and, ultimately, the current administration. But for a moment 40 years ago it looked like civil rights for all people was going to be a real thing in the United States, and it took feminist activists like Gloria Steinem and lawyer Flo Kennedy all they had to fight against antifeminist Evangelical leaders like the late
Lena Waithe’s The Chi finds new life at Showtime Last time we told you about actor/writer Lena Waithe, she hadn’t won her Emmy for the “Thanksgiving” episode of Master of None, but she did have a project set up at Showtime about a young black man having to raise a child alone. The pilot, however, didn’t go to series, and in Hollywood that usually means the whole thing is dead. But a reworked version called The Chi, executive produced by Common and starring Straight Outta Compton’s Jason Mitchell, is a go. It’s now the story of a young man whose life consists of friction between his career goals and family responsibilities, and shooting is already underway in Chicago. In a year when we’ve seen a lot of African-American TV projects get cancelled or come to an end, this is very good news, and it couldn’t happen to a cooler creator than Waithe. We’re impatient for it.
PHOTO: JOE SEER
By: Romeo San Vicente*/Special to TRT
Freaky Friday now comes with singing Depending on how old you were when the various incarnations passed your way, your favorite version of Freaky Friday is Mary Rodgers’ 1972 novel, or maybe the 1976 Jodie Foster film version, or maybe the 2003 Lindsay Lohan film version. But if you’re, say, 10 years old right about now, and maybe about to realize you’re queer, bets are that the latest musical version from Disney is the one that’s going to win your heart. The remake will star Heidi Blickenstaff, who played the mom role in the recent stage adaptation, and Cozi Zuehlsdorff (A Dolphin Tale) as the argumentative mother and daughter who wish to switch places for a day. Magic happens and you know the rest. The musical features music and lyrics by the Tony Award and Pulitzer Prize-winning duo of Tom Kitt and Brian Yorkey (Next to Normal, If/Then) and book by Bridget Carpenter. Get ready to hear a lot of this stuff on Radio Disney, parents. *Romeo San Vicente has no plans to switch out his perfect body with anyone.
Phyllis Schlafly. Rees is reworking an original script by writer David Kukoff and Film Nation Entertainment is financing the entire project. No cast yet, but the story is too exciting – and ultimately infuriating – a history lesson to ignore, so we’ll be keeping track of this one.
Correction In a last week’s faith column, The Rainbow Times identified Rev. Jim Mulcahy as transgender. The publication regrets the error.
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November 2, 2017 - December 6, 2017
Transgender Day of Remembrance and the silent killer named suicide By: Deja Nicole Greenlaw*/TRT Columnist
t’s November and yet another Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDoR) is upon us. This is the day that we memorialize our trans dead of the past year. Gwendolen Ann Smith founded the first TDoR on November 20, 1999 in remembrance of the death of a transwoman, Rita Hester, in Allston, Massachusetts. TDoRs are held all over the world every year in November. Most TDoRs are held on November 20, but many others are held at various times around that date All the transgender people who have died were violently murdered. In past years, many have been shot, stabbed, beaten with blunt objects, and burned. There was even one death of a toddler who didn’t meet his father’s masculine expectations. The father would drop the son on his head to try to fix the son to somehow make him more masculine. Eventually, there was one drop too many and the child died. This is awful! Why must trans people face awful deaths? How long must this go on? Many of these deaths were the result of the intersection of transphobia and racism. Our black and brown brothers and sisters
bear the brunt of these awful murders. One was even beaten to death and thrown in a dumpster. This is a hard core disregard and disrespect for human life. It’s also unacceptable.
Keri Stebbins, the executive director of UniTy, the Springfield, Massachusetts trans support group, has known more than a few members who took their lives. Sometimes the world can become very mean to trans
GO AHEAD, LAUGH AT ME AND CALL ME NAMES IF IT MAKES YOU
FEEL GOOD, BUT
REMEMBER BACK WHEN THEY DID THIS TO YOU AND HOW IT
MADE YOU FEEL?”
Because of these deaths, there is a huge silent killer in the trans community: suicide. There are no figures on suicide deaths in the trans community. Many times, deaths are just reported in the paper as simply deaths. They don’t say how the person died. If they could somehow find out and report the reason for these deaths, they might find that they are from suicides. Please, also consider that approximately 41% of trans people have attempted suicide (https://goo.gl/w71VPH) and nearly 100 percent, in my opinion, have thought of it. Yes, thoughts of suicide are very common in the trans community.
people. Words may be said that are humiliating, demeaning, and dehumanizing and this may weigh heavily on the trans person, which may lead them to a dark place. As Keri once told me, "Words can hurt just as much as a stone being thrown, which can then lead to depression and even death." Keri made a good case for adding transgender suicide victims to the TDoR. Personally, I cannot exclude suicide victims from TDoR, especially if I know the victims. We need to stop this disparaging of trans people. It can happen anywhere, even in traditionally progressive areas, believe it or not. Diana Lombardi, a close friend, told
me what happened to her just this past October during Fantasia Fair, a week-long event in Provincetown, Massachusetts for trans people. “I was walking down to the Gala Awards Banquet and the ‘Tea Dance’ was going on at the motel and the smokers were all standing out in front of the motel on the road. The tea dance caters to mainly gays and, to some extent, lesbians. Well, while walking out of the motel I had to walk by [this] group of men [and] one of them said, ‘That is an ugly woman!’ and another replied, ‘That’s no woman, that’s a tranny!’ and they all started to laugh. I heard some of them make other comments about ‘trannies.’” Why don’t these people realize how damaging these words are? These could be the words that push a trans person to their death. This needs to stop, right now, especially in our own LGBTQIAA community. After I told Keri about Diana’s experience, I asked her what she would say to these people who made fun of Diana. Keri told me that she would say, “Go ahead, laugh at me and call me names if it makes you feel good, but remember back when they did this to you and how it made you feel?” Bingo, Keri, bingo! We need to stop these damaging actions. We need to stop these awful deaths. *Deja Nicole Greenlaw is retired from 3M and has three children and two grandchildren.
