Welcome!

Welcome to the website of the Arlington, Massachusetts, LGBTQIA+ Rainbow Commission (or just Rainbow Commission for short). Town Meeting established the Commission in 2017, Commission meetings began the following March, and Arlington held its first Pride event in June 2018.

Local LGBTQIA+ Events

All meetings and events hosted by the Rainbow Commission (not cosponsorships) are open to the public and accessible. 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 line up an ASL interpreter.

Oct 11: National Coming Out Day

Image: Stylized drawing by Keith Haring in bring colors of person-shaped being exiting a door with above text saying

Oct 12: Coming Out Day Crafts & Community, 1-4 pm, Robbins Library fourth floor conference room, 700 Mass Ave. Celebrate Coming Out Day with LGBTQIA+ folx and allies! Come make a pronoun button to take home, do some coloring, or bring whatever craft project you’re already working on. And pick up a Pride animal button. Drop in for half an hour or stay for the long haul. We’d just love to celebrate with you! This Rainbow Commission event is supported in part by a grant from the Boston Pride Community Fund.

pride-animal-buttons  pronoun-coloring-buttons

Oct 15: Identifying and Interrupting Unconscious Biases, 7-9pm, location TBA. This event will feature speakers, small group discussions, and full group analysis of strategies and actions we can take to recognize and address our unconscious biases. All are welcome! Sponsored by the Lexington Diversity Advisory Task Force and LexPride.

Oct 16: Revolutionary, with Alex Myers, 7-8:00 pm, Winchester Public Library.  Alex Myers will talk about his book Revolutionary, which tells the tale of his ancestor to
lived as a man in order to serve in the war, as well as his own identity as a transgender

Oct 17: Rainbow Commission community discussion about LGBTQIA+ issues in Arlington Public  Schools, 6:30 pm, Arlington Senior Center upstairs (floor 1). Jennifer Susse from the School Committee will join the Rainbow Commission for an informal discussion about LGBTQIA+ issues in Arlington Public Schools. Other school officials will be encouraged to attend, and we hope local parents and students will join us too. Open to all.

Oct 19: Biversity Brunch, 11:30am-1pm, Foundry, 255 Elm St, Somerville. This all-gender bi+ group brunches at Foundry in Davis Square the 3rd Saturday of every month.

Oct 19: Massachusetts National Period Day Rally, 3-5 pm, City Hall Plaza, Boston. Elevating the issue of period poverty and demanding real change to making period products more accessible for all and passing the “I AM” Bill in Massachusetts (S.1274/H.1959). This is an inclusive rally. All welcome whether you menstruate or not. Wear red! More info and actions you can take: https://www.facebook.com/events/466864063878477/

Oct 20: Monthly Aces Social, 2 pm. See meetup.com/NewEnglandAces for more info.

Oct 23: Parent Forum: “Building Community to Support LGBTQIA+ Youth: An Interactive Discussion for Parents & Guardians,” 7 pm, Ottoson Middle School cafeteria, 63 Acton St, Arlington. Have you ever wondered how you’d respond if your child came out to you? What about one of their friends? Do you wonder how to create a home that celebrates clear communication between kids and their families about sexuality and gender? This is a space to explore these questions and learn more about the resources in our community to celebrate all of the children in our schools. Together we’ll explore what gender and sexuality mean today, and places to find role models of varied backgrounds for us and those in our care. We’ll also delve into ways to process our feelings about kids’ development and the risks they take to be themselves, in ways that nurture healthy communication, boundaries and trust. Finally we’ll equip ourselves with the tools to address mistakes, and the skills needed to create a community that is resilient enough to celebrate everyone. Parents, guardians, and support networks are all invited on this journey with us. Cosponsored by the Arlington Parent Forum, Rainbow Commission, and LexPride.

Oct 23: Suited film screening, 7-8:30  pm, Winchester Public Library. Suited is an uplifting documentary that tells the story of a Brooklyn tailoring company that helps members of the LGBTQIA+ community look the way they feel.

Oct 27: RALLY event honoring the women who founded iconic lesbian groups in the Boston area, 1-3pm, Brookline Senior Center, 93 Winchester St, Brookline, MA. First-person history followed by Q&A and light refreshments. MC: Arlington’s won Sue Katz. All are welcome. $10 suggested donation. If you plan to attend, please RSVP to Suzanne at slaurelle@aol.com. Call 617-731-2867 if you have questions.

Oct 29: Including LGBTQ+ People in Sports, 7:15-8:30pm, Lexington High School, 251 Waltham St. Historically, sports and athletics have been hostile places for LGBTQ+ people, who sometimes avoid traditional school and community teams for this reason. Learn how including all kinds of people produces better experiences for all.

Oct 30: QBG Reads Looking for Lorraine, 7pm, Robbins Library fourth floor conference room, 700 Mass Ave. Queer Book Group will be discussing Lambda-Literary-award-winning biography Looking for Lorraine: The Radiant and Radical Life of Lorraine Hansberry by Imani Perry. After the success of A Raisin in the Sun, Hansberry used her prominence by challenging President Kennedy and his brother to take bolder stances on Civil Rights, supporting African anti-colonial leaders, and confronting the romantic racism of the Beat poets and Village hipsters. Though she married a man, she identified as lesbian and, risking censure and the prospect of being outed, joined one of the nation’s first lesbian organizations. Hansberry associated with many activists, writers, and musicians, including Malcolm X, Langston Hughes, Duke Ellington, Paul Robeson, and W.E.B. Du Bois. This book is a powerful insight into Hansberry’s extraordinary life. Cosponsored by the Robbins Library and Rainbow Commission.

Nov 3: “White Fragility” Community Book Discussion, 2-4pm, The Depot, 13 Depot Sq, Lexington. Community discussion of the book “White Fragility,” with an aim toward overcoming our emotional barriers to become active anti-racists. Sponsored by the Lexington Community Coalition (which includes LexPride).

