By Grayson Barnes and Kristi Parker
WICHITA - The month of April has been dubbed “Gaypril” by Wichita State University’s Office of Diversity and Inclusion (ODI) and Spectrum (the LGBTQ and Allies group there). Various fun, educational, and celebratory events are planned, starting with International Transgender Day of Visibility on Mar. 31, ending with Lavender Graduation on May 4.
Danielle Johnson, the Assistant Director of the ODI said LGBTQ events at WSU previously only lasted a week, but since the beginning of the ODI, they have extended it to more than a month. At that point, the ODI “kind of jacked the name from KU,” laughed Johnson, “but we are incredibly grateful and we tell them that all the time!”
To highlight the month this year, Alyssa Edwards of RuPaul’s Drag Race is hosting the 7th Annual Drag Show. Edwards, whose name is Justin Johnson, has a storied career in the drag world dating back to 2003 when she was crowned the first alternate to Miss Gay Texas.
She followed that up with 11 other titles including four competitions at Miss Gay America, which she won in 2010. She also won Miss Gay USofA in 2006 and All American Goddess in 2010.
By Ciara Reid, staff reporter
WICHITA - Positive Directions, Inc. (PDI) is gearing up for AIDS Walk 2017, scheduled for April 29. PDI is a social service agency that provides free HIV-prevention services and HIV testing and outreach education. Specific services include condom distribution, rapid HIV testing, and support group referrals.
Participants of the AIDS Walk will meet in the parking lot of The Workroom, located at 150 N. Cleveland in Wichita. Check-in is scheduled for 9am; the walk begins at 10am. The AIDS Walk is free for those who have raised more than $25. All walkers will receive a t-shirt.
Riverfest 2017 concert line-up announced
WICHITA - Wichita Festivals, Inc. revealed Wendy Johnson as Admiral Windwagon Smith XLIV, ambassador of Riverfest 2017 which runs June 2-10. Johnson, division director of marketing and communications for the Wichita Public Schools, grew up in Wichita and graduated from Wichita High School East. The recipient of Wichita Festivals’ Galaxy Award in 2013 recognizing more than 20 years of outstanding volunteer service, Johnson served on the WFI Board of Directors for six years and was its chair in 2006.
“When I was a kid rolling down the hillside in A. Price Woodard Park during Riverfest, I never thought I would experience this amazing community event as Admiral Windwagon Smith,” Johnson said.
In addition, nine days of concerts were also recently announced. Riverfest 2017’s concert headliners include four Grammy Award winners, an Academy Award recipient, a Golden Globe winner and a Kennedy Center Honoree.