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2 • The Rainbow Times • TheRainbowTimesMass.com

October 10, 2019 - November 6, 2019

The Rainbow Times releases local endorsements for Boston and Salem By: Editorial Board The Rainbow Times

The Rainbow Times (TRT) proudly releases its Salem and Boston endorsements for At-Large City Councilors and Ward councilors in competitive races. Each candidate and subsequent endorsement was carefully considered based on progressive values and ideals, support and advocacy (demonstrated by voting and public statements and actions) on behalf of the LGBTQ community. In addition, TRT took into consideration the candidates’ demonstrated understanding and backing of marginalized community members pertaining to immigration, race, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, age, housing, environment, compassionate policy initiatives, and a concerted effort with a track record to not only embrace diversity but the ability and intention to create inclusive cities where all residents can equally thrive. The Endorsements There are three levels of competencies we examined for these endorsements, which we deem critical in local government. Cultural proficiency is needed to understand and advocate effectively on behalf of all residents equally, especially those most marginalized and often left without a voice. Secondly, a hands-on commitment to social responsibility—to our planet and the environment—to avert the climate crisis we are experiencing. And, lastly, development and infrastructure competency are indispensable to be able to move the cities forward utilizing state-of-the-art technology, creative innovation while upholding the importance of art, all which help the municipalities to remain competitive as world-class cities in their own right. Salem In part, The Rainbow Times’ editorial

board selected Salem endorsees based on an extensive At-Large Councilors’ video series (https://bit.ly/2MreuHk) where most Salem City Council incumbents and hopefuls were interviewed, some as new comers and others that have been around the block. The key issues we tackled during that raw video series included, affordable housing, sanctuary city status, the climate crisis, development and zoning, immigration, human rights issues and of course, the LGBTQ community. The videos spoke volumes about where candidates stand on today’s issues, who is ready to lead into the future and who is still stuck in the past. Throughout the last several years, inarguably, we’ve found that the Council could have done better and they should have done better. With the council being divided between conservative ideals and progressive values, not all Salem residents have been able to live affordably and peacefully, not all immigrant residents have been provided the dignity and respect they deserve by some of those very councilors who still seek their vote. There have been contentious battles over commonsense initiatives like affirming support of the Yes on 3 campaign—protecting trans people in public spaces. Politics is a dirty game—we’ve all heard it. But, we believe that the Salem



Faith, God and Family: Dad awaits St. Peter’s call By: Paul P. Jesep* TRT Columnist n October 22, Dad turns I THINK ABOUT THE BRAVE,


93. He’s blind in one eye and almost deaf. Although frail, his mind is good. He still has a healthy appetite. He keeps on telling everyone, “I’m waiting for the call from St. Peter.” Dad has a Yogi Berra (https://bit.ly/333AG11) sense of humor. Although he hates winter, Dad wouldn’t move to Florida, though his sister has repeatedly invited him. Dad says he’s “allergic to alligators.” I’m not sure if Dad will celebrate another landmark birthday next year. He may not want to. “What’s St. Peter waiting for? Your Mother is calling,” he says. In Eastern Europe, Dad survived the brutality of Communism and then the horrors of Nazi forced labor. He was blessed to come to America. He married a woman who survived the Great Depression. Mom’s family also came from Eastern Europe.

PERSECUTED INDIVIDUALS WITHIN THE TRANSGENDER COMMUNITY WHO LIVE THEIR TRUTH. ... AN EXAMPLE TO THE REST OF US. Throughout their lives my parents managed and struggled with significant trauma. As Dad’s inevitable passing gets closer,

See St. Peter’s Call On Page 23


LGBTQ COMMUNITY MEMBERS WHEN YOU USE WORDS SUCH AS “PREFERENCE,” “LIKES,” “LIFESTYLE,” AND “TOLERANCE.” council should be better and can be better. We don’t need middle-of-the-road councilors who will uphold the “status quo.” We need councilors who will be unabashedly fierce in their leadership, who will look out for all of us, who will work together to uphold progressive values in all facets of life and that will advance the city ahead, while not forgetting about the residents that need them the most to be their advocate in the process. You can’t advocate for the immigrant or Latinx community while voting against them. You can’t say you support LGBTQ rights because you “accept all of God’s children,” and you definitely cannot say you stand for the LGBTQ community

Letters to the Editor [Re: Arizona Supreme Court Disappoints LGBTQs] Dear Editor, This is in Arizona, which is one of the least-LGBTQ states in the country. It is the same state that passed a law stating that cops could stop anyone for any reason anytime just to check papers (fortunately was declared unconstitutional). With the current government in D.C. about as anti-LGBTQ as possible (outside of a Fundamentalist “Christian” church) we are due for a big upswing in attacks on LGBTQ, immigrants, and anyone who doesn’t bow to Trump’s Totalitarian policies. —Tom McDonald, Online Please send Letters to the Editor to: editor@therainbowtimesmass.com. NOTE: All letters to the editor must be ac‐ companied by a phone # and an e‐mail ad‐ dress to verify your identity prior to its publication. We reserve the right not to publish a letter for any reason at all.

members when you use words such as “preference,” “likes,” “lifestyle,” and “tolerance.” That is not support. Those are divisive words that hurt people and youth alike. Some of these words and comments weren’t aired in the interviews, but were clearly noticed by those conducting them. That is when a cliché such as “actions speak louder than words” is most observed. In contrast, the candidates that showed a distinctive and adept understanding of marginalized groups (LGBTQs, women, immigrants, Native Americans, PoC, etc.) not just through words, but through actions, were those that The Rainbow Times’ editorial team proudly selected. These candidates’ commitment to the betterment of all reminded us of others who are currently in office and whom we have had the pleasure to endorse as well, such as Rep. Paul Tucker and even Salem’s own equality

See Endorsements On Page 4

Multiple Award Winning

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

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

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

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October 10, 2019 - November 6, 2019

Holyoke Mayor challenges 30-year incumbent for 1st Congressional seat Openly gay Mayor, Alex Morse, says he’s challenging “status quo” by running against Congressman Richard Neal By:Mike Givens TRT Assistant Editor


HOLYOKE, Mass—Holyoke, Massachusetts Mayor Alex Morse has challenged incumbent Representative Richard Neal for the congressional seat representing western Massachusetts. Morse, citing his opinion that Neal has become ineffective in his current role, claims that the congressman’s tenure has been too focused on insider politics and power-grabbing in Washington D.C. rather than serving the constituents of western Massachusetts. “When you listen to people talk about their daily struggles and challenges, it’s been very hard for people to make a connection between a powerful member of Congress and how that’s made a difference in their lives or in their neighborhoods or in the communities,” Morse said of Neal’s leadership. “I want to be a member of Congress that is less concerned about building seniority and years in office and being more concerned with whether I am making a difference on the ground in peoples’ lives.” In response to Morse’s attacks, Neal countered with his contention that his

tenure is what’s necessary to effectively move the nation forward. “Seniority, experience, and knowledge of the legislative process are all critical in order to deliver for [the] district,” Neal said in an e-mail interview with The Rainbow Times. “An experienced and knowledgeable legislator is crucial to craft, advocate, and pass policies that help people in this district and across the country. “For example, I helped write the Affordable Care Act. I’m authoring legislation that will save pensions for millions of our brothers and sisters in organized labor, lower prescription drug costs and so much more that will bring about economic relief for working and middle class families. It was because of my experience and knowledge that I was able to deliver millions of dollars to turn Springfield’s Union Station into a state-of-the-art regional transit hub, bring in $12 million in fire grants to make our communities safer, and secure over $40 million in the House budget for infrastructure updates at Westover Air Force Base.” Reviving the American Dream Located in the western half of Massachusetts, the 1st Congressional District encompasses 87 cities and towns and touches five counties (https://is.gd/SDuRUK). As of the 2010 census, the district has a population of more than 700,000 (https://is.gd/rfh-


Congressman Richard Neal at the Puerto Rican Parade in Springfield in past years

dRm). Born in Worcester and raised in Springfield, Neal, 70, began his political career in 1972 when he staffed the gubernatorial campaign of George McGovern. In 1988, he successfully ran to be the state representative of the 2nd Congressional District of Massachusetts, which largely comprised central Massachusetts.