City of Salem Endorsements: City Council and school committee By: The Rainbow Times Editorial Board
The Rainbow Times proudly releases its Salem endorsements for city council and select school committee candidates in competitive races. Each endorsement was carefully considered based on progressive values and ideals, support of the LGBTQ community, a demonstrated understanding of marginalized community members and embracing not only diversity but also inclusion. We believe there are two levels of competencies needed to be effective in local government. Cultural proficiency is needed to understand and work effectively on behalf of all of Salem’s residents. Secondly, development and infrastructure competency are indispensable to be able to move the city forward utilizing state-ofthe-art technology—and enhanced services—to remain competitive as a world-class city. City Council At Large Race Salem City Councilors At-Large must have the understanding and cultural competency needed to serve Salem well—a city that is welcoming and thrives in diversity and inclusion under the current mayor, Kim Driscoll. That cultural competency should lead the At-Large councilors to vote on
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.....
matters that not only deal with the environment, taxes, traffic issues, infrastructure, development and so on, but also make them aware of problems that impact all city residents, especially those belonging to marginalized communities, whose voices are often silenced. At-Large Councilors have a unique opportunity to innately connect with residents from countless backgrounds at a much deeper level than the average ward councilor, since they represent the entire city and all residents are their constituents. The most effective At-Large councilors for Salem residents must be clear and knowledgeable about diverse and unique city residents coming from a multitude of backgrounds. In essence, they should seriously take an inclusive approach to their thought process and voting decisions. The Rainbow Times has chosen to endorse four At-Large candidates that reflect progressive thought, have demonstrated a deep understanding of what is at stake in this local election and have a proven track record of standing on the right side of human and social justice issues. These endorsees have progressive values that will guide them to cast votes in favor of equality so that Salem can continue to evolve into the cultural hub it has become in recent years. We believe that the best is yet to come for Salem. As a publication that focuses heavily on civil rights and educating others about the intersectionalities of our vast identities, the litmus test was not easily passed. We are
THAT IS NOT ONLY A NAÏVE APPROACH, BUT AN IRRESPONSIBLE ONE. THIS ELECTION CYCLE REPRESENTS A CRUCIBLE FOR THE CITY OF
proud to endorse the At-Large candidates that are best suited to advocate on behalf of the LGBTQ community and the subcultures existing within and outside of it. The Rainbow Times endorses: David Eppley Jeff Cohen Tom Furey Liz Bradt A hotly contested battle this year revolved around the passage of the Sanctuary for Peace Ordinance, which codified city policies and practices into law regarding immigrant rights. Each of the candidates endorsed by The Rainbow Times has made a public stance vigorously in favor of the ordinance. David Eppley, as a current councilor, filed the ordinance to the City Council for consideration on behalf of No Place for Hate (NPFH). Jeff Cohen, Chair of NPFH structured most of it for the initial submission. Eppley and Cohen were both
an integral part of the committee that submitted the finalized version of the Sanctuary for Peace Ordinance that was ultimately passed by the Salem City Council and signed by the Mayor. Eppley and Cohen have fervently taken a stand to protect disenfranchised groups within the city of Salem and, if elected as At-Large councilors, we look forward to more of their poignant and fierce leadership. We should support candidates like Eppley and Cohen, and all who continue to support and vote for initiatives that help marginalized communities in Salem, especially Latinx people, where there has traditionally been a gross lack of representation working on behalf of this ethnic group in the Salem council (i.e. Latino voting rights violations). “Our [No Place for Hate] mission is universal in who we serve—and we believe that talking about all prejudice and discrimination brings us closer together,” said Cohen. “We serve all residents, particularly those who need it most.” In addition to the Sanctuary for Peace Ordinance, both of these candidates are also responsible for effective impact to create optimal change when they assisted in the passage of the non-discrimination ordinance, protecting the LGBTQ community from discrimination within city borders. When The Rainbow Times newspaper box explosion occurred in 2016, Eppley and Cohen were among the very first to contact the publication’s owners to be present as
See Salem City Picks on Page 18
16 • The Rainbow Times • TheRainbowTimesMass.com • 10th Year Anniversary
November 2, 2017 - December 6, 2017
Creep of the Week: Trump & Pence pave the way to a hate-filled America By: D’Anne Witkowski*/Special to TRT
he Trump Presidency has truly redefined “breaking news” in the most literal way. Every day there is a new harm, a new insult, a new degradation heaped onto the American people. If you feel exhausted, disgusted, and helpless, well then, know that they’re getting to you. All is working as planned. Trump is the “chaos” president, after all. It is hard to focus, hard to organize, hard to cope during times of chaos. It is easy to sew fear, spread resentment, and abandon truth altogether when everyone is running around distracted and confused. Tuning out the chaos is often the only coping mechanism that seems possible. Unfortunately, that means letting the chaos win. If you’re a straight, white male then this chaos may be working to your advantage, assuming that you don’t give a rip for the rights of minorities and women (and, considering that white males voted overwhelmingly for Trump, the answer is pretty clear). But for everyone else, these are pretty terrifying times. Trump, who actually claimed that he’d be great for the gays, has decidedly not been great for the gays. From his cabinet members to the extremist judges he’s been nominating, Trump has managed to assemble an anti-LGBTQ dream team. And the MVP of this team is clearly Mike Pence. From the moment Trump announced his VP pick, anyone who’d been deluding themselves into thinking that Trump would be or could be a friend to
LGBTQ people should have woken up. Pence has a long history of working against equality for LGBTQ people. He opposes marriage equality and discrimination protections for LGBTQ people. He believes in harmful reparative therapy and, in fact, while he was Indiana governor, sought to use HIV/AIDS prevention money for gay “cure” therapy instead. This attitude, coupled with an anti-science rejection of needle exchanges and a slash and burn approach to health funding led to an HIV outbreak in Indiana. Anyway, Pence’s horrible awfulness is well documented. You can Google it. The new layer of this shit sandwich is that Trump apparently thinks Pence’s hatred of LGBTQ people is totally hilarious. In Jane Mayer’s New Yorker piece titled “The Danger of President Pence,” there’s a description of a meeting, attended by both Trump and Pence, where LGBTQ rights comes up. According to the article, Trump took the opportunity to try his hand at stand-up comedy material. “Don’t ask that guy,” Trump joked, pointing at Pence, “he wants to hang them all!” Ha. Ha. Ha. Get it? Because Pence hates gays so much he would like to literally murder them like they do in countries with the Sharia law Pence pretends to have nightmares about except he basically wants the same kind of rule in the U.S. only with white Christian dominion? So funny. What a laff riot. I cannot wait to tell this joke at the dinner table and explain to my son why the Vice President thinks his moms should
Because the right to make our own end-of-life decisions matters.
Donald Trump & Mike Pence, openly discriminating against the LGBTQ community while joking about “hanging them all.” as Trump recently said Pence told him in a conversation. PHOTO: GAGE SKIDMORE
be killed and how the President thinks that’s funny. Now, you might say, it’s not like Pence literally wants to lynch LGBTQ people. So no harm, no foul, right? Wrong. The fact that the President of the United States cares so little for the LGBTQ people of this country that the premise of our summary execution is fodder for a joke is beyond alarming. What this signals is that the antiLGBTQ policies that Pence wants to see enacted will face no resistance from Trump. Granted, they never did. Trump will rubber stamp any and all moves to demean and dehumanize LGBTQ people.
As George Takei put it, “Not sure what's more disturbing, that Donald would joke about such a thing or that he would pick a man with these views as his number 2.” More disturbing still, is that millions of Americans voted for this hateful $hit show. And nobody is going to get out of this mess squeaky clean.
