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April 01, 2014

ANNOUNCEMENT: RU12? Community Center is Changing Their Name!



Press Release

Burlington, VT: 

Set to be released at the "16th Annual LGBTQA Celebration: The Big Reveal" on 5/2/14, the new name of the RU12? Community Center, as chosen from public feedback and board member vote, has been officially announced over a month earlier than planned. 

At a public forum held yesterday at Main Street Landing, Kim Fountain announced the decision of changing RU12's name as of 5/2/2014 to:

RMUFC of VT -  Resource Management for Unified Family Connection 

To add a fun element, and to help the center be more marketable to the community, we also created a logo that uses our offical acronym of RMUFC. This will be our brand's public face: 

Rainbow Mountains Uni-pug & Fairies Center of VT


With Georgia, our lovable pug-mascot, as the offical mascot. 

Celebrate our new name with us at the "16th Annual LGBTQA Community Celebration: The Big Reveal" on 5/2/14. BUY YOUR TICKETS TODAY! 

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


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?.


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.


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:


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.

January 23, 2014

Milk and cookies with SafeSpace at UVM today, Thursday 1/23




Mail Attachment

Wondering about how to meet people other LGBTQ safely on campus? Questions about how to help a queer friend experiencing intimate partner violence? Need help but unsure where to get it?

As part of Stalking Awareness Month, SafeSpace will be eating cookies and drinking milk with staff from UVM's LGBTQA and Women's Centers today, as part of a dialogue with LGBTQ and Allied UVM community members about LGBTQ relationships.

Today at the Allen House, 12noon-1pm.

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:

Thanks all!! 

Kim Fountain, Executive Director


December 11, 2013

RU12?'s St. Johnsbury TDoR celebration in the news!

In collaboration with the St. Johnsbury LGBTQA Community Advisory Group, RU12? had the pleasure of spearheading a Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDoR) celebration on November 21st at the North Congregational Church in St. Johnsbury. SafeSpace Coordinator Jean Sienkewicz was interviewed by the local Channel 7 news; check out the link here (click on Newscast Thu Nov 21 2013 Transgender Day).

November 06, 2013

This Friday in Randolph and this Saturday in Burlington Transgender Day of Remembrance

Tdor newest web

RU12? Community Center presents Transgender Day of Remembrance 2013 

TDOR Art Exhibit in Randolph
When: Friday November 8th
Time: 7pm-9pm
Where: Chandler Center for the Arts, Upstairs Gallery, Randolph, VT,

TDOR Vigil and Speak Out in Burlington
When: Saturday, November 9th

Time:  4pm-6pm
Where: RU12? Community Center, 255 South Champlain St. Suite 12, Burlington, VT 05401

Inclusive TDOR Memorial and Lunch in St. Johnsbury
When: Thursday, November 21st
Time:  12noon-1pm
Where: First Congregational Church, 1325 Main Street, St. Johnsbury, VT

The Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDOR) is observed in hundreds of communities around the globe throughout November each year. This day has been set aside as a memorial to those who have been killed due to anti-transgender hate or prejudice.

Transgender people—those who do not conform to society’s expectation of gender expression for men and women—face discrimination, hostility and violence. The Burlington TDOR events, which originally were a memorial service to honor the many fallen transgender and gender-variant victims of murder from the past year, have expanded to include a celebration of trans* lives and an opportunity for community building and sustenance on a deep level. With this event, RU12? hopes to raise awareness of anti-trans* violence, to celebrate and honor the lives of those taken from us and to unite as a community to heal, support one another, and move forward together.

RU12? Community Center and SafeArt have created a multi-community art project to help strengthen communities, reduce isolation and raise public awareness of violence and discrimination experienced by transgender and gender non-conforming individuals in Vermont. Visions of You, Me and Us, a progressive, sculptural, and interactional piece will be available for attendees to view and contribute to. Visions of You, Me and Us will travel in 2013 as part of TDOR taking place in various rural areas around Vermont. 

Visions of You, Me and Us has been made possible through generous grants from the Anne Slade Frey Charitable Trust and Northfield Savings Bank.

Also on display will be a community quilt project from Burlington TDOR 2012. Everyone attending TDOR this year will have the opportunity to add their own expressive voice to these community art projects.


Burlington: This event is free and will consist of a vigil, a speak out/open-mic time, and art projects. There will be light refreshments. IF YOU HAVE QUESTIONS OR REQUIRE ACCOMMODATIONS, PLEASE CONTACT KELSEY NARO AT KELSEY@RU12.ORG OR INDIGO JAMES AT IJAMES@UVM.EDU


St. Johnsbury: RU12? and the NE Vermont Elder LGBTQA Advisory Group are jointly hosting this free event that seeks not only to memorialize those who died by violence but also to celebrate the lives of individuals living with the challenges of prejudice and hatred, as well as to offer an opportunity for local community building and sustenance. A light lunch will be provided. Those whose lives have been lost to violence will be honored in a candle-lighting ceremony. There will be opportunities for people to add to the TDOR 2012 quilt; the Visions of You, Me and Us art installation will not be present at this event. The NE Vermont Elder LGBTQA Advisory Board is collaboration of the Northeastern Vermont Area Agency on Aging, RU12? and a host of community partners, with the goal of ensuring cultural awareness of the LGBTQA Elder Community. For more information about this event, contact Jean at RU12? ( or Jerri Ryan at NEVAAA (802-751-0431 or


October 17, 2013

Transgender Day of Remembrance-Save the Date

Join us at the RU12? Community Center for Transgender Day of Remembrance on November 9th, 2013 at 4pm for a vigil, speak out/open-mic, and community art projects. This is a great opportunity for all members of the LGBTQ and Burlington communities to come together to determine how we can better support the trans people in our lives.

