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August 25, 2014

Tomorrow night, 6-8pm: the first in our Family Program Town Hall Series!

Family town hall flier

The first in our Family Program Town Hall series, Starting (or Growing) Your Family is tomorrow night, Tuesday, 8/26, 6-8pm, here at the Pride Center of Vermont (255 S. Champlain Street, Ste. 12, in Burlington. We'll have a panel of resource and lived-experience experts to talk about the various ways LGBTQ families grow their families--alternative reproduction, surrogacy, and adoption. Snacks and childcare will be provided. Come to share your experiences, gain insight from professionals and other queer families, and build community in a supportive space. And please, spread the word!

For this first in the series, Starting (or Growing) Your Family, our experts include:

  • Wanda Audette, Lund Family Center: Private Adoption
  • Christopher Kaufman-Ilstrup: LGBTQ family perspective of adoption through a private agency
  • Cathy Frost and Shannon York, VT Department for Children and Families: Fostering and Adoption through the State child welfare system
  • Jodie Clarke, Northeastern Family Institute (NFI) Vermont: Therapeutic Fostering
  • Claire Giroux-Williams: LGBTQ family perspective of fostering/adopting from public channels
  • Rebecca Campbell, RN formerly of Fenway Health: Assisted Alternative Reproduction options
  • Amber Carbine-March: LGBTQ family perspective of utilizing assisted reproduction
  • Kurt Hughes, Burlington-area Family Lawyer: Surrogacy, and other Legal Questions

There will be plenty of time for questions and conversation. All ages are welcome. Children/youth are encouraged to be present and there will be childcare for very young children. 

There should be ample parking out front of the Center (our space is accessible from a street-level entrance, look for the Pride flag in the window. If you need an elevator, there are directions posted on our door, you’ll need to enter the building through the awning a few doors down).

 

If you have questions, concerns, or suggestions, call the center at 802-860-7812 or email jean@ru12.org

The dates and topics for the whole series are as follows:

  • Tuesday, 8/26 Starting (or Growing) Your Family

  • Tuesday, 9/9 LGBTQ Families Navigating Systems

  • Tuesday, 9/23 Trans*/Gender Fluid Families: Negotiating Relationships

August 13, 2014

THIS SUNDAY: Family Program's Picnic Potluck and Field Day!

For LGBTQ families with and without kids and their families of choice (allies included). Bring your little ones (or borrow some if you don't have them), a potluck item to share, any outdoor game supplies you see fit, and some sunscreen, and join us Sunday, August 17 from 10-2pm at Wrightsville Beach, Middlesex (address for your GPS is 369 Vermont 12, Middlesex, VT 05602). Event is free (with a suggested donation of $10/family).

Please RSVP at http://ru12fieldday.brownpapertickets.com to let us know you’re coming! 

Suggested donation: $10-$15/family (pay at the door) but no one is ever turned away for lack of funding.

Family picnic

Tentative schedule of events:
11am-1:30pm Face painting
11:30am 3-legged race
12:30pm Beach ball volleyball, bean bag toss
1:30pm Scavenger hunt

Coloring stations, bubbles, flying discs, barbecues, and snacks available at all times. Canoeing/kayaking (rentals) and swimming at Wrightsville Beach (just across the way). Bring your own kids or borrow your favorites for this event, which is always a good time!

For more information, call the Center at 802.860.7812 or email jean@ru12.org.

August 11, 2014

The Champlain Valley Balls Get Muddy

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The Champlain Valley Balls, GLAM's volleyball team, played in the 25th Annual Mud Volleyball Tournament and raise $275 to benefit the Epilepsy Foundation of VT. We were 5-3 in the group round and made it to the first round of the elimination round! (And if there was a prize for best dance moves, we would have won.) It was a great day - can't wait until next year!

 

August 08, 2014

Let's Talk about Family

Are you thinking about having children but anxious about connecting with doctos and services in a rural state? Do you struggle with dealing with school, legal or medical systems as an LGBTQ family? Do your children ask questions that you aren't sure how to answer? Do you have worries or success stories that you can't share just anywhere?

Please join us in August and September with all of your questions, triumphs and fears for a series of conversations about all parts of life as LGBTQ families. More information will be coming soon about panelists. All ages are welcome. Childcare will be provided. 

Family town hall flier

August 07, 2014

Gender-Friendly Yoga is Here!

