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Happy 2021!Happy New Year!

Happy New Year from the Arlington LGBTQIA+ Rainbow Commission! Like many of you, we are happy to say goodbye to 2020 and welcome a new beginning. We remain acutely aware that last year’s movement to mitigate and end racial inequity and injustice will continue into 2021, as will our efforts to protect our community from COVID-19. You can count on us to represent Arlington’s LGBTQIA+ community at the local level! 

Political Unrest

Photo of the storming of the capitalLast week’s violent insurrection at the U.S. Capitol to overthrow the results of the 2020 presidential election was the most dangerous assault on our democracy in our lifetime. Four people died during the insurrection. Two U.S. Capitol police officers charged with protecting members of Congress also died in the days following the insurrection, one from injuries sustained during a physical altercation with the mob and one by suicide. Insurrectionists were a mix of white supremacists, far-right agitators, neo-Nazis, and political activists, but they came from all walks of life. They were police officers, CEOs, local elected officials, veterans, real estate agents, and active duty members of the US military. They had two things in common: they were fervent backers of President Trump, and they believed his big lie—backed by Republican United States Senators and Representatives—that Trump had won the presidential election. Now, more than ever, truth matters in politics at every level of government. As we move ahead in the weeks and months to come, the Arlington LGBTQIA+ Rainbow Commission will continue to work within the bounds of its charter by adhering to the rule of law, making decisions based on facts, and by using our platform to call out racism and anti-LGBTQIA+ hate and support efforts in Arlington to end white supremacy.

Peirce School image with trans flagPeirce School SAFE Schools Training

In December, the Peirce Elementary school participated in a professional development training through The Safe Schools Program for LGBTQ Students, which is a joint initiative between the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (ESE) and the Massachusetts Commission on LGBTQ Youth. The training was focused on helping teachers and staff support transgender and nonbinary students and their families. The virtual seminar was run by Safe Schools founder and director, Jeff Perotti and was championed by Arlington parents, Molly and Dan Gillis together with the Pierce Elementary's principal, Andrew Ahmadi.  All faculty members of the Peirce participated in the training, which included various speakers, experiences, and perspectives from throughout the community and the greater Boston area. We hope to see more of these sessions at other Arlington schools in 2021.

Engage and Educate Legislators with NAACP

In accordance with the educational program initiated in June 2020the NAACP, Mystic Valley Area Branch aims to purchase and send From Here to Equality: Reparations for Black Americans in the Twenty-First Century written by Distinguished Professor William A. Darity Jr. and A. Kirsten Mullen to the 117th U.S. Congress. 

This initiative is intended to engage and educate legislators on the history and impacts of government sanctioned chattel slavery, segregation, domestic terrorism, and systemic racism and seeking to show the urgent need for reparations in light of the racial wealth gap as evidenced in Boston where household median net worth for U.S. born Blacks is $8.

To secure the funds for this educational project, the NAACP Mystic branch is commencing a special raffle event that will conclude on Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s birthday, January 15, 2021. Due to the benevolence of Osha Gray Davidson and The Best of Enemies stars Taraji P. Henson and Sam Rockwell, grand prizes for this special raffle event include paperback copies of The Best of Enemies: Race and Redemption in the New South autographed by award winning Taraji P. Henson and Sam Rockwell, respectively, and a first edition hardback copy signed by Civil Rights Activists, Ann Atwater and C.P. Ellis, and author Osha Gray Davidson.

Arlington Rainbow Commission vacancies availableCommissioner applications now being accepted

We are seeking to fill up to two commissioner vacancies in early 2021 (to be filled by the Town Manager with Select Board approval). If you'd like to join us in making a difference, please consider applying.

