Swimwear to Accenturate Your Assets
Shake what your mama gave you in a kaleidoscope of prints and patterns prepped to get soaking wet | By Mikey Rox
Step onto any gay beach – from Miami’s Haulover to Asbury Park’s 5th Ave. to Will Rogers Beach in Los Angeles – and you’ll bear witness to a veritable catwalk of loosey-goosey board shorts, fitted trunks, and skintight Speedo-like swimwear. While anything goes on the summer’s sandy shores – especially if the area is clothing optional (better pack those dark lenses!) – this year’s styles continue last year’s thighs-the-limit trend with a twist: Button-closure shorts with waist-specific sizing. Here we cultivate some of the more stimulating designs for 2017 with a smattering of tradition tossed in for good measure.
WICHITA - The Friends of the Wichita Art Museum are getting ready for the 58th Annual Art and Book Fair May 13-14. The fair features artworks, gently used or rare books, a chance to see the sculpture garden, take a tour of the museum, be entertained by musical groups, and feast on delicacies from the Muse or local food trucks, all for no admission charge.
It runs from 10am-5pm on Saturday and 11am-5pm on Sunday at the Wichita Art Museum, 1400 W. Museum Blvd.
WICHITA – Grammy award-winner Melissa Etheridge brings her summer tour to Wichita’s historic Orpheum Theatre on Sunday, July 23. It will be the first time the Kansas born and raised singer has ever played in Wichita.
Etheridge is one of rock music’s great female icons. Her critically acclaimed eponymous debut album was certified double platinum. Etheridge’s popularity built around such memorable songs as Bring Me Some Water, Similar Features and Ain’t It Heavy for which she won her first Grammy for Best Female Rock Vocal.
By Jamie Rhodes
WICHITA - On New Year’s Eve last year, the latest gay bar opened in Old Town: XY Bar. Representing the male chromosomes XY, Jerry Nguyen, who owns the bar with his partner Chad Porter, thought of the name. Porter, Nguyen and general manager, Dave Perkins, have been on a constant mission since then to please the Wichita gay nightclub scene; and they believe it’s working. This is Nguyen and Porter’s first time in the bar business, but with 20 years of experience and owning 11 bars in Kansas, Perkins is no novice.
One of the purposes of opening XY Bar has been to mimic the atmosphere of the larger bars one would experience in Oklahoma City or Kansas City with a large enough bar and dance floor where people have space to move around. Perkins and Nguyen like to keep a variety of events and themes going seven nights a week, so customers have a different experience each time.
By Ciara Reid, staff reporter
KANSAS CITY - There are few certainties in life – death and taxes being the two items cited most – but for those in the LGBTQ community, we can add another: the annual gay Pride festival. Every June, Kansas Citians (and surrounding communities) attend the city’s Pride festival for the performances, music, and the chance to make new friends.
This year’s list of performers is stacked: Material Girl on Friday, June 2; Australian pop star Betty Who is slated to perform Saturday, June 3; and Well Strung, slated to perform June 3, are just a few of the big names onboard.
Liberty Press had the chance to ask Bill Svoboda, events coordinator with EventPros, the company organizing KC PrideFest, about what goes into planning the festival and what might be in store for this year’s attendees.
WICHITA – Entering into its 11th season, Wichita’s roller derby league, formerly ICT Roller Girls, is now officially ICT Roller Derby.
The change comes at a time when the sport, worldwide, is making efforts to become more inclusive. As of the 2017 season, men, as well as women, are invited to skate with ICT Roller Derby. The league’s junior team, ICT Roller Juniors, is now also accepting male skaters ages 11-17.
“As members of the Women’s Flat Track Derby Association since 2010, we’ve looked to the organization for leadership in shaping the current and future state of roller derby. As WFTDA has committed to inclusive and anti-discrimination practices as well as partnered with the Men’s Roller Derby Association we decided it was time to have a gender-inclusive team and a roller derby team for everyone in Wichita,” the Director of ICT Roller Derby, Susan Weathers, said.
Information on how to get tickets to see ICT Roller Derby live, as well as details about how to join, are available online at www.ictrollerderby.com. l
BONNER SPRINGS – The Kansas City Renaissance Festival has been a long-standing tradition in the Kansas City community by listening to the concerns and cares of their valued patrons. With that in mind, the Kansas City Renaissance Festival decided to end its elephant ride this upcoming season. It had received countless letters, phone calls, and Facebook messages from patrons asking to end this outdated ride.
Although it is eliminating this ride, the Kansas City Renaissance Festival will still feature multiple attractions and rides including a Zipline, giant swings, 20 stages of non-stop entertainment, and of course turkey legs! In addition to the classics, new events to the festival this upcoming season include a Dragon Encampment, Highland Hill Ranch, Escape Rooms, Living History Tours, and an Obstacle Course.
The Kansas City Renaissance Festival is celebrating 41 years of entertainment. The festival began in 1977 as a benefit for the Kansas City Art Institute. Now, 200,000 people visit annually. The tradition continues this year from Sept. 2-Oct. 15, including Columbus and Labor Day.
LGBTQ youth disproportionately incarcerated in the U.S. juvenile justice system
Almost 60% of incarcerated girls are sexual minorities
LOS ANGELES - A new study by scholars at the Williams Institute found that sexual minority youth are incarcerated at disproportionately high rates. Once they are incarcerated they are more likely to be held for long periods of time and experience sexual victimization.