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This is a yoga class that is truly open to EVERYONE!

Have you been intimidated before by the regulars at the yoga studio? Have you been waiting for the right time to try yoga? Are you facing new health challenges or concerns about your body?

Please come to The Iyengar Yoga Center of Vermont (294 N. Winooski Ave) on Mondays in August from 5:30. Rebecca Weisman is offering a special 3-class class series for Summer Semester at the Pride Center of VT with attention to a variety of bodies and abilities, including those who have a longstanding practice.

Reserve a spot in the studio and share your hopes for the class in advance. Please bring a $5 donation to the each class. 

 Call the Center (802-860-7812) or email ellen@ru12.org for more information.

photo credit: Tony George via photopin cc

July 30, 2014

A Call for Stories from LGBTQ families

Are you an LGBTQ person with children? Would you be interested in sharing stories about your family with other LGBTQ families and families-to-be in a small group setting? We’re putting together a series of family town halls in late August and September to share information with each other and to create community among queer families. If you are interested (or know someone who might be interested) in helping others start, grow and strengthen their families call Jean at (802) 860-7812 or email ellen@ru12.org.

July 21, 2014

President Obama Signs Federal Contractors Executive Order

25 million workers now have explicit protections from discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

Today, the president made it illegal for companies that contract with the federal government to fire, decline to promote, or refuse to hire someone simply because they are LGBT, by adding "sexual orientation" and "gender identity" to two existing executive orders. Additionally, with the signing of today's executive order, the federal government affirmed Title VII sex discrimination protections for transgender federal employees. The executive order does not carry with it any religious exemptions. 

Read more and watch Obama sign the order here. 

July 08, 2014

Call to Artists: 22nd Annual Art Hop

Pride Center of Vermont is seeking LGBTQA artists to display their work at the Center during the South End Arts and Business Association’s 22nd Annual Art Hop.

More than 35,000 art lovers from across the state are expected to crowd into Burlington between September 5th and 7th to view art from across mediums and materials. Whether you are just starting out in your art or are an established artist, Pride Center of Vermont encourages your submission. We are particularly but not exclusively interested in LGBTQ activist art and art that explores gender and sexuality.

Last year was our first time participating in the Art Hop and it was amazingly successful.  LGBTQA artists got fantastic exposure, some sold pieces, and everyone had a great time.  Pride Center’s space is bright with large wall space and hanging rods. We also have community space in which to display 3D work.

Selected artists will be featured in our promotion for Art Hop, including announcements on social networking sites, Pride Center’s webpage, and in our e-newsletter distributed to over 1,500 subscribers.

Please enter your submission by August 11th. The committee will notify artists of our selection by August 20th.

Please submit 3 images with title, dimensions, medium, and price (if applicable), as well as a 200-word artist statement.

We ask that we receive your work by Tuesday the 2nd of September so that we can have it installed in time.

We will open the Pride Center’s space on Friday, September 5th at 5:00PM with a wine and cheese reception.  Pride Center will remain open all day Saturday. We will be closed on Sunday.

Please send submissions to art@ru12.org.

If you have questions or comments, please contact Kim Fountain at kim@ru12.org or call 802-860-7812.

July 03, 2014

Summer Semester is HERE!

Summer semester updated

Have you always wanted to learn French? Have you ever been intimidated by a yoga class? Do you have trouble saving money for your goals? This summer, the Pride Center of VT has something for everyone! We're hosting a fun series of classes in July and August called Summer Semester:

Voulez-Vous Learn French With Drew (Drew Briggs)
Tuesdays July: 15, 22 and August 5 at the Center, 6-7pm
Bonjour! This short class is meant to provide some very basic conversation points that will help you when you're traveling or just brushing up on your French. We'll go over some vocab, common phrases, and minimal grammar. All levels are welcome!
Visit the facebook event

Put Your Money Where Your Dreams Are!
Thursday July 17 at the Center, 6-7pm
Whether it is financial security for your family, a vacation home, or early retirement, this seminar helps determine the actions you need to take to turn your long-term dreams into tangible goals.
Visit the facebook event

Seeking a Tax-free Retirement
Tuesday July 29 at the Center, 6-7pm
Whether you're just starting your career, or only a few years away from retirement, where you save can have a big impact on your retirement income. This seminar is ideal for all professions and income levels. Some of the topics covered are: Types of retirement income, SMART Retirement Money Order, Tax-Deferred vs.Tax-Free accumulation, Universal Life Insurance.
Visit the facebook event

