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April 07, 2014

VT Law School: Life after US v. Windsor

Vls
Thursday April 10 at 5:30pm, A Post-Argument Discussion: Life after US v. Windsor
Almost a year after Justice Kennedy declared the federal definition of marriage under DOMA unconstitutional, the panel will discuss some of the immediate and long-term impacts of the decision on federal law and the 1,138 federal benefits available to citizens. The panel will discuss the second prong of DOMA, which provides that the individual states do not have to recognize and give full faith and credit to marriages of other states, thus allowing states that have statutory or constitutional bans on same-sex marriage to refuse to recognize such marriages from other states. 

Vermont Supreme Court Justice Beth Robinson will be the keynote speaker, and the panelists include VLS Professor Cheryl Hanna, State Representative Bill Lippert, and ADF Spokeswoman Kellie Fiedorek. Vermont CLE credit is available for this session.

 More Info

April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month

SafeSpace, a member program of The National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs (NCAVP), stands in solidarity with survivors and victims of sexual assault in commemorating the 14th annual National Sexual Assault Awareness Month.  During this month, NCAVP raises awareness about this form of violence within and against lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and HIV-affected (LGBTQ and HIV-affected) communities and calls for an end to sexual assault.

Sexual assault is an act of violence in which someone conducts sexual activity without another person’s consent.  Sexual assault offenders exert power and control over survivors through coercion, manipulation, shame, pressure, violating boundaries, and other tactics.  Sexual assault can overlap with other forms of violence and can be committed by strangers, acquaintances, friends, family members, and intimate partners.  In NCAVP’s 2013 report Intimate Partner Violence in Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, and HIV Communities, NCAVP members reported that almost 10% of LGBTQ and HIV-affected  survivors of intimate partner violence experienced form of sexual abuse or harassment from a partner in 2012.  Additionally, NCAVP members reported that 3.1% of hate violence reports were sexual violence in the report Hate Violence Against Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, and HIV-Affected Communities in the United States in 2012.  The Centers for Disease Control’s National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey found lifetime prevalence rates of sexual violence for LGB individuals were similar or higher than non-LGB people, while other research has found very high prevalence rates of sexual violence against transgender people.

Discrimination against LGBTQ and HIV-affected people contributes to LGBTQ and HIV-affected sexual violence survivors feeling pressure to not out other LGBTQ and HIV-affected people as having committed sexual violence.  LGBTQ and HIV-affected survivors of sexual assault may experience increased barriers to reporting sexual violence such as fear due to threats from an abusive partner to out the survivor’s sexual orientation, gender identity, or HIV-status.  Additionally, LGBTQ and HIV-affected survivors may experience disbelief, indifferent, biased attitudes from law enforcement and service providers, and a lack of culturally appropriate and sensitive resources.

In recognition of Sexual Assault Awareness Month, NCAVP commits to continue to support LGBTQ and HIV-affected survivors of sexual assault by advocating for political strategies to address and end this violence, documenting its impact, and assisting NCAVP member programs to support LGBTQ and HIV-affected sexual violence survivors.  NCAVP calls on community members, anti-violence organizations, and public officials to take action in recognition of Sexual Assault Awareness Month to end sexual assault in our communities.

Continue reading "April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month" »

March 27, 2014

RU12? Community Center Annual LGBTQA Celebration: The Big Reveal

 

RU12? Community Center Annual LGBTQA Celebration: The Big Reveal

 

Excitement has been building steadily around this event over the last six months. With our roots planted firmly in our past, RU12? is extending our community-centered work across Vermont and scaling up the Center happenings.  From our move back to Burlington last summer and showing the works of local LGBTQ artists at the Art Hop to co-hosting the Pride Dance, we are presenting more and more opportunities for our community and allies to get out into the world and celebrate. The momentum continues building and in the coming months, we will produce Pride Vermont, feature such notable artists as John Killaky in the Center space, present one of our popular Town Hall Series on growing our LGBTQ families, and offer a host of new and exciting social and educational opportunities.

 

All of these amazing new events and programs will happen under a new Center name!! Join us and be the first to hear it as we do our tantalizing Big Reveal.

