Strange Fruit
10:00 am
Sat January 19, 2013

Strange Fruit: Fairness in Vicco; Keen Dance Company Founder Returns to Louisville


Vicco, Ky., brought national attention to the state this week by becoming the smallest town in the United States to pass a fairness law. Like many of you (we're guessing), we'd never even heard of Vicco until the news broke. So we invited Fairness Campaign director Chris Hartman to join us this week and tell us more. 

"It's about three and a half hours east," Chris explains, "and several hundred feet up."

Hartman and others from the Fairness Coalition worked directly with Vicco leaders on the law. He said folks in Vicco are what we might call "non-traditional allies" who may not fit our idea of what LGBTQ-rights supporters are.

"But that may just be because we all have some inappropriate stereotypes about what rural Americans are like, about what Appalachian folks are like, and about what people who live in coal country are like," Hartman said.

Since we had Chris in the studio, we invited him to stay for our whole Juicy Fruit segment, in which a conversation about Jodie Foster's coming-out speech at the Golden Globes lead to a larger discussion of whether coming out still matters, and to whom. We may or may not have concluded with celebrity crush confessions and some wildly inappropriate speculation about famous folks we wish would come out (OK, we totally did).

We also spoke this week with Louisville native John Keen. Keen grew up dancing and choreographing, and moved to New York to continue his career. But he said "reality hit when I did not fit the ideal dancer type." So he started his own dance company, based on this quote by African-American choreographer and activist Alvin Ailey: "Dance is from the people and should be given back to the people."

Now he's bringing Keen Dance Theater back to his hometown, for a performance in Louisville. He talked to us about what we can expect from the show, and about his intersecting identities as a black gay choreographer.

Make sure you stick around for our closing thoughts, in which we learn about Dr. Story's many childhood nicknames. Next week, we'll be at Creating Change in Atlanta, and we'll also bring you part two of our interview with Chris Hartman, where we broaden our scope beyond Vicco and check in on the state of LGBTQ rights across the state and the nation.

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