IMPROVAGANZA! Drop-In Class (Natalie Miller & Nathan Hartswick)
Thursdays July 31 & Aug 7 at the Center, 7-9pm 
Join Natalie Miller & Nathan Hartswick of Vermont Comedy Club and Spark Arts for some fun during the summer session! This two-hour class will use improv exercises and Whose Line is it Anyway? style games to teach the basics of improv: Saying "Yes and!", freeing yourself from insecurities, thinking quick on your feet and creating engaging, hilarious scenes on the spot. Great for students of all experience levels!
Visit the facebook events here (31st) and here (7th)

Gender-Friendly Yoga(Rebecca Weisman)
Mondays August 11, 18, 25 at the Iyengar Yoga Center of VT, 5:30-7pm
Join Rebecca Weisman for a three-week Gender Friendly Yoga series at the Iyengar Yoga Center of Vermont. In this series we will work with basic yoga postures and create a safe and inviting space to explore our experiences in the body. Classes are slow, instructional, and safe-- appropriate for any body, regardless of age or condition. A great way to learn about yoga!
Visit the facebook event

NEW! Safe and Smart: Self Defense (Dan Duval)
Saturdays August 16 and 23 at the Center, 1-2:30pm
We will explore the many facets of self defense from situational awareness to physical intervention if and when it is needed. This class will help us to be aware of our surroundings and situations that we may be able to avoid and ways of managing ourselves if they can not be avoided. We will learn about situational stress reduction so we can use our mind and body to assess and react in the most effective way possible to potential danger. The class will include discussion and physical training. Please wear T shirts or other loose fitting shirt with sweat pants, yoga pants or other long pants for exercise. Shorts are not recommended as we will be dropping to the floor. Please bring drinking water

 

Register Here! Look out for more classes to be announced soon!

*We ask for a $5 donation per person per class but no one will be turned away for lack of funds.

 

Continue reading "Summer Semester is HERE!" »

July 02, 2014

Northeast Kingdom Courageous Conversations series a success!

The Northeast Kingdom LGBTQA Advisory Committee (a collaboration between RU12?/Pride Center of Vermont and Northeast Vermont Area Agency on Aging) hosted an amazing series of films and discussions, including our signature panel discussion, "Celebrations and Challenges of Being LGBTQA in the NEK" on June 12. Here's a photo of the panelists and moderator, from left to right: Jean Sienkewicz, RU12?/PCVT (moderator); Charlene Willey, of St. Johnsbury (panelist); Chelsea Brochu, formerly of Hardwick, now of Burlington (panelist); Lisa Viles Executive Director of Northeast Vermont Area Agency on Aging (NEVAAA), St. Johnsbury; Jerri Ryan, of St. Johnsbury and NEVAAA (panelist); and Don Grabowski, from the Health Center in Plainfield (panelist). The evening offered a healthy dialogue between and among LGBTQ community members and Allies about community-building, the need for LGBTQ community and events, bias, and the experience of being LGBTQ and Allies in the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont.  

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More photos from the event on June 12th can be found here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/catamountarts/sets/72157645102651116/; the event was recorded and broadcast on a local television station; check it out on Kingdom Access TV.

The LGBTQA Advisory Committee also hosted five discussions following free Monday night films about LGBTQ issues, including "Imagine Me and You," "Cloudburst," "Weekend," "TransAmerica," and "Valentine Road" and are hoping this series is the beginning of new partnership with the Catamount Arts Center for LGBTQA educational and community-building events. Our sincerest thanks go out to all of those who made our Courageous Conversation series in June a huge success, especially the Catamount Arts Center and NEVAAA, as well as community members who opened themselves up to participate in the dialogue.

For more information about the NEK LGBTQA Advisory Committee, please contact Jean at RU12?/Pride Center of Vermont at 802.860.7812 or jean@ru12.org or Jerri Ryan at NEVAAA at 802.751.0431 or jryan@nevaaa.org.

