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April 11, 2014

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

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

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

Drive a brand-new Audi for a good cause!

You are invited to attend a special event on April 3rd, 5-8 pm at Audi South Burlington as part of a national launch of the new 2015 A3 model. It will be a great time to support one of Vermont Gay Tourism Associaiton’s most active members and will give you a chance to socialize. 

They will be selling raffle tickets to benefit Pride Vermont. The prize is the use of an A3, dinner at Hen of the Wood in Waterbury and one night lodging at Moose Meadow Lodge. It should be a great evening. Hope to see you there. RSVP on their website: 

http://www.audisouthburlington.com/a3-uncompromised-event.htm

A3

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 24, 2014

Living With HIV in Vermont

In the rural state of Vermont, many of us face the challenge of social isolation, and may find it difficult to meet others with similar backgrounds and interests. Adding in a factor such as being an HIV+ Vermonter can add an unbearable element to the isolation we already experience. 

The “Living With HIV” social support group provides a safe, confidential space for HIV+ individuals to gather and share their experiences and advice on living with the virus. Group participants come together to talk, connect, and find support around a number of issues including coping with stigma, disclosure, and dealing with health care providers.

A goal of this group is to enable participants to become more empowered to take on the many challenges of living with HIV such as dating, safer sex, and managing stress and finances.  It meets the first and third Thursday of each month at 6:30pm, at Burlington-area locations.  Please message [email protected] or call John at (802) 860-7812 for more information and meeting locations. 

LWH

March 14, 2014

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 07, 2014

Service Dog Support Thursday March 13th at 2:00

Service Dog Support 3.13.2014

March 03, 2014

Living with HIV Social Support Group

HIV Support Group lo

February 19, 2014

Living With HIV: Social Support Group

Are you, or a friend, HIV+ and just looking for a supportive group to discuss life with HIV with other POZ individuals?

A new Burlington-area social support group will be starting on March 6th. For more information, feel free to shoot a confidential email or call: 

John
[email protected]
(802) 860-7812

Jo
[email protected]
1(888) 338-8796

HIV Support Group lo

February 11, 2014

Sandwich Mixer with GLAM and INCLUDE at Champlain College


GLAM boys Javier, Mike, Johnny and Lucas banded together to drop in to a sandwich mixer at INCLUDE, the QSA on Champlain College's campus. 

2011-01-04


Every Monday, students gather together to talk about LGBTQ issues on campus and in their personal lives in a welcoming, fun environment. This week, GLAM and INCLUDE pooled together to bring sandwich fixin's to the group to give us a chance to discuss the RU12? Community Center and extend an invite to utilize the center's free Wifi and coffee for homework study groups. 


Would YOU be interested in joining up with INCLUDE or hosting your own queer-friendly homework hangout at RU12, complete with free high-speed Wifi, computer lab, coffee, and LGBTQ library resources? Email [email protected] to express interest! 2011-01-04 00.06.44

February 03, 2014

The LGBTQ and Disability Network of Support Groups This Week

  Disabilitygrouplogo

Come together to talk, connect, and find support around a number of issues including: Coming Out, Socializing. Challenges around employment. Safe Sex. Self Advocacy. Choosing Partners. Discovering who you are. And anything else you want to talk about!  We are building a network of LGBTQ Disability support groups around the state.  Groups meet weekly at the following locations:

Burlington-Tuesdays at 4:30pm

 RU12? Community Center, 255 So. Champlain St., Suite 12 

St. Albans-1st and 3rd Wednesdays of the month at 5:30pm

 Northwestern Medical Center, conference room 4

St. Johnsbury- Fridays at 11:00am

 Unitarian Universalist Church, 47 Cherry St. 

If you aren’t able to make it to an RU12? Disability Group you can join our online group through Pal Talk Monday nights 7:00pm-9:00pm in the Vermont Chat GLBTQ And Disability chat room.

If you have any questions please contact Brenda ([email protected]) or call RU12? at 860-7812

January 23, 2014

Milk and cookies with SafeSpace at UVM today, Thursday 1/23

 

 

 

Mail Attachment

Wondering about how to meet people other LGBTQ safely on campus? Questions about how to help a queer friend experiencing intimate partner violence? Need help but unsure where to get it?

As part of Stalking Awareness Month, SafeSpace will be eating cookies and drinking milk with staff from UVM's LGBTQA and Women's Centers today, as part of a dialogue with LGBTQ and Allied UVM community members about LGBTQ relationships.

Today at the Allen House, 12noon-1pm.

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 10, 2014

RU12? Grief and Loss Group

Grief and loss2013

RU12? Community Center's LGBTQA Grief and Loss group takes place on the third Thursday of the month. The next group will be on Thursday, January 16th, 2014 at 6pm at the Center’s space at 255 S. Champlain St., Suite 12 in Burlington.

