Start Pride Month with Love! Longmont Faith Fest

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Longmont Faith Fest
Saturday, June 8th, 2:30-6:30 pm
St. Stephen’s Episcopal
1303 S. Bross Lane, Longmont

Queer-friendly service
Live Music
Picnic + Games

Faith Fest was just created by a group of open-minded, inclusive Longmont church leaders who believe God loves all people, just as they are, with no change demanded and no love withheld. Both queer and straight pastors will lead a spiritual service of celebration and healing, followed by a Pre-Pride outdoor picnic and “unchurchy” games! The list of musicians is growing, including local singer and songwriter extraordinaire, Patty Jackson.

All are welcome, no matter where they are on their spiritual journeys.

Internationally known speaker on gender equality, Dr. Paula Stone Williams, will speak at the service. Her story of transition from being the male pastor of a mega church to a trans woman is incredibly powerful. Coming out brought a crushing blow to her professional and personal life. Since then she has remade herself into her authentic self, has become an important voice for LGBTQ+ advocacy, and serves as a pastor at Left Hand Church in Longmont.

Paula has been featured in the New York Times, TED Talks, the Denver Post, New Scientist, Radio New Zealand, Europe's Retail Week Live, the New York Post, NPR and Colorado Public Radio. Paula's recent TED talk with her son, Jonathan, has had over one million views, and her TEDxMileHigh talk on gender equity has had over 1.9 million views.

Faith Fest is a totally casual time to check in with your spiritual side and have a ton of fun in the process.

This is a FREE event. There is no dress code. Come as you are!

To learn more about this event, check the website and Facebook Event Page.

LGBTQ Chamber of Commerce in Boulder County

LGBTQ Chamber of Commerce in Boulder County
Launch Event Blog for OBC
April 22, 2019

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The need and desire for an LGBTQ Chamber of Commerce in Boulder County is neither new nor unique; in fact, the idea for such an organization has been discussed for many years in the county, however, for whatever reason, was never able to materialize… until now. With the support and leadership of several community members and organizations, the launch of the Boulder County LGBTQ Chamber of Commerce (BoCo LGBTQ Chamber) is right around the corner, officially launching in May of 2019!

About two years ago, the concept started to get more attention from organizations like Out Boulder County, the Colorado LGBTQ Chamber of Commerce and even local LGBTQ meetup groups, like Flatirons LGBTQ Tech. Several individuals took the lead, creating a planning committee, and started exploring what an organization dedicated to LGBTQ-owned and LGBTQ-inclusive businesses in Boulder County would look like. It didn’t take long to get traction and soon enough, community members were voicing their support and desire to bring an LGBTQ-focused business organization to Boulder County. About the same time, the Colorado LGBTQ Chamber of Commerce (CO LBGTQ CC) had recently adopted a chapter model and was looking to expand across the State of Colorado. As such, it naturally made sense to work with the CO LBGTQ CC and create the first chapter in Boulder County. After several years of planning, surveys, and interviews, the BoCo LGBTQ Chamber was ready to launch.

The local chapter will work closely with the LGBTQ-owned and LGBTQ-inclusive businesses, both big and small, in Boulder County – with the goal of promoting and bringing awareness to these businesses as well as connecting and educating members through networking and programming. Further, being associated with the CO LGBTQ CC, the chapter will be able build on the established programming and foundation the state organization has already put in place. Members will also have the ability to seek LGBT Business Enterprise (LGBTBE) Certification through the National LGBT Chamber of Commerce.  

The chapter is in its final planning stages and pre-launch membership is available via the CO LGBTQ CC website (an updated website and the Boulder County webpage are currently being developed). Further, the BoCo LGBTQ Chamber has already secured two amazing Boulder County founding partners: Rembrandt Yard and Harbor Wealth Management, and is actively looking for additional organizations to help support and direct the chapter in its early years. If you or your organization are interested in learning more, please contact the BoCo LGBTQ Chamber at boco@colgbtqcc.org.

LAUNCH EVENT

Finally, last but certainly not least, please join Out Boulder County, along with the CO LGBTQ CC and many LGBTQ-owned and LGBTQ-inclusive businesses for the long-awaited launch of the BoCo LGBTQ Chamber on Monday, May 20. The event is free and open to all! Details on the event are below:

LAUNCH EVENT: Boulder County LGBTQ Chamber of Commerce

Monday, May 20, 2019
5:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
Rembrandt Yard (1301 Spruce St.) in Downtown Boulder
Free Event and Open to All
Drinks and Light Appetizers
Please RSVP Here.

