The Center For Equality

January 2012

January Events
  January 1—New Year‘s Day January 8—3-5pm PFLAG @ 1st Congregational UCC January 11—5:30-8:30pm HuHot Fundraiser @ HuHot eastside January 14—6-8pm Women‘s Social Potluck, ―Resolutions‖ Potluck & Movie January 15—3-5pm Rainbow Family Event-Family Movie Day January 16—5:30-6pm Center for Equality Annual Meeting January 16—6-7:30pm Board of Directors Meeting January 20—3:30-5pm LHS GSA Meeting January 28– 12-2pm Doc & Discussion January 28—6-10pm Transgender Social— new people must preregister

Staying Sane in an Election Year
Election years can be painful. Yes, it is great to be an American and have the freedom of choice, but as Americans we are sure to be inundated with attack ads, punditry, and other exhausting side-effects of our democratic process this year. For LGBT Americans this is especially true, as 3. LGBT issues are often the platform off-which many conservative and liberal candidates alike spring their campaigns. While it is good our issues are being considered, it can be frustrating to watch them used as leverage to gain the candidates an easy advantage over their opponents. So here are a few tips to keeping your sanity and surviving Decision 2012: 1. Limit your information intake. Everywhere you turn there will be a slue of information brought to you by newspapers, newscasts, political ads, and debates. Be choosy in where you allow your attentions to wander. It is quite easy to become overwhelmed and resultantly apathetic in such a highly-charged political environment. Or you may find yourself experiencing the opposite effect. You may become highlycharged yourself and possibly lose sight of the facts. Choose only the most trusted resources to receive your information and then eliminate where possible all time spent receiving information from any other sources. Stay grounded. Remember that when it comes down to it we are all fighting for the rights of our family, our friends, and ourselves to live a happy life. So put down the paper, turn off the TV and spend some time with those people who matter most. This will keep you grounded and allow you to stay focused on what really matters in life. Turn off the TV. Yes, I just said that, which means I must really mean it! The television is the easiest way for politicians to thrust their agenda onto the public. Advertisements and not-so-fair-and-balanced news reporting can be impossible to escape this time of year. The only way to do so is to unplug the boob-tube and find other resources for the information you need to make your voting decision come fall. Most trustworthy news channels now feature streaming video content on their websites. Via those websites you can get the news you need without being subjected to attack ads. You can also save time since you won‘t be forced to sit through the rest of the commercials either!

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In 2012, just as in every election year, it is without question we all need to do our best to receive as much accurate information as possible. Regardless of your political persuasion, an ill-informed or misinformed vote can be a dangerous one. But just as dangerous can be election year information overload, so be wise this year. Remember what truly matters are people, not issues, so never lose sight of those people who matter most to you. Here‘s wishing you a Happy and Healthy 2012! Tiffany Thomas, Director of Operations and Programming

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January 2012
Sun 1 Mon 2 Tue 3 Wed 4 Thu 5 Fri 6 Sat 7

HIV testing 3-5 8 3-5 PFLAG Mtg 1st Cong. UCC 9 10

HIV testing 3-5 11 5:30-8:30 Hu Hot Fundraiser @ Hu Hot (east side)

HIV testing 3-5 12

HIV testing 3-5 13 14 6-8 Women‘s Social Potluck ―Resolutions‖ Potluck & Movie

15 1-3 Rainbow Family EventFamily Movie Day

16 5:30-6 Annual Meeting 6-7:30 Board of Directors Meeting

HIV testing 3-5 17

HIV testing 3-5 18

HIV testing 3-5 19

HIV testing 3-5 20 3:30-5 LHS GSA Meeting

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28 12-2 Doc & Discussion 6-10 Transgender Social must call to register if new member

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Drop-In HIV Testing Tuesday thru Friday 3-5PM

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Domestic violence – it‘s something that can affect anyone
Gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people experience domestic abuse at the same rate as heterosexual women Domestic violence – it‘s something that can affect anyone. LGBT people do experience domestic abuse, but the reality of LGBT relationship violence is rarely discussed. About 25% of LGBT people suffer through violent or threatening relationships with partners or ex-partners – about the same rate as heterosexual women. Sometimes the abuse looks similar to that experienced by heterosexual women: emotional bullying, physical aggression, threats to harm the victim or other loved ones, social isolation, control of finances, extreme jealousy. There are additional features that can be present in LGBT intimate partner violence that do not factor into heterosexual relationships. The abuser may threaten to ‗out‘ the victim to friends, family, religious communities, co-workers, and others if he or she does not comply with the abuser‘s wishes. Teens All teens are at risk of dating abuse, but gay, lesbian, and bisexual teens can be at an extra risk due to homophobia. Are gay, lesbian, and bisexual young people at more or less of a risk for relationship abuse than heterosexual teenagers? Unfortunately, abusive relationships are just as common in same-sex teenage relationships as they are in heterosexual (opposite-sex) ones. Nearly one in ten young people experience some sort of relationship abuse. Dating violence is serious, and can lead to a life-long pattern of domestic abuse for both the perpetrator and the victim. What is relationship abuse? Relationship abuse is any sort of threatening or intimidating behavior in partner relationships. Relationship abuse can happen when you‘ve been with someone for a few days, weeks, or years – there‘s no time scale for relationship abuse. Abuse can be emotional, physical, or sexual. Slapping, hitting, punching, and kicking are all forms of physical abuse. It‘s what people commonly think about when someone mentions relationship violence. Emotional abuse can be harder to recognize than physical abuse, but it‘s just as harmful. Name-calling, threats, humiliation, bullying, excessive jealousy, and controlling behavior are forms of emotional abuse that can leave long-lasting invisible scars. Gay, lesbian, transgender and bisexual persons may also face threats to be ‗outed‘ by their abusive partner. Sexual abuse can happen to anyone, no matter what kind of relationship you‘re in. Any sexual touching you don‘t fully consent to is sexual abuse. Unwanted kisses, pressure to have sex, sexual bullying, threats to infect you with a sexually transmitted infection, or refusal to use protection are all forms of sexual abuse. Relationship abuse is about power and control, and is a choice that the perpetrator makes. Knowing the signs of relationship abuse can empower you or a friend to seek help before a controlling relationship Are any of these things happening to you or a friend? Even one of these behaviors can signify relationship abuse.