Trans Minister from Page 12
“Our world needs leadership from people who are marginalized because of the perspective we bring forward,” Kapitan said. “We experience the world in different ways and that will impact our leadership.” O’Connor was quick to acknowledge the transgender ministers who came before him and helped clear the path for his ministry. However, he said there is still a lot of work to be done to achieve equality. “Institutions like churches have for so long been lead by white cisgender men, so whenever someone of an identity that’s different than that is placed in a leadership role it’s something to celebrate,” he said. “There are still so few transgender people who are ministers. It is something that is new and people don’t expect.” Through his ministry, O’Connor hopes to empower his congregation to fight for social justice and change in a caring and compassionate way. “One of the things that I feel I’m brought here to do is help folks live out their vision,” he said. “I’m looking forward to being that force in Malden and for people who are interested in progressive change and inclusive religious communities.”
professionals across the country who support each other on their journeys to realize their calling as faith leaders. Alex Kapitan, a member of TRUUsT’s leadership committee, said the group is excited about O’Connor’s unanimous settling at First Parish Malden. Such votes are rare for transgender ministers, ze said (note: “ze” is a gender neutral pronoun). “At every stage along the way, there’s potential for bias,” Kapitan said. “A lot of mythology [surrounds] us that isn’t true, people tend to be really unsure and confused [and] just don’t know and people get scared of things they don’t know anything about.” The Unitarian Universalist community is known for being one of the most welcoming religious denominations for members, but the same does not always hold true for church leaders, Kapitan said. TRUUsT aims to break down some of those stereotypes within the Unitarian Universalist community by equipping its members to train their congregations on how to recognize bias and work through issues that arise.
*D'Anne Witkowski is a poet, writer and comedian living in Michigan with her wife and son. She has been writing about LGBT politics for over a decade. Follow her on Twitter (https://goo.gl/4xiz6T) @MamaDWitkowski.
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November 2, 2017 - December 6, 2017
Op-Ed: Salem is at a crucible, defining moment*
7 award-worthy LGBT films for the fall By: Mikey Rox*/Special to TRT
Over network TV? Tired of Hulu? Seen everything on Netflix? Dig a little deeper to find meaningful and surprisingly well-executed LGBT films making the festival rounds this fall. 1. The Lavendar Scare A documentary detailing the homosexual witch hunt sanctioned by the U.S. government in the 1950s (made possible by then-Senator Joseph McCarthy’s anti-communism campaign), The Lavendar Scare – which has been in production since at least 2013, but only released last year – follows several subjects, including lifelong LGBT activist Frank Kemeny, as they tell their harrowing stories of humiliation, blackmail, and dismissal of civil service for what amounts to nothing more than keeping their private lives private. This eye-opening doc is still making the rounds – recently winning awards at film fests in Atlantic City; Fargo, North Dakota; Hartford, Connecticut; Kansas City; and Memphis – but you may find it among the screenings at an arthouse theater or LGBT film festival near you. If not, call your local indie joint and request it.
2. Close-Knit You might not expect one of the most progressive trans films ever made to emerge from Japan – especially considering that’s it’s the first trans film to come from the country ever – but it makes sense for CloseKnit, a surprising narrative that focuses on the beating heart of a blended-by-circumstance family. The film takes issue with the trans plot line as an aside, welcomingly, and rather pays attention to the bond formed between a young girl and her uncle’s male-to-female partner during the absence of her oft-missing mother. The film, directed by Naoko Ogigami, took home the top prize at the Far East Film Festival in Udine, Italy; Best Narrative Feature at the Tel Aviv International LGBT Film Festival; and the Teddy Jury Award at the Berlin International Film Festival. 3. Families Like Yours Underwritten by Bristol-Meyers Squibb, Wells Fargo, and the National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce, Families Like
Yours showcases through candid interviews the challenges of raising an LGBT family in America – which, for all intents and purposes, is not unlike raising a “traditional” family in America (the whole point of this documentary) – as it introduces us to the LGBT men and women called mommy and daddy by their children, including out actor Denis O’Hare, husband Hugo Redwood and adopted son Declan. The film recently screened at Fort Lauderdale’s OUTshine Film Festival, following its July premiere in New York City presented by Deutsche Bank. 4. God’s Own Country There’s a lot to like about Britain’s God’s Own Country – before you even sit down to watch it. If its Sundance Film Festival cred doesn’t attract you – it was the only UK-based movie to feature in the world drama category at this year’s event – perhaps its 98-percent approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes will do the trick. Drawing comparison to Brokeback Mountain (which, admittedly, is an easy association for our community for any material portraying rough sex in a rural setting between two partners who don’t consider themselves “gay”), God’s Own Country at least does right where that Best Picture Oscar nominee broke our hearts by pursuing a happy ending. Even if that is relative nowadays. 5. After Louie Artist and ACT UP activist Sam (Alan Cumming), who lived through the early years of the HIV/AIDS crisis, is disillusioned by Millennials’ seeming disregard for the disease as they solicit casual sex through social media with seemingly no regard for the consequences while simultaneously resting on their political laurels at a time when activism is quite necessary. But just when Sam thinks there’s no hope for our LGBT future in the hands of 20somethings, along comes young, pretty Braeden to revive his cold, dead heart (figuratively, of course). IndieWire’s Jude Dry calls it “one of the most exciting queer films of 2017 so far.” Doubling down on that sentiment, Los Angeles Blade’s John Paul King says, “After Louie may well be the most important gay movie you see in your lifetime.”
See LGBT Films on Page 22
im Driscoll has a forward-looking vision for Salem, and is far and away the more progressive and competent candidate running for Mayor. As everyone who has been paying attention already knows, Mayor Driscoll has led Salem to a long economic boom that seems only to be getting stronger. She has successfully championed LGBTQ rights and is working diligently to help foster an anti-racist and inclusive culture in Salem. And, she continues to effectively lead the Salem Public Schools on a clear path to sustainable excellence. Unfortunately, the Trump wave has reached Salem, and is animating the opposition to Driscoll, to the Sanctuary for Peace ordinance, and to progressive candidates running for both ward and at-large seats. After all of Trump’s anti-journalism, anti-women, anti-disabled, anti-immigrant and racist provocations, 25 percent of Salem residents (who voted last November) still voted for him. What’s more frightening is that even though there is universal consensus that Trump has no moral understanding of leadership, some of our wouldbe local leaders are acting (consciously or not) on the permission Trump has given to finally, and without fear or shame, act out of base self-interest, restore race-based privileges, and promote a past that never existed (like the one that Salem used to be a kumbaya paradise with excellent public education, as Prevey has asserted) at the expense of the most vulnerable in our community, including children in our schools.
