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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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

One important thing about Kansas politics: Not all Republicans are against us

When news broke last weekend that the Kansas Republican Party, whose members were having their annual convention in Wichita, had voted to “oppose all efforts to validate transgender identity,” I wasn’t surprised. LGBTQ activists in Kansas have heard that rhetoric before. The Republican state committee member pushing the resolution said it was “motivated by love”… Continue reading One important thing about Kansas politics: Not all Republicans are against us

At the Lawrence Public Library, a new way to celebrate Kansas Day

Growing up in Lincoln, the capital of Nebraska, I don't remember any holiday celebrating statehood (or maybe I was just daydreaming during those grade-school history lessons). But as soon as the book launch for No Place Like Home: Lessons in Activism from LGBT Kansas was scheduled for January 29, I discovered that Kansans are serious… Continue reading At the Lawrence Public Library, a new way to celebrate Kansas Day

Toughened in Topeka, Tiffany Muller takes on Citizens United

For “Trouble in Topeka,” the first chapter of No Place Like Home: Lessons in Activism from LGBT Kansas, I spent hours on the phone with Tiffany Muller, spoke with her fellow activists and teachers, and read newspaper stories about her. But I’d never met her in person. Muller left Kansas years before I started reporting… Continue reading Toughened in Topeka, Tiffany Muller takes on Citizens United