October Offers Plenty to Celebrate
September 28, 2012
by Bradley Osborn
October holds special meaning for many, with occasions including LGBT History Month, awareness campaigns for both domestic violence and breast cancer, National Coming Out Day (NCOD), the marking of Columbusí Bahamian landing/Día de la Raza (Day of the Race) and Halloween/Samhain (a Gaelic harvest festival).
Here are some special events that have been planned:
National Coming Out Day (Oct. 11, annually) started in 1988 on the first anniversary of the Second National March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights. For NCOD resources, go to hrc.org/ncod.
LGBT History Month began in 1994 as an expansion of National Coming Out Dayís themes of commemoration, education and celebration. Equality Forum will unveil 31 new daily icons this month at lgbthistorymonth.com. The site includes a searchable database of current and past icons.
GLSEN Respect Awards Ė Los Angeles
GLSEN (Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network) will hold the West Coast version of its annual Respect Awards on Oct. 5. At the ceremony, the advocacy group will present its Lifetime Achievement Award to Jeffrey Katzenberg, co-founder and CEO of DreamWorks Animation, and his wife, Marilyn Katzenberg, for their community service. Hollywood publicity executive Simon Halls and his partner, White Collar star Matt Bomer, will receive the Inspiration Award for their commitment to GLSEN, and the Chairmanís Award will go to brothers Bob and Harvey Weinstein for their role in distributing the documentary Bully. After the event, check the GLSENvideo page at youtube.com for ceremony clips.
Social Group for People with Disabilities in the LGBTQ community
The October 15 meeting of The Whole Person's LGBTQ Social Group will have a Coming Out theme.
Connecting people with disabilities in the LGBTQ community. If you are a person with a disability who is lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or questioning, join this group to share information and successful techniques addressing the needs and challenges you face or just come enjoy the social interaction with your peers.
Topical discussions may be planned thematic or ad hoc. Occasionally a film might be screened or a presenter welcomed.
This is a confidential group and meets bi-weekly at 5:00 p.m. at All Souls Unitarian Universalist Church, Conover Hall, 4501 Walnut St., Kansas City, Mo.
Continuing Legal Education on LGBT Issues
KC LEGAL, the Kansas City areaís LGBTA nonprofit legal association, will co-sponsor a CLE on legal issues facing LGBT clients. The Kansas Bar Association (ksbar.org) is a co-sponsor of the Oct. 5 seminar. For details, go to bit.ly/TLCTHZ.
GLSENís Safe Space Program and 2011 School Climate Survey
The Kansas City chapter of GLSEN will hold three training workshops (two introductory and one proliferative) for educators who are interested in becoming allies to LGBT youth in area schools. Attendees will receive GLSEN Safe Space Kits and learn more about the issue of anti-LGBT bias in schools. Becoming more knowledgeable about the risks that LGBT youth face can help make schools safer.
To sign up for one of the training sessions, go to bit.ly/QLWK76. All workshops will take place from 1 to 4 p.m. at LIKEME Lighthouse, 3909 Main St., Kansas City, Mo. LIKEME Lighthouse is co-sponsoring the Oct. 6, Nov. 10 and Dec. 1 trainings.
GLSEN (glsen.org) released its national 2011 School Climate Survey on Sept. 5. Findings include: 63.5 percent of LGBT teens at times feel unsafe in school and 82 percent have been verbally harassed because of their sexual orientation.
Coming Out Support Group at LIKEME Lighthouse
LIKEME Lighthouse (likemelighthouse.org) continues with its new Coming Out Support Group on Oct. 8. The group meets the second Monday of every month at 5 p.m. at 3909 Main St., Kansas City, Mo.
Passages, Kansas Cityís LGBTQA youth center (kcpassages.org) for those aged 14-20 years, will recognize National Coming Out Day during its Wednesday Workshop, 5:30-9 p.m. Oct. 10. Group discussion over dinner will include the history of the day, the relevance of the LGBT civil rights movement and reflection on the impact that coming out has on youth.
University of Kansas
From 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Oct. 11, KUís Queers and Allies will celebrate National Coming Out Day on Wescoe Beach (outside Wescoe Hall, 1445 Jayhawk Blvd., Lawrence, Kan.) with an information table and a free-standing door for people to physically walk though, coming out as LGBTQ or an ally. Queers and Allies can be found on Facebook and KUís LGBT Resource Center is at silc.ku.edu/lgbt.
Straights and Gays for Equality (SAGE) at William Jewell
SAGEís OUTober at William Jewell College will include the first annual Paint War, a movie night, biographies of LGBTQIA individuals and on Oct. 11 Color Me an Ally: National Coming Out Day (a banner-decoration event where students can show their support for LGBTQIA and a hate-free educational environment). SAGE can be found on Facebook.
EQUAL National Coming Out Day Celebration
EQUALís (Empowering Queer Activists and Leaders) Phoenix Leadership Team will hold a National Coming Out Day-themed fundraiser at 7 p.m. Oct. 13 at Kansas City Academy, 7933 Main St., Kansas City, Mo. There will be bands, performers and a raffle with prizes. Find EQUAL on Facebook and at equalcenter.org.
Oct. 15-19: GLSENís Ally Week (allyweek.org) is the third week in October. Learn what it takes to be an ally to LGBT people in school and in life.
University of Missouri - Kansas City
The UMKC Queer Alliance fall drag show is set for ______. A trip to Weston Red Barn Farm for pumpkin-picking and Fall fun is also being planned. You can find Queer Alliance on Facebook, and UMKCís LGBTQIA Resource Office is at umkc.edu/lgbt.
UMKC Womenís Center and the Violence Prevention & Response Project will co-sponsor ďIím Anti-Violence...,Ē a photo campaign where supporters of anti-violence can declare themselves and be photographed. Tabling 11 a.m. to 1 p.m Oct. 18 in Royall Hall, 800 E. 52nd St.
GLAADís Spirit Day
The Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamationís annual Spirit Day, when people wear purple to support anti-bullying efforts, is Oct. 19. Spirit Day (glaad.org/spiritday) is a show of support for LGBT youth and honors young people who have lost their lives to suicide.
Community Curator: The History of Drag in KC
Stuart Hinds, head of UMKCís LaBudde Special Collections, is the October presenter for the Kansas City Museumís Community Curator program, in which a community member examines items from the museumís collection, writes an essay and conducts a public presentation on his findings.
Hindsí subject will be the Melinda Ryder Collection, and his presentation will be on the history of female impersonation in Kansas City. For more information on the 6:30 p.m. Oct. 23 presentation and to RSVP, go to bit.ly/PkbMh6. Location: Union Station, 30 W. Pershing Rd., Kansas City, Mo.
According to Hinds, a principal of the Gay and Lesbian Archive of Mid-America, the LGBT History Trolley Tour will return next year. Also, the archive website (glama.us) underwent a revamping during the summer. Check it out.
A few notables who have come out since last October
Actors Zachary Quinto, Jim Parsons, Matt Bomer and Kristy McNichol; journalists Don Lemon and Anderson Cooper; astronaut Sally Ride; Army Brig. Gen. Tammy Smith; musicians Frank Ocean and Mika; football player Wade Davis; Missouri Rep. Zach Wyatt (Republican, Second District); Eagle scout Eric Jones and superhero Green Lantern (Alan Scott, The New 52) are just some of the folks who have abandoned the closet over the past year.