AFTER ALL OF TRUMP’S ANTI-JOURNALISM, ANTIWOMEN, ANTI-DISABLED, ANTI-IMMIGRANT AND RACIST PROVOCATIONS, 25% OF SALEM RESIDENTS (WHO VOTED LAST NOVEMBER) STILL VOTED FOR HIM. It is a culturally reactionary impulse, and it transcends political party. These folks are, of course, disguising their parochial and fear-based beliefs and policy priorities with familiar “rule of law” and “taxes are too high” arguments but we, as a community, need to be smarter than that and be willing to pull back the curtain. Right now, and I mean that literally, we are at a crucible or crucial moment in Salem. If we don’t stop the Trump wave by voting Yes on 1 and voting for Mayor Driscoll as well as progressive city council candidates, it will ...
See Salem Crucible on Page 22
18 • The Rainbow Times • TheRainbowTimesMass.com • 10th Year Anniversary
Salem City Picks from Page 15 a source of strength and solidarity. Eppley and Cohen’s character goes above being committed to the community. They are fueled by compassion and justice, truth and righteousness. Salem would be lucky to have them on as At-Large councilors. We need them in our progressive corner. Like Cohen and Eppley, newcomer Liz Bradt also stands on the side of supporting the Sanctuary for Peace Ordinance. In a recent candidate profile in the Salem Gazette, Bradt noted that she believes the ordinance is a “line in the sand” to the world saying, “This is where Salem stands,” Bradt said. “A declaration by the entire City will create impact on many levels. It will show that we believe in basic human rights, dignity and we support the Salem Police department as it does its work. I have noted throughout my life that when folks take a stand and unify, bullies tend to back down.” We couldn’t agree more. Current At-Large Councilor Tom Furey gave riveting testimony during the several meetings involving the Sanctuary for Peace Ordinance. He believes that there are “more good angel among us,” referring to the support of the ordinance. Furey also championed the effort to add diversity and inclusion to the Salem High School HOF Committee. Under his direction, the bylaws dictate that student athletes be recognized for their achievements regardless of their race or ethnicity, gender, or sexual orientation. “President Kennedy was a role model,” Furey said. “If you can make a difference, you should make a difference, and I want to continue making that difference on the City Council.” Another At-Large candidate did not make out cut because after several attempts at clarifying his stance on LGBTQ rights, sexual orientation and gender identity issues, it was not clear where he stood. Ward Races Ward 1 An ardent and vocal supporter of the Sanctuary for Peace Ordinance, Dr. Annalyssa Gypsy Murphy first made a big splash as a speaker addressing the Salem City Council about its inexcusable delay to pass the Sanctuary for Peace Ordinance when it was first being considered. Since then, she has spoken at numerous events dedicated to social justice both inside and outside her college classrooms where she has served as a professor. Murphy demonstrates a high level aptitude to voice complicated topics and draw comparisons to relatable ones, i.e. race, gender and the other categories that divide us. The Rainbow Times appreciates Murphy’s candor when dealing with human rights issues. It is refreshing to see a woman speak her mind with no holds bar or hesitation to be politically correct. From the beginning, Murphy was vocal. She was progressive. She inherently got it and didn’t need to be convinced that standing up for those less privileged was the right thing to do. We trust she brings the same vigor to the council. Additionally, Murphy brings a distinctive perspective to the council—she is Native American & Jewish. It is long overdue that there is not only diversity and inclusion in
the city, but also on the council. Most importantly, as a prospective ward councilor; one goal she set for herself is to bring people together that come from vastly different backgrounds. We agree with Murphy and believe that is the only way we can begin to understand and learn from each other. “My background as a professor of social sciences, specifically political science has prepared me for this task and that my commitment to my community, to all of you, makes me excited about being part of Salem’s vibrant future,” Murphy said to the Salem Gazette. Current city councilor Bob McCarthy is an excellent choice as well. However, it is our belief that in this political climate, we need representation that is a strong, progressive voice out of the gate. Because of this, it is our pleasure to endorse Dr. Annalyssa Gypsy Murphy as Ward 1 Councilor. Ward 2 Christine Madore brings a plethora of experience and expertise to the council. Although a newcomer to city government, Madore is the epitome of a professional that Salem needs as it is carried into the future. Serving as an urban planner for five years for 101 cities in the greater Boston region, she has helped communities across the Commonwealth tackle issues such as affordable housing, economic development and transportation. All of these categories, as most councilors agree, are critical to address. Madore is also a member of the Salem Redevelopment Authority. Madore’s background in urban planning is a critical asset to have on the council, especially in a city that is growing with more people moving to Salem and not enough housing to accommodate for everyone that would like to be in the city. Additionally, Madore is often found at supporting progressive causes like the Sanctuary for Peace Ordinance and has also served as a volunteer on Salem’s No Place for Hate Community Engagement Sub-committee. The Rainbow Times is thrilled to endorse Christine Madore for Ward 2. Ward 3 Lisa Peterson is the progressive choice for Ward 3. She is kind, smart, savvy, compassionate, a good listener and will bring residents from all backgrounds together to make a more unified ward. Lisa takes a stand when others are not heard. She ardently stood behind the Sanctuary for Peace Ordinance, where her opponent and incumbent councilor Steve Lovely opposed it. He also took a back door approach to get the already passed Sanctuary for Peace Ordinance on the ballot. Literally, Salem voters will vote on an issue that impacts a disenfranchised group by popular vote. That is the type of behavior Peterson will stand against and speak up when injustices occur. Ward 3 needs an impartial voice that does not succumb to political games at the expense of others. Because of these reasons, The Rainbow Times proudly endorses Lisa Peterson for Ward 3. Ward 4 Ana Campos will be on the ballot as a write-in candidate. A small business owner,
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Ana is highly involved in charitable giving ranging from victims of abuse to animal shelters. She is in support of the Sanctuary for Peace Ordinance and her skills as a former architect will only enhance her vision for Ward 4, which mostly struggles with issues relating to “traffic problems, road conditions, and development,” Campos told the Salem Gazette. The Rainbow Times proudly endorses Ana Campos for Ward 4. Ward 5 A three-term incumbent, Josh Turiel is running to clench a seat on the council for a fourth term. Turiel is widely known to be communicative on social media and responsive to his constituents concerns regarding development and building on the city’s infrastructure. Turiel has also supported initiatives such as the non-discrimination ordinance, which fully protects the LGBTQ community. He has voted in favor of the Sanctuary for Peace Ordinance and has been a vocal supporter of countless human rights issues during his tenure on the council. Turiel was one of the four council members to speak out during The Rainbow Times’ newspaper box explosion in downtown Salem and even grabbed his truck to help the get the new newspaper box to downtown in its rightful spot before the “Reclaiming Salem” event to dedicate the new box. The Rainbow Times pick Josh Turiel for Ward 5 city councilor. Ward 6 Beth Gerard is seeking a third term as the Ward 6 city councilor. Gerard first came to
