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How HIV Affects Vermonters in 2019

on Monday, 18 March 2019. Posted in Safespace

How HIV Affects Vermonters in 2019

In Vermont, almost 700 people have received care for HIV in the last few years. Vermont Edition spoke to Roy Belcher - an epidemiologist and HIV surveillance coordinator for the state - about what life looks like for Vermonters living with the virus, what has changed and what treatments are available.

Listen to the full interview here: https://www.vpr.org/post/how-hiv-affects-vermonters-2019#stream/0

Support an LGBTQ+ Migrant Leader

on Friday, 01 March 2019. Posted in Safespace

Send a message of support to detained LGBTQ+ migrant leader Beto

Sharing in support of Beto Sanchez and Migrant Justice. Please send a message if you can.

Earlier this month, detained farmworker and LGBTQ migrant leader Beto Sanchez was denied bond by an immigration judge. Despite over 1,000 letters of support and multiple news stories attesting to his courageous leadership for queer, immigrant, and farmworker rights, Beto continues to be held without bail in immigration detention.

But he is not giving up, and neither should we. Please send Beto a message of support and solidarity. 

Beto is applying for political asylum based on the persecution that he faced as a gay man in Mexico, and the likelihood that he would experience violence if he were to be deported. He will go back in front of the immigration judge on March 12th to present his asylum claim.

Beto has lived in Vermont for three years, working on dairy farms around the state and becoming involved in Migrant Justice, the Pride Center of Vermont, and other organizations. He has helped to lead a survey of fellow dairy workers on occupational health and safety risks, contributing valuable knowledge about a notoriously dangerous industry. Beto has also been involved in workshops on the needs of the community of LGBTQ immigrant farmworkers.

In December of 2018 Beto was arrested by local police and released with a summons to appear in court for driving under the influence. When he showed up at the courthouse, Immigration and Customs Enforcement were there waiting to arrest Beto, and he has been held without bail in federal immigration detention ever since. Beto should be afforded due process for his DUI charge, as any other Vermonter would. To deport him -- where he would likely face continued persecution and violence due to his sexual orientation -- would be inhumane and unjust.

Despite being behind bars for two months, Beto is staying strong -- but he needs all the support he can get. Please take a moment to send him a message of solidarity as he prepares for his March 12th court appearance. 

In Solidarity,

Migrant Justice

Pride Center of Vermont Expresses Concern Over Detention of Latino LGBTQ+ Community Member

on Wednesday, 23 January 2019. Posted in Safespace

Pride Center of Vermont Expresses Concern Over Detention of Latino LGBTQ+ Community Member


Pride Center of Vermont Expresses Concern Over Detention of Latino LGBTQ+ Community Member

BURLINGTON, VT - January 23, 2019 - Pride Center of Vermont is concerned that the detention and potential deportation of Cruz Alberto “Beto” Sanchez-Perez will not only expose him to imminent danger, but will also highly impact the feeling of safety for LGBTQ+ immigrants across Vermont. His detention has already deprived Vermont of a valued and constructive community member.

In December of 2018, while appearing in court for a traffic stop unrelated to his immigration status, Beto was detained by Immigration and Customs Enforcement. In agreement with Migrant Justice, we at Pride Center of Vermont believe that, “Beto should be afforded due process for his traffic stop, as any other Vermonter would, instead of being locked up without bail and facing impending deportation.”

Pride Center of Vermont has come to know Beto through our work to improve services for LGBTQ+ migrant farmworkers. Beto has been actively involved with Pride Center of Vermont by helping to develop programs for LGBTQ+ migrants in Addison County. He has also participated in workshops with Pride Center of Vermont staff with the goal of improving the ability of local service agencies to serve Spanish-speaking LGBTQ+ clients.

Beto is a valued member of both migrant and LGBTQ+ communities. He has the initiative and leadership abilities that make him stand out as a leader in the groups in which he participates. As such, we have found him to be the kind of person who works effectively to make Vermont a better, more equitable, and more welcoming place for all of its residents. He is an asset to our community who deserves our love and support, especially during this trying time.

