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SpeakOUT: Intersecting Queer Identities

Speak Out logoThe Robbins Library Queer Book Group/Social hosted a panel discussion on March 11, where LGBTQ+ people of color shared personal stories exploring the intersections of their identities. You can watch the replay here. SpeakOUT Boston tells the stories of LGBTQ+ lives to raise awareness and create safer spaces for LGBTQ+ people by opening up a dialogue with its audiences.  Co-sponsored by the Arlington LGBTQIA+ Rainbow Commission. 

Aging with Pride logo

Aging with Pride: IDEA (Innovations in Dementia Empowerment and Action) from the University of Washington, is a study offering a free program for individuals with memory loss and their care partners. Either the person with memory loss or their care partner must be LGBTQ. The program includes nine individualized sessions with a trained coach and focuses on problem solving, improving communication, and low impact exercise. The sessions are virtual, using easy video chatting.  They provide compensation for completing phone interviews and the program is available in all 50 states. We wanted to share this to our community members who might benefit from this program. You can learn more from their website as well as this flyer

March is Trans Women's History Month

Mass Transgender Political Coalition logo
Wanted to make everyone aware of the latest MTPC newsletter highlighting the fact that March is Women's History Month, which means it's also Trans Women's History Month! So be sure to check out their InstagramFacebook or Twitter accounts for more insights on incredible trans women who have made or are still making history and sign up for their newsletter to stay informed!

Congratulations Jillian Harvey

DEI director Jill HarveyWe're pleased to celebrate our Arlington Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, Jillian Harvey, for being honored for her work at the Massachusetts Black and Latino Legislative Caucus’s Black Excellence on the Hill event. She's provided amazing support to the Rainbow Commission, along with the Human Rights, and Disability Commissions. Read more about it here in this article by Bob Sprague from

Seeking Working Group Volunteers

The Rainbow Commission has a number of working groups that we'd like to have community participation in. Top of the list are:
  • Community Engagement - Help us with planning events, like Porch Fest, Pride celebration, Town Day, Transgender Day of Visibility, SAGE Table, and other events and activities open to the community.
  • Public Education - Collaborate with School Committee Liaison, teachers, staff, parents, Rainbow Alliances, GSAs, and APS Diversity & Inclusion Groups (DIGs) to create a welcoming culture in Arlington schools.
If you're interested in volunteering for either of these groups, please contact us at

Upcoming events

Reel Queer TeleParty: Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom - Wednesday, April 14 at 6:30pm EDT 

Ma Rainey's Black Bottom imageJoin us and Robbins Library Queer Book Group 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 Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom starring Viola Davis & Chadwick Boseman. An optional Zoom discussion will follow. Email or for meeting links.

Directed by George C. Wolfe and written by Ruben Santiago-Hudson, based on the play of the same name by August Wilson. The film, and its source play, focus on Ma Rainey, an influential blues singer, and dramatizes a turbulent recording session in 1920s Chicago. This film is rated R and has a runtime of 1h 34min.

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. (


Gender Identities Image
Massachusetts Breast Cancer Coalition (MBCC) is hosting its 24th Annual Lesbians & Friends LGBTQ+ Dance: Party for Prevention!

This virtual event will take place locally and nationally on October 23rd from 6 - 9:30 p.m. EST. Registration opens at 6 p.m. EST. Adult tickets are on a sliding scale from $15, $30, or $45. Students are offered a special entry price of $10. All proceeds from the event benefit MBCC’s unique mission of breast cancer prevention.

The event will feature a guest appearance from long-time environmental activist, comedian, and actress Lily Tomlin, best known for her role in Netflix’s Grace and Frankie, who will be performing as Ernestine from Rowan and Martin’s Laugh-In.

For more information, please visit the event page at

LexPride - Topic for Third Racial/Social Justice Event

Thank you to everyone who participated in the first two events in LexPride’s Stories of Racial/Social Justice series: Finding Home for Everyone, and Envisioning Public Safety. The stories they shared and discussed were rich and meaningful. In particular, a theme that came out of both events is the value of knowing our neighbors – in creating a close sense of community at the hyper-local and local levels. This enhances both our sense of belonging and our feeling of safety. In planning the third event in this series, they want to hear from you:

What local racial/social justice topic would be meaningful to explore in this interactive theater format?

Let them know at!

LexPride - Rainbow Artists (ages 8-11 and 12-15)

Rainbow Artists image
Mondays 5-6pm or Wednesdays 3-4pm
Upcoming session starts on March 24 or 29
Register here

Creative expression in a community of peers for LGBTQ+ youth and allies. Research shows that this type of creative expression group (not a therapy group) produces mental and physical health benefits for LGBTQ+ youth and allies. These virtual groups (conducted via Zoom) are facilitated by experienced creative art therapists and interns. Join the fun!

Meeting info

Rainbow Commission meetings are generally the third Thursday of the month from 6:30-8:30pm and are currently held on Zoom. All Rainbow Commission meetings are open to the public. Upcoming meetings: Tomorrow, Thursday, March 18 and April 15. 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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