The Rainbow Times’ 10th Anniversary
When we first began this journey a decade ago, we never realized the many circumstances & opportunities that would present themselves to us as a publication, as a community, as a family. The triumphs we’ve enjoyed & storms we’ve braced have been because of you—our loyal readers, advertisers, friends and family. You’ve all played a critical role on our voyage and we are so grateful to you all. Thank you, thank you, thank you. Cheers to the next ten! See it, as it was published in the online version, p. 16. Note that we have received more quotes since its publication.
—The Rainbow Times’ Staff
“The Rainbow Times was one of the first newspapers to elevate the work of the Hispanic Black Gay Coalition after its founding. Without their support, HBGC would not have reached a broader audience so quickly. The Rainbow Times’ journalistic integrity and commitment to writing original and refreshing articles that uplift and empower our community is unmatched. From offering weekly columns in Spanish, to spotlighting the experiences of incarcerated LGBT people, to providing advice columns showcasing the Trans experience, TRT is at the forefront of giving a sincere voice to underrepresented people in the most informative and inspiring way. Thank you for always being a reliable and trusting media outlet! Congratulations on 10 remarkable years. Wishing you many, many more!”
–Corey Yarbrough Activist/Co-Founder and Former Executive Director, Hispanic Black Gay Coalition
“The UMASS Fine Arts Center started advertising with The Rainbow Times 10 years ago. At the time it was a local newspaper out of Northampton, MA but quickly grew into what it is today. The publishers/editor Gricel and Nicole were so passionate about their publication and so warm and welcoming to anyone willing to partner with their vision. As the LGBTQ community made strides for equal rights in this country, they were right there. And sadly, now, those rights may be under attack so we need their commitment to justice and the truth more than ever. I wish them success and many more years of publishing.”
—Shawn Farley, Director of Marketing, UMass Fine Arts Center
“The Rainbow Times has inspired, given credibility and support to the entire LGBT movement in Western Mass. Whether it’s for the Imperial Court of Western Mass, myself and other local politicians, and all of the local PRIDE events—The Rainbow Times has been the sole credible source of news, entertainment, and journalistic integrity.
“I was devastated, like many, when its headquarters switched from Western to Eastern Mass. However the local ties to the entire New England Community run deep. Gricel and Nicole are not only great at being the Publisher / Editor of The Rainbow Times, they are amazing pioneers and trail blazers.”
“I’ve written for The Rainbow Times nearly from its launch, and a decade later I’m not only proud to still be part of such a groundbreaking and evolving publication, but I think its run owes much of its success to the publishers’ commitment to journalistic integrity while remaining staunch advocates for giving voices to the voiceless. In an age where print journalism is dwindling and media is under attack across the board, I can only hope that TRT continues to reject conformity for the sake of its LGBT readers and the profession as a whole.”
—Mikey Rox, Principal, Paper Rox Scissors
“At a time when many national journalists lowered their standards to chase higher ratings and click rates, Gricel and Nicole have stayed true to the purpose of a newspaper—to inform through articles and different perspectives and strengthen a community that only in the past decade or so has finally been accepted, if not welcomed, by mainstream society.
I have known Gricel and Nicole since they began developing their idea for starting a newspaper for the LGBTQ community. They were committed to open a way for a range of people’s voices to be taken into consideration and for advertisers to engage with the LGBTQ communities so that the paper would grow and gain permanence.
They are among the best journalists I know, because of their incontrovertible allegiance to provide the very best in information, news and views to diverse communities. Far bigger media outlets have done far less than these two women. Kudos to them. We’re lucky they founded The Rainbow Times.”
—Natalia Muñoz, founder and director of Verdant Multicultural Media, a multicultural and multimedia outreach, engagement, marketing and communications company ; multimedia journalist & communications consultant; Radio Host of Vaya con Muñoz on Northampton’s WHMP 1400 AM Wednesdays at 9:45 a.m. and Saturdays at 10 a.m.; opinion columnist for El Sol Latino
“I’ve known the publisher and editor since 2007 when they first started The Rainbow Times in western Massachusetts. From the start, they supported the Sexual Minorities Archives at every opportunity, through articles, pickups of our press releases, offers of free sponsorships, and more. They continue to do so ten years later. At first, they went to work with a passion to publish news from diverse LGBTQIA communities in the greater Springfield and Northampton areas. Since I live and work with the Archives in Holyoke, I was sad when they moved their home and the newspaper to the Boston area; however, I continue to be impressed by the journalistic integrity that shines in every article. It is clear that in a very short time they have grown to become of the most important LGBTQIA publication in New England and the United States. I highly respect Gricel Ocasio and Nicole Lashomb for covering the many intersectional identities among our diverse people and allies. I applaud their courage to struggle through adversity as they reach the ten-year mark of creating THE place in print for our many voices to break the silence, in the pages of The Rainbow Times.”
—Ben Power Alwin, Curator, Sexual Minorities Archives; ED Sexual Minorities Educational Foundation, Inc.
