The Inside Scoop
November/December 2019
Thank you for reading Youth Pride, Inc.'s November/December hybrid edition of The Inside Scoop! Within you will read about YPI's Community Thanksgiving Celebration, Hasbro's Global Day of Joy at YPI, how our friends at Craftland are giving back to us this holiday season, our partnership with Arbor Hill Assisted Living and tso much more!

We wish all of our friends and supporters a happy and healthy holiday season.
YPI Gives Thanks
As another Thanksgiving has come to pass YPI could not be more pleased with the turnout of our annual Community Thanksgiving Dinner hosted for our youth, their families, alumni, and other YPI supporters. For some of our youth, this dinner may only be foreshadowing the festivity to come on Thursday. For others, this is the only Thanksgiving celebration they get to participate in. Either way, we fondly relish the time and memories we create each year as we strengthen our sense of community and acceptance over a Thanksgiving meal.
Thank you Reada Evans and the Gulf Stream Bar & Grille for generously donating a turkey, ham, green bean casserole, and cornbread stuffing to our dinner. We would also like to thank the Providence Gay Flag Football League, Bret Jacob aka Mr. Gay RI, YPI board members, YPI staff and all others who jumped on the opportunity to bring a dish (or several!) to the table. All of our youth and guests were invited to take leftovers from dinner home and we can't tell you how many tupperware containers we filled!

We hope everyone enjoyed the evening and left with fully stomachs and hearts.
Craftland Supports YPI Through Fundraising Fridays
For the second year in a row, Craftland is launching their Fundraising Fridays! When you shop at Craftland between 4-8pm any Friday during the month of December, 50% of the proceeds will be donated back to Youth Pride, Inc. and our wonderful neighbors, Girls Rock! Rhode Island.

Craftland started in 2002 as a small holiday pop-up shop giving local crafters a place to showcase and sell their work. The business has since solidified it's home at 212 Westminster St. in Providence and is open seven days a week as "part gift emporium, part art gallery, and part candy-colored theme park" selling unique handmade goods from local artists. This is the perfect place to find all your holiday gifts while simultaneously giving back to awesome nonprofit organizations in the area.
World AIDS Day;
Know your Status
December 1 is World AIDS Day; a time for people to show support and stand in solidarity with those living with HIV. Since the virus was identified in 1984, more than 35 million people worldwide have died of HIV or AIDS. Approximately one million people in the United States are currently living with HIV, and 150,000 of those individuals are unaware they have contracted the virus.
YPI works with AIDS Project Rhode Island to offer free and confidential HIV testing each month for youth up to the age of 23. Our current January-MArch dates are TBD. If you need to be tested sooner, or are out of our age range, APRI has free walkin hours for testing four times a week. AIDS Ca re Ocean State, Project Weber/RENEW, Community Care Alliance and the RI STD Clinic at The Miriam also provide testing.

Know your status, it is so important! Also, knowledge is power. Know that people living with HIV who take their medications and have an undetectable viral load (which can be determined by a doctor) will NOT pass on HIV to sexual partners. The CDC confirmed this in 2017. #ScienceNotStigma
YPI Gets Festive
On December 12th Hasbro celebrated their 7th Annual Global Day of Joy. For one day in December, Hasbro employees around the world participate in a company wide day of service where they volunteer at local organizations to assist with projects or perform acts of service. This year a handful of excited Hasbro employees spent the day decorating YPI's drop-in space and baking cookies for our holiday party. Two trees, one menorah, and a giant inflatable unicorn wearing a wreath later our space was festive and lively!
In the week following, two holiday parties were planned for our older and younger youth. In addition to baked goods, hot chocolate, and holiday music, over 70 gifts were wrapped under our tree for youth to enjoy Yankee Swap style. Many of the gifts were toys and games donated by Hasbro.

Thank you Hasbro, YPI staff, and and all of our supporters who made this holiday season memorable and welcoming for all.
YPI Winter Closing
Youth Pride, Inc. will be closed for the holidays. We will be closed starting Monday, 12/22 and reopening Thursday, 1/2.

