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Wilson, Donald Roller, (born 1938) Cookie Had Seen One Before . . . (In Church During An Evening Service) . . . ( About Seven Hours Past) . . . 1992, Oil on panel, Wichita Art Museum, Family of Elton I. "Buddy" Greenberg, 2007.2.9

fifty-fifth annual

Saturday, May 10 10am - 5pm

Sunday, May 11 11am - 5pm

PREVIEW PARTY MAY 9th call 316.268.4912 for details!

MAY 2014

MAY 2014


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MAY 2014 This month on

Photo Gallery

Hollywood Tidbits

Friends young, old and furry enjoyed this year's AIDS Walk April 19 in Wichita. Participants raised $20,500 according to James Woods of Positive Directions, the organization that benefitted. Lots of pictures at www.!

LGBT News You Don't Want to Miss!

Roland Emmerich is making another movie about Stonewall, also called Stonewall. I Am Chippendale, tells the outlandish life story of the late Somen “Steve” Banerjee. And Madonna will next shoot Ade: A Love Story, based on the novel by Rebecca Walker. Find out all the details in Deep Inside Hollywood. James Franco goes ex-gay in new film by Gus Van Sant. Photo courtesy of Featureflash.

Special ticket offer! Liberty Press readers! See the Indigo Girls June 1 in Salina for half price! Buy one ticket get one half off by using the code LPRESS when calling the Stiefel at 785-8271998 or going to www.ticketmaster. com.

We're Updating! We're making big changes to the website! Visit this month as we roll out a new format featuring more content, ongoing contests, opinion polls and more!

Distribution Sites Derby

Derby High GSA

Dodge City

Compass Behavioral Health

El Dorado

Pathways Psychological Services


Open Roads Community Center, Mokas

Junction City

Rockstar and Rodgers, Xcalibur Club

Kansas City

Hamburger Mary’s, LikeMe Lighthouse

Lawrence Ad Astra Acupuncture, Aimee’s Coffeehouse, Bourgeois Pig, Bzar Salon, Community Mercantile, Douglas County AIDS Project, Dusty Bookshelf, Ecumenical Campus Ministries, Einstein Bros. Bagel, Fuzzy’s Taco Shop, Henry’s, Java Break, KU’s Dean of Students office, KU’s Multicultural Resource Center, La Prima Tazza,

Lawrence Public Library, Love Garden Sounds, Lutheran Campus Ministry, Milton’s Cafe, The Mirth Café, Natural Grocers, NetworQ, Pizza Shuttle, Queers & Allies office, The Raven Bookstore, Rudy’s Pizzeria, South Wind Health Collective, The Vapor's Edge E-Cig Shop, Wheat State Pizza, Wheatfield’s Bakery, Wilde’s Chateau 24, Yello Sub, Z’s Divine Espresso


The Bluestem Bistro, The Chef Café, Dusty Bookshelf, First Congregational Church, Flint Hills Human Right Project meetings, Grace's Asian Fusion Cafe, K-State LGBT Resource Center, K-State Student Union, K-State Women's Clinic, On the Wild Side, People’s Grocery, Queer-Straight Alliance meetings, Radina’s Bakery & Café (three locations), Rockstar and Rodgers (two locations), Sisters of Sound Music, Strecker-Nelson Gallery, T-La-Re, Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Manhattan, Varsity Donuts


The Leaf Tea Lounge


Pitt State GSA


Mokas, Mokas South, Salina Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, Saline County Health Dept.


The Break Room, Classic Bean (two locations), Field of Greens, Flowers by Bill, Lazio’s Coffee Bar, Metropolitan Community Church of Topeka, Positive Connections, PT’s Coffee Roasting Co., The Razor’s Edge, Reece Nichols Real Estate, Skivvies, Three Flowers Metaphysical, Topeka/ Shawnee County Public Library, Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Topeka, The Upstage Gallery, Washburn Mabee Library, Washburn Union, YWCA


Adult Superstore, After Dark South, The Anchor, Artichoke Sandwich

Bar, Barnes & Noble, The Bean Scene, Book-A-Holic (W. 21st location), Bungalow 26, The Center, Circle Cinema, City Arts, College Hill United Methodist Church, Crazy J’s Furniture & Sleep Shop, Cut Loose, The Donut Whole, Earthwise Pet Supply, Fisch Haus, First Metropolitan Community Church, First Unitarian Universalist Church, Harris & Co. Frame Shop, Hunter Health Clinic, J’s Lounge, Jim Starkey Music Center, A Journey in the Light, Kirby’s, KU Internal Medicine Midtown, Mead’s Corner, Moe’s Sub Shop, The Monarch, Our Fantasy Complex, Patricia’s, Pine Valley Christian Church, Planet Hair, Planned Parenthood, Positive Directions, Rain Café & Lounge, Reverie Coffee Roasters, Spice Merchant, The Store, Twist Yarn Shop, Vagabond Coffeeshop, Vegas Video, Watermark Books, Wichita Community Theatre, Wichita Public Library - downtown branch, WSU - That Gay Group meetings, Xcitement Video

Would you like to see your business or organization on this list? It’s free! Contact Kristi at to arrange for delivery of complimentary copies.

MAY 2014


Liberty Press

Volume 20, No. 9 • Editor: Kristi Parker • Contributors: Paul Berge, Dave Brousseau, Julie Burkhart, Nolin Christensen, Sue Edgerton, Jakki Forester, Greg Fox, Charlene Lichtenstein, Mama, Dr. Robert N. Minor, Stephanie Mott, Ben Rivers, Kevin Stilley • Staff Reporters: Helen Barnes, Elle Boatman, Brian Hansen, Christy Lyons-Bohrer, Ciara Reid • Contributing Photographers: Jeremy Cowart, Sue Edgerton, Jakki Forester. Audra Miller, Kevin Stilley • Cover Design: Troy Dilport • Graphic Designer: Troy Dilport • Distribution Manager: Sandra Hawk • Webmaster: Ren Autrey • Publisher: Liberty Press, LLC

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On the Cover: Page 12

National Advertising Representatives: Rivendell Media (212) 242-96863 Subscriptions are $18/year

The “Liberty Press” and its contents may not be reproduced in any manner, either in whole or in part, without the express written consent of the publisher. All rights reserved. Unsolicited material may not necessarily be acknowledged or returned, is assumed intended for publication unless otherwise stated, and becomes the sole property of the Liberty Press. Letters to the editor and bylined columns reflect the views and opinions of the authors only and are not necessarily those of the Liberty Press, LLC or its staff. The Liberty Press reserves the right to refuse or restrict advertisements at the editor’s discretion. Advertisers and agencies assume liability for claims arising from the content of their ads. Publication of the name, photograph or likeness of any persons, organization or business in articles or advertisements in the Liberty Press in no way indicates or reflects their sexual orientation. First copy free, additional copies may be obtained for a nominal fee from the publisher.

P.O. Box 16315 Wichita, KS 67216-0315 phone: (316) 652-PRESS [7737] e-mail: © 2014 The Liberty Press

CONTENTS REVIEW Angels in America............................................................................. 7 'I AM MANHATTAN' BILLBOARD brings visibility to transgender community..........................................................................................9 FLINT HILLS PRIDE crowns royalty . . . .......................................................14 . . . AND RAISES MONEY for June event......................................................14 KANSAS QUEER YOUTH NETWORK a step forward in a backwards state............................................................................................................16 REVIEW Hedwig and the Angry Inch...........................................................17 LITTLE APPLE, BIG PRIDE celebrates five years.........................................17 BETHEL STUDENT ADDRESSES GENDER in photography show..................21 PLANET HAIR PRESENTS NEW EVENT: EarthQuake!..................................22 THE INDIGO GIRLS KICK OFF Pride Month in Salina..................................22 WSU TO HOST Suicide Prevention walk......................................................26 UU FELLOWSHIP OF TOPEKA announces support for same-sex marriage.....................................................................................................27

IN EVERY ISSUE DISTRIBUTION LIST..................... 4 POINTS OF INTEREST.................. 8 ONLINE POLL............................. 13 MAMA KNOWS BEST.................. 14 COMICS....................................... 27 AROUND KANSAS...................... 28 CLASSIFIEDS.............................. 29 BRIDGES..................................... 29 OUT IN THE STARS.................... 29

Regulars OP/ED Poll results, editorial cartoon, guest editorial: The Tenactiy of Reproductive Rights...........................................................................6 BOOKENDS God and the Gay Christian.................................................13 TRANS-FORMATIVE Claiming my Religious Right...................................20 MINOR DETAILS The Right Wing's Last Ditch Strategy..........................23 LEATHER LIFE Bootblacks......................................................................26 The Liberty Press distributes 3,500 copies a month in cities throughout Kansas, including Dodge City, Derby, Lawrence, Topeka, Wichita, Manhattan, Junction City, El Dorado, Hays, Kansas City, Pittsburg, Newton and Salina.

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A Monthly Collection of Opinions and Editorials.

The opinions represented here do not necessarily represent the opinions of the Liberty Press. We reserve the right to edit and cut submissions for space and grammatical content. We want to hear from you! Visit to answer our Readers Poll. Send your letters and feedback to

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Results! Do you think the protests will stop now that Fred Phelps is dead? Yes 12%

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A Journey In The Light Ministries Living, Reaching, Teaching, Preaching the Word of God in Unity

Pastor Danny L. Medell

A full gospel ministry that still teaches Christ, Him crucified and the message of the cross.