With support from a grant from the U.S. Department of Justice's Office of Violence against Women (OVW), Pride Center of Vermont works in collaboration with Migrant Justice, H.O.P.E. Works, WomenSafe, and Voices Against Violence to reach LGBTQ+ migrant farmworkers in Addison, Chittenden, and Franklin counties who have limited access to services. We work to provide greater connection to all grant partners for LGBTQ+ migrant farm workers who may be experiencing sexual, domestic and/or intimate partner violence and need support. Under this grant, Pride Center of Vermont’s Coordinator for Migrant Anti-Violence Programs supports and advocates with and for, migrant farm workers, and provides assistance and technical trainings for all grant partners.

To download the full statement, click here.

Response to SCOTUS Decision on Transgender Military Ban

on Tuesday, 22 January 2019. Posted in Safespace

Response to SCOTUS Decision on Transgender Military Ban

Response to SCOTUS Decision on Transgender Military Ban

BURLINGTON, VT – January 22, 2019 — On this day, the Supreme Court has chosen to uphold blatant discrimination against our transgender and gender non-conforming military personnel. In a 5-4 vote, the Supreme Court allowed President Donald Trump's transgender military ban to go into effect. While the Justices have not ruled on the merits of the case, they have temporarily allowed the ban while the lower courts move forward with appeals processes. This is the same policy made known on August 25, 2017, via a memo from President Trump directing the Pentagon to bar transgender Americans from military service. The Trump-Pence administration continues to target and alienate our community members from their right to serve our country. Similar attacks from our country's leadership since Trump has taken office have been documented by The National Center for Transgender Equality.

We, at Pride Center of Vermont, wholeheartedly believe that this policy is targeted discrimination. The ban sends a clear message that our Supreme Court has decided to see people who are transgender as 'less than' their peers. We are here to remind you, our state, and our nation that our community will not be erased or invalidated by this administration or anyone else. #WontBeErased

This policy leaves us questioning, what’s next? This administration continues to demonstrate that it does not intend to uphold the rights of LGBTQ+ people. Many transgender people across the country fear the impacts of this policy on their livelihoods both directly and indirectly. This policy's impact extends beyond the military and erodes our feelings of safety in our daily lives and leaves many transgender people wondering whether their housing or employment is in jeopardy.

To those impacted, we hope this serves as a reminder that you are loved and that you matter. This is not the first time our communities have experienced injustice at a broad level, and we are here to help you persevere. You are not alone. Pride Center of Vermont is your Center and we are here for you.

If you are an LGBTQ+ and/or HIV-affected person experiencing discrimination or violence, advocates through our SafeSpace Anti-Violence Program are available to provide free and confidential support. Our advocates are available during office hours (Monday - Thursday 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM and Friday 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM) via phone at (802) 863-0003, in person, or via email at safespace@pridecentervt.org.

To download the full statement, click here.

Response: Breaking the Cycle

on Friday, 07 December 2018. Posted in Safespace

Response: Breaking the Cycle

On Tuesday, December 4th, WCAX posted the article, Breaking the Cycle: Is restorative justice the answer for domestic abuse? The article addresses a broader question of justice within our society and what healing may - or may not - look like for survivors.

Below are some quotes from the article (see full article here: https://bit.ly/2PpRnwq):

Last year, nearly half of all misdemeanor domestic violence cases (379 of 797) and more than half of all felonies (270 of 409) were dismissed by either prosecutors or the courts...

“The numbers of cases that get dismissed in the court system speak for themselves,” [says] T.J. Donovan, D-Vt. Attorney General… “What's happening in the traditional criminal justice system isn't working. So let's have the courage to say it's not working and let's start looking at different option.” Donovan said.

[Galaise, a survivor of violence shared,] "I feel like the system utterly failed him. And because it failed him, it failed our whole family," Galaise said.