Calling you offensive or derogatory names (words like b*tch, wh*re and sl*t, racial epithets, homophobic or transphobic language, insults to intelligence, etc.)  Humiliating you in front of other people  Threatens you with physical violence, abandonment, or harm to others you love  Threatens to harm himself or herself if you leave the relationship or don't comply with his or her wishes  Expresses excessive jealousy about your friends and family  Isolates you from friends, family, or your local LGBT community  Tries to control what you wear, eat, say, spend time with, spend money on, etc.  Blames you for their actions  Threatens to 'out' you as a lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender person  Threatens to infect you with an illness, like a sexually transmitted infection  Withholds medication or threatens to withhold medication  Hurts you physically in any way  Pressures you into having any sexual contact you do not want  Becomes violent or controlling when she or he is under the influence of drugs or alcohol  Is violent towards other people or animals  Steals money from you, or does not allow you access to your own money  Attempts to forbid you from working or making money ‘Outing’ Domestic violence in a gay or lesbian relationship has a unique form of abuse called ―outing‖. If the abused partner has not told family members, friends or coworkers that she is a lesbian, the abuser threatens to tell these people as a method of control. Con‘t next page
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Abuse is never brought on by the actions or words of the victim
con‘t from pg 3 Physical abuse is any form of physical violence inflicted upon the partner. It can include: hitting, kicking, pushing, slapping, burning or tossing items at the partner. Physical abuse also includes when an abuser takes away needed medications from their partner. Sexual Abuse also occurs in lesbian relationships. Any unwanted sexual act is sexual abuse. It also includes pressuring a partner into unsafe sex or making her have sex with other people. Financial abuse is any behavior by one partner to control the other's money. It can include: controlling her income, threatening to withdraw financial support or making her accountable for very dollar she spends. Emotional abuse is the most pervasive form of domestic abuse, yet it can be the hardest to recognize. People who experience emotional domestic abuse don‘t have outward signs of abuse like victims of physical domestic violence. Emotional domestic abuse is comprised of belittling talk, constant put-downs or criticism, lying and deceit, name-calling, social isolation (from family, friends, religious beliefs), controlling behavior, threats of harm to self or others, blame for actions, threats, silent treatment, monitoring phone calls and guilt. In many cases, an abusive relationship will escalate from emotional abuse to physical abuse. This is not to say, however, that emotional abuse is not serious in its own right; emotional domestic violence can cause long-lasting trauma. Stalking is when one partner intimidates or harasses the other. Examples can be always watching the partner, even in the home; constantly calling, texting or emailing when asked not to, to keep track of the partner. Cyberstalking is a growing form of stalking, via internet, email, etc.

HIV/AIDS
Awareness Days
Feb 7th: National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day. March 10th: National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day. March 20th: National Native HIV/AIDS Awareness Day. May 18th: HIV Vaccine Awareness Day May 19th: National Asian & Pacific Islander HIV/AIDS Awareness Day. June 8th: Caribbean American HIV/AIDS Awareness Day June 27th: National HIV Testing Day Sept. 18th: National HIV/AIDS and Aging Awareness Day. Sept. 27th: National Gay Men‘s HIV/ AIDS Awareness Day. Oct 15th: National Latino AIDS Awareness Day. Dec 1st: World AIDS Day.