Click here to see this event on the OBC website.
Click here to see this event on Facebook.

PAULA POUNDSTONE

 
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Burns & Burns Management
145 Parkside Drive, Simi Valley, CA 93065
burnstwoburns@gmail.com • 805 624 7849 c: 310 279 2447

 Paula Poundstone is a humorist, author and comedian known for her clever, observational humor and spontaneous wit. When she isn’t collecting hotel soaps while on tour or panel-ing on NPR’s #1 show, Wait, Wait...Don't Tell Me!, Paula hosts the popular Maximum Fun podcast, Nobody Listens to Paula Poundstone. Nobody is a comedy field guide to life complete with taste tests, cats of the weeks and leading experts in everything from beekeeping to ping pong to prosopagnosia (say that 3 times fast).

Paula’s stand-up credentials are endless: Cats, Cops and Stuff; Goes to Harvard; Look What the Cat Dragged In; and numerous television appearances including The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, Last Call with Carson Daly and Late Show with David Letterman. Famously, Paula provided backstage commentary during the 1992 presidential election on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno and was the first woman to host the White House Correspondents’ Dinner.

In 2017, Paula released her second book, The Totally Unscientific Study Of The Search For Human Happiness, in which she offers herself up as a guinea pig in a series of thoroughly unscientific experiments. Kirkus Reviews called the book, "A deeply revealing memoir in which the pathos doesn’t kill the humor—delivers more than it promises." The book debuted at #1 on the Amazon Bestsellers List in Humor, and the audiobook was one of the five finalists for 2018 Audio Book of the Year. The book was recognized as one of eight semi-finalists for the Thurber Prize for American Humor, the highest recognition of the art of humor writing in the United States.

Paula can be heard on the big screen as “Forgetter Paula” in Disney/Pixar's Inside Out, winner of the 2017 Academy Award for Best Animated Feature Film. She has also starred in her own series on both HBO and ABC, is included on Comedy Central’s Top 100 Comics of All Time and won an American Comedy Award for Best Female Stand-Up. In February 2019, Paula’s stand-up special, Cats, Cops and Stuff was named by TIME Magazine and Tig Notaro as one of The 5 Funniest Stand-Up Specials Ever.

Paula resides in Santa Monica, CA, where you can find her cleaning the litterboxes of her 14 cats: Clue, Oreo, Luigi, Jem, Belle, Brittle, Mrs. Feziwig, Wednesday, Severus, Tonks, Theo, Sham Wow, Harrison, and Hardy.

Website @www.paulapoundstone.com. Follow her on: twitter.com/paulapoundstone and facebook.com/paulapoundstone

Healthy Relationships -- Safe Shelter of St. Vrain Valley

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Here is a brief quiz to see if you have a healthy relationship with your current partner or former partner. Who doesn’t love quizzes?

The person I’m with:

• Respects my genuine gender, pronouns and/or preferred name?    True or False

• Monitors my texts, social media and/or location?    True or False

• Respects my boundaries (i.e. takes no for an answer)?    True or False

• Gives me space to hang out with friends and family without thinking I’m cheating?    True or False

• Limits or controls my finances?     True or False

• Threatens to out me to others?    True or False

Want to see how your answers match up? Take a full healthy relationships quiz here to see how your relationship shapes up on the healthy relationship scale:

 https://www.loveisrespect.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/HR-Quiz-final.pdf

Regardless of your quiz results, none of us exist in a bubble and one person’s needs are often tied to another’s. So, how can we express these needs and get them met in a healthy way? What will we accept in our relationships and what won’t we?  What kind of a partner do we want? What kind of a partner do we aspire to be? All of these questions are worth pondering, discussing with a partner, and journaling about to get clear on what we want in our lives. However, for someone in an unhealthy relationship, it may not be safe to discuss what we want or need with our partner. We feel safe in a relationship when we know that our thoughts, feelings, needs and wants will be respected.  When there is conflict, we need to know that our partner is on our side and that they won’t do anything to harm us.

As children, we learn patterns of survival to get our needs met in our relationships.  Some of us may have felt that our needs were not important, so we learned how to deny these needs and stuffed them down. Some of us may have felt that our needs were not listened to, so we spoke louder with growing intensity and frustration to get those needs fulfilled. As adults, we sometimes continue to relate to our partners, friends, family, and coworkers in the same way as we did when we were children.  Even though those patterns may not be the most effective or helpful . Some ways of relating that worked for us as children can actually create difficulties for us as adults. For instance, is denying or minimizing our needs helping us as an adult? Or does it breed resentment and result in being afraid of conflict? Does screaming get the message across? Or does it alienate those we most want to be close to? It may sound cliché, but this plays out in many aspects of our lives: personally, professionally, with friends, coworkers, and beyond.

