er r R. Bau ristophe h C f w eado s n-Chie day G M s Editor-i e u T Stead ertising or - Barb or/Adv it it d d E E y t p n Co eadows Assista day G M s e u T Brown Bauer & - Sarah pher R. graphy Christo to o y h ndley h P p & ra had Hu Photog Design ator - C in d r o o ar C Calend ices nity Serv Commu e d ri ices P rv for the nity Se by and Commu ly e th d al. n ri o P ed m individu ity. The publish tes each ommun ra c b d le LinQ is n e a c ts and embers at accep ation m be unity th Organiz m m o c tion can informa isions a v d n n e a n s rg. o ati article csoky.o Organiz All LinQ ditor@p e r o it Ed d to the submitte r/ nt Edito Assista e th h . it ged w 53-3233 be arran - 859-2 n r a te c n e ts n C eme ride Advertis PCSO P with the All LinQ r o rg length. .o pcsoky tent and n @ o s c d a th ing for bo Advertis e edited s may b n io s is ertiser, m d/or adv All sub uthor an
PCSO of the a and the ly those O. LinQ are sole S Q C P in L e didate. Q or th ssed in y or can ns expre se of Lin cal part o io ti th li in t o p n p o e s y All e an no repre r endors and do SO upport o do not s QbyPC
line: w inQ On
f e lives o prove th im l to a s n work of Centr anizatio munity g r m O o c s e e rvic unity pansiv unity Se nder ex g comm y. e Comm y and ge powerin it m r e o , mmunit y in o The Prid it c sexual m g visibil ng said e ti in c c th a n p a in h by en sues im people ntucky about is tern Ke e public th g n and Eas ti educa rs rs, and f Directo membe Board o d n a e itte e Comm t xecutiv residen P r, PCSO E e u er R. Ba h p to t is n r e Ch e Presid wn, Vic Paul Bro r re u s a oyd, Tre y Jacob B Secretar r, e k o o B a s s mming e a n r Va u, Prog re b A . L Roberto draising eb / I.T. ride Fun atter, W P H , y y d e m A Kenn e Wilkie ia Katherin ial Med c . Lee, So D a n e D r taff Manage cate PCSO S h Advo y, Office le d n u Outreac s p r o ic Chad H mer e Vice, A Y 40504 Charlott te gton, K n e r in C x e e L , id r 0 ite 10 PCSO P nue, Su ller Ave 389 Wa 3 -32 3 859-253 soky.org www.pc ours: .-5 p.m. Office H ay : 1 p.m id r F . Tuesday . - 3 p.m y : 11 a.m a rd y a tu d a S & Mon Sunday d e s lo C
2 LinQ // JANUARY 2017
_M @ LinQ
Photos on cover from 2016 Issues of LinQ Row 1, Left - PrideCats Members at the UK Office of LGBTQ* Resources Welcome Back to School Event, September Issue. Row 1, Middle - Emcees at the Bachelor/ette Auction held at Soundbar, June Issue. Row 1, Right - Headliner, Billy Gillman performs at The Lexington Pride Festival, August Issue. Row 2, Left - Contestants of the Mr. & Miss Lexington Pride Pageant, May Issue. Row 2, Middle - Community Activists Gather for Rally Day at the Capitol, March Issue. Row 2, Right - ‘William Cataldo and his partner Vic Davis, before Vic’s death from AIDS, early 1990s’, photo provided by the Faulkner-Morgan Pagan Babies Archive, August Issue. Row 3, Right - Orlando Vigil held at Triangle Park, photo provided by Matt Goins, July Issue. Row 4, Left - PCSO Members march in the Lexington MLK Parade, February Issue. Row 4, Right - K. Nicole Painting as part of Donna Ison’s, ‘Further Out: A Multimedia Celebration of LGBQTIA Kentucky’, held at the Carnegie Center, October Issue. Row 5, Left - Photo from the ‘Unlearn Fear + Hate’ Community Art Project at the Village Branch of the Lexington Public Library, photo provided by Kurt Gohde & Kremena Todorova, September Issue. Row 5, Middle - SisterSound performs at their Speakeasy FUNdraiser, December Issue. Row 6, Left - Attendees at 2nd Annual Adult Pride Community Prom, November Issue. Row 6, Middle - Bluegrass Black Pride Honors Banquet Awardees, December Issue. Row 6, Right - TransParent Lex Parents at their Group Picnic, July Issue.
IN THIS ISSUE THAT’S WHAT I’M TALKIN’ ABOUT PAGES 4 & 5
2017 JAN VOL 39 / NO. 1
Puppy Love: Helena writes of her love for man’s (and woman’s) best friend throughout the years. Nothing beats the love of a pet!
TransKY ADVOCATE PAGES 8 & 9 Tuesday lays the blame for the outcome of the 2016 presidential and local elections, and it’s not on who or what you think.
EXCERPTS FROM BITTEN BY THE FOO-FOO PAGE 13 Reinette Jones’ final excerpt from her award-winning story, with all of the quirky characters you’ve grown to love in Bitten By The Foo-Foo.
2016: A YEAR IN REVIEW PAGES 14 & 15 The PCSO’s Board of Directors shares a year in review for our local LGBTQ+ community. Although 2016 will long be remembered for two events that might overshadow the good: the Pulse nightclub shooting and the results of the presidential election; there were many good things that happened in our community as well.
