YPI Partners with Options Magazine

Options, beginning publication in 1982, is a monthly all-volunteer LGBT news-magazine. Content focuses on the local LGBT RI community’s nonprofits and events. Five thousand copies are printed each month; 3,000 for subscribed households and 2,000 for local businesses. Due to certain circumstances, Options ceased publications for almost a year beginning in June of 2017. Since its relaunch in May of 2018, Options has hired a part time editor and has included new monthly content. With these changes, Options is believed to thrive and expand.

As part of Option’s relaunch, a new Youth Section has been incorporated where local LGBTQ youth can contribute short stories, poetry, art, or other relevant submissions. In conjunction, YPI has agreed to reach out to our interested youth and send in monthly submissions as often as we can get content.

YPI has three published articles in Options since its return in May. The first submission, Born This Way Prom, was written by Tiffani Carcieri, YPI Staff, and published in the June 2018 edition. The article recapped YPI’s experience at the annual Born This Way Prom put on by Interweave through Channing Memorial Church. The second submission was written by Youth Board Member, Benji Chaplin and Executive Director, Elana Rosenberg. Titled, Youth Pride Eases Students Into New School Year, the article discusses the anxiety around starting school and what services YPI offers to help ease them. This was published in the September edition. The third submission, Rainbow Party, was published in the hybrid October/November 2018 edition. The article is the same write up about our annual Rainbow Party as read in The Inside Scoop’s September edition.

Options provides digital issues of all magazine editions through their website. This great feature allows readers to access the literature wherever they are, right at their fingertips!

YPI looks forward to working more closely with Options and providing youth submissions for future issues. We are also excited to see Options expand and cannot wait to see what wonderful content they will continue to produce. If you, or a youth you know, are interested in submitting work to Options’s youth section, please email us!

YPI’s June Article
YPI’s September Article
YPI’s October/November Article

RWU Students Participate in ‘Day of Service’ at YPI

The Feinstein Community Connections program at Roger Williams University (RWU) provides all incoming first-year students the opportunity to participate in a day of community service at local non-profits in Rhode Island and Southern Massachusetts. The program reflects the University’s core values.

Community Connections began in 2005 and is in its 14th consecutive year. At the completion of the 2018 program, RWU students will have provided more than 75,500 hours of community service to agencies since the program’s creation! The entirety of this year’s incoming class, ~1,500 students, dispersed to 33 different agencies on Monday, August 27th and performed acts of service for ~6 hours.

Youth Pride, Inc. was partnered with RWU students a part of the Unviersity’s LGBTQ-A Living Learning Communitty (LLC) on campus. These students sorted and organized all of YPI’s clothing from our Basic Needs Pantry in anticipation of our upcoming Clothing Swap. The clothing swap allows YPI youth to get the best gear from our pantry before the school year begins while simultaneously allowing YPI youth to bring in their old clothes they no longer use. The day was very successful and YPI looks forward to working with RWU again in the future!

YPI Partners With RI Sierra Club

The Sierra Club is a nationwide environmental organization that aims to celebrate and protect the environment. Earlier this year, YPI was approached by the Sierra Club chapter of Rhode Island for the opportunity to partner with them on a new initiative. The RI chapter created Inspiring Connections Outdoors, a sub-chapter that specifically works to provide outdoor experiences and leadership opportunities for underserved and marginalized youth in RI. The goal is to establish relationships with agencies and organization that provide services to said youth populations and bring them closer to nature.

YPI is one of the first organizations to participate in the new chapter’s activities. Our organizations have set up the first outing, a group kayaking trip at Narrow River Kayaks in Narragansett. All expenses and transportation are handled by the Sierra Club. Currently, 15 youth and staff will be attending the inaugural event.

The Sierra Club plans to expand their program to include more organizations and youth. They are planning daytime outings such as hiking, kayaking, apple/berry picking, farm visits, nature museums/aquarium visits, and even sailing!

