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Press Releases

May 29, 2014

SafeSpace contributes data to national report on hate violence released today

Call SafeSpace, 863-0003, if you or someone you know is experiencing hate violence, intimate partner violence, domestic violence, sexual violence or discrimination.  Advocates are availble to provide emotional support, advocacy, information and referrals.  SafeSpace also has a report violence online annonymously option, It Matters, Make it Count.

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May 29, 2014 | For Immediate Release

National Report on Hate Violence Against Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer and HIV-Affected Communities Released Today

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

To download the full report please visit NCAVP online

  • Rates of anti-LGBTQ violence remain consistent in 2013 with 2,001 total incidents reported, with a substantial increase in the severity of violence reported
  • Transgender women, people of color, and gay men face the highest risk of homicide
  • Transgender women, undocumented people, transgender people, people of color, and gay men face the most severe violence 
  • Fewer survivors are reporting hate violence to the police, and those reporting are being met with increased police hostility

NATIONAL—Today 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 2013.  The report, Hate Violence Against Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer and HIV-Affected Communities in the United States in 2013, is the most comprehensive report on this violence in the United States.  It draws on data collected from 14 anti-violence programs in 13 states across the country and Puerto Rico.  States reporting were: Ohio, Illinois, Colorado, California, Michigan, Massachusetts, New York, Vermont, Kansas, Missouri, Texas, Minnesota, and Arizona. 

General Findings

NCAVP’s 2013 hate violence report documents 2,001 incidents of anti-LGBTQ violence in 2013, a slight decrease from the 2,016 total incidents reported in 2012. However, for NCAVP member organizations that reported data in both 2012 and 2013, the number of incidents increased.  NCAVP member organization, Sean’s Last Wish, reported data in 2012 but not 2013, while the Civil Rights Commission of Puerto Rico reported for the first time in 2013.  The total number of incidents, disregarding data from Sean’s Last Wish in 2012 and the Civil Rights Commission of Puerto Rico in 2013, increased by 3%, from 1,926 incidents in 2012 to 1,984 incidents in 2013.  Reports of violence also increased in severity in 2013, with a 21% increase in reports of physical hate violence.  The 2013 report continues to document multi-year trends revealing that anti-LGBTQ and HIV-affected hate violence disproportionately impacts transgender women, LGBTQ and HIV-affected communities of color, transgender people, and transgender people of color.  Consistent with previous years, gay men represented the largest group of hate violence survivors and victims in 2013, showing that hate violence remains a pervasive and persistent issue for all LGBTQ and HIV-affected people.  

 

Continue reading "SafeSpace contributes data to national report on hate violence released today " »

May 03, 2014

The Big Reveal: RU12? Community Center Changes it's name!

- May 2nd, 2014 RU12?'s 16th Annual LGBTQA Community Celebration: The Big Reveal at the ECHO Lake Aquarium & Science Center in Burlington, Vermont

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

March 26, 2014

PRIDE Vermont Announces 2014 September Festival Events

Pride logo

PRIDE Vermont Announces 2014 September Festival Events

Vermont to Celebrate LGBT Community in Northern New England’s Premier PRIDE Festival

BURLINGTON, Vt – The PRIDE Vermont Committee announced its plans today for the state’s annual Pride Vermont celebration, scheduled for September 7-14, 2014 at in Burlington, Vt.  This year’s theme is “Generations of PRIDE,” which explores the history of PRIDE through the decades and also the diversity in ages of Vermont’s LGBT community.

The week-long celebration, Northern New England’s premier PRIDE, kicks off with a high heel race and will culminate with a parade on Church Street followed by the festival at Battery Park.

On Sunday, September 7th at 2:00 pm, the Annual High Heel Race on Church Street will provide a colorful and competitive start to the festivities.  The event is open to all who are brave enough to don high heels.  Dressing in drag is highly encouraged, but not required.  Extra shoes will be available to accommodate spectators wanting to sign up on site. 