In 2012, the 1st and 2nd districts of Massachusetts were altered to reflect the results of the 2010 census. Neal would serve 12 terms as the representative of the 2nd District from 1988 to 2012. After the redistricting process in 2012, he ran for the new 1st Congressional District, which encompasses

See WMA Politics On Page 10

4 • The Rainbow Times • TheRainbowTimesMass.com

October 10, 2019 - November 6, 2019

New MAP Report on lives of LGBT People of Color in rural America

LGBTQ PoC Experience Heightened Impacts of Acceptance or Discrimination, Need for Nondiscrimination Protections


DES MOINES, Iowa—Media coverage often portrays rural America as singularly white, conservative and workingclass. Yet at least 10 million people of color, including lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people of color, call rural America home. Today, the Movement Advancement Project (MAP) released a new report, Where We Call Home: LGBT People of Color in Rural America (https://bit.ly/2pU3zhY), which examines the unique challenges of LGBT people of color in rural America and highlights distinct experiences across different communities of color. As the second publication in the Where We Call Home (https://bit.ly/3112mlW) series, this report details how the structural challenges of rural life amplify acceptance of or discrimination against LGBT people of color. Where We Call Home: LGBT People of Color in Rural America is released in partnership with the Equality Federation, the National Black Justice Coalition, and the National Center for Lesbian Rights. “Rural communities have always been home to people of color and LGBT people of color, but their lives and needs are often unexamined or overlooked,” said Ineke Mushovic, executive director of the Movement Advancement Project (MAP). “LGBT people of color are more likely to live in poverty, more vulnerable to discrimination and less able to respond to its harmful effects. Comprehensive nondiscrimination laws are vital to improving the lives of LGBT people of color in rural America—as is blocking and rescinding religious exemption laws that allow http://bit.do/hrcspan




employers and taxpayer-funded service providers to discriminate.” This report offers extensive new findings on LGBT people of color in rural communities, where discrimination based on race and immigration status is compounded by discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression. As discussed in the report findings: • People of color, including those in rural areas, are more likely than white people to identify as LGBT: people of color comprise 42% of the national LGBT population, compared to 36% of the total U.S. population. And, LGBT people of color generally live in the same rural areas as other people of color do. For example, the U.S. South is home to nine in ten Black people who live in rural and small-town areas, and Black same-sex couples are also concentrated in the South. • LGBT people of color in rural states are especially vulnerable to discrimination. Overall, rural states are significantly less likely than majority urban states to have vital nondiscrimination protections, and are also more likely to have harmful, discriminatory laws. Also, among rural states, those with worse LGBT policy climates also have higher populations of people of color, meaning LGBT people of color are especially at risk of discrimination and especially likely to lack protection against it. • LGBT people of color experience similar or higher rates of both poverty and unemployment compared to both non-LGBT people of color and white people. Additionally, rates of poverty are higher in rural areas than in urban ones, so LGBT people of color in rural areas are likely at an even

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higher risk of experiencing poverty. • Smaller populations in rural communities mean any “difference” is more noticeable. For LGBT people of color, increased visibility as both people of color and as LGBT people in rural communities may mean further vulnerability. • When LGBT people of color in rural areas face discrimination, they may have fewer alternatives for culturally competent providers and fewer opportunities to find a job. This is especially true when businesses and service providers are given a license to

Endorsements From Page 2 Mayor and TRT’s LGBTQ Champion Awardee, Kim Driscoll. This year, without further adieu, we are proud to endorse Salem At-Large City Councilor candidates Jeff Cohen, Conrad J. Prosniewski, Alice Merkl and Ty Hapworth. Likewise, in highly contested races in Ward 6, we endorse Meg Riccardi, and Andy Varela in Ward 7. We are also proud to stand by Patti Ross Morsillo for Ward 3 who through demonstrated action has proven to be a vocal leader in standing up against the “status quo.” Boston In Boston, The Rainbow Times throws its full support behind Alejandra St. Guillen. This newcomer, survivor, advocate and member of the LGBTQ community, is a walking testament to overcoming hardship and rising above to conquer all that life has thrown in her direction, including the murder of her sister. Her existence speaks vol-

discriminate. For example, many senior care providers and hospitals in rural areas are religiously affiliated. Increasing religious exemption laws may allow such providers to discriminate, even when providing taxpayer-funded services. Not only can providers then reject people simply for being LGBT, a provider with racial bias may also choose to reject LGBT people of color, claiming the rejection is because the person is LGBT, not because they are a person of color. • LGBT people of color have fewer support structures and resources that accept them both as a person of color and someone who is LGBT. The relative social and geographic isolation of rural areas can compound this problem. For example, LGBT-focused programs in rural areas, if available at all, may not fully recognize or be equipped to support people who are both LGBT and a person of color, and programs for people of color in rural areas may not be accepting of people of color who are also LGBT. Click here (https://bit.ly/31XpP8H) to view this as an infographic. “Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and same gender loving (LGBTQ/SGL) people of color are central to the fabric of rural life in America,” said David Johns, executive director of the National Black Justice Coalition (NBJC). “With little to no attention paid toward the Read the rest of this story at: TheRainbowTimesMass.com

umes to the vast intersectionalities we share, giving her a unique and commanding perspective on how best to shape local government to suit the needs of all, not just some. Boston residents will bode well to cast their vote for someone who can relate to their struggles, triumphs and victories. St. Guillen, embodies the modern 20th century woman who leads with valor and tenacity. Also a member of the Latinx community, she was featured in the June 2019 pride edition of The Rainbow Times. Read the full feature at https://bit.ly/2ASLDqd to learn where she stands on all of the critical issues. Other endorsees include Michelle Wu, who is also rumored to be a potential mayoral challenger, incumbent Annissa Essaibi-George and Julia Mejia. GOTV Most importantly, Election Day is November 5, 2019. Get out the vote. Our lives depend on it.

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October 10, 2019 - November 6, 2019

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October 10, 2019 - November 6, 2019

LGBTQ-friendly senior housing in Boston: A proposal is underway Renovating the former William Barton Rogers School in Hyde Park for seniors BOSTON—The first affordable mixed-income LGTBQ friendly senior housing in Boston is being proposed by the development partnership of Pennrose and not-forprofit LGBTQ Senior Housing Inc. If accepted by the city, the hope is to renovate the former William Barton Rogers School in Hyde Park into 74 rental units for seniors. Over 20 U.S. cities already have LGBTQ-friendly senior housing and there are nearly 30 such developments across the country. This would be the first-of-its-kind for Boston. It would also be the first in Massachusetts and the entire Northeast. “This would be an historic achievement for the City of Boston and Hyde Park,” said Aileen Montour, President of LGBTQ Senior Housing Inc. “Hyde Park has a trailblazing history with the Grimke sisters (abolitionists) and James and William Monroe Trotter (civil rights leaders). This would add to that great tradition.” While Boston and Massachusetts have been leaders at the forefront of LGBTQ rights, they have yet to sponsor LGBTQfriendly elderly housing. If the development team of Pennrose and LGBTQ Senior Housing Inc. were selected to redevelop the William Barton Rogers, it would fill that missing piece. Pennrose, which developed the country’s second LGBTQ-

friendly senior housing i n Philadelphia and is currently developing another complex in New Y o r k C i t y, would a l s o serve as property manager. Ethos, a well-known and highly regarded community elder care organization, would provide resident services. “The redevelopment is about more than being the first LGBTQ friendly housing in Boston” said Hyde Park resident and nonprofit board member Gretchen Van Ness. “As a former Main Streets President, this plan makes the most sense. It offers a oncein-a-lifetime opportunity to knit together our community and the building by providing extensive community space, offering a home to the 54th Regiment, and partnering

with the YMCA and Hyde Park Arts Association among others. We will historically preserve the school in its entirety, which is extremely important to my Hyde Park neighbors.” Architect DiMella Shaffer’s design includes preserving the auditorium, the gym, the cinema room, and the front entrance and retains 10,000 sq. ft. of space to be used by the public that will cater to residents and the community. Community organizations can use the space for meals, events, and activities, and can hold meetings, classes and workshops there. Pen-

nrose and LGBTQ Senior Housing Inc. will use the building to celebrate the history of Hyde Park, honor the LGBTQ rights movement in Boston, and provide LGBTQ focused programming for the building residents and the Boston community at large, according to the organization. Development plans include a “beautifully designed courtyard, two communal kitchens, the auditorium will host shows and events, and recreational activities like pickle ball, community meals, and even a Pride party can take place in the gym,” said Montour. The 74 units will be available at a range of incomes, making the property a possibility for anyone to live there, the nonprofit management said. Pennrose and LGBTQ Senior Housing Inc. are committed to making the former school inclusive and welcoming to everyone including the LGBTQ community. For more information about this project, contact Aileen Montour at 617.390.3384 or aileenmontour@gmail.com. To support for this initiative in Boston, contact Kelly Shay directly at the City via e-mail at kshay.dnd@cityofboston.gov or the Mayor’s office at mayor@boston.gov. Read the rest of this story at: TheRainbowTimesMass.com

