A student from from the Stevens High School GSTA (gay, straight, trans alliance) reads the book ‘I Am Jazz’ at the Charles P. Puksta Library at River Valley Community College in Claremont, N.H., on Thursday, Dec. 7, 2017. The book readings in the Claremont/Newport area were organized by Rural Outright. (Photo courtesy Rural Outright – Matt Mooshian.)
I Am Jazz is the story of Jazz Jennings, a transgender teenage activist and youth ambassador for the Human Rights Commission. All across the country on Thursday, communities participated in I Am Jazz readings — including several in the Claremont/Newport area organized by Rural Outright.
According to a nifty map on the HRC website, the readings in the Claremont/Newport area were among three that were officially organized in the Twin States. (The other two were in Essex Junction, Vt., and Gorham, N.H.)
Matt Mooshian is the chairman of Rural Outright, a program of TLC Family Resource Center in Claremont. Its mission is to support and advocacy for rural LGBTQIA* Granite Staters and their allies. Here’s what Matt had to say about the event:
I Am Jazz Day is actually a national event put on by the Human Rights Campaign’s Welcoming Schools Committee. We were planning to observe the day ourselves and contacted Claremont School District about hosting an event — they were very excited and wanted to partner with us to launch a new series: Understanding Diversity & Inclusion Through Children’s Literature. We used I Am Jazz as our first reading to launch the series and it was a great success! We had nearly 100 people from Claremont and Newport. We hosted seven readings across the two communities. We also learned the Newport Headstart had a reading for students & parents. It was truly a great day!
The readings started at noon and continued through 6:30 p.m., and a copy of the book was donated at each location, which, in addition to RVCC and TLC, included Maple Avenue Elementary School, the Fiske Free Library and Richards Free Library.
On Saturday January 27th Vermont Pride Festival at Chandler will present Paul Lucas’ groundbreaking play Trans Scripts, Part I: The Women in a staged reading, to benefit GLAD’s transgender-rights project across New England. Included in the production will be original cast member Bianca Leigh, reprising her role as Tatiana. The one-act production will be followed by a talkback including Mr. Lucas and the ensemble and a reception to meet and greet the playwright and the actors.
NEWPORT — Rural Outright presents their next Let’s Talk program, “Beyond the Keyhole: Rural LGBTQ Community Oral History and Andrew’s Inn.” Join us on Thursday, Nov. 30, at 7 p.m. at the Newport High School’s Lou Thompson Community Room, located at 245 N. Main St. in Newport, NH. Andrew’s Inn was a gay disco, bar, restaurant, hotel, co-counseling site, and community space in Bellows Falls, Vermont from 1973-1984. Those involved were the state’s rural LGBTQ vanguard. Now, for the first time, the Green Mountain Crossroads’ (GMC) Andrew’s Inn Oral History Project is sharing the Andrew’s Inn story. GMC, Marlboro College and Vermont Performance Lab have collaborated on project. HB Lozito, executive director of GMC and creator of the Project, will discuss the history of Andrew’s Inn, share audio featured in the Project, and explain how this project fits into GMC’s broader work empowering rural LGBTQ community members.