A TRIBUTE TO PRESIDENT OBAMA PAGES 16 & 17 As his final days in office come to an end, LinQ pays tribute to President Obama and thanks him for all the good he has done for the LGBTQ+ community.
photo from the 2016 Lexington Pride Festival
JANUARY 2017 // LinQ 3
by Helena Handbasket
sually my first article of the new year would be about the upcoming year and looking forward with an optimistic attitude. Possibly my January article would be about looking back and reflecting on the previous year and all of the crazy things I observed. But this year is different. This year I don’t want to write about any of that. Instead I want to tell a little story about the loves of my life. Ladybird. I was only 3 years old when she came into my life. Dad had been out all night and came home that morning smelling like whiskey
4 LinQ // JUNE 2016 . HUMOR
and regret, knowing there was going to be hell to pay. But as he walked in the house, he reached from behind him and showed me Ladybird for the first time. She was just a puppy (but then again, so was I). She was half Pekinese and half Chihuahua. She was blonde and had that cute little pug nose like a Pekinese but short hair like a Chihuahua. I thought she was amazing. Soon she was my best friend and I loved her so much. And I knew she loved me. She followed me around and we would play together. And during those times when Mommy and Daddy weren’t
getting along, she would sit beside me. Looking back, I remember her licking the tears off of my face. I remember her loving me through Mommy and Daddy’s divorce. I couldn’t explain the connection we had but we were joined at the hearts. She helped me through life until I was 13 years old. The day that she got hit by a car seemed like it was happening to someone else. How could I possibly get through life without her there beside me? Ladybird was my first love. Life took some crazy turns after that but fast forward to the summer before I turned 30. I was sitting in
my living room in my bathrobe and suffering from the pain of losing my best friend, my Mommy, seven months before. Depression isn’t pretty and I sure wasn’t very pretty sitting there in that chair that afternoon. The man in my life was helpless and suffering his own pain of watching me fall apart day after day, week after week, knowing that he couldn’t do anything to help. I had mentioned to a friend that I was thinking of getting a wiener dog. He told me that he knew of a black and white Cocker Spaniel that needed a good home. I actually yelled at him and told him that a Cocker Spaniel was not a wiener dog. But that crazy friend brought him by anyway. Chance was his name. He walked into the living room as I sat there motionless. I watched as he cased the room. Each time he walked past me he stopped, looked me in the eye, sniffed me and then continued his curiosity filled expedition of the living room.
This happened three or four times. Finally, he came by me one more time. But this time he stopped, looked at me — straight into my soul — then he lay down at the base of the chair and placed his head across my feet. I had sworn I would not love anyone or anything that much ever again and I built a wall to protect my heart from any more pain. But Chance slid right under that wall and melted my heart. He was fourteen months old when he came into our lives and he was almost 18 when I held his paw in my hand while I stared at him eye-to-eye as he took his last breath. He was my best friend. Less than one year later, while hosting the Wags for Drags benefit show, it happened. They randomly placed a little fur baby who needed a home into my hands while they spoke about him into the microphone. When they handed him to me, he looked at me. Strange that I keep saying that
but it is true. It has happened each time. The connection is instant and begins with a meeting of the eyes. The windows to the soul. His name is Mitchell. He is half Fox Terrier and half wiener dog. He is right here beside me on my recliner as I write this article. He is my companion. He gives me and his daddy unconditional love every day. He was 8 months old when he chose us as his family. Now he is 6 years old and continues to melt our hearts daily. We couldn’t imagine our lives without him. So, my message this month... love your fur babies. Be kind to them, keep them warm out of the weather, spoil them, open your heart to them, and realize that you are their life. What you get in return will stay with you for a lifetime. Until next month. Love ya’ll.
Send comments or suggestions to HelenahandbasketKY@gmail.com
HUMOR . OCTOBER 2016 // LinQ 5
IMPERIAL COURT OF KENTUCKY NEWS by H.M.I.M. Emperor XXXV of the Imperial Court of Kentucky, Russell Drake
appy New Year from Reign 35 of the Imperial Court of Kentucky! We had a wonderful year and we look forward to continuing our momentum in 2017. None of the work we do would be possible without the support of our community! December was a busy and exciting month for the Imperial Court. Empress Aurora Cummings and myself were blown away by the phenomenal success of our annual AVOL Kids Christmas fundraiser to purchase toys for sixty-two children that otherwise would not receive presents on Christmas morning. The event was moved to a Friday evening this year, and the response was overwhelming! A packed house at Crossings led to a record total in tips and donations, and Empress 29, Helena Handbasket and I loved emceeing for the fun and engaged crowd in attendance. Then, there was the trip to shop for the presents at the Hamburg Wal-Mart, which was a rewarding and emotional experience for the fantastic group of volunteers that came out on a cold Tuesday evening. Thanks so much to all involved! We also produced A Very Fairy Christmas at Soundbar in conjunction with the PCSO to help raise funds for the 2017 Lexington Pride Festival. The entertaining show certainly put everyone in the holiday spirit and was a great success! That was shortly followed up by our second pageant of the reign, Miss Mary Christmas at Crossings, which raised money for Lexington Fairness. Thank you to our fabulous contestants, and we look forward to the winner, Petty Poussey, joining us in May for our Ultimate Entertainer of the Year contest!