October 10, 2019 - November 6, 2019

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October 10, 2019 - November 6, 2019

BAGLY x PUMA partnership raises $50,000 for Mass. LGBTQ+ Youth BAGLY continues to expand its holistic health initiatives and provides free services for LGBTQ+ Youth By: Audrey Cole TRT Reporter

BOSTON—Recently, BAGLY (Boston Alliance of LGBTQ+ Youth) joined forces with PUMA sports company in a fundraising partnership to raise $50,000 for LGBTQ+ youth in celebration of LGBTQ+ history month and the non-profit’s 40th anniversary year. “The BAGLY x PUMA partnership largely exists to build a visible bridge between the mental and physical health of LGBTQ+ youth,” said Kurtlan Massarsky, BAGLY’s Director of Development and Marketing. “When we were discussing this idea with PUMA, it became clear that we’re all trying to support LGBTQ+ youth holistically. PUMA has a long history of supporting ground—and record-breaking athletes, and BAGLY is significantly expanding our mental health and therapy programming. BAGLY and PUMA have teamed up to create a healthier, happier world for LGBTQ+ youth and encourage long term community investment for increased therapeutic programming and services for some of the most marginalized young people in our communities.” PUMA has already donated $25,000 to BAGLY, matching the organization’s fundraising goal. “The money our communities raise in


tandem with PUMA will open even more doors, programmatically and organizationally, for LGBTQ+ youth in Massachusetts,” said Massarsky. PUMA places the focus on supporting local LGBTQ+ youth and creating meaningful change. “PUMA is proud to celebrate LGBTQ+ History Month by helping BAGLY raise

funds that will directly support the LGBTQ+ youth community in Massachusetts,” while also emphasizing “the importance of supporting grassroots organizations that are making meaningful impact in our local communities,” said Adam Petrick, Director of Brand and Marketing for PUMA via a press release. Specifically, these funds will allow the

organization to continue to expand its mental health services, including one-on-one therapy with a licensed social worker, group therapy, and art therapy, Massarsky said. “These services are free to LGBTQ+ youth ages 29 and younger, are available with or without an appointment, and do not require either insurance or identification for access to these services,” he said. “Most importantly, consistent community and corporate support of BAGLY ensures that these services remain free for LGBTQ+ youth.” Safety and community acceptance are at the forefront of issues plaguing LGBTQ+ youth, which often leads to bullying and violence, especially at the intersection of race and gender identity. “LGBTQ+ youth in Massachusetts face many barriers to being their true selves and to feeling safe in their own communities,” explained Massarsky. “This is particularly true for many queer people of color and transgender and nonbinary youth. “While violence and bullying remain key areas of media focus, BAGLY addresses the holistic health of LGBTQ+ youth. In large part, this is why BAGLY is expanding our therapeutic services, along with provid-

See BAGLY on Page 23

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October 10, 2019 - November 6, 2019

Queer Puzzle Halloween is Satan, Satorially

Across 1 Common connections 5 Go in only partway, at the beach 9 "How queer!" 13 Honeypot lover 14 Anal alternative 15 Etheridge concert series 16 Shirley's la Douce role 17 ___ Hari 18 Low-voiced lady 19 She plays Ms. Charlton in a fashion industry flick 22 Log Cabin org. 23 Pound poem part 24 Wireless inventor 26 "Can't Get It Out of My Head" band 27 Young ___ (kids, to Gomer) 30 John, who is working on a musical version of a fashion industry flick 31 2009 James Cameron film 34 Bit of resistance on the circuit 35 She plays Ms. Sachs in a fashion industry flick 38 Long, in Hawaii 39 Like clothing after an orgy 40 With 52-Across, The ___ (fashion industry flick) 42 Pleased sound 43 R. Simmons' loss 46 "Fabu!" 49 Like Everett, as a movie husband 51 Bellows on the set 52 See 40-Across 55 Hertz competitor 57 Brisk pace

58 "___ a Kick out of You" 59 Sexy clothing material 60 Lohengrin soprano 61 Go downhill fast? 62 Concerning 63 Phillippe of Gosford Park 64 Staying power, in Variety Down 1 Singly 2 Tom Wilkinson's trans film 3 Tile with pips 4 Commandment word 5 Orientation location, some say 6 Inland Asian sea 7 Bit spit out by a computer 8 Writer Dykewomon 9 Vowel for Socrates 10 Vidal's Live from ___ 11 What a Subaru Forester gives a lesbian? 12 Visit casually 20 ___ Got Mail 21 Threesome for Marcella Hazan 25 Performer with a big mouth? 28 "Ixnay" and "No way" 29 RBI to Glenn Burke 31 Lover of Henry and June 32 Blade brand 33 Daughter of Uranus 35 Pub proprietresses 36 Stein, for one 37 What S&M people are as smart as? 40 Explorer Vasco ___ 41 Down in the dumps

43 A ___ of Their Own 44 Homophobe, e.g. 45 Stonewall candidate lists 47 What to scan in poetry 48 Before the cock rises 50 A dentist may stick it in your mouth 53 Lorca's pink 54 Gay-dog owner of South Park 56 The L Word's old network

OcT. 11, 2019

is coming Out Day SOLUTION

WMA Politics From Page 3 all of western Massachusetts. He is currently in his fourth term representing the district. “After my parents passed away, my sisters and I were raised by an aunt and a grandmother on Social Security Survivor Benefits,” Neal said of his background. “My family was able to stay together because of the life-changing programs authored by Franklin Roosevelt. I’ve never forgotten where I came from, and that’s why [voters] will not find a stronger advocate than me anywhere in this country for our bedrock Democratic principles.” During his tenure, Neal has achieved a number of accomplishments for western Massachusetts, including infrastructure improvements, tax credits, and investments in police and fire departments, all across the district’s cities and towns. Nicole LaChapelle, mayor of Easthampton, Mass. and a supporter of Neal, described the congressman as an “activist” and said he’s always been a strong resource for her while she’s served as mayor, and even before that when she worked in the education field. “He’s never really forgotten where he’s come from … and never shied away from continuing to work on those really tough inner city issues in western Massachu-

Holyoke Mayor, Alex Morse, is running against incumbent Congressman Richard Neal PHOTO: ALEX MORSE FOR CONGRESS CAMPAIGN

“As the Chairman of the Ways & Means Committee, my priority is to revive the American Dream: the opportunity for a good job, to save for a secure retirement, to send the kids to college, and to leave the community a better place for the next generation. For me, it all comes down to priorities. I want to invest in the great people of western and central Massachusetts who

“AFTER SPENDING 30 YEARS IN CONGRESS, I THINK RICHARD NEAL HAS BECOME MORE INTERESTED IN PRESERVING THE STATUS QUO THAN MOVING THE NEEDLE AND CHANGING OUTCOMES HERE IN WESTERN MASSACHUSETTS.” —ALEX MORSE setts,” said LaChapelle, who is from Holyoke. “The results aren’t always sexy, they’re certainly not within 18 months or a two-year term, but he’s always pushed the needle forward.” During 2019, Neal said he is working on a range of issues, from providing pathways to universal healthcare coverage to addressing the economic and health consequences of climate change to preserving Social Security and Medicare. “What we have done in the last few months is just scratching the surface of where we are going under Democratic leadership,” he said. “But we can only move forward by keeping the House, winning the Senate, and defeating Donald Trump in 2020.

work hard each and every day with the simple goal of making life just a little bit easier for themselves and the next generation.” Moving the Needle, Changing Outcomes At the age of 22, Morse was elected to be Holyoke’s youngest mayor in November 2011. Morse, 30, serves as the first openlygay mayor of Holyoke and has won reelection three times. “I’ve been mayor for about eight years now and I ran because many people had resigned themselves to the fact that Holyoke’s best days were behind us and there were people and places, neighbor-