the council after ousting then Councilor Paul Prevey from the seat. The Rainbow Times first caught up with Gerard nearly 3 years ago at the city’s flag raising ceremony in celebration and recognition of Hispanic heritage month. As a life-long volunteer, it was no surprise to see her there standing in solidarity with the Latino community. Gerard has voted in favor of the Sanctuary for Peace Ordinance and also stood behind The Rainbow Times after its newspaper box explosion in 2016. She passionately spoke at the publication’s “Reclaiming Salem” event, fully supports the LGBTQ community, and is a staunch advocate for marginalized groups. In the first two terms on the council, Gerard has successfully allocated millions of dollars for improvements in Ward 6. She currently chairs the Administration and Finance Committee. Gerard’s background in policy and research affords her a deeper understanding of budgetary considerations, which guides her decisions on the council that ultimately affects taxpayers. When Gerard is needed, she responds to her constituents wholeheartedly. It is with great confidence that The Rainbow Times endorses Beth Gerard for Ward 6. School Committee Although The Rainbow Times does not typically endorse school committee candidates, this time there is one candidate particularly that has captured our attention. Ana Nuncio is the president of the Latino
See Salem City Picks on Page 20
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LGBTQ Artists from page 11 Jamaica Plain,” he said. “At a SpeakOUT a couple years ago a lot of local queer artists of color made a really powerful case for stronger support. Couldn’t we design a program that lifted up artists in the neighborhoods with financial production opportunities and resources?” TTO responded to the question by creating a residency program for local queer artists of color and set about raising the resources to put together the Out’Hood event. There was a community call for applications to the residency program and artists like Black Venus and Billy Dean Thomas, among others, were accepted. “We had open workshops where we went over the application process with folks who were interested,” Rybeck said. “A lot of people showed up and we received over 20 applications! “Then a panel of community activists and artists read through all the materials, interviewed over a dozen artists in person, and recommended this amazing slate of artists.” Black queer femme visibility On October 25, the event kicked off with a two-day showing of Speculum, an art and storytelling performance that delves into the black queer experience. Produced by Black Venus, the performance was a vivid exploration of identity, the concept of color, and visibility. “I loved each scene, every word, and movement,” said Tyahra Angus, a photographer who attended the event and worked closely with Black Venus and other performers. “Like a close family member of Black said during the talk back, through creating this original piece they expressed the pain of the discovery of our difference, being queer black women, female at birth, in a way that we did not cry, we celebrated. “We laughed and rejoiced. I was able to be part of the crowd for the second show and it was truly, in a word, spellbinding.” “I found the performance provocative and poignant in its exploration of love, oppression and resiliency,” said Sidney Monroe, TTO’s youth programs manager, who saw Black Venus’ production. “Speculum also challenges audiences to see the nuances of our identities and continue to dismantle antiquated ideologies and systems of oppression.” The divinity in femininity Laury Gutiérrez, a third artist featured in the fest, composed a musical ensemble that delves into the lives of two 17th Century Spanish women. Having devoted much of her studies to that of women composers, Gutiérrez was particularly struck by the stories of Catalina de Erauso and Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz. She turned the notoriety of their lives and written works into her project, Divine Sisters. “Originally we wanted to create a play and eventually, we will create a play,” she said of the project’s beginnings. “But given the resources that we had at our [disposal] at the moment, I put together what I think will be the music for this play. This music draws from the inspiration of musician authors, composers, and their collaborators.” When describing the type of music to be performed, Gutiérrez discussed the blend-
ing of a few genres. “The music will continuously use Early Music (Medieval, Renaissance, and baroque) to build into the Latin Fusion,” she said. “It is a bit like the weather in Boston. If you don’t like a song, wait a little because it will change very fast.” “We are eleven performers with all kinds of different expertise coming together to create a fusion of music, lives, and ideas presented in [an] original way so it’s fresh and current, yet historical and educational,” she said of herself and RUMBARROCO, the ensemble of 10 other musicians performing with her. Of the two women at the center of the music, Gutiérrez noted the extraordinary way they lived their lives given the circumstances. “Born a woman, at age 17 [de Erauso] left the convent and went to travel the world as military man,” she said. Of de la Cruz, Gutiérrez said, “Born in Mexico, from her we have the first period text that we can call feminist. We have her poetry clearly embracing her love for another woman. We can catch a glimpse of the brilliant mind she had. She was known in her lifetime as ‘The Tenth Muse,’ ‘The Phoenix of America.’” Gutiérrez also noted that the plights that these two women faced are not too far off from the current adversities faced by modern women. “Interestingly enough, the struggles that these two women endure [are] not too far from the life of ostracism and rejection that we encounter in the 21st century in America, and many other countries,” she said. Josean Ortiz, community programs manager for TTO and producer of the Out’Hood fest, praised Gutiérrez as well as the other artists who performed. “We have a variety of artists, all of them with their unique form to express their queerness,” he said. “I feel blessed to have this opportunity of working with such amazing artists and to be able to contribute to their professional development.” The Power of the Pen Playwright Elizabeth James produced a powerful autobiographical play on the struggles of being a mother, daughter, and queer. The play, “Uncommon Ties,” garnered praise from Ortiz. James is a, “ … fresh voice among the Boston LGBTQ dramaturgy,” according to Ortiz. “A writer that I hope will continue raising her voice and contribute with more works to the local and national LGBTQ theater scene.” Renée Singletary, an actress performing in a lead role in the play said that her character resonated with her own lived experience. “The performance is a story of being true to yourself, in all things,” she said. “It's about letting go and moving on. I was drawn to this performance because of the storyline. “The protagonist, Valerie, shows such strength and resilience in her push to live her truth. It's heartening.” Trans Artist Eddie Maisonet created an interactive experience titled The Boston QTPOC Mixtape Project. The exhibit allowed participants to interact with ... Read the rest of this story at TRT’s site
QPuzzle: Time for a good ’ole “Battle of the Sexes”