You certainly won’t want to miss that! Over the course of the holiday season, the Imperial Court of Kentucky was also pleased to be able to assist The Nest: Center for Women, Children, and Families with their annual Reindeer Express program. This campaign provides food, toys, and wrapping paper and accessories for families who use programs at The Nest throughout the year! Thanks to the donations we collected, we were able to deliver canned goods, a variety of gifts, and a sizable financial contribution as well! The Imperial Court System helps charities across the continent, and we are thrilled to be doing good work, but as we head into the dark of the winter months, it’s important to remember that the design of our organization is built around fun and enjoyment! It’s easy to get bogged down at this time of year, and the Imperial Court of Kentucky wants to make sure our community has an outlet for a good time! Look for our upcoming events, and join us to shake off the winter blues and have a few laughs! We can’t wait to share an evening with you! Upcoming travels for Reign 35 include Bellingham, Washington for the Imperial Sovereign Court of the Evergreen Empire’s Coronation: Where No Man or Drag Queen Has Gone Before; Hartford, Connecticut for the Imperial Court of All Connecticut’s Coronation: The Roaring Twenties, a Night at The Speakeasy; and New York, New York for the Imperial Court of New York’s Night of a Thousand Gowns. Also, look for the announcement of candidates for Reign 36 of the Imperial Court of Kentucky! Good luck to all who seek to lead our organization into the future!
6 LinQ // JANUARY 2017 . ADVOCACY
#SQUADGOALS by Carol Taylor-Shim, MSW
or the longest time in my life, I thought the friends I had in high school and college would be my friends for life. They knew me the best, knew where the bodies were buried so to speak, and were the first ones to come thru and kick hard. Those were the people that I called when I broke up with my boyfriends. They were there when I picked out said boyfriends too. (Yep, I performed as straight until I realized I had THE GAY.) We had so many good times and I have so many beautiful memories from every single one of them. They helped shape who I am as a woman and as a friend. I tried to be the best friend to them that I could be. Even when they weren’t exactly the best friends to me. But as we grew older, things changed. I came out and then things changed with some of my friends. We weren’t running the streets looking for heterosexual shenanigans anymore. Well, correction, I wasn’t. I was busy trying to figure out what my new life was going to be like as a Black lesbian and whether or not I was “gay enough”, whatever that means. Our lives grew in different directions and that’s O.K., that’s natural, right? What we need from people changes. What we need from our friends changes. Fast forward to my 40’s or as I like to call them my “I’m 100% an adult” years and what I
need from my friends is different. To me friends are easy to collect. It’s a label that we toss around to anyone we choose. With social media we don’t even have to be in the physical presence of someone to feel like they are our friend. But if you can get you a squad then you are really living right. Then I met a group of ladies that would eventually become the squad I’ve searched for my entire life. They have changed my life, and I don’t say that for the dramatic effect.
These are the women in my life that are my cheerleaders, my rock solid supporters, my co-conspirators, the people who push me to be greater than I ever imagined. They have made me a better human. They get the best of me because that’s what I get from them. We have travelled together, cried together, laughed until we had tears streaming down our faces, imbibed large quantities of blue margaritas (shout out
to Mi Mexico), celebrated each other as we have achieved our dreams, and held each other in the midst of pain and despair. You name it, we’ve done it. And we’ve done it together without the slightest hint of competition, pettiness, or jealousy. We do this across racial and ethnic identities and differing sexual orientations and identities. It’s all love, all the time. Because that’s what we need from each other; unconditional love with no judgement. Our love for each other is not part-time, it’s 100% all the time. If you are lucky enough to find some other human-beings in this world that you always feel safe with and supported by, then you are doing so much right in your life. Hold on to your squad, take care of them like they take care of you. These women I now have in my life are the ones that I know are my ride-or-die sisters forever. These are the women that I know will support me in those times that I cannot support myself. And I would do the exact same for any one of them. I don’t need to name names, they know exactly who they are. To my squad, thank you from the bottom of my heart for bringing so much to my life and allowing me the honor of being yours. Thank you for helping me reach my #SquadGoals.
Q Follow me on Twitter @ctshim71
ADVOCACY . JANUARY 2017 // LinQ 7
TransKY ADVOCATE by Tuesday G Meadows
IF YOU WANT TO BLAME SOMEONE, THEN BLAME ME
“Blame it on the Rain/Blame it on the stars/Whatever you do don’t put the blame on you” Blame It On The Rain, written by Diane Warren and lip-synced by Milli Vanilli
et me say right off the bat: I am responsible for Donald Trump becoming president. Before you say anything, no, I did not vote for that jackass. While I am at it, I will go ahead and take the blame for our very own Kentucky Christian Republican Taliban Legislators that are getting ready to spread their hate from Hickman to Hazard. Let’s go ahead and make it a combo meal and throw in Matt Bevin
as being totally my fault. They are all my fault. Now, unlike Bill Maher, the left leaning TV talking head, or the hipster’s favorite candidate, Bernie Sanders, I don’t believe it was because of “identity politics” that we lost the election. We didn’t lose because Hillary stood up for the people who are marginalized because of their sexual orientation or gender identity. I also don’t believe that
8 LinQ // NOVEMBER 2016 . ADVOCACY
“political correctness,” or the more hateful version “sexual orientation correctness,” cost us the election. Let’s be clear: when those terms are thrown around by reactionary politicians, they are denigrating “civil rights” and “general public decorum” respectively. No, it wasn’t the socalled identity politics or political correctness that lost the election. It was me, because I didn’t work hard
enough for the candidates that I wanted elected. I was lazy. I thought if I voted and said nice things about the good guys that they would win. I was wrong. I should have volunteered and donated what money I could to these candidates. As many of you know, I volunteer and donate to many organizations here in central Kentucky, including several LGBTQfocused organizations. I thought instead of throwing my effort down the black-hole called politics, I could make a difference in this world other ways. I’ll say it, “I should have got my hands dirty if that’s what politics are, I was too nice.” While I was toiling away to make our community better, the other side was fueled by… shall I say it… hate. They plotted their revenge the very night that many of you were holding up signs saying “Love Wins.”
