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Breaking bread together

Sage table logo
We still can’t meet in person, but we can keep building connections. Please join us this Thursday, November 12 at 6:30pm for the Arlington Council on Aging’s fourth annual LGBTQIA+ International SAGE Table. 

SAGE Table events bring together LGBTQIA+ people of all ages at hundreds of tables across the world to share a meal and conversation. The transformative relationships formed around a SAGE Table can alleviate social isolation and its consequences for LGBTQIA+ people of all ages, but most especially LGBTQIA+ older adults. 

If you live in Arlington, you can reserve a free “dine & dash” meal. Expect great conversation as well as LIVE entertainment from the musician Pronoun, games, and special guests. 

We’re proud to co-sponsor this event along with the Belmont Council on Aging and BrightView Senior Living. To register for your “dine & dash” meal and get the link to the event, please contact Marci Shapiro Ide of Arlington’s Council on Aging at 781-316-3419 or via email by MONDAY, November 9.

LGBTQIA+ Black voices matter 🏳️‍🌈 

LGBTQIA+ Black Voices Matter LinkIn case you missed it, you can watch the panel discussion “Listening to Black Voices” featuring five people talking about their experiences being both LGBTQIA+ and Black. Panelists included: 

  • Annet Kemirembe (she/her), a registered nurse, administrator at Key Care Health Services, and speaker about Islam.

  • Didi Delgado (DiDi), an award-winning poet, author, resource distributor, and a person with invisible disabilities.

  • Jennifer Love (she/her), founder of the Jen Love Project and an entertainer and activist for LGBTQ+ people impacted by the criminal justice system.

  • Larry Freeman (he/him), a member of LexPride’s Board of Directors, social justice activist, and IT Project Manager.

  • Lennox Orion (they/them), a writer and antiracism educator

The panel was moderated by Noah Stang-Osborne (he/they), a member of LexPride’s Board of Directors, a transgender activist, a person with visible and invisible disabilities, and an art therapy student at Lesley University.

Full video here.

Commission collaborates with AHS GSA

At the start of the school year this past September, every teacher in the Arlington Public Schools received training organized by Arlington High School students on how to be inclusive of all students in the coming year. The high school’s Gender Sexuality Alliance created several videos for teachers explaining the ways in which teachers could be inclusive of gender-diverse students—and why it’s important to do so.

Students teamed up with Rainbow Commissioner Keith March Mistler, who is a middle school teacher, for one of the videos. In it, Keith explained the ways in which he talks about pronouns—and discloses his own—at the start of the school year. The best part about Keith’s tips for teachers? His strategies for being inclusive of gender-diverse students regarding pronouns and nicknames ends up benefitting all students in ways teachers may not have considered. 

At our September meeting, students from the AHS GSA presented on their work, and YourArlington was there to cover it. You can read the story here.

Rep. Garballey gives a shoutout to AHS Gender-Sexuality Alliance!

Sean Garballey headshotOn October 20, the Healthy Youth Coalition held a virtual Lobby Day to advocate for passage of the Healthy Youth Act. The bill would require that any school district that is teaching sex education use a curriculum that is medically accurate, teaches about consent and healthy relationships, and is also LGBTQIA+ inclusive. 

The Arlington High School Gender Sexuality Alliance (GSA) has been active at the State House lobbying for the measure. During last month’s virtual Lobby Day, state Reps. Christine Barber of Somerville and Arlington’s own Rep. Sean Garballey gave a huge shout out to students in Arlington for their advocacy! 

“It’s been outstanding to work with them and see the great work they’ve done in advocacy and quite frankly other young people from across the state who’ve been so passionate, speaking from personal perspectives and really demanding accountability from among their legislators,” Garballey said. “I will tell you that we have more legislators than ever before who have cosponsored this legislation, we have more legislators than ever before who have come to the hearings. It is so very important that we get this bill passed. What’s more important and I think really helpful, is the fact that we have more young people and more constituents, Jamie you mentioned the Arlington students, We have students like that all across the Commonwealth More people are getting engaged than ever before.”

Author, activist, and Arlington resident Jaclyn Friedman also spoke at the event. Highlights from her remarks are available here

Watch the video of Rep. Garballey’s comments here!

Eviction assistance


If you are experiencing housing issues related to COVID-19, the state has set up a number of resources for renters, homeowners, and property owners. More information is available here.

Upcoming events
 

Arlington Film Festival Logo

The Arlington International Film Festival

Now through November 15

There’s lots to watch in this year’s film fest, which features over 100 films, including documentaries, narrative features, and shorts. But be sure to catch those with LGBTQIA+ themes. Highlights include: 

LA RÁFAGA – THE GUST by Edgar García. Weeks after Hurricane María devastated Puerto Rico, a lonely middle-aged man finds himself obsessing with his squatter neighbor, a young closeted and tormented athlete who insistently pursues his attention. A touching film that captures what it means to mature and make wise emotional decisions and not be overcome by the moment. The movie deals with fragility, issues of living in a forgotten paradise, in the world's oldest colony, still half-torn, half-supported, with half-citizens, half-gods, and half-demons.(30 minutes

I WAS NOT BORN A MISTAKE, a documentary by Israeli filmmakers Rachel Rusinek and Eyal Ben Moshe. Yaakov Smith was an ultra-orthodox married man with six children and a pillar of his community, when he left his family, his community, and Israel. It took him 20 years to return — as an observant woman. (52 minutes)

The cost to stream one film is $12, but multiple film passes are also available. More information here.


trans day of remembrance

Transgender Day of Remembrance
November 20, from 7-8:30pm

We are teaming up with LexPride to commemorate the International Transgender Day of Remembrance. The virtual event will feature testimony from gender diverse people on their personal experiences with discrimination motivated by anti-trans bias and their ideas for preventing anti-trans bias. Register in advance here. You must register in advance to get a link for the event. For more information, email the organizers. 


Queer TeleParty

Reel Queer TeleParty
Tuesday, December 8 from 6:30pm-9pm

We’re co-hosting a Reel Queer TeleParty (formerly known as Netflix Party) with the Arlington Council on Aging and Robbins Library Queer Book Group. Tonight’s feature is the documentary A Secret Love, which reveals the real life queer romance behind the iconic 1992 film A League of Their Own.

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. (https://www.netflixparty.com/) Email Rob at rlorino@minlib.net or Marci at MShapiro-Ide@town.arlington.ma.us and you will be sent the TeleParty & Zoom links close to the time of the meeting.

Robbins Library Queer Book Group
Wednesday, December 16, at 7pm

The Robbins Library Queer Book Group will discuss the best-selling sci-fi novella To Be Taught, If Fortunate by Becky Chambers. The story imagines a future in which, instead of terraforming planets to sustain human life, explorers of the solar system instead transform themselves. Copies of the book are available instantly on Hoopla with your library card! We’ll be meeting via Zoom – email Rob at rlorino@minlib.net and you will be sent the Zoom meeting link close to the time of the meeting.

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: November 19 and December 17. 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 rainbow@town.arlington.ma.us 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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Copyright © 2020 Arlington MA Rainbow Commission, All rights reserved.


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