2231 S Bluff Wichita, KS 67218 Pastor’s Phone: (316) 925-1102

We are a church that accepts everyone regardless of their race, color, social status, sexual orientation, where they are or where they have been in life.

Bible Study for all ages Sunday at 10 am Praise and Worship Service Sunday at 11 am

MAY 2014

The Tenacity of Reproductive Rights A Year of Operating in the “Abortion Desert”


sometimes still can’t believe the facility where Dr. George Tiller operated Women’s Health Care Services and which was closed for almost four years after his assassination – is now marking its first year of operation since reopening as South Wind Women’s Center in Wichita. It hasn’t been easy. There were times we questioned whether South Wind would even open. We’re living in a time with record closures of clinics and a record number of anti-choice laws being passed by state legislatures, especially by our leaders in Topeka. Even the courts can be challenging. Late last month, a federal court upheld an anti-choice law in Texas that will close all but six clinics in the state of Texas by September. Because of this, there were times when the dream of reopening and running a reproductive health facility in Wichita seemed tenuous at best. But thanks to the hard work and courage of many good people, I can report that we’ve done just that. Within the past 12 months, the clinic has served close to 2,000 women. These are women who have come not only from Wichita, but also from around Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas.

“Abortion Desert” We work in what we refer to as an “abortion desert.” If you take a map of the United States and look at medical clinics that provide abortion care, you’ll see a swath, beginning in North Dakota, down through Texas and then east to Georgia where women do not have ready access to reproductive health services. But don’t let the lack of abortion providers in these areas fool you into thinking that women are somehow “better off.” If you look at the health outcomes for women and their families in these regions – the Midwest and the South – you’ll find that there’s an increased rate of teen pregnancy, childhood poverty and maternal and infant mortality compared with the rest


By Julie Burkhart, CEO

South Wind Women’s Center and Trust Women Foundation

of the country. Mississippi takes the number one seat, with the other states in the “desert” right on its heels. To me, it proves that more restrictive laws regarding women’s reproductive health care actually lead to the inverse of what we’re lead to believe in terms of health outcomes for women and their families. Here are more facts that may surprise you. In the United States, approximately 43% of all women have had an abortion. So chances are you know a woman who’s had an abortion. Who are they? They are primarily in their 20s and 30s and most of these women already have at least one child. They are women from all socioeconomic and religious sectors. For example, around 30% of all women who have had an abortion self-describe as Catholic. These are not horrible women; they are mothers, daughters, sisters and friends. These are women who are making the best decision for themselves and their families. All of us at South Wind are so very proud we’ve been able to help these mothers, daughters, sisters and friends in our region.

They called us a “Nuisance” As I said, it wasn’t easy. Before the opening of South Wind, those opposed to our practice tried to stop us in a variety of ways. There were two attempts

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Seamless production of Angels in America beckons second viewing


By Sue Edgerton TOPEKA - On Mar. 22 I had the opportunity to see Angels in America: Part 1 Millennium Approaches at Warehouse 414 in Topeka. On Mar. 23 I went back to Warehouse 414 to see it again. After the first amazing performance it seemed almost necessary to reclaim my seat for one last chance at the magic, knowing that after the Sunday show, the cast would take off their costumes and makeup, the crew would fold up papers and turn off lights, and the opportunity to savor these artists, doing this art, would be gone forever.

Ad Astra Theatre Ensemble opened their fifth season with Tony Kushner’s iconic and Pulitzer Prize-winning play under the direction of Craig Fisher, President and Creative Director for the Topeka-based grassroots theater group. The word “seamless” kept threading its way into my thoughts throughout the entire experience. The small, intimate theater inside the warehouse to rezone the property, numerous complaints were made to the city regarding contractor permits and numerous other nuisance complaints made to local and state agencies. Some of the tactics got very personal. In fact, some of the anti-choice folks even threatened my family and me. But their personal threats didn’t stop us because to us, reproductive health is as personal as it gets. It is a choice that women must make for themselves and we are proud to

appeared to have created the set itself right out of its own furnishings. Scenic designers Chris and John Grandmontagne transported audience members from the eclectic Topeka gallery and into New York City in the 1980’s as easily as opening a door and ushering them to a collection of mismatched chairs. The costumes, designed by Secily Rees Krumins, some simple, some elaborate, seamlessly transformed actors playing multiple roles. Each performer brought their character or characters to life with undeniable passion and skill. This was Topeka’s first production of Angels in America which weaves together the lives of Joe Pitt, Harper Pitt, Prior Walter, Louis Ironson, Roy Cohn, and Hannah Pitt as they struggle with the devastating crisis of AIDS, love, loyalty, and sexual ethics in the pivotal decade politically dominated by Reaganism and social conservatism. Austin Swisher played the ultraconservative and closeted gay Mormon, Joe Pitt. Ashley Vaughn played Joe’s wife Harper, who takes Valium “in wee fistfuls,” and rants neurotically through her own hallucinations. Aaron Senne plays Prior Walter, a flamboyantly gay ex-drag queen who is suffering with AIDS. His seriously ambivalent boyfriend , Louis Ironson, is played by Larry Holland. Walt Boyd fills the role of Roy Cohn . . . and fills it till it bursts. The rest of the cast includes Brian Roster as Belize and Mr. have been able to help and guide them with their choices over the past year. It’s only been one year. But each year is one to celebrate. It means one year of providing top health care for the women in Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas. One year of helping women through life choices that only they can make. It is also one year that shows the concern people across the country have for women’s health care and the commitment to maintaining safe health care for all women – no matter where you live. l

Ad Astra Theatre Ensemble’s production of Angels in America. Photos by Sue Edgerton

Lies, Linda Boyd as Rabbi Isidor Chemelwitz, Hannah Pitt, and Ethel Rosenburg, and Ashley Young as Emily (Prior’s nurse) and The Angel. Gary Foiles played Martin Heller and the ghost of 13th century Prior Walter aka Prior 1. Shawn Hartzell played Roy’s doctor, Henry and 17th century ghost Prior 2. Carol Ries played Sister Ella Chapter and The Woman In The South Bronx. Together they handled the daunting weight and breadth of this piece as if they have been rehearsing together on this very stage for years, instead of weeks. For this production Ad Astra Theatre Ensemble partnered with Positive Connections of Topeka, who offered HIV/ AIDS information and testing at each performance. Prevention Specialist Beth McKay joined Chris Fisher, Aaron Senne, and Shawn Hartzell on the set for a “Talk Back” on Sunday evening before the final performance. They answered questions regarding changes in the medical, political, and cultural climates that have taken place since the 1980’s

and discussed the passion and personal significance each felt in bringing this play alive in this community. Angels was first performed in May 1990 as a workshop production by Center Theatre Group/Mark Taper Forum. What began as a small, intimate ensemble piece and went on to become one of the most widely performed, acclaimed, and influential gay-themed plays in theater history has found its way back to the small intimate stage in Topeka, KS. Ad Astra Theatre Ensemble’s next production will be Hedwig and the Angry Inch, May 15–18 at 7:30pm at Serendipity, 820 N. Kansas Ave. After that, the fifth season will offer 24 Hour Play Festival, Hearts Like Fists, and Evita. For tickets, more information, or volunteer and performing opportunities visit or e-mail adastratheatre@gmail. com. I highly recommend claiming a seat for these performances, perhaps, for several nights in a row. l



KU’s LGBTQ Resource Center presents 5th annual Lavender Graduation L AW R E N C E - L a v e n d e r Graduation is a cultural celebration that recognizes LGBTQ graduating Jayhawks and acknowledges their achievements and contributions to the university. Through such recognition, LGBTQ students may leave the university with a positive last experience of the institution, thereby encouraging them to become involved mentors for current students as well as financially contributing alumni. T h i s y e a r ’s L a v e n d e r Graduation will be held

Thursday, May 15 at 7pm in Alderson Auditorium, in the Kansas Union. To register, visit: The LGBTQ Resource Center and Queers & Allies welcome all graduating students and alumni to participate. Community members, students, faculty, or staff that would like to attend as well can register as a guest in the “degree earned” field. For more information, contact Michael Detmer at the LGBTQ Resource Center at 785.864.4861 or or visit

Fantasy to host DJ Val and DJ Pat Harmon WICHITA – Our Fantasy

Complex will present special guest DJs DJ Val and DJ Pat Harmon from Chicago Friday, May 9. The two will be spinning music starting at 9pm as part of the club’s annual Playboi Party. DJ Val has been behind the DJ decks for over 40 years. She also just released a new track with Georgie Porgie on the Music Plant Group Label titled, Rise Again! The track is available for download on iTunes. The Playboi Party started as a birthday party for in-house managing DJ, DJ Michae K. The party has become an annual event complete with a contest for best bunny costume, and best Hef costume. Fantasy will have drink specials, male go-go dancers and there is no cover for those 21 and up. “It’s not very often that two DJs with amazing experience come to Wichita. Not many clubs in Wichita bring guest DJs from a major U.S. city,” DJ Michael K. said. Fantasy Complex is the largest and oldest gay dance club in Wichita operating since 1981. The club encompasses a full five acres of land and includes two dance floors, a pool, and a large outdoor area on Wichita’s south side. Fantasy is an 18 to enter, 21 to drink establishment.