This is a social support group for those interested in giving voice to their experience(s) with loss and listening to others.

We welcome those experiencing loss of all kinds including death of a loved one, loss of or change in health, familial and other beloved relationships and more. Topics could include but are not limited to: grieving, letting go, resolution, moving on, self-image, rituals, and learning. For more information email: [email protected] or call the Center at (802) 860-7812.

December 16, 2013

3rd Thursdays LGBTQA Grief and Loss group, this week (December 19)

 

 

 

 

 

 

A new (old) social and support group for people experiencing loss of any kind. In the past, this group has been a really powerful and helpful experience for members, allowing them to connect, support one another, and heal. In light of both the upcoming holidays and the unexpected loss our LGBTQ community has recently experienced, we hope this group can be a useful tool for bringing people together.

Grief and loss2013

RU12? is reviving our LGBTQA Grief and Loss group, to be held monthly on 3rd Thursdays. This is a social support group for those interested in giving voice to their experience(s) with loss and listening to others. 
We welcome those experiencing loss of all kinds including death of a loved one, loss of or change in health, familial and other beloved relationships, and more. Topics could include but are not limited to: grieving, letting go, resolution, moving on, coping mechanisms, self-image, rituals and learning.

Please join us this Thursday, December 19, from 6-7:30pm at the RU12? Community Center, 255 S. Champlain Street, Ste. 12, Burlington.

Facebook event

November 25, 2013

Spotlight: Being a Gay Comedian in Vermont

Did you know there is a vibrant underground stand-up comedy scene in Vermont? And did you know there's even a stand-up comedy scene in the LGBT community? 

RU12? and VT Cares volunteer Marc Bouchard knows all about it. He was one of six hilarious LGBT comics lined up at Vermont Comedy Club's LGBTQ focused event this past weekend, The Fabulous Show.  Below is a personal account from him on being a gay comedian in Vermont: 

  Throughout my life, I've had people around me say things like "You should perform on stage" or you're funny, you should be a comedian".  I would say "Thanks" and think they were just being nice, and that it would be too time consuming to get involved in performance arts. 

Marc B

    In October 2011, a small comedy club in Burlington opened, and I attended their first comedy showcase.  It was mentioned  that they were hosting a weekly open mic where anyone could have five minutes of stage time.  I went home and went to work on jokes, and performed the following week.  I was immediately addicted, and performed weekly at the open mic, attaining the nickname "Gay Marc" because my material was based around my life, and coming out in a rural and conservative part of Vermont.

    As I started performing in showcases, I quickly realized that the majority of the audiences were heterosexual and could not relate to some of my material.  Anytime I have a joke that doesn't get a response, I see this as an opportunity to rewrite and educate my audience on the gay lifestyle.

    It's not about being political, or shoving my lifestyle down anyone's throat (I have something else for that).  All I want to do is make people laugh.  By laughing at myself, and relating my lifestyle to theirs, I feel like I bridge a gap to my straight audience.  I hope to help them see that we have similar issues, and that laughter truly is the best medicine. 

You can preview part of his set from The Fabulous Show here: "Pray the Gay Away" 

November 20, 2013

2013 Transgender Day of Remembrance

 

 

Tdor-remembrance01


The Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDoR), which occurs annually on November 20, is a day to memorialize those who have been killed as a result of anti-transgender violence, and acts to bring attention to the continued violence endured by the transgender community.  The day was started by transgender advocate Gwendolyn Ann Smith as a vigil to honor the memory of Rita Hester, a transgender woman who was killed in 1998.

On this day, we publicly mourn and honor the lives of those who've died, memorializing them and raising public awareness of hate crimes.  The RU12? Community Center held a vigil for the day on November 9th, but would like to acknowledge the day and its incredible significance again on the national date.  RU12? hopes to raise awareness of anti-trans* violence, to celebrate and honor the lives of those taken from us and to unite as a community to heal, support one another, and move forward together.  This day is a great opportunity for all members of the LGBTQ and Burlington communities to come together to determine how we can better support the trans people in our lives.

As a reminder, the second Trans* support group meeting will be taking place at the center tonight, November 20th, from 6:30-8:30.  Please come join us, and feel free to email [email protected] with any questions. 

For more information about TDoR and a list of vigils and remembrances worldwide, visit LGBTQNation

 

November 18, 2013

Trans* Support Group Meeting: Wednesday, Nov. 20th

Just a quick, friendly reminder that the next trans* support group meeting will be taking place THIS WEDNESDAY, November 20th, from 6:30 to 8:00 at RU12?. The turnout and enthusiasm were so wonderful last time; let's see if we can't do it again! Looking forward to seeing y'all there! 

For questions or for more information, email [email protected]

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