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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. 

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! 

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 21, 2014

The Big Reveal: Save the Date!

Big-reveal-facebook-cover (1)

The RU12? Annual Community Celebration
Friday, May 2nd
6-10:00PM
Echo Lake Aquarium & Science Center
Burlington, Vermont

Catering provided by Sugarsnap, 
Leunig’s Bistro and Lounge, 
and Catering by Dale

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.

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 09, 2014

GLAD's "Know Your Rights After DOMA" Campaign for LGBTQ Families

 

 

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!

Know Your Rights After DOMA_Page_1

Know Your Rights After DOMA_Page_2

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 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! 

October 25, 2013

RU12? Online Bulletin Board is Back!

Banner w mountain

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!

  • Do you have an apartment for rent?

  • How about a job opportunity?

  • Are you looking to set up a carpool or ride-share?

  • Having a tag sale?

 

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!

Posted at 05:35 AM in Central VermontEmploymentHousingVermont Statewide | Permalink

October 03, 2013

Fantastic Foliage: Hike Snake Mountain

OzarkMountainsFoliage-Pano

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

August 20, 2013

RU12? Open House

Open House sm
We moved back to Burlington this summer. With the help of Jessica Bridge of Element Real Estate, RU12? found a new home at 255 South Champlain Street. We have settled into our beautiful new center and now we'd like to celebrate with you! 

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

 

FACEBOOK EVENT

July 21, 2013

Job Opening: Health & Wellness Program

RU12 employment opportunities 3

Job Type: P/T Contract Position, 9/1/13-12/31/13

RU12? Community Center is looking for a P/T Contract position for the Health and Wellness Program. RU12? celebrates, educates, and advocates with and for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer Vermonters. 

Continue reading "Job Opening: Health & Wellness Program" »

July 16, 2013

RU12? In The News

 

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.


FOX 44 - Protests Across the Country - Gay Men Want to be able to Donate Blood

June 29, 2013

SafeSpace Contributes to National Report on Hate Violence Against LGBTQ and HIV-Affected Communities Released in June

Multi-Year trends in anti-LGBTQ hate violence and homicides continue 

To download the full report please visit NCAVP online 

 

  • Overall rates of reports of anti-LGBTQ violence remain steady in 2012 with 2,016 incidents     reported
  •  25 homicides of LGBTQ people documented the  4th highest yearly total ever recorded
  •  Transgender women, people of color, and gay men face the most severe violence
  •  LGBTQ people report substantial police misconduct when engaging with the police 
  •  

    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.    

     

    General Findings 

    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.

    June 26, 2013

    RU12? Celebrates the Repeal of DOMA

    RU12? is in the news!

    Doma celebration

    Check out the links below of various local news stations which covered our DOMA gathering this morning! 

    "US Supreme Court Strikes Down Key Part of DOMA" (WCAX)

    "Vermonters React to DOMA Decision" (VPR)

     

     

    DOMA is Gone!

     

    This morning community members filled RU12? Community Center awaiting the U.S. Supreme Court Marriage Decisions. Nervous tension filled the air. Every time a new person came into the space, they said, “I just wanted to be with my community.” We were glued to the SCOTUS blog.  When the decision was about to be announced, the chatter hushed immediately. When the 5-4 decision came down, cheers erupted and tears began to flow. I am pretty sure there wasn’t a dry eye in the place.

    RU12? Community Center applauds the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to strike down state sanctioned discrimination against the LGBTQ community that had been enshrined into law by Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act.  We will now have access to 1,138 rights that were denied us based on discriminatory beliefs. From spousal benefits to relief for bi-national couples, our safety net grows wider.

    I wish everyone could have felt the joy in the room after the DOMA announcement. Our phones were ringing off the hook and people were sending the Center message after supportive message. Certainly, there is still work to be done. However, this victory means so much to so any people and it will serve to propel us forward to even more victories.  

    Please join us this Friday, June 28th at the Second Annual Vermont Stonewall Commemoration presented by Pride Vermont at the College Street Congregational Church in Burlington. We will be focusing on the Stonewall riots and today’s decisions. The event begins at 7:00 PM. 

    For more information, please call RU12? Community Center at 802-860-7812.

    -- 
    Kim Fountain, PhD
    Executive Director
    RU12? Community Center
    255 So. Champlain St. Suite 12
    Burlington, VT 05401
    802.860.7812

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