The general hallmarks of a healthy relationship are negotiation and fairness, non-threatening behavior, respect, trust and support, honesty and accountability, economic partnership, shared responsibility and responsible parenting (if applicable). These are outlined in the equality wheel, which describes what a healthy and equitable relationship looks like: https://www.theduluthmodel.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/Equality.pdf

This is often contrasted with the power and control wheel, which describes unhealthy relationships:
http://www.thehotline.org/wp-content/uploads/sites/3/2015/01/LGBT-Wheel.pdf

If you feel you are in an unhealthy relationship, Safe Shelter of St. Vrain Valley is here to support you. We offer information, resources, shelter and advocacy in a safe, nonjudgmental space for adults and children affected by abuse regardless of gender identity or sexual orientation. We aim to help those affected by abuse in intimate partner relationships live lives free of violence, abuse, and intimidation. We are also here to help support folks with friends and family members who are in abusive relationships.

 

Safe Shelter of St. Vrain Valley
www.safeshelterofstvrain.org

PHONE: 24-hour crisis line
(303) 772-4422

DROP IN: OUT Boulder Longmont
Every Tuesday from 12-2p

PUBLIC OFFICE: 82 21st Ave Suite A, Longmont, CO
M-F 9a – 5p

Sex Work is an LGBTQ Issue

“Sex workers have been a long standing, and often erased, part of the LGBTQ community. Sex work has offered a life line for those marginalized, an opportunity for many with few, the backbones of nascent organizations and a sub-community for many who have been invisibilized by respectability politics. It is important to look at sex work and its place within the LGBTQ community and in the history of LGBTQ liberation. For an issue which encompasses issues of economic justice, labor, criminalization and policing, sexuality, racial justice, immigration, gender identity and complex other frameworks, sex worker rights can be a lynchpin issue impacting the most marginalized in our communities. Caring about LGBTQ survival means caring about the lives, health and safety of sex workers.

With discrimination in jobs, education and services, poverty has long been a queer issue. The trans community are twice as likely to be unemployed compared to cisgender individuals.[i] For homeless and housing unstable youth, the disparities are even more pronounced, with some cities reporting that 40-50% of homeless young people reporting to be LGBTQ-identified.”

-K. D’Adamo, https://survivorsagainstsesta.org/lgbtq/

The Colorado Entertainer Coalition (C.E.C.) is a group of adult entertainers and other sex workers who strive to build social solidarity among ourselves, forge positive relationships with the local community, provide resources to sex workers, and to advocate for ourselves, the adult industry, and the rights of all sex workers through continued education and informed action.

Our group plans legal rights and financial literacy trainings for sex workers, healing activities such as yoga classes for sex workers, Narcan overdose trainings, and provides sex work friendly therapy resources for our community- all of this can only happen with the help and collaboration of the wonderful local organizations empathetic to our cause. A few of our long term goals include increasing banking options and access to financial services for adult entertainers, supporting reforms of financial legislation that disproportionately harm adult entertainers (such as federal policies affecting large cash deposits), and supporting legislation to decriminalize sex work, among other relevant reforms in Colorado. We are also actively working to reach out to and serve queer-identifying sex workers.

Contextualizing Sex Work

*The Colorado Entertainer Coalition uses the term sex work as an umbrella term including anyone who provides sexual or erotic labor.*

All work is influenced by dominant systems of oppression including patriarchy, capitalism, and white supremacy. Shaming sex workers specifically for making a living under dominant systems of oppression (as we all must) because their work is sexual in nature is whorephobic, and lacks a nuanced perspective of how all of us are complicit in upholding oppressive structures such as racism, cis-sexism, ableism, trans and homophobia, among other “-isms,” to make our living under capitalism, even while we fight for a 100% inclusive system.

There are ways in which sex work poses a direct affront to patriarchy and other dominant systems of oppression, and there are ways in which other work, deemed good and moral, upholds these systems. Let’s add nuance and complexity into the conversation.

If you are interested in learning more about our organization, events, or the resources we offer, please reach out! We would love to hear from you!
E-mail- coloradoentertainercoalition@gmail.com
Instagram- @coloradoentertainercoalition
Twitter- @COentertainerCO

-Post written by Colorado Entertainer Coalition member Ashlea

Call to Action!