Bethel updates hiring policy NEWTON - On Mar. 25 Bethel College took a step forward to full equality by amending the Human Rights and Affirmative Action sections of their Faculty Hiring Policy. The update now protects employees from

MAY 2014

unlawful discrimination on the basis of gender, sexual orientation, parental or marital status, gender identity, gender expression, and medical or genetic information. The amendment was passed with a 25-5 vote.

Call for Presentations 2nd Annual TransKans Conference Deadline: May 23

WICHITA - The 2 nd Annual TransKansas Conference will be July 11-13 at College Hill United Methodist Church in Wichita. The planning committee welcomes oral presentations (in workshop format) with themes relevant to transgender and/or gender queer individuals and allies. Potential workshop topics may include, but are not limited to the following: creating safer communities, mental health, health care, personal grooming, dating, safe sex, employment and workplace relations, understanding your rights and the law, coming out, trans* spiritual, trans* family, friends, and allies Interested presenters should submit a proposal by e-mail to the planning committee at by May 23. We will acknowledge receipt of all proposals, and after making a final selection, the committee will notify all applicants of our decision. Include the presenter’s name, topic, mailing address, telephone number, and e-mail address. In at least 200 words, please summarize the content of the presentation. In addition, list three learning objectives. Feel free to attach a resume or vitae. l

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The billboard featuring Adam O’Brien is located on K-177 southbound, just across the Kansas river bridge in Manhattan. Photo courtesy of Kevin Stilley

‘I am Manhattan’ billboard brings visibility to transgender community By Jakki Forester MANHATTAN - While driving down the road, drivers might see billboards for insurance agencies, lawyers or the occasional one about religion. But a billboard of transman Adam O’Brien, senior in fine arts at Kansas State University, was posted in Manhattan on Mar. 31. Located on Kansas Highway 177 south under Sunflower Pets at 514 Pillsbury Dr., the billboard says, “I am an art student at Kansas State University and an avid tattoo designer. I am an older brother, best friend and a full-on nerd. I am a transgender man. I am Manhattan.” “It is an honor to be on this billboard,” O’Brien said. “It’s also really cool to be the start of something. The faces in the beginning of projects get the most meaning, but they may not always get the most visibility.” Although O’Brien said he was reluctant at first to come out to the entire world on a billboard, he said he wanted to stick with the idea of being out there and educating others about transgender issues. “There is such a small transgender community here,” O’Brien said. “For this being such a small city, if I wouldn’t have done it, there might not have been a billboard.” The image was originally a part of the “I am” project facilitated through The Face

of Trans. Originally created in April 2013, Elle Boatman, founder and executive director of The Face of Trans, said she was elated to hear the Flint Hills Human Rights Project wanted to sponsor a billboard in Manhattan with one of the images from the “I am” project. “When I originally started the ‘I am’ project, I just kind of threw out the idea that, one day, I would like a billboard with one of the images on it,” Boatman said. “I think it’s cool the billboard was able to get up and out there so fast – within one year of the organization beginning.” Mike Herman, chair of the Flint Hills Human Rights Project, said the organization had known about The Face of Trans and had seen images from the “I am” project online. He said the group thought the project was incredible. “We were particularly struck by the ‘I am Manhattan’ image,” Herman said. “One night at a board meeting, we were discussing different initiatives we wanted to pursue. We thought the image was awesome, so we threw around different ideas. One of the most far-fetched ideas was actually the idea for the billboard.” The organization broke down the costs associated with putting up a billboard and decided it was reasonable. Herman said the image would have more of an impact being on a billboard than

just remaining on the Internet. The billboard was posted on Mar. 31, which was also Transgender Day of Visibility. Planned or coincidence, the billboard was put up on a day that helped bring a heightened awareness to the transgender community to Manhattan. O’Brien is currently the only person represented in the “I am” project from Manhattan. “I think there is nothing wrong with not putting yourself out there,” O’Brien said. “I think it’s fine to not be a part of something like this – something this radical. It’s okay to stay under the radar. But I feel guilt associated with being stealth. With my past and my experiences, I know there are other people out there just starting their transitions who are going through that same struggle I went through.” O’Brien said there needs to be transgender people who are highly visible to show

people just beginning their transitions that there are others who have gone through similar experiences. Overall, Herman, O’Brien and Boatman all said the reactions they have received about the billboard have been overwhelmingly positive. O’Brien said he had held his breath for some time because he was worried about the reactions he would receive both positively and negatively. But, he said he has only received positive remarks about it. Herman said it has been important to continue to educate the Manhattan community about all issues affecting the LGBT community, including the transgender community. “The billboard is in a great location for maximum visibility without it being shoved in people’s faces,” O’Brien said. “I’m excited to see where the project goes in the future.” l



MAY 2014

Music Theatre of Wichita is





JUN 9-13



AUG 6-10

Tickets and Gift Certificates On Sale Now! Call 316.265.3107 or visit

MAY 2014


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MAY 2014

Liberty Press to host first ever LGBT float in Wichita River Festival Parade

By Ciara Reid, staff reporter WICHITA - At this year’s River Festival Sundown parade, spectators will see something they have never seen before: an LGBT float. If the news doesn’t get to you before the parade, chances are you still won’t miss it. “Our entry doesn’t exactly scream ‘GAY’ but the rainbows and the drag queens are going to be hard to miss,” says Liberty Press editor Kristi Parker. It was Parker ’s restless persistence that finally got the parade organizers to give the official go-ahead to include an LGBT float in the parade. The organizers should have no fear; Parker is confident everyone will be pleased with the float – mostly everyone. “I’m expecting some sort of backlash, but hopefully everything will go really smoothly,” she says. Parker’s push to get an LGBT float in the Sundown parade

started in the mid-1990s, when she and her ex were in charge of Wichita’s Pride organization. As leaders of Pride, they felt they needed to represent the LGBT community to the larger Wichita community. They entered the KWCH Channel 12 Christmas Parade in 1996 and 1997. In 1998, they decided to try to enter the Wichita River Festival Sundown parade. They were immediately denied for, as Parker recalls, being too political. She has been bothered by the denial ever since. Then, in 2013, Parker caught a break. A friend was hired as the vice president for program d e v e l o p m e n t f o r Wi c h i t a Festivals, Inc. Parker would frequently remind her of the LGBT parade entry denial. One of those reminders must have clicked, because Parker soon received an invitation to enter the Sundown parade for

Information: Wichita River Festival May 30-June 7 Sundown Parade: May 30, 6:30-8pm Admission to all Riverfest events is free with a Riverfest button. Adult buttons are $5 Children’s buttons (available while supplies last for kids ages 6-12) are $3 Riverfest buttons will be available at major button retailers (Dillons, QuikTrip, AAA) beginning May 9 For more information, visit:

Liberty Press’ 20th anniversary. “I couldn’t say no!” says Parker. “I also didn’t want to miss the opportunity, on behalf of Wichita’s LGBT community, to represent our community for the first time in the parade.” While the idea of building a float was overwhelming at first, people offered their help and support immediately. Consumer ’s Pharmacy and

another sponsor have stepped up to help fund the float. James Outhet (better known as Jamie Ray Downes) is leading the design and overseeing the construction of the float, which will take shape as a giant rainbow-colored birthday cake with a queen emerging from the top, in honor of the magazine’s 20th anniversary. l

Liberty 5.14.qxp_Layout 1 4/23/14 8:36 PM Page 1 LIBERTY PRESS - CELEBRATING 20 YEARS 1994-2014; WE WERE GAY BEFORE IT WAS COOL.

MAY 2014

By Ben Rivers God and the Gay Christian by Matthew Vines (Convergent Books, $22.99) Release date: May 6


ou may have heard of Matthew Vines’ YouTube video lecture (which was filmed at College Hill United Methodist) on Christianity and marriage equality. Maybe you saw his interview in The New York Times, or his most recent discussion with Jonathan Merritt and Albert Mohler on Religion News Service. Vines is at the forefront of the fight for marriage equality, and calls Wichita home. His vigilant focus is on the theologically conservative Christian community, and in his upcoming release God and the Gay Christian he takes on the six “clobber” passages of the Bible used to condemn the LGBT community. It is clear in the first sentence

that Christianity is a vital part of Vines life, and he makes it abundantly clear that he is a theologically conservative Christian. This is what makes God and the Gay Christian so interesting. Instead of trying to make a theologically liberal vs. conservative argument, his is a conservative vs. conservative debate. It is not a book that asks its readers to ignore the Bible, but to embrace it. The research that went into making this book is meticulous and thorough. Vines has studied both sides of the debate, and has compiled a convincing case for committed monogamous samesex relationships. Each of the passages that we have heard used against the LGBT community (Sodom and Gomorrah, Leviticus, etc.) has been looked at from a new angle. He also brings in historical and cultural views of homosexuality, which nicely frame the debate. This could be a dry and academic read, but thankfully Vines links this research to his journey from self-hatred to self-acceptance. This real life journey adds the important human element that is needed to bring this story to life. It is because he shows that people can be both LGBT and devoutly Christian that we have a fighting chance with the fundamentalists. While I have different theological views than Vines, I am thankful for the voracity with which he tackles this issue. His is a strong voice for the choir of marriage equality. I expect we will hear much more about him as he continues to challenge the old watch of the conservative Christian movement. l

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RUMMAGE SALE June 6th-7th 7 am-6 pm


PARK CITY KANSAS If you have items you would like to donate please contact the church office at: 316.267.1852

Proceeds to benefit: First Metropolitan Community Church

Congratulations to Pastor Jackie and Claudia on their 14 week sabbatical beginning the end of May... We look forward to seeing you upon your return in the fall! Join Us in Worship... ALL are Welcome! Join Us in Worship... ALL are Welcome!


