After an eventful September, Kansas City’s LGBT community has a lot more to look forward to in October — the annual OutFest (formerly Out in Westport) and plenty of other events listed below. Of course, we cannot forget that the month winds up in a big way with our Gay New Year’s, otherwise known as Halloween.
MGRA Show Me State Rodeo
The Labor Day weekend rodeo was a great success. We haven’t received a full report from MGRA yet, but from what I could see, attendance was greater than ever. We hope to see this event get bigger every year.
AIDS Bicycle Challenge
This sixth annual fundraiser for the AIDS Service Foundation of Greater Kansas City had over 300 riders and raised nearly $50,000. It was a beautiful day and great turnout of riders, volunteers and other friends. This type of ride would not be possible without the leadership of Michael Lintecum and Josh Strodtman, and co-chairs Elizabeth Bejan and Theresa Van Ackeren of Family Bicycles contributed a huge amount of time to organizing and enlisting riders. Once again it was also good to see all of the AIDS Walk steering committee and other loyal volunteers helping that day.
Congratulations to Theresa Van Ackeren of Family Bicycles LLC. They received the League of American Bicyclists Silver Level Bicycle Friendly Business Award. Family Bicycles is one of only 63 businesses to win the award during this round and one of only 196 total Bicycle Friendly Businesses in the country. This is a great bicycle store dedicated to making a difference for cyclists in Kansas City.
BeerFest at the Legends
The fourth annual KCBeerfest will be held at the Legends Shopping Center rooftop parking garage beginning at 2 p.m. Oct. 16. Tickets are $25 in advance and $30 at the door. This is a fun benefit for the Kansas City Free Health Clinic and AIDS Service Foundation of Greater Kansas City. Hundreds of beers from around the world will be available to sample, along with food and entertainment. For tickets and more information, visit www.kcbeerfest.com.
Heartland Men’s Chorus
The group’s next big event, the annual Dinner of Note, will be from 6:30 to 10 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 2, and it marks the official start of HMC’s 25th anniversary season. The entertainer for this black-tie evening is Ann Hampton Callaway, the Tony Award nominee and cabaret legend. Tom Lancaster reports: “Rather than bring in a guest artist to perform at the Dinner of Note, Ann will be doing a mini-concert with HMC before the dinner. So, single tickets for the concert only will be available for $20.”
The full event includes dinner, cocktails and a silent auction, plus a swinging pre-dinner concert by Callaway and the men of HMC. The concert is at the Folly Theater; dinner is at the Muehlebach Tower. www.hmckc.org.
Ray Boltz in Concert
Spirit of Hope MCC sent us information about a great concert they will feature on Nov. 6: Three-time Dove Award winner Ray Boltz will bring his Living True Tour to Spirit of Hope MCC (3801 Wyandotte St., Kansas City, Mo.) with a free concert at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 6. Special guest Azariah Southworth, former host of the syndicated Christian TV Show The Remix, will join Boltz. After the concert, Spirit of Hope will host a “Meet & Greet” with the artists in the Social Hall. Tickets for the Meet & Greet are $20 per person and can be purchased at the church during regular business hours (10 a.m. — 3:30 p.m. Monday-Friday; call 816-931-0750 for more ticket-ordering information). Boltz and Southworth will also perform during Sunday worship services on Nov. 7. A love offering will be collected to help support their ministry during the concert on Saturday as well as the Sunday morning service.
The two performers will share their experiences, conveying “the joy, heartache and healing” they have experienced as openly gay Christians. As Southworth explains, “This tour is our two stories, which contain one message. That message is the hope and healing there is to be found by living true.”
Boltz adds, “I am enjoying touring with Azariah Southworth during 2010. We both ‘came out’ publicly at the same time and we both have experienced acceptance from people who understand and rejection from some of those who don’t. We hope by being ‘true’ to who we are, we can make a difference for others in the same situation.”
“When you start to live an authentic life,” Boltz said in a recent New York Times interview, “you stop pretending.”
For more information, call Spirit of Hope MCC at 816-931-0750 or log on to www.spiritofhopemcckc.org.
The Lesbian and Gay Community Center, Pride and UMKC are working together this year to hold their OutFest from 1 to 5 p.m. on Oct. 10 at the new UMKC Student Union, 5100 Cherry St. Afterward, UMKC’s LGBTQIA office is holding its Coming Out Ball, open to all, from 5 to 8 p.m. The theme this year is “Coming Out Hand in Hand,” and it’s a celebration of National Coming Out Day. For more information, contact email@example.com.