Beginning on Friday, September 12th through Sunday, September 14th, diners and shoppers will enjoy discounted prices during Out On Church Street.  Special medallions on bead necklaces will be available for $10 each, and will provide special discounts at participating shops, restaurants and department stores at the popular Church Street Marketplace.

Festivities on Saturday, September 13th continue with the annual Women’s Tea Dance in downtown Burlington in the afternoon, followed by the biggest annual dance party of Pride at 8:30 pm at the Higher Ground in South Burlington.  This 18+ multimedia event features two of Vermont’s best DJs playing the hottest club music.

The PRIDE Vermont Parade will start at 12:45 pm on Sunday, September 14th, beginning at the bottom of Church Street and winding all the way to the Festival site at Battery Park. With students, families, and early foliage tourists in town, another record-breaking turnout is expected to view the colorful parade of floats, performers, and marchers of all kinds. The festival itself will take place 1:00-5:00 pm. and will include music and entertainment in the Battery Park bandshell, vendors, family, youth and activity tents, and community resources.

Produced by the Vermont Gay Tourism Association (VGTA), the Northern Decadence Food & Travel Expo will take place during the PRIDE Vermont festival at Battery Park on Sunday, September 14th, 12:00-5:00 pm. “This is a festival within a festival,” said Willie Docto, President of the VGTA.  Northern Decadence will showcase LGBT-friendly businesses from across Vermont and include food and wine samples, a silent auction, and the popular Decadent Cupcake Competition. “Vermont’s is the tastiest PRIDE festival in the country,” Docto added. Tickets are $5 for adults; children 12 and under are free. For more information and to buy tickets, visit www.northerndecadence.com.

Other highlights of the family-friendly PRIDE Vermont festival include:

Gender Fun Lawn Games and Activity Tent:  Play lawn “gaymes,” make craft projects, and get information on gender diversity, rights, and resources.

Live Entertainment hosted by drag artist Major Face featuring local and regional performers.

Dancing on the Lawn with music by local DJs.

Randy Violette, Chair of the PRIDE Vermont Committee said, “With our Generations of PRIDE theme, we celebrate the coming of age of the LGBT community in Vermont and the equality we’ve achieved in the most beautiful state in the country.  I invite everyone to celebrate with us.”

Individuals, groups, and businesses are invited to participate in any of the PRIDE Vermont events.  For more information on being a vendor, sponsor, or parade participant email prideinfo@pridevermont.com or go to www.pridevermont.com.

PRIDE Vermont is the statewide PRIDE festival for Vermont’s lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex, and ally community. Equality-minded Vermonters gather to celebrate our state for its safe, healthy, empowering community that embraces all of life’s colors. We take Pride in Vermont’s progress towards equality and want Vermonters to know that being queer in Vermont is something worth celebrating.

-- END --

Willie Docto

Marketing Committee Chair, PRIDE Vermont

President, Vermont Gay Tourism Association

PO Box 164, Waterbury, VT  05676

802-244-6828

wil@vermontgaytourism.com

www.vermontgaytourism.com

www.northerndecadence.com

 

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

January 28, 2014

Thank you Vermont Burlesque Festival!

Thanks to all who made this weekend amazing!

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In case you missed it here is some news coverage of the Vermont Burlesque Festival Burlesque Bowling Competition!

 

January 18, 2014

Just a few moments for LGBTQ Vermonters...


SamaraHey All-

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. 

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:

https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/ZCFBRXH

Thanks all!! 

Kim Fountain, Executive Director

 

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

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

August 20, 2013

RU12? Hires New Health & Wellness Coordinator

Noh8 (1)RU12? Community Center is proud to welcome John Chagnon as our new Health & Wellness and GLAM Coordinator!

John grew up in Burlington and graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Business from Champlain College. He holds a deep love for the Burlington community in all its diverse flavors, and has a passion for helping others break through shells of oppression to embrace their own identity.

Profile (1)Over the years, he has been a part of many LGBTQ events across the area and served on the Pride Vermont planning committee. Professionally, he tends to focus on Marketing and Event Planning projects, having worked for various mobile media apps and Pride events from NYC to Los Angeles and many places in between.