Experience the Revolution with Us on Sundays Experience the Revolution with Us on Sundays ™

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Rev. Jackie Carter, M.Div.

156 S. Kansas • Wichita, KS 67211 • (316) 267-1852 or Office Hours: M-F 9-12 And by Appointment




ear Mama, What do you think about the situation in Russia and Ukraine? Not signed I think that the United States needs to stay the hell out of it. Our country is like a busybody old woman always getting into everyone else’s affairs. Mind your own damn business, Mrs. Kravitz. Mama, Where is the Malaysian airplane that disappeared? Suspicious I would check Jabara airport. That is where the Dreamliner landed on accident. Otherwise I have no idea. I am not an air traffic controller; hell, I can’t even control my kids. H o w a re y o u p re p a r i n g for tornado season here in Kansas? Funnel Cloud I’m getting all my supplies stocked up in the basement water, candles, batteries, and beer. I have to buy a big sheet to separate the room from Vinton and Naomi’s love shack. Damn, I wish they would move. Mama, Do you go garage or yard sale-

MAY 2014

Flint Hills Pride crowns royalty . . .

ing? Addicted Why the hell would I go to those? I have enough damn junk myself. I certainly do not want a stranger’s crap in my house! I have no use for someone else’s Elvis salt and pepper shakers. I already have a set! Mama, What do you think about all these movies about Jesus and characters in the Bible coming out in theaters? Movie Buff For once the whole family can watch without some sort of adult crap in it. But it’s getting like cable - they are remaking the same stuff we’ve already seen or know because they are running out of ideas. They think that if it stars the Bible they will make lots of money off it. Call me oldfashioned, but I go to church to learn about the Bible not a damn theater! Thank you Wichita, have a safe Memorial Day! Don’t forget the Liberty Press will have a float in this year’s Sundown Parade for the Wichita River Festival and yours truly will be on it! l Have a question for Mama? E-mail or friend Thelma Harper on Facebook.

Winners Sir Valentino Karizma and Brittany Monster Bottoms.

JUNCTION CITY - The King and Queen Pageant for Flint Hills Pride 2014 (FHP) was held Saturday, Mar. 22, 2014 at the Xcalibur Club in Junction City. This annual event was hosted by Flint Hills Pride King ‘06, ‘09, ‘10 and ‘11 Brock Hard, and Flint Hills Pride Queen ‘12,

Lil Kim Chi. There was one contestant for king and three for queen. The king contestant was Sir Valentino Karizma and the queens were Vanity Monster, Brittany Monster Bottoms and Kenalynn Orora Phoenix. Contestants competed in presentation/on-stage Q&A and talent. Voting was by the audience. Winners were Sir Valentino Karizma and Brittany Monster Bottoms. They will emcee Flint Hills Pride 2014, “Combining All Colors,” as well as participating in planning and fundraising for the event. In addition to the King and Queen, FHP 2014 Chairman Kevin Stilley recognized Vanity Monster for her continued service and dedication to the Flint Hills LBGT community. She is always at the front of the line for fundraisers and to help out where needed. Flint Hills Pride 2014 will be June 13-15 at the Farnum Creek area at Milford Lake. Find more information on Facebook. l

. . . and raises money for June event

JUNCTION CITY A rainbow of queens highlighted the Flint Hills Pride Royalty Past and Present Show. Held Saturday, April 12 at the Xcalibur Club in Junction City and produced by Allie Monet, this annual fundraising event was hosted by current-reigning Flint Hills Pride King and Queen Sir Valentino Karizmah and Brittany Monster Bottoms. Miss Monet also Mystie Massengil, Lil Kim Chi, Brianna Jayde, performed along with past Brittany Monster Bottoms, and Allie Monet raise Flint Hills Pride Queens money for FHP 2014. Brianna Jayde (‘09, ‘10), Mystie Massengil (‘11) and Lil Teddy Bears will be presenting Kim Chi (‘12). the Follies on May 17, location The event was well attended TBA. An event will be created and raised $350 for Flint Hills on the Flint Hills Pride Facebook Pride 2014. page. l Next up, the Junction City

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Kansas Queer Youth Network a step forward in a backwards state

By Ciara Reid, staff reporter LAWRENCE - The Kansas Queer Youth Network (KQYN) began in the late summer of 2013. Core members Rachel Gadd-Nelson and James GoodDecosta attended the National Queer Youth Conference in August to learn more about the organization. “It was pretty much love at first sight,” says Rae Fell, another core member and organizer of KQYN. “We worked pretty hard to come up with ideas of what we could do, how we could help, and the more we talked the more excited we became, and the more we realized we could do, so we sent in our official papers and here we are!” Fell, who also helps update

t h e o rg a n i z a t i o n ’s s o c i a l media accounts, says each of the members wears many hats and they help each other out with whatever tasks need to be accomplished. KQYN is an organization associated with the Lawrence Queer Youth Voice group and is a member of the Gay-Straight Alliance (GSA) network in Kansas. As of February 2014, KQYN officially became a member of the National Association of GSA Networks. KQYN provides assistance and support to GSAs and helps build the transgender and queer youth movement in Kansas. O n e o f K Q Y N ’s f i r s t initiatives, says Fell, was to reach out to people across the state of Kansas to “let people

know that even in Kansas they are supported, and that they don’t have to be invisible, that there is a fight, and resources to help them start their own [group].” The organization works statewide, and reaches out to people in rural areas in an effort to broaden the horizons of people who may not be exposed to or understand queer issues. Fell says she gained a different perspective of Kansas once she moved out of state. People would frequently express their apologies after hearing Fell was from the Sunflower State. With KQYN, she wants to broaden the horizons of fellow Kansans. “I want to see this through so we no longer hear, ‘I’m so sorry you are from Kansas’,” Fell says. “We really hope it brings hope and change.” Since KQYN’s inception, the organization has participated in the Lawrence Pride Parade, and collaborated with the Douglas County AIDS Project and the Kansas City Anti Violence Project on a drag show and dance during Valentine’s Day. The schedules of the KQYN members continue to fill up. As the organization gains more attention, Fell says they are adding to the services they offer.

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Alongside Lawrence Queer Youth Voice, they are currently planning for a fundraiser to help fund a trip to the National GSA gathering in August. The fundraiser, which is scheduled for June 27, will be an art show that will feature works from transgender and queer youth. The organization is also planning its celebratory end of the school year dance. “It’s themed so get pumped,” Fell says. For more information about KQYN, drop in at the organization’s headquarters at the Penn House (1035 Pennsylvania, Lawrence). Hours are from 4-8pm every Wednesday or e-mail info@ l

MAY 2014


From the Big Apple to the Little Apple Hedwig delivers

Hedwig Robinson, performed by Evan Tuttle, sits in the audience to explain how she got from Communist-occupied, East Germany in the 1980s to the U.S. Photo by Jakki Forester

REVIEW By Jakki Forester MANHATTAN - Premiering on Broadway in New York City within weeks of it premiering in Manhattan, Hedwig and the Angry Inch brought an excellent mix of narrative-style storytelling and live hair metal to make the show a phenomenal experience for everyone in attendance. For those unfamiliar with Hedwig, it is about Hansel Schmidt, who lives in Communist-occupied East Germany during the Cold War era, until he is pursued by an American sergeant who wants to marry him. Schmidt has to undergo a sex change, which ends up getting botched, leaving a one-inch piece of skin remaining where his penis used to be, nicknamed her angry inch. Schmidt marries the sergeant and becomes Hedwig Robinson, moves stateside, her husband divorces her within a few years of being in the U.S. and she finds herself alone. Robinson begins performing, falls in love with and helps create the mega-

superstar Tommy Gnosis but eventually he leaves her too. The “coming to Jesus” moment of the show happens at the end. Robinson realizes she is tired of pretending she is someone she isn’t. Evan Tuttle, the executive director of the Aggieville Business Association, performed as Robinson, and there couldn’t have been a better actor for the role. Tuttle put everything into this role, which showed on and off the stage. He said he was so invested in the character that he cried at the end of every performance, because he empathized with her and the struggles she faced. This show as a whole was an incredible production. Unlike some musicals, this one had a live band performing each and every song, while Tuttle was the lead singer. The collective years of musical experience on the stage was impressive and it showed. While the space this show was performed in could be considered a bar, the cast utilized space in the audience to incorporate them into the show. The audience was responsive and worked with the performers, laughed at the jokes and applauded after every song. It was nice to see so many people understand the messages delivered. While it addressed a wide array of narratives that might be difficult for some to wrap their heads around, the main theme was coming to terms with one’s sexual orientation, and more importantly, one’s gender identity. People seemed to get it, meaning the show did its job. All in all, the show was amazing, and if people were unable to attend, they truly missed an incredible show. While every show has technical difficulties, this show had very few, which aided in not taking attention away from the characters, musicians and messages the show offered. It was amazing to see a show this progressive be so well received in such a conservative city and state. l

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Little Apple, Big Pride celebrates five years