SUPPORT LGBTQ STUDENTS

Hello Boulder Valley School District Friends and Partners,

The Boulder Valley Safe Schools Coalition has recently been informed that the Boulder Valley School District is receiving complaints about their support of LGBTQ+ students, staff and families. The Board of Education and the Superintendent in particular are receiving these complaints and requests that the District discontinue supporting the LGBTQ+ community.

We need your help in thanking the District for their long standing support of LGBTQ+ students, staff, and families! If you could take a moment to contact Board of Education members and the Superintendent with a personal note to let them know how important the District’s support of the LGBTQ+ community is to you, and specifically the importance of the District’s policies on supporting transgender students that would be wonderful.

Here is the contact information:

Superintendent:
Dr. Rob Anderson superintendent@bvsd.org, 720.561.5114

Board of Education Members:
Shelly Benford (District A) shelly.benford@bvsd.org
Tina Marquis (District B) tina.marquis@bvsd.org
Kathy Gebhardt (District C) kathy.gebhardt@bvsd.org
Sam Fuqua (District D) sam.fuqua@bvsd.org
Donna Miers (District E) donna.miers@bvsd.org
Kitty Sargent (District F) kitty.sargent@bvsd.org
Richard Garcia (District G) richard.garcia@bvsd.org

If you would like to direct your letter to the Board of Education Member that represents your district you can visit the District Map Here.

We appreciate your support in showing the District how much members of the BVSD community truly value and support our LGBTQ+ community!

Thank you so much,
The Boulder Valley Safe Schools Coalition

Congressman Joe Neguse Supports Equality Act of 2019

Washington, D.C.— Today, Congressman Joe Neguse joins a bipartisan coalition of members of Congress to introduce the Equality Act of 2019. The Equality Act would amend the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and other existing laws to ensure that LGBTQ individuals are afforded the same protections against discrimination as every other American.

“I am proud to support the Equality Act to extend protections for all LGBTQ Americans,” said Congressman Joe Neguse. “The need for these protections is clear; all Americans deserve the right to provide for their families, buy a home, and live their life without fear of harassment or discrimination. LGBTQ Americans deserve to have the same protections as others covered under federal law and it is urgent that we pass the protections in this bill right away.”

“As citizens doing the right thing day after day, our LGBTQ+ communities exist with the reality that at any time and at almost any place we will face discrimination. Our identities and our sexual orientation continue to be lightning rods for those who want to keep us from health care, housing, employment and public accommodations,” said Mardi Moore, Executive Director of Out Boulder County. “At Out Boulder County we remain hopeful that eventually and maybe even this year we will have full protection from discrimination at the federal level.  We are grateful for the number of Congresspeople who have stepped forward to join the Equality Caucus and this very fact gives us hope that equality is on the horizon.”

"More than ten years ago, Colorado passed protections to ensure that LGBTQ Coloradans are treated with dignity and respect, and it’s time for our federal government to do the same,” said Daniel Ramos, Executive Director of One Colorado. “Half of LGBTQ Americans in 30 states remain unprotected from discrimination when trying to access public services, get a job or secure housing. Our community deserves more than patchwork policies to protect ourselves and our families.”

Support for the Equality Act is widespread among businesses with more than 160 corporations endorsing the legislation. The bill is also supported by 70% of Americans and over 20 national and statewide organizations.

Congressman Neguse is one of 157 members of the House LGBTQ Equality Caucus in the 116th Congress, the largest Congressional Equality Caucus in the history of the U.S. House of Representatives. He also serves as a member of the House Judiciary Committee, the committee of jurisdiction on this bill.

 

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Sustainability Starts With You!

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Support Out Boulder County with a recurring gift and join our Circle of Giving!

People who make recurring gifts are the foundation of Out Boulder County’s work. Giving regularly is truly the most efficient, cost-effective and powerful way to support Out Boulder County right now - and the over 15,000 LGBTQ members of our community who rely on us each year. Your regular donation ensures we have a reliable stream of income to provide the services, programming, advocacy and information to Boulder County’s LGBTQ communities.

How Your Recurring Gift Will Make An Impact:

  • $10 a month can provide educational materials for many community members

  • $15 a month can provide bus tickets for youth to transport to and from groups for an entire year!

  • $25 a month can provide supplies for the over 15 groups that we host each week

  • $50 a month can provide lights, heat and water for the space that so many call home

Join our Circle of Giving today and enjoy:

  • Automatic donation from your credit card or checking account

  • The ability to suspend or change your donation at any time

  • The knowledge that your donation is put to work immediately

  • Complete statements for tax purposes

Click here to make your recurring gift and support Out Boulder County!