He is thrilled to be able to use his professional talents in addition to his deep ties within the Burlington community to further a wonderful cause as Health and Wellness Coordinator: Providing resources that will help others live happily and healthily, while establishing great relationships through our GLAM program and events!

June 26, 2013

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

April 26, 2013

Trans* Vermonters Gain Equal Access To Health Care

Press Release

April 26, 2013


New Health Insurance Bulletin Clarifies Access to

Health Care for Transgender Vermonters

 

For Immediate Release

Contact: Jean-Denis Couillard, Health and Wellness Coordinator

RU12? Community Center

802-860-7812 trans@ru12.org

 

The Vermont Department of Financial Regulation (DFR), Division of Insurance, this week, issued a bulletin clarifying key protections for transgender people in Vermont. The bulletin provides a clear directive to insurers that health care plans may not exclude coverage for medically necessary services for transgender people, including gender reassignment surgery.

 

The bulletin rests on key protections in law prohibiting gender identity discrimination, as well as the important and controlling standard of medical necessity regularly enforced by DFR rule. Insurance companies must comply with the terms of the bulletin, and new insurance policy forms filed by insurers will not be approved if they exclude gender transition related care.  The bulletin will impact a wide range of plans purchased by individuals and employers in Vermont, but does not regulate self-insured employer plans, which will continue to be subject to federal law.

 

“This is an important clarification of Vermont law.  Many health insurance plans categorically exclude gender-transition related care for no reason other than stigma and bias, and that is wrong,” said Corey Mallon, member of the Vermont Equal Care Coalition, a coalition of community organizations and individuals who advocated for the trans-inclusive reform in health insurance coverage.  “There is no principled reason for denying a transgender employee medically necessary health care.”

 

This bulletin confirms that discrimination against transgender people, including discrimination perpetuated by unfair insurance coverage, is against Vermont public policy. The bulletin states that “DFR is committed to ensuring that Vermonters do not face discrimination in accessing medically necessary health care benefits, including those based on gender identity and gender dysphoria. This is both a simple question of fairness and a matter addressed by existing insurance law and DFR regulation.”

 

“This bulletin is a momentous achievement, an achievement that rests not only on the work of the Equal Care Coalition, but on years of extraordinary efforts of many people in Vermont, and indeed across the country. We are extremely pleased that yet another barrier to receiving quality health care has fallen.  Vermont Federation of Nurses and Health Professionals is proud to be part of the Equal Care Coalition, the group that helped bring this over the finish line”, said Mari Cordes RN, President of Vermont Federation of Nurses and Health Professionals.

 

“Vermont joins a growing number of states in ensuring that transgender people are able to get the care they need, when they need it. Data shows that eliminating discriminatory insurance exclusions does not drive up costs, and is invaluable for helping transgender people lead healthy and authentic lives,” added Andrew Cray, a policy analyst with the LGBT Research and Communications Project at the, Center for American Progress in Washington, DC. California, Oregon, Colorado, and the District of Columbia have released guidance recognizing that equal access to health coverage is supported by medical science, improves the health of transgender people, and does not increase costs. Ending arbitrary insurance discrimination against transgender people simply supports what expert medical professional organizations including the American Medical Association, the World Professional Association for Transgender Health and others have been saying for years: transition-related health care is medically necessary for many transgender individuals whose health and well-being depends on bringing their physical body into alignment with their gender identity, and determination of what care an individual patient needs properly rests with medical providers, not insurance companies.

 

Read the full bulletin here -  http://www.dfr.vermont.gov/sites/default/files/Bulletin_174.pdf

 

Frequently Asked Questions – http://www.ru12.org/bulletin_faq.html

April 09, 2013

RU12?'s LGBTQ Community Dinner Tickets Now Available!!

Ainner

RESERVE TICKETS

Please join us for RU12? Community Center’s 15th Annual LGBTQ Community Dinner: Emerald. Our signature event, this year’s dinner celebrates fifteen years of RU12?’s commitment to LGBTQA community building across Vermont.

