Meet one of the trans people suing the state of Kansas for their birthright

Luc Malik Bensimón was in the news this month. He’s one of the plaintiffs in Lambda Legal’s lawsuit against the state of Kansas over its refusal to change gender markers on transgender peoples’ birth certificates. “My identity as a man has been put on hold… so, short and sweet, I’m here today because I would like… Continue reading Meet one of the trans people suing the state of Kansas for their birthright

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Susan Ruiz hopes the ‘rainbow wave’ carries her to a seat in the Kansas Legislature

Susan Ruiz’s decision to run for office parallels the thinking of so many other people after the 2016 presidential election. “I could either complain and bitch about it, as all of us did” — Ruiz was especially angry about how the president spoke of the Latino community — “or be much more involved. We can’t… Continue reading Susan Ruiz hopes the ‘rainbow wave’ carries her to a seat in the Kansas Legislature

Meet Brandon Woodard, a ‘common sense moderate’ whose run for the Kansas Legislature is historic

It was January, bleak and freezing, when Brandon Woodard first started walking the neighborhoods of Lenexa and Olathe that make up Kansas House District 30. Last week hit near record-breaking heat for the middle of September, and Woodard was still walking, the back of his green polo dotted with sweat. "I've put in a lot… Continue reading Meet Brandon Woodard, a ‘common sense moderate’ whose run for the Kansas Legislature is historic

A 74-Year-Old Lesbian Activist To Janelle Monáe: The Kansas Through Line

In my happy daydreams, when Janelle Monáe plays her long-awaited homecoming concert in Kansas City in October, Lea Hopkins is her opening act. Hopkins isn’t an entertainer, but she’s a celebrity in her own right, one every Kansas Citian should know. And the two share a connection. Hopkins, who still reads the daily paper old-school,… Continue reading A 74-Year-Old Lesbian Activist To Janelle Monáe: The Kansas Through Line

Where’s the parade, Kansas City? Lessons from a month of Prides in Kansas

I’m old enough to have seen a lot of Pride celebrations. My first was in San Francisco in 1982. I was 19 years old, freshly transplanted to Berkeley from my home in Nebraska. My mind was blown as soon as I stepped onto an East Bay BART train packed with other high-spirited gay people, all… Continue reading Where’s the parade, Kansas City? Lessons from a month of Prides in Kansas

Here’s how Wyandotte Countians just did something historic for LGBTQ Kansas

An equal-rights victory that has historically involved months of bruising battle in other Kansas towns just happened quietly in the state’s third-largest city. On Thursday, one item among many on the agenda for Wyandotte County commissioners was whether to add sexual orientation and gender identity to the list of groups covered by the county’s non-discrimination… Continue reading Here’s how Wyandotte Countians just did something historic for LGBTQ Kansas

For Jon Reed Sims, a gay Kansan I never knew, who made the world more beautiful

A few hundred LGBTQ concert-band and jazz musicians came to town this past week, so I was expecting a pretty good show on Saturday night. It was the grand finale of the Gay and Lesbian Band Association's annual conference. Given the fact that the national organization's confab was in Kansas City this year, hosted by… Continue reading For Jon Reed Sims, a gay Kansan I never knew, who made the world more beautiful