Queer Art Bustin’ Out All Over

It’s June, it’s Pride month, and there’s a ton of queer art happening. Tomorrow night is the kickoff of Q30/30 Days of Queer Arts, a monthlong multimedia celebration designed to coincide with pride month. Paint It Pink’s hosts a dance party and events are happening all month. Click here for a full schedule.

And if you’re up for a trip to NYC, local artists Julie Smith and Pete Hocking are part of an show called QUEER FROM ZERO TO ONE HUNDRED at the TNC Gallery in New York. The artist’s statement describes their work accordingly:

Pete Hocking painted 100 graphically similar portraits of 100 queer men who each replied to a general open call for sitters. Artist Julie Smith mirrors Hocking’s work with 20 stylistically similar portraits of women. Ten are straight. Ten gay. The viewer’s task is to identify which is which, and by what standard of measure?

The whole show looks interesting but I’ve got a favorite piece, one of Pete’s “Men Like That: 100 Queer Guys” pieces:

So get out there. Be Here, Be Queer. Look at some art. Make some of your own. And whatever you do, be yourself.


Around New England: CT House Approves Transgender Discrimination Bill

While Representatives in Rhode Island were busy passing Civil Union Legislation, in Connecticut (where same-sex marriage is legal) the House was passing a bill to ban discrimination on the basis of gender identity

House Approves Transgender Discrimination Bill

HARTFORD —— After five hours of sometimes emotional debate Thursday night, the House of Representatives voted 77-62 to approve a controversial bill intended to protect members of the transgender community from discrimination.

The bill, which now goes to the Senate, would prohibit discrimination on the basis of “gender identity or expression” in employment, public accommodations, the sale or rental of housing, the granting of credit and other laws that fall under the jurisdiction of the Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities.

The bill defines “gender identity or expression” as a person’s gender-related identity, appearance or behavior, whether or not it is different from that assigned at birth or traditionally associated with the person’s physiology. Its provisions would go into effect Oct. 1.


Series of polls show majority support for Marriage Equality nationally

A series of national polls in recent months show a surge in support for Marriage Equality Nationally:

A first: Majority of Americans now supports same-sex marriage, Gallup finds
Los Angeles Times:

Thanks to a radical shift in thinking among independents and Democrats during the past year, for the first time in Gallup Poll tracking a clear majority of Americans now approves of gay marriage.

A new Gallup Poll released this morning finds that this month 53% of Americans say same-sex marriage should be recognized in law as equally valid with traditional male-female marriages.

The spurt in support of 9% in the past 12 months was the largest registered since Gallup first tracked the topic in 1996. Back then, only 27% supported same-sex marriage and two-thirds opposed.

Support for same-sex marriages had hovered in the low 40’s since about 2004, until the latest figures, showing 59% of independents and 69% of Democrats now support the idea, while 28% of Republicans do. The GOP figure was unchanged from 2010.

Yet another poll says majority of Americans support gay marriage
The Colorado Indepent:

A poll released by the Public Religion Research Institute on Thursday confirmed what several other national pollsters have found: A majority of Americans now support marriage rights for same-sex couples. The poll found that 51 percent of Americans supported legalizing gay marriage compared to 43 who opposed legalization.

Slim majority back gay marriage, Post-ABC poll says
Washington Post:

Five years ago, at 36 percent, support for gay marriage barely topped a third of all Americans. Now, 53 percent say gay marriage should be legal, marking the first time in Post-ABC polling that a majority has said so.

Poll: Majority supports gay marriage

Of those surveyed for a CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll [.pdf], 51 percent said they think marriages between lesbian and gay couples should be recognized as legal and come with the same rights as heterosexual unions, while 47 percent said the marriages should not be recognized.

The last time CNN asked the question, in April 2009, approval for gay marriage was at 44 percent and disapproval was at 54 percent.

Via: Towleroad


In the Media: Civil Unions pass the R.I. House


GLAD: Religious Exemption, Inconsistent Relationship Recognition Will Pose Problems

GLAD Press Release:

May 20, 2011

When Rhode Island’s House of Representatives passed H.6103Aaa last night, it passed the most restrictive religious exemption attached to any civil union or marriage bill in the country, according to Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders (GLAD). The bill’s language on reciprocity also creates arbitrary distinctions between the different forms of spousal protections for same-sex couples, causing continued uncertainty for legally married couples in the state. Beyond the inherent inequalities embodied by a civil union scheme, even the promise of comprehensive protections offered by this bill is seriously undercut by these provisions.