RU12’s Annual Dinner brings together community members and allies for a fabulous evening of dinner and entertainment in support of our vital health and human rights programs as well as our social and educational events. It is a time for us to recognize community leaders, organizations, and businesses dedicated to building and strengthening our community.

The Annual Dinner begins at 5:00PM

The Sheraton Hotel, Burlington

in the Emerald Ballroom  

Continue reading "RU12?'s LGBTQ Community Dinner Tickets Now Available!!" »

January 22, 2013

Relay For Life- Rainbow Edition!

Coverphoto_ACS

Be a part of an exciting new movement!

The American Cancer Society is proud to announce a groundbreaking new movement in the fight against cancer. Introducing Relay For Life- Rainbow Edition; an event for and by the LGBTQ community geared towards highlighting disparities in cancer and raising money to fight back!

Relay LogoRelay For Life is a 12 hour, overnight event where participants form teams and camp around a track taking turns walking all night, in honor of the concept that “cancer never sleeps”. This fun, family friendly event is coming specifically to the LGBTQ community in order to honor those lost, celebrate those surviving, and learn how to fight back against the disease and its disparities in our community. Scheduled for the summer of 2013, your American Cancer Society is seeking volunteers to be a part of this exciting new venture by becoming part of the planning team. For more information on how to get involved email Claire Giroux-Williams at Claire.girouxwilliams@cancer.org or call 802-872-6321. You can also visit our Facebook Page.

August 16, 2012

Groups Work Together to Serve LGBTQ Seniors

NEAAA

PRESS RELEASE

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

August 15, 2012 / Contact: Ken Gordon
Area Agency on Aging for Northeastern Vermont
481 Summer Street, St. Johnsbury, Vermont 05819
Telephone: 800-642-5119/802-748-5182

Groups Work Together to Serve LGBTQ Seniors

Imagine growing up in a world where your government legalized discrimination against you and took away your right to privacy. Imagine living in fear of being beaten in the street and having nowhere to turn to for help. And imagine living under the constant threat of losing your job, family, friends, and children, so doing whatever you could to hide who you love rather than celebrate it in public.

This is the world in which many older gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) adults lived their entire lives. Some bravely came out and lived the best they could, while others remained closeted. Today, these individuals are part of the fastest growing age group in the Vermont – those over the age of sixty.

Continue reading "Groups Work Together to Serve LGBTQ Seniors" »

June 25, 2012

Pride Vermont Announces 2012 September Festival Events

  Erase

Pride Vermont Announces 2012 September Festival Events

Vermont to Celebrate LGBT Community in Northern New England’s Premier Pride Festival

BURLINGTON, Vt – The Pride Vermont Committee announced its plans today for the state’s annual Pride Vermont celebration, scheduled for September 21-22, 2012. The festivities, which will be held in September for the first time in order to better include Vermont’s large student population and foliage tourists, will include a cruise on Lake Champlain on Friday, September 21, a parade through downtown Burlington, and a pride festival, NOH8 Campaign photoshoot, and the Northern Decadence Food & Travel Expo in Burlington’s Battery Park on the 22nd.

“This year’s Pride Vermont promises to be more vibrant than ever before, with an incredible array of events and activities for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex, and allied people and families to enjoy,” said Madelyn Baer, the Pride Vermont 2012 Director. “We look forward to celebrating Pride with people from all across the great state of Vermont, northern New England, upstate New York, and Canada, and we are honored to host the NOH8 Campaign this year, adding our faces to those from across the country standing up for equality.” 

Continue reading "Pride Vermont Announces 2012 September Festival Events" »

May 22, 2012

Shumlin to visit Outright VT Wednesday!

Shumlin

Burlington, VT - This Wednesday, May 23rd, from 2:45pm-3:15pm, Governor Peter Shumlin will visit the Outright Vermont queer youth space at 241 N. Winooski Ave., Burlington, VT to thank the youth, staff, board, and volunteers for their work to advocate for stronger anti-harassment legislation this year.  