Love may win, but hate gets revenge. I saw how hard some of my friends were working during the election cycle, but I decided that I would stay out of icky-gooey politics. People like Josh Mers and Stephanie Oghia put blood, sweat, and tears into campaigning trying to get the right candidates into important political offices who would have been so much better for our community. I owe them and others a debt of gratitude for working on what was an uphill battle; to fight the hateful politicians who want to wipe us from this earth, by enacting laws or in many other ways. I read recently where they have now scheduled the world’s largest conversion therapy conference in San Diego. This is not a coincidence, it is part of their plan to rid the United States of the “Gay Scourge.” Well, you can feel relieved
that this horrible election was not your fault. It was mine. I am sure you feel relieved knowing that you are not to blame for our community’s bleak future. Now you can go back to online gaming and perusing Grindr your entire waking hours. I’ve even heard some people say they feel too “Gayed Out” to volunteer for PrideFest or any other events for our community… or you don’t have enough money to donate to help others. What the election has taught me is that passivity leads to regression. If we don’t act, there may not be a PrideFest or even much of an LGBTQ community left. We may all be targets of the reactionary backlash. Good luck, we are all going to need it. You may write me at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow me on Twitter @trishgigi. Now Tuesday’s gone with the wind. Q
ADVOCACY . NOVEMBER 2016 // LinQ 9
SISTERSOUND SAYS, “LET’S GO TO THE MOVIES”
isterSound, Lexington’s Women’s Chorus, is celebrating their 21st year and inviting you to join them as they sing many of your favorite songs from movies across the decades. Join the Sisters who say Hooray for Hollywood as they work Under Pressure to Cry Me a River, Under the Boardwalk. They have Time to Say Goodbye as The Big Yellow Taxi gets them in Double Trouble with Lydia the Tattooed Lady who isn’t Happy. Sounds like they will be making beautiful Music of the Night! Bring your family and friends and shake off those post-Christmas
10 LinQ // JANUARY 2017 . CULTURE
blahs by joining SisterSound for their Winter concert on Saturday, January 14, 2017, 7:00 p.m., at Tates Creek Presbyterian Church, 3900 Rapid Run Drive (Man O’ War Blvd. east of Tates Creek Road). Tickets are $10 for adults, $5 for children age 4 to 12 and children 3 and under are free. Need tickets and haven’t crossed paths with a SisterSound member? Call 859-263-0702. Also, while you have your calendars out, be sure and pencil in Saturday, May 20, 2017, 7:00 p.m. at St. Michael’s Episcopal Church, 2025 Bellefonte Dr., Lexington for
SisterSound’s Spring Concert. Are you interested in singing with SisterSound? New members are always welcome and there are no auditions. All you have to do is be female, 18 years of age or older, can match pitch with those around you and enjoy singing with other women. Rehearsals for the Spring concert start on Sunday, January 22, 2017, 6:00 – 8:00 p.m. in the choir room at Centenary Methodist Church, 2800 Tates Creek Road, Lexington. Come and join in the fun!
CULTURE . NOVEMBER 2016 // LinQ 11
AROUND THE LIBRARY
reviewed by Megan Lucy
Georgia Peaches and Other Forbidden Fruit written by Jaye Robin Brown
n November, the PCSO Pride Library received a special donation. A children’s book author from Seattle, after seeing the results of the presidential election, was moved to make a difference in the lives of LGBTQ+ youth in a “red state.” She shipped a box of brand new young adult novels to the library. Not only do these novels feature LGBTQ+ characters, but several of them take place in the American South. The new books are: When the Moon Was Ours, by Anna-Marie McLemore; Tell Me Again How a Crush Should Feel, by Sara Farizan; If I was Your Girl, by Meredith Russo; More Happy Than Not, by Adam Silvera; Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe, by Benjamin Alire Saenz; and Georgia Peaches and Other Forbidden Fruit by Jaye Robin Brown. These books have all been added to the YA section of the library and to the PCSO Pride Library catalog on Library Thing www. librarything.com/profile/GLSO This month’s highlighted book is one of these newly donated books. Georgia Peaches and Other Forbidden Fruit, by Jaye Robin Brown, tells the story of Jo Gordon, a
12 LinQ // JANUARY 2017 . CULTURE
teenager from Atlanta. As she prepares to enter her senior year of high school, Jo’s father remarries and moves the family to rural Rome, Georgia. Concerned about “making waves” in their new community, Jo’s father asks Jo, who has been out as a lesbian in Atlanta for years, to hide her sexuality until she graduates from her new high school. In return, Jo can have her own radio show about youth issues of faith on her pastor father’s Christian radio station. Jo agrees, but quickly finds the deal difficult to uphold as she starts falling for the beautiful Mary Carlson Bailey. What begins as a seemingly contrived plot with stock characters evolves into a complex story of ethics, personal responsibility, and being true to oneself. Jo and Mary Carlson are surrounded by a charming cast of welldeveloped characters who provide voice to discussions of faith, sexuality, and coming out in the rural South. The ending may feel a bit too syrupy, but ultimately Georgia Peaches and Other Forbidden Fruit is a satisfying snack of a book. It can be found under call number YA FIC B in the PCSO Pride Library.