MANHATTAN - Saturday, April 5 was a very Gay Day in the Little Apple. The 5th Annual Little Apple, Big Pride began at 2pm at the 1st Congregational Church in Manhattan. This event is scheduled to coincide with K-State’s Open House for maximum exposure, and to allow parents of LBGT students and their allies to participate. Approximately 200 people left the church parking lot with the church bells chiming We Shall Overcome. They marched up Poyntz Avenue and 11th Street, then proceeded thru Aggieville on Moro Street to Triangle Park, situated between Aggieville and the K-State campus. Another 50 people were already in the park. Area organizations had tables set up and were handing out brochures about their missions and upcoming projects. In addition, the student organization LBGT and Allies ran a silent auction. Several area drag performers and live singers entertained, and DJ Omar kept the crowd hopping throughout the afternoon. Following keynote speaker Stephanie Mott of KSTEP (Kansas Statewide Tr an s g en d er Ed u catio n Project), representatives of other organizations touted their groups. The Flint Hills Human Rights Project (FHHRP) was on hand to take photos for the “Face of Manhattan” project. A billboard with one of the images from Elle Boatman’s “Face of Trans” project went up on Mar. 31. A poster-sized

reproduction of the billboard was on hand for interested individuals to have their photo taken and a few words posted with it to Facebook and Twitter. Following the Pride celebration, the 9th annual Flint Hills Pride Prom was held at the Union Pacific Depot south of downtown Manhattan. Over 40 high school students from Manhattan and Junction City attended with nearly 30 community members. The Manhattan High School GSA planned the event with the help of sponsors Tracey Weston and Sarah Rempel. Kevin Stilley of the Junction City Teddy Bears (JCTB) provided the food, and helped organize the event. Donations were made by Flint Hills PFLAG, FHHRP, JCTB, and community members through ticket sales. Many bought tickets even though they were unable to attend, just to help out. Again, DJ Omar GonzalezSepulveda provided the music for the evening. Ty Hurrdown emceed and provided entertainment. Set up and clean up were provided by the GSA students, with a huge help from the family of Mary Romig. This event was started in 2007 by Mary Ray and Jo Foy to provide a prom experience for LBGT youth; a place where they could attend dressed as they chose, and with the date of their choice. Follow Flint Hills Pride or the Junction City Teddy Bears on Facebook to keep up with next year’s Pride Prom. l

President Ron Martel and Secretary/Treasurer Kevin Stilley of the Junction City Teddy Bears, ready to lead the Little Apple, Big Pride Parade.



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A Salute to Aviation with

JOAN JETT & THE BLACKHEARTS! Coleman Country Concert starring


Wet & Wild Dance Party with

GRANDMASTER FLASH! Closing Day Spectacular and Spirit AeroSystems Rockin' on the River concert with MARKY RAMONE'S BLITZKRIEG! Blues Powerhouse


Sundown Parade Koch Industries Twilight Pops featuring the Wichita Symphony Orchestra and Music Theatre of Wichita Capitol Federal Fireworks

Scan this QR code to go directly to Wichita Riverfest PointsMap!

Power Pop Band




Claiming My Religious Right


n the days of my youth, I knew little of the meanings of terms such as the religious right and the liberal left. I was taught to believe in a loving God, and that, I have begun to understand, is the greatest fortune of my birth. I was raised by parents who believed in a loving God. The religious right that is the subject of this column is not the religious right that comes to mind as these words are used to classify a particular brand of faith. The religious right I speak of is my right to believe in a loving God. It is a right that was stolen from me. It is a right

on God’s unconditional love? You have to be straight. You can’t be transgender. You have to be Christian. You have to believe. No! Not! None of these things! You just have to be. All that is required to receive God’s love is to be. And if God loves you as you are, so should I. During the first 30 years of my adult life, I came to believe in a God with whom I found no favor because I was transgender. “Just don’t be that way.” This is the message of a dark religiousness, as though that idea never occurred to me. There is the reality of the tens

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religious side and the female side. The religious side and the non-Christian side. Somehow, we lose sight of the fact that the only people who are benefiting from this “truly religious equals socially conservative” mindset are the people who have a lot of money and power. In the meantime, LGBT youth continue to be cast from their homes by parents who do so in the name of religion. Nearly half of all transgender teenagers attempt suicide. And then, many people who consider themselves to be religious have

I have claimed once again. It is not the right to force my religious beliefs on another. Nor is it a requirement for anyone to embrace the spiritual nature of “The religious right I speak of is my right to the universe. In truth, it seems strange to me believe in a loving God. ... It is not the right to that the Creator of the universe would be so vain force my religious beliefs on another.” as to require that someone must believe before they are worthy of unconditional of thousands of prayers I sent to the audacity to claim that they love. Not to put too fine a point God, asking to be fixed. Begging are the victims of bullying. That on it, but adding the requirement to be made right. Praying to be their rights are being trampled. of believing in God in order to made whole. The result of all this delusion qualify for unconditional love If God created any of us, is that more and more people are kind of negates the unconditional then God created me too. If turning away from religion. But part. God created me as a transgender here is the deal. I don’t want to It is my right to believe in human being, who is anyone to turn away from religion. I have unconditional love. Why is it that tell me that God didn’t do that? just as much right to religion we are so eager to put conditions This is the question of dark as those who see me as a lesser religiousness, “Do you think that human being. God made a mistake?” This is Here is the other deal. No my response. “No, I don’t. Do person gets to tell me that I you?” can’t have religion because I There is this idea that in don’t fit into their delusion. order to be religious, you have Not anymore. Not today. I am to be socially conservative. claiming my religious right. There are various applications And there isn’t anything anyone of this man-made reality. The can say that could possibly religious side and the LGBT convince me that God has a side. The religious side and the problem with that. l poor side. The religious side and the immigrant side. Stephanie Mott is a transgender woman We like to pretend it isn’t so, from Topeka. She is the executive of the Kansas Statewide but these realities also connect director Transgender Education Project, and to the religious side and the a commissioner on the City of Topeka non-white side. The religious Human Relations Commission. Reach side and the disabled side. The her at

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MAY 2014


Bethel student addresses gender in photography show

By Elle Boatman NEWTON - From selfies to candid shots to posed portraits, we are all familiar with how we look in photos. Some of us avoid having our pictures taken at all costs; others can’t wait to post another duck-faced selfie to the internet for the entire world to see. But what if someone showed you a photo and you didn’t even recognize the person in the picture – even though that person was you? One college student has done just that. As an art, communications, and graphic design triple major at Bethel College, Audra Miller wants us to pause for a second and

consider the labels we attach to gender and the power which those labels possess. Miller began the project with the intention of photographing androgynous people, but soon realized the subject matter applied to all people. Soon she had makeup artists and hairstylists, all volunteer, transforming the gender presentation of 28 participants. “This is what gender looks like,” Miller says. “In our society we act as if [men and women] are direct opposites. People aren’t comfortable with men and women not being total opposites. What’s problematic is that every person has both masculine and feminine qualities. People

should not feel obligated to define themselves by one category or the other.” Miller points out that the show isn’t about LGBT issues, but rather about how we perceive gender in modern society and how that perception affects our judgments and treatment of others. When asked why she chose to focus on gender and why through photography Miller replied that the topic had always interested her. She chose photos because

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“photos have a power to them.” And whether you’re terrified of the camera, a total snapshot diva, or somewhere in between everyone can agree on one thing – photographs have power. Miller says it’s not intended as an aggressive message. Rather, her intention is to simply draw attention to routine behavior. Miller’s show was on display at the Fine Arts Center at Bethel College in Newton from April 21-26. Watch the Liberty Press for information on future shows. l



Planet Hair presents new event: EarthQuake! By Christy Lyons-Bohrer

W I C H I TA O n S u n d a y, May 4, plan to be at Wichita’s Fisch Haus, located at 524 S. Commerce, for a night that will “rock the earth, make changes and raise money.” The event will be held from 6-9pm and admission is $20. Seating is limited and advance tickets can be purchased at Planet Hair, 504 E. Douglas. The evening will include a silent auction of work by local artists, refreshments, a cash bar and a fashion show of clothing and wigs made only from recycled material. The fashion show will also include a presentation of the local Project Run Away, Wichita State University’s College of Fine Arts student-made recycled material clothes. Local earth and wellness

vendors, including Bluestem Acupuncture Clinic of Kansas, L l o y d ’s N a t u r a l H o n e y, Earthwise Pet Supply, Wichita Rain Barrels, and Aveda will be on hand with information and demonstrations. Also, included in the ticket price, local restaurants including Tanya's Soup Kitchen, Picasso's Pizza, Cow and Sow Deli, and Rain Café and Lounge will be providing refreshments. Joining with the Aveda Network’s Earth Month efforts, Planet Hair has planned a fun, earth-friendly night with all proceeds contributing to the global Aveda Network’s goal to raise $6 million in 2014 for clean water projects through the Global Greengrants Fund, a non-profit organization that channels high-impact grants to grassroots groups working to solve pressing environmental issues. Celebrating its 15 th year, the Aveda Networks in over 30 countries have raised $32 million for environmental problem resolution. l