 Bill H412, which allows individuals to sue schools for not stopping harassment, and H771, which requires schools to adopt harassment, hazing, and bullying prevention policies, both passed both the Vermont House and Senate by the end of the session in early May.  Outright Vermont, along with the Vermont Human Rights' Commission and the RU12? Community Center, advocated with lawmakers for weeks to ensure that the two bills would pass to strengthen the current anti-harassment laws that protect all Vermont youth in schools.

 

"Governor Shumlin has demonstrated his support of the queer community in many ways over the years, but it is his unwavering support for the safety and celebration of queer youth that really makes him stand out," said Melissa Murray, Outright Vermont's Executive Director.  "We are proud and excited to have him come to our queer youth space in Burlington on Wednesday!"  

 

Members of the press invited to attend this brief event! 

For more info, call 802.865.9677 or email Llu Mulvaney-Stanak at llu@outrightvt.org 

 

The mission of Outright Vermont is to build safe, healthy, and supportive environments for gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, queer, and questioning youth, ages 13-22. Since 1989, Outright has worked to provide safety and support for LGBTQQ youth, helped make schools safer, and focused on youth empowerment, leadership, and advocacy. To learn more about Outright, visit www.outrightvt.org.

 

May 09, 2012

New PFLAG Chapter Forms in Southern Vermont

Dorset, Vermont – A chapter of Parents, Friends and Family of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG) has been formed in Southern Vermont. PFLAG Dorset, an affiliated chapter of PFLAG, has formed as a local, nonprofit community support and educational outreach group.

Parents, Friends  and Families, of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG) promotes the health and well-being of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender persons, their families and friends through: support, to cope with an adverse society; education, to enlighten an ill-informed public; and advocacy, to end discrimination and to secure equal civil rights. Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays provides opportunity for dialogue about sexual orientation and gender identity, and acts to create a society that is healthy and respectful of human diversity.

PFLAG Dorset represents the mission, values, and goals of PFLAG – here in Vermont.  Each month, PFLAG Dorset sponsors a community meeting to support the gay and lesbian community, engage the public, and contribute to a loving and accepting community. Throughout the year, PFLAG Dorset will host guest speakers, luncheons, workshops, and offer educational outreach to all of Vermont.  PFLAG Dorset is the only active chapter of PFLAG in Vermont.

For more information, please contact Mike Watrous at PFLAG.Dorset@gmail.com or 802.768.1585

 

April 09, 2012

SafeSpace Offers New Option to Report Violence Online

RU12? Community Center is proud to announce the launch of our online reporting form as part of Sexual Violence Awareness Month.  The report was carefully designed and piloted by our SafeSpace program to offer one more avenue for reporting lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) related violence.  Now people can 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. 

In hate violence cases power and control can be exerted through sexual violence.  In other cases, sexual violence is part of a pick up crime where the perpetrator relies on the likelihood of the victim not reporting because he or she fears that law enforcement of mainstream providers will either out them or not take them seriously.  Sexual violence is also often a part of domestic violence where batterers rely heavily on fears of stigma and isolation.  For these and many other reason, RU12’s SafeSpace program offers specialized direct services for LGBTQ survivors of sexual violence.  The online reporting form is now a part of those services. 

“Calling our office or dropping in is still an option.” said Brenda Pitmon, SafeSpace Coordinator.  “We are introducing the online reporting form because people who have experienced LGBTQ violence or discrimination need as many ways to report it as possible.”

Having the secure online option means that if someone wants to make a report to SafeSpace but choose not speak to someone, they can do so.  “Not everyone who experiences violence feels that they can bring themselves to make a call, but still might want to get the information out there,” said Pitmon.  It is also provides another layer of safety for people who cannot access a phone but who may be able to access a computer at for instance a public library.  

In addition to increasing options and safety, the form helps SafeSpace to track more of the data on violence within and against the LGBTQ community.  The more data that can be documented, the greater SafeSpace’s ability to address the persistent problem of violence.

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.

 

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