Things are changing and we want your help!

In the fall, we brought together LGBTQ folks over age 50 for focus groups to discuss how Out Boulder County can be more inclusive and supportive of all ages.  We got some great ideas, and our next step in the process is to bring people together of all ages to build on these ideas and create an even more vibrant LGBTQ community in Boulder County.  

These workshops are scheduled for 3/23/19 at a great location in Boulder; food and drink will be provided.  If you would be available to participate, please fill out the below survey ASAP!  The survey is intended to ensure that our groups are well-balanced.  

To take the survey, click here.

Welcome 2019 Youth Interns!

Every year Out Boulder County hires youth in the community to plan, organize and run our two biggest youth events: The Night of Noise Youth Summit and the LGBTQ and Ally Dance. This year we expanded our youth intern program and have hired 6 youth to put on these events (twice as many interns as last year)!

The Night of Noise Youth Summit is held the evening of the Day of Silence each year. The Day of Silence is the GLSEN's annual day of action to spread awareness about the effects of the bullying and harassment of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and questioning students. Students take a day-long vow of silence to symbolically represent the silencing of LGBTQ students. The Night of Noise event will be held on April 12th this year. Stay tuned for more details!

Our LGBTQ and Ally dance is a great opportunity for the LGBTQ youth in our community come to dance, have fun, access resources, and build community! Many traditional school dances are not welcoming or affirming of LGBTQ individuals or couples, therefore the LGBTQ and Ally Dance serves as a safer space for these youth to be visible and celebrated while having fun and building community! Our LGBTQ and Ally dance will be held on Friday, May 3rd this year at the Arapahoe YMCA in Lafayette. Stay tuned for more details to come!

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2019 LGBTQ and Ally Dance Event Planning
O (They/them/theirs)

My name is O Stecina, I'm non-binary (they/them), 18 years old, and a Senior at Erie High School. I'm Erie's Senior Class President and President of the GSA club. I enjoy swimming, singing, playing violin, and watching movies and YouTube. I wanted to join the crew because I want to give back to the queer community!

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2018 LGBTQ and Ally Dance Artistic Development
Franky (They/them/theirs)

Franky Branch, they/them, 18 years old. I'm the former president for my high school GSA. I continue to work with OASOS, who informed me of the Out Boulder Community internship opportunity! The chance to give back to my community is wonderful and exciting.

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2019 LGBTQ and Ally Dance Fellowship Intern
Bella (She/her/hers)

Hi there! My name is Bella Russell and I use She/her/hers pronouns. I’m the youngest of three siblings, and am currently 13 years old. I’m an 8th grade student at Westview Middle School in Longmont, Colorado. My main passion is music, and I’ve been playing some kind of instrument since I was 5 years old, including: voice, piano, flute, and ukulele. My mother is native Argentinian so I speak and understand Spanish almost as well as English. I have volunteered my time at my current and prior schools to support various PTA and student activities and look forward to more service in my community regarding volunteer programs supporting equality. My inspiration for joining Out Boulder County comes partly from my eldest brother Cortland, who currently leads the successful national non-profit oSTEM, and who’s encouragement and support has not only helped me in my journey but also many LGBTQ+ professionals.

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2019 Night of Noise Youth Intern
Ashley (She/her/hers)

My name is Ashley Bilbrey (She/Her/hers), I am a 18 year old high school senior, and I've lived in Colorado my entire life. My interests are art and technology. I wanted to join the Out Boulder Youth Intern team because I wanted to contribute to my wonderful community.

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2019 Night of Noise Intern
Luka (He/him/his)

My name is Luka Hooks, my pronouns are he/him/his, I’m 18, and I am a student at Centennial BOCES High School. Outside of school and home life, I work with an organization called Youth Advocating for Change (YAC). In the YAC, our mission is to benefit the underserved youth in our community. I joined the OBC Youth Intern team to give back to a community that is always helping others.