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The Indigo Girls kick-off Pride Month in Salina SALINA - On their 14th studio album, Grammy-winning folk-rock duo Indigo Girls deliver a beautifully crafted batch of songs that revel in spirited simplicity. Alternating richly textured storytelling with moody ruminations on modern-world worries, Beauty Queen Sister reveals a fierce longing for a more idyllic existence while still celebrating the extraordinary in everyday living. Beauty Queen Sister is the fourth Indigo Girls album released on IG Recordings, the independent label that Amy Ray and Emily Saliers launched after putting out nine albums on Epic Records and one on Hollywood Records. While the loss of major-label spending power might cripple less accomplished artists, both Ray and Saliers find that their tightened budget actually feeds the album-making process. “Nowadays we need to record much more quickly, so there’s not time to belabor every little decision like we did in our earlier years,” says Ray. “We just put our heads down and throw all our emotion into it and it’s magical—the heart rules our performance more than the head.” Decades into their career, the Indigo Girls still amaze conventional pundits with their ability to grow and thrive no matter what the state of the music industry at any given point. Saliers and Ray began performing together in high school, transferred their honest, urgent performing style onto the stages of countless small clubs, then saw their public profile take off with the 1989 release of their self-titled breakthrough (an album that went on to win Best Contemporary Folk Recording at the 1990 Grammys). Rolling Stone describes them as the “ideal duet partners. Their voices soar and swoop as one, alternately raucous and soothing. When they sing together, they radiate a sense of shared purpose that adds muscle to their lanky, deeply felt folk-tinged pop songs.” Together they write, arrange, record and perform. The duo’s body of work contains contemporary classic songs such as Galileo, Shame on You, Closer To Fine, Kid Fears, Get out the Map, and Least Complicated. The Indigo Girls will take the stage at the beautiful Stiefel Theatre in Salina Sunday, June 1 at 8pm. Tickets start at $34, however a special has been approved for Liberty Press readers only. Buy one ticket get the second half price by calling the Stiefel at 785-827-1998 and mentioning the code “LPRESS” or go to and enter the code LPRESS. l Photo by Jeremy Cowart

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Details By Bob Minor

The Right Wing's Last Ditch Strategy


e’ve come to the place where the radical rightwing intelligencia know that the old arguments against LGBT people won’t work. And so they’re at the end of their rope. The psychological debate was settled a half of a century ago. True professionals in the psychological and counseling communities, as a result, embrace the professionally ethical requirement to affirm LGBT people as equal to anyone else. And, finally, that is catching on popularly to debunk the whole lucrative brain-wash-thegay-away industry. Meanwhile, many people are tired of the constant drumbeat of picking on LGBT people, and the polls are swinging against discrimination on all the issues. It’s a shrinking but loud minority that continues to push anti-gay propaganda. And the old religious arguments using the Bible, tradition, and whatever other religious excuses have been recited to support discrimination, have been thoroughly answered for decades by scholars and clergy of numerous denominations. Even within many right-wing churches, younger generations are just over it. The religious right wing and the religious leaders who’ve made a killing off of being antiLGBT are losing their privileged positions as the broader culture increasingly considers their view as merely one of the regressive religious options that exist along with more progressive religious and non-religious choices. They know they’ve failed to keep marginalizing LGBT people, which is a testimony to their waning strength. They feel their growing weakness. The religious right wing still,

however, also fantasizes that they represent some kind of American State Church, and thus they continue to dismiss claims for the separation of religious institutions and the government as if being their brand of sectarian Christian was the founders’ intention. With all of this happening, what’s left for these skittish

persecuted by some vicious, terrorizing boogey man called “the Left.” “I think you’ve had a rise in hostility towards religion, and towards religious people in the public square,” advised Brian Walsh, executive director of the American Religious Freedom Program, which helps write religious freedom bills, for example. “It’s become increasingly acceptable to be negative towards religious people. It’s okay now to speak in a very negative way, especially if you can label them as haters.” These sectarian Christians have shown no such outrage over their own vicious characterizations of LGBT people, or the fact that they’ve resulted in loss, torture, and death. But now, oh yes, they’re outraged over their freedom to bake wedding cakes for or take wedding photographs of

“These sectarian Christians have shown no such outrage over their own vicious characterizations of LGBT people ... But now, oh yes, they're outraged over their freedom to bake wedding cakes ..."” people who fear they’re on the verge of finally losing the culture war they started? Even more, how are economic and fiscal political conservatives going to distract the usual gullible rightwing religious masses they’ve counted upon for votes from noticing that the real strategy is wealth distribution from those very masses to the uber-rich? How can Republican politicians keep the rank-andfile religious right-wing in their camp, voting against their own economic interests because they’re distracted by the claim that they are the real victims in the culture wars? And how can the religious right-wing’s own leaders keep their followers in a state of agitation and apocalyptic fear so the faithful will continue to cling to them and contribute to their personal fortunes? The answer now being repeated almost verbatim at all governmental levels is to reaffirm that the right-wing is being victimized. Their religious beliefs are threatened by people who don’t agree with their bigotry. They are being

whomever they choose. This victim strategy comes down from national right-wing think-tanks. So we shouldn’t be surprised if the bills submitted by various right-wing state legislators around the country look the same. We shouldn’t be surprised when people actually read talking-points they’ve gotten from the right-wing’s websites and e-mails. The most publicized version was that Arizona bill allowing businesses to deny service to LGBT customers on the grounds of religious freedom. Kansas, Georgia, South Dakota, Utah, Tennessee, Idaho, and Mississippi soon followed. Other states such as Oklahoma, Ohio, Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Missouri had similar bills introduced. Religious organizations in Oregon, including the Oregon Family Council, began attempts to get the “Protect Religious Freedoms Initiative” on the state ballot in November. Expect more to follow. These attempts are likely to fail constitutional tests by five

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to four decisions in the Supreme Court. They’re even more likely to fail the business test, as was the case with the Arizona bill. Corporate America doesn’t want to alienate customers and fears driving away young talent. Profit-making, therefore, is most likely to be the greatest deterrent preventing the religious rightwing from legally rolling back LGBT rights movements’ progress. Another thoroughly Capitalist response is the boycotting of businesses that discriminate. Just as right-wingers feel that they have the right to deny service, so do customers have the right to stay away, write negative reviews, and warn their friends. Even though these copycat laws are likely to be little more than flashes in the pan, even though they are offensive, they’re most meant to stir up the religious right-wing base to support Republican candidates. They also give right-wing business owners a chance to feel oh so righteous and as if they have fired their own cannon in the culture wars. What we’re more likely to experience is that this strategy of claiming that anyone who speaks for equal rights is discriminating against regressive right-wing religious beliefs will be what we expect to be the goto argument. We’ll hear it over and over. We can counter it with claims that it’s the same argument used into the 20th century to deny the rights of people of color. We can counter by calling religious bigotry what it is, sectarian religious bigotry. We can continue to tell personal stories that contradict the desire for discrimination. And we can stand our own ground – telling people that their desire to discriminate also discriminates against all those progressive religious institutions and denominations that believe it is their sacred duty to affirm, accept, and celebrate LGBT people, which means celebrating their loves and marriages. l Robert N. Minor, Ph.D., Professor Emeritus of Religious Studies at the University of Kansas, is author of When Religion Is an Addiction; Scared Straight; and Gay & Healthy in a Sick Society. Contact him at www.



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From the iconic Joan Miró mosaic to Louise Nevelson’s eyelashes, the Ulrich Museum of Art celebrates the people, stories, and art of objects that have helped shape its forty-year history.

Forty Years/Forty Stories is generously supported by Mickey Armstrong; Joan Beren; Dr. Sam and Jacque Kouri; Richard D. Smith and Sondra M. Langel; and the Fidelity Foundation. Additional supporters include Louise Beren; Norma Greever; Sonia Greteman and Chris Brunner; Eleanor and George Lucas; Jane C. McHugh; Dee and Mike Michaelis; Lee and Ron Starkel; Wichita State University; and the City of Wichita.



Leather Life

MAY 2014


By Nolin Christensen aka Master C



ne of the essential parts of the leather community is the individuals who care for our leathers. These folks are known as Bootblacks. They care for our boots and they care for our leathers. We would not be a full leather community without them. Bootblacks have a long history. A shoe shiner or boot polisher is an occupation in which a person polishes shoes with shoe polish. It is the practice of caring for boots, shoes and other leather apparel. They are often known as shoeshine boys because the job is traditionally that of a male child. Other synonyms are bootblack, shoeblack, and bootshiner. Bootblacking has been around for as long as there have been shoes. The original term bootblack or shoeblack originated in the 1800’s and were so called because dress shoes were almost always black and had a shine to them. Bootblacking goes beyond the concept of leather care. While the techniques of a shine represent a significant part of what it means to be a bootblack, there are much deeper aspects to the individual bootblack and to the Bootblack Community. Part of what makes a community is the communication of the history and traditions of that community. Bootblacks are commonly found in leather and leatherfriendly bars, providing their services to the bars patrons. Bootblack contests are held regularly, offering bootblacks the opportunity not only to demonstrate their proficiency as a bootblack, but also to represent their identity in the Leather Community. For a basic education, there are two types of leathers, oilbased and polish-based (different tanning processes produce the two different results). Polishbased leathers have a shine to them, sometimes what we call a “high” shine. Oil-based leathers have an oily feel to them and don’t have a high shine. To achieve a really good high


shine, saliva or spit works the best - thus the term “spit shine.” A spit shine is the ultimate of the high shines. It is the preferred shine in the military. Therefore when a bootblack licks the boots, they are applying the spit to allow for that high shine to occur. The sexual aspect of bootblacking is hard to describe. I remember the first time someone else shined my boots at a bootblack contest. I couldn’t get out of the chair after he was done because I was so turned on. Having a man lick my boots is still a major turn-on for me. The oil shine also can be very sexual. The bootblack uses various body parts to apply the oil to the boot or shoe. Other sexual aspects can be something we call boot worship. It is where someone licks the boots in a worship manner while the boots are worn by someone. For those of us who have a great respect (and collection) of boots, boot worship can be a type of foreplay or after play of a sexual shine. Some boot shines can be so much of a turn-on for the boot wearer, the boot worshipper or the people watching that it has been known for individuals to climax without being touched. So what does it take to be a bootblack? Well, one big criteria is do you have a love for boots, shoes or leather clothes in general? Do you have a collection of various boots, shoes and leather clothes? Does a really cool pair of boots or shoes get your attention? Do you want to caress or touch the boot? Is the boot so hot that it makes you want to get on your hands and knees and kiss it? Do you find it slightly arousing when you caress a really great pair of boots or shoes? Do you like the smell and feel of leather? Do you continued on page 28



