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July 30, 2014

A Call for Stories from LGBTQ families

Are you an LGBTQ person with children? Would you be interested in sharing stories about your family with other LGBTQ families and families-to-be in a small group setting? We’re putting together a series of family town halls in late August and September to share information with each other and to create community among queer families. If you are interested (or know someone who might be interested) in helping others start, grow and strengthen their families call Jean at (802) 860-7812 or email ellen@ru12.org.

July 28, 2014

Family Program's Picnic Potluck and Field Day is just three Sundays away!

For LGBTQ families with and without kids and their families of choice (allies included). Bring your little ones (or borrow some if you don't have them), a potluck item to share, any outdoor game supplies you see fit, and some sunscreen, and join us Sunday, August 17 from 10-2pm at Wrightsville Beach, Middlesex (address for your GPS is 369 Vermont 12, Middlesex, VT 05602). Event is free (with a suggested donation of $10/family).

Family picnic

Tentative schedule of events:
11am-1:30pm Face painting
11:30am 3-legged race
12:30pm Beach ball volleyball, bean bag toss
1:30pm Scavenger hunt

Coloring stations, bubbles, flying discs, barbecues, and snacks available at all times. Canoeing/kayaking (rentals) and swimming at Wrightsville Beach (just across the way). Bring your own kids or borrow your favorites for this event, which is always a good time!


If you are planning to join us, please RSVP at http://ru12fieldday.brownpapertickets.com to let us know you’re coming! Suggested donation: $10-$15/family but no one will be turned away for lack of funding.


Also, we are looking for volunteers to help with set-up/break-down. Can provide transportation to/from Burlington area for volunteers. Email jean@ru12.org if you are interested.

July 03, 2014

Summer Semester is HERE!

Summer semester updated

Have you always wanted to learn French? Have you ever been intimidated by a yoga class? Do you have trouble saving money for your goals? This summer, the Pride Center of VT has something for everyone! We're hosting a fun series of classes in July and August called Summer Semester:

Voulez-Vous Learn French With Drew (Drew Briggs)
Tuesdays July: 15, 22 and August 5 at the Center, 6-7pm
Bonjour! This short class is meant to provide some very basic conversation points that will help you when you're traveling or just brushing up on your French. We'll go over some vocab, common phrases, and minimal grammar. All levels are welcome!
Visit the facebook event

Put Your Money Where Your Dreams Are!
Thursday July 17 at the Center, 6-7pm
Whether it is financial security for your family, a vacation home, or early retirement, this seminar helps determine the actions you need to take to turn your long-term dreams into tangible goals.
Visit the facebook event

Seeking a Tax-free Retirement
Tuesday July 29 at the Center, 6-7pm
Whether you're just starting your career, or only a few years away from retirement, where you save can have a big impact on your retirement income. This seminar is ideal for all professions and income levels. Some of the topics covered are: Types of retirement income, SMART Retirement Money Order, Tax-Deferred vs.Tax-Free accumulation, Universal Life Insurance.
Visit the facebook event

IMPROVAGANZA! Drop-In Class (Natalie Miller & Nathan Hartswick)
Thursdays July 31 & Aug 7 at the Center, 7-9pm 
Join Natalie Miller & Nathan Hartswick of Vermont Comedy Club and Spark Arts for some fun during the summer session! This two-hour class will use improv exercises and Whose Line is it Anyway? style games to teach the basics of improv: Saying "Yes and!", freeing yourself from insecurities, thinking quick on your feet and creating engaging, hilarious scenes on the spot. Great for students of all experience levels!
Visit the facebook events here (31st) and here (7th)

Gender-Friendly Yoga(Rebecca Weisman)
Mondays August 11, 18, 25 at the Iyengar Yoga Center of VT, 5:30-7pm
Join Rebecca Weisman for a three-week Gender Friendly Yoga series at the Iyengar Yoga Center of Vermont. In this series we will work with basic yoga postures and create a safe and inviting space to explore our experiences in the body. Classes are slow, instructional, and safe-- appropriate for any body, regardless of age or condition. A great way to learn about yoga!
Visit the facebook event