LGBT Citywide Organization Meeting
The Lesbian and Gay Community Center of Kansas City (LGCCKC) is hosting the annual Citywide Organization meeting at 6 p.m. Oct. 20. It will be held at UMKC’s Student Union, Multipurpose Room 401A (Campus parking for this event is the covered parking structure on the south side of 50th and Oak Street. For full map of campus visit http://www.umkc.edu/union/su-hours-location.asp) This is a chance for you to update the community about your organization and learn about other organizations. Every organization in attendance will have time to briefly speak, and also provide materials if they choose.
The evening will begin with Mayor Mark Funkhouser joining the meeting to answer questions about Kansas City and our LGBT community. Please come with any questions you’d like to ask the mayor.
For information or questions about the Citywide Organization Meeting, please contact Mitch Levine at 816-931-6025 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
KCAVP's Bowl A Strike Against Violence
The Kansas City Anti-Violence Project will be hosting their 3rd annual bowling fundraiser on Oct. 23 from 12:30 to 3 p.m.at the Ward Parkway Lanes. This is a great Halloween themed event that raises money for this great organization. To register or for more information visit www.kcavp.org or call 816-561-0550.
Diversity Weekend in Eureka Springs
What better way to celebrate the Halloween weekend in a non-traditional way than to visit beautiful Eureka Springs for the annual Diversity Weekend, Oct. 29-31. For more information visit www.eurekapride.com.
Be the Match benefit
Melinda Ryder tells me that she will be working on a benefit for the Be the Match national bone marrow donor program from 8 to 10 p.m. Nov. 8 at Hamburger Mary’s Drag Charity Bingo. It is $10 for 10 bingo cards. Melinda invites all to “come on down to Hamburger Mary’s for some good food and a libation and help us raise some money for an organization that saved my life!”
KC Legal conference on LGBT issues
KC Legal’s annual Continuing Legal Education (CLE) conference on LGBT issues, co-sponsored with the Kansas Bar Association, will be Oct. 19 at the offices of Stinson Morrison Hecker LLP, 1201 Walnut St., Suite 2900, Kansas City, Mo. Kansas Bar Association early bird registration by Oct. 12 is $169. KBA member regular registration is $189, and non-member registration is $229. Onsite registration incurs an additional $10 administrative fee. To register, call 785-234-5696 or go to www.ksbar.org/public/cle.shtml. Registration begins at 8:30 a.m., and the conference adjourns at 3:45 p.m.
Speakers will include Lisa Brunner, of Brunner Law LLC, Kansas City, Mo.; Joan Gummels, Office of the Attorney General, Jefferson City, Mo.; Aaron Tax, Servicemembers Legal Defense Network (SLDN), Washington, D.C.; Mike Thiessen, Husch Blackwell LLP, Kansas City, Mo.; and Ilona Turner, National Center for Lesbian Rights, San Francisco.
Sessions will include such topics as:
• Lessons from Across the Nation: Winning Protection for LGBT Families
• LGBT Elder Law Issues
• Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell Legal Issues
• Sexual Orientation Discrimination and Missouri/Kansas Human Rights Acts
• Estate Planning for LGBT Clients
• Together, Apart and Everything in Between: LGBT Relationships in 2010.
‘Can We Stop the Yelling? (And Should We?)’
The news provides constant reminders about the incivility of politics. A free seminar and panel discussion will address this timely topic at 2 p.m. Oct. 3 in the Helzberg Auditorium of the Kansas City Central Library, 14 W. 10th St. A reception will be held from 1:30 to 2 p.m., and parking is free in the library lot. The event is also free, but please RSVP at http://civility.eventbrite.com.
The panel will be moderated by KCPT-TV’s Nick Haines. Panelists include: U.S. Rep. Emanuel Cleaver; Reed Chambers, chair of the Tea Party Missouri State Conference; Lana Oleen, former Kansas Senate majority leader; and Ronnie Metsker, chairman of the Johnson County Republican Party.
Consensus is sponsoring the event. According to its website (www.consensuskc.org), “Consensus gives citizens a voice in public policy decisions that affect their lives. We do this by providing a neutral space, solid information and processes that lead groups to find common ground for action.”
Consensus will report what local residents had to say about civility in a series of focus groups and an online poll. To take the poll, go to http://surveymonkey.com/s/civility.