YPI is honored to have been chosen to kickoff this great program and hopes it touches the lives of many more RI youth!

Rhode Island College’s Weber Hall

Rhode Island College (RIC) is located in the Elmwood neighborhood of Providence and home to 1,198 on-campus students. Although there are six different residence halls on campus, Weber Hall is unique with its newly revised Gender Inclusive Housing (GIH) Program.

Weber Hall is a three floor suite style residence hall that can house up to 180 students and has four Residential Assistant(RA) that live and work in the building. Three of the eighteen 10-single-room suites are reserved for RIC’s Gender Inclusive Housing Living/Learning Community (LLC). A LLC is a group of rooms/suites in close proximity to one another that offer to house students with similar interests. Weber’s LLC focuses on issues of gender, respect, and equality; offering a variety of diverse programs and meetings centered around such topics.

Gender Inclusive Housing allows students of the same or opposite gender to live together regardless of biological sex in a safe and supportive environment. The purpose of Gender Inclusive Housing is to establish a community on campus where residents feel safe and are not limited by gender distinctions. Prior to existing in Weber Hall, Gender Inclusive Housing was attempted at Penfield Hall but the limited number of rooms and a lack of community quickly became concerning. After receiving constructive feedback from students requesting more rooms and cheaper housing options, the program relocated to Weber Hall and rebooted the program. The revised LLC was a great success; originally two 10-single-room suites were reserved for the LLC during the 2018-2019 academic school year but the demand was so high that a third suite was opened and instantly filled.

Any interested student can apply for Gender Inclusive Housing.¬†Residents will be asked to fill out an application where they share information about themselves and why they feel that GIH would be a good fit for them. Residents will then be expected to respect other members’ different motivations for choosing to live in GIH, embrace and learned more about lifestyles different from their own, and actively participate in community events. Students will need to reapply for GIH each year.

The current rate for a suite in Weber Hall is between ten to eleven thousand a year. Each single room is roughly 8 feet by 11 feet, carpeted, and is furnished with a desk, bed, closet, and wall shelf. The suite has ten single bedrooms rooms, a common living area, and two restrooms. Laundry facilities are on the ground floor below the main lounge that highlights a beautiful fireplace and flatscreen TV for residential use.

We would like to thank the staff of Weber hall and especially current Weber RA, Sam Nehila, for providing us with this information and coordinating a donation drive at the college that will benefit YPI!

Delaware Becomes 15th State To Ban Conversion Therapy

Conversion therapy is the discredited practice of trying to change an individual’s sexual orientation or gender identity through aversive therapies under the assumption that it will cure homosexuality. Conversion therapy is cruel and rejected by every major mental health and child welfare organization, including theAmerican Academy of Pediatrics.
On July 17th, 2017 The Prevention of Conversion Therapy for Children Act¬†was signed into Rhode Island state law by Governor Gina Raimondo. The passing of S267 and H5277 prohibits “conversion therapy” by licensed health care professionals with respect to children under 18. YPI played a significant part in the creation and implementation of these bills and hopes to see other states follow suite.
The first state to ban conversion therapy was California in 2012. Since then, Connecticut, Nevada, New Jersey, Oregon, Illinois, Vermont, New York, New Mexico, Rhode Island, Washington, Maryland, Hawaii, New Hampshire, Washington DC, and the District of Columbia have implemented laws or or regulations around the prevention of conversion therapy. Cities and counties in Ohio, Pennsylvania, Washington, Florida, New York, Arizona, and Wisconsin have enacted similar protections against conversion therapy. Delaware marks the 15th state to sign protective legislation in regards to conversion therapy on minors.Governor John Carney signed SB65 into law on July 23, 2018.
If more states do not adopt similar legislature, “an estimated 20,000 LGBTQ minors in states without protections will be subjected to conversion therapy by a licensed healthcare professional”, according to a recent report by the Williams Institute at UCLA School of Law.