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Logo of a rising rainbow sun with the rays in various Pride flag colors above text saying Arlington, MA LGBTQIA+ Rainbow Commission

Happy New Year!! Enjoy our January 2020 Newsletter

We're excited to kick off the 20's with you. Been thinking about what resolutions to make as we start the new decade? Have we got opportunities for you! Please read on to learn how you can apply to be a Commissioner or get more involved as a volunteer. Whatever level of interest you have, we'd love to have you join us in making Arlington as welcoming as possible.

Applications for New Commissioners Now Open

The LGBTQIA+ Rainbow Commission seeks to fill up to 4 vacancies in early 2020 (3 to be filled by the Town Manager with Select Board approval and 1 by the School Committee). 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. If you are interested in applying, or know someone who might be, see and share our Rainbow Commission Application Flyer for more details. You can also stop by our next meeting on Jan 16th. The Commission usually meets on the third Thursday of the month at 6:30 p.m. in the Robbins Library 4th floor conference room, but please check the town calendar to confirm.

Welcome to Arlington's New Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Coordinator

The Rainbow Commission is excited to start our new partnership with Jillian Harvey, Arlington's first Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Coordinator! Read more about Jillian's background and new role here.

LGBTQ Seniors and Friends Karaoke & Cocoa Jan 15

Our next event is sure to be a blast. Join the Rainbow Commission at the Arlington Senior Center on Wednesday, January 15th for a festive evening of karaoke and cocoa. Warm up with some song and smooth chocolate nectar to help get through the cold winter. While geared toward our local seniors, we welcome all friends who wish to join us. We hope to see you there.

This event is cosponsored by the Council on Aging, Belmont COA (Beech Street Center), and the Rainbow Commission.

Volunteer opportunities

Maybe applying as a Commissioner is a bit more involvement than you're looking for at the moment. There are still other opportunities to take part in the commission. If you would like to help us in any of our subcommittees or assist in preparing for or hosting one of our events, please take a moment to fill out this form, which details the areas that you can get involved in. When completing the form, feel free to add a note suggesting something else you'd like to help with. You can also add a note asking any questions you have for the commission, or email us directly at look forward to hearing from you. Remember, it takes a village! 

If you're interested in an LGBTQIA+ mentorship, contact Marci at 781-316-3419.

Volunteers and Commissioner Bill Gardiner at the Rainbow Commission's Town Day booth, with a table of Skittles, rainbow stickers, unicorn temp tattoos, and other giveaways

Local LGBTQIA+ events

See our website for additional local LGBTQIA+ events.

Tues, Jan 14: Queer Drop-In (for grades 6-12), 3:00-5:00pm, Robbins Library Community Room (Arlington)
At this month’s social gathering for queer youth and allies, special guest Malinda Lo will visit! Lo wrote Ash, a lesbian retelling of Cinderella, among other YA books.

Tues, Jan 14: Community Discussion on Family Stress7:00-8:30pm, Lexington Community Center Room 237
The Lexington Community Coalition and LYFS offer monthly discussions on mental health-related topics. This month’s topic is family stress. (Queer people know a thing or two about this.) All are welcome to talk about this universal experience.

Tues, Jan 14/Thurs, Jan 23: New improved Queer Hang Space for LGBTQIA+ teens/YAs and allies,  Every second Tuesday and fourth Thursday, 4:30-6:00pm LYFS (First Parish Church) 7 Harrington Road, Lexington
Join us for food, games, and crafts all surrounded by amazing people! Queer Gear - Come explore with your style and fashion starting at 4! FOR A LIMITED TIME ONLY: First 5 to walk in the door will get a prize! Such as, a coffee gift card! Find more information at and

Wed, Jan 15: LGBTQ Seniors and Friends Karaoke & Cocoa, 6:30 pm, Arlington Senior Center, 27 Maple St.
See prior description for details or click the link in event name directly above. 

Sat, Jan 18: Biversity Brunch (every third Saturday of month), 11:30am-1:00pm, Foundry (in Somerville)
This all-gender bi+ group brunches at Foundry in Davis Square the third Saturday of every month.