We are coming together to raise awareness of anti-trans* violence, to celebrate and honor the lives of those taken from us and to unite as a community to heal, support one another, and move forward together.

More information will follow.

October 15, 2013

Protections for LGBT Survivors of Violence

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month and The Violence Against Women Act, our nation’s response to intimate partner violence, was recently passed with explicit inclusion of LGBT survivors of violence and implementation began October 1st.   The Office on Violence Against Women has committed to the implementation of these provisions over the coming months and this will increase resources and support to LGBT survivors of intimate partner violence.   The Huffington Post published an open letter from local and national LGBT and mainstream anti-violence organizations about what this means to LGBT people and to the anti-violence movement.

Read more


October 03, 2013

Fantastic Foliage: Hike Snake Mountain


What better way to admire the beautiful Fall foliage than a hike with GLAM! On Sunday the 13th, the GLAM guys will be enjoying the gorgeous Fall weather from the Snake Mountain Trail. The trail is a moderately difficult hike and ends with a fabulous view of the Champlain Valley and Adirondack Mountains.

This event is open to people of all genders, ages, and sexual orientations. So feel free to bring your friends! We'll meet up at the RU12? Community Center at 11 am.

Questions about the event? Email or call Mike or John at 802-860-7812. Put on your hiking boots, and we'll see you there!

For more information about the event click Here

September 13, 2013

Pride Weekend Schedule!

Friday, September 13th

Out on Church Street

6 pm – Midnight, Pride Vermont will present its First Annual “OUT on Church Street”! This event will kick off the weekend of Pride festivities by inviting all Vermonters to enjoy one of New England’s best-known destinations-Church Street in Burlington. We plan to make Church Street the place to be that evening, and you don’t want to miss it!

More Info

Burly Bear Cock Camp

7pm, Red Square, Burlington. It's the Burly Bear hot and sweaty dance party the Friday of Pride weekend!!!

More Info

Pop-Up Queer Pride Party

Join Pop-Up as they kick off the Pride weekend again with one big, bad-ass, sweaty queer dance party. Friday 9pm- 1AM - ARTS RIOT (400 Pine Street, Burlington, VT).

More Info

Saturday, September 14th

Join RU12? at Laura's March!

RU12? Community Center will be participating in Laura's March on September 14th! Please join us in honoring Laura K. Winterbottom and in raising funds for RU12?'s SafeSpace Program. SafeSpace offers direct services and advocacy for survivors of sexual violence, domestic violence, hate violence, and discrimination. Our services are free and confidential. 

More Info

Vermont Pride's Women's Tea Dance

1-4pm, Red Square, Burlington. More than tea will be served! Celebrate your PRIDE!!

More Info

Community in the Archives: RU12?'s Queer Archives

4-5:30pm Fletcher Free Library, Burlington. Special reception for Vermont Pride weekend! A special exhibit of memorabilia, material objects, ephemera and other intimate and personal items and artifacts from the Vermont Queer Archives.

More Info

History of New England’s Gay Leather Groups

6pm Burlington City Arts, Burlington. Come learn why we march at pride from the BDSM/Leather Community perspective. Celebrate pride with a little history!

More Info

Hot Pink Pride Party

The largest Annual Pride Party in Vermont! And you're gonna be seeing PINK all night long.

More Info


Celebrate Pride Sunday at Leunig's

All Day, Leunig's Bistro, Church Street, Burlington. Leunig's is generously donating 10% of the entire day's proceeds to the youth at Outright Vermont.

More Info

Pride Parade

12:30pm, The Pride Parade is a beloved institution here in Vermont and throughout the world. It begins at the south end of Church St. and ends at Battery Park where the festival is held!

More Info

Northern Decadence Food Festival

12pm - 5pm, Battery Park, Burlington. Produced by the Vermont Gay Tourism Association, the Northern Decadence Food & Travel Expo will take place during the Vermont Pride Festival at Battery Park

More Info

Pride Festival

12pm - 5pm, Battery Park, Burlington. Produced by the Vermont Gay Tourism Association, the Northern Decadence Food & Travel Expo will take place during the Vermont Pride Festival at Battery Park

More Info

Burly Bear Pride Day Tea Dance

4pm - 9pm, Red Square, Burlington. $5 suggested donation benefits Pride Vermont! This event is open to all and everyone of every identification is welcome and encouraged to attend!

