AIDS Walk, KU Pride Week
March 18, 2007
by Stephanie Bottoms
Steve Maceli’s charitable efforts in the lesbian, bisexual, gay and transgender community of Lawrence began when he offered to host a local LGBT organization’s meetings in his restaurant’s banquet hall in 2004. Before Maceli, owner of the restaurant and catering business at 1031 New Hampshire St. in Lawrence, opened up his doors to NetworQ, the organization held its meetings in a church basement. Established in 1995, Maceli’s continues to be a venue for many functions sponsored by organizations involved in the city’s LGBT community.
“As my business has grown, I have more to share,” Maceli said.
Maceli, who acts as co-social chair of NetworQ, has once again opened his business to the community. Registration will start at 7 a.m. at Maceli’s for the Douglas County AIDS Project’s annual AIDS Walk on April 7. The AIDS Walk features two events: a 5K run kicking off at 7:45 a.m. and a one-mile walk starting at 8 a.m.
DCAP’s AIDS Walk caps off this year’s University of Kansas Pride Week, presented by KU Queers & Allies. When Jonathan Pryor, director of Q&A, learned that Maceli’s and NetworQ were involved with the AIDS Walk, he asked them to become sponsors of KU Pride 2007. Maceli’s is also hosting Q&A’s Queer Awards Banquet at 6:30 p.m. April 5. The banquet will honor LGBT individuals and allies who have been influential in the KU community.
Q&A is helping DCAP to promote the AIDS Walk as part of KU Pride 2007. The student organization has also organized a team to participate in the event.
“We are proud to be helping DCAP out with the AIDS Walk this year since it falls within Pride Week,” said David Ta, Q&A events chair.
After the April 7 AIDS Walk, Q&A is hosting its annual Pride March at 11:30 a.m. on Massachusetts Street, starting at South Park.
Pride sponsors are always encouraged to participate in the march, whether it’ on foot or with a float. Sponsors range from local establishments such as Maceli’s and Liquid Bar & Nightclub to corporate sponsors such as Coca-Cola. Q&A has accepted donations on behalf of several KU academic departments and organizations, as well as personal donations made by faculty and staff.
“Generally, people have been very generous with helping fund Pride, most notably KU Student Senate and Coca-Cola,” Pryor said.
These funds are being used to host speakers, including a panel of representatives from the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network. The SLDN panel will share its experiences with the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy at 7:30 p.m. April 4 in the Kansas Room of the Kansas Union. Radio show host and “Savage Love” columnist Dan Savage will host an entertaining evening for a mature audience at 7:30 p.m. April 3 in Woodruff Auditorium in the Kansas Union. Dr. Christine Robinson, KU alum and James Madison University professor, will give a lecture titled “The Politics of the Ex-Gay Movement: What You Need to Know” at 7:30 p.m. April 2 in the Jayhawk Room of the Kansas Union.
At noon on April 6, the annual Brown Bag Drag Show will feature drag kings and queens dancing and lip-synching to their favorite hits in the plaza in front of the Kansas Union.
“We always get great feedback from the drag show and its one of our most looked-forward-to events from the KU community,” Pryor said.
Founded as the Lawrence Gay Liberation Front in 1970, Q&A has been organizing the annual KU Pride Week for years. Members of the LGBT community see this week as a time for both celebration and activism.
“We are a social movement,” Ta said. “I would love if one day people could stop doing Pride and get onto more important things, but until society has folded us into the norm, we will continue to celebrate Pride.”
KU Pride 2007 features several events in an effort to include everyone, whether one’s interests are an educational lecture, a club party, an active demonstration or a fundraising walk.
“What makes our Pride different and why it’s important is it really is for everyone,” Pryor said. “We make it extensive and open to include as many as possible.”