Connect with us. Connect with others. Connect with yourself.

March 18, 2014

New England Queer People of Color Conference


Noname   

For more information 

Facebook event

RU12? LGBT Elders Program at Burlington Gerontology Symposium

140318_0000
RU12?'s display at Gerontology Symposium

RU12?'s LGBT Elders SafeSpaces Network cultural awareness training program is thrilled for the opportunity to be exhibiting at the Gerontology Symposium today at Burlington's Hilton Hotel! We've been mingling and networking with elder-care providers of all different kinds (medical, mental health, education, case management, etc.) talking about our cultural awareness work around the state. Exciting stuff! If you are attending the symposium, please stop by, chat with Jean and help yourself to a clementine. :)

March 14, 2014

Urinetown the Musical

Urinetown - Is this really the title

New Social Group for Cross Dressers

Cross Dressers

Stuck in the Middle with You
(A Crossdresser's Invitation)

Maybe not stuck. More like wandering. But that's only because of our natural bias toward viewing life and our journeys through it as a straight path with a destination, point A to point B. What about all the great terrain in between?

This is my perspective as a crossdresser. The shame of veering off of point A as a stereotypical heterosexual male is bad enough in our society, but to my surprise, I have found that I also face difficulty in the LGBTQ community. When I tell people I am a cross dresser, many presume that I have a goal of transitioning my gender to female. For those who are transitioning, this is fantastic and you have my full support. I do not have this goal. I'm still happily tethered to the roots of my gender identity. I am a man, husband, father, even a grandfather.

For those who insist that I must be confused or I haven’t yet admitted that I want to transition my gender, I reply, "Chill out!" My compass on this trek is my heart, not my head. Constant questions that are code for ‘are you sure you haven’t thought about this?’ are just as responsible for stirring up confusion on this journey as what I hear from people trying to convince me that there is something wrong with crossdressing. Risking the vulnerability of the unknown is scary, especially in the face of doubts from others, but I am committed to exploring and acknowledging my authentic self.

Anyone else out there on a similar journey? Any interest in coming together to share stories, support and honoring our basic human need for connection?

Initially, I envision scheduled meetings at the RU12? Community Center on S. Champlain Street. From there we can mix it up with social outings, such as dining out, shopping sprees, makeover sessions, athletic activities. Maybe some volunteer/outreach work.

If interested, shoot me an email. The sooner the better. Spring afternoons on Church Street are fabulous with shoulder length hair brushing over bare shoulders and long flowing dresses embracing the rest! In the words of Bon Scott, former lead singer of my favorite rock band, AC/DC, "It's a long way to the top if you want to rock & roll"...so slip on a dress and go out and have fun!

Looking forward to hearing from you,

Rene Dubois

March 13, 2014

We will open at noon today!

RU12? will open late today due to the lingering storm and clean up.  See you at noon!

March 12, 2014

Gender Free Partner Dancing Cancelled

It's too snowy to travel so we are cancelling dance lessons tonight. 

RU12? Community Center is Closed Today

Snow day

Due to the storm, the RU12? Community Center will be closed today. The center will reopen on Thursday, March 13th at 10am.

Travel Safely!!

March 11, 2014

A Portrait of Decorum

Guest Blogger 2

A Portrait of Decorum

Decorum is sort of an old-fashioned word; you rarely hear it used in casual conversation nowadays. It's not hard to imagine why such a word that encompasses all the niceties of polite social behavior has fallen so far out of our collective national lexicon. We live in a world of ever-increasing instant gratification. We no longer communicate with friends or loved ones with long hand-written letters diligently delivered by the Post Office person we know by name. Today we rely on technology—we text, Instagram, Tweet, Snapchat, Facetime or Facebook our lives. But is this truly progress? What in reality is the social cost to the virtual worlds we create for ourselves? One thing most likely missing from the barrage of daily spam you receive is a petition for propriety, prudence, decency, modesty, or etiquette. In short, a call for the return of decorum. 

I've had the luxury to ponder this issue and do some serious self-reflection on my own personal issues and moral hesitations when confronted with doing the "right thing" vs. that which is "convenient." And to be completely honest, I found myself lacking. What prompted this introspective trek of mine? On a very snowy February 13, 2014, in the tiny but beautiful rural hamlet of St. Johnsbury, Vermont, I had the distinct honor of interviewing Ms. Charlene Willey. Ms. Willey is a true lady in the finest sense of that expression. And it was my encounter with Ms. Willey that both reaffirmed my faith in humanity's best attributes, as well as left me questioning the moral obligations my community has to its brothers and sisters who are not fortunate enough to live in an urban environment. 