More Info

For a full list of all Pride Vermont events, click HERE




May 06, 2013

LGBTQ Welcoming Shelter Needs Our Help

The Sexual Assault Crisis Team (SACT) of Washington County provides comprehensive services  to victims/survivors of sexual violence, including emergency shelter and transitional housing for female victims of sexual violence and male  victims of sexual or domestic violence, legal advocacy, medical  advocacy, crisis services, support groups, and educational forums; legal services are available to victims of sexual assault. 

After visiting Bobbi Gagne at the SACT shelter, I was overwhelmed by the organization's respectful, client-centered approach to assisting LGBTQ survivors of sexual violence. In over a decade of doing anti-violence work, attending national conferences, helping to coordinate an LGBTQ national coalition, and countless hours of research, I rarely came accross a shelter focusing so clearly on survivors of sexual violence. SACT does this and extends their work to be absulutely embracing of our community. 

Recently, Bobbi and her team went the extra mile and created a space in the shelter that will allow survivovrs to have a slightly longer stay in an apartment on the first floor. They want everyone who comes to feel welcomed, not just because they say that all are welcomed, but because when someone steps foot in the space, they see LGBTQ culture all around them. 

Please, if anyone has any LGBTQ items-maybe a flag, or those rainbow dishtowels you bought in PTown that you never used, or framed poster that you no longer have wall space for, please let me know. I'd love to bring them down to the shelter. I don't want to have to rent a UHaul, so call me or email me before you bring anything over to the Center. 

If you would like to know more about the ways that SACT operates or the efforts they have made to welcome our community, give me a call or email me. I know you will be as impressed as I am. 

Kim, 802-860-8712

April 10, 2013

Rally to Take Back the Night

TBTN 2013

April 08, 2013

RU12? Launches New Public Service Announcement!

 RU12? Community Center, is proud to announce the launch of our new public service announcement (PSA) in April as part of Sexual Violence Awareness Month.  This PSA was produced by our SafeSpace program, the only anti violence program in Vermont working to end domestic, sexual, and hate related violence in the lives of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and HIV-affected (LGBTQH) Vermonters.

SafeSpace PSA on YouTube


A recent groundbreaking Centers for Disease Control study found that intimate partner violence and sexual violence is a pervasive problem in LGBTQH and non-LGBTQH communities, with members of the LGBTQH communities experiencing sexual and domestic violence at the same or higher rates as non-LGBTQH people.

In hate violence cases power and control can be exerted through sexual violence.  In other cases, sexual violence is part of a pick up crime where the perpetrator relies on the likelihood of the victim not reporting because he or she fears that law enforcement of mainstream providers will either out them or not take them seriously.  Sexual violence is also often a part of domestic violence where batterers rely heavily on fears of stigma and isolation.  For these and many other reason, RU12’s SafeSpace program offers specialized direct services for LGBTQH survivors of sexual violence.

If you or someone you know has experienced violence, advocates in the SafeSpace program can help provide emotional support, advocacy, information and referrals.  Advocates are available M-Th 9am-6pm and Fri. 9am-2pm at 802-863-0003 or toll free 866-869-7351.

February 28, 2013

SafeSpace Applauds the Passage of an LGBTQ-Inclusive VAWA

Today the U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill re-authorizing the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA). The House vote today reflects bi partisian support for the Senate bill which for the first time included explicit protections for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) people.

The National Coalition of Anti Violence Programs (NCAVP), SafeSpace is a program member, has worked over two years advocating for inclusive provisions inserted into VAWA.  This victory will dramatically change our nation’s response to LGBTQ survivors of intimate partner and sexual violence.

Read more NCAVP Media Release


January 29, 2013

Sana (Parts 1-4)

We've asked a guest writer, Ana Hernandez, to write about her experience in a domestic violence relationship where her then girlfriend used their dog Sana as a way to inflict harm in the relationship. Ana has written a four part essay. We hope that this essay will bring to light some of the issues around domestic violence in the LGBTQ communities as well as how very deeply the animals in our lives are affected. Please note that this essay is the abridged version. If you would like to read a longer version that includes how the other dog and cat in Ana's life were affected, please let us know.

 By Ana Hernández

Part I

Sana2On the evening of September 11, 2004, I was driving my girlfriend, Jackie, and some of her friends back from the 9/11 memorial in Shanksville, Pennsylvania.  As I pulled onto the highway, I saw, reflected in the headlights, two enormous eyes staring up from a small heap in my traffic lane.  I zoomed the van over the creature, then turned sharply into the parking lot of a truck stop, explaining, “there’s something in the road, I think it was hit.”  I ran to the spot and saw a tiny dog in the gutter, likely blown over by the 18-wheelers roaring past.  As I scooped her up, she tensed but did not resist.

Continue reading "Sana (Parts 1-4)" »

November 28, 2012

RU12? SafeSpace in the News

RU12?'s Executive Director recently contributed to the Vermont Network Against Domestic and Sexual Violence Newsletter, writing about LGBTQ survivors of violence. Check out her article on page 2.

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