EXCERPTS FROM BITTEN BY THE FOO-FOO 2000 French Bread Awards – First Prize Published in Pacific Coast Journal, Winter 2002, v.7, no.2, pp.30-38 5th (Final) Excerpt Photo Credit: Kopana Terry
by Reinette F. Jones
ccording to Crazy Betty, the scrub-pick was an automatic reaction whenever Foo-Foo felt excited. The teeth were just teeth. Foo-Foo had no intentions of biting anyone, unless? Foo-Foo looked into the mirror behind the bar and winked at her reflection. It seemed that she wanted to play before she had to amscray. The record on the jukebox came to an end and no one bothered to play another song. It was morning, daylight and cloudy, and most couples had already gone home. The remaining single women were making one last effort to find some early morning company. Wenny squeezed between Crazy Betty and Foo-Foo, keeping in mind not to touch Foo-Foo’s body. She didn’t want to get shocked again, not just yet anyway. Wenny practically knocked Crazy Betty off the barstool in her attempt to ask Foo-Foo if she would like to have breakfast and a place to lay her head before it was time for her to go back to wherever she came from. Foo-Foo never got a chance to answer. Without turning around, Pinks clinked two glasses together and announced that it was time to close the bar. Crazy Betty relinquished her barstool to Wenny and went to gather glasses from the tables. Foo-Foo smiled at
Pinks. Wenny concentrated on the scrub-pick in Foo-Foo’s mouth and patiently waited for her offer to be accepted. Liz and her friends rose to leave. On their way toward the door, one friend apologized to Pinks for the ruckus. One apologized to Crazy Betty. Liz gave Foo-Foo the middle finger. “That’s for you and the horse you rode into town on. Go back to where you came from, you horny freak! Your kind ain’t welcomed around here!” “Wenny, are you leaving with us?” She was staying. Wenny waved goodbye to Liz and her friends while keeping her eyes on the scrub-pick. She was still waiting on Foo-Foo to accept her offer. It had not dawned on Wenny that Foo-Foo was not only smiling at her own reflection in the mirror, she was smiling at Pinks. Crazy Betty made the obvious apparent; she turned to ask Pinks if she should close the bar, like she often did when Pinks had reason to leave a little early. Pinks didn’t answer, but raised her head and looked at Foo-Foo’s reflection in the mirror. Most of the locals knew what that meant. Wenny would be going home alone and she was not too happy about it. Wenny put her hands on
13 LinQ // NOVEMBER 2016 . COMMUNITY
her hips and glared at the back of Pinks’ head. Wenny ran her hands through her hair because it was starting to stand up again. She took a few deep breaths, and then said to no one in particular, “I thought she wanted me!” No one answered. Wenny bid Foo-Foo a good night and a safe journey home. Crazy Betty translated what Wenny had said, and Foo-Foo responded with a single nod of her head. Wenny used her shirtsleeves to wipe away the tears that were starting to run from her eyes. She eased off the barstool and slowly walked toward the door. She stopped to yank the jukebox plug from the wall socket, and then stood still for a minute letting the tears stream down her face. She stuffed her hands into her jean pockets and asked, “Pinks, how could you stab me in the back while I was asleep? I saw her first.” Wenny didn’t wait for an answer; she kicked a chair across the floor before running out the door into the early morning rain. The last of the crowd quickly followed. Foo-Foo stayed seated at the bar. She had a sorrowful smile on her face as she waited for Pinks to closeout the cash register and get her umbrella.
Q 13 LinQ . //NOVEMBER JANUARY 2016 2017 // . CULTURE FEATURE LinQ 13
by the PCSO Board of Directors
hat a year 2016 has been for the LGBTQ+ community! We have had our ups and downs, and seem to be ending on a bit of a sour note for our community with the results of November’s election. Our community is resilient, and even with events like the Pulse Nightclub shooting in Orlando in June and the countless number of bills moving through legislatures attempting to strip LGBTQ+ people of their rights and force us back into the closet, we have much to be proud of. In Lexington, 2016 was a banner year for our many LGBTQ+ organizations and community. We have come together, shown our pride, held each other up, and educated the public about who we are as a community and as individuals. Here is just a brief run-down of what we have accomplished in 2016:
the PCSO umbrella. The group promotes understanding through music. Led by Steven Johnson, they are a non-audition LBGTQ+ friendly mixed chorus. - PCSO and the Lexington Pride Festival hosted the Mr. & Miss Lexington Pride Festival, where Serena Van Daren was elected Miss Lexington Pride and Elite St. James was elected Mr. Lexington Pride. Because Elite St. James had to step down from his duties as Mr. Lexington Pride, Adonis Casanova, the first runner-up, took over as Mr. Lexington Pride. - AVOL held its annual AIDS walk and added a 5k run this year. - The PCSO started an LGBTQ+ Sci-Fi/Horror Discussion Group. May January - TransLex, a social, support, and advocacy group for - SisterSound, the Lexington Women’s Chorus began Lexington’s transgender community, joined as their 20th anniversary season with a concert a group under the PCSO umbrella. entitled A Celebration of Women in Music. - The PCSO’s Gay-Straight Alliance (for 13 to 19 year - The PCSO walked with other local groups and old LGBTQ+ individuals and their friends) organizations in the Martin Luther held their annual Pride Prom. This is an King, Jr, Parade. alternative prom to those that are traditionally February held by local high schools. - Lobby Day 2016 brought