Sun, Jan 19: Monthly Aces Social, 2:00-4:00pm, see Aces meeting link below for location 
The New England Aces (NEA) is a group for asexual spectrum individuals and allies that provides support in an open and affirming environment, builds community based on friendship and respect, and promotes awareness of asexual spectrum identities in the New England area through outreach, trainings, and collaboration with community partners. Please see the Monthly Aces Social meeting site to join and view location information.

Sun, Jan 19: Active Bystander Training, 2:30-4:30pm, Pilgrim Congregational Church
In honor of MLK weekend, LexPride is offering this free active bystander training for the community. This program helps you recognize when you are bystanders, analyze situations, and evaluate the consequences for everyone involved. It teaches how you can interrupt harm doing and generate positive actions by others. Active bystandership does not mean aggression against the harm doer. It means taking responsible action to help people in need instead of remaining passive and becoming complicit. You will gain the competencies you need if you decide to take action when you witness something you feel is unfair, or wrong, or troubling. Wheelchair accessible. Assistive listening devices available. Gender neutral bathrooms available. Free and open to all. Space is limited, so please register here.

Mon, Jan 20: Donate Winter Gear and Decorate Cookies (to benefit homeless queer youth), 3:00-5:00pm, First Parish
Every year for Lexington’s MLK Day of Service, LexPride sponsors a winter clothes drive (all types of winter items welcome) and cookie decorating event to benefit homeless and at-risk queer youth. We welcome people to:

  • Donate winter items (plus sizes especially welcome).
  • Donate fresh produce.
  • Donate gift cards and Charlie (MBTA) cards.
  • Sort donations so they are organized and ready for the shelters.
  • Decorate cookies that we will donate to the shelters.

Visit the Lexington MLK Day of Service website to sign up. We welcome donations before the event at 25 Emerson Gardens.

Tues, Jan 21: Transgender Peer Support Group, 18+ (every first and third Tuesday of month), 6:00-7:30pm, Fenway Health (1340 Boylston Street, 9th floor)
Looking for safe space and supportive peers? Fenway Health’s Transgender Peer Support Group is open to all trans and gender diverse persons regardless of gender identity or expression, ages 18+. Free. Light food provided. For more information, visit or email

Wed, Jan 29: QBG/Social Does Game Night! 7:00-8:30pm, Robbins Library Community Room (Arlington)
QBG/Social is hosting game night! Join us for a night of fun and games. Bring your own games or play ours. All are welcome!

Tues, Feb 4: Transgender Peer Support Group, 18+ (every first and third Tuesday of month), 6:00-7:30pm, Fenway Health (1340 Boylston Street, 9th floor)
Looking for safe space and supportive peers? Fenway Health’s Transgender Peer Support Group is open to all trans and gender diverse persons regardless of gender identity or expression, ages 18+. Free. Light food provided. For more information, visit or email

Wed, Feb 5: Bisexual Social & Support Group (BLiSS) (every first Wednesday of month), 7:00-9:00pm, Boston Living Center
BLiSS meets on the first Wednesday of each month. All bi and bi-friendly people of all genders and orientations are welcome to attend these peer-facilitated discussions. Email for more information.

Sat, Feb 8: Queer Asian and Pacific-Islander Alliance (QAPA) Meetup (every second Saturday), 11:00am-1:00pm, see QAPA Meetup page for location
QAPA is committed to providing a supportive social, political, and educational environment for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning people of Asian and Pacific Islander heritage in the Boston and New England area. QAPA holds a monthly meetup. To learn the location, please visit their meetup page.

Additional local events can be found in LexPride’s weekly newsletter. Go to to sign up.

Rainbow Commission meeting info

Rainbow Commission meetings are generally the third Thursday of the month at 6:30 pm in the Robbins Library 4th floor conference room, 700 Mass Ave. All Rainbow Commission meetings are open to the public. Check the Town calendar to confirm meeting dates and locations and to see meeting agendas.

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, but if you let us know at least a day before the meeting, we can bring a laptop to help with communication. Because of a shortage of qualified interpreters, we need at least 2 weeks notice to line up an ASL interpreter.

Assistance programs in Arlington

If you are in Arlington and need help making ends meet, please see the Town's website for information regarding the Food Pantry, affordable housing, fuel assistance, sports and activities assistance, and other programs.

Copyright © 2020 Arlington MA Rainbow Commission, All rights reserved.

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