 

Of course, what would all the newness be without a shift in our biggest event of the year? Join us at Echo for an evening featuring tasting stations with the most amazing dishes designed to impress, by three of Vermont’s leading caterers.

big reveal 

May 2, 2014

Echo Lake Aquarium in Burlington, Vermont

Get Tickets

 

Cocktail reception at 6:00PM

Tasting Stations open at 7:00PM

Silent and Live Auctions

 

Catering by

Sugarsnap

Leunig’s Bistro and Lounge

Catering by Dale

 

The Vermont Pride Awards

Each year, RU12? honors Vermont community members and businesses who go above and beyond to ensure that our LGBTQ community thrives in a dynamic, safe, and exciting environment.

 

The Vermont Pride Award for Activism

Peep Show

The Vermont Pride Activism Award is being presented to the Peep Show. Peep Show is a sassy, irreverent drag and burlesque show, celebrating camp in all things. Producers Jonathan Bitchman and Quechee George create a queer-friendly, sex-positive, and above all, inclusive performance space/environment. Their community driven philanthropic effort showcases new and seasoned talent from Burlington to Boston to NYC. Throughout the show, Jonathan and Quechee let the audience know about everything from where to find support for survivors or violence to where to find an HIV test. At the end of the evening, they pay their performers and the rest is donated to support RU12?.  http://peepshowvermont.tumblr.com

 

The Vermont Pride Community Award for Community Service

The Northeast Kingdom LGBTQA Advisory Committee

The Northeast Kingdom LGBTQA Advisory Committee provides cultural education and awareness on behalf of LGBTQ-identified individuals, with special emphasis on aging adults, living in the rural Northeast Kingdom of Vermont. The Committee hosts social and educational events and provides education and technical assistance that is LGBTQ affirming, to staff of programs, agencies and organizations that provide services to aging adults.

 

The Vermont Pride Award for Business of the Year

National Life Group

National Life Group, a company with strong Vermont roots. They are very much a part of our communities, supporting such organizations as Pride VT, VT CARES, Outright VT, and the Gay and Lesbian Fund of VT. Their Human Resources Center has the very Vermont title, “The People Center” and their benefits are fully supportive of LGBTQ individuals and families. With “Do Good, Be Good, Make Good.” as a set of corporate values, it is no wonder that they are such a strong supporter of Vermont’s LGBTQ communities.

 

National Life Group is a diversified family of financial service companies that has successfully forged a strong identity as a product innovator offering personalized service. Companies in the group offer a comprehensive portfolio of life insurance, annuity and investment products to help individuals, families and businesses pursue their financial goals.

https://www.nationallifegroup.com/PublicSite/Views/AboutUs.aspx?id=105

 

The Live and Silent Auctions

This year, our auctions are bigger than ever, with items for every budget and interest. Businesses and individuals from across Vermont and all the way to Beijing have donated to the auctions. You will be able to bid on everything from an in-home dinner for eight prepared by Leunig’s Donnell Collins and her amazing staff; summer passes to St. Michael’s Playhouse; and hand blown glass vases to tattoo time and yoga passes. Proceeds support the Center’s social gatherings, educational events, and direct services for the LGBT community.

 

Thank you to our generous sponsors:

sugarsnapLeunigscaterbydalefarrell

TDBank: Fundraising for RU12!

Looking to open an account at a good bank? Or are you a current account holder at TD Bank?

Td bank logo

 

TD Bank is continuing their support of the local LGBTQ community by raising money for RU12? Community Center. When you open a new, non-interest bearing checking account and use the code "A2226" you could earn $25 from TD Bank for yourself, and they will donate $50 to RU12? Community Center! 

What can a $50 donation do for RU12? Community Center? 

  • provide HIV testing
  • provide an hour of SafeSpace services
  • train a social services agency on working with the LGBTQ community
  • reach thousands of LGBTQ Vermonters with targeted information on social media
  • keep the library open for a day

If you get a couple friends to join you, you will all

  • Keep the Center's doors open for a full day
  • Help RU12? to do elders work in the Northeast Kingdom
  • Produce one Family Program event
  • Support two months of the What's Up e-newsletter
  • Sustain the Disabilities Support Network for one month

Current account holders can add the code of "A2226" to their checking account to earn a $10 donation toward RU12? Community Center. Every dollar counts!

Visit William Cross at the Winooski TD Bank branch, or give him a call at (802) 655-3110 for more details on this fundraiser, and to get started today.

Thanks for your support! 

