Commentary Strange Fruit

Derby Week is finally here! With it comes fancy hats, random celebrity sightings, tardiness to work, and parties all night, every night. Derby events come in all shapes, sizes and degrees of swankiness. This week, we learn about a two-part Thurby night party that’s raising money for a cause dear to our own hearts.

The Rainbows & Roses Soirée is a fundraiser for the LGBTQ+ Coalition of Louisville, the brainchild of artists Josh Miller and Theo Edmonds, who join us this week to tell us more. The coalition came together just over a year ago, with members from Louisville Youth Group, Kentuckiana Pride Foundation, Transwomen National, and IDEAS xLab.

They have an ambitious five-year plan to create an LGBTQ+ Community Center. Theo Edmonds said they wanted to focus on what people actually want and need before putting any bricks on the ground. “The important part of a community center is that first word: community,” he said.

Edmonds said the group decided to spend a year assessing those needs, so they’ve held a series of town hall meetings with LGBTQ Louisvillians. “We’ve had them in nightclubs, we’ve had them in churches, we’ve had them on Saturday mornings and Tuesday nights and at the Urban League.”

What did they learn? How diverse our community really is. “The LGBTQ community is not a monolith. We are as varied as the colors on the rainbow flag. So we wanted to make sure we were hearing from everyone.”

Sowande Malone

Photograph by Sowande Malone

Proceeds from the Rainbows & Roses Soirée will go towards building the community center. The party will feature performances from LouisVogue and RuPaul’s Drag Race All-Star Latrice Royale. Details and tickets are on the coalition’s website.

Joining us for Juicy Fruit this week is one of our favorite local photographers, Sowande Malone, a self-described feminist who specializes in portraits of black women. Sowande joins us to tackle the Shea Moisture debacle and hair hate. We also examine People Magazine’s choice for most beautiful woman of 2017… Julia Roberts. As you might imagine, we have some picks of our own.

Listen to this week’s show in the player above, or wherever you get your podcasts.

Laura produces Curious Louisville, Strange Fruit, and other audio news stories for WFPL.