Nov 4: A Fantastic Woman film screening, 6:30-8:30pm, Winchester Public Library.  Screening of the Chilean drama A Fantastic Woman, a Spanish language film (with subtitles) about a transgender woman coping with the death of her boyfriend and the animosity of his family.

Nov 6: Bisexual Social & Support Group (BLiSS), 7-9 pm, Boston Living Center, 29 Stanhope St, Boston. BLiSS meets on the 1st Wednesday of each month. All bi and bi-friendly people of all genders & orientations are welcome to attend. First Wednesday meetings are peer-facilitated discussion groups, sometimes with a pre-selected topic or presenter. Email bliss@biresource.net for more info.

Nov 7: “White Fragility” Community Book Discussion, 9-11 am, location TBA, Lexington. Community discussion of the book “White Fragility,” with an aim toward overcoming our emotional barriers to become active anti-racists. Sponsored by the Lexington Community Coalition (which includes LexPride).

Nov 8: LGBTQIA+ Teen/YA Drop-In, 5-6 pm, LYFS (side entrance at First Parish in Lexington). Come hang out with LGBTQIA+ teens/young adults and allies! LYFS will generally provide activities (or time to chat or chill) and snacks in this safe space. The LGBTQIA+ drop-in space is generally held the Friday of the first full week of each month. LYFS also provides free counseling during their drop-in hours and by appointment.

Nov 9: Queer Asian and Pacific-Islander Alliance (QAPA) Meetup, 11 am-1 pm. See the Meetup page for location. QAPA is committed to providing a supportive social, political, and educational environment for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning people of Asian and Pacific Islander heritage in the Boston and New England area.

Nov 9: Embracing Diversity: Thoughts vs. Actions, 2-4 pm, Lexington Community Center Dining Room. In this action-oriented community conversation, participants will talk about why unconscious biases form, how they operate in our lives, and what concrete actions we can take to recognize and address subtle biases that hold us back from engaging meaningfully with our neighbors and visitors.

Nov 14: SAGE Table intergenerational LGBTQIA+ meal & karaoke, 6:30 pm, Arlington Senior Center, 27 Maple St. Please join us for the third annual free meal and gathering of the Arlington and beyond LGBTQIA+ Community. SAGE Tables will be occurring all throughout the country around the same time. All ages. All are welcome. RSVPs welcome to 781-316-3419. Cosponsored by the Council on Aging and Rainbow Commission. Supported in part by a grant from the Boston Pride Community Fund.

Nov 14: Parent/Caregiver Group (every second Thursday of month), 7-8:30pm, First Parish in Lexington. Talk with others about the questions, struggles, practicalities, and joys of supporting someone with an LGBTQIA+ identity.

Nov 16: Biversity Brunch, 11:30am-1pm, Foundry, 255 Elm St, Somerville. This all-gender bi+ group brunches at Foundry in Davis Square the 3rd Saturday of every month.

Nov 17: Transgender Day of Remembrance observance, 5-6:30 pm, First Parish in Lexington, 7 Harrington Rd. Folks can arrive at 4 pm to make trans ribbons to give out at the event. Each year LexPride hosts a Transgender Day of Remembrance event to honor the lives of transgender people killed in anti-transgender violence each year. Join us to learn in compassion about real lives lost too soon. Sponsored by LexPride and First Parish in Lexington. Cosponsored by the Rainbow Commission.

Nov 17: Monthly Aces Social, 2 pm. See meetup.com/NewEnglandAces for more info.

Nov 18: No Hate November: The Impact of Hate and How We Combat It, 7-8:30 pm, Cary Library, Lexington. The Human Rights Committee will host a panel discussion with a diverse group of Lexingtonians (including a nonbinary person) sharing their personal stories of encountering hate. Following will be a discussion on the ways to combat hate, and how to choose to be kind during times of adversity.

Nov 21: Rainbow Commission monthly meeting, 6:30 pm, Robbins Library fourth floor conference room, 700 Mass Ave.

Dec 4: Bisexual Social & Support Group (BLiSS), 7-9 pm, Boston Living Center, 29 Stanhope St, Boston. BLiSS meets on the 1st Wednesday of each month. All bi and bi-friendly people of all genders & orientations are welcome to attend. First Wednesday meetings are peer-facilitated discussion groups, sometimes with a pre-selected topic or presenter. Email bliss@biresource.net for more info.

Dec 7: Connecting and Collaborating Across Our Cultural/Identity Groups, 2:30-4:30pm, Lexington Community Center Dining Room, . This action-oriented community discussion will cover *Why we form our groups and how they benefit us and the community. *Challenges in connecting across groups. *What types of bridges/collaboration/strategies can help. *Actions we can take at the individual, neighborhood, business, municipal, and school district levels. *Turning action ideas into concrete action steps that we can commit to. Sponsored by the Lexington Diversity Advisory Task Force and LexPride.

Dec 12: Parent/Caregiver Group (every second Thursday of month), 7-8:30pm, First Parish in Lexington. Talk with others about the questions, struggles, practicalities, and joys of supporting someone with an LGBTQIA+ identity.

Dec 15: Monthly Aces Social, 2 pm. See meetup.com/NewEnglandAces for more info.

Dec 19: Rainbow Commission monthly meeting, 6:30 pm, Robbins Library fourth floor conference room, 700 Mass Ave.

Dec 21: Biversity Brunch, 11:30am-1pm, Foundry, 255 Elm St, Somerville. This all-gender bi+ group brunches at Foundry in Davis Square the 3rd Saturday of every month.

Many of these events were copied from LexPride’s weekly newsletter. Go to lexpridema.org/contact to sign up. 

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