“The Rainbow Times is a unique media entity for the LGBTQ+ community. Since its inception, TRT has been committed to reach a readership that is comprised of all members of our community, and build bridges where there have been none. North Shore Pride considers The Rainbow Times more than just a partner in our community. The Rainbow Times provides a broad spectrum of reporting both within and outside of the LGBTQ+ community and is focused on the deliberation of voice and action necessary to ensure representation and equality. Happy Anniversary Rainbow Times! North Shore Pride is honored to call you a great friend to us and to the LGBTQ+ community.”
“The Rainbow Times is the news source I trust to cover all aspects of New England life in the LGBTQ community.”
—Sarah Toce, Publisher, The Seattle Lesbian
“What can I say about TRT? From a small newspaper office in Northampton, these two brave women began an LGBT publication that took New England by storm! And I was a part of it.
Gricel and Nicole gave life to my column, ‘The Controversial Couch’ back into 2008 as well as TRT Talk Radio with co-host Lorelei Erisis. I’ll always be thankful that they chose to give an alternative voice within the community; indeed, they gave me mine.
I’m sure many thought they’d never make it this far. But through sheer perseverance, courage and gritty determination, they have turned this little paper into a magnificent gem for all to behold.
I’ll forever be grateful to their belief of bringing truth to light in our community as a real journalistic publication should always be. Wishing Gricel, Nicole, and TRT the best in the next 10 years; they will always be family to me.”
“Congratulations on 10 years! Thank you for reporting on many issues of social justice and for always being so thoughtful about the importance of word choice and the significance of language. Thank you for being so dedicated and passionate and making a difference. Thank you for teaching us the difference between being an ally and being an accomplice. What a blessing to have The Rainbow Times as a voice in our community, for the LGBTQ community and for the entire community.”
—Fara Wolfson, Salem MA Resident, Teacher and Accomplice
The Rainbow Times has been a consistent source of support, allyship, and reliable connections for the trans, gender nonconforming, and larger LGBTQ community. Over the years we have seen TRT grow into a regional icon and cornerstone for information in our communities. Thank you to the staff, writers, editors, and volunteers who have made this newspaper a beacon and treasure in our community.
—Mason Dunn, ED, Massachusetts Transgender Political Coalition
“I’m very excited for the 10th anniversary of The Rainbow Times! TRT is the media sponsor to my Non-profit, Point of Pride, and since joining our forces together this past 2016 things have been amazing! The support and resource outlet TRT provides for its readers and all of New England shows a sense of community while also being entertaining and informative. Cannot wait for another 10 years of The Rainbow Times!”
“I loved writing for TRT right from the beginning. It was the only LGBT paper, to my knowledge, that had trans columnists back then!! Thank you, Gricel and Nicole, from the bottom of my heart!! I remember when TRT moved from Northampton to Boston. We went from being a western New England paper to a major city paper. It was like going to the Big Leagues! I am so glad to be part of TRT since early 2008. I’ve always loved the readers and evidently some of them loved me. In the old days, Nicole would let me know, now and then, about readers who wanted to meet me. I remember one time Nicole remarked to me, ‘Deja, you are our most sought after columnist!!’ I’ve always loved working with TRT! I look forward to taking on the challenges that lay ahead. I know that this team will rise to the occasion as they’ve always done. Bring it! We’re ready!!”
—Deja Nicole Greenlaw, TRT Columnist for 9 Years
“Congratulations on your ten years of success! Several years ago, I went to a workshop you were running about optimizing social media. At the time, it was primarily about Twitter and Facebook. I was trying to find a way to maximize Worcester Pride’s presence. It was so helpful and informative. I was able to use the information right away!
In addition to that, I have been very impressed over the years with your ability to span across western mass and the Boston area. I love that you cover the events that matter to the average person, not just the ones in the corner office. I love that you cover the intersection of LGBTQ issues and people of color as well! I really value diversity and that was the hallmark of what I tried to do when I was president of pride. I believe we come up with better solutions when we have diverse voices in the room. For that reason, I made an effort to reach out to communities of color and non-Christian as well as multiple political affiliations. I wish you many more years of success! You model shows you can’t report on the community without being a part of the community! Thanks so much for all you do!
—John Trobaugh, Diversity Specialist, UMass Medical School; Artist; MFA
“I don’t know if I can remember the exact day I met the good people over at The Rainbow Times. I know that I was working with Boston Pride organizing Pride Week as well as year-round events and activities. And, I also know that TRT was always there covering events, offering a hand, promoting our work, and serving our community. A decade later, I still read TRT and look to them as a trusted source for news, events, and insight into issues that affect and impact our communities. I think it’s great that the paper’s 10th Anniversary is in February, a month when we celebrate all that we love! Congratulations on all of your success thus far and best wishes for the next ten years!
Do you have a story about The Rainbow Times that you’d like to share? E-mail them to firstname.lastname@example.org.
[This was first published on The Rainbow Times’ Feb. 2, 2017 10th Anniversary Issue]