"Options Saved My Life"
by Kim Stowell
I can't tell you how many people during the years I worked at Options, came up to me at Pride Festivals and the like, repeating the headline above. It was a powerful thing. What's more, so many people came in to volunteer with Options at the suggestion of their therapist or a close friends, as a way to begin the coming out process. We regularly got phone calls from people visiting or new to our state, wanting to know where the queer people hung out. I know that every time the discussion of closing down the publication has been discussed in a public forum, the health service professionals, educators, and others speak with heartfelt sincerity about its vital Resources section. The point? Options was, and still is, a highly valuable community resource.
In short, this feisty little publication has been making a difference in Rhode Island (and beyond) for so many, for a long time. And now, the discussion of Options' future comes up again. Hard as they try, the small, hardy group who runs the magazine is struggling to keep it afloat. It's not because there is not enough news, or enough enthusiasm, or need. It's because the community is not supporting it financially as we once did.
It does seem that the time is right for Options to prioritize its online presence over its printed magazine as we move forward. We can be proud that it has outlasted many, if not most, LGBTQ publications to become one of the oldest of its kind in the country.
Even this will not be without cost, however. There will continue to be expenses. And this, dear reader, is where you come in. If you are reading this now, please consider kicking in. It's as easy as going to their website, optionsri.org, and paying with a card or through PayPal. Checks are acceptable too, but who even knows where their checkbook is? Every little bit helps. And I dare say Options has earned your support. Please join me in throwing some of that support behind it.