March 11, 2014

A Portrait of Decorum

Guest Blogger 2

A Portrait of Decorum

Decorum is sort of an old-fashioned word; you rarely hear it used in casual conversation nowadays. It's not hard to imagine why such a word that encompasses all the niceties of polite social behavior has fallen so far out of our collective national lexicon. We live in a world of ever-increasing instant gratification. We no longer communicate with friends or loved ones with long hand-written letters diligently delivered by the Post Office person we know by name. Today we rely on technology—we text, Instagram, Tweet, Snapchat, Facetime or Facebook our lives. But is this truly progress? What in reality is the social cost to the virtual worlds we create for ourselves? One thing most likely missing from the barrage of daily spam you receive is a petition for propriety, prudence, decency, modesty, or etiquette. In short, a call for the return of decorum. 

I've had the luxury to ponder this issue and do some serious self-reflection on my own personal issues and moral hesitations when confronted with doing the "right thing" vs. that which is "convenient." And to be completely honest, I found myself lacking. What prompted this introspective trek of mine? On a very snowy February 13, 2014, in the tiny but beautiful rural hamlet of St. Johnsbury, Vermont, I had the distinct honor of interviewing Ms. Charlene Willey. Ms. Willey is a true lady in the finest sense of that expression. And it was my encounter with Ms. Willey that both reaffirmed my faith in humanity's best attributes, as well as left me questioning the moral obligations my community has to its brothers and sisters who are not fortunate enough to live in an urban environment. 

Continue reading "A Portrait of Decorum " »

March 03, 2014

RU12?'s SafeSpace Trains Vermont Police

One of the most awesome things about being a RU12? Volunteer is the opportunity to do extraordinary things. Last week (work week Feb. 24 – 28, 2014), I was honored to shadow RU12? Staff member and state-wide “let’s teach’em ‘bout them queers” trainer Jean Sienkewicz from the SafeSpace program as she presented to members Vermont’s police and sheriff’s departments from all around the Green Mountain State.  A collaboration with T. J. Anderson, Training Coordinator for the Vermont State Police Academy, the curriculum was designed to “train the trainer” and participants will be taking back the knowledge gained to the various/far-reaching agencies they represent and passing along all the wisdom gained to their fellow officers.

I think the thing that really made this blogger’s heart sing with joy was the eager, earnest and openness with which those in attendance seemed to embrace the materials presented. If I had to sum up the overall attitude in the room in a single word it would have to be: engaged. As the officers present asked questions, participated in ongoing dialog and appeared determined to have an increased understanding of the LBGTQHA community they protect and serve. 

June 28, 2014, will mark the 45th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots.  Riots that marked starting line for the modern LBGTQ movement in America.  Those riots were a direct response to New York City Police discrimination, harassment and violence toward our community.  In my lifetime, as I am 45, I can say without a doubt; things most definitely have gotten better.  And with all the fine work that RU12? Is doing and continues to do on our communities’ behalf my heart is only filled with excitement and hope.

Living with HIV Social Support Group

HIV Support Group lo

February 19, 2014

Ash Beckham at Saint Michael's College -6pm, Mon 2/24

Ash-Beckham6pm, Monday  Febuary 24th 

Roy Event Center, 3rd Floor Dion Student Center

With an arresting blend of urgency and humor, Ash takes on topics like the crippling experience of being trapped in a closet, the difference between tolerance and acceptance, and the need to remove "gay" asa derogatory from our vocabulary. With wildly funny and poignant stories, and a tough yet deeply compassionate stance, Ash tells us how to take off the armor and be our authentic selves. She tells us how to GET REAL.


Many of you may know Ash from her TED Talk:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kSR4xuU07sc

...so join us, and absorb her wisdom in person!

This YOU COUNT event in hosted by Common Ground

Facebook Event

Living With HIV: Social Support Group

Are you, or a friend, HIV+ and just looking for a supportive group to discuss life with HIV with other POZ individuals?

A new Burlington-area social support group will be starting on March 6th. For more information, feel free to shoot a confidential email or call: 

John
john@ru12.org
(802) 860-7812

Jo
tsnjo@sover.net
1(888) 338-8796

HIV Support Group lo

February 11, 2014

RU12? in the news


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Photo: Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images  

http://www.necn.com/02/10/14/Gay-NFL-prospect-draws-praise-from-Vt-ad/landing_sports.html?blockID=862700 

Check it out NECN.com

January 18, 2014

Just a few moments for LGBTQ Vermonters...


SamaraHey All-

The Samara Fund, part of the Vermont Community Foundation, has been a huge supporter of RU12? Community Center. We have been able to do everything from truly committing to a statewide expansion to strengthening the safety nets for LGBT seniors in the NEK because the Samara Fund has been there supporting LGBTQ issues. Now, you can help them out by taking this survey. They are seeking your opinion on needs and services that are important to you and the broader LGBTQ community in Vermont. 

