LGBTQ

Local News
10:00 pm
Tue January 22, 2013

Baptist Minister Bojangles Blanchard Arrested After Applying for Marriage License

Credit File photo

 Reverend Maurice "Bojangles" Blanchard was arrested Tuesday evening after applying for a marriage license at Louisville's County Clerk's office. The arrest followed a protest and sit-in Blanchard called the Southern Satyagraha, which happened on West Jefferson Street near the Hall of Justice. 

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Strange Fruit
10:00 am
Sat January 12, 2013

Strange Fruit: Top Dog/Underdog Explores Black Masculinity; Who Can Use Gay Slurs?

Brian Lee West and Keith McGill in Top Dog/Underdog

This week the Strange Fruit team got to sit in on a dress rehearsal of a local production of Suzan Lori-Parks' play, Top Dog/Underdog. The play looks at a pair of brothers whose dysfunctional relationship provides a framework for questions about family dynamics and what defines black masculinity.

We spoke with the play's cast, Brian Lee West and Keith McGill, about working on the piece, and how their own lived experiences informed the choices they made on stage. McGill portrays Lincoln, the play's older brother. "When [director] Kathi Ellis first approached me with this play," he explains, "I read it, and I went, 'Oh my god, that's my brother and me.'" 

He says the play mirrors the real relationships between brothers. "Once you're the younger brother you're always the younger brother. Once you're the older brother you're always the older brother, whatever happens. And in certain situations, you go right back to those roles."

West says the play forces you to think about what shapes our self-identities. "How do you define yourself as a black man? Is it how many women you have, is it holding a steady job, is it being able to get it over on The Man and prevailing?"

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Strange Fruit
11:36 am
Sat December 22, 2012

Strange Fruit: Going Home Gay for the Holidays

Transgender model Connie Fleming
Credit Candy Magazine

It's a story we heard several times during WFPL's Defining Fairness series: a young person leaves his or her rural town for college in a bigger city, meets other LGBTQ folks, and comes out! But for some folks, when the holidays roll around and they head home for Christmas... they have to go back into the closet. 

This week we spoke with Dr. Stephanie Budge from UofL, who recently taught a workshop on coping with the holidays as an LGBTQ person. She says while some families do overtly antagonistic things (like using the wrong pronoun for trans folks, or refusing to let their LGBTQ family member bring a partner to holiday functions), what she hears about the most is simply ignoring. A young person might come out as queer to their family only for the response to be silence, and an unwillingness to acknowledge their identity.

Dr. Budge gave us some coping strategies we can all use during moments of holiday stress and family conflict, how to take full advantage of your chosen family's love when your family of origin doesn't support you, and how to tell when things are so bad or unsafe it might be better to skip going home altogether. 

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Strange Fruit
10:00 am
Sat December 15, 2012

Strange Fruit: Filmmaker Tiona M on Telling Untold Stories; Louisville Author TeaRon Watkins

A young black lesbian woman waits for the results of her HIV test after having been cheated on by a partner. For the middle-aged, HIV positive gay black man in the waiting room with her, the clinic visit is more routine. These are the two characters in documentary filmmaker Tiona M's latest movie, Bumming Cigarettes

Tiona joined us this week to talk about her work, and how she's been inspired to make the kinds of films she would have benefited from seeing herself, as a young black lesbian growing up in the south.

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Strange Fruit
10:00 am
Sat December 8, 2012

Strange Fruit: Kasandra Perkins & Jovan Belcher; Sexual Assault in Communities of Color

Aishah Shahidah Simmons (top left), Gina McCauley (top right), hosts Jaison Gardner & Dr. Kaila Story

It's been one week since Kansas City Chiefs player Jovan Belcher shocked the football world by shooting his girlfriend Kasandra Perkins, then himself. In the intervening seven days, people have tried to make sense of his actions in different ways. Could he have suffered concussions during his time on the field, which made him prone to violence and poor impulse control? Some outlets speculated Belcher was angry at Perkins for various reasons. ESPN was criticized for airing a graphic in tribute to Belcher.

To try to make some sense of the story and resulting coverage, we called Gina McCauley, who blogs at What About Our Daughters. McCauley says all the speculation about the causes of last Saturday's events is offensive, and an avoidance tactic. "Why are we going out of our way to ignore the fact that the reason this woman was murdered is because of misogyny and sexism?" she asks. "She was murdered because he wanted to control her in some way. He couldn't, so he killed her."

Her post on the murder cites the CDC statistic that black women ages 25-29 are about 11 times more likely than white women in that age group to be murdered while pregnant, or within one year of giving birth. She had a lot to share with us about the disparity in those numbers and why the media doesn't talk about it in cases like this.

We also spoke this week with documentary filmmaker Aishah Shahidah Simmons, who directed "No! The Rape Documentary." In the film she examines sexual assault in communities of color, and unique issues surrounding survivors within our community. 

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Strange Fruit
10:00 am
Sat November 17, 2012

Strange Fruit: Yolo Akili, Darnell Moore, Gay Men and Sexism

He's a poet, activist, counselor, wellness consultant, performance artist, and more. But this week, what got our attention about Yolo Akili was his article, Gay Men's Sexism and Women's Bodies. In it, he talks about incidents of gay men giving unsolicited advice about (and sometimes nonconsensually touching) women's bodies, and why it's often seen as more acceptable behavior in gay men than it would be in their straight brothers. We've talked before about how being gay doesn't give you a free pass to be racist; Yolo reminds us that it also doesn't give you carte blanche to make sexist comments or treat women's bodies like public property.

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Strange Fruit
7:30 am
Tue October 23, 2012

African Americans More Likely to Identify as LGBT than White Americans

The largest-ever demographic study of America’s LGBT population was released last week, and the data revealed that African Americans and other ethnic minorities are more likely to identify as LGBT than white Americans.

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Strange Fruit
10:00 am
Sat October 20, 2012

Strange Fruit: The i-Word & the Election; Musician Teneia Sanders

The immigration portion of the second presidential debate got attention for what the candidates said, but also, for how they said it. Undocumented? Illegal? It made us wonder: How much do words matter? How does what we call someone affect how we think about and treat them?

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Strange Fruit
10:00 am
Sat October 13, 2012

Strange Fruit: HIV in Our Community

The Louisville AIDS Walk is this Sunday, and for many, it's a time of solidarity and celebration. But AIDS activism in Louisville faces a big challenge: apathy. There are more people living with HIV in Louisville now than ever before, but the disease doesn't make the headlines it once did. 

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Strange Fruit
10:00 am
Sat October 6, 2012

Strange Fruit: LGBT History Month

October is LGBT History Month, and this past week was Pride Week at UofL. So this week, we talked to some of our favorite people about notable moments in LGBTQ history, and what festivities took place this week on campus.

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