• Jen Stevens

From the Board Chair

Updated: Feb 3

Greetings Faithful Reader,

"Life is about change, sometimes it’s painful, sometimes it’s beautiful, but most of the time it’s both.” – Kristin Kreuk (as Lana Lang in Smallville)


For many of us, 2020 was about the painful side of change. COVID-19, economic collapse, racial tensions, inequality…the list could go on. For Options, a painful decision was to change our print schedule from bimonthly to an annual edition. While there were many reasons leading to this decision, the primary factors were lack of advertising revenue and dwindling volunteer support.


We look to 2021 to reflect the beautiful side of change for Options. Our matching gift campaign exceeded its goal and prompted the anonymous donor to contribute another matching gift (see next article). Thanks to these resources, we will be revamping our website to better showcase stories and news that impact the LGBTQ+ community in a timely fashion. We will also update and increase the scope of our online Resources section to provide support for community members and their families. We will continue to expand our social media presence with the goal of becoming the media hub for the LGBTQ+ community in Rhode Island and southeastern New England.


Another beautiful development is the commitment of four people who have agreed to join the Options Board of Directors. We would like to welcome:


  • Michael Templeton lives in the Edgewood neighborhood of Cranston and is a career educator, having served in diverse school settings and post-secondary institutions for more than twenty years. He is a parttime church musician and a lover of the performing arts. Michael is a fierce advocate for equity, access, and social justice and is grateful for the opportunity to serve the local LGBTQ+ community as a board member of Options Magazine.

  • Trevor Shepard lives in North Providence and has been in the healthcare industry for many years. His most recent position was as a supervisor for United Healthcare. He sang for several seasons with the RI Gay Men's Chorus (formerly PGMC) and has worked with HRC as a grassroots organizer.

  • Denis Dolgopolov has worked for Schneider Electric for ten years in various financial and business partnership roles. He and his partner live in Pawtucket, and are both fashion and beauty photographers who are on the lookout to collaborate with other creative people.

  • Daniel Byrnes has lived in Providence for 20 years. He has a background in human resources management and residential real estate, and is currently a sales associate with a national housewares and furniture retail store, with a focus in residential home design.

We anticipate welcoming additional board members in the next few months and would encourage other supporters to join us in this season of transformation. Diversity is our strength, so we would like to have broad representation from the LGBTQ+ community on our board to help move Options into a sustainable future. Send us an email at info@optionsri.org to notify us of your interest.


Change: it’s painful, beautiful, and necessary, so we can continue to grow and thrive as individuals and organizations. Check out optionsri.org today and keep on growing!


Mike Marrapodi, Chair

Options Board of Directors




Options Magazine

PO Box 6406

Providence, RI 02940

(401) 217-3939

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