 

 

June 12, 2014

Introducing the New Health and Wellness Intern

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Hi everyone, my name is Ellen Bryer and I'm so happy to be joining the RU12? community for the summer! I'm in the process of exploring Burlington and all of the food and fun it has to offer. I'm coming from Smith College in Western Massachusetts and before that from the greater Philadelphia area. At school, I'm entering my senior year and I study Sociology and Public Health. I'm excited to join the vibrant staff at the RU12? Community Center and learn from the LGBTQ community in Burlington. And as a queer woman, I already feel welcomed into the affirmative environment here. 

While I'm here this summer, I'm going to work in the Health and Wellness Office. My goal is to put together a series of Summer Semester classes (how-to, fitness, discussion-based etc.) as a fun way to learn some new skills together. I'll also compile some resources to add the Center such as a pamphlets on HIV information, queer women's health, and sexual and domestic violence. I'll be at RU12? events during the summer and in the office Monday through Friday. I'm looking forward to meeting everyone who is a part of this community!

May 27, 2014

RU12?'s new groups!

RU12? is pleased to announce that we have two new groups starting in June! Please share this information widely and we hope you will join us!

The RU12? Women’s Discussion Group of 2014 will bring older female-identified LGBTQ people together to discuss topics of interest to them in a safe and comfortable setting and will be an easy and enjoyable opportunity to get to know others from Burlington and the surrounding areas. Group meets on the 1st and 3rd Thursdays, from 3-5pm at RU12?, 255 S. Champlain Street in Burlington. (Upcoming groups will take place on June 5, 19; July 3, 17; August 7, 21.) Come join us on a Thursday that is convenient, we are waiting to meet you! For more information, call the Center at 802.860.7812 or email womensgroup@ru12.org.

RU12? Walking Group 
RU12? wants you to be fit and happy! Join our walking group, get up and get out, and walk with friends new and old. Great outdoor walking in the summer (and the mall for not such nice weather), so rain or shine, we’ll be there! This group is open to anyone interested, regardless of fitness level. Group will meet at 9am on the 3rd Saturday of the month (upcoming: June 21, July 19, Aug 23) outside of Macy’s on Cherry Street, Burlington. Group will leave at 9:10am. For more information, call the Center at 
802.860.7812, or email walking@ru12.org.

These groups, as well as other upcoming RU12? and VT LGBTQ, events are listed on RU12?'s calendar.

June's Courageous Conversations at St. Johnsbury's Catamount Arts Academy: "Challenges and Celebrations of being LGBTQ in the NEK"

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RU12?'s Northeast Kingdom LGBTQA Community Advisory Group is hosting June's Courageous Conversations Through Art, "Challenges and Celebrations of being LGBTQ in the NEK" at the Catamount Film and Arts Center! All screenings begin at 7pm and are free. Discussions will follow each film; all are welcome!

Schedule of films is as follows:

Monday, June 2 - Imagine Me & You
Monday, June 9 - Cloudburst the Movie (2010)
Monday, June 16 - Weekend
Monday, June 23 - Transamerica
Monday, June 30 - Valentine Road

The Courageous Conversations panel conversation, also free and open to the public, will be moderated by RU12?'s very own Jean Sienkewicz, who coordinates RU12's SafeSpace and LGBT Elders programs, and will take place at 6pm on Thursday, June 12 in the Catamount's Cabaret Room. 

Please join us for some films, some stories, and some dialogue about being LGBTQ in the NEK. 

For more information, contact Jean at RU12?, 802.860.7812, jean@ru12.org or Jerri Ryan at Northeast Vermont Area Agency on Aging, 802.751.0431, jryan@nevaaa.org.

LGBTQA in the NEK - Courageous Conversation - Revised -.Two

May 20, 2014

Vermont Pride Theater at Chandler announces its 4th annual Summer Pride Festival

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VERMONT PRIDE THEATER AT CHANDLER

Chandler!, 71-73 Main Street, Randolph, VT 05060

Contact: Sharon Rives, Chandler Pride Producer, (802) 272-7628, < kenrives@gmail.com >

VERMONT PRIDE THEATER AT CHANDLER ANNOUNCES 4th ANNUAL SUMMER PRIDE FESTIVAL

Vermont Pride Theater at Chandler announces its 4th annual Summer Pride Festival of LGBT plays in Randolph, Vermont, July 18-20 and 25-27. This season it will offer full productions of three exciting scripts, none of which has been presented before in Vermont. These will be directed and performed by an ensemble of Equity and non-Equity theater artists from across the nation, and presented in Randolph’s historic Chandler Music Hall, listed on the National Historic Register.