As our thank you for participating, at the end of the survey you will be able to vote for your favorite Vermont-based LGBTQ organization to receive a mini-grant of $250.  The organization with the most votes at the end of the survey period will receive this gift of appreciation. You can also use this link to share the survey on your Facebook page:

https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/ZCFBRXH

Thanks all!! 

Kim Fountain, Executive Director

 

December 17, 2013

Internship Opportunities: Spring 2014

Internship opportunities

RU12? has six internship opportunies available for students in Chittenden County:

  • The GLAM Interns will assist in the coordination of RU12?'s fun, social HIV prevention

    program, GLAM. Two openings exist for this internship.
  • The Marketing and Outreach Interns will participate in various stages of print and online marketing and outreach projects. Four opportunities are available. 

All internships will be able to provide opportunities for skill development, gaining experience in their respective fields, and fulfilling internship or college credit requirements. Interns receive training, tailored assignments based on interests and skills, and supportive supervision from our staff. See below for details!

 

GLAM Intern:

Description

RU12? Community Center is looking for two interns to help plan events for gay, bi, and trans guys who like gay, bi, and trans guys for GLAM, RU12?’s Mpowerment program. GLAM is a group of young gay, bi, queer and/or trans guys who are coming together, getting out, and enjoying the connections we make. Through building a stronger queer community in Chittenden County, we empower one another, support each other, and fight the HIV epidemic. Glam pride

This fun and meaningful project is run by and for GBQT guys. Interns of all identities are encouraged to apply.

This intern should be prepared to work in a deadline oriented team environment, and will finish the internship having gained broad experience in various aspects of event planning, marketing and community organizing.

Responsibilities

  • Attend weekly core group meetings every Wednesday at 6:30pm
  • Assist in the planning and implementation of weekly social events for GBQ folks on the masculine spectrum.
  • Assist in the distribution or delivery of marketing materials via social media networks, through the organizations website and through direct contact with collaborating agencies and members of the LGBTQ community.
  • Help recruit core volunteers and program participants at LGBTQ events in the area.

Requirements

RU12?  is looking for an undergraduate student in the Chittenden County area who is majoring in Art/Design, Gender Studies, Human Service / Non-Profit Mgmt, Journalism, Social Work, Community Development, Marketing Public Relations or any other related field.  This person should have excellent verbal and written communication skills, especially with web and social media. This internship would require a minimum of 4 hours per week.

If you are interested in this position please email michael@ru12.org

 

Marketing and Outreach Intern:

Description

RU12? Community Center is looking for a tech savvy intern with an eye for design to join our fabulous team. Our organization provides services that celebrate and support LGBTQ Vermonters, and seeks an intern who can participate in various stages of print and online marketing campaigns.

This intern should be prepared to work in a deadline oriented team environment, and will finish the internship having gained broad experience in various aspects of marketing and community organizing.

Experience in HTML or design is helpful but not necessary. We’re willing to train the right candidate.

Responsibilities 

  • Assist in the creation of e-mail & print campaigns, weekly e-newsletters and blog postings
  • Assist in the distribution or delivery of marketing materials via social media networks, through the organizations website and through direct contact with collaborating agencies.
  • Perform analysis of communications and outreach data.

Requirements

RU12?  is looking for an undergraduate student in the Chittenden County area who is majoring in Art/Design, Gender Studies, Human Service / Non-Profit Mgmt, Journalism, Social Work, Community Development, Marketing Public Relations or any other related field.  This person should have excellent verbal and written communication skills, with web and social media. Experience with design programs, PowerPoint, Word and Excel experience is a bonus. This internship would require a minimum of 4 hours per week.

If you are interested in this position please email michael@ru12.org

December 04, 2013

Film Screening: God Loves Uganda

God-Loves-Uganda

 

Free Screening of the critically acclaimed documentary, "God Loves Uganda" Hosted by VT/NH Chapter of Americans United for the Separation of Church & State

Co-Sponsors: RU12? and Peace & Justice Center

Date: Friday Dec. 6

Time: 6:30

Location: RU12? Community Center, 255 South Champlain St. Suite 12, Burlington, VT 05401

Website: https://www.facebook.com/events/591610780898210/?context=create

More info about the film: http://www.godlovesuganda.com/

The feature-length documentary God Loves Uganda is a powerful exploration of the evangelical campaign to change African culture with values imported from America's Christian Right.

