Camping Out in Kansas City

HAPPENINGS AROUND TOWN
Now that Gay Pride 06’ is just a wonderful memory, it’s time to turn our attention to the events leading up to summer in Kansas City. What better way to kick off the summer than with a swim suit fashion show staged by our own KC Wave Swim Team, a benefit for KCAVP (Kansas City Anti Violence Project) and the Wave held at Bar Natasha June 9th? These boys and girls were having too much fun struttin’ their stuff for the packed bar that evening. The KC Wave are preparing for their trip to the Gay Games in Chicago, which start the weekend of July 15th. If there’s any room left in one of your pieces of luggage, let me know—and I dare say with those skimpy Speedos taking up very little room, there should be plenty of room for me to stow away. Best of luck to all the teams that will be participating in the Gay Games this year, I understand that Kansas City is sending quite a contingent of bowlers, runners, and swimmers.
I can’t go any further without a huge thank you to Cathy and Rose, the ladies that run the Dating Game at Bar Natasha and other venues around town. I was fortunate to have been chosen as a contestant for the June 8th event at Bar Natasha. Following somewhat loosely in the shoes of JW, fellow writer for Camp who set a precedent by winning a date with the first bachelor, I reluctantly took the stage armed with nothing but a breath mint and my memories of the original TV version of The Dating Game. Let me confess that I had two plants in the audience who were to signal with a gentle pull on the ears if the bachelor was my type. Thank you, Anne and Kory, for almost tearing your earlobes off! I must say that after I recovered from the initial wave of stage fright, the ham came out big time with each succeeding question. To make a long story short, the bachelor picked me for his date and this picture shows Nick and I having dinner after the show (see photo 1). In case any of you are wondering, yes, Nick and I have had several dates since then and I hope to continue that trend into the future. Cathy and Rose run a dating service called Business Casual and if Nick is any indication of the dates they have stored in their data bank, all of you should rush over there to sign up immediately.
I really need to mention the recent Heartland Men’s Chorus concert on June 11th, “A Homecoming,” which closed out their season. What a fitting tribute to the 20th anniversary of the chorus this compilation of music from past concerts was. Especially touching to me was the introduction of the director of the chorus, Joe Nadeau, who has been often in the media of late because of the controversial loss of his position as musical director of St. Agnes Catholic Church because he was an avowed homosexual, who would not renounce his position with the chorus and would not become celibate either, as the pastor and a handful of parishioners had requested. Come on, folks, is this not the 21st century? Are we spawning another group like the followers of Fred Phelps? I’m pleased to report that all the stress has not diminished Joe’s energy and capacity to direct this first-class chorale group. A number of the parishioners from St. Agnes were in the audience to show their support for Joe; I would suggest that perhaps these wonderful people might better serve their faith by practicing it at another parish.
On June 22nd, Michael L. and Josh S., along with the rest of the AIDS Walk committee, hosted a thank you dinner at Michael’s gorgeous townhouse. As you can see by the next picture (see photo 2), a good time was had by all. Michael says that all records were shattered in raising over $350,000 for four AIDS Service Organizations. Just a quick thank you from yours truly for being included among all the hardworking, dedicated volunteers that step up to the plate year after year; it’s humbling to be in such company. I also want to mention someone who deserves a lot of credit for his support not only for AIDS Walk but for almost every other LGBT community event during the year, John Kane from Miller High Life Sales. He’s a big guy with a big heart. I’m proud to call him and everyone connected with his organization, my friend.
CHANGES AROUND TOWN
The rumor mill is almost completely out of control this month. The Dixie Belle Warehouse Complex has advertised that they’re closing and four other bars are rumored to be closing or changing soon. Camp and certainly your’s truly will not spread rumors that have not been verified but here is what we do know. Although the Dixie Belle Complex is closing for good on July 2nd with a huge blowout on both Saturday and Sunday nights, it has not been decided what will happen to the property after the closing. Hopefully, the great atmosphere that is DB will somehow remain in the family. It looks like Missie B’s will have their new Sunday liquor license around the third week in July and according to Jan A, general manager, there will be a liquor bust and Tea Dance every Sunday. As far as Balanca’s is concerned, Jan told me that they will be forced to close temporarily for 21 days because of the Kansas City liquor control decision, but will reopen after that. One other obvious change is that we’ve heard NV is turning into a straight venue.They really never did much for the LGBT community even when they were a gay venue, so not a great loss as far as I am concerned. I’ll continue to keep you informed when I know more. Please check www.campkc.com for the latest developments as they occur and can be verified. As I mentioned in my column two months ago, the Dixie Belle has been an integral part of the Kansas City LGBT community for as long as I can remember and I for one will mourn the loss. My best wishes to all who are now and have been connected to the DB and especially to Johnny P who has done so much over the years in conjunction with Michael B to shape gay entertainment in Kansas City.
COMING UP AROUND TOWN
The excitement is building toward the Labor Day Weekend and the 14th Annual Show-Me State Rodeo(MGRA) at the Wyandotte County Fairgrounds. I’m especially interested since my debut at Gay Pride as a steer riding, bronc-busting, butch cowpoke (though I really don’t poke cows!) who managed to stay atop the mechanical bull long enough to sustain battle scars that will last me for quite awhile (see photo 3). If you see me out at the fairgrounds, please don’t encourage me to ride any more bulls—Chuck, that means you!
My friend Jeff has asked me to remind you to sign up for the Pridefloat Canoe Trip before July 5th. Pridefloat will take place July 13 through July 17. This year it promises to be “The canoe trip your mother warned you about!” There will be a hog roast, a free beer bust, and of course the usual contests for best-decorated and themed camp site. The theme this year is “Niangua Valley PTA.”. With that in mind, you clever queens should be able to come up with some great décor ideas.
Speaking of contests, I will have a lot to talk about and, if I learn to use my camera, a lot of pictures of my birthday bash/ luau, which will conclude with a sarong- grass skirt contest. I hope to settle once and for all the question of just what do those boys wear under their sarongs? Until next month, remember to utilize the advertisers. They are the reason we’ve been able to bring you a quality newspaper every month for over
two years.

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