Jane Chambers' classic lesbian drama “Last Summer at Bluefish Cove” will be presented Friday July 18 and Sunday July 27. Douglas Carter Beane's Tony-Award-winning comedy “The Little Dog

Laughed” is scheduled for Saturday July 19 and Friday July 25. And a new stage adaptation of Will Fellows' “Farm Boys” will be premiered on Sunday July 20 and Saturday July 26.

The Theater Festival will also include two events benefiting the Matthew Shepard Foundation. A screening of Moises Kaufman's film of “The Laramie Project” is scheduled for Tuesday July 22 in the Esther Mesh Room of Chandler’s Upper Gallery. On Wednesday July 23, in the same space, a cast of young people will present a reading of Leslea Newman’s related poem cycle, “October Mourning: A Song for Matthew Shepard”.

During the two-week Summer Festival period and for a month thereafter, portrait and landscape paintings by Andy Newman will be on exhibit in the Chandler Gallery. 

David Zak, Executive Director of Chicago-based Pride Films and Plays, will adapt “Farm Boys” and direct it at the Festival. “Mr. Fellows' interviewees provide rare perspective about growing up gay on farms in rural America,” observes Mr. Zak, “and giving them voice on a Vermont stage seems especially relevant.”

Newbury and New York City resident Richard Waterhouse will direct Mr. Beane's 2006 play. When it debuted in New York, leading lady Julie White won a Tony Award for her performance. “It's a laugh a minute,” he observes, “despite holding a mirror to the foibles and vanities of our screen stars – and of ourselves – in ways both painful and wise.”

Jeanne Beckwith, founder of Norwich University's Pegasus Players, will direct Ms. Chambers' 1980 play on the surprising outcomes from a straight woman's encounter with a lesbian community.“The writing for each of the eight characters is very strong,” comments Dr. Beckwith, “and requires eight excellent performers of different ages...not hard to find among Vermont's acting community!”

 

Advance individual tickets for the Music Hall plays are now on sale at www.brownpapertickets.com or (800) 838-3006 and www.chandler-arts.org. For the price of only 2 tickets, a “Pride Pass” valid for any 3 admissions is also available.

 

Admission to the Shepard Foundation benefit events is by donation at the door.

 

This 4th annual Summer Pride Theater Festival presents the concerns and issues of LGBT Vermonters with the goal of building bridges of understanding between them, their families and friends, and the wider community. Sponsorship support is provided by the Gay & Lesbian Fund of Vermont and the Samara Fund of the Vermont Community Foundation, with media support provided by Vermont Public Radio.

May 13, 2014

Queer Movie Night @ Burlington College

A monthly event: Queer Movies Nights at Burlington College. 

Open to all! This free event explores LGBTQ themed movies. Grab some popcorn, bring a date, and make your way to Burlington College at 95 North Avenue in Burlington by 6:30pm on Wednesday, 5/14. 

Queer movie

This month, Christopher and His Kind will be shown.

Christopher and His Kind ( father of the musical Cabaret )tells the story of Christopher Isherwood's life in Berlin in the early 1930s. The film, adapted by Kevin Elyot from Isherwood's autobiography of the same title, was produced by Mammoth Screen and directed by Geoffrey Sax. Isherwood is played by Matt Smith, whilst the cast also includes Toby Jones, Douglas Booth, Imogen Poots and Iddo Goldberg.

April 16, 2014

Upcoming Queer Crips Mentioned in Seven Days

Check out Seven Days post about the RU12? LGBTQ Disability Network event Queer Crips featuring John Kallacky- http://www.sevendaysvt.com/vermont/queer-crips/Event?oid=2348081

April 15, 2014

Queer Crips: Films and Conversation with John Killacky this Friday!

John Killacky

April 11, 2014

I am......... A new Monday morning support and discussion group at RU12?

I am...4.10.2014
 "i am..." is a peer led support & discussion group for people wanting to start the week off in a supportive space.  Everyone is welcome.  Melanie Jannery will facilitate this group at RU12? Community Center's Conference room located at 255 South Champlain Street in Burlington every Monday at 10:00 AM.  Questions?  meljannery@gmail.com

April 07, 2014

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" »

April 01, 2014

ANNOUNCEMENT: RU12? Community Center is Changing Their Name!

**APRIL FOOLS!!!**

 

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

Logo

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! 

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