See WMA Politics On Page 21

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2020 Census: Not counted? We don’t count By: Tim Wang and Sean Cahill

On April 1, 2020, the federal Census will be in full swing. The information collected in this decennial event is used to determine political representation by revising local precinct maps and Congressional districts based on changes in population. It determines the amount of federal funding for education, transportation, health care, housing, and social services. For minority populations such as the LGBTQ communities, basic information provided by the Census related to population size and geography also contributes to community representation and support that might otherwise not exist. Although the Census does not have any questions related to sexual orientation or gender identity, it has been collecting information about same-sex households since 1990 when it added “unmarried partner” as one of the options for describing a household member’s relationship to the primary householder, which is the person who owns or rents the home. The dramatic increase in the numbers of same-sex couples counted by the 2000 Census as compared with the 1990 Census demonstrated the impact of public policy and political advancements that made it easier for LGBTQ people, especially those living in the South and the Midwest, to come out. In the 2020 Census, “same-sex husband/wife/spouse” and “same-sex unmar-

ried partner” have been added as relationship options, which will make it easier for same-sex couples to explicitly identify themselves and their relationship—and to be counted accurately. It is impossible to overstate the importance of being counted. In Fiscal Year 2015, Massachusetts received roughly $16 billion in federal funding based on 2010 Census data. This money was used, in part, to fund MassHealth programs, grants for schools in low-income districts, school lunch programs, vouchers to pay for housing, and the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program for families. These programs are especially important for LGBTQ people, given the disproportionately high rates of poverty and homelessness and housing instability within our communities. Analysis of the 2010 data showed that same-sex couples incur significant financial penalties (https://bit.ly/1wVARWq) as compared with heterosexual couples due to anti-LGBTQ laws at the local, state, and federal level. Data collected by the Census documents these economic disparities by demonstrating the similarities and differences between same- and different-sex couple households with regard to income and home ownership. In practice, these economic disparities mean that the children Read the rest of this story at: TheRainbowTimesMass.com

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October 10, 2019 - November 6, 2019

The Salem Witch Museum, in Salem, Massachusetts, especially packed during October each year. PHOTO: ANDREW COLLINS

Idyllic coastal New England fall getaways Maine's Mid-Coast region, Salem & Cape Ann By: Andrew Collins* TRT Travel Writer

With foliage in full splendor, crowds more manageable than in summer, and the air generally crisp but not frigid, autumn— and particularly October—might just be the most enchanting time to travel through coastal New England. Here's a look at two of the region's most alluring and LGBTQ-welcoming ocean getaways: Maine's Mid-Coast region, which is perfect if you love tranquil small towns and gorgeous natural scenery, and Massachusetts' North Shore, a spirited October getaway in part because of Salem's fervent embrace of Halloween camp and spookiness, and because the bustling coastal towns of Cape Ann offer colonial charm and spectacular maritime scenery within an easy drive of Boston. North Shore Massachusetts Settled in the early 1620s, Cape Ann and the small city of Salem contain a trove of fascinating historical sites, but this scenic stretch of coastline that extends north from Boston to the New Hampshire border also abounds with stunning beaches and verdant woodlands, and a string of charming towns in which old-time storefronts have been converted into lively restaurants, indie boutiques, and bric-a-brac-filled antiques shops, and where imposing sea captain's houses now offer overnight bed-and-breakfast accommodations. As you venture around Cape Ann (capeannvacations.com), you'll find a pleasing mix of historic sites and wildliferich nature preserves—must-sees include the Essex Shipbuilding Museum, Rocky Neck Art Colony, and Halibut Point State Park. In Essex, which is famous as the home of the fried clam, tucking into a plate of fresh seafood is de rigueur—good bets include the handsome Boat House Grille and ca-

sual Essex Seafood, which is also a market. Favorite picks for tasty breakfasts include the cozy Red Skiff in Rockport and Sugar Magnolia's, which is set along downtown Gloucester's lively Main Street. Later in the day, relax with a glass of wine and a romantic dinner at the Market Restaurant in Ipswich, with its sweet water views, or dapper Duckworth's Bistrot in Gloucester. Or—just steps from Front Beach in Rockport, consider Feather & Wedge—which turns out well-crafted, globally inspired contemporary fare, both for dinner and Sunday jazz brunch. There are enough compelling diversions in Salem (salem.org) to keep you busy for days, from campy oddities—the Bewitched statue of Elizabeth Montgomery as Samantha Stevens, Count Orlok's Nightmare Gallery of cinematic monster memorabilia, the Omen: Psychic Parlor & Witchcraft Emporium—to fascinating historic attractions, including the Salem Maritime National Historic Site, the House of the Seven Gables, and the world-renowned Salem Witch Museum. Downtown Salem has dozens of inviting restaurants, including sophisticated Stella's Restaurant and Wine Bar and healthful Organic Garden Vegetarian. Artsy Front Street Coffeehouse is a cheerful stop for a latte, while Little Depot Diner—set in a 1920s rail car in nearby Peabody—is a favorite for filling breakfast fare. For socializing and decent pub fare, both Brodie's Seaport and the Derby are convivial spots, and both have been event venues during the area's North Shore Gay Pride celebration each June. For stellar craft beer, head to Notch Brewery. October—billed in these parts as the Annual Salem Haunted Happenings—is an especially intriguing time to visit this city so closely associated with witches and the macabre, and the energy heightens to a

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New England From Page 13 fever pitch around Halloween. Popular events include haunted house and ghost tours and lively street fairs. Mahi Cruises offers a number of excursions from downtown Salem's Pickering Wharf, including October Lighthouse and Fall Foliage trips and Haunted Happenings adventures. Where to Stay One of the most alluring accommodations in the area, the grand Hawthorne Hotel (hawthornehotel.com) is steps from Salem's museums and contains 93 rooms with classic Colonial-style furnishings and inviting public spaces—there are also two excellent restaurants on-site. It's a perfect

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gay-date destination, whether for dinner or an overnight. Also offering attractive rooms and a warm welcome, Northey Street House B&B (northeystreethouse.com) occupies a grand 1809 Federal Colonial mansion with three spacious, individually designed guest suites. Out on Cape Ann, the elegant, the Inn at Babson Court (babsoncourt.com) in Gloucester makes for a romantic hideaway, its two grand suites offering impressive views of the harbor—it's a short walk from local restaurants. In Rockport, consider the Sally Webster Inn (sallywebster.com), which has six rooms furnished warmly with period antiques and is a quick and easy stroll from the water. Chef-owner Sawsan Galal prepares inspired full break-

Sunset on Cape Ann

fast each morning and offers private cooking classes. Maine's Mid-Coast The rugged and rocky shoreline of Maine's Mid-Coast (mainesmidcoast.com) is rife with scenic seafaring hamlets and bustling working waterfronts, not to mention some of the prettiest beaches in the state—Popham Beach is especially scenic, while the Giant's Stairs Trail in Harpswell offers some of the most dramatic ocean views. Tiny Boothbay Harbor (boothbayharbor.com) is one of the region’s most endearing little villages. It’s chock-full of shops and eateries—if you're looking for the perfect lobster roll, make a beeline to cute and casual Shannon's Unshelled. For a more substantial dinner, you can't go wrong with Brady's, a year-round establishment overlooking the water and serving elevated pub fare. Discerning beer lovers should check out Boothbay Craft Brewery, which has developed a cult following for its Thirsty Botanist IPA. It's also a perfect base for visiting the spectacular Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens, a nearly 300acre swath of both magnificent formal gardens abloom with native plants and rugged coastal forest. Farther up the coast, the towns of Rockland and Camden (rocklandmainevacation.com) contain a mix of hip, urbane eateries (In Good Company wine bar, Zoot coffeehouse, Long Grain Thai food) and venerable attractions, including the Farnsworth Art Museum and the Center for Maine Contemporary Art, and oft-photographed Owls Head Lighthouse. There's also fantastic hiking at Camden Hills State Park, a beautiful setting for picnics, campgrounds, and hikes to lofty perches with vast ocean views.