Some Resources Available *Rainbow Domestic Violence web site www.rainbowdomesticviolence.itgo.com/ *GLBT National Hotline info: www.glnh.org/index2.html *GLBT National Hotline 1-888-843-4564 *GLBT National Youth Talkline 1-800-246-PRIDE (7743) *Gay Men‘s Domestiv Violence Project: gmdvp.org/ Hotline: 1-800-832-1901 *Lambda.org www.lambda.org/DV_background.htm
If you are experiencing violence in a lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender relationship, don‘t suffer in silence. Contact the Center for Equality for help with about your options and referrals: Call 1-605-331-1153 stop in 406 South 2nd Avenue, Suite 102 Sioux Falls

“I don’t want to worry anymore”
Thinking about HIV? Ask for a free, confidential HIV test at the Center today Drop in at the Center 3-5pm daily, or call for an appointment: 331-1153
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Confidential HIV Testing
Everyone is welcome - drop in for a free, confidential HIV Test at the Center for Equality. Drop-in times have been significantly expanded and will remain consistent. Every week—Tuesday through Friday from 3-5pm. You can also call 331-1153 or email us at info@centersforequalitysd.org to schedule a time to test or pick up your test results. The Center currently offers the OraSure oral saliva test. This test takes 7-10 days to process so you will be called to come in for the confidential results. **We will be offering Same Day testing in the near future**
Center Open Hours! We are open Tuesday thru Firday from 10:00-5:00. Free Drop-In HIV Testing Free drop-in HIV testing is offered Tuesday-Friday from 3:00-5:00. HIV testing is confidential. Documentary & DiscussionDoc & Discussion is back for the winter months! Educate yourself about today‘s important issues and meet up with other social, ethical and/or politically minded people every fourth Saturday of the month from 12:00 until 2:00 pm at the Center.

Groups & Events
All events held at the

HuHot FundraiserWednesday, January 11 from 5:30-8:30 p.m. The Center for Equality will host a fundraiser at the east side HuHot on Wednesday, January 11 from 5:30-8:30 p.m. Our trusty volunteers will be on hand to clear your tables, and a portion of all sales during those hours will be donated to benefit LGBTQ programming at the Center. Come fill your bellies for a cause! Raffle tickets to win fabulous prizes will also be sold (for a suggested donation). If you own a business and would like to donate items towards the raffle please contact Tiffany at tiffany@centersforequalitysd.org. Want to volunteer for this event? Contact Tiffany at tiffany@centersforequalitysd.org. The Center for Equality is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization. Donation receipts will be available upon request.

Center For Equality 406 So. 2nd Ave. Suite 102
Sioux Falls (Fawick Center) unless otherwise indicated Women‘s Social: ―Resolutions‖ Potluck and Movie- Saturday, January 14 from 6-8 p.m. It‘s a new year and we all have resolutions. Bring a dish inspired by yours! We‘ll enjoy great food followed by a great lesbian or women-themed movie. Feel free to bring your favorite movie to share with the group! Rainbow Family EventSunday, January 15 from 3-5 p.m.

Rainbow Family meets every 3rd Sunday of the month from 3-5 p.m. Be sure to check our website for updates on events and event locations. Transgender Socials held every month!

Please contact Tiffany or Cheryl to learn more. (New Please RSVP with what dish people must pre-register) you plan to bring by Wednesday, January 11 by Check out our new website! Let emailing Tiffany at tifus know what you think and fany@centersforequalitysd. what else you would like to see org, on the website centersforeOr call her at 331-1153. qualitysd.org

Did you know the Center for Equality is using social media? ‘Like’ us and join our group on Facebook. Follow us on Twitter: CenterforEQSD 5

January 2012

Center Hours changing for 2012 Monday- closed Tuesday– Friday—10 am to 5pm Shorter drop in hours to increase outreach hours Additional Evening Events as scheduled Saturday- Programming as scheduled PFLAG‘s Sioux Falls Chapter meets monthly on the 2nd Sunday - First Congregational UCC, 300 S. Minnesota from 35pm (unless noted otherwise) Upcoming meeting topics: January 8: TRANSGENDER EXPERIENCE
Viewing a film produced by the Boulder PFLAG called FACES & FACETS OF TRANSGENDER EXPERIENCE. It is a 25 minute piece, that includes a study guide to lead discussion afterwards. Terri had the opportunity to meet and talk with some the people who made the film. Will be followed by time for sharing (and hot cider!!).

January 2012 HIV Testing Dates Drop in testing at the Centers for Equality available Tuesday through Friday from 3-5pm. **Call for additional appointment times.** Email: info@centersforequalitysd.org call 605-331-1153. All HIV testing is free and confidential. We currently use OraSure tests—in the near future we

CENTER HAPPENINGS News, opinion, events, and resources LGBTQIA community PUBLISHER The Center For Equality ADDRESS 406 So. 2nd Ave., Ste. 102 Sioux Falls, SD 57104 (Fawick Center, the old Tyler Building) WEB www.centersforequalitysd.org PHONE 605-331-1153 EMAIL info@centersforequalitysd.org Director of Operations and Programming Tiffany Thomas Marketing and Media Specialist Nathan Maas, MA HIV Services Coordinator Cheryl Bixby, Pharm.D. Administrative Assistant Karla Wenzel COUNSELOR/THERAPIST Currently accepting applications
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February 12: Diverse Families Valentine desserts served prior to the meeting March 11: Faith Leaders/PFLAG collaboration Guest speaker: Rev. Ryan Otto All meetings are open to the public, everyone welcome. Website: www.pflagsfsd.org E-mail: info@pflagsfsd.org

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