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Arlington PRIDE

The Rainbow Commission is busy planning Arlington's Pride activities in June. See below for details on the Porchfest Pride Stage June 8. Our main Pride celebration will be at the Senior Center on Sunday, June 9, 1-4 pm.

If you're interested in volunteering at Porchfest or Pride, we invite you to join us at the next Pride meeting on May 23 (Arlington Senior Center, 27 Maple St., Arts & Crafts Room, second floor) or contact us via email. And watch our Facebook page for our call for help in painting this year's rainbow crosswalk!

We're thrilled to have financial support for this year's Pride festivities from a Boston Pride Community Fund grant (details below).

Porchfest PRIDE Stage June 8

The Rainbow Commission will be hosting Porchfest's first Pride Stage on June 8, 12-2 pm, at the Academy Street entrance to the Senior Center (rain date June 9).

We're looking for two LGBTQIA+ performers/bands. If no LGBTQIA+ performers are available, we're open to allies playing songs by LGBTQIA+ artists.

We're also looking for a visual artist to display work related to LGBTQIA+ and human rights issues (and/or rainbows!) at our Porchfest stage. Apply now

Boston Pride Community Fund grant

Boston Pride has awarded a 2019 Community Fund grant to the Rainbow Commission to support our work in providing opportunities for the rainbow population to gather in community—whether in solidarity, celebration, or just to relax in each other’s welcoming company.

The Rainbow Commission has operated for a year and a half without a dedicated budget. We're still waiting to find out if Town Meeting will approve our full budget request this year, and any funds won't be available until July 1. This $1500 Boston Pride Community Fund grant makes our June Pride activities possible and will also support other social gatherings this calendar year.

Since 2016, Boston Pride has awarded almost $100,000 to approximately 60 local organizations, supporting its mission of promoting social justice for the LGBTQ community. The announcement was made at Boston Pride’s annual Spring Open House held on April 9 at the Boston Pride office in Boston, where 24 grant recipients received a total of $43,610.

Check out the full list of Boston Pride events and find them on Twitter.

The Boston Pride Community Fund was established by contributions received at the Back Bay Block Party, Jamaica Plain Block Party, High Heel Dash and from sponsorships. The recipients of the Community Fund grants perform vital work within the LGBTQ community and Boston Pride’s support of these groups is valuable as they may not have the resources they need to otherwise carry out their missions. Since 2016, Boston Pride has awarded almost $100,000 to approximately 60 local organizations, supporting its mission of promoting social justice for the LGBTQ community.

Rainbow Commission applications open

The Town of Arlington seeks to appoint 2 members to the LGBTQIA+ Rainbow Commission. The Rainbow Commission was created to promote equality-affirming policies regarding the full spectrum of sexual orientations and gender identities, and to bring greater visibility and empowerment to the LGBTQIA+ population through education, advocacy, and collaboration with other Town agencies, schools, and community groups. The Commission also works to foster community and connection among Arlington's LGBTQIA+ population, from youth to families and elders.

The Rainbow Commission was created by Town Meeting in 2017 and began in March 2018. The expanded Commission will consist of 8 members appointed by the Town Manager and approved by the Select Board, and 1 member appointed by the School Committee.

The Town works to have Commission membership be equitable and inclusive. All are welcome to apply. If you reside in the Town of Arlington, are 18 years or older, and are interested in becoming a member of the LGBTQIA+ Rainbow Commission, please send your resume and letter of interest to: Town Manager Adam Chapdelaine, 730 Mass Ave., Arlington, MA 02476 or

Local LGBTQIA+ events

Mar. 21-Aug. 25: Exhibit on “Gender Bending Fashion at the MFA.

May 16: Rainbow Commission monthly meeting, 6:30 pm, Robbins Library fourth floor conference room, 700 Mass Ave.

May 21: “The State of Hate in Massachusetts and What the Community Can Do to Respond,” 7-8:30 pm, Savings Bank Theater at Wakefield High School. The presentation provides a general overview of recent incidents of hate in Mass, and how they compare to national trends; an explanation of how to differentiate hate incidents from hate crimes and why this is important; and a review of best practices on how to respond to hate in your communities. Presented by ADL’s Metro North Advisory Committee and Wakefield Human Rights Commission. Register for free tickets.

May 23: Pride Subcommittee meeting, 7:30 pm, Arlington Senior Center, 27 Maple St., Arts & Crafts Room (second floor).

May 24: Queer Victorians, 6:30-8:30 pm, Lexington High School room 220. Hosted by Lexington Community Education. Get to know a sample of LGBT Victorians who bent the rules of their society, and discuss the difficulties (and rewards) of searching for queer history. Nancy McCarthy is a historian, costumer, and seamstress from Arlington. She has been researching and recreating textile culture and women’s daily life of early America since 2011. Cost: $30. Register at

May 24: LexPride Social, Graduation Celebration, and Film, 6:30-8:30 pm, Lexington Community Center dining room. In addition to the usual social activities (food, games, crafts, fun), LexPride will celebrate LGBTQ+ students who are graduating high school! Families, friends, and allies are welcome. Also included will be a screening of Coming Out: A 50-Year History, an engaging film in which young people interview LGBTQ+ elders who came out at different times in history. All are welcome.

May 25: LexPride at Discovery Day, 10 am – 3 pm, Lexington Center (along Mass Ave). Discovery Day is a street fair in Lexington Center with dozens of organizations, businesses, food purveyors, and entertainers offering everything from information to crafts to song and dance. LexPride will have a booth again this year.

May 29: Queer Book Group/Social plays video games, 7-8:30 pm, Robbins Library, 700 Mass Ave. Join us for a night of good queer company and a few of everyone’s favorite group video games, like Mario Kart and Smash Bros!

Jun. 6: Rainbow Commission monthly meeting, 6:30 pm, Robbins Library fourth floor conference room, 700 Mass Ave.

Jun. 8: Porchfest PRIDE Stage, 12-2 pm, Academy Street entrance to the Senior Center (27 Maple St.).

Jun. 9: Lexington PRIDE, 11 am – 2 pm, Visitor Center Lawn, Lexington, MA.

Jun 9: Arlington PRIDE, 1-4 pm, Senior Center, 27 Maple St.

Jun. 13: Reel Queer Watches Stonewall Uprising, 6:30-8:30 pm, Robbins Library, 700 Mass Ave. In honor of the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots, we’re screening the PBS documentary Stonewall Uprising. “In the early morning hours of June 28, 1969, police raided the Stonewall Inn, a popular gay bar in the Greenwich Village section of New York City. Such raids were not unusual in the late 1960s, an era when homosexual sex was illegal in every state but Illinois. That night, however, the street erupted into violent protests and demonstrations that lasted for the next six days.The Stonewall riots, as they came to be known, marked a major turning point in the modern gay civil rights movement in the United States and around the world.” This film is unrated and has a runtime of 1 hour and 23 minutes.

Many of these events were copied from 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 © 2019 Arlington MA Rainbow Commission, All rights reserved.

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