Archive for July, 2009

10 awesome reasons for why you should go to the KY Social Forum!

July 28, 2009

By now you’ve probably heard about the Kentucky Social Forum going down this weekend. But are you wondering why you should go? Well, here are ten great reasons:

1. Anyone who calls themselves an activist will be there. This is the first time the Bluegrass has ever had a social forum of this magnitude, modeling after the successful national social forum from last year. All kinds of people fighting for human rights and social justice will be attending, from retired union workers to high school and college students. If you’ve got cred or want to get some, you’ve got to be there!

2. GLBTQ workshops and more. There are TONS of workshops, ranging from economic and environmental issues to racism, sexism and others -isms, political engagement and of course, ones relating to heterosexism, homophobia and queer rights. If you’re like me, you may be equally excited about the other workshops, as it’s a great chance to learn about what your allies are fighting for.

3. Networking. You may not get a chance to hobknob with so many professionals, activists, lobbyists and general cool folk until the next social forum, so bring your business card (or just your energy), and make yourself or your issue known! Come out and speak out!

4. Events, events, events!
Let’s see: concerts, poetry slams, arts and crafts seminars galore, film fest, interfaith services. All FREE and open to those who register!

5. Berea, Berea. KYSF is taking place on the beautiful Berea College campus, situated in the namesake town known for its artsy scene and progressive, yet laid-back personality. If you’re traveling some ways away, another treat is the scenic route to this quirky little town.

6. It’s cheap. And now the numbers. Only $15-$50 to register, all on a sliding scale to fit your budget! And housing? Berea College is offering rooms for only $15 a night (please click here to download the housing registration form). If you can’t afford this, there are still scholarships available, but you need to apply for them NOW.  Click here to download the scholarship application, fill it out and send it to kentuckysocialfofum@yahoo.com.

7. It’s on a weekend.
Seriously, what else are you doing Saturday morning? This is one of the biggest events of the year and it’s going to be BIG, so unless your best friend is getting married, you’ll need to come up with a better excuse if you decide to be a no-show.

8. You can win $100.
What? Well, if you’re following the Kentucky Social Forum on Twitter, then you’d know that they’re giving away a prize for the person who comes up with the most creative Tweet about KYSF. (And yes, even if you don’t win you should still go!)

9. Call to action. The national social forum is taking place next year, so it’s important to show all the other states what’s happening in Kentucky! All of the workshops are aimed to rev up your activist juices and highlight issues around the Commonwealth, helping to create a progressive coalition. If we work together to solve our own issues, it will certainly build momentum for nationwide issues, including gay, bisexual, lesbian and trans ones.

10. It’s for everyone. Anyone can attend. Carpools are also available if you don’t have a ride. If you’re a parent or guardian, there will be daycare services available, so bring your kids!

As I mentioned before, REGISTRATION IS HAPPENING NOW, and if you need housing, APPLICATIONS and  SCHOLARSHIPS ARE STILL AVAILABLE for housing. But you need to apply RIGHT NOW, time is running out! And if you’ve already registered and paid, you can also help out KYSF even more by making a donation — any amount is awesome!

I forgot the most important reason for why you should go — it’s going to be FUN! If you’re even thinking about going, please find out more from their Web site or email them. A new Kentucky is on her way, are you ready?

WHEN:
July 31-August 2

WHERE:
Berea College
Berea, KY

From Louisville:
Take I-64 E toward Lexington. Merge onto I-75 S toward Richmond/Knoxville. Take Exit 77 toward Berea and then make a left onto Walnut Meadow Pike. Continue until you reach Estill St/US-25. Make a right and follow until you reach Chestnut St.

From Cincinnati/Northern KY:
Take I-71 S toward Cincinnati. Merge onto I-75 S toward Lexington. Take Exit 77 toward Berea and then make a left onto Walnut Meadow Pike. Continue until you reach Estill St/US-25. Make a right and follow until you reach Chestnut St on the left.

HOW MUCH:
Fees ($15-$50) vary depending on registration. Please visit the Web site for more details.

UPCOMING: Kentucky Social Forum at Berea College, July 31-Aug 2

July 17, 2009

In several weeks, one of the biggest social justice events is happening in the state. And by big I mean BIG.

If you’re an activist, volunteer or just an average Joe or Jane working for change, then the Kentucky Social Forum is right up your alley. This weekend-long event is the first of its kind in the state, modeling after national social forums by hosting a series of events aimed at spreading progressiveness across the Bluegrass. There will be workshops covering anything and everything you need to know about human rights issues, from homelessness to hunger, economic and environmental justice and of course, lots of things for the GLBTQ community.

But that’s not all! There will also be poetry slams, concerts and interfaith services for you to participate in. All of this is going on at Berea, a small college town known for its eclectic, artsy scene. Anyone and everyone, from students to retired union workers will be there so you’ll fit right in.

Registration is required and prices vary on a sliding scale. If you want to host a workshop or just attend, please visit the Web site. Housing is also provided and scholarships may be available for accommodation and travel, but it’s first-come, first-serve! Register today!

WHEN:
July 31-August 2

WHERE:
Berea College
Berea, KY

From Louisville:
Take I-64 E toward Lexington. Merge onto I-75 S toward Richmond/Knoxville. Take Exit 77 toward Berea and then make a left onto Walnut Meadow Pike. Continue until you reach Estill St/US-25. Make a right and follow until you reach Chestnut St.

From Cincinnati/Northern KY:
Take I-71 S toward Cincinnati. Merge onto I-75 S toward Lexington. Take Exit 77 toward Berea and then make a left onto Walnut Meadow Pike. Continue until you reach Estill St/US-25. Make a right and follow until you reach Chestnut St on the left.

HOW MUCH:
Fees ($15-$50) vary depending on registration. Please visit the Web site for more details.