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2019 Night of Noise Fellowship Intern
Laurel (She/her/hers)

Hello! My name is Laurel Galvin, I use she/her pronouns and I'm a freshman and Fairview High School. I'm part of the GSA at my school along with the mountain bike team and the choir and in my free time I love to bike, play soccer, read, write, make music, and hang out with my friends. I joined the OutBoulder intern team because I love the community that OutBoulder offers and I wanted to be a part of it. It's an honor to help improve this community to make life better for myself and people like me everywhere

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2019 Night of Noise Intern Volunteer
Lauren (She/her/hers)

Hey! My name is Lauren van de Poll, I use she/her/hers pronouns, I am 16 years old, and I am a Junior at New Vista High School. In my free time I enjoy playing guitar, singing, photography, being outside, writing, and spending time with my loved ones. I wanted to join the Out Boulder 2019 Youth Intern team because I aspire to make a change in my community and I am very interested in non-profit organizations.

Out Boulder County Announces New Brand

This is not a logo. This is a celebration.

After years with our current brand, we've noticed that we've fallen slightly behind the times. This affects not only our presence to donors and partners, but our morale internally.

We are thrilled to announce a new logo (and corresponding brand) for Out Boulder County.

After countless design sessions, substantial vetting with the leadership of the community, and many casual feedback sessions of the entire rainbow, we present to you our newest evolution in brand identity.

We hope you find it as effective, inclusive, and compelling as we do.

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We begin as a rough idea of who we are and gradually add facets to ourselves until we become whole.

This 25th anniversary rebrand represents the evolution of Out Boulder County, the people and community that we represent, the tremendous progress that has been made for our rights, and the battle that we continue to fight every day.

The palette honors the traditional pride flag and all it represents, with the critical inclusion of grey and black to represent the transgender and non-binary community.

For specific context and communities, alternative logos were created.

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Because, frankly, you deserve this.

After 25 years of hard work by thousands of dedicated volunteers, board members, staff, donors, and vendors... OBC deserves a massage and a day at the spa.

But this is more than cosmetic.

The purpose of a brand is not just to provide a common visual language for promotion and communication, but rather to provide a standard, a flag, that everyone can rally behind with confidence, because the battle isn't over.

We hope that this new visual identity gives you, your partners and ours that little extra spark to know that as dark as things seem, we are always evolving and moving forward. Facets and all.

Celebrating our Corporate Changemaker Award Recipient, Seagate Technology

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Seagate is one of the top 5 employers in Boulder County and is the largest business employer in the City of Longmont. When employees gathered on 4/27/18 for their first Pride group, nearly 20 people attended including parents of trans and queer youth. Since then Seagate has been an incredible local partner and was the leading sponsor of the 2018 Longmont and Boulder Pride celebrations. We believe they deserve this year's award because they have touched the lives of so many in our community in such a short time.

Celebrating our Changemaker Award Recipient, Marlon Reis

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Marlon Reis is an accomplished writer and animal welfare advocate. After graduating from the University of Colorado at Boulder, Reis served on the Board of Directors of Out Boulder and worked with the Community Foundation Boulder County to support local LGBTQ+ organizations.

As the First Gentleman of Colorado, Mr. Reis seeks to advance animal welfare, environmental, and civil rights causes.

Next Steps: 50+ Focus Groups--We need workshop participants!


Last fall, Out Boulder County began a process to better serve members of our community in the second 50 years of life and identify new programming that's necessary and insightful.

In March, we will build on the needs identified in that process by conducting a series of community workshops to explore, discuss, and build on programming ideas and identify how we can better foster community and intergenerational connection. 

We need to hear from you in this process.

Volunteer to join this process by completing a short online application survey: Click here to take the survey.

This opportunity is open to all identities, expressions, and ages. Individuals who are selected to join the workshops will be notified in the next couple of weeks to confirm your participation and your workshop time and location. 

Your views are essential to this process, so please take 10 minutes to complete the survey and apply. 

Safe Shelter of St. Vrain Valley: Domestic Violence Help

When Esme (they/them/theirs) and Andi (she/her/hers) met, sparks flew. For the first time in a long time, Esme went out with friends for a night of fun. They had been feeling down and didn’t want to go out, but felt they needed it. When Andi approached and took an interest, Esme’s heart skipped a beat. Esme and Andi spent the evening talking about their shared love of dogs, hiking, and motorcycles. Very soon after, Andi wanted the relationship to move fast. Esme wasn’t entirely comfortable with how quickly it was moving, but they went along with it because they were in love. After just 2 dates, Andi was kicked out of her house and needed somewhere to live. Esme felt hesitant to move in together so quickly, but Andi didn’t have anywhere else to go. Hesitantly, Esme let Andi move in.

