Laura Ellis

Producer

Laura has been with WFPL since 2004. During her time with the station she has booked talk shows, produced news specials, engineered remote broadcasts, shaped the minds of impressionable interns, and even changed diapers for guests whose babies accompanied them to the studio.

When she's not making radio, she's making a spectacle of herself on stage (or making theatrical sound design) for any number of local theatre companies—most frequently Pandora Productions and Looking for Lilith Theatre Company. When she's not making theatre or radio, she might be found making Prohibition-Era jazz with Billy Goat Strut Revue, while burlesque dancers shake what their mamas gave 'em.

When she's not making any of the previously-mentioned things, she's usually making tiny dogs shake her hand in exchange for cookies.

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Local News
6:30 am
Tue June 5, 2012

Body Politics Deconstructed: Amanda Stahl, Defining Fairness

When Amanda Stahl first realized she was falling in love with another woman, she wanted to write about it in her journal—not an unusual way to process feelings of self-discovery. But for Amanda, just the act of journaling meant automatically coming out.

"I need other people to help me take care of myself," she explains. "That morning I had my caregiver sitting down and writing in my journal from the night before, and I was like, I really want to write this down because it's really important." She told her caregiver and the journal entry was recorded.

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Local News
12:08 pm
Thu May 31, 2012

Defining Fairness Series Recap

Our Defining Fairness series will wrap up next week; we'll speak with Amanda Stahl on Tuesday, June 5th, and Lucian Grey on Thursday, June 7th. In case you missed any of them, here are the previous conversations:

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Local News
6:30 am
Wed May 30, 2012

Growing Up Gay in Appalachia: Whit Forrester, Defining Fairness

The thought of growing up gay in rural Eastern Kentucky would make many Louisvillians cringe. But how much of that reaction is rooted in stereotypes we hold about rural Kentucky? Whit Forrester spent some of his childhood in Leburn, Kentucky—a town in Knott County, with a population of around eight hundred people. Whit says when people hear he's from Appalachia, they think, "barefoot, pregnant, in a trailer, and you know how to change a propane tank."

Whit Forrester spoke with WFPL’s Phillip M. Bailey and Laura Ellis about growing up gay in Appalachia.

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Politics
9:30 am
Sat May 26, 2012

Analysis of Louisville's Next Budget and Tuesday's Election Results

On Thursday, Mayor Greg Fischer unveiled his proposed city budget for the fiscal year beginning July 1st. The mayor had warned that it would be an austere spending plan; metro government has been faced with a multi-million dollar shortfall. Phillip M. Bailey covered the story for WFPL and joined us Friday on Byline to explain where the city's money will go, and why.

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Arts
6:00 pm
Fri May 25, 2012

Author Pamela Steele and Poet Albert DeGenova Return to Louisville for Spalding Residency

This weekend marks the beginning of Spalding University's Master of Fine Arts in Writing program's semi-annual residency. Alumni Albert DeGenova and Pamela Steele are in Louisville as part of the residency, and they joined WFPL's Erin Keane and Rick Howlett on Friday's Byline to talk about their work.

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Local News
6:30 am
Thu May 24, 2012

Beyond Pink and Blue: Rebecca Grant, Defining Fairness

Rebecca Grant was a Staff Sergeant in the Army National Guard. Twelve years into her military career, a fellow soldier found and circulated a picture of her wearing a dress. The Army took issue with the photo because she had enlisted and had been serving as male—her biological sex.

Rebecca is now the president of Sienna, a transgender social, educational and support group, and has come out as transgendered and a lesbian. But embracing her identity hasn't been without challenges. "Right now, I'm able to still marry, let's say, my partner, a female, legally," she explains. "But once I have my sex change, I would not have that opportunity. And that seems completely wrong."

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Local News
11:58 am
Tue May 22, 2012

Chosen Families and the Ballroom Scene: Jaison Gardner, Defining Fairness

Jaison Gardner describes ballroom shows as "akin to fashion shows, akin to a talent shows," and says they started with LGBTQ people of color, mostly gay men and transgender women, in 1970s and 80s Harlem.

Gardner was one the founders of our local ballroom community—but if you haven't heard of it, he's not surprised. "The ballroom scene has historically been an underground scene," he explains, "much like hip-hop was back in its early days."

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Local News
11:51 am
Tue May 22, 2012

LGBTQ Community More Than Black & White: Tiff Gonzales, Defining Fairness

Tiff Gonzales is a fourth-generation Mexican American, native to Texas, who identifies as queer both in gender identity and sexual orientation.

Tiff moved to Louisville five and a half years ago. She says when we talk about race in Louisville, we're generally only talking about black and white. Latino issues are rarely part of the conversation, and when they are, it often only includes immigrants. "There's so much that draws me to this city," she says, "but that invisibility is something that I, on a regular basis, would struggle with to determine whether or not I can continue to live here."

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Local News
6:30 am
Mon May 14, 2012

Bringing Faith to the LGBTQ Community: Maurice "Bojangles" Blanchard, Defining Fairness

File photo

Maurice "Bojangles" Blanchard was born in Promised Land, South Carolina, the son of a Southern Baptist Minister, and says, "I grew up in church as much as I was in home." He was given his nickname at the age of three, when his grandfather noticed his ability to replicate any dance move he saw.

When he came out as a gay man, he experienced rejection from the church. "I was angry at God," he says. After struggling to reconcile his faith with his sexual orientation, he says he came to the conclusion that, "I was created like this, so I can't believe in a God who would create me bound to hell, as they're telling me I am." 

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Local News
6:30 am
Thu May 10, 2012

Legal Protection in Louisville: Diane Moten, Defining Fairness

When asked to describe herself, Diane Moten says: "I’m just a simple person. I work with the homeless. I’m a part time nanny. I like to bike, I like to run and walk. Actually, I’m also a minister. The church ordained me last year. I say that in some situations to be helpful to folks when I do jail visits or hospital visits. I’m a pretty outgoing person, and I’m the type of person, if you’re willing to ask me a question, I’ll answer any question anyone wants me to answer."

Years before the city of Louisville offered legal protections to residents based on their sexual orientation and gender identity, Diane Moten was working at a daycare center when coworker asked her if she was a lesbian. She answered yes, and was fired within a week; her employer said she could no longer be trusted around children.

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