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

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Meet the Kansas mothers who say having trans children is a blessing

It’s a small but mighty group of allies, one to celebrate on this Mother’s Day: Mothers of trans people. The most famous one in the Kansas City area is Debi Jackson, whose daughter Avery graced the cover of National Geographic last year and who serves as an organizer at the National Center for Transgender Equality. But… Continue reading Meet the Kansas mothers who say having trans children is a blessing

From Gay Teacher Who Left Kansas For Palm Springs, Lessons On Empowerment

Michael Hill did not expect the news of his departure from Kansas to go viral. Hill was an art teacher and theater director at Nemaha Central High School in Seneca, population 2,048, up near the Nebraska border. On April 17, he posted Facebook photos of anonymous letters he’d received and wrote: “I decided I needed… Continue reading From Gay Teacher Who Left Kansas For Palm Springs, Lessons On Empowerment

LGBTQ Kansas to America: Prepare for so much ‘losing forward’

This loss seemed as inevitable as a Kansas tornado in May. In reality, it wasn’t inevitable. LGBTQ activists and their allies skirmished so hard that it took until 2 a.m. on the last day of the legislative session for the religious right to convince enough politicians to discriminate against us. The so-called Adoption Protection Act… Continue reading LGBTQ Kansas to America: Prepare for so much ‘losing forward’

For Holy Week, the Kansas Legislature debates “religious freedom”

It’s time once again for that annual Christian ritual: a “religious freedom” “debate” in the Kansas Legislature. This session it’s been around adoption: whether the state can contract with faith-based agencies even though they refuse to place kids with same-sex parents because it would violate their “sincerely held religious beliefs.” The arguments, which aren't over,… Continue reading For Holy Week, the Kansas Legislature debates “religious freedom”

LGBTQ kids in Kansas brave weather, and legislators, to make their stand at the Capitol

The Kansas Capitol is an astoundingly beautiful building. From the outside, its standard stateliness does little justice to the grandeur of its polished-marble and gold-leaf-sparkling rotunda, its mesmerizing murals of harsh prairie life by John Steuart Curry and Lumen Martin Winter – you can hear the roar of winter wind, feel the cut of sharp… Continue reading LGBTQ kids in Kansas brave weather, and legislators, to make their stand at the Capitol

From one ink-stained gal to another: Thank you, Kristi Parker

I didn’t know Kristi Parker well. But like thousands of Kansans I did know her – through her invaluable work. Parker edited and published the monthly Liberty Press for more than 25 years, delivering stacks to businesses around Wichita and stuffing copies into manila envelopes to mail around the state (sometimes with a personal note… Continue reading From one ink-stained gal to another: Thank you, Kristi Parker