Continue reading "A Portrait of Decorum " »

March 10, 2014

LGBTQ Valley YooHoo!

Valley yoohoo smaller

Join RU12? Community Center for an evening of socializing, networking, and fun! RSVP

Saturday, March 29th

The Sugarbush Inn

5:30PM-8:00PM

 

$10.00 tickets

buy tickets here: http://bit.ly/1jV4J1D

or pay in cash or by check at the door

 

Lite hors d’oeurves, cash bar

Live auction with a range of fun items

If you would like to spend the evening, the White Horse Inn is offering a special: $89.00 for the evening, including breakfast.

 

Bring your business card or fill out a ticket to enter a prize drawing

 

Questions?-please call Kim at 802.860-7812 or email [email protected]

March 07, 2014

Service Dog Support Thursday March 13th at 2:00

Service Dog Support 3.13.2014

March 06, 2014

WPTZ Coverage of the Ernst and Supeno Lawsuit

WPTZ's David Charns covered the lawsuit brought against the town of Addison, VT. [here]

Media Alert: Allegations of Sustained Anti-LGBTQ harassment Brought Forth in Addison County Law Suit

March 4, 2014

RU12? Community Center has learned of a case of alleged intense, prolonged, homophobic discrimination directed at two women, Barbara Supeno and Barbara Ernst, both of Addison, Vermont.  On March 5th, Ms. Supeno and Ms. Ernst with their attorney, David Bond, filed a complaint in Addison Superior Court.  The complaint outlines a disturbing set of allegations detailing discrimination in land use decisions motivated by anti-gay bias on the part of certain town officials. 

Ms. Supeno and Ms. Ernst have been together for twenty-one years.  They purchased their home on Lake Champlain in 2004, where they hoped to raise a family in a state where they would feel safe and protected.  Little did they know that the fact they were openly lesbian would make them a target.  Their dream life began to unravel shortly after their arrival in Addison.

The complaint alleged that, under the leadership of the Chair of the Selectboard, Jeff Kauffman, the town has issued baseless citations, levied unfair taxes, published defamatory statements, granted permits (without notice) allowing encroachment by neighbors, and attempted to rescind the permits it issued to those very neighbors after Ms. Supeno and Ms. Ernst purchased their land.  The emblem for this campaign of discrimination has been spray-painted in the parking lot of the town office for over two years now – the message “I ♥ FAGS.”

Mr. Kaufman is a Baptist minister who, according to the lawsuit, has in the past maintained a website suggesting LGBTQ people are to be punished because “they are disease-carrying fornicators” whose “unnatural and animalistic wickedness … must be rejected by true Christians.” 

In their lawsuit, Ms. Supeno and Ms. Ernst are seeking to bring a halt to the discrimination.  In addition to asserting claims against various private defendants, they are suing Jeff Kauffman and the Town for violations of 9 V.S.A. section 4503(a)(12) which makes it illegal to discriminate in land use decisions or the permitting of housing because of sexual orientation; and 9 V.S.A. section 4506(e), which prohibits retaliation for opposing acts prohibited under section 4503, or for filing a complaint of discrimination under section 4503 with the State’s Human Rights Commission.  Ms. Supeno and Ms. Ernst have asked the court to award them unspecified money damages.  They have also requested that the court issue an injunction, barring the town from engaging in further discriminatory acts.

RU12? Community Center believes that LGBTQ people should be able to live without fear of harassment or intimidation. “At the Center, we devote significant resources to building safe communities in Vermont,” said Executive Director Kim Fountain. “It is our sincerest hope that Ms. Ernst and Ms. Supeno find the justice they deserve.”

Ms. Supeno and Ms. Ernst have expressed their hope that the lawsuit will be a catalyst for change.

If you are a member of the press, please contact:

David Bond, Law Office of David Bond, PLLC: [email protected] or

802-540-0434

Kim Fountain, Executive Director, RU12? Community Center: [email protected] or

802-860-7812

###

RU12? Community Center celebrates, educates, and advocates with and for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender Vermonters. www.ru12.org

March 05, 2014

Traffic Jam: Underwear/Stop Light Party

Traffic Jam Party hifi

Come single to mingle, find your next ex, or just have a pants-off-dance-off!

