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N e w G ro u p A n n o u n c e d ! For those of you who haven’t heard yet, the LGBTQ Center will be starting a new group called “Men and Masculinities”. This group will focus on mens’ image within society, how men are perceived, and how we can discuss issues related to men and masculinities. Men and Masculinities will be open to everyone who is interested in the topic. We welcome your involvement as the group forms and gets underway. Please contact Adam Markey at for more information or to get involved in the creation of the group.

Volume 1, Issue 9 This Week: New Group Announced!


From the Desk of Annie R. 1 RI Marriage Equality


Spring Events


Current Events


Student Spotlight


Weekly Events


Annie M’s Queery


Marriage Equality 2012 saw Marriage Equality victories in four states in the U.S. Recently, both Delaware and Hawaii have announced that they are preparing for a vote. Current climate polls and the make-up of both state Congresses suggest that it is likely to pass. Rhode Island has also put forth a bill that has already passed through the House. However, no date has been set for the Senate to debate the legislation. Contact our center to become involved!

F ro m t h e d e s k o f a n n i e Ru s s e l l . . . One of the most important initiatives that we’re working on in the LGBTQ Center these days is our Academic Major/Minor/ Certificate in gender and sexuality studies. Beginning in summer 2012, we began to have conversations across campus concerning how we could bring

more academic attention to the variety of gender and sexuality issues that exist around the world. Many people on the URI campus are committed to having our campus become a center of excellence with regard to research and inclusion on

gender and sexuality. We hope that you are interested in supporting this critical initiative and we welcome your involvement! Please contact Sam Simas at for more information on joining our committee!

S a f e z o n e dat e s Have Suggestions, Questions, or Comments? Email our Staff! Annie Russell, Ph.D. Director Annie M. Kosar, M.S. Coordinator, Programs and Services Emily Goupil Graduate Assistant

First Friday of Every Month 10:00am– 12:00 pm @ Multicultural Center 203 March 1 April 5

Third Thursday of Every Month 1:00 pm- 3:00 pm @ Multicultural Center 203 February 21 March 21 April 18

Trans 101 Our Safe Zone program will expand this semester, as we unveil the first of our Advanced Safe Zone Tracks. Advanced Safe Zone Tracks will be training sessions focused on particular identities or issues that we feel need to be explored further. Trans 101 will be the first of these. People who have been through the initial Safe Zone Workshop will be eligible to begin our Advanced Track trainings. Trans 101 will be available for any department, student organization, college, or other group beginning during our Symposium, March 21 -27. Call or email our office (Emily at to schedule one for your group today!

Don’t miss these events this spring! 19th Annual LGBTQ Center Symposium Pioneers of Pride On March 21-27, 2013, we will host our annual LGBTQ Center Symposium. This week promises to be filled with fun, learning, and excitement. We’ll be featuring a well-known author, Barrie Jean Borich, author of The Body Geographic, on March 21st at 5pm, in Hardge Forum, in the Multicultural Center. This will be a co-sponsored event with the English Department and Gender and Women’s Studies. Please mark your calendars and check our schedule of events!

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Lavender Graduation On Thursday, April 18, 2013, we will host our first Lavender Graduation ceremony. The event will take place from 4-6pm in the Hardge Forum in the Multicultural Center. This event will be an opportunity to celebrate our year together, recognize achievements with newly designed awards, and pay homage to our graduating students on campus. Please join us!

