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.

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.

Mar. 21-Aug. 25: Exhibit on “Gender Bending Fashion at the MFA.

Apr. 16: Drag Prom workshop: LGBTQ+ cartoons, 3-5 pm, Robbins Library Community Room, 700 Mass Ave.

Apr. 17: LGBTQ+ Monthly Lunch, 11:30-1 pm, Somerville Senior Center, 167 Holland St. Bring a friend! All are welcome at this monthly LGBTQ+ lunch sponsored by the
Somerville Council on Aging. This month’s menu is beef stew, tossed salad, corn, and
oat bread. RSVP by Apr. 12 to Debby (dhiggins@somervillema.gov) or 617-625-6600.

Apr. 23: Drag Prom makeup workshop, 6-8 pm, Fox Branch Library Community Room, 175 Mass Ave.

Apr. 24: Robbins Library Queer Book Group discussion of the autobiography I Can’t Date Jesus: Love, Sex, Family, Race, and Other Reasons I’ve Put My Faith In Beyoncé by Michael Arceneaux, 7 pm, Robbins Library Conference Room.

Apr. 25: Rainbow Commission PRIDE subcommittee meeting, 7:30 pm, Arlington Senior Center, 27 Maple St., Arts & Crafts Room (second floor)

Apr. 25: One Teacher in Ten community book discussion, 6:30-8 pm, Lexington location TBA. This book is a collection of stories by LGBTQ+ teachers, counselors, and administrators across the US and the world. There will be a brief overview of the book, a panel of LGBTQ+ teachers and staff who will share their experiences or reflections on the book, and a group discussion.

Apr. 26: LexPride Birthday Bash, 7-9 pm, Lexington Community Center dining room, 39 Marrett Rd. Believe it or not, LexPride is turning two years old! They invite everyone to come celebrate and enjoy lots of festivities – including cake. All are welcome.

Apr. 27: Annual Drag Prom, 7-10 pm, Arlington Senior Center, 27 Maple St. Free to attend for all teens! Join us for a night of celebrating all things LGBTQ+ at Robbins Library’s Prom Event of the Year! This dance is open to all expressions of self, no need to dress up but feel free to come in your most fabulous outfits! Cosponsored by Mystic LGBTQ+ Youth Support Network (Queer Mystic), Robbins Library, the Council on Aging, and the Rainbow Commission (additional cosponsors welcome!). If you’re interested in helping plan the Drag Prom, please email Teen Librarian Katy (kkania@minlib.net).

Apr. 28: Storytime with Drag Kings and Queens, 3-4 pm, Robbins Library Community Room, 700 Mass Ave. Circus stars, dancers, drag performers, and friends share their favorite children’s books. Songs, games, and smiles! For kids of all ages. Pick up a free ticket 30 minutes prior.

May 4: Stories of LGBTQ+ Seniors, 1-3 pm, Arlington Senior Center mural room, 27 Maple St. Performance and Workshop for LGBTQ+ older adults. Participants will be invited to share moments from their own lives. On the spot, True Story Theater actors will capture in music, movement, and dialogue the emotional essence of what as shared. Then, there will be a workshop where participants can learn some of the powerful and fun skills of embodied listening.

May 11: LGBTQ+ Intergenerational Stories, 7:30-9:15 pm, Arlington Center for the Arts, 20 Academy St. An evening of intergenerational exchange and community-building between people who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, nonbinary, queer, and/or questioning (LGBTQ+). Participants will be invited to spontaneously share moments of their true life experience. On the spot, True Story Theater actors will capture in music, movement, and dialogue the emotional essence of what was shared. FREE.

May 16: Rainbow Commission monthly meeting, Robbins Library fourth floor conference room, 700 Mass Ave.

May 22: “The State of Hate in Massachusetts and What the Community Can Do to Respond,” presented by ADL’s Metro North Advisory Committee and Wakefield Human Rights Commission. Savings Bank Theater at Wakefield High School.

Jun. 6: Rainbow Commission monthly meeting, Robbins Library fourth floor conference room, 700 Mass Ave.

The Lexington PRIDE celebration will be Jun. 9, 11am-2pm.

Details for Arlington’s PRIDE celebration are in the works. Come to the planning meeting Apr. 25 if you want to help out!

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