Experiencing harm within the criminal legal system is unfortunately all too common for survivors.When a survivor works within the criminal legal system, the choice to prosecute - or not to prosecute - lies with the local state's attorney. The survivor’s experience and wishes for safety help to inform the process and what the attorney seeks in criminal charges, but the power to make that decision ultimately lies with the state.

For many of the survivors who PCVT’s SafeSpace Anti-Violence Program works with, there is the additional fear of experiencing identity related harm through the criminal legal system (e.g., homophobia, transphobia, ableism, racism, classism, etc.). The National Transgender Discrimination Survey (2012, page 124) stated,

“Police services were the most highly problematic aspect of government services overall, with respondents reporting the highest rate of assault when attempting to access police services (6%), along with very high rates of harassment/ disrespect (29%) and denial of equal service (20%).”

Prior to working within the criminal legal system, transgender survivors may ask, “Will they be racially biased? Will they misgender me while they are talking about a really deeply harmful experience? Will they believe me? Will they remember to have an interpreter available for me? Will they ‘victim-blame’ me? Will the jury dismiss me due to [insert *ism here]?”.

At SafeSpace, we strive to support and empower survivors to make choices that feel best to them. We believe that survivors are the experts for their own lives and should lead their own decisions without pressure from others. This philosophy means that we respect a survivor’s choice to participate – or not to participate – in the criminal legal system.

SafeSpace is available to provide emotional support, advocacy, and resources to LGBTQ+ and HIV affected survivors of violence (domestic, sexual, emotional, and hate) and discrimination. We also are available to provide trainings and technical assistance to providers who are striving to provide more inclusive support.

Advocates can be reached during office hours (Monday through Thursday 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. and Friday 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.) through our warm-line 802-863-0003 and by email safespace@pridecentervt.org.

We believe you. We support you. And we believe that you are the expert of your own healing or movement forward.

Make a gift to PCVT this Giving Tuesday

on Tuesday, 27 November 2018. Posted in Safespace

Comcast has generously committed to matching all donations up to $5,000!

Make a gift to PCVT this Giving Tuesday

Join us for this global day of philanthropy and throughout the end of the year by giving back to the community during this holiday season. In honor of Giving Tuesday, will you support our mission of creating a more equitable society for LGBTQ people?

We make it our mission to engage, empower, and advocate for our community. We provide vital services to an ever-increasing number of people at our center in Burlington and in communities across the state. As we continue to trudge through this uncertain political climate, your support is more critical than ever. We are committed to providing life-changing services and advocacy for LGBTQ Vermonters, but we can’t do it without your partnership.

You can make a difference this Giving Tuesday. Your gift of any amount supports the health and wellness of the most vulnerable, advocates for equality and justice, and builds a culturally vibrant LGBTQ community.

And today, Comcast has generously committed to matching all donations to the Pride Center of Vermont up to $5,000!

Together we can continue to shape the future we want to see.

In Solidarity,

Mike Sig




Mike Bensel
Executive Director
Pride Center of Vermont

Q&A Forum: On Being LGBTQ+ and Aging

on Wednesday, 14 November 2018. Posted in Safespace

Q&A Forum: On Being LGBTQ+ and Aging

We are to launch a new feature focusing on Being LGBTQ+ and Aging with responses based on information from our partners at Champlain College. To submit a question for next month's newsletter, please email your question to whatsup@pridecentervt.org.  

Q&A Forum:

On Being LGBTQ+ and Aging

This month we are excited to launch a new What's Up Q&A column! We are featuring a section focusing on Being LGBTQ+ and Aging with responses based on information from our partners at Champlain College. To submit a question for next month's newsletter, please email your question to whatsup@pridecentervt.org.  

Q: I read on Healthy People 2020 that LGBTQ+people are (for the first time!) identified in the U.S. national health priorities. If this is good news, I am concerned by the fact that this might lead to considering all LGBTQ+ aging population as “at-risk,” opening the door to healthcare coverage discrimination. Is that even true? If it is, is there anything that can be done to minimize the risks?