Student spotlight Have you met our staff yet? If not, you probably haven’t been coming to the LGBTQ Center! Our hours are: Monday - Wednesdays: 9 am - 9 pm Thursdays: 9 am - 11 pm Fridays: 9 am - 5 pm Saturdays - Sundays: closed

To those of you who have not met Skylar yet, here she is! Skylar Plante is our new Health and Safety Specialist, replacing Kevin Cruz, who we were sad to lose as a staff member. However, we feel privileged to welcome Skylar to our staff! Skylar is a dual Pharmacy and Nursing major and was heavily involved with the Center before joining the staff. She runs SPIRIT and GLAAM/OSTEM groups and also assists with groups such as Mercury, Come In/ Come Out, the Gay-Straight Alliance, Cher in the Spotlight, and the Queer Library. Some of her favorite programs are the Transgender programs (Transgender Day of Remembrance), the LGBTQ Symposium, and the Safe Zone Training Program, which she helps to facilitate. After completing her Nursing and Pharmacy degrees, Skylar wants to work as a Nurse Practitioner and a Compounding Pharmacist in a hospital. Join us in wishing her luck in her endeavors and stop by the center to meet Skylar!

Current Events Western Europe Could be First Region to Allow Same Gender Marriage With the Gay Marriage bills in both France’s and the United Kingdom’s Parliaments, Western Europe could be the first region in the world to legalize gay marriage. On the fifth of February, the House of Commons (Lower House) voted 400 to 175 in favor of a bill a bill that would redefine marriage as between two people instead of between a man and a woman. On the twelfth of February, France’s lower house followed suit with a vote of 329 to 229 in favor of a bill. While analysts think that both bills will have a tougher time in their respective upper legislative houses, many analysts believe that the measures will ultimately pass. As of right now, neither country has set dates to have the debate within the upper legislative bodies.

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With both of these high profile European countries setting their sights on marriage equality, it is very possible that this year will be the year that Western Europe becomes the first region in the world to allow same gender partners to marry. This will be an issue that the world will be following intently over the coming year.

Check it out this week! Monday, February 18 SHADES @ 6pm in the LGBTQ Center Lounge (Adams 111) Tuesday, February 19 SPIRIT @ 6pm in the LGBTQ Center Lounge (Adams 111) Cher in the Spotlight @ 8pm in the LGBTQ Center Lounge (Adams 111) Wednesday, February 20 Mercury @ 6pm in the LGBTQ Center Lounge (Adams 111) LBTQ Women’s Group @ 7-9pm in the Women’s Center Library Thursday, February 21 Safe Zone Workshop @ 1-3pm in MCC 203 o-STEM/GLAAM @ 4pm in the LGBTQ Center Lounge (Adams 111) Gay Straight Alliance @ 6pm in the Memorial Union Conversation Group @ 7:30-9:00pm in the LGBTQ Center Lounge (Adams 111) Friday, February 22 Safe Zone Facilitator Training @ 10am-Noon in MCC 203

Annie M’s Queery When we are born, we are often given a pink or a blue baby blanket and our gender norming begins before we are even able to remember. We are socialized into our binary gender roles, boy or girl. As we grow and learn in our lives, we have a multitude of experiences which inform how we perform our gender in our daily lives and interact with others. Have we ever stopped to consider what makes the color pink a feminine color? Or, why little boys are supposed to play with trucks? I have begun a journey in the Intro to Gender and Women’s Studies class that has made me to start to question everything I’ve ever known about my gender and what that might mean for me in my life. I am grateful for this rich experience and encourage all of us to take a moment and think about whether we are strong because we are a boy, or whether we apologize often because we are a girl. These simple personality traits which I felt were always a part of who people are, may not actually be the case. Most of how we are socialized into our gender roles has little to do with our core sense of self and much more to do with the society into which we are born into and the social constructions that are thrust upon us. I didn’t tend to stop here, though, and in fact, I began to question much more. Other aspects of who we are most likely have roots in social construction as well. Race, sexuality, spirituality, and many other identities that we hold are often dramatically influenced by society. It becomes a huge question for us all: how much of who we are is true to ourselves and how much of who we are is part of larger social construction? I am inspired to have begun this journey of exploration into this question for myself and my life and I encourage you to consider the same for yourself, if you have not already. We can probably learn the most about these questions from one another.

Newsletter Issue 9 (21st February, 2013)  

New Group, RI Marriage Equality, Western Europe Equality, Student Highlight, Weekly Spotlight