 

At first, Esme thought it was sweet when Andi started asking detailed questions about where they were going all the time. Then, Andi started checking Esme’s phone to see who they were talking to and texting. One night while arguing, Andi said, “You aren’t a real man” and began belittling Esme’s masculine clothing. Esme wanted the fight to stop so they apologized to Andi, but Esme felt hurt and sad. They thought: How could Andi say such awful things and also claim to care about them at the same time? After this argument, Andi doted on Esme, making their favorite meal and showering them with affection. Esme figured the argument must have just been a one-time thing.

A month later, after 2 more similar heated arguments, Andi told Esme that if they didn’t start acting more like a “real woman,” she would tell Esme’s family about their gender. Esme knew that this would cause an uproar with their family and, because they were scared, Esme complied with Andi’s demands. The demands became bigger and bigger over time till Esme felt like they had no idea who they were anymore. One evening, Andi screamed at Esme and called them derogatory names. Esme became so scared that they threatened to call the police. Andi told Esme that if they did call the police, they would never take Esme seriously because of Esme’s appearance. 

If Esme or Andi were a friend of yours, what would you do?

Relationship abuse is not a topic that anyone wants to talk about; however, abuse thrives in silence. If you suspect that you or someone you know might be in an abusive relationship, please talk to someone. Whether that someone is a friend or a professional at a domestic abuse agency, breaking the silence is the first step in stopping the abuse. Breaking the silence can provide much needed support, validation, and (hopefully!) perpetrator accountability.

Current research on abuse in LGBTQ+ relationships is woefully lacking, yet the studies that do exist have shown that abuse happens in LGBTQ+ relationships with at least as much, if not more, frequency as heteronormative relationships. Abuse is rooted in power and control dynamics where one partner exerts power and control tactics over the other. When most people think of relationship abuse, they equate it to physical violence such as hitting, kicking, punching, etc. However, other more subtle behaviors are also considered emotional abuse, and are just as harmful. These abusive behaviors include: name calling, gas-lighting, stalking, social isolation, financial means restriction, ridiculing or preventing someone from practicing their religion/spirituality, identity denial, and so much more. LGBTQ+ folks have historically experienced many barriers to safety when seeking services at shelters and domestic violence agencies due to some of them not being welcoming or informed of specific needs of the community.

 

Safe Shelter of St. Vrain Valley wants you to know that you are not alone. We offer information, resources, shelter and advocacy in a safe, nonjudgmental space for adults and children affected by abuse regardless of gender identity or sexual orientation. We aim to help those affected by abuse in intimate partner relationships live lives free of violence, abuse, and intimidation. We are also here to help support folks with friends and family members who are in abusive relationships.

By BreAnne Meyer

Legal Advocate at Safe Shelter of St. Vrain Valley

 

Safe Shelter of St. Vrain Valley

www.safeshelterofstvrain.org

 

PHONE: 24-hour crisis line

(303) 772-4422

DROP IN: OUT Boulder Longmont

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OFFICE: 82 21st Ave Suite A, Longmont, CO

M-F 9a – 5p

2019 LUNAR NEW YEAR CELEBRATIONS

The Lunar New Year, commonly known as the Chinese New Year, is an annual holiday celebrated by many countries and cultures. Many variations of this holiday are observed in East Asia, Southeast Asia, South Asia, and Western Asia. This year, the Year of the Pig, occurs on Tuesday, February 5th. Colorado has multiple events in the coming weeks to celebrate the Lunar New Year:

Dinner Celebration
Empress Seafood, Denver
Saturday, Feb. 2, 5:00-7:30 PM
*Tickets: $40, $30 for students

2019 Colorado Chinese New Year Celebration
Denver Chinese School (DCS), Confucius Institute at Community College of Denver and Chinese American Foundation of Colorado (CAFC), Denver
Saturday, Feb. 2, 10:30 AM- 3:30 PM
*Tickets: $25
Further information can be found here.

OCA Colorado Gala & Cultural Fair
Salon Real Event Center, Denver
Saturday, Feb. 9, 4:30-8:30 PM
*Tickets: $30

CNY Party
Grand Hyatt, Denver
Saturday, Feb. 9, 5:30-11PM
*Tickets $250

Pacific Ocean Market Lion Dance
Denver
Saturday, Feb. 9, 2:30 PM
*FREE admission

Pacific Ocean Market Lion Dance
Broomfield
Sunday, Feb. 10, 12:00 PM
*FREE admission

Pacific Ocean Market Lion Dance
Aurora
Sunday, Feb. 10, 2:30 PM
*FREE admission

Asian-Pacific Association of Longmont Chinese New Year Festival
Silver Creek High School, Longmont
Saturday, Feb. 16, 2:00-5:00 PM
*FREE admission

Immediate Action Required to Protect our LGBTQ Youth

BVSD Board of Education currently has before it a charter school application from Ascent Classical Academy (ACA). ACA is one of a chain of schools initiated by the Barney Charter School Initiative, a project of Hillsdale College. Hillsdale College is a private college in Michigan that espouses beliefs of intolerance toward any group that is not white, heterosexual, or cisgender. It works to promote the policies of hate being enacted by the current Federal Administration.

