Important

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.


#WontBeErased

We Won’t Be Erased

Yesterday’s news was another shock to our individual and collective systems.  As we each read yesterday’s New York Times article detailing the intent by the federal administration to redefine Title Nine protections to specifically exclude and erase transgender, non-binary, intersex, and other gender diverse individuals from its protections, our fears rose and our hearts sank.

As a member of the Board and as an out and proud trans masculine individual, I have been in communication with my fellow Board members and our staff, and we stand united and committed to continuing the fight against this administration's repeated attacks on the LGBTQ community. We renew and affirm our pledge of solidarity to the trans community in that:

* The "T" and all genders it represents is firmly imprinted in our organization and nothing this administration does will ever erase that.

* We will continue to educate and advocate for the transgender, non-binary, intersex, and gender diverse community with our local government, law enforcement, businesses, and community, always.

* We will continue to do the work, both internally and externally within the community, to continue to center the voices and experiences of our queer and trans people of color community.

*We will continue to acknowledge and lift up those with intersecting identities who are the most vulnerable in our community and act in solidarity together.

In the State of Colorado, trans people have protections. I encourage you to vote by November 6th to ensure a fair and just Colorado.

As a member of the community, to my gender expansive family, I say this: Know that your existence matters. Know that we see you in your authenticity and no words that anyone commits to paper will ever erase the beautiful individual that you are. There are uncertain times yet to come and we will face them together. Our family and this community is based on strength and resilience. No one stands alone. You are not alone. Together we will never be erased, together we will never be eliminated. Trans people have always existed. We will always be here. We #WontBeErased.

On behalf of the Out Boulder County Board of Directors

W. Ravyn Wayne (he-him-his)

Board Treasurer

Helpful Resources

Trans Lifeline: 877-565-8860

Boulder County Gender Support groups welcome all gender-expansive identities and meets weekly in Longmont (Tuesdays 6:30-8:30pm) and Boulder (Thursdays 7-9pm) at the Out Boulder County offices.

Relevant upcoming events

To build solidarity in community, and support your own resiliency, we invite you to please participate with our upcoming events:

Boulder County Responds to Hate

5:30-7:30pm, Monday, October 29 at Boulder Jewish Community Center (6007 Oreg Ave)

Throughout the country, there has been an increase in reported hate crimes.  The DA’s Office is launching a Bias & Hate Crimes Initiative to raise community awareness and improve the collective response to these offenses.  Join District Attorney Michael Dougherty, community leaders, law enforcement, and school representatives for important panel discussions on “Fighting Hate in Our Communities” and “Social Media & Bullying.”

If you have experienced a hate crime or incident, or in the event of an emergency, please call 911.  The Boulder County DA’s Bias hotline for non-emergency reporting is 303-441-1595. See more on our website or facebook event.

Trans Awareness Week, Nov 13-20

www.outboulder.org/taw

Tuesday, Nov 13, 7 pm: Kate Bornstein is a Queer and Pleasant Danger film screening at the Dairy Arts Center, Boedecker Theater.  For decades, performance artist and writer Kate Bornstein has been exploding binaries and deconstructing gender. And, her own identity. Trans-dyke. Reluctant polyamorist. Sadomasochist. Recovering Scientologist. Pioneering Gender Outlaw. Kate Bornstein Is a Queer and Pleasant Danger, joins her on her latest tour capturing rollicking public performances and painful personal revelations as it bears witness to Kate as a trailblazing artist theorist activist who inhabits a space between male and female with wit, style, and astonishing candor. By turns meditative and playful, the film invites us on a thought provoking journey through Kate's world to seek answers to some of life's biggest questions. (Same Feder, 2014, USA, 1:12, NR)

Wednesday, Nov 14, 6:30-8:30pm: Sharing Transgender Stories: Q&A Panel at OBC Longmont office. Join us for an evening of story-telling in which you will hear inspiring stories, learn about trans experiences, have an opportunity to have your questions answered, and learn how to be a better ally.

Saturday, Nov 17, 4-7pm: TransGiving at OBC Longmont office. Community meal open to trans, non-binary, and gender expansive individuals only. Our annual TransGiving Dinner is a celebration of our trans community. Join together with other trans identified folk and enjoy a free traditional holiday meal in a safe and welcoming environment. Meet old and new friends and enjoy sharing space with folks who share a trans identity.

This event is for trans-identified individuals only. This event is 18+. Folks ages 16 or 17 may be allowed with guardian permission. Please RSVP to the event via the link below so we may be able to accommodate all attending:

https://tinyurl.com/TransGiving2018

Sunday, Nov 18, 6-8pm: Trans & Friends Social at Under the Sun (627 South Broadway, Boulder)

Join us for an informal gathering of trans folks, friends, families, partners, and allies as we share space, food, drinks, and community.  

