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

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’

Activism in Manhattan, Kansas, trained Samuel Brinton for the national spotlight

One measure of a college town’s sense of itself, obviously, is what its graduates go on to accomplish. When folks in Manhattan, Kansas, remember the exhilaration of their first Pride celebration in April 2010, around the same time as they were getting pummeled trying to pass an anti-discrimination ordinance at City Hall, they talk about… Continue reading Activism in Manhattan, Kansas, trained Samuel Brinton for the national spotlight

A young singer convinces me the National Anthem might belong to LGBTQ Americans, too

When I went to Wichita’s annual Pride rally and march in September 2014, I’d only been working in radio for a few months. Over decades as a print reporter, I’d often interviewed sources using a tiny Olympus tape recorder, but for most of my journalism career I’d never known all of the other important ways… Continue reading A young singer convinces me the National Anthem might belong to LGBTQ Americans, too