The BVSD Board of Education initially rejected the application because the ACA waived BVSD’s anti-discrimination policy and over 50 other items in the application.  ACA appealed to the Colorado Board of Education, and now the State Board is requiring that BVSD’s Board again consider the application.

The BVSD Board of Education will vote on the application Tuesday, Jan. 22. The meeting begins at 6:30 p.m. at 6500 Arapahoe, Boulder, CO.

We know that lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and youth of color face extreme bullying as compared to other youth. Charter schools that provide no protections for our most vulnerable youth do not belong in our community, nor should they receive any public funding.

We strongly urge you to take one or more of the following actions before Tuesday night’s vote:

  1. Write emails to individual BVSD Board members

  2. Send an email to the entire BVSD Board of Education: bvs.board@bvsd.org

  3. Show up and speak at the Board Meeting Tuesday. Anyone wishing to speak during Public Participation may either sign up via phone at 720 561 5114, or in person between 5:30-5:45 p.m. Tuesday. However, any member of the public who comes to the meeting before the end of Public Participation may sign up to speak.

Ascent Classical Academies is part of a project to stealthily push a religious agenda into public schools. This is not kind of school that BVSD needs. It goes against the spirit of what charter schools are for, and it violates the norms of the school district. BVSD has five diverse charter schools, none of which are backed by a shadowy, non-local agenda. We are concerned that the ACA has an anti-equity, anti-diversity perspective and that it will not serve LGBT or students of color in Boulder County.


Strength from the Margins

Krishna Pattisapu, Ph.D., Board Member

Recently, our nation has seen its people rise up in unparalleled large-scale movements like the Women’s March, protests in airports opposing Islamaphobic travel bans, and the forthcoming “Day Without a Woman” strike set for March 8th. These events, while inspiring testaments to democracy in action, present opportunities for us to consider how the most privileged members of our communities have the power to center their narratives in political struggle. For example, by questioning which women can afford to participate in a strike, we can engage in conversations about the racialization of feminized labor. In other words, women of color tend to occupy lower paying and more physically demanding roles that are associated with women. According to a July 2016 report by the Congressional Joint Economics Committee, women of color constitute more than half of workers earning less than minimum wage.

National strikes and protests undoubtedly send messages to political leadership. But who gets to send those messages? How does our activism systematically silence the most vulnerable among us?

For queer and trans folks who reside at the intersections of marginalized identities -- undocumented queer and trans folks, queer and trans people of color, and working class queer and trans folks, to name just a few -- the need to address terrifying political realities comes as no surprise. As individuals who navigate interlocking systems of oppression like transphobia, racism, Islamaphobia and ableism in addition to heterosexism, we have known for far too long how it feels for laws and policies to dehumanize us and for our own communities to abandon us at the slightest promise of political gain. We know what it means to be excluded from white queer activism, our bodies and our stories always relegated to the margins.

Amidst this exciting time of democratic engagement, the LGBTQ community must take the opportunity to ask ourselves whether or not we are making the same mistakes of yesterday. Is our activism accessible to rural queer and trans people, queer and trans people with disabilities, and our incarcerated queer and trans siblings? And if the answer is no, then is our activism really activism?

In Sister Outsider, Audre Lorde writes, “We are all more blind to what we have than to what we have not.” In these uncertain times, it is our instinct to focus on how we feel threatened and erased based on our marginalized identities as queer and trans people. We have shown our strength as a community by rallying together to fight back. However, it is more difficult for us to turn inward and examine how the unexamined privileges we have (read: white, able-bodied, documented and middle class) lead us to marginalize and erase others as we advocate for ourselves. For example, how can cisgender queer women dismantle cisnormativity by making sure that we support all of our sisters and not just our cis-ters? How can we push ourselves past our discomfort toward activism that is inclusive of all members of our community?

As we engage in national movements and protests, feeling the warmth and solidarity of our community around us, let us question whose voices we do not hear and whose faces we do not see. And in recognizing those absences, let us remind ourselves that we are truly strong only when we leave no members of our family behind.