NEW! Safe and Smart: Self Defense (Dan Duval)
Saturdays August 16 and 23 at the Center, 1-2:30pm
We will explore the many facets of self defense from situational awareness to physical intervention if and when it is needed. This class will help us to be aware of our surroundings and situations that we may be able to avoid and ways of managing ourselves if they can not be avoided. We will learn about situational stress reduction so we can use our mind and body to assess and react in the most effective way possible to potential danger. The class will include discussion and physical training. Please wear T shirts or other loose fitting shirt with sweat pants, yoga pants or other long pants for exercise. Shorts are not recommended as we will be dropping to the floor. Please bring drinking water

 

Register Here! Look out for more classes to be announced soon!

*We ask for a $5 donation per person per class but no one will be turned away for lack of funds.

 

Continue reading "Summer Semester is HERE!" »

July 02, 2014

Northeast Kingdom Courageous Conversations series a success!

The Northeast Kingdom LGBTQA Advisory Committee (a collaboration between RU12?/Pride Center of Vermont and Northeast Vermont Area Agency on Aging) hosted an amazing series of films and discussions, including our signature panel discussion, "Celebrations and Challenges of Being LGBTQA in the NEK" on June 12. Here's a photo of the panelists and moderator, from left to right: Jean Sienkewicz, RU12?/PCVT (moderator); Charlene Willey, of St. Johnsbury (panelist); Chelsea Brochu, formerly of Hardwick, now of Burlington (panelist); Lisa Viles Executive Director of Northeast Vermont Area Agency on Aging (NEVAAA), St. Johnsbury; Jerri Ryan, of St. Johnsbury and NEVAAA (panelist); and Don Grabowski, from the Health Center in Plainfield (panelist). The evening offered a healthy dialogue between and among LGBTQ community members and Allies about community-building, the need for LGBTQ community and events, bias, and the experience of being LGBTQ and Allies in the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont.  

20140612_175909_resized

More photos from the event on June 12th can be found here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/catamountarts/sets/72157645102651116/; the event was recorded and broadcast on a local television station; check it out on Kingdom Access TV.

The LGBTQA Advisory Committee also hosted five discussions following free Monday night films about LGBTQ issues, including "Imagine Me and You," "Cloudburst," "Weekend," "TransAmerica," and "Valentine Road" and are hoping this series is the beginning of new partnership with the Catamount Arts Center for LGBTQA educational and community-building events. Our sincerest thanks go out to all of those who made our Courageous Conversation series in June a huge success, especially the Catamount Arts Center and NEVAAA, as well as community members who opened themselves up to participate in the dialogue.

For more information about the NEK LGBTQA Advisory Committee, please contact Jean at RU12?/Pride Center of Vermont at 802.860.7812 or jean@ru12.org or Jerri Ryan at NEVAAA at 802.751.0431 or jryan@nevaaa.org.

 

 

June 12, 2014

Introducing the New Health and Wellness Intern

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Hi everyone, my name is Ellen Bryer and I'm so happy to be joining the RU12? community for the summer! I'm in the process of exploring Burlington and all of the food and fun it has to offer. I'm coming from Smith College in Western Massachusetts and before that from the greater Philadelphia area. At school, I'm entering my senior year and I study Sociology and Public Health. I'm excited to join the vibrant staff at the RU12? Community Center and learn from the LGBTQ community in Burlington. And as a queer woman, I already feel welcomed into the affirmative environment here. 

While I'm here this summer, I'm going to work in the Health and Wellness Office. My goal is to put together a series of Summer Semester classes (how-to, fitness, discussion-based etc.) as a fun way to learn some new skills together. I'll also compile some resources to add the Center such as a pamphlets on HIV information, queer women's health, and sexual and domestic violence. I'll be at RU12? events during the summer and in the office Monday through Friday. I'm looking forward to meeting everyone who is a part of this community!

May 27, 2014

RU12?'s new groups!

RU12? is pleased to announce that we have two new groups starting in June! Please share this information widely and we hope you will join us!