together LGBTQ+ groups - Soundbar hosted the annual Bachelor/Bachelorette from across Kentucky, including The Fairness Auction to help the PCSO and the 2016 Pride Campaign, ACLU of Kentucky, Lexington Festival. Fairness, and others to lobby for fairness - New Song in the Bluegrass held their annual Spring laws and against laws that discriminate against concert, What a Wondeful World, to benefit our community. With everything considered, Moveable Feast. it would have to be looked upon as June a successful year with the Religious Freedom - SisterSound presented its second concert of the Bill, or better described as the “License to season, A Celebration of Women in Music Discriminate Bill”, not making it out of the Part 2 and also sang at the Lexington legislature. Pride Festival. - The Kentucky Bourbon Bears hosted the North - The PCSO and Lexington Pride walked in the American Bear Weekend, which was attended Kentuckiana Pride Parade representing the by hundreds of Bears from across the Lexington Pride Festival. continent. - The Imperial Court of Kentucky held their March Coronation 35 weekend. Court members - Bluegrass Black Pride and PCSO presented Black from across North America attended and Her Pride Matters: A Conversation Regarding the Most Imperial Majesty, Empress Aurora Intersection of Race and LGBTQ Issues at the Cummings and His Most Imperial Majesty, Downtown Public Library. Emperor Russell Drake were crowned the - Bluegrass Black Pride hosted their Red Party at the 35th Monarchs of the ICK at this year’s Lyric Theater. Bourbon Ball. April - A vigil for the victims of the Pulse Nightclub mass - New Song in the Bluegrass joined as a group under shooting was held at Triangle Park and was JANUARY 2017 #1 14 LinQ // NOVEMBER 2016. .FEATURE COMMUNITY
attended by many in the community as well as many local leaders. - Lexington Fairness had their annual Fairness Awards Banquet where outstanding community leaders were recognized for their contribution to the LGBTQ+ community. - The 9th Annual Lexington Pride Festival was attended by another record crowd and was headlined by Billy Gillman, 2016 runner-up on The Voice. The weather was hot and dry and the crowd was well behaved after the Pulse shooting in Orlando; everyone came out to show their support for one another. July - Lexington LGBTQ+ groups and organizations walked as one in the Lexington Fourth of July Parade. - TransParent Lexington and The University of Kentucky Office of LGBTQ* Resources, hosted a healthcare conference for parents and healthcare workers from Central Kentucky to discuss healthcare for transgender youth. The conference had many top professionals speak on the topic and was well received. Additionally, the University of Kentucky Medical Center (led by Dr. Keisa Fallin-Bennett) kicked off their Transform Health clinic which deals with LGBTQ+ specific health needs. - Bluegrass Black Pride and PCSO hosted Race Unity & LGBTQ* Community Discussion at Wild Fig Bookstore. August - Robert Morgan and Jonathan Coleman presented material from the Lexington LGBTQ+ History Archives to benefit Moveable Feast. - A new LGBTQ* group was formed, UK PrideCats. This is a group of individuals that want to help advance issues for our community at UK. - Morehead and Rowan County held their first Pride Festivals. September - AVOL held its annual Dining Out for Life Event to help support its prevention and assistance programming for the HIV+ community of Central and Eastern Kentucky. - Louisville held its 2nd Annual Pride Festival. - The PCSO held its 2nd annual Adult Pride Prom. To make the Prom more accessible to the community, the event was free to the public. - Bluegrass Black Pride and the Lexington LGBTQIAA** Consortium presented a discussion on Race at the Lyric Theatre.
October - Georgetown held its first Pride Community Cookout/Festival. - Ebony Wellness of Bluegrass Black Pride held their 2nd annual Pride In The Park event at Woodland Park. - Many local organizations came together to put on a GSA picnic at Shillito Park for high school students here in Lexington. - Donna Ison presented Further Out, a multimedia celebration of National Coming Out Day. Lexington Fairness also published a book by the same name with writings by different queer people in the community. - JustFundKy held its 10th Anniversary Celebration with a Roast of Debra Hensley at the Lyric Theatre. November - The University of Kentucky Office of LGBTQ* Resources held a transgender week of awareness with the Transgender Day of Remembrance Vigil culminating the week of events. - Bluegrass Black Pride held their annual Honors Banquet, celebrating those who have made a difference in the African American LGBTQ+ Community. December - The University of Kentucky Office of LGBTQ* Resources held their first Feast on Equality fundraiser to benefit UK students. - New Song in the Bluegrass held their annual holiday concerts, Holiday Memories, to benefit the PCSO. Our community is truly amazing, and we at the PCSO are humbled to have been able to have partnered with so many great organizations and people to provide services to you! In 2017, we ask that you think about what a vibrant community we have, and realize that it may not be so without the presence and support of all of the LGBTQ+-affiliated organizations that are featured above and throughout LinQ every month. We thank all of you who have worked so tirelessly to make our community a shining example in an otherwise bleak time, and ask everyone to make a resolution to get involved in that community, your talents and time are valuable and needed. This New Year, the PCSO resolves and rededicates itself to work even harder to continue to build bridges and move us forward; help us make 2017 our most successful year yet!