Monday, Nov 19, 4:30-6:30pm: Trans Trivia at OBC Longmont office. Celebrate Trans Awareness Week with OBC's youth program! Youth-run trivia game to educate and entertain folks of all ages about trans topics. Pizza & prizes provided.  All ages & identities welcome!

Tuesday, Nov 20, 6pm: Trans Day of Remembrance (TDOR), Old Courthouse on Pearl St. Transgender Day of Remembrance is an annual observance on November 20 that honors those lives lost due to anti-transgender violence. We will meet at the Courthouse on Pearl Street in Boulder to begin the ceremony and hear from speakers. Then we will walk silently together to the First United Methodist Church labyrinth for the reading of names. Attendees will have time to walk the labyrinth after the names are read.


Support the ongoing work of Out Boulder County in building community resiliency by donating.


Calling All LGBTQ Veterans!

Calling All LGBTQ Veterans!

We have received a small grant to support LGBTQ+ veterans. We are planning an initial meeting to hear what local vets want this programming to be. If you are an LGBTQ+ veteran, please contact Michal (mduffy@outboulder.org) so that we can include your input.  As we hear back, we will schedule this meeting in order to move forward.

Programa para Jóvenes de Color que son LGBTQ, Cuestionando, y sus Aliados

Programa para Jóvenes de Color que son LGBTQ, Cuestionando, y sus Aliados

Como comunidad que abarca todos los demás grupos demográficos, estamos trabajando para convertirnos en una organización inclusiva que reconozca y celebre nuestra unidad, así como nuestra diversidad. Sabemos que … algunos de los retos enfrentando a los jóvenes de color que también son LGBTQ o cuestionando. La necesidad es evidente y por eso estamos respondiendo.

Domestic Violence Mobile Advocacy

Domestic Violence Mobile Advocacy

Safe Shelter of St. Vrain Valley will provide a regular weekly presence at the Longmont Out Boulder County office every Tuesday 12-2pm, starting Jan 23. The Safe Shelter Advocate’s presence will increase access to safety planning, crisis intervention, support, education, and community referrals for individuals of all gender identities or sexual orientations impacted by relationship abuse. Advocates will also meet with individuals at other locations of their choosing to ensure anonymity, safety or other considerations.  

Out Boulder County Statement Regarding President Trump’s Ban on Transgender Military Service Members’ Continued Service to Our Country

Out Boulder County Statement Regarding President Trump’s Ban on Transgender Military Service Members’ Continued Service to Our Country

FOR OFFICIAL RELEASE: Statement from Out Boulder County Regarding President Trump’s Ban on Transgender Military Service Members’ Continued Service to Our Country, July 26th, 2017.

With a statement from Out Boulder County Board Member and transgender veteran, Cole Hart.

Out Boulder County Statement Regarding Title IX and Transgender Youth

Out Boulder County Statement Regarding Title IX and Transgender Youth

We learned yesterday that the Department of Education will no longer enforce Title IX to defend transgender students, with agreement from the new Secretary, Betsy DeVos. This decision comes under heavy pressure from Jeff Sessions and the Department of Justice. The broad reaching effect of this choice goes much further than just bathrooms; this change ends all rights and protections afforded to transgender youth under Title IX.

We have assurances from Boulder Valley and St. Vrain Valley School Districts that their policies to protect transgender youth will remain in place. Additionally, in Colorado, we are lucky enough to have broad legal protections for our transgender youth under SB08-200, which prohibits any discrimination in housing and public accommodations (including schools) based on a person’s actual or perceived transgender identity. These protections are unequivocal and require ALL Colorado schools to continue protecting transgender youth, despite this change in federal policy.

Moving Toward Collective Liberation: Reflections and Next Steps

Moving Toward Collective Liberation: Reflections and Next Steps

On Tuesday night, over 300 lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer people and our allies packed into the Stewart Auditorium of the Longmont Museum and Cultural Center for a night of spoken word, music, and mobilization. This special gathering was made possible because of the active collaboration we enjoy with A Queer Endeavor and generous funding from the Twisted Foundation.

Our powerhouse line up of performers and speakers who joined us kept the space full of radical hope and honesty. You can click on each name for more information about their life-changing work. 

Coping with the Outcome of the Recent Presidential Election

Coping with the Outcome of the Recent Presidential Election

Many people in the LGBTQ and allied communities were surprised and disturbed by the outcome of the recent presidential election. The election results represent different things to different people, and some in our communities feel shattered and overwhelmed.

Fortunately, we have several decades of research (which started right here in Boulder) that helps us to understand the psychological impact of political events like this on our community. Moreover, this research offers us some important clues about how we can best manage the impact of these events and use them to take care of ourselves and our communities.

I will describe what we know by referring to three different sets of experiences. (The Immediate Aftermath, As Time Goes On, And On To The Future)