It can be hard getting through the door to get an HIV test. There are many reasons why people will put off getting tested. But when someone they know reaches out and supports them in getting tested, taking this important step becomes easier to do. Often people have thought about getting tested and just need a little outside encouragement and support to move forward. That’s where the 6 Degrees project comes in.
6 Degrees is a project where Vermonters who are connected to friends, peers and acquaintances at risk of becoming HIV positive (like having unprotected sex or sharing needles) volunteer to become Community Advocates who reach out to their circles and encourage folks to get tested. This non-judgemental peer support, and the support from a network of testers, makes it easier for people to come in for testing and find out what their HIV status is.
HIV can have a major impact on someone’s health. Many people will not have any symptoms (like getting ill more often) for 11 years after they’ve become HIV-positive, and 1 in 5 people who are living with HIV don’t realize it. The sooner someone gets tested and knows their HIV status, the sooner they can take steps to keep themselves and their partners healthier for longer.
If you become a Community Advocate, you will receive gift cards, credit towards your bills, and other incentives of your choice worth $25 for each person at risk of becoming HIV-positive that you refer who comes in for a test. For example, you could earn up to $250 towards an iPad or an electric bill. You will also be a part of a new, exciting project that breaks down barriers for our friends and community, helping those we know and care about to stay healthier and informed.
The RU12? Community Center, an organization that celebrates, educates and advocates with and for LGBTQ Vermonters has partnered with the Comprehensive Care Clinics, a system of four clinics providing state-of-the-art treatment for all stages of HIV/AIDS. These two organizations work together to:
If you’re interested in becoming a Community Advocate, contact Mike Bensel or John Chagnon at the RU12? Community Center by calling (802) 860-7812 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also contact Deborah Kutzko or Zpora Perry and at the Comprehensive Care Clinic by calling (802) 847-4594. We will set up an interview with you where you can learn more about the program and make sure it’s a good fit for you.
National Youth HIV & AIDS Awareness Day is a day to educate the public about the impact of HIV and AIDS on young people as well as highlight the amazing work young people are doing across the country to fight the HIV & AIDS epidemic.
The day is an annual observance that takes place on April 10. The first ever National Youth HIV & AIDS Awareness Day took place on April 10, 2013.
In the United States, one in four new HIV infections is among youth ages 13 to 24. Every month 1,000 young people are infected with HIV and over 76,400 young people are currently living with HIV across the country. While there has been much talk about an AIDS-Free Generation, we know that is not possible without our nation’s youth. Young people and their allies are determined to end this epidemic once and for all and this day is a way to acknowledge the great work young people are already engaging.
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!
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.
May 2, 2014
Echo Lake Aquarium in Burlington, Vermont
Cocktail reception at 6:00PM
Tasting Stations open at 7:00PM
Silent and Live Auctions
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
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.
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:
Looking to open an account at a good bank? Or are you a current account holder at TD Bank?
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?
If you get a couple friends to join you, you will all
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!
In the rural state of Vermont, many of us face the challenge of social isolation, and may find it difficult to meet others with similar backgrounds and interests. Adding in a factor such as being an HIV+ Vermonter can add an unbearable element to the isolation we already experience.
The “Living With HIV” social support group provides a safe, confidential space for HIV+ individuals to gather and share their experiences and advice on living with the virus. Group participants come together to talk, connect, and find support around a number of issues including coping with stigma, disclosure, and dealing with health care providers.
A goal of this group is to enable participants to become more empowered to take on the many challenges of living with HIV such as dating, safer sex, and managing stress and finances. It meets the first and third Thursday of each month at 6:30pm, at Burlington-area locations. Please message email@example.com or call John at (802) 860-7812 for more information and meeting locations.
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:
GLAM boys Javier, Mike, Johnny and Lucas banded together to drop in to a sandwich mixer at INCLUDE, the QSA on Champlain College's campus.
Every Monday, students gather together to talk about LGBTQ issues on campus and in their personal lives in a welcoming, fun environment. This week, GLAM and INCLUDE pooled together to bring sandwich fixin's to the group to give us a chance to discuss the RU12? Community Center and extend an invite to utilize the center's free Wifi and coffee for homework study groups.
Would YOU be interested in joining up with INCLUDE or hosting your own queer-friendly homework hangout at RU12, complete with free high-speed Wifi, computer lab, coffee, and LGBTQ library resources? Email firstname.lastname@example.org to express interest!
This week, GLAM is launching a new monthly event... "Board Gaymes" and chill time before heading out to dance the night away at First Friday.
First Friday at Higher Ground began after the closing of Burlington's beloved gay bar, Pearls, in 2006. At first a dance party for women, First Friday expanded to include ALL segments of the LGBTQ community. Through the years, this event has become a staple of our community and a place to get together with friends, meet new people, and get crazy on the dance floor to amazing local DJs.
RU12? Community Center will open starting at 6pm this Friday for the Board Game event, and will close at 9:30pm so guys can head over to Higher Ground. Early bird tickets to Higher Ground can by bought for $5 at the Higher Ground box office, or online here
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.
Click here to participate:
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:
Kim Fountain, Executive Director
Walk-in hours are from Tuesdays and Thursdays from 12p-6p. Appointments are available Monday - Friday.
We are located at RU12? Community Center, 255 South Champlain St. Suite 12, Burlington, VT 05401
RU12? has six internship opportunies available for students in Chittenden County:
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!
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.
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.
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 email@example.com
Marketing and Outreach Intern:
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
GLAM guys got together during the first big snowstorm of the season for an Ugly Sweater Crawl around Church Street. Friends met up throughout the night and enjoyed snacks,boards games, and hanging out under the Christmas lights downtown Sunday 12/15.
Stops included Manhattans Pizza, Esox, Drink, Three Needs and ending the night at the Other Place. You could track where the guys were through Facebook checkins, which helped guys meet up along the way.
See more pictures on Facebook, and add GLAM to stay updated on the latest events around town!
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 email@example.com for more information.
Bring a side dish, your favorite board game, and join your community tonight at RU12? for a potluck Thanksgiving Dinner tonight 11/27 starting at 6:00pm. Hosted by the GLAM boys. ALL ARE WELCOME! More details available here.
We will be closed in observance of the holiday 11/28-29.
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
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 firstname.lastname@example.org for questions or more details.
Tuesday, November 12
If you're looking for testing on these days, please visit gettestedvermont.com to find all other testing locations in VT.
The RU12?s normal testing days and hours will resume on Thursday, November 14, with walk-in testing available Tuesdays and Thursdays, 12-6pm. Appointments are also avilable by calling RU12? at (802) 860-7812 or emailing Mike at email@example.com.
Tuesdays: 12pm - 6pm
Thursdays: 12pm - 6pm
By appointment: Evenings & Weekends