FEATURE #1 . JANUARY 2017 // LinQ 15
OBAMA photo source: http://celebsbios.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/President-Barack-Obama-3.jpeg
JANUARY 2017 #2 16 LinQ // NOVEMBER 2016. .FEATURE COMMUNITY
by Tuesday G Meadows
“As Americans we respect human dignity... and condemn the persecution of women, or religious minorities, or people who are Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, or Transgender. We do these things not only because they’re right, but because they make us safer.” President Barack Obama’s State of The Union Address, January 20, 2015
n 2009, when President Barack Obama first took over as President of the United States from George W. Bush, the LGBTQ+ community gave him their trust and hope based solely on his promises and his time as a Senator from Illinois. For example, Obama’s election platform endorsed repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). However, soon after inauguration, the Department of Justice (DOJ) opined that states had the right to declare marriage could only be between a man and a woman. Obama immediately began to meet with stakeholders, including the Human Rights Campaign and Lambda Legal, to explicitly discuss how to help the LGBTQ+ community during his administration’s tenure. After those meetings, Obama’s administration began to chip away at DOMA and the Attorney General’s office declared that they would not defend discriminatory laws in court. The President had a broader vision for protection of our community. In 2009, he also signed into law the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act. His administration continued to systematically help the LGBTQ+ community, including prioritizing anti-bullying measures, providing benefits for same sex partners of federal government employees, and LGBTQ+ healthcare provisions within The Affordable Care Act. In 2010, the administration worked with the military and Congress to overturn the Don’t Ask Don’t Tell policy previously implemented by the Clinton administration. Active-duty military personnel were suddenly able to serve openly due to a bipartisan group of Congress repealing Don’t Ask Don’t Tell. Of course, after Mitch McConnell took over leadership of the Senate, he began his infamous roadblock tactics which made bipartisan cooperation a thing of the past; one reason the Obama Administration has been unable to enact a ban on conversion therapy, among many other things. The historic moments continued throughout his second term. In President Obama’s second Inaugural Address, he mentioned the Stonewall Inn when he was talking about the fight for civil rights. Recently, he even named Stonewall as the first LGBTQ+-centered national monument. In the President’s State of The Union Address in 2015, he became the first president to use the words transgender and bisexual in a major address to the country. Furthermore, on June 26, 2015, President Obama issued the following statement, “We are big and vast and diverse; a nation of people with different backgrounds and beliefs, different experiences and stories, but bound by our shared ideal that no matter who you are or what you look like, how you started off, or how and who you love, America is a place where you can write your own destiny.” Barack Obama has been a president with a vision of diversity and inclusivity, and a president who wanted to get things done for us from the start and until the very end. From marriage equality to serving openly in the military, from employment to housing, and from the much-marginalized community of transgender Americans to the rainbow of all of those who identify as LGBTQ+, this administration consistently showed that they actually thought that we deserved equal protection under the law and to share in the American Dream. For all of this and more, we and our community owe President Barack Obama a debt of gratitude. Q FEATURE JANUARY 2017 // FEATURE OCTOBER COMMUNITY . ..SEPTEMBER OUT & #2 ABOUT . MAY 2016 OUT & ABOUT . MARCH 2016 // LinQ LinQ 17 17
A PROUD NEW YEAR
by Paul Brown, 2017 Lexington Pride Festival Chair
ear 2017, A few years ago, I wrote a letter to an incoming new year. I asked that that new year would show kindness to issues of equality. I promised that we would stand erect with pride and work with you to see that all people regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity could know what it is to live in a fair, equal society. Since then, LGBTQ+ people have relished many accomplishments. The least of which is that through visibility efforts and hard work, the Lexington Pride Festival has grown each year and is now the second biggest free festival in Lexington. The most of which is that we now enjoy marriage equality in all 50 of these great United States. Despite the daunting efforts of people like Kim Davis, we can now marry the partner of our choice and receive all the legal benefits that come with that celebration of love. On the other hand, we have witnessed fear and hatred raise
their ugly heads and unite to tear us down. Just last year a man took 49 lives in Pulse nightclub in Florida. That day we woke up to incredible pain. Across the nation, we sobbed for our siblings whom many of us had never met but felt the void they left regardless. Still numb from that senseless violence, we face a future of uncertainty as bill after bill is introduced to allow people to use their religion to discriminate, to stop our transgender siblings from using the restroom of their choice, to gut our fairness ordinances that protect us from eviction or dismissal from employment for being a sexual minority, and to repeal the marriage equality we fought so hard to attain. Still, we are here. 2017, we are here. And we are staying. Because of all these things, I am writing to you to ask that, at a minimum, you keep the progress we have made. Our hope is that you will not re-gift us with the repression and the oppression that we endured for so many years. At best, we encourage you to bestow us with continued progress toward a vision of equality. We do not come to you asking for more than our share. We do not wish to be a special group. We simply want what is fair: equality in the eyes of the law and to be treated like firstclass human beings as opposed to social pariahs. My promise to you is that we will not sit idly by while
18 LinQ // JANUARY 2017 . COMMUNITY
others seek to push us back into the closet. We will stand together with pride and meet each day not just lobbying to keep progress but demanding a continued march forward until we achieve a secured vision of equality for all people, including LGBTQ+ persons. We will be visible. We will educate as many as we can reach. We will seek to enhance our communities through our unashamed, unabashed contributions. We will endeavor to empower all of our communities with tools that allow them to face the world certain of who they are and proud of it. We will not retreat. We will not go back into the closet even if we find a luxury, walk-in closet. Why? Because we cannot. We have worked far too hard to get where we are, and part of that fight was burning the closet down. We have no choice but to move forward. It is possible, 2017, that you may eat away at the laws that have given us some sense of fairness. At a time when fear, violence, hatred, and ignorance run rampant, you may take far more than fairness and equality. But we will persevere and we will not allow you to steal our pride. No matter what you bring to us, we will meet it with pride. We will walk with pride today, tomorrow, and every day. So, 2017, we look to you with anxious hope. We are prepared to work with you. We will do our part. Will you do yours? Will you work with us?
