PRIDE VERMONT PRESENTS:
BE GENDER PROUD: Gena Rocero at Burlington City Hall
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.
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.
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!
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.
Photo: Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images
Check it out NECN.com
With DOMA's demise, GLAD (Gay & Lesbian Advocates and Defenders) are currently in the process of educating as many LGBTQ community members about their rights as they relate to taxes and federal benefits. The fact sheet images below are a good start, and GLAD will also be hosting two upcoming webinars:
GLAD also has their GLAD Answers program, a legal information service where community members can call and reach a live person on the other end to ask questions, get referrals, and find out more about their own legal situation.
We hope this information is helpful for Vermont's LGBTQ families!
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).
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.
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.
We 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!
Thanks to our amazing Marketing Intern from UVM, Shelby Mathews we're re-introducing our Statewide Online Community Bulletin Board on our website. Here you can find or post ads from members of your community for housing, carpool or ride share, furniture and personal items, employment opportunities, and more!
Here is your chance to get the word out! The board is a bit empty so please start posting!!
For questions about the posting on the board please emailBulletinBoard@ru12.org or call the center at (802) 860-7812
Click HERE to visit the online bulletin board!
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 GLAM@ru12.org 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
Come check out the LGBTQ community's new space!
Meet our new staff and board members, interns and volunteers!
Food provided by Catering by Dale
**RSVP is helpful but not required. FMI contact Kim@ru12.org or call 802-860-7812
Check out FOX 44's coverage of the FDA ban of blood donations by MSM.
Featuring commentary from our very own, Mike Bensel, Health andWellness Coordinator.
Multi-Year trends in anti-LGBTQ hate violence and homicides continue
To download the full report please visit NCAVP online
NATIONAL—The National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs (NCAVP), released its annual report documenting the high level of hate violence experienced by LGBTQ and HIV-affected persons in the United States in 2012. The report, Hate Violence Against Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer and HIV-Affected Communities in the United States in 2012, is the most comprehensive report on this violence in the United States. It draws on data collected from 15 anti-violence programs in 16 states (with one organization reporting about two states) across the country. States reporting were: Alabama, Arizona, California, Colorado, Georgia, Illinois, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, South Carolina,Texas and Vermont.
The 2012 report documents 2,016 incidents of anti-LGBTQ violence in 2012 (a slight 4% decrease from 2011), and highlights a number of disturbing multi-year trends of severe anti-LGBTQ violence. LGBTQ people of color were 1.82 times as likely to experience physical violence compared to white LGBTQ people, and gay men were 1.56 times as likely to require medical attention compared to other survivors reporting. The report also found that transgender people were 1.67 times as likely to experience threats and intimidation compared to LGBTQ non-transgender survivors and victims.
“Though the recent spate of hate violence incidents in New York City has captured the media’s attention, this report demonstrates that severe acts of violence against gay men, transgender people and LGBTQ people of color are, unfortunately, not unique to Manhattan nor to the past month, but rather part of a troubling trend in the United States,” said Chai Jindasurat, NCAVP Coordinator at the New York City Anti-Violence Project.
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.
People can also report discrimination, hate violence, domestic violence, intimate partner violence and sexual violence through a secure link on the website www.ru12.org. As with any reporting to SafeSpace the information is confidential and there is the option to remain anonymous.
RU12? is in the news!
Check out the links below of various local news stations which covered our DOMA gathering this morning!
Tuesdays: 12pm - 6pm
Thursdays: 12pm - 6pm
By appointment: Evenings & Weekends