The RU12? Women’s Discussion Group of 2014 will bring older female-identified LGBTQ people together to discuss topics of interest to them in a safe and comfortable setting and will be an easy and enjoyable opportunity to get to know others from Burlington and the surrounding areas. Group meets on the 1st and 3rd Thursdays, from 3-5pm at RU12?, 255 S. Champlain Street in Burlington. (Upcoming groups will take place on June 5, 19; July 3, 17; August 7, 21.) Come join us on a Thursday that is convenient, we are waiting to meet you! For more information, call the Center at 802.860.7812 or email womensgroup@ru12.org.

RU12? Walking Group 
RU12? wants you to be fit and happy! Join our walking group, get up and get out, and walk with friends new and old. Great outdoor walking in the summer (and the mall for not such nice weather), so rain or shine, we’ll be there! This group is open to anyone interested, regardless of fitness level. Group will meet at 9am on the 3rd Saturday of the month (upcoming: June 21, July 19, Aug 23) outside of Macy’s on Cherry Street, Burlington. Group will leave at 9:10am. For more information, call the Center at 
802.860.7812, or email walking@ru12.org.

These groups, as well as other upcoming RU12? and VT LGBTQ, events are listed on RU12?'s calendar.

June's Courageous Conversations at St. Johnsbury's Catamount Arts Academy: "Challenges and Celebrations of being LGBTQ in the NEK"

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RU12?'s Northeast Kingdom LGBTQA Community Advisory Group is hosting June's Courageous Conversations Through Art, "Challenges and Celebrations of being LGBTQ in the NEK" at the Catamount Film and Arts Center! All screenings begin at 7pm and are free. Discussions will follow each film; all are welcome!

Schedule of films is as follows:

Monday, June 2 - Imagine Me & You
Monday, June 9 - Cloudburst the Movie (2010)
Monday, June 16 - Weekend
Monday, June 23 - Transamerica
Monday, June 30 - Valentine Road

The Courageous Conversations panel conversation, also free and open to the public, will be moderated by RU12?'s very own Jean Sienkewicz, who coordinates RU12's SafeSpace and LGBT Elders programs, and will take place at 6pm on Thursday, June 12 in the Catamount's Cabaret Room. 

Please join us for some films, some stories, and some dialogue about being LGBTQ in the NEK. 

For more information, contact Jean at RU12?, 802.860.7812, jean@ru12.org or Jerri Ryan at Northeast Vermont Area Agency on Aging, 802.751.0431, jryan@nevaaa.org.

LGBTQA in the NEK - Courageous Conversation - Revised -.Two

April 16, 2014

Upcoming Queer Crips Mentioned in Seven Days

Check out Seven Days post about the RU12? LGBTQ Disability Network event Queer Crips featuring John Kallacky- http://www.sevendaysvt.com/vermont/queer-crips/Event?oid=2348081

April 15, 2014

Queer Crips: Films and Conversation with John Killacky this Friday!

John Killacky

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?  meljannery@gmail.com

April 10, 2014

National Youth HIV Awareness Day

Nyhaadcolorlogo

National Youth HIV & AIDS Awareness Day is a day to educate the public about the impact of HIV and AIDS on young people as well as highlight the amazing work young people are doing across the country to fight the HIV & AIDS epidemic.

The day is an annual observance that takes place on April 10. The first ever National Youth HIV & AIDS Awareness Day took place on April 10, 2013. 

In the United States, one in four new HIV infections is among youth ages 13 to 24. Every month 1,000 young people are infected with HIV and over 76,400 young people are currently living with HIV across the country. While there has been much talk about an AIDS-Free Generation, we know that is not possible without our nation’s youth. Young people and their allies are determined to end this epidemic once and for all and this day is a way to acknowledge the great work young people are already engaging.

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 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 john@ru12.org or call John at (802) 860-7812 for more information and meeting locations. 

LWH

March 07, 2014

Service Dog Support Thursday March 13th at 2:00

Service Dog Support 3.13.2014

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

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 glam@ru12.org to express interest! 2011-01-04 00.06.44

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