A: Thank you for a very interesting question! There are risk factors that have been identified and that may be specific to the LGBTQ+ population. If we think about what “healthy aging” means, a few categories come to mind, like physical and mental health, social connections, and a positive sense of self/identity. Studies that explored these within the LGBTQ+ community found out that a positive sense of sexual identity can be a key factor to promote healthy aging, while past experiences of discrimination or victimization can be detrimental to healthy aging. The good news is that people are trying to address these risk factors, so that their impact will become (hopefully) less and less evident, and this should also prevent healthcare discrimination. Given all that, the most effective path towards healthy aging healthily would be to build connections within the community, find groups or even a few people who allow you to express your real self by supporting your sexual and individual identity, and – obviously – try to minimize unhealthy behaviors like smoking and engage in healthy ones like exercising.

Getting more information from the Pride Center about their current activity targeting LGBTQ+ adults over 45, like the group Momentum would be a good first step to improve the quality and size of your social network.

Additional Reading: Karen I. Fredriksen-Goldsen, Hyun-Jun Kim, Chengshi Shiu, Jayn Goldsen, Charles A. Emlet; Successful Aging Among LGBT Older Adults: Physical and Mental Health-Related Quality of Life by Age Group, The Gerontologist, Volume 55, Issue 1, 1 February 2015, Pages 154–168 [https://academic.oup.com/gerontologist/article/55/1/154/2957461#58792619]

Q: Is gender transition in later life common? Are there any negative consequences?

A:  It appears that many older Baby Boomers are seriously contemplating gender transitions in their later years; within this population, it seems that transgender women may be disproportionately coming out later in life. A study collecting life-stories from a broad sample of transgender women - all of whom seriously considered or pursued a gender transition past the age of 50 - reported that their contemplation of gender transition came after years, often decades, of internal and interpersonal struggle.

This struggle goes against what’s believed to be important for healthy aging: a strong positive sense of self, and being able to work on the negative experience of discrimination and victimization. From this perspective, gender transition later in life could be seen as a positive step toward better aging. Heteronormativity still has a pervasive influence in our society which means that transgender older adults are often forced to reconstruct the meaning of their experiences at the periphery of these norms; this is hard.

Additional reading: Vanessa D. Fabbre; Gender Transitions in Later Life: A Queer Perspective on Successful Aging, The Gerontologist, Volume 55, Issue 1, 1 February 2015, Pages 144–153 [https://academic.oup.com/gerontologist/article/55/1/144/2957454#58792509]

We want to extend a huge thank you for the support of AARP and Champlain College to helping to make this work possible! Thank you!

Farewell, Catarina!

on Thursday, 09 August 2018. Posted in Safespace

Farewell, Catarina!

Dear community,

It’s bittersweet as we say bon voyage and good luck to our incredible SafeSpace Director Catarina Campbell. Anyone who has been in Catarina’s presence knows the love, support and recognition she gifts to everyone she encounters, and understands the unwavering light and joy she brings to this world.

Through her guidance and leadership Catarina has transformed SafeSpace into a more intersectional, justice-focused anti-oppression program which centers liberation, radical self-care, affirmation, and love. She has touched the hearts and lives of all the survivors she has worked with, all of her coworkers, and endless community members.

We are better people and a better organization because of the generous time, energy, insight, support, empathy and compassion that Catarina has whole-heartedly shared with us. We send her so much gratitude, so much love, and all our best wishes as she embarks on her next journey to UVM’s Women’s Center.

Here’s a note from Catarina:

My heart holds abundant gratitude for the opportunity to care about and get to know the most dynamic, gifted, compassionate, and courageous people as they navigate some of the toughest times through my roles as Coordinator for Direct Services and as the SafeSpace Director. The palpable amount of love, community, and solidarity that exists at the Pride Center has helped me step into the world as a leader through the lens of my each of my identities. The opportunity to vision for a more empathetic world that operates relationally rather than systemically, that centers the experiences of communities who are most impacted, and that follows the lead of folks we serve has been nourishing and meaningful work.