As you continue up the coast along U.S. 1—through the picturesque towns of Belfast, Bucksport (stop to explore and admire the view at Fort Knox and Penobscot Narrows Observatory), and Ellsworth—a right turn on Hwy. 3 leads to 108-squaremile Mt. Desert Island, where you can soak up the breathtaking scenery of Acadia National Park and the dapper Victorian resort town of Bar Harbor (visitbarharbor.com). Home to the highest point on the Eastern


Breakfast at the Topside Inn in Boothbay Harbor

seaboard, 1,530-foot Cadillac Mountain, Mt. Desert Island has long captured the imagination of travelers and is a stunning destination in October, when the leaves burst with color. Much of the island encompasses Acadia National Park, a nearly 50,000-acre tract of ravishing viewpoints, undeveloped beaches, and vertiginous hikes, including the short but adrenaline-rush-inducing Beehive Trail and the vigorous climb to Dorr Mountain (a lesscrowded alternative to Cadillac Mountain, which you can summit by car). Speaking of avoiding crowds, some of the best

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Visibility: Marching in the 2019 Puerto Rican Parade By: Deja Nicole Greenlaw*/TRT Columnist



n the t h i r d Sunday in September, my Springfield, Massachusetts transgender support group, UniTy, once again marched in the Annual Springfield Puerto Rican Parade. This was the fifth consecutive year we have marched in this parade and every year we always have a great time and have felt the love from the parade spectators. We started the march at the north end of town and we marched down Main Street to the downtown area. Along the way, on Main Street, there were thousands of onlookers who warmly greeted us— many cheered us on— and it felt wonderful! This year's theme of the parade was “Estamos Unidos,” which means, “We are united.” I agree, we all need to be united. As American founding father, John Dickinson urged in his preRevolutionary song, “The Liberty Song,” “Then join hand in hand, brave Americans all! By uniting we stand, by dividing we fall!” Yes, united we stand, divided we fall! Let me tell you, the parade goers were very much in tune in uniting with our trans-

gender support group. I heard the cheers and it felt great! I know that there are transgender Puerto Ricans in Springfield but I didn't see any in the crowd that were visible that day. I'm sure there must have been some. I hope that seeing us march in the parade gave them hope and made them smile. Those in the crowd warmly cheered us on

a group of young women who began cheering us on with incredible love and energy. I began dancing as I marched by them and they elevated their spirits and cheered even louder! They were so amazing that I hated to leave them behind, since I had to keep marching. All through the march, I spotted some

BEING VISIBLE AS A TRANSGENDER PERSON & INTERACTING POSITIVELY WITH OTHERS CAN BRING WONDERFUL RESULTS & CAN HELP TO FURTHER OUR CAUSE. as we marched. I remember early in the parade there was a man waving the biggest Puerto Rican flag I ever saw. He was pretty adept at waving his flag and, as I marched by him, he gently waved the flag over my head. I looked at his flag, then looked at mine, which was a tiny handheld Puerto Rican flag, and then looked back again at his gigantic flag. We both laughed! It felt really great to share a laugh with a new friend. Just a little further down Main Street was

older women who cheered us on and gave me a “You go girl, I'm a queer person too!” kind of look. It felt incredible to connect with other folks in the LGBTQ community, as we share so many intersectionalities. No matter who you are, if you are LGBTQ, you are family! My favorite part of the parade was when we marched by an area where there were lots of spectators and they were fairly close to us on the sides of Main Street. They cheered so loudly and waved flags so ex-

citedly that I felt like I was in another world, a utopian-like world of love and acceptance that made me smile from ear to ear. So, what did I learn from marching in the Springfield Puerto Rican Parade? I learned that many people there accepted, supported, and cheered transgender people. If we didn't march that day, there would be no revelation of them cheering and showing support for us and no connection or memory would be made between them and us. The parade also brought another revelation to me. It solidified the concept to continue to be visible so that other folks can see and get to know us. Yes, the more visibility there is, the more people will tend to accept and support us. It reminded me of what Harvey Milk, the famous gay American politician and mover and shaker, said by imploring people to “come out,” be noticed, and be visible. These actions can really make a big difference. Being visible as a transgender person and interacting positively with others can bring wonderful results and can help to further our cause. Yes, be visible when you can! *Deja Nicole Greenlaw is retired from 3M and has 3 children and two grandchildren. She can be contacted at dejavudeja@sbcglobal.net.

The hidden complexities of being trans and closeted on Halloween By: Lorelei Erisis*/TRT Columnist


f you’re reading this column, there’s a better than even chance you probably have some idea that Halloween figures quite large in the formative experiences of a lot of trans folks, myself absolutely included. Indeed, for years my own go-to Halloween costume was some version of “girl-drag.” I would choose to dress as a scary witch, or a stewardess, or Joan of Arc. And honestly, it was an easy costume. After all, I often had the clothes already, tucked away in a box deep in the back of my bedroom closet. And if I didn’t, it was an excellent excuse to buy more! Over the years, I have talked to enough other trans people, particularly trans women, but also trans men and non-binary folks, to know that this is a pretty widespread experience. Halloween is a time that many of us, trans and cis, use to express our aspirational identities. The things we secretly—or not so secretly—want to be. And for a lot of trans folks, Halloween can often be the only chance we get to experiment with being our true selves in public. Sometimes it’s the first time we’ve left our own rooms and stood in front of actual people dressed in the clothes, and some approximation of the identities, we want to

wear. One particular Halloween for me was even the excuse that finally cracked my last-ditch attempt at pretending to be a boy. When I moved to L.A., for the first and only time in my life, I threw out all my girl

happy and felt so comfortable in my skin, and my clothes that night, for the first time in years. It was magical. Truly. And once that party was over, there was

HALLOWEEN IS A TIME THAT MANY OF US, TRANS AND CIS, USE TO EXPRESS OUR ASPIRATIONAL IDENTITIES. THE THINGS WE SECRETLY—OR NOT SO SECRETLY—WANT TO BE. clothes and made a concerted effort to shut off that side of me. But when that final attempt at denying my identity began to crumble, it was a Halloween party I was throwing with my roommates at The COG Theatre (our home/underground theatre/wild-party-art-space) that gave me an excuse to be a girl again. I went shopping for pretty things! Clothes, shoes, makeup, stockings, oh my! In point of fact, my “Sharon Tate” costume for that party was essentially the beta version of what would become the Lorelei Erisis you all know and love today. I was so

just no going back. A few weeks later, I told the woman I had only just begun dating that I was a girl, and was seriously considering transitioning. She, fortunately, had already noticed the prominently displayed wig from the Sharon Tate costume in my room, among other not-very-hidden details, and was quite unsurprised, and very supportive. After that, there was never really any looking back. But so, it’s entirely possible you are not unfamiliar with much of this. A brief Internet search for “trans” and “Halloween” will turn up more than a few articles on this

very subject. Often heartfelt stories of what Halloween means for trans people. Some are quite touching. However, the point I want to make here is a little more (but not less) than what Halloween means to me. I want to remind folks to be patient, thoughtful, and kind this Halloween season. Particularly, the ones reading this who at this point are just skimming through to leave a comment underneath about how my use of “scary witch” and “stewardess” are highly inappropriate. I know, you’re right, they are. And, I will promptly make my apologies to the Wiccans and Flight Attendants in my life. Most particularly because I did that very intentionally to make the point that Halloween can get pretty messy. People who only get this one chance a year to dress up in highly-gendered ways— that normally feel forbidden—are often going to get a little blinded by the combination of excitement, and limited experience. They are absolutely going to buy the, “Sexy Stewardess” costume and not really think through the feminist implications and misogynistic message that the costume is sending. They’re probably just going to think, “Yaaaayyyy!! I feel so cute and sexy and girly!” And even when the outfit isn’t perpetuating some outdated stereotype or harmful appropriation, there’s a good chance it might come across as what we think of as, Read the rest of this story at TheRainbowTimesMass.com

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Endorsements for these candidates on Page 2 of this issue

Are you safe? We’re in Salem ... or ... Are we?

Happy Halloween!!

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Cazwell, the gay Hip-Hopper releases his ode to “Papi Chulos” Started hip-hop in Boston, to NYC and touring with Margaret Cho and Cyndi Lauper for LGBTQ benefits to stand out the most are the ones where the guys are wearing thongs, shaking their a$ses. I only do it when the video calls for that kind of look, based on the theme of the song. When I do a video like, let’s say, “I Love You,” “Hella Horny” or “Loose Wrists,” it’s not necessary to have as much of a super sexual visual. But, for “Duo Lingo,” it definitely was.

