Do you have a story to tell? AnOther Suburbia wants to hear it.

AnOther Suburbia is an oral history and theater project documenting LGBTQ+ and marginalized experiences in American suburbs. They are currently seeking volunteers from the Greater Boston Area to share their stories with our team.

AnOther Suburbia explores the diversity of race, sexuality, and gender expression in American suburbs and the unique experiences, identities, and communities that form in these areas. The team is interested in speaking with individuals who have had LGBTQ+ experiences or experiences of “otherness” and spent a meaningful part of their life in a suburb of Boston. Participants in this project may come from a variety of backgrounds, have a range of experiences, or identify in different ways. How they define “LGBTQ+,” “other,” and “suburb” are also up to them. AnOther Suburbia is interested in exploring the different ways people imagine these words and identities.

Participants in this project may come from different backgrounds, have a range of experiences, or identify in different ways. How you define “LGBTQ+,” “other,” or “suburb” is up to you. Through AnOther Suburbia, the team will document your stories, preserve them in a public digital archive, and ultimately, incorporate parts of interviews into a work of public-facing theater. Interviews will be conducted virtually (due to COVID-19) in August, September, and October 2020.

Interviewers will reach out to you personally if they are able to feature your story in this project. When selected, participating narrators will be provided official forms outlining consent and details of the project. They may not be able to feature all interested participants, but we sincerely appreciate all participants’ openness to sharing initial interest on this form.

If you have any questions about the project, please feel free to email AnOther Suburbia at: betweentheactsproject@gmail.com or visit the project web page at: https://www.betweentheactsproject.org/another-suburbia.

Statement on verbal attack and use of a homophobic slur against a town resident.

Dear Arlington friends and neighbors, 

The Arlington LGBTQIA+ Rainbow Commission condemns the recent hateful verbal attack and use of a homophobic slur against a town resident. The verbal attack was captured on video and posted to the Arlington MA Current Residents group on Facebook on Tuesday, July 21, 2020. It took place on Massachusetts Avenue near the intersection with Park Avenue. 

In a description of the incident that accompanied the video, the poster wrote: “[T]he guy behind me in line at the grocery wasn’t keeping a distance, and had his mask only halfway on. I asked him to put his mask on and he got supper aggro. He followed me outside, got all in my face and threatened to fight me, but backed off when I pulled my phone out.” 

Everyone in Arlington has the right to participate in public settings free from violence, discrimination, and abuse based on identified or perceived sexuality or gender identity/expression. This incident is a reminder that anti-LGBTQIA+ bias remains commonplace and much work remains to become a safe, supportive, and inclusive town. The LGBTQIA+ Rainbow Commission is committed to this work and welcomes all members of the town community to join us. 

Here are ways you can help. 

First, educate yourself. Verbal attacks like these are often minimized as having caused no harm. But being the target of anti-LGBTQIA+ bias or merely anticipating such bias in public settings has been linked to higher rates of depression and anxiety among LGBTQIA+ people. 

The use of slurs targeting people based on their identified or perceived sexuality or gender identity/expression, as well as their race, gender, religion, disability, or ethnicity is designed to humiliate and dehumanize the target of abuse. It is also meant to instill fear among other members of the targeted group

Although LGBTQIA+ people comprise less than five percent of the U.S. population, nearly 20 percent of hate crimes reported to the FBI in the U.S. are motivated by anti-LGBTQIA+ bias

Arlington has a thriving, active, and resilient LGBTQIA+ community. Please join us and learn more at the next Arlington LGBTQIA+ Rainbow Commission monthly meeting on Thursday, August 20 via Zoom at 6:30pm

The town of Arlington values equity, diversity, and inclusion. The Arlington LGBTQIA+ Rainbow Commission supports these values by promoting the full inclusion of LGBTQIA+ individuals and groups in Arlington through affirming policies and programs, resources, advocacy and community building.

Question 3 Election Results

The Arlington Rainbow Commission notes that Arlington overwhelmingly voted to support the existing law protecting access to public accommodations for transgender people.

Unofficial election results posted by the town show that 82.90% of the town voted in favor of keeping these protections in place. Of a total of 23562 votes counted on Question 3, 19532 voted in favor.

Looking at the results across all 21 town precincts, Yes votes cast to preserve existing protections ranged from a low of 73.98% to a high of 87.43% of votes cast.