Across 1 Bear that may be a minor 5 Opposed to, to 8-Down 9 Carell, who played Bobby Riggs in Battle of the Sexes 14 Like a Peter Lorre film 15 Sweeping story 16 Movie based on The Price of Salt 17 Half of a pair for grabbing 18 Stuffed shirt 19 Exams on sexual technique? 20 Start of a Bobby Riggs quote in Battle of the Sexes 23 Tries to lose 24 "Poppycock!" 25 Silent Bob's partner 28 "So's ___ old man!" 29 Clearest of head 33 Dark version of the color purple 34 Innocent author Scott 35 Guys under Hoover, e.g. 37 More of the quote 39 Tickle pink 41 Pottery ovens 42 Right on a map 43 Placed one inside another 45 Kerouac's Big ___ 48 Mouth-to-mouth pro 49 One of TV's Bosom Buddies 50 Fantasia ballerina 52 End of the quote 56 Evita portrayer on stage 59 Sophie B. Hawkins' "The Cream Will ___" 60 Nurse Jackie protrayer
Falco 61 Whiskey bottle word 62 Lines from Lesbos 63 Perform a decorator's task 64 Emma, who played Billie Jean King in Battle of the Sexes 65 Boss Tweed caricaturist 66 Three of Frida's family Down 1 Like Oscar Madison of The Odd Couple 2 Bert, to Ernie 3 Mary Lambert, for one 4 Lingo 5 Org. with a common purpose 6 West Side Story faction 7 "___ Rhythm" 8 Jim who played Gomer 9 To Kill a Mockingbird tomboy 10 Pastry with fruit, perhaps 11 Pitching stat 12 Tennessee foot player 13 Dottermans of Antonia's Line 21 Copies of The Advocate, e.g. 22 Safe to put in your mouth 25 Male private parts, in slang 26 Be in a cast 27 "Let's do it!" 30 "___ and Old Lace" 31 Classic Japanese theater 32 Return of the Jedi creatures 33 Muscle Mary's concern
34 Cho's I'm the One ___ I Want 36 1982 biopic with Ian Charleson 37 Trial run 38 Sense of humor 39 Drench Trump in a Russian video 40 On the ___ (running away) 44 You've Got Mail director Nora 45 Kiss of the ___ Woman 46 Positive aspect 47 Shakespearean lover and his namesakes 49 Penetrating weapon 51 Like helium and krypton 52 "Blame ___ The Bossa Nova" 53 Slave in an Elton John musical 54 Objectifies, sexually 55 Flak jacket, for one 56 It may come at the end of a love letter 57 What Michelangelo put out 58 To boot
20 • The Rainbow Times • TheRainbowTimesMass.com • 10th Year Anniversary
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Salem City Picks from Page 18 Leadership Coalition (LLC) and holds several positions relating to the Latino community in Salem. Nuncio has worked on behalf of disenfranchised groups for several years in multiple settings, including collaborating with the city government. As an ESL educator, Nuncio understands the difficulty and hurdles—culturally and linguistically—that students whose mother tongue is not English experience in the mainstream school system. To have such an accomplished and culturally competent advocate on the school committee board will only enhance the ability of the committee to reach the students that often slip through the cracks. Nuncio will be the progressive voice in either of the two languages she speaks. The Rainbow Times wholeheartedly throws its support behind Ana Nuncio and is confident in her ability to bridge critical gaps within the Latino student population and mainstream students and parents alike.
The Future of Salem When we discriminatory epithets spray painted in our schools, colleges, at the Commons or any other public place, we cheapen Salem and we destroy its heart for justice—a hard learned lesson many wish hadn’t happened in 1492, to which many refer to when speaking of progress. We have the best of Salem here within Salem and we mustn’t alienate people just because they haven’t lived in Salem _all_ of their lives. How can we call Salem home and bring fresh, inclusive and diverse talent to this glorious city if a few stubbornly declare that you’re “not a Salemite” if you haven’t lived all your life in the city? That is not only a naïve approach, but an irresponsible one. This election cycle represents a crucible for the city of Salem. Will Salem continue to thrive by moving forward into the future as a cutting edge and innovative city that utilizes the best talent of all its residents or will it regress into a dismal past? That is what is at stake in this election—our future, quite literally.
¡Escuche votante de Salem!
VOTE SÍ EN LA PREGUNTA 1
¿VALORA LA INCLUSIÓN?
PARA MANTENER EL SANTUARIO DE PAZ EN SALEM, MASS.
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The Murder Mystery Co. offers a killer night of suspense, intrigue and comedy The Murder Mystery Company, interactive “whodunit” comedy show so popular that it has sold over 300,000 tickets to its public performances, has the perfect solution for holiday events, private parties and night on the town. And, show attendees cannot get enough of them. “These guys are the real deal, seriously,” said Bradley Fitch of Boston. I didn’t know what to expect at first since I never really understood how murder mysteries worked. I loved how they incorporated the audience into the show.” Since its founding in 2002 by CEO Scott Crampton, The Murder Mystery Company has exponentially grown from a modest performance company to a nationally acclaimed theatrical show stopper that offers each party set to a specific theme such as Totally 80’s, Totally Murder!, Midnight at the Masquerade, The Most Wonderful Crime of the Year, a 1920’s Crime and Punishment theme and so many more. Attendees are encouraged to dress in costume according to the theme to amplify the experience. “I have never been to a murder mystery dinner before but I must say we had a great time!” an recent attendee of a Quincy, Mass. show said of the company on Trip Advisor. “… The entertainment of the night is obviously the main factor and I thought it was awesome!” If you are not up for planning your own show, the theater company offers several public shows throughout New England and the rest of the country by professional improv actors. According to the company’s website, the “public shows are generally two and a half hours full of mystery, intrigue, and murder!,” it read. “… The show contains two
‘investigation times’ in which you can mingle with other guests and mystery experts.” Attendees are provided with the perfect set to gather clues and attempt to solve the crime. “It was like a life version of the game Clue,” said Fitch. “So fun.” Private events may also be customized to appeal to niche markets according to Amanda Lea Carver, a Personal Event Specialist for the company. LGBTQ details can be incorporated into the theme itself to create a highly personalized experience she said. According to company’s website, “each state has its own director and a cast of local actors—25 directors and more than 1,000 actors nationwide… And they are all kept very busy! Not only do they perform dozens of shows every month at some amazing host venues, but they do hundreds of private shows, as well. Added together, they perform more than 3,500 shows for over 300,000 guests every year!” According to Crampton, “a mystery brought to you by The Murder Mystery Company is a worry-free, hassle-free experience,” as noted on the company’s website. “All you need to do is show up and be prepared to have an incredibly memorable night!” The Murder Mystery Company is the largest theatrical company throughout the United States. If you’re looking for a quality comedy murder mysteries, there is no need to look anywhere else. To schedule your party, learn more about their events, or purchase tickets for public performances, check out The Murder Mystery Company at https://murdermysterydinnerboston.com. Have a killer time.
LGBTQ+ Commission Job Opening The City of Cambridge LGBTQ+ Commission is seeking a new Research Associate. This is a 30-hour/week job, paying $18 - $23 p/h w/benefits. Applications are due by Nov. 21st. Cambridge residents are especially encouraged to apply.