By: Hailey Robertson Special to TRT


azwell got his start in hip hop as part of the Boston-based duo Morplay, which included female MC Crasta Yo. But it wasn’t until the early 2000s, after he moved to NYC and launched his solo career with a steady flow of danceable hip hop club jams that Cazwell became a bona fide gay-lebrity. Songs like “Ice Cream Truck” and “I Seen Beyoncé At Burger King” showcased his hypomanic take on pop culture and made him a dancefloor favorite. Soon, he was touring the country with comedian Margaret Cho and Cyndi Lauper on their multi-artist True Colors tour, benefitting LGBTQ organizations Human Right Campaign, PFLAG and The Matthew Shepard Foundation. The tour included a slew of LGBTQ icons including Rufus Wainwright, Rosie O’Donnell and the Indigo Girls, but Cazwell was able to hold his own by speaking to a younger gay generation that preferred hard rhymes matched with sick beats. A decade later, Cazwell continues to do things his way. This month he is out with his latest track, a Latin-infused jam titled “Duo Lingo.” We spoke with him from his home in Los Angeles.

Q: Where was video filmed? A: Myself and Brad Hammer filmed the video in the middle of August at the legendary Fubar in West Hollywood. I wanted to make sure the bar looked like a hole in the wall dive bar. I wanted the environment to be as grimy and as ratchet as possible. I used to throw a Friday night party at Fubar and the owner has always treated me like family. I’m so grateful he let me borrow the space. Q: Adult film stars Cesar Xes, Beaux Banks, Fernando Figuero and Rudy Yos appear in the music video. A: Most of the boys in the video are dancers in West Hollywood. Cesar and Fernando are very good friends of mine. KiKi Xtravaganza helped me get the others. She was a big help with the casting. Q: Do you frequent male strip clubs in Hollywood? A: Yes, I like to go where the boys are and have a good time. I also DJ in West Hollywood at least twice a week and have worked in clubs for over 15 years so I'm in the environment all the time. Trust me, in a strip club, the stripper has all the control. Everyone in the strip club is there for the strippers and they know it.

Q: What inspired you to create Duo Lingo? Cazwell: The idea for the song came when I was using the Duo Lingo app on my iPhone last year, trying to learn Spanish— failing miserably, I might add. At the same time, me and my friend Tom Bike were talking about doing a song together. I told him it would be cool if I did my part in English and he did his part in Spanish. “Duo Lingo” sounded like a good working title to start with.

Q: They work hard for their money. A: We all have a hustle. Some people get their hustle on social media and some people do it on the gogo box and some people do it on Wall Street. I respect everyone’s grind. These boys have a lot of discipline and work very hard.

Q: How would you describe the sound of the song? A: It is definitely Latin inspired, combined with electronic drops. DJ Mad Science produced it with me.

Q: Whose idea was the cute little salsa dance at the end of the video? A: I can take credit for that idea. I knew finishing the video with a cute dance that got everyone involved would wrap the video up in a nice little bow. My lead dancer Jon Silva helped me execute it. I love videos where all the cast come together at the end.

Q: And its message? A: Just to go out have a good time, party with your friends and get laid. It’s nothing too deep, really, but I will say the opening line (“Hello, it’s me, I was wondering if after all these years, you want to get the D”) was inspired by Adele’s “Hello.” Q: This isn’t your first Latino-inspired single. You’ve had “Rice and Beans,” “Spicy,” and now “Duo Lingo.” Where does this affinity for Latin culture come from? A: Latin influences in pop music are extremely common. I love it because it is sexy and always gets people on the dance floor. Q: You’re not the Rachel Dolezal of Latino men? A: (Laughing) Oh, I am definitely not the


Rachel Dolezal of Latin men. I know I’m white as hell! Q: Do you date Spanish men? A: I date Latin men but not exclusively. "Rice and Beans" and "Spicy" were both inspired by boyfriends I had at the time.


Q: Your videos often feature Latino men as strippers in skimpy outfits. How do you feel about those who argue you are fetishizing Latino culture and unfairly sexualizing PoC (people of color) stereotypes? A: I understand my music videos that tend

Cazwell’s “Duo Lingo” featuring Tom Bike and Mad Science, is available on Apple Music, Spotify, and at all major digital retailers via Cazwell’s own imprint, SNOWCONE NYC. For more information, visit Cazwell.com.

Trick OR Treat?

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Trans Empowerment Project offers vital resources to the trans community By: Audrey Cole/TRT Reporter

KNOXVILLE, Tenn.—In a modern climate where the transgender community is under relentless assault politically and otherwise, the Trans Empowerment Project is fighting back against the status quo, according to its founder. “Because the trans community is constantly under attack by our current administration [it] needs to have access to vital resources so that we can educate, organize, and liberate ourselves,” said Jack Knoxville, founder and president of The Trans Empowerment Project (TEP). TEP is dedicated to bridging the gap between the trans community and its allies while creating positive resources for empowerment through community building, education, and advocacy,” according to the organization’s website. What began as a personal journey of selfdiscovery during transition, Jack recognized the significance of amplifying the lessons he learned to assist others who were also going through the process. “As I started navigating my own transition and connecting with other trans people, I realized that … we were all experiencing similar struggles,” Jack said. “As I worked to find solutions to each obstacle faced by myself and the folks I came in contact with, I realized that we could

take these solutions and scale them up to help a far greater number of people.” Currently, the organization offers services to assist others in crisis, he added. “We can provide food, clothing, toiletries, financial help, paying for hormone replacement therapy (HRT), trans JobConnect, and more,” Jack said. Two incidents in 2017 were perhaps the biggest catalyst springing TEP into what it is today. “In 2017, I was contacted by 2 different trans people on the same day in dire need of emergency housing,” Jack said. “Both were teenagers—one was 17, the other was 19. I had to do something to help them and realized by solving the problem for them, I could do the same thing for other folks and just kept pushing myself to scale up.” And, with that same level of determination, those initial results lead to more, according to Jack. “I then found that once the folks I had helped were in a better situation, they usually wanted to give back to TEP, which led to the formation of our mentor program. This program connects folks in crisis with a buddy to talk to, so they never have to feel alone.” A recent report (https://bit.ly/2Xe6f9L) from the Trevor Project (TP) highlights that battling the isolation helps at-risk adults

Decreasing the incidence of suicide “More than anything, I want to see the suicide rate of this community cut in half within the next 10 years,” Jack said. According to an article published by The Rainbow Times, (https://bit.ly/2AMhrwG), as many as “77 percent of trans … people in Ontario, Canada had seriously considered suicide and 45 percent attempted suicide,” read the Canadian Mental Health Association’s website. “In the United States, the suicide rate is not far behind at 41 percent.” “My plan for doing that starts with creating access to vital resources for this community to move us out of situations of crisis into empowerment,” said Jack. “From there, we educate the community and others, about our power. We educate potential allies about the problems we are facing and help them realize their roles in the solutions. Then we win. We’ve got this!”

Jack Knoxville at the Southern Symposium to End Youth Homelessness PHOTO: TEP

and/or youth—just one accepting adult can reduce the risk of a suicide attempt by 40 percent.

Empowerment & Equity As the organization’s name suggests, TEP places heavy significance on the empowerment of the trans community to achieve equitable treatment in society. “Trans folks need to be able to feel em-