Sexual minority youth include those that identify as lesbian, gay, or bisexual, as well as those that identified as mostly straight but had some attraction to the same sex.
Key findings include:
* Almost 60% of all incarcerated girls are sexual minorities.
* Sexual minority youth are 2-3 times more likely to be held in custody for more than a year compared to heterosexual youth.
* Gay and bisexual boys were nearly 11 times more likely than straight boys to report having experienced sexual violence by peers.
Gay Canadian artist’s work on display at the Ulrich
By Grayson Barnes
“I have had the luck to lead two distinct lives.”
--Lord Robert Baden-Powell, founder of the Boys Scouts Association
WICHITA - Daryl Vocat opened his April 14 Artist Talk at the Ulrich Museum of Art on the Wichita State University campus with the above quote, commenting that one might be familiar with the man who had a distinguished military career and afterward founded scouting. Lord Baden-Powell’s quote referenced his having an incredible influence twice – first as a British Army officer serving during the Second Boer War; second as a man who developed leaders among young men.
However, Vocat’s work subverts Lord Baden-Powell’s words and the idea of “two distinct lives” by examining the scouting subculture. Vocat finds the visual culture, at least, a paean of mixed messages -- piles of young men in close proximity during their developmental years in conjunction with budding feelings they are programmed to deny, especially if they are attracted to other boys.
As a gay man and a former Boy Scout, Vocat recognized the pubescent awkwardness of the illustrations in his Boy Scout Handbook. He started working with these images back in grad school by creating prints that juxtaposed slightly tweaked handbook illustrations with other pictures.
By Grayson Barnes
WICHITA - I didn’t know what to expect when I went to see Todrick Hall’s Straight Outta Oz show on April 7 at the Orpheum Theatre in downtown Wichita. No. Idea. At. All. I knew Hall was a finalist on American Idol, that he did a stint as a guest judge on RuPaul’s Drag Race, and that this tour was to promote his 2016 (visual) album Straight Outta Oz, but that’s all I knew. Instead of googling anything before the concert, I decided to reserve judgment and “go cold,” if you will.
My first experience as I walked from the foyer into the theatre was volume-esque. The show hadn’t even started yet. The bass was cranked on a Lady Gaga mashup. I vaguely wondered if the antique plaster molding of the grand old Orpheum could handle the vibration as I took my seat, but when I looked up at the stage. I was rapt.
Projected over the set was a series of videos featuring multiple images of Hall singing and dancing with himself to covers of pop songs, interspersed with resplendent music videos of his original songs. Some showed Hall in drag, which elicited screams from the assembling audience. I later found out these were ones he created and posted to YouTube – part of what helped propel him to fame.
I was kind of disappointed when the visual feast stopped, since I had, effectively, gone to YouTube Heaven, however, as a confessed Postmodernist, I got a bigger kick out of what came next, because when the show began, it blossomed into an amalgamation of Hall’s autobiography, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, sexuality, and social commentary.
The singer takes us through his life, beginning from the time he was a shy boy. He reveals the influences of his parents – the support of his mother and the hyper-masculine bent of his father, who told him “gays don’t go to heaven.” We watch him fall in love for the first time with another boy. There is an on-stage kiss. Hall, realizing he wants to be an entertainer, begins navigating the matters of finances, self-confidence, and casting directors. Finally he makes a deal with a producer (the Wizard), who gives him his first job.
CHICAGO - A study published in JAMA Pediatrics found LGB teen suicide attempts in the U.S. declined after same-sex marriage became legal. The research noted declines in states that passed laws allowing same-sex marriages before the Supreme Court made it legal nationwide.
Suicide is the second-leading cause of death for all U.S. teens. Suicidal behavior is much more common among GLB kids and adults; about 29% of these teens in the study reported attempting suicide, compared with just 6% of straight teens.
To the Wichita Community:
Shortly after the Orlando mass murder at the Pulse nightclub, the Wichita community came together in a rare and unique way. A fundraiser was planned in a very short time, every bar owner stepped up to the plate, every person who could be contacted in that brief time responded and almost $10,000 was raised. Of that money, half went to the fund for people who were yet hospitalized and without a job at Pulse, and the other half went directly to the family of one of the victims.
The family was that of Luis Vielma. A family that has struggled to raise a family with both parents working minimum wage jobs in restaurants, and sharing a two-bedroom house with three kids. Because of the generosity of the Wichita community, the Vielma family just moved into a home big enough to offer Kimberly her own bedroom for the first time in her life. You might recall that Kimberly is the sister who didn’t get to have her quinceanera so that the family could properly bury Luis.
There are many things that could divide the Wichita community, and yet we are capable of so much more. I am so very proud of the people who sat on the planning committee for this event. Every single bar owner in the city was in attendance at least one time. That speaks volumes about what we are capable of should we decide to work together. Many thanks to all who helped and contributed. I will refrain from naming people since I will surely leave someone out.
From the bottom of my heart and the hearts of the entire Vielma family, thank you Wichita for your love and generosity. You have truly changed lives by your giving.
Rev. Jackie Carter
Table of Hope MCC