Out and Proud in October

Although it wasn’t intentional, we found ourselves with three key articles on LGBT youth in this October issue. We have Brad Osborn’s story on RaiseAChild and that group’s event in November that will help LGBT couples learn more about their options for adoption and foster care. Lauren Fasbinder writes about CASA and what they do as court-appointed advocates for abused and neglected LGBT youth, and Jason Webb, board chairman of Passages, Kansas City’s youth group, shares what the 23-year-old group does for LGBT people under age 21.
I’m proud of the fact we’ve always covered LGBT youth in our magazine. It’s sometimes frustrating for young people that we haven’t been able to feature photos of those under age 18 without signed permission from parents. But over the years, we have covered the annual EQUAL Youth Empowerment Summit, Passages participants have written columns, and we’ve had students and teachers running high school Gay-Straight Alliances asking us for extra copies of Camp to distribute at school. Several years ago, Brad Osborn, who has covered our LGBT youth beat (among his many areas of talent), compiled some LGBT youth resources for our Campkc.com website. He has periodically updated this useful list, so take a look.
But this month, people of all ages will have a chance to celebrate LGBT History Month and National Coming Out Day at two events in Kansas City. The first one, “Out in the Crossroads,” will be Oct. 4-5, and the second, “Shout 2013,” will be Oct. 11. Nothing could be more important to self-esteem than living out and proud, especially when you might not be accepted by family and classmates.
Out in the Crossroads — the cover story for this issue — will begin Friday evening and continue during the day on Saturday. On Friday, events will run from 5 p.m. to midnight, and the festival on Saturday will be from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. It’s free, and the site — in the 1900 block of Baltimore Avenue — is right off the Main Street MAX bus line, so it’s accessible even if you won’t be driving. Look for more details in this issue of Camp and at www.outinthecrossroads.com.
Shout 2013 will be from 6 p.m. to 2 a.m. Friday, Oct. 11, in front of Social bar, 1118 McGee. Like Out in the Crossroads, it will feature entertainment, food and drink. Admission is $5, and youth under age 13 must be accompanied by an adult. It’s being held in conjunction with National Coming Out Day and the Show-Me Showdown Softball Tournament, which will be Oct. 11-13 in Kansas City. More information can be found in “CampBiz” on page 15 and at www.shoutkc.com.
Years ago, when The Tenth Voice LGBT radio magazine (KKFI.org, 90.1 FM) from 1 to 2 p.m. on Saturdays had a monthly “Youth Voice” show, it was always a pleasure to hear people in high school hosting. After all, these are our future leaders — what better way to showcase their knowledge? I recall a day when I was on the show after the Youth Voice edition and I met one of their 16-year-old hosts, named Luke. He came up to me and told me how much he enjoyed reading Camp. I was fairly surprised because we weren’t distributing in high schools at that time, and I asked him where he saw the magazine. He gave me one of the highest compliments I’ve had when he replied that he picked up Camp monthly at his local library and brought it home to share with his family at the dinner table. I admired Luke and his family for being able to openly discuss values important to his life.
Isn’t that the way it should be? No closets, no secrets. Discussions at the dinner table, and living out and proud. Let’s celebrate that freedom this October.

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