Yours in thundershowers and yours in rainbows, Paul Brown 2017 Lexington Pride Festival Chair
New Song in the Bluegrass at their 2016 Holiday Concert, â€˜Holiday Memoriesâ€™.
Mr. Lexington Pride 2016, Adonia Casanova, performs at the PCSO GoodGiving Guide Challenge Kickoff Party at Crossings.
Seven-Stephen Birch performs at the PCSO GoodGiving Guide Challenge Kickoff Party on December 2nd.
Attendees at the PCSO GoodGiving Guide Challenge Kickoff Party held at Crossings.
Hope Hillcum performs at the PCSO GoodGiving Guide Challenge Kickoff Party.
Kali Dupree and Russell Drake at the PCSO GoodGiving Guide Challenge Kickoff Party.
Justin Underwood sings at the PCSO GoodGiving Guide Challenge Kickoff Party.
Members of the 2017 Lexington Pride Festival committee at the PCSO GoodGiving Guide Challenge Kickoff Party.
Tim Burcham and Phillip Marcum attend ICK’s A Very Fairy Christmas, a fundraiser for the Lexington Pride Festival.
Attendees at ICK’s A Very Fairy Christmas fundraiser held at Soundbar, holiday decorations by Phillip Marcum.
Aurora Cummings, Russell Drake, and Brigette Lafleur host and perform at A Very Fairy Christmas, presented by The Imperical Court of Kentucky.
Petty Poussey performs at ICK’s A Very Fairy Christmas fundraiser for the Lexington Pride Festival, on December 15th.
COMMUNITY & SOCIAL GROUPS 24-Hour Crisis Line
24-Hour Teen Crisis Line
Arbor Youth Services
Council for Peace and Justice
Fairness of Louisville
Gay-Straight Alliance, Teens
“Heart to Heart” Discussion Group
Imperial Court of Kentucky
9:00 p.m.-Kentucky Bourbon Bears Board Meeting (Crossings Lex)
KY Survivors Area of Narcotics Anonymous
Lexington Fair Housing Council
Lexington Human Rights
Sunday, January 15 Editorial & Ad Deadline for LinQ Magazine
Lexington Pride Festival
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
PCSO Pride Center
PFLAG Central Kentucky, Inc.
Monday, January 16 10:00 a.m.-MLK Freedom March (Lexington Convention Center)
Rainbow Bowling League
Social Services, Lexington
Transgender Youth Family Allies
Trevor Lifeline 24/7
CALENDAR & DIRECTORY
Wednesday, January 4 1:00 p.m.-“Living with Aging” 60+ Senior Discussion Group (Bell House Senior Citizen Center) 7:00 p.m.-“Heart To Heart” LGBTQ+ Discussion Group (PCSO Center) Thursday, January 5 6:30 p.m.-PCSO Board Meeting (PCSO Center) Saturday, January 7 10:00 a.m.-Grief Support Group (Ahava Center) 7:30 p.m.-TransKentucky Meeting Sunday, January 8 6:00 p.m.-Imperial Court Meeting (PCSO Center) Tuesday, January 10 6:30 p.m.-PFLAG Meeting (St. Michael’s Episcopal Church) 9:00 p.m.-LGBTQ+ Sci-Fi/Horror Group (PCSO Center) Wednesday, January 11 1:00 p.m.-“Living with Aging” 60+ Senior Discussion Group (Bell House Center) 5:00 p.m.-Richmond’s Alphabet Soup Support Group (UU Fellowship Hall) 7:00 p.m.-“Heart To Heart” LGBTQ+ Discussion Group (PCSO Center) Saturday, January 14 7:00 p.m.-SisterSound Concert : Let’s Go To The Movies (Tates Creek Presbyterian Church)
Wednesday, January 18 1:00 p.m.-“Living with Aging” 60+ Senior Discussion Group (Bell House Center) 7:00 p.m.-“Heart To Heart” LGBTQ+ Discussion Group (PCSO Center) Friday, January 20 7:00 p.m.-Senior’s Bistro/ Potluck (PCSO Center) Sunday, January 22 3:00 p.m.-LGBTQ+ Sci-Fi/Horror Group (PCSO Center) 6:00 p.m.-ICK’s Board of Directors/Membership Meeting (PCSO Center) Wednesday, January 25 1:00 p.m.-“Living with Aging” 60+ Senior Discussion Group (Bell House Center) 7:00 p.m.-“Heart To Heart” LGBTQ+ Discussion Group (PCSO Center) Thursday, January 26 6:30 p.m.-Lex Pride Festival Planning Meeting (PCSO Center)
For more details on events, view the full calendar at pcsoky.org at the bottom of the webpage
COLLEGE STUDENT GROUPS Berea College ACE
BCTC Gay-Straight Alliance
Centre College BGLA
EKU Alphabet Center
EKU Pride Alliance
Morehead State University
UK LGBTQ* Resource Center
RELIGIOUS GROUPS Ahava Center for Spiritual Living
Bluegrass United Church of Christ
Faith Lutheran Church
First Presbyterian Church
Hunter Presbyterian Church
Lex Friends, Quakers
Maxwell Street Presbyterian Church
St. Martha’s Episcopal Church
St. Michael's Episcopal Church
Unitarian Universalist Church
Woodland Christian Church
HIV/STD TESTING, SERVICES, & INFO AIDS Volunteers of Lexington (AVOL)
Health Department, Fayette County
Health Department, Woodford County
HIV/AIDS Legal Project
Northern KY Region
UK Adolescent Medicine
CALENDAR & DIRECTORY . JANUARY 2017 // LinQ 23