The film follows American and Ugandan religious leaders fighting "sexual immorality" and missionaries trying to convince Ugandans to follow Biblical law. God Loves Ugandapremiered at the Sundance Film Festival on January 18th, 2013 and has won numerous awards at film festivals so far. The film serves as a catalyst for change, through our upcoming international screening tour and social action campaign.

December 01, 2013

World AIDS Day

World AIDS Day is held on 1 December each year and is an opportunity for people worldwide to unite in the fight against HIV, show their support for people living with HIV and to commemorate people who have died. World AIDS Day was the first ever global health day and the first one was held in 1988.

Did you know it's possible to live a full, healthy life with HIV and potentially never develop AIDS if you are diagnosed and follow a treatment plan as soon as possible? Did you know that 60% of those aged 13-24 living with HIV don't even know it and can unknowingly pass it on to others? 

The first step in the battle against AIDS is knowing your status. RU12? offers free, anonymous testing Tuesdays and Thursdays 12-6pm and by appointment or house call. Call 802-860-7812 or email glam@ru12.org for more information. 

World aids day

November 25, 2013

Spotlight: Being a Gay Comedian in Vermont

Did you know there is a vibrant underground stand-up comedy scene in Vermont? And did you know there's even a stand-up comedy scene in the LGBT community? 

RU12? and VT Cares volunteer Marc Bouchard knows all about it. He was one of six hilarious LGBT comics lined up at Vermont Comedy Club's LGBTQ focused event this past weekend, The Fabulous Show.  Below is a personal account from him on being a gay comedian in Vermont: 

  Throughout my life, I've had people around me say things like "You should perform on stage" or you're funny, you should be a comedian".  I would say "Thanks" and think they were just being nice, and that it would be too time consuming to get involved in performance arts. 

Marc B

    In October 2011, a small comedy club in Burlington opened, and I attended their first comedy showcase.  It was mentioned  that they were hosting a weekly open mic where anyone could have five minutes of stage time.  I went home and went to work on jokes, and performed the following week.  I was immediately addicted, and performed weekly at the open mic, attaining the nickname "Gay Marc" because my material was based around my life, and coming out in a rural and conservative part of Vermont.

    As I started performing in showcases, I quickly realized that the majority of the audiences were heterosexual and could not relate to some of my material.  Anytime I have a joke that doesn't get a response, I see this as an opportunity to rewrite and educate my audience on the gay lifestyle.

    It's not about being political, or shoving my lifestyle down anyone's throat (I have something else for that).  All I want to do is make people laugh.  By laughing at myself, and relating my lifestyle to theirs, I feel like I bridge a gap to my straight audience.  I hope to help them see that we have similar issues, and that laughter truly is the best medicine. 

You can preview part of his set from The Fabulous Show here: "Pray the Gay Away" 

November 18, 2013

13th Annual Philadelphia Trans-Health Conference (Call for Proposals)

Logo2014 (3) 2

 

Please forward/spread the word to friends and colleagues!

General Call for Workshop Proposals

The 13th Annual Philadelphia Trans-Health Conference (PTHC) will be held June 12-14, 2014 at the Pennsylvania Convention Center (Philadelphia, PA).

PTHC hosts over 200 workshops each year. The success of the event is dependent upon the experience and expertise that comes from the community, so the planning committee is now soliciting workshop proposals.

We favor workshops that promote the mission of PTHC which is to educate and empower Trans* individuals on issues of health and well-being; educate and inform allies and health service providers; and facilitate networking, community-building, and systemic change.  We strive to create an accessible and respectful environment that is inclusive of diverse gender-identities and expressions as well as inclusive of diverse opinions and ideas.

 

How To Submit Your Proposal

1. You must first create an account on the website by clicking "register" in the upper right-hand corner (or log in if you have an existing account).

2. Go to www.trans-health.org/propose-a-workshop and complete the proposal form.

3. The workshop proposal deadline is January 30, 2014. However, earlier submission is strongly encouraged!

4. Workshop proposals will be reviewed and ranked by working groups.  Applicants will be notified of acceptance or rejection by the end of February 2014.

 

For More Information

Please watch the website for more conference developments, including details about sponsorship, program book advertising, and vending opportunities, as well as travel information, housing options, and pre-registration.

For specific questions about the proposal process, please contact Conference Coordinator, Samantha Dato, atadmin@trans-health.org or 215-563-0652 x 264. Samantha is also available to assist with proposal submission for individuals who do not have regular internet access.