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WMA Politics From Page 10 hoods, certain communities that lost faith that local government could be a force for good in their lives,” Morse said in an interview with The Rainbow Times about his inspiration for running. Reflecting on his four terms in office, Morse has said that he’s accomplished a lot for the city. From investments in the city’s computing center and downtown area, to building more affordable housing, and infrastructure improvements, Morse said the last eight years have brought about a key transformation for the city. “I always say I wanna make Holyoke a city again, that means a place where people can live, be safe, grab a bite to eat, spend time with friends or family,” he said. According to Morse, his greatest accomplishment has been building a strong relationship between city government and the town’s more than 40,000 residents. “We’ve opened up the doors of City Hall to everyone and to communities that have traditionally felt excluded, particularly communities of color,” he said. Part of making City Hall more accessible, according to Morse, was prioritizing diversity. He set about making sure that more positions in City Hall were filled with women, Latinx people, young people, and city residents with lower incomes. The mayor said his diversity efforts were intrinsic to, “acknowledging our city’s history—much like our country's history—of racism and segregation and disparities in opportunities, and doing our part over the last eight years to be intentional about closing those gaps in the city. And yes, we still have challenges and we still have a ways to go, but we are certainly heading in a positive direction.” Holyoke resident Jeffery Anderson-Burgos, a friend of Morse and supporter of his campaign, said that the mayor has done a lot to bring communities together and empower residents to be leaders. “What I’ve seen him do is get people engaged,” he said. “Both by his example and by encouraging others, we live in a city where people feel like they have a role to play in making the city a better place to live. That often will lead to disagreements over the right path, as it should, but I see a lot of different opportunities for residents to be engaged and they do seek it out. Morse went on to discuss the investments the city has made in public parks and spaces, turning former mills into co-working spaces, artist studios, restaurants, galleries, and cannabis cultivation facilities. With regards to education, Morse said that just a little less than half of high school students were graduating, but under his leadership close to 72 percent of students are now getting their diplomas. He said he’s proud that he’s pushed the education system closer to universal pre-kindergarten for young children and encouraged duallanguage programs that allow students to learn both English and Spanish. Aware of tensions between communities of color, low-income residents and the police, Morse said that he prioritized public safety to, “make sure people see the police


“VOTERS IN THIS DISTRICT KNOW I AM RESPONSIVE TO THEM, NOT DARK MONEY BILLIONAIRES.” department not as an adversary, but a partner in keeping the neighborhoods safe.” In that spirit, he supported community policing efforts and programs that helped build relationships between the police and Holyoke residents. Morse claims that crime has been reduced by 40 percent since he’s taken office. “The reason I ran [for mayor] was to make sure everyone has a seat at the table, that everyone felt welcome in the mayor’s office, that they felt like city government is there for them,” he said, noting that he feels that public perception of the city has improved. “I feel very proud of the fact that we’ve lived up to that commitment and goal.” With a population of about 1,700 people and about 50 minutes north of Holyoke, Shelburne Falls is a small village in the towns of Shelburne and Buckland, Mass. and home to Amy Peterson, a therapist. Peterson has expressed her support for Morse in the race and applauds his leadership. “Alex Morse grew up working class and it seems clear that his life experiences have shaped his values and his leadership style in positive ways,” she said in an e-mail interview with The Rainbow Times. “When I met Alex Morse, I was impressed by his calm, down-to-earth nature and quiet intelligence. I also observed his genuine interest in the lives of families and kids in western Massachusetts.” Peterson said that she’s supporting Morse because of his progressive platform and his desire to support the rural communities that make up the western part of the state. When it comes to running for Congress, Morse didn’t mince words about his opinion of Neal’s leadership over the last 30 years. “I think there’s an urgency to this moment in this country and this urgency isn’t matched by our representative in Congress,” he said frankly. “After spending 30 years in Congress, I think Richard Neal has become more interested in preserving the status quo than moving the needle and changing outcomes here in western Massa-

chusetts. “When you look at outcomes and challenges present here in Western Mass., you would never know we have one of the most powerful Democrats in Congress representing us.” Anderson-Burgos agreed with Morse’s sentiment. “In contrast to Alex, I find Congressman Neal too measured and afraid to be disrup-

tive,” he said. “We’re in a place where our government is caging children, pulling back from allies, embracing autocrats, and pretending climate change isn't an issue. “Statements of disappointment aren’t good enough. I want our member of Congress to be forceful in word and in deed, and I’m not seeing it. He needs to be angry, not disappointed. In a couple of words, I’d characterize his representation as stale and absent. I honor his service over the years, but it’s time for him to move on.” When asked about the potential to make changes, Morse was confident that, if elected, his leadership would be transformative. “I can only do so much as mayor to move the needle unless we have a strong federal partner that understands the problems and the challenges of the people on the ground and has a real interest in using the power of the congressional seat to actually help peoples’ lives.” What Can Voters Expect? Though the mayor of a city of 40,000 people, Morse said that he has a deep understanding of how the residents of western Massachusetts are treated. “I think there are people and places, cities and towns, that feel forgotten about, left behind, and don’t see government as a means to improve their everyday lives,” he observed. When speaking with The Rainbow Times about his candidacy, Morse listed three top

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WMA Politics From Page 21
















Holyoke Mayor, Alex Morse, speaking to potential supporters

and lower-income families and prioritizing investments in infrastructure. Taking another jab at Neal, Morse said this third priority would be to crack down on corporate donations to politicians. “The Congressman takes millions of dollars from corporations and corporate political action committees (PACs) and special interests and I pledge to not take a single dime from any corporation or corporate PAC,” he said. “[This] means I'm only taking donations from real people, everyday

Congressman Richard Neal

Puerto Ricans migrating from the island after Hurricane Maria and making sure that communities like Holyoke, Springfield, and other communities are prepared for that migration,” he said of the 2017 category five hurricane that took the lives of more than 3,000 people in the U.S. Virgin Islands, Dominica, and Puerto Rico, displaced thousands, and cost more than $90 billion. “There will be more climate disasters around the world.” Morse also voiced support for the Green New Deal, a bill that, if passed, would seek to address the impact of climate change by decreasing the United States’ dependence on fossil fuels while encouraging the use of more environmentally-friendly products. The bill would also stimulate economic growth by providing more jobs to middle




areas that he’d focus on, if elected. “One of the issues I hear most from people here in western Massachusetts is the lack of access to quality affordable health care,” he said. “People are literally dying because they don’t have health insurance or are underinsured.” Morse said that he often hears stories of the high costs of co-payments, premiums, and deductibles, all of which contribute to a cycle of poverty and deprivation for those living in western Massachusetts. “We have a member of Congress that, again, has pushed to maintain the status quo,” he said of Neal. “A healthcare system that puts pharmaceutical companies and their profits before people and their public health.” Morse said he will advocate for a universal Medicare system where healthcare coverage is affordable for all. Peterson agreed with Morse, stating that she believes Neal is, “beholden to fossil fuels and health insurance companies, rather than the people he represents.” Morse also spoke about climate change. “Often people think that climate change is something that is far away and we’ve seen here in Holyoke with over 2,000

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people, grassroots donations. People here in Western Massachusetts and across the state.” Morse emphasized his belief that politicians have become indebted to wealthy donors and corporate PACs, a relationship he says that he never wants to have. He claimed that he only wants to be beholden to, “the people of western Massachusetts.” When asked about Morse’s stance on corporate donations, Anderson-Burgos said the decision is welcome and, “makes a clear statement about what and who Alex values.” LaChapelle agreed with Morse’s contention, but countered that Neal is operating within a system that has already been in place for years. “Money in politics is very complicated

and it darkens the process of democracy and transparency,” she said. “I don’t think that Congressman Neal would argue against that argument, however, that is how it is working right now, until we pass something like Citizens United.” LaChapelle noted that Neal has been able to parlay corporate donations into investments in public projects. “I also would like to hear another side of the argument looking at Congressman Neal’s ability to raise [monies] and how it’s helped us regain the House as Democrats, it will be a part of us maintaining that majority,” she said of Neal. “His work for Social Security, Medicare, the Affordable Care Act, and money back into fire and police, public departments, not privatization, goes contrary to the argument that corporations own him. “I’m so proud that my hometown is represented by such a progressive, wise-thinking mayor,” she said. “However, when we have a problem with one candidate’s money, I do think Alex needs to take a look at his sit-downs with Tom Steyer, who’s a billionaire.” Steyer, a democratic presidential candidate who lives in San Francisco and is estimated to be worth over a billion dollars, is a progressive philanthropist and hedge fund manager. “Earlier this year a billionaire from California dumped hundreds of thousands of dollars of dark money into this district to try and influence my decisions—at the same time that billionaire had a private meeting with Mayor Morse,” said Neal of a campaign Steyer launched earlier this year to pressure the congressman into pursuing impeachment proceedings against President Trump (https://is.gd/kUn52Y). “Voters in this district know I am responsive to them, not dark money billionaires.” A representative from Morse’s campaign confirmed that the mayor met once with Steyer earlier this year and said the two have never spoken again and Morse has not accepted any political donations from Steyer. If re-elected, Neal committed to fighting Trump’s policies and undoing the damage he says the president has done, but also ensuring economic equality and a representative Congress. “Important as it is to fight back against Donald Trump, our success in 2020 will be because Democrats have better ideas and

vision to help level the playing field for working families,” he said. “Because of the work of Democrats across the country in 2018, we flipped 40 seats and took back the House. I am proud to have helped recruit, train and fund these candidates from across the country. And now it is an honor to serve and lead in the most diverse Congress in American history.” Neal also spoke of his track record in the face of opposition and how he hopes to continue that legacy. “I am proud of my record voting for the best interests of this district, even in the face of intense public pressure to do the opposite,” he said. “After casting two of the proudest votes since I’ve been in Congress—against the Iraq War and for the Affordable Care Act—many people said I would pay a political price. But in each instance, I voted based on what was the right thing for my constituents—and that is how I will always vote.”