It's the "Traffic Light" Party to the next level. Never been to one? Read up on the game rules here: 
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stop_light_party

Check your clothes at the door and show off your booty in your undies, but pick your undie color choice wisely: 

RED: Stop! I'm taken. 
YELLOW: Let's talk about it... 
GREEN: Good to go.

GoGo boys and girls! 
Raffles and Prizes! 

*Ages 21+ 
*$5 cover includes clothes check
*Proceeds benefit RU12? Community Center

March 04, 2014

Celebrate International Women's Day!

International women's day film

Celebrate International Women's Day--come to "A Moment in Her Story," a film by Catherine Russo, showing at the RU12? Community Center. Sat, March 8th at 6pm

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.

Living with HIV Social Support Group

HIV Support Group lo

RU12? Name Change Exploration

Name Change 2

RU12? Community Center is exploring whether or not we should change our name and if so, to what? We have some options to choose from as well as a way for you to suggest your own idea if you'd like. 

Please take 5 minutes to fill the survey out. We will wrap up this step of the process on Tuesday, March 11th. 

Please let folks know about this survey! We need as many voices to be heard as possible. 

Click here to take survey

 

Thanks! 

The RU12? Name Change Committee

February 28, 2014

PEEP Show presents: CA$H

PEEP Cash

Johnny Cash tribute burlesque show. 

your hosts and producers:
Quechee George and Jonathan B Itchman

featuring DJ Papi Javi

Special guests to entertain you:
Major Face
Trixie Fawkes
...more to be announced!

go go dancers to keep the dance party going after the show!

https://www.facebook.com/events/437668299699233/

February 27, 2014

LGBTQ Valley YooHoo!

Valley yoohoo LO RES

Join RU12? Community Center for an evening of
socializing, networking, and fun

Saturday, March 29th
The Sugarbush Inn
5:30PM-8:00PM

$10.00 tickets
buy tickets here: http://bit.ly/1jV4J1D
or pay in cash or by check at the door

Lite hors d’hoeurves, cash bar
Live auction with a range of fun items

If you would like to spend the evening, the White Horse in is offering a special: $89.00 for the evening, including breakfast

Bring your business card or fill out a ticket to enter a prize drawing

Questions?-please call Kim at 802.860-7812 or email [email protected]

Facebook Event

 

February 25, 2014

RU12? Community Center Stands with Vermont Senator Patrick Leahy in Denouncing Uganda’s Anti-Homosexuality Bill

In keeping with his staunch support of LGBTQ communities around the world, Vermont Senator Patrick Leahy has issued a strongly worded statement denouncing Uganda’s anti-homosexuality bill. Senator Leahy called for a review of U.S. assistance to Uganda based on the signing of this bill into law, a sentiment that echoed a similar broader proposal that he made at the 2014 World Economic Summit in Switzerland.

BBC News Africa which has retained a copy of the bill that was signed into law and notes that while it remains oppressive, it is significantly different from earlier, stricter versions. This new law, according to the BBC, allows life imprisonment for act of “aggravated homosexuality” and criminalizes the “promotion” of “homosexuality.” Lesbians are, for the first time, also included in this law.

According to Aljazeera America, Denmark, the Netherlands, and Norway have all frozen or redirected government aid to Uganda as a result of this act of violence.

President Obama is quoted as warning that this legislation could “complicate” Washington’s relationships with Uganda, which receives about $400 million dollars in annual aid from the United States. 

Senator Patrick Leahy's statement:

Comments Of Senator Patrick Leahy

(D-Vt., President Pro Tempore,

Chairman Of The State Department And Foreign Operations

Appropriations Subcommittee)

On Uganda President Museveni’s Signing

Of The Anti-Homosexuality Bill

Tuesday, Feb. 25, 2014

“I am deeply concerned by the decision of President Museveni of Uganda to sign into law the anti-homosexuality bill.  I support Secretary of State Kerry and others in calling for its immediate repeal.  Much of U.S. assistance to Uganda is for the people of Uganda, including those in the Ugandan LGBT community whose human rights are being so tragically violated.  But we need to closely review all U.S. assistance to Uganda, including through the World Bank and other multilateral organizations.  I cannot support providing further funding to the Government of Uganda until the United States has undergone a review of our relationship.”

 

# # # # #

what's up?

Sign up to receive our free email newsletter...

hiv testing hours

free - anonymous - rapid

Tuesdays: 12pm - 6pm

Thursdays: 12pm - 6pm

By appointment: Evenings & Weekends


« Newer Posts | Older Posts »