Arlington Rainbow Commission

Photo of a long table decorated with a trans-pride flag, some handouts about coming out, Rainbow Commission business cards, a copy of the 2018 Pride Proclamation, and an assortment of pins with animals drawn on them in the colors of various sexual-identity and gender-identity pride flags

Welcome to the website of the Arlington, Massachusetts, LGBTQIA+ Rainbow Commission (or just Rainbow Commission for short). Town Meeting established the Commission in 2017. Commissioners were appointed early in 2018 and have met monthly since March.

Apply to join the Rainbow Commission

The Town of Arlington seeks to appoint 2 members to the LGBTQIA+ Rainbow Commission, which 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 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 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 townmanager@town.arlington.ma.us.

50th Anniversary of the Stonewall Uprising

This year’s Pride celebrations mark the 50th anniversary of the uprising at the Stonewall Inn resulting from a discriminatory police raid on the bar, which was a popular hangout for the LGB+ and trans community. You can read President Obama’s proclamation at the establishment of the Stonewall National Monument for a great history lesson. Also, the Robbins Library’s Reel Queer film series is screening Stonewall Uprising on June 13. Details are in the events list below.

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.

Check out the full list of Boston Pride 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 18: Mass. Youth Pride and Dance Party (hosted by BAGLY), 11 am – 7 pm, Boston City Hall Plaza. Festival is 11am-4pm. March starts at noon. BAGLY Dance Party is 4-7 pm.

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, 6:30-8:30pm, 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 https://lexingtoncommunityed.org/class/queer-victorians

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 lexpridema.org/contact to sign up.