WSU to host Suicide Prevention walk Saturday, May 10, 2014 - Registration begins at 9:00am Wichita State University - Plaza of Heroines For more information (316)393-2414

Facebook - Sedgwick County AFSP Campus Walk

By Brian Hansen

WICHITA - In the next 13.7 minutes, the third leading cause of death among youth in the United States will claim another life. Each year these more than 38,000 lives will be lost due to an undiagnosed or untreated medical condition as the primary reason. Suicide is a national health problem, most commonly caused by depression, and those who have been directly impacted by self-harm based loss know the devastating impact such death can make on loved ones and an entire community. Suicide directly impacts the LGBTQ population, with LGBTQ individuals being three times more likely to attempt suicide. For youth, this number is greater due to bullying and harassment at school. The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) has been working for years as the leading national not-forprofit organization dedicated to understanding, researching, and preventing suicide. In the past 14 years, over $10 million has been invested by the AFSP in research for treatments of suicidal or depressed people. On May 10, the Sedgwick County group (part of the Greater Kansas City Chapter of AFSP) will continue fundraising for such research and more

during their 2014 Out of the Darkness Campus Walk. Bailey Blair, co-sponsor of the event, shares, “Raising awareness often isn’t enough, however for the prevention of suicide, especially at the post-secondary level, it is truly about awareness.” Blair’s experience as a teacher has given her the unfortunate encounter of suicide among students. From this, she was encouraged to find out how to get involved. “[Suicide prevention] is about letting people know it is okay not to be okay, and that there are people who will listen. It is about letting people know that whatever they are going through, they are not alone. There is no shame in seeking help, reaching out, speaking out, and receiving the support,” says Blair. The walk will take place May 10 at 11am; registration begins at 9am. The route will begin at the Plaza of Heroines on the WSU campus, where there will be AFSP merchandise for sale and silent auction raffle items; all profits going directly to AFSP. Supporters are encouraged to register and raise funds for the walk, as there is no registration fee. For more information or to register online visit w w w. f a c e b o o k . c o m / SedwickCountyAFSP. l

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UU Fellowship of Topeka announces support for same-sex marriage

TOPEKA - The Governing Board and Congregation of the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Topeka (UUFT) announced it voted to adopt a Statement of Principle supporting marriage equality in Kansas. The Congregation and Board also voted to support, in principle, the legal challenges of same-sex couples against the Kansas Department of Revenue. The Statement of Principle was adopted by the Congregation and Board on Mar. 23. The principle states: The congregation of the Unitarian Universalist F e l l o w s h i p o f To p e k a supports the equal and fair treatment of individuals within the LGBTQ community. Â To that end, we support the rights of same-sex couples to marry in the State of Kansas and enjoy all the rights under the law afforded to opposite sex couples. The Board also noted its support of recent litigation filed on behalf of samesex couples seeking legal recognition of their outof-state marriages by

Kansas. Nelson, et al., v. Kansas Department of Revenue (Case No. 13-C1465) was filed in Shawnee County District Court on Dec. 30, 2013. UUFT joins the UU Fellowship in Manhattan in public support of marriage equality in Kansas.

UUFT has a history of promoting inclusiveness in Topeka. In 1977, Topeka Unitarian Universalists cosponsored a presentation by openly gay Minnesota State Senator Alan Spears. The presentation was an alternative to anti-gay activist Anita Bryant

who came to Topeka to advocate the denial of equal rights. In 2013, UUFT testified in support of a non-discrimination ordinance considered and passed by the Topeka City Council. UUFT was proclaimed a continued on page 28


LIBERTY PRESS - CELEBRATING 20 YEARS 1994-2014; WE WERE GAY BEFORE IT WAS COOL. Wichita Pride, info@wichitapride. org,, annual celebration held in September.

Student groups Derby High School GSA, kljacobs@, tkellenbarger@usd260. com Free State High School GSA, Lawrence, (785) 832-6050,, welcomes all queer, questioning and straight ally youth to talk about issues. Meets Wednesdays.

Community Centers The Center, 800 N. Market, Wichita Kansas State University LGBT Resource Center, 207 A/B Holton Hall, Manhattan, (785) 532-5299, www.kstate-edu/lgbt Open Roads LGBT Community Center, Hays, (785) 259-6526,, www.

Health Douglas County AIDS Project, 346 Maine, Suite 160, Lawrence, (785) 8430040, www.douglascountyaidsproject. org HIV/AIDS Client Emergency Fund administrered by the Junction City Teddy Bears, c/o Kevin Stilley, 2 Oak Valley Dr., Manhattan, (785) 556-8188,, for people in the Manhattan/Junction City area Hunter Health Clinic, 2318 E. Central, Wichita, (316) 262-3611, FREE HIV confidential or anonymous testing with Spanish and Vietnamese interpreters. KU Internal Medicine-Midtown, KU School of Medicine, 1001 N. Minneapolis, Wichita, (316) 293-1840, (877) 472-8227 toll-free, (316) 293-2652 HIV Program LGBT Health Coalition of Sedgwick County, Wichita, (316) 285-0007, www. Positive Connections, 1001 SW Garfield Ave, third floor, Topeka, (785) 232-3100, Positive Directions, 414 S. Commerce, Wichita, (316) 263-2214, (316) 2635214, Sedgwick County Health Dept., 2716 W. Central, Wichita, (316) 660-7300, The Sweet Emergency Fund, KUSM-W MPA, 1010 N. Kansas, Wichita, (316) 293-3405

Politics/Activism Kansas Equality Coalition, www., chapters across the state. Kansas Statewide Transgender Education Project, (785) 215-7436,,, provides transgender education and resources. Peace and Social Justice Center of South Central Kansas, 1407 N. Topeka, Wichita, (316) 263-5886, director@, www.wichitapeace. org

KU Queers & Allies, University of Kansas, Lawrence, (785) 864-3091,, Lawrence High School GSA, (785) 330-2391,, welcomes all LGBT, questioning and straight youth to talk about issues. Meets almost every Friday at 3:05pm in the LHS library. Manhattan High School GSA, mhs_ Pitt State GSA, Pittsburg State University, pittstategaystraightalliance@ That Gay Group!, Wichita State U n i v e r s i t y, ( 3 1 6 ) 9 7 8 - 7 0 1 0 ,, www.

First Metropolitan Community Church of Kansas, 156 S. Kansas, Wichita, (316) 267-1852,,, Sunday services at 10:15am. First Unitarian Universalist Church of Wichita, 7202 E. 21st St., (316) 6843481,, www. Kalpa Bhadra Kadampa Buddhist Center, 721 W. 13th St., Wichita, (316) 263-1533,, Lutheran Campus Ministry, 1421 W. 19th, Lawrence, Metropolitan Community Church of Topeka, 4425 SW 19th, (785) 2721442,, www., services Sundays at 10am. Pine Valley Christian Church, 5620 E. 21st St., Wichita, (316) 685-2421,, www. Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Manhattan, 481 Zeandale Road, (785) 537-2349,, services Sundays at 10:45am. Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Topeka, 4775 SW 21st St., (785) 2729233,, services Sundays at 10:30am.



Freethinking Parents Group, Are you raising kids without religion? You're not alone. Freethinking Parents meet 2-4pm, third Sundays at Botanica, Wichita. Info: groups/586131888148529/

Central Plains Area Agency on Aging, 2622 W. Central Suite 500, Wichita, (316) 660-5120,, CPAAA is available to assist seniors, caregivers, and adults with disabilities through life’s transitions and with various levels of support.

Heart of America Men’s Chorus, Wichita, (316) 708-4837, www.hoamc. org Junction City Teddy Bears, c/o Kevin Stilley, 2 Oak Valley Dr., Manhattan, (785) 556-8188, trlrhouseman@webtv. net NetworQ, Lawrence, KansasNetworQ@,, meets at Maceli’s, 1031 New Hampshire Wichita Bears, presidentwichitabears@, Wichita Organization of Leather Fetishes, (316) 201-6242, www. Wichita Prime Timers,, www., social group for mature gay men.