OPENLY-GAY SPRINGFIELD CITY COUNCILOR MICHAEL FENTON, ELECTED TO THE CITY COUNCIL WHEN HE WAS 22 IN 2009, SAID THAT HE CONSIDERS MORSE A FRIEND, BUT THAT HIS SUPPORT IS BEHIND NEAL IN THIS RACE, BECAUSE OF THE INCUMBENT’S “IMPACTFUL” LEADERSHIP IN SUPPORTING THE 1ST CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT. LGBTQ Rights Openly-gay Springfield City Councilor Michael Fenton, elected to the City Council when he was 22 in 2009, said that he considers Morse a friend, but that his support is behind Neal in this race, because of the incumbent’s “impactful” leadership in supporting the 1st Congressional District. “He’s always been a really hard working leader, even in chaotic times,” he said. “He’s just really a statesman, he’s been a steady hand. “I’m watching Washington explode with these crazy interviews with Trump and the Ukranian president and [Neal] has a role to play. He’s risen to the highest level of leadership in Congress and he’s fair and a really Read more about the candidates’ stances on LGBTQ Rights at: TheRainbowTimesMass.com

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BAGLY From Page 9 ing help in navigating housing insecurities and homelessness, access to sex-positive healthcare, and encouraging harm reduction planning and techniques.” Although Mass. has made positive advancement for LGBTQ+ youth and the community, it is not enough Massarsky added. “While Massachusetts has made great strides over the years, and we're particularly proud of the role we played in the incredible success of the #YesOn3 campaign, barriers still exist in this commonwealth. LGBTQ+ youth are particularly vulnerable to these barriers.” BAGLY’s Executive Director, Grace Sterling Stowell, emphasized how young LGBTQ+ people will benefit as a result of this collaboration. “By supporting BAGLY’s programs, PUMA is helping thousands of kids and young adults find their own voices, develop leadership skills, and stay healthy,” Sterling Stowell said via the same press release.

Youth speak out LGBTQ+ youth chimed in on what was important to them. “We asked some of BAGLY’s youth leadership about what they hope might change over the next 5 years,” said Massarsky. “Largely their concerns were about climate change, the physical and mental safety of transgender and nonbinary youth, and their access to culturally responsive communities, schools, and work environments.” According to Massarsky, the hopes LGBTQ+ youth have for themselves do not differ greatly from their peers with other identities; but there are more barriers to their successes. “BAGLY exists to help LGBTQ+ [youth] identify and knock down those barriers, and we’re proud to have PUMA as a partner in this life-changing, life-saving work,” he said. To join BAGLY in reaching their fundraising goal, donations can be made through https://bit.ly/2VjVDSw or through BAGLY’s Instagram (@bagly_inc; https://bit.ly/35aGHLd).

St. Peter’s Call From Page 2 it’s difficult not to think about my life. One of the greatest monster’s in history, Hitler, played a role in me being here. But, for a revolution and the Nazis my parents would never have met. Am I an accident of history? Was it fate? Although depending on the day I have my doubts, generally I believe I was meant to be here. As an intended part of creation, I have a responsibility to further the greater good. If you’re not sure of your purpose, live the question to find the answer. I think about the brave, persecuted individuals within the transgender community who live their truth. They are an example to the rest of us. Not only does the transgender community have a rightful place in the Creator’s Plan, but so does every soul who is part of it. There is inspiration all around us whether it is in the trans community or among homeless LGBTQ youth. I look back at my own experiences, which, like everyone else, haven’t always been pleasant, yet here I am. Hopefully, I’m wiser, more empathetic, and empowered with the realization that the universe unfolds as intended. I am meant to be here for a reason. One of my favorite theologians, Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, observed that “Our duty, as men and women, is to proceed as if limits to our ability did not exist. We are collaborators in creation.” Sometimes, according to de Chardin, we must do ordinary things without realizing they have enormous value and influence. He noted we “recreate each other.” Something you do today, like a word of encouragement or an example you set for others by your measured response to injustice can plant a seed. As a result, to paraphrase de Chardin, it makes everyone spiritual beings with experiences that empower us to inspire others. Life, all life including my own, is precious and I must always be grateful for it. It shouldn’t be taken for granted.



NAZIS MY PARENTS WOULD NEVER HAVE MET. The future is now. It’s in the now when the good fight is made whose victories will inspire others in the next generation. Quiet yourself, especially in times of crisis. Hear the cosmos. This holy guidance is always available because we are an intended part of Creation. It’s up to us to listen carefully to Divinity and give value to our intended lives. We have a duty to ourselves and to the world. Every breath you take has purpose. In this moment, on this day, during this week, you always need to explore why. Please consider sharing your purpose and spiritual inspiration. E-mail me at: Dilovod@aol.com. Maybe you’ll inspire an upcoming faith column. *Paul is a personal chaplain, seminary trained priest, and lawyer in greater Albany, NY. He’s also author of “Lost Sense of Self & the Ethics Crisis (https://amzn.to/2Zz9p5i).

TEP From Page 19 powered enough to advocate for themselves, to have the same opportunities, to be leaders and examples of success in their communities,” said Heather Knoxville, Director of Public Relations, TEP. “There also needs to be more education and open communication.” Based in Tenn., Serving Beyond Although TEP’s home base is in Tenn., Jack and Heather encourage any trans individual needing assistance to reach out. “People outside of our home base can most definitely take advantage of our services, and an application for assistance can be found on our website,” Heather said. “We have host homes and partnerships with affirming shelters nationwide, so we can help people requesting emergency housing, and all of our other services can be provided online. Basic necessities such as clothing swaps & programs are also built into the services offered. “We also host clothing swaps twice a year, once in March for Trans Day of Visibility, and once in November for Trans Awareness Week, where folks can come

New England From Page 14 scenery in the park is in its quieter western half—head to the Beech Mountain Trail parking area, and you'll access some of the park's most rewarding and least trod trails. Finish your day of exploring the park with dinner in tony Bar Harbor, a handsome little burg that almost begs for an autumnevening stroll. Havana and Lompoc Cafe are both terrific restaurants that serve creative small-plates-driven international fare, while Mount Desert Island Ice Cream serves some of the state's tastiest artisan ice cream, with interesting flavors like cinnamon-cardamom and butterscotch-miso. All three of these establishments are supporters of Bar Harbor's annual Pride event in late June.

and get all of the clothing they need for free,” Heather said. “This year we have begun to ask folks across the country to host swaps in their area so that people outside of Knoxville can get access to clothing as well. So far, we have 10 people signed up to host clothing swaps in their area and a sign-up sheet can be found at https://bit.ly/2MgRIC9 for anyone who is interested.” Expanding to other areas, while empowering and teaching others who’d like to model their strategic program is part of the Knoxvilles’ plans. “In 5 years, we hope to be really expanding our outreach, by hosting at least one clothing swap in every state and giving the people who are willing to host them the leadership skills and support they need to become their own branch of TEP. We will also continue to fundraise and engage with supporters so that we can expand upon the programs we already have running, as well as implement new ones we already have in planning.” To learn more or get involved with the Trans Empowerment Project, check out their website at https://bit.ly/2LR6OiJ.

Where to Stay A bewitching inn with commanding views of Boothbay Harbor, the Topside Inn (topsideinn.com) comprises a restored Victorian sea captain's house and a pair of mid-20th-century side buildings. Friendly owners Brian "Buzz" Makarewicz and Mark Osborn prepare creative, enticing breakfasts each morning, and they're constantly upgrading the smartly designed rooms with thoughtful amenities and artful touches. *Writer Andrew Collins divides his time between Mexico City, Oregon, and New Hampshire. You can read more of his work at AndrewsTraveling.com.

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October 10, 2019 - November 6, 2019

Profile for The Rainbow Times

The Rainbow Times' October 2019 Issue