I look forward to celebrating the continued efforts of the SafeSpace Program and am perpetually grateful for the incredibly gifted people who will continue to expand and manifest the reach of our mission on behalf of those we serve.

Thank you for the love and support I have received from our community and through this role. I am a better and more grateful person for having had the chance to care about and connect with each of you.


- Catarina

While we will miss Catarina immensely, we also know that there are many talented and compassionate people who have other gifts to share with our SafeSpace clients and community. If you or anyone you know are interested in joining our SafeSpace team-- please apply!! Check out the job posting here: http://pridecentervt.org/get-involved/employment-internship-opportunities and send your cover letter and resume to safespace@pridecentervt.org by August 26th. Thank you!

Pride Center of Vermont Appoints Mike Bensel as Executive Director

on Thursday, 02 August 2018. Posted in Safespace

Pride Center of Vermont Appoints Mike Bensel as Executive Director
Burlington, VT.  Pride Center of Vermont is pleased to announce the appointment of Michael Bensel as Executive Director effective August 1, 2018.
Mike needs no introduction to friends and supporters of the Pride Center of Vermont.  As a student at the University of Vermont in 1999, Mike collaborated with one other UVM student to lead a series of focus groups which established the need for an LGBTQ center in Vermont.  These focus groups led to the formation of what is known today as the Pride Center of Vermont. As a founding board member, Mike spent 5 years serving on the Board of Directors. During his tenure, he was instrumental in securing funding to both hire the first Executive Director and rent the organization's first physical space.
Mike began his career in the non-profit sector at the Humane Society of Chittenden County and then as an Americorps* VISTA , working with with Outright Vermont and the Community Outreach Partnership Center (COPC).  He worked as a Victim Advocate at SafeSpace from 2002 to 2004, prior to SafeSpace becoming a Pride Center of Vermont program. After spending a few years in Florida, Mike found his way back to Vermont where he spent some time working outside of non-profits.  Thankfully, Mike just couldn't stay away. We were lucky to have him rejoin the center in 2011, first as Health and Wellness Coordinator and then as Director of Health and Wellness Programs.
"It is an immense honor to take on this new role, and together with the dedicated staff and board, contribute to the indispensable work of the Pride Center of Vermont.  With your help, I plan to lead this organization in a way that celebrates the history of this vital institution and moves us forward into a sustainable future. I want to hear from you, the community, how the center can best support the LGBTQ+ communities of Vermont. Please give me a call, invite me out for coffee, or stop by for a visit. My door is always open. " - Mike Bensel, Executive Director
"Mike's passion for this work has spanned decades.  He has been a consistent and grounding force for the center through some very tumultuous and uncertain times and his dedication to the LGBTQ+ community in Vermont is unwavering.  His energy and enthusiasm inspire me and I can't wait to see what is in store for Pride Center of Vermont under Mike's leadership." - Erin Sue Carroll, Board Co-Chair

Recognizing Superstars: Dr. Rachel Inker

on Tuesday, 10 July 2018. Posted in Safespace

Recognizing Superstars: Dr. Rachel Inker

"Rachel Inker’s background has prepared her for working with people who struggle to access appropriate health care. An English major who graduated from Harvard in 1986, she wanted to travel, work, and explore the world, so she bought an around-the-world air ticket and spent eight months traveling in Europe and Asia, often alone. She spent five months in India, two of them working as a volunteer with an English doctor, whom she describes as “extraordinary,” in the street clinic he ran for Bangladeshi refugees. She also worked as a volunteer at a hospice run by Mother Theresa.

“I’d always thought about being a doctor, but this was the first time I’d met people for whom helping to relieve suffering was a calling, and it made a tremendous impression on me,” she says.

She went on to spend several years working in therapeutic outdoor and residential programs in New England and in several western states. “Working with struggling teenagers in the wilderness remains some of the best work I’ve done,” Inker recalls. “There is nothing more therapeutic than being outdoors, working as a team, and having to meet whatever challenges present themselves.” She hopes to do this kind of work again.