SATURDAY, July 18: Fairness Over Louisville at the Hyatt Regency Hotel

July 15, 2009

Got nothing to do this weekend? Get out your high-heel shoes and swanky jacket. We’re going downtown!

Friends and allies of Fairness Campaign are hosting “Fairness Over Louisville,” a night of fun, cocktails and entertainment way up in the sky at Louisville’s renown Hyatt hotel. Enjoy hors d’oeuvres and drink specials as you rotate (literally) over Louisville. $20 dollars gets you in, but you are highly encouraged to donate as all proceeds go to Fairness. (And why not? Fairness has been fighting for your rights for a while, isn’t it time you honor them more with a toast?)

WHEN:
Saturday, July 18
8 PM-12 AM

WHERE:
Hyatt Regency Hotel
320 West Jefferson Street

HOW MUCH:
$20

Tomorrow: RuPaul’s Drag Race star Ongina at HOTEL

July 8, 2009
Photo credit: Hotel Nightclub

Photo credit: Hotel Nightclub

Guess who’s coming to town! That’s right, the one and only Ongina from Logo’s hit show RuPaul’s Drag Race is making a pit stop at Hotel Nightclub and you can see her!

Even though the beauty didn’t win, she has quickly become one of the most recognizable stars in the country, pushing conventional drag standards with her haute couture wardrobe (and not wearing wigs or taping, like most queens). She won over a lot of viewers with her charm and personality, but also touched many by revealing she was HIV positive on the show. She’s fabulous to boot and a role model for the community.

Here’s an interview of the starlet:

If you can, RESERVE a table (phone/email listed below)! This place will be packed!

WHEN:
Tomorrow
10 PM-4 AM

WHERE:
Hotel Nightclub
410 S. Fourth St

HOW MUCH:

Free! But to reserve a table, please contact Daniel Cole by email or at (502) 548-4082 (minimum one bottle purchase).

“My Stonewall Remarks: 40 Years Ago” from Ryan Kemp-Pappan

July 4, 2009

I’m really late in posting this, but I wanted to share a speech by my friend Ryan Kemp-Pappan, a pastor for Douglass Boulevard Christian Church and a tireless ally for the GLBTQ community. Ryan, who spoke at the Candles Across the Commonwealth vigil last Sunday in celebration of Stonewall’s 40th anniversary, is one of many in the faith-based community seeking to reconcile the intolerance queer people have faced due to their religious backgrounds. After reading, you too will be saying “Amen.”

40 years ago the silent voice of a community was heard in a riotous action proclaiming that they would no longer be silent.  40 years ago a few hundred gathered to give voice to the marginalization and systemic oppression forced upon them.  40 years ago a movement was born that we celebrate here today.

The most important thing to remember about movements is that they are comprised of people.  People with hopes, dreams, and vision.  People with love in their hearts looking for a place to store that love.  People with the right to be.  PEOPLE! Movements being and end with the people.  Movements cannot sustain the movement when it is boiled down to an idea.

I stand here today a leader in the Christian church.  I stand here today as a white, straight male. I am a part of this movement.

The Christian faith has been utilized in the disenfranchising action of the GLBTQ community.  We have demanded that you must give up your faith if you insist on keeping your love.  We have demanded that you remain silent in order to nourish your soul.  We have demanded that you have a place in the Kindom of God only if you conform to the narrow standards of dubious origins.  For this I am terribly sorry.

It is my hope that we as a church may offer reconciliation and love to our sisters and brothers for the atrocities perpetrated upon them in the name of God.  It is my hope that the beautiful voice of faith embraced by the GLBTQ Community may enrich the faith on communities across Kentucky.  The faith of a few transforms the faith of us all.  This is a lesson we may draw from the actions of those brave people that would not be silent 40 years ago.

I recently read a lecture from Kentucky’s proud son, Bishop V. Gene Robinson, titled Why Religion Matters in the Quest for Gay Civil Rights. He speaks, “I believe that it will take religious people and religious voices to undo the harm that has been done by religious institutions…It’s time that progressive religious people stop being ashamed of their faith and fearful that they will be identified with the Religious Right, and start preaching the Good News of the liberating Christ, which includes ALL God’s Children.”

It seems that the harm, the damage that is being done is by us, the religious community, by us being in the shadows.  It is time for us to step out of the shadows.  I offer that as this movement progresses and the fires of the Spirit burn in the hearts of the many that we the religious community owe the Gay community love for the silence we offer and the isolation that we perpetrate upon you.  We the religious community owe you that scared space to be fearfully & wonderfully made.  We the religious community owe it to you to emerge from the silence and join our voice with yours and demand that WE shall not be denied the justice imbued within our hearts and souls because we celebrate the diversity of Gods creation.

40 years ago a rebellion began that we are honored to celebrate tonight and participate in today.  40 years ago people came together and would not be silent.  Tonight let us commit ourselves to not remaining silent.  Let us join our voice as we demand that Liberty & justice truly be for ALL.

To read more from Ryan, visit his Web site.

GOING OUT: G3 and Night Racing at Churchill Downs

July 2, 2009

Ready, set, party!

G3 Illustrated will be having its monthly soiree in conjunction with Downs After Dark, a new summer event Churchill Downs started a short while ago as an experiment. The last event was sort of disastrous as there were long lines to vendors and restrooms, but it looks like these concerns have been addressed.

When you enter, follow the signs that say “G3 Skye Terrace.” Weather permitting, this should be a great night for racing!

WHEN:
Tonight
7 PM-12 AM

WHERE:
Churchill Downs
700 Central Ave

HOW MUCH:
$6 for admission
For Parking: Free Parking in the Longfield lot off of Longfield Avenue; $5 after lot is full.