We will reply to all emails and messages by Friday, 1/3.
Toman High School Receives YPI Collaboration Cup
Students at William E. Tolman High School in Pawtucket were awarded YPI's annual Collaboration Cup trophy. Each year, YPI presents a trophy to a school's Gender-Sexuality Alliance, or Gay-Straight Alliance (GSA), who are actively engaged in forwarding their GSAs or are participating in services that helps make their school/community/country/world a better place. On the recommendation of several individuals, Tolman has been selected as the 2019 winner after being the first high school in the state to raise the LGBTQ flag on the school's flag pole for the start of Pride month last June! Executive Director, Elana Rosenberg, presented the trophy to to the GSA of almost 40 students this fall.

We would like to extend a special shout out to Tolman's GSA advisors, Heather Rodrigues and Justin Cardinale, for always supporting their students and the diversity at Tolman.
If you would like to nominate a GSA for the 2020 Collaboration Cup, email Info@youthprideri.org with the group's name and the reason you believe they deserve to be chosen. Nominees are not restricted to school GSAs, they can also include youth groups or other clubs as long as they meet the criteria of working towards bettering their school/community in regards to diversity and acceptance. The winner is selected and notified each June and the trophy is awarded in person by YPI by the end of the fall.
Monthly Spotlight
Arbor Hill
Less than one mile from Youth Pride, Inc. is Arbor Hill Assisted Living for individuals ages 62 and over. Jodi Glass and Thea Ernest, community activists and longtime YPI supporters, had a vision to bring YPI youth together with Arbor Hill residents in an effort to build comradeship and create opportunities for the two generations to find common interests and learn more about their differences. It turns out YPI was the right partner for this project as many of our youth disclosed they are separated from their own grandparents by distance or family upheaval, creating a longing to connect with elders. The Art and Community Project, as it was named, launched in September and concluded in late October.
Once a week, a handful of YPI youth visited Arbor Hill to create artwork in conjunction with the residents. After a long and spirited discussion, the youth and residents decided on four themes for their art pieces that everyone in attendance was passionate about; food, world culture, beauty in nature, and rock and roll. Residents and students paired up according to their interests and began working on their mixed media posters which included drawings, collages, lettering, metal jewelry findings of animals, and the occasional embellishment of feathers and glitter. Staff members at Arbor Hill were pleased to see the connections being made and said some of the elders never spoke as much as they did during the art sessions with our youth. The artwork will be hung in the general hallways of Arbor Hill or given to new residents that do not have artwork for their rooms.
Companionship and socialization is craved by everyone but harder to obtain by some. It is through projects like this that allow our aging members of society to feel connected to, and a part of, society and reap the benefits of social stimulation and compassion. YPI is proud to be a part of this wonderful project and cannot wait for the next round of art making and community building!
Rhode Island Passes Law to Support LGBTQ Veterans
LGBTQ individuals and the military have a longstanding history with a few ups and many downs. Although members of the community were never officially excluded from serving, many rules and regulations made it difficult. "Homosexual Acts" were grounds for discharge from the military, sodomy was a crime, and homosexuality was classified by psychiatrists as a mental and/or behavior disorder making them ineligible to enlist.

Under the Clinton Administration in 1994, Don't Ask Don't Tell (DADT) was implemented as an attempt to give gay individuals the opportunity to serve. DADT became the official US policy reguarding LGBTQ individuals and military service; LGBTQ identified soilders currently serving could remain enlisted as long as they did not openly declare their sexuality. In 2010, under the Obama Administration, a 65-31 vote of the senate repealed DADT. This allowed LGBTQ service members previously discharged, or hidden away, under DADT the opportunity to re-enlist and serve openly.

Despite this progress, more than 100,000 gay members of the US military were discharged with dishonorable or less-than-honorable discharges due to sexual orientation from World War II onward. According to Justia,"these veterans were unable to claim full veterans’ benefits, had difficulty getting tuition under the GI Bill (or didn’t get it) and finding jobs. Even under the Don’t Ask Don’t Tell policy, some lesbian and gay service members that received honorable discharges were noted as ineligible to reenlist, which adversely affected their potential with prospective employers". Ultimately, even though the general atmosphere surroudning LGBTQ individuals enlisting in the military has improved, the fallout from the previous long years of discrimination are still being felt by many veterans.