Spiritual A Journey In The Light Ministries, 2231 S. Bluff (St. Christopher ’s Episcopal Chapel), Wichita, Sunday Praise and Worship services at 11am. College Hill United Methodist Church, 2930 E. 1st, Wichita, (316) 683-4643,, Sunday Celebrations at 8:30, 9:40 and 11:00am. First Congregational United Church of Christ, 700 Poyntz Ave., Manhattan, (785) 537-7006, www.uccmanhattan. org, Sunday services at 10:45am; Taize services Thursday at 7pm, An Open and Affirming Congregation.

COMCARE Crisis Intervention Services, 934 N. Water, Wichita, (316) 660-7500 free 24/7, www. Flint Hills PFLAG, Manhattan, (785) 340-2815, meets on the 1st Saturday, 10am-noon, call for location.

MAY 2014 Get Connected, Wichita, (316) 4913778, LGBTQIA youth group for ages 12-21. Meets at The Center, 1602 E. Waterman, every Friday from 7-9pm. Headquarters Counseling Center, Lawrence, (785) 841-2345 free 24/7, HIV+ Men’s Support Group, Wichita, (316) 293-3405, O n e D a y A t A Ti m e , Wi c h it a , Alcoholics Anonymous meetings held Tuesdays and Thursdays at 8pm at First MCC, 156 S. Kansas. PFLAG Hutchinson, PO Box 2488, Hutchinson, (620) 899-2345, PFLAG Lawrence/Topeka, (785) 235-3831,, www., meets 1st Sundays, 2-4pm at MCC of Topeka, 4425 SW 19th. PFLAG Wichita,,, meets 2nd Thursdays, 6:30-8pm at College Hill United Methodist, 2930 E. 1st. Transgender Resource and Awareness Network (TRAN), www.thefaceoftrans. com, provides resources, information, and news regarding transgender issues in Wichita. TransYouth of Kansas, Topeka, tyks@,, providing support for transgender youth and their families. Wichita Area Sexual Assault Center, 355 N. Waco, Suite 100, (316) 2630185 office, (316) 263-3002 crisis line 24/7,, www., free, confidential sexual assault services to all genders and sexual orientations. Medical & legal advocacy, support groups, adult & child crisis counseling, educational programs. Wichita Transgender Coalition,, l

Around Kansas listings are free to non-profit/volunteerbased groups. Send your additions or corrections to Leather continued from page 26

like the feel of leather against your body? If you answered yes to any one of these questions, you might want to explore more about the world of bootblacking. There are many of us in the local leather community who would love to help teach you the finer aspects. Whether it’s just the practical aspect of properly caring for your own boots and leather or whether you want to help take care of others’ boots and leathers, we are here to help teach you and guide you. If you are interested in bootblacking or any other aspect of the leather community, we

have regular monthly meetings on the third Saturday at the Center in Wichita from 6-9pm. Anyone is welcome to attend. l UUFT continued from page 27

“Welcoming Congregation” by the Unitarian Universalist Association’s Office of Bisexual, Gay, Lesbian, and Transgender Concerns. The Welcoming Congregation Program is a completely volunteer program for congregations that see a need to become more inclusive of LGBT persons. For more information, visit l

MAY 2014


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ISO Friendship Charlene Lichtenstein’s ground-breaking astrology book HerScopes: A Guide To Astrology For Lesbians is celebrating its 10th anniversary! The secrets that are revealed about each sign continue to amaze. Makes a great gift.

58-year-old transgender 5’4” 140 lbs on medication looking for same or female for friendship and outings. Wichita/SouthCentral Kansas region. No sex. Contact ISO TV/TS or G/Bi Black M or Str8/BiF 2 pose as partner 2 help get custody of 2 & 1/2yr toddler. If not partner then renter or roommate. -NW area- Quiet neighborhoodHuge backyard! (316) 2491582

Classifieds are available for $5 for the first 15 words. E-mail for other options, and pricing.


et the welcomed warm weather wash all over us this May, but be prepared for a surprising scorcher as vast Jupiter squares sparky Uranus. Pack the sun screen . . . or is it the cooking oil?

ARIES (MAR. 21 - APRIL 20) Any home-based project or festivity will be much bigger, bolder and unwieldy than you expect this May. That is partially because you have such big plans, gay Ram. My advice is to tailor your expectations, time, ability and money. Once you have everything in a manageable size, go for the gusto and party until the cows come home. Or at least until your guests go home. TAURUS (APRIL 21 - MAY 21) You have big ideas, queer Bull. Give some of them room to grow and roam. This May you may get unexpected help from an unexpected source that upends your landscape and creates new paths for your big move. Weigh all advice and be choosy about which one you follow. Use a trusted source. Get out of your comfort zone, but be sure there are guardrails . . . GEMINI (MAY 22 - JUNE 21) Friends stress your budget this May and why not? You are out, about and ready to splurge on every little thing. (No names please!) But all these little things quickly add up to big things soon enough. Then the bills come due. Don’t be feckless and reckless with your dough, pink Twins. Save some for a rainy day. Maybe pack your rubbers “just in case”! CANCER (JUNE 22 - JULY 23) Prepare yourself for the public spotlight this May. You are the center of attention, even if you don’t seek it or want it. The fates bring influential people to your door. So embrace your destiny and prepare your message. You can impress the powers-that-be with your knowledge and abilities. Changes are a foot for you professionally. And the first step is a doozy, gay Crab.

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bridges Honored: Distinguished Visiting Artist Samuel Ramey, Director of Opera Marie Allyn King and Director of the School of Performing Arts, Linda Starkey, accompanied student singers at the Opera Scenes competition during the National Opera Association Convention, Jan. 9-12, in New York City. The WSU team won first place in Division II for its performance of a scene from the musical Susannah. Presented: Professor Deborah Ballard-Reisch, Kansas Health Foundation Distinguished Chair in Strategic Communication at the Elliott School of Communication, presented her paper, “Exploring issues of gender and sexuality in which an M2F transition occurs after the relationship has been established,” at the 2014 Gender & Sexuality in Kansas Conference held Mar. 7 at the Marcus Welcome Center. The paper was co-authored with Christine Aramburu Alegria from the University of Nevada Reno. Anniversary: Rick McClure and Tyler Burgen celebrated their 11th anniversary on March 24, 2014 by traveling to Sidney, Iowa and getting married with their parents also present. If you or someone you know is having an anniversary, received a promotion or award, or a loved one has passed away, we will publish it free in Bridges. E-mail

LEO (JULY 24 - AUG. 23) SAGITTARIUS (NOV. 23 - DEC. 22) Any local effort will take on global Your dance card is filling up and overflowing proportions this May. Your quiet with lots of tantalizing invitations. energies and diligent deeds suddenly Everyone wants you on their A list, gay are the topic of conversation all over Archer. Which ones will you choose? Think town and beyond. That is because, carefully - Anything fun or creative has unbeknownst to you, there are people ready to post your dramatic consequences. Did I say consequences? I meant ideas globally where they take root and grow. Enjoy results. But you have to know what you really want. Do the fame, proud Lion, before the tabloids get a hold of you know what you really want? you. Then uh-oh. CAPRICORN (DEC. 23 - JAN. 20) VIRGO (AUG. 24 - SEPT. 23) Don’t be surprised if your home life takes Mixing friendships with intimate a sudden turn that completely changes relationships is not a great idea, queer certain relationships. Maybe you will join Virgo, especially this May. That is because households. Or maybe not. Maybe you things can very quickly get out of hand, will decide to totally renovate. Or move. get complicated and get messy. Oh dear. So keep Whatever new twists and turns occur now, know that the your hands to yourself while you go about your usual fates do what needs to be done. Start checking the real business. Enjoy pals as pals and lovers as lovers. estate listings for your next big move, pink Cap. Confusing? AQUARIUS (JAN. 21 - FEB. 19) LIBRA (SEPT. 24 - OCT. 23) Know that any careless remark, or Your career suddenly takes off and you offhand compliment or a quiet musing may find yourself spending more and will permeate your office and take control more time around the office. This is of your day-to-day business. This is great if you are a great for your upward mobility, but may place stress calculating Aqueerian who knows how to manipulate in other areas of your life. Be sure that you are able people to do their bidding. But it is also a warning to not to balance business relationships with your personal be too clever or too sure that you can control your message relationships this May. One type of the other may tip now. Think it now. Say it in June. your scales over, proud Libra. PISCES (FEB. 20 - MAR. 20) SCORPIO (OCT. 24 - NOV. 22) There are lots of opportunities to party Cool down and get mellow gay Scorp. hearty and many pals that get you access to You have too much on your plate. All of glittering events for the up and comers. But your list of “to dos” can be put aside for all these fun times will cost much more than a while as you decompress and vacation. you could ever imagine, Guppie. It all seems If time and money are tight, find ways to so delightful, how can you possibly ask about the price? relax closer to home. That could mean taking in a few My advice - Let the good times roll, but watch out for the movies or eating out. Anything that gets you on a slow bouncing check. simmer rather than a full boil will be delicious.

(c) 2014 THE STARRY EYE, LLC., All Rights Reserved. For Entertainment Purposes Only. Lichtenstein’s blog covers everything new age. Her astrology book HerScopes: A Guide to Astrology For Lesbians is the best in tongue-in-cheek astrology. Order now at



MAY 2014

MAY 2014


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MAY 2014

Liberty Press May 2014  

Liberty Press covering LGBT Kansas for 20 years

Liberty Press May 2014  

Liberty Press covering LGBT Kansas for 20 years