 


http://www.trans-health.org/callforproposals

November 13, 2013

Burly Bear presents SIRLOIN: Hanky Panky

Before there was GRINDR, SCRUFF or any other gay boy hook-up app, there was the HANKY CODE! HankyCode!

Pick your fetish color. Pick your pocket. That would signal your desire to other queer men. Read up on the complete hanky code here.

This Friday 11/15 starting at 7:00pm, Burly Bear is back with a tribute theme to the Hanky Code. Whether you used to wear a hanky, still wear one, or haven't ever heard of this sub-cutural symbol, you can get your groove on at Red Square's Blue Room surrounded by hot kinky guys, dark seedy atmosphere and sweaty go-go cubs!

Pick up a hanky at the front door and express yourself offline. Answer the code quiz questions and win a prize. Hear the amazing DJ Stephen D. Wallace (Montreal) play his signature style of funky alternative edgy house! Leather/kink/fetish dress code encouraged.

$5 at the door, benefits Pride Vermont 2014

Get updates on this event here

November 11, 2013

GLAM and the National Mpowerment Project in Chicago

MPchicago

Our new GLAM coordinator John Chagnon attended a training session in Chicago this past week to gain perspectives from Mpowerment projects across this diverse nation and apply them to our own Mpowerment project here in Vermont! 

GLAM Vermont is part of a national movement called Mpowerment. The Mpowerment Project is a model HIV prevention program that has been specifically designed to address the needs of young gay and bisexual men. Scientific studies demonstrate that the program reduces the rates of unprotected anal intercourse among this group, and thus lowers the rate of new HIV infection.

On Wednesday, 11/13, John will be discussing his findings from the national movement at our weekly GLAM Core group meeting at 6:30pm at the RU12? Community Center. Typically, our core group is for male-identified aged 18-35, but all are welcome to attend this week's meeting, and questions are welcome to see where YOU can fit into this effective and FUN intervention project. Pizza/drinks provided!

 Message john@ru12.org for questions or more details. 

 

John chicago

October 29, 2013

Out N About TV

DJ and Joey are on the journey of a lifetime. At the beginning of October, they set off from Chicago to travel through each state and explore Gay America for a full year in their awesome bus, appropriately named "Priscilla." One of their stops included Burlington for a few days.

OutnaboutWe met up with these guys at first before the showing of "The Worst Thing About Coming Out" at the Film House in Burlington, where Kim Fountain and John Chagnon joined a panel to discuss their own personal experiences with coming out. You can view their account of the experience here.

Later, the GLAM guys were thrilled when DJ and Joey offered to transport us to Snake Mountain in Addison, VT for a beautiful fall foliage hike. We all had a great time chatting about differences in gay culture across the states, playing games and stopping for some Maple Creemees. Check out the pictures from GLAM's hiking adventure with DJ and Joey here. 

These wonderful guys are set to learn a lot about the differences in gay culture across the US. You can follow their adventures via their blog, and even check out their own Pride Logo Wear to get a piece of what they are experiencing. Thanks DJ and Joey! 

Big Freedia, Queen of Bounce

Tonight at Higher Ground, an LGBT revolution of musical proportions comes to life, teaming up with DJ
Disco Phantom!

Big Freedia (pronounced “FREE-da”), known as theQueen of Bounce, is at the forefront of the Bounce rap Bigfreedia3 movement (a subgenre of hip-hop born out of New Orleans and known for its call and response style and lightening speed booty-shaking dance). Performing five out of seven nights in any given week with dancers she calls The Divas, Big Freedia’s show is nothing short of dazzling. She tours every city in America from New York to San Francisco and is always a favorite at festivals such as Electric Forest, Hangout Fest, FunFunFun Fest, SXSW, and Bonnaroo, among many others.

Though gay and proud, Big Freedia asserts that her (Freedia is a he but uses the feminine pronoun for her stage persona) sexuality has little to do with her music and rejects the term Sissy Bounce (the queer brand of Bounce). “All Bounce is Bounce,” he insists. “There’s no need to separate it out. All types of people—gay, straight, rich, poor, black, white come to my shows. People just wanna get out and shake their azzzz and have a good time!” And therein lies the beauty of Big Freedia: She can rock a pair of dangling gold earrings and light up a blunt and chop it up with the hardest rapper around. She’s not a gay artist, but rather an artist who happens to be gay. 

More Info 

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