22 • The Rainbow Times • TheRainbowTimesMass.com • 10th Year Anniversary
November 2, 2017 - December 6, 2017
Court: Ban’s harms to trans service members, enlistees is unacceptable WASHINGTON—Earlier this week, the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia ruled in favor of the plaintiffs and enjoined (https://goo.gl/AmSXP1) the transgender military ban, the discriminatory policy challenged in Doe v. Trump, the first case filed against President Trump’s transgender military ban. The National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR) and GLBTQ Legal Advocates & Defenders (GLAD, co-counsel in the case, issued the following statement: “This is a complete victory for our plaintiffs and all transgender service members, who are now once again able to serve on
Salem Crucible from Page 17 wipe out our forward movement and potential for being a great city, and have a devastating impact on the community we love. At the recent school committee candidate debate, one candidate said that anyone who votes against the Sanctuary for Peace ordinance (Question 1) can’t truly care for all of Salem’s children in the public schools. She is right. All candidates at that debate voiced strong support for the Sanctuary for Peace ordinance, as have all of the current school committee members, the superintendent, and the Salem Teachers Union. To deny real protections that the sanctuary ordinance will provide to hard working, community minded people and families escaping hopelessness and violence would be unconscionable. When someone says to
equal terms and without the threat of being discharged,” said Shannon Minter, NCLR’s Legal Director. “We are grateful to the court for recognizing the gravity of these issues and putting a stop to this dangerous policy, which has wreaked havoc in the lives of transgender service members and their families.” “This court saw straight through the smokescreen the government tried to create to hide the bias and prejudice behind Trump’s change in military policy. This clear, powerful ruling confirms that there is no legitimate reason to exclude transgender people from military service,” said Jennifer
Levi, Director of GLAD’s Transgender Rights Project. “Fighting discrimination isn’t easy, and to all the transgender members of the armed forces or those looking to join, I want to say thank you for your courage, not only in fighting for our country, but in fighting for the constitutional values of equality and justice.” NCLR and GLAD have been at the center of the legal fight challenging Trump’s military ban since filing Doe v. Trump, on August 9 on behalf of five transgender service members. On August 31, NCLR and GLAD filed a motion in Doe (https://goo.gl/wEvjzq) asking the court to
immediately block the president’s policy and adding two named plaintiffs who have had their plans for a career in military service thwarted by the ban—Regan Kibby, a Midshipman at the U.S. Naval Academy and Dylan Kohere, a first-year student at University of New Haven in West Haven, Connecticut denied participation in the Army Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) program because of the ban. The two organizations are also co-counsel in a second suit challenging the ban, Stockman v. Trump, brought by Equality California.
you that the protections are already in place and that we don’t need an ordinance, please understand that what most of them really mean is that it will be easier to roll back those protections if we don’t have an ordinance (local law). Please, pull back the curtain There is so much cruelty in the world. Why would we add more? We are world famous for having already done that. Let’s not do it again. Salem should be an example of inclusion and compassion in an increasingly cruel and combative world, and help lead the way to truly progressive politics in MA. There is no better mayor in MA to help us accomplish this goal than Kim Driscoll, but we also need to vote for city council candidates that have a similar progressive vision and for progressive legislation when it’s on the ballot. *Submitted by Patrick Schultz.
Driscoll for Mayor from Page 2
talent from surrounding cities, such as Boston, largely in part to its lifestyle, inclusion and affordability. Salem is rising to the top and Mayor Kim Driscoll is the one we can count on to keep us moving forward in the right direction. In sharp contrast, Prevey lacks specific plans to address city issues and fails to rightfully acknowledge and provide details pertaining social justice causes, as reported in a former and exclusive mayoral in-depth interview with The Rainbow Times. Especially during this tumultuous political time, Salem needs a mayor who is unafraid to dig their hands in and get dirty as it relates to human rights and local governance to keep the city moving forward on the right trajectory. In a political era where rights are at stake and “religious freedoms” are being used to discriminate and isolate LGBTQ people, women, the Jewish community, black people, immigrants, Muslims, transgender service members and anyone who isn’t represented by the majority, Salem needs a mayor with conviction and with the foresight to anticipate issues as they arise to address them without fear and with everyone in mind. Salem needs someone who articulates and advocates for human rights with candor and passion, openness and clarity of thought, even if it may not always be politically advantageous. That is what differentiates leaders from politicians. That is what we have seen come from the office of Kim Driscoll these past years and that is the sincerity that shines from that corner office in Salem’s downtown. It is with great trust and confidence in Mayor Kim Driscoll that The Rainbow Times proudly offers its robust endorsement in the Salem mayoral race.
Ordinance and believe it is consistent with our community’s values and will make Salem safer, because it codifies into law our existing policy of providing city services to all residents regardless of one’s country of origin. Now, more than ever, hardworking, law abiding members of our immigrant community have expressed fear about reaching out to local officials, as a result of more active deportation efforts. It’s important that all individuals feel secure in calling the Salem Police or Fire to report a crime, fire, or medical emergency. This ordinance helps to ensure that all people know they can rely on local services without fear of deportation, regardless of their immigration status,” the Mayor explained. Driscoll pointed out that the ordinance does not “violate federal law, jeopardize federal funding or prevent public safety officials from sharing information with other law enforcement agencies. That’s why our current Police Chief Mary Butler and former Police Chief and current State Representative Paul Tucker are both strong supporters of the Ordinance.” Mayor Kim Driscoll has stood tall and with conviction on the right side of history time after time to protect city residents while taking a stand against discriminatory actions directed toward marginalized communities. Under her administration, Salem has been cultivated into a cultural hub of the arts, utilizing state-of-the-art technology and development while boasting a booming economy. Since Driscoll first took office, 700 new local jobs have been created and unemployment is the lowest it’s been since 2002. Due to Driscoll’s leadership, Salem has attracted some of the best
LGBT Films from Page 17 6. High Low Forty Long-estranged brothers Billy and Joe reconnect during a road trip back to their native Texas to be by their dying father’s side. The sibs haven’t seen each other in a while because after Billy was discharged from the Army, he beat feet to Los Angeles, the reason for which plays out over the long ride home (though you’ve probably already guessed why). Directed and written by and starring Paddy Quinn, High-Low Forty won Best Narrative Feature at this year’s GI Film Festival in San Diego. 7. Rift Iceland – if you’re not aware – has a solid track record for producing attention-com-
manding queer films (if you haven't found Heartstone yet, track it down), and Rift is no exception. This thriller/horror-mystery finds ex-boyfriends Gunnar and Einar holed up together in BFI (that’s Bumfuck, Iceland for the uninitiated) haunted by their past and a few bumps in the night. The film won the Artistic Vision Award at L.A. Outfest 2017 and is scheduled for limited theatrical release on Nov. 21. *Mikey Rox is an award-winning journalist and LGBT lifestyle expert whose work has been published in more than 100 outlets across the world. He splits his time between homes in New York City and the Jersey Shore with his dog Jaxon. Connect with Mikey on Twitter (https://goo.gl/ou2wVC) @mikeyrox.