At the age of 30, Inker entered medical school in her home state and graduated in 1998 from the University of Massachusetts in Worcester. During her first year there, in 1994, she met Chris Brown, an architect and furniture maker, through a classmate who was dating his brother. They married when she graduated and moved to Burlington, Vermont, where she started her family practice residency at UVM. They have three children, twin 16-year-old girls and a 12-year-old son.

“Medical school and then residency was an incredible and demanding period of learning, challenge and growth,” Inker recalls. “Family medicine allowed me to provide care for people of all ages and also to use my experiences working in mental health.”

“I’ve always been moved and fascinated by people’s unique stories and experiences,” she adds. “From the time I was a kid, I enjoyed casual ‘interviews’ and began to appreciate how people lived very different lives than my own,” says the daughter of a lawyer and a social worker.

Board-certified in family medicine, Inker has been a family physician at the Community Health Centers of Burlington since 2001. She continues to be a per diem provider at UVM’s Urgent Care clinic and is a clinical instructor at UVM medical school.

Inker, a family practice physician, first learned about gender transition in 2004 working at the Community Health Centers of Burlington as a family practice physician. There she heard a presentation on trans men and women by a transgender educator. After the talk, the presenter invited anyone interested in transgender health care to be in touch since no one was providing care locally. Inker had no formal training in caring for transgender patients so she began researching existing protocols and networking with other providers locally and across the US. Many of these providers had begun serving transgender patients because of a growing grassroots movement that had taken hold in community health centers in large cities. Today, Dr. Inker is the lead medical provider at the Transgender Clinic affiliated with the Community Health Center of Burlington."

Read more at: http://www.vermontwoman.com/articles/2018/0618/03-Dr-Rachel-Inker/rachel-inker.html

Remembering and Honoring Pulse Victims

on Tuesday, 12 June 2018. Posted in Safespace

Remembering and Honoring Pulse Victims

Today is the two-year mark of the Pulse nightclub shooting, a horrendous attack on the LGBTQ community. June 12, 2016, was “Latin Night,” and the murder and maiming targeted primarily Latinx LGBTQ people, killing 49 and wounding an additional 53. Their families of choice and origin continue to deal with their grief and their altered futures. We stand with those families and maintain that the lives taken and voices silenced by this atrocious act will not be erased, and that we will create a brighter future.

We at the Center have intentionally come together this afternoon to reflect together on this incident and to consider what actions we might take to enhance the unity and peace within our community, with particular attention and love for our QTPOC community. We ask that those who read these words take time today to do the same.

As we mourn the lives of those who were lost and harmed we encourage all to celebrate and uplift the lives and voices of our local QTPOC community. Reggie Condra’s podcast Brown 'n Out does just that and we are so grateful: https://brownnout.podbean.com/.

Disability Network at Town Hall Meeting on Accessibility

on Tuesday, 15 May 2018. Posted in Safespace

Disability Network at Town Hall Meeting on Accessibility

Our LGBTQ+ People with Disabilities Network will be meeting at the Town Hall on Accessibility in Burlington this week! (Instead of at the Pride Center). The Town Hall is happening on Wednesday from 4:30-6 at the Dept of Public Works (645 Pine St.) in Burlington. Hope you can make it! enjoyburlington.com/event/accessibility-in-burlington

Catarina Campbell on Brown 'n Out!

on Monday, 07 May 2018. Posted in Safespace

Catarina Campbell on Brown 'n Out!

Brown 'n Out is back! Check out Pride Center of Vermont's very fierce and amazing SafeSPace Director, Catarina Campbell.  This wonderful first episode of Season 2 features the briliant Catarina Campbell.

You can listen to it here: https://itunes.apple.com/…/p…/brownnout-podcast/id1341496119 

or here: https:/brownnout.podbean.com/e/coming-soon-brown-n-out-podcast/ 

@cat_alyst070 @brownnoutpodcast #lgbtq #poc #vermont #vt #brownnout #podcast

What's Up with the Ticket Prices?

on Tuesday, 24 April 2018. Posted in Events, Safespace

The Annual Benefit Pricing Explained

What's Up with the Ticket Prices?