RI Governor, Gina Raimondo, kicked off the 2019 Veteran's Day weekend by signing House Bill 5443A and Senate Bill 0837 into law. These laws will provide veterans, who received a dishonorable discharge solely due to their sexuality, with a streamlined process to upgrade their discharge status to honorable. This change in status will allow LGBTQ veterans to receive state and local veteran benefits such as certain tax exemptions and tuition assistance. This is one of the fews ups LGBTQ individuals have faced in relation to the military. We can only hope that more states, and ultimately the federal government, will follow suit and help these veterans receive the benefits they deserve for serving.
Sprite Launches LGBTQ Ad in Argentina
Bueno Aires' 28th annual Pride Parade, Marcha de Orgullo, took place on November 2nd and amassed over 100,000 participants. As part of a larger campaign, You Are Not Alone, soft drink giant Sprite, in partnership with Santo advertising agency and Federacion Argentina LGBT, released a LGBTQ affirming ad in Argentina leading up to the event.

The one and a half minute advertisement shows snippets of different families and friends preparing for the Bueno Aires Pride Parade. A mother helping their child fasten a chest binder and a father compassionately watching his son walk hand in hand with another boy after dropping them off at the parade are only two of a handful of touching moments set to the song You'll Never Walk Alone from the musical Carousel. The hashtags #NoEstasSolx (you are not alone) and #Orgullo (pride) has been posted alongside the video and have gone viral in Argentina.

In 2010, Argentina became the the first Latin American country to legalise same-sex marriage. Taking it a step further in 2012, Argentina implemented the Gender Identity Law which allows trans and non-binary individuals to legally change their gender without needing hormone therapy, surgery or a psychiatric diagnosis. The country is becoming more liberal and accepting of differences; so much so that the son of current Argentina president Mauricio Macri,  Estanislao Fernàndez, is an open drag queen and can be seen in Sprite's advertisement.

Although Argentina has a long way to go in regards to civil rights and acceptance, this is a great step in the right direction.
Our Mission
Mission:
Youth Pride, Inc. is dedicated to meeting the unique needs of youth and young adults impacted by sexual orientation and gender identity/expression while working to end the homophobic and transphobic environments in which they live, work and play.

Values:
LEADERSHIP:  YPI is committed to creating the leaders of today. Youth voices drive our process, and we seek to develop the leadership skills necessary both within the organization and outside of it.
AFFIRMATION:  YPI believes all youth must be affirmed for who they are and how they express themselves. We are committed to making that a reality in all of the environments in which young people live.
COMMUNITY:  YPI believes building strong connections is essential to youth success and empowerment. We strive to create a caring, respectful and diverse community of young people and adults.
Your tax-deductible donation helps YPI continue to do the important work we do in accordance to our mission. Your gift would be directly investing in our state's LGBTQ youth so that they may have a chance to share their gifts and light with the world.
Our Programs and Services
Youth Pride, Inc. serves over 700 Rhode Island LGBTQ youth and their straight allies a year through a variety of programs and services.
Our Center, located on Westminster Street in Providence, primarily serve as a drop-in and programming space, and is currently open to youth ages 13 to 23 on Tuesday and Wednesday from 3-8pm and Thursday from 3 to 5. Youth ages 9 to thirteen are welcome at our exclusive 13 and under drop-in time on Thursdays from 5-8 pm. All YPI Center services and activities are free to youth. YPI youth get to attend events, workshops, cultural, educational, social, and wellness activities at YPI and around the state.

Our center is home to a Basic Needs Pantry, open to youth in need of food, clothing, toiletries, and school supplies. We offer one on one counseling with in-house clinicians. Our clinicians facilitate and supervise three peer-support groups.

YPI also offers support to those who work with youth through policy and advocacy, and by providing professional development workshops and technical assistance to service providers and educators.

For more information on getting involved with YPI as a volunteer or if you or someone you know is in need of our services, contact info@youthprideri.org
If you have a story you feel should be included in an upcoming newsletter, email Info@youthprideri.org