The Rainbow Commission is a volunteer group of residents, appointed by the Town, to promote full inclusion of LGBTQIA+ individuals and groups through affirming policies and programs, resources, advocacy and community building. See for further details on the commission. Based on the Commission’s current makeup, we especially seek to add voices from underrepresented communities. Applicants who can bring experience and knowledge from diverse sexual orientation, gender identity, racial, religious, economic, ability, and veteran backgrounds would help the commission better represent the wonderful diversity within Arlington’s LGBTQIA+ community. All are welcome to apply. The Commission meets on the third Thursday of the month at 6:30 p.m. via Zoom during the  pandemic. We hope to return to the Robbins Library 4th floor conference room once it is safe to do so. See to confirm upcoming meeting details.

To apply: Town of Arlington residents who are 18 years or older and interested in becoming a  member of the LGBTQIA+ Rainbow Commission, can send resume and letter of interest to:  Town Manager Adam Chapdelaine, 730 Mass. Ave., Arlington, MA 02476 or email 

Screening of applications will begin in January. Positions will remain open until filled. 

Upcoming events

ARC Trivia Happy HourARC Trivia Happy Hour (Friday, February 12th at 5pm)
Join the Arlington Rainbow Commission for a fun filled Trivia Happy Hour. Questions will relate to Queer history, pop culture, and more! No need to create a team -- trivia will be played on Kahoot (don’t worry--we will give a quick overview before the trivia begins). Click here to register for the event. Dry January will be over, so grab a cocktail or mocktail if you like and join us for a fun filled Friday trivia to kick off your weekend. Top 3 scores will receive a gift card from a local merchant. Register in advance for this meeting here. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

Queer Book Group & Jackbox GamesQueer Book Group (QBG)/Social Plays Jackbox Games
Zoom program,  email for meeting link
Wednesday, January 27
7:00 p.m.
This month QBG is playing some Jackbox games! Jackbox games are social, party games including trivia, humor, drawing games & more. Your phone or tablet acts as your controller - we recommend 2 devices, one for Zoom and the other to play the game on. The games are free to play and no previous knowledge or experience is required!
Facebook Event:

Reel Queer TeleParty: PromProm Netflix movie poster
TeleParty Meeting with Zoom discussion to follow: email or for meeting links
Tuesday, February 9
6:30 p.m.
Join us for a virtual meeting of Reel Queer, cosponsored by the Arlington Council on Aging! We’re hosting a TeleParty (formerly known as Netflix Party) and will be watching the film Prom  directed by Ryan Murphy & adapted to the screen from the 2018 Broadway musical of the same name. An optional Zoom discussion will follow. “A troupe of hilariously self-obsessed theater stars swarm into a small conservative Indiana town in support of a high school girl who wants to take her girlfriend to the prom.” This film is rated PG-13 and has a runtime of 2h 10min. To join a TeleParty you’ll need a computer or laptop, a Netflix account, the Chrome browser, and to install the TeleParty Add-On in Chrome. (
Facebook Event:

Queer Book Group Reads Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit
Zoom event:  email for meeting link
Wednesday, February 24
7:00 p.m.  
This month QBG reads the queer classic Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit by Jeanette Winterson. “Winner of the Whitbread Prize for best first fiction, Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit is a coming-out novel from Winterson. The narrator, Jeanette, cuts her teeth on the knowledge that she is one of God’s elect, but as this budding evangelical comes of age, and comes to terms with her preference for her own sex, the peculiar balance of her God-fearing household crumbles.”
Copies of the book are available instantly on Hoopla with your library card!
Facebook Event:

Meeting info

Rainbow Commission meetings are generally the third Thursday of the month and are currently held through Zoom. All Rainbow Commission meetings are open to the public. Upcoming meetings: January 21 and February 18. Check the Town calendar to confirm meeting dates and locations. *Notice to the public on remote meetings: In the interests of preventing abuse of video-conferencing, all participants, including members of the public, wishing to engage via the Zoom App must register for each meeting and will notice multi-step authentication protocols. Please allow additional time to join the meeting. Further, members of the public who wish to participate without providing their name may still do so by registering to receive the meeting info and using the telephone dial-in information provided.

All Rainbow Commission meetings and events are open to the public. Please contact if you need accommodations. We regret that we generally do not provide ASL interpretation or assistive listening devices. We need at least 2 weeks notice to hire an ASL interpreter. 

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