Everyone agrees that religious denominations should not be required to join any two people in any legal relationship – whether marriage or a civil union – that is contrary to their religious teachings. However, the religious exemption amendment goes much further in allowing religious charitable and educational organizations – such as social service providers, hospitals, and educational institutions – to treat legal civil unions, authorized under Rhode Island law, as invalid for any purpose.

Karen Loewy, Senior Staff Attorney for GLAD, said “This unprecedented exemption means a civil union spouse could be denied the ability to make medical decisions for her spouse in a hospital; it means that a math teacher at a religiously-based school could not get the same health insurance for his legally recognized partner that all other teachers receive. This exemption actually diminishes nondiscrimination protections in public accommodations and employment that Rhode Island employers and institutions have successfully lived with since 1995. It just inflicts gratuitous harm on Rhode Island’s gay and lesbian families.”

In addition, the bill’s silence on the situation of Rhode Island’s many married same-sex couples just perpetuates the inconsistent treatment those couples receive and creates a bizarre double standard between married couples and couples with civil unions. “Because Rhode Island is bordered by marriage states, many same-sex couples here are already married,” said Loewy. “The bill’s silence leaves intact the application of established marriage recognition law to their legal commitments. But it also gives an excuse to employers, government entities, and others who want to ignore their marriages, and provides more protection for couples in civil unions than exist for married couples.”

One such situation, said Loewy, is that of married couples who seek divorce. Civil union spouses would be able to dissolve their unions in Rhode Island, while married couples could not. “This is a seriously flawed bill,” said Loewy. “If it is not fixed in the Senate, there is trouble ahead for Rhode Island’s same-sex couples.”

GLAD remains committed to working for full marriage equality for Rhode Island’s same-sex couples.

Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders is New England’s leading legal organization dedicated to ending discrimination based on sexual orientation, HIV status, and gender identity and expression.



Vyvyan is a home for Rhode Islanders to write about and share issues important to the LGBTQ community in the Ocean State. Vyvyan is a lightly curated blog, the community is invited to submit posts.

Vyvyan hopes to be a way for the LGBTQ community to get our viewpoints into the mainstream news cycle quickly and nimbly in this 24-hour information age. Rhode Island is blessed with Options and Get Magazine and others as our gay press, sometimes though, information moves fast, and we can’t rely on the mainstream media to convey our thoughts or wait for the next monthly or weekly editions of the gay press.

Topics will range from same-sex marriage to gardening, transgender rights to financial planning; the whole spectrum of issues important to the LGBTQ community.

Vyvyan needs you to submit posts, while it is lightly curated, there are some ground rules for posting:

  • No anonymous or pseudonymous postings. Vyvyan requires people to posts under their own real names or on behalf of an organization that is well known and established within the community.
  • Vyvyan strives to be an all ages space. While the discussions and topics should be as frank and open as needed, Vyvyan wants to be readable by all members of our community, including our younger members. Posts should not be gratuitously graphic and language should remain in check. An occasional f-bomb is fine when an f-bomb is really the best way to express oneself, and discussions about sexuality, for example, may at times refer to sexual parts, what Vyvyan is looking for here is PG-13.
  • No unfounded attacks against individuals or organizations. If you have a beef, and want to express it, have facts to back it up. Vyvyan is not a place to blindly rage against those you disagree with.
  • Our community is vast and rich, Vyvyan’s voice will be made up of the vast mosaic of our community’s voices. At times there may be two or more individuals expressing two or more different opinions on the same topic. Contributors should be respectful of others opinions.
  • On that, the views and opinions of those who contribute to Vyvyan are their views alone and should not be construed as representing the views and opinions of everyone who contributes to Vyvyan or the views and opinions of the greater LGBTQ community as a whole.
  • Vyvyan will be encouraging feedback on the posts made here, a commenting policy will go along with that soon. Vyvyan is giving the Disqus commenting system a whirl.

All that said, if you want to contribute to Vyvyan, send an email to hey@vyvyan.us. Vyvyan will post your submission under your name on your behalf. If you are interested in writing regularly on Vyvyan, an account can be set up under your name.

Vyvyan is a community tool, its future is in your hands. Feedback is always welcomed and encouraged.