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TDoR from Page 4 for more than 20 years, said the deaths acknowledged during TDOR include more than just homicides. “There are suicides and one individual who was seeing an unlicensed plastic surgeon for injections and died of toxic shock from industrial grade silicone,” she said. “We include them because they were people in the community who have lost their lives.” Chelmsford: Nov. 18 Dee Halzack remembers hearing about the TDOR event in Boston a few years ago and feeling bad that a medical condition prevented her from attending. She turned that frustration into action and worked with her church to start a vigil in Chelmsford, a town of about 33,000 on the Massachusetts/New Hampshire border. The event will take place on Saturday, Nov. 18 and is hosted by First Parish UU of Chelmsford (www.uuchelmsford.org/), which was designated as a Unitarian Universalist Welcoming Congregation for LGBTQ people in 2007. The first TDOR service was held a few years later and the congregation voted to continue holding it even after nearby Lowell began to hold an event of its own. “The suburbs need to be made aware of what’s going on,” Halzack said. “This event needs to be observed in more than just the big cities.” Like the other events, Chelmsford’s TDOR service will include a guest speaker, reading of names, and lighting of candles for each person who died. Preparing those luminaries to remember the nearly 300 victims each year is an exhaustive effort for the church. Children and adults alike pitch in to decorate them and place them around the church. This creates opportunities for people who don’t feel comfortable attending the vigil to pay respects to the victims in their own way. “It's a really beautiful thing that so many find ways to contribute to the vigil in their own way,” Halzack said. “People who thank us for bearing witness admit that they can’t deal with it themselves.” Boston: Nov. 19 After a few years of somber ceremonies, organizers of this year’s Boston TDOR event hope to create a more uplifting experience that focuses on the lives of trans people rather than their deaths. The event will take place from 6-8 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 19 at the Cathedral Church of St. Paul. It will include performances from trans artists and the names of all victims read by community leaders. Committee chair Persia Brewer said organizers want to keep politics out of the mix as much as possible. “Our theme this year is going to be a celebration of life,” Brewer said. “We don’t want the conversation to get to Donald Trump or people’s political views … this is not a moment for political witch hunts.” Even though politics will not be part of the event itself, Brewer said she expects the current political climate will lead to an increased turnout this year. About 300 people attended last year’s TDOR vigil, and organizers are expecting around 500 this year. Brewer said she hopes the event will
IN 2016, THE TOTAL [OF TRANS DEATHS] WAS 293, AND IN 2015 IT WAS 271. MANY OF THESE DEATHS OCCUR IN
BRAZIL, MEXICO AND THE U.S. ... serve as a catalyst for people from different backgrounds to come together for a dialogue about the commonalities that unite everyone in turbulent times. “If [you’re just] in a space with other people whether you have differences with [them] or you don’t … if you can stand with them as another human, that will help to mend some of the broken relationships that [are] going on with our communities,” Brewer said. “We need to learn to just stand together as humans first. We all want the same things and we’ve all lost someone.” Brewer said the planning committee is looking for volunteers in the weeks leading up to the event. Those interested in volunteering can contact Brewer at email@example.com. Meet Your Transgender Neighbors Although not officially affiliated with TDOR, another event this month continues the theme of awareness to prevent future violence against trans people. LGBTQ+ Welcoming Communities of Faith (https://goo.gl/sJRfB4) held a “Meet Your Transgender Neighbors” panel on Thursday, Nov. 2 at Memorial Hall Library in Andover. Panel moderator Michelle Tat lives and works in Boston, but traveled to Chelmsford along with panelists Kaden Mohamed, Lee West, and August Eberlein to bring awareness to the struggle for trans equality. “This is the first time in recent memory where we’ve held a forum where transgender community members have opened themselves up to the greater Massachusetts constituency in a different part of the state,” Tat said. “My goal as emcee is to really personalize the ups and downs that we have as individuals navigating the world.” The event is also connected to the November 2018 ballot initiative in Massachusetts. Tat said she’s not looking to receive special treatment because she’s trans, but instead looking for the same rights and protections that any other resident receives. “I have a city job and am paying my taxes and doing what I have to do to be a typical Massachusetts person,” Tat said. “I’m not trying to beg for additional rights, I just want the same treatment and I want people to acknowledge that trans people get treated poorly.” If this event goes well, Tat would like to work with Freedom Massachusetts to organize similar panels around the state. To find out other TDoR events visit https://goo.gl/yU6Um5.
Second Saturdays from Page 8 Dyke Night, I've been able to foster relationships with people that lead to referrals to photograph other events,” Hurley said. “I will still be photographing at Kristen's future events and at other Boston nightclubs.” For many people in the LGBTQ community, having a safe space to meet other people is invaluable for their social life. Second Saturdays for many has been a way to connect with more people in the community and foster long-term relationships. “My physical group of friends has changed. Not only have we met our loves or married our loves, but now have dogs, babies, and baby carriers,” Doherty said. “Definitely seeing how we’ve transformed over the years, but it’s also cool to know in my social circle, I’ve developed long-lasting, lifelong friendships.” Sweet memories Second Saturdays has evidently been the spark for many memories that will live on in the hearts of those who went. Doherty fondly remembered one Pride celebration after party while at a Second Saturday event. Amid the buzz and energy of Machine Nightclub, she had a quiet moment to peer out the window. “You look out and see this sea of rainbows, glitter, and happiness,” Doherty said. “You can really lose yourself and find yourself in that space, in that time.” After everything she has seen over the past 10 years, Porter herself said one recurring experience endures in her mind. “I have had the wonderful opportunity to officiate the weddings (as a Massachusetts
Justice of the Peace) of several couples who have met at one of my events over the years,” Porter said. “Knowing that the space I created was a vehicle to bring people together is fabulous, but to be asked to participate so meaningfully in such an important day [and] ceremony is a profound honor.” What’s next? The end of Second Saturdays, for Porter, is an opportunity to look ahead, and look back at those who have helped her, those who have been a part of her events, and the memories that will live on. “These [ten] years mark a beautiful relationship between me, Machine and y o u — 8 0 0 women and friends on one dance floor [for] a magickal [sic] moment in time and a night that history will always remember,” Porter said in a press release on her website. “A night where some of you will remember coming ‘out’ for the first time, meeting your girlfriend, or maybe even your spouse, and so many memories.” Porter is hard at work continuing her legacy as a major player in the LGBTQ community. Her company, which donates profits to various charities and programs aimed at benefiting LGBTQ people, has several projects in the works. It is evident that people will be following her wherever she goes. For Doherty, the lasting connection runs deep. “Kristen Porter has become a mentor to me.” For more information on Kristen Porter Presents, including its philanthropic work and future events, visit their website at www.dykenight.com.
24 • The Rainbow Times • TheRainbowTimesMass.com • 10th Year Anniversary
November 2, 2017 - December 6, 2017
Published on Nov 2, 2017
In this Boston-based Rainbow Times' issue, our pre-Holiday one, we bring you more TRT exclusive stories. Some of our stories in this issue a...