A lot of folks have been wondering just what's up with our ticket pricing for this year's 20th Annual Community Celebration on May 18th at the Echo Center. The change in pricing is for two reasons. First, we really listened to community members who said that last year the benefit was too expensive. Also, in honor of this being our 20th Annual Celebration, we thought each ticket category could tell the story of the Center.

If you are a community member in need of ticket, please email josie@pridecentervt.org.

Here are the ticket prices and their meaning to the Center:

Party Like It's 1999! Help us celebrate the year we were founded with tickets that are $19.99.

Can't make the Event? Help a community member attend with a $25 ticket. 

The Fight Isn't Over Ticket for $29. 29% of people who came to SafeSpace this year did so as a result of hate violence or discrimination, reminding us that our fight against homophobia, biphobia, and transphobia in Vermont is far from over.

Celebrate Health and Wellness with a $56 ticket. Our Health & Wellness program will have 56 GBT guys participate in a 2-hour session that will hone their skills on promoting sexual health, reducing HIV stigma, and increasing access to HIV testing, prevention, and care. These newly trained peer educators then disseminate this important information throughout our community, including those who are at highest risk for contracting HIV in Vermont.

Celebrate SafeSpace with a $98 ticket. 98 People have been trained in LGBTQ Sensitivity in the Vermont Department of Corrections and in the Vermont State Police thus far this year through our SafeSpace program.

Please use this link to purchase tickets. We hope to see at Echo on May 18th!

LGBTQ+ Women's Night at the Museum!

on Tuesday, 17 April 2018. Posted in Safespace

LGBTQ+ Women's Night at the Museum!

LGBTQ+ Women's Night at the Museum!
May 2nd at 5:30
Meet in the Fleming Museum lobby

Join us on Wednesday, May 2nd at 5:30 pm in the Fleming Museum Lobby for Alison Bechdel's Self-Confessed! exhibit! A personal guided tour will be led by our very own Meg Tamulonis- Manager of Collections and Exhibitions at the Fleming. The admission fee will be waived, you can pay what you wish if anything at all.

For directions and parking click here: http://www.uvm.edu/~fleming/index.php?category=visiting&page=directions

Information below about Alison Bechdel's Self Confessed! exhibit is from http://www.uvm.edu/~fleming/index.php?category=exhibitions&page=alison_bechdel

In the spring of 2018, the Fleming Museum of Art presents an exhibition of the work of Alison Bechdel, spanning her illustrious, decades-long career. A renowned cartoonist and graphic memoirist who lives in Bolton, Vermont, Bechdel is a MacArthur Foundation “genius” grant winner, and the third Cartoonist Laureate of Vermont—a position unique to the state. Her pioneering comic strip about the lives of a group of lesbian friends, Dykes to Watch Out For, ran from 1983 to 2008 and was syndicated in over fifty alternative papers, including Vermont’s Seven Days, which recently published new Dykes strips by Bechdel focused on current political events.

In 2006, Bechdel published the graphic memoir Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic, which explores her relationship with her father, her coming out, and his possible suicide. Fun Home was a New York Times bestseller and the basis of the Tony-award winning musical of the same name. Bechdel followed up in 2012 with Are You My Mother?: A Comic Drama, which follows her relationship with her mother, girlfriends, therapists, and her exploration of psychoanalytic theory. Both books are works of multilayered complexity, employing nonlinear storytelling and a rich trove of literary and historical references.

Self-Confessed presents these primary bodies of work in depth through original drawings and sketches, while incorporating other aspects of Bechdel’s creative output, from early drawings to activist ephemera to large-scale self-portraits. The exhibition also includes a model of the set for the musical Fun Home, reconstructed for this exhibition.

The exhibition explores Bechdel’s work as a writer, an artist, and an archivist of the self, someone who constantly mines and shares her own experiences as a way to communicate something vitally human: the quest for love, acceptance, community, and social justice.

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