By Jeromiah Taylor
Party and play (PAR-tee and play) verb. gayspeak word used in reference to getting high on methamphetamine and having sex.
After Martin Sultzman’s close friend shot himself in the head while high on meth, the 34 year old addict had a lot to think about.
“He got so high that he blew his brains out,” Sultzman said. “It’s unfortunate that it took something as drastic as that to happen before it made me wake up, but it made me wake up.”
Over an ironically youthful repast of an M&M cookie and lemonade, Sultzman, now recovered, shares his sliver of a much larger story: that of meth use in the gay community. In the past 15 years meth has achieved great prominence in the gay community, the largest consumer of “party drugs.”
By Grayson Barnes
TOPEKA - The TransKansas IV conference took place on Aug. 26-27 at the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Topeka. Presented by the Kansas Statewide Transgender Education Project (K-STEP), TransKansas explores topics that affect the lives of transgender, gender non-conforming, non-binary people, their families, their employers, and their allies.
Breakout sessions at the conference included ones on non-binary people, updates on transgender law, parenting transgender children, racism and trans-prejudice, and mental health, to name a few. There were also discussion forums for transgender and non-conforming people, their families, allies and associates. Many of the sessions were eligible for continuing education credit.
In “The Letter,” psychiatrist Hiten Soni, MD, of Interpersonal Psychiatry in Lawrence, talked about the need that transgender people have to, in many states, secure letters from mental health and medical providers in order to “prove” that they are transgender. This proof is often necessary in order to obtain hormone treatment, gender confirmation surgery (GCS), and, also to change gender markers on official paperwork.
By Ciara Reid, staff reporter
WICHITA - The 14th annual Tallgrass Film Festival, scheduled for Oct. 12-16, will feature more than 190 independent films from 33 countries around the world, including four films in the LGBT category. The festival will also host a special viewing of the cult hit Welcome to the Dollhouse on Sunday, Oct. 16. The event will feature a conversation with the film’s star, actress Heather Matarazzo, who is openly lesbian.
Closet Monster, directed by Stephen Dunn, depicts protagonist Oscar Madly, approaching adulthood and having to face dysfunctional parents, his sexuality, and a gay bashing he witnessed as a kid. The film was awarded Best Canadian Feature at the Toronto International Film Festival.
Pushing Dead, directed by Tom E. Brown, features actors James Roday (of the show Psych), and Danny Glover. The film, which labels itself “an AIDS comedy,” tells the story of an HIV-positive struggling writer. When he accidentally deposits a $100 birthday check, he is dropped from his health plan for earning too much. The film follows his journey as he tries to come up with the $3,000 a month he needs for medication.
The festival’s LGBT category includes two documentary films. Tickled is a documentary in which journalist David Farrier stumbles upon a mysterious tickling competition online. As described on the film’s website, Farrier delves deeper and comes up against fierce resistance, but that doesn’t stop him getting to the bottom of a story stranger than fiction.
ST. LOUIS - Erin O’Flaherty, 23, one of the contestants in the Miss America pageant, wants fans to know a few things about her: She was raised on a farm; she is a trained livestock judge; and she supports suicide-prevention programs.
But in the brief, get-to-know-me videos posted on her official Miss Missouri Facebook page, there is scant mention of the main reason that she has attracted so much attention: Ms. O’Flaherty is the first openly lesbian contestant to compete in the pageant.
“She is changing the conversation and proving to people that you can be who you are,” said Steve Mendelsohn, the deputy executive director of the Trevor Project, which works to end suicide among LGBT youths. “The pageant is really about the beauty of individuals. And individuals come in all identities.”
By Trevor Reichle
WICHITA - As any LGBT person knows, having allies – even those who are the most unexpected – is a crucial part of self-acceptance and confidence. For Shane Windmeyer, that unexpected friendship came in the form of Dan Cathy, CEO of Chick-Fil-A, a company whose values and operations have been regarded as “right-wing” or “anti-LGBT.”
Windmeyer will be speaking on the meaning of that relationship and the importance of leadership, respect and civility at 6pm on Oct. 12 at Wichita State University’s Hubbard Hall in room 208.
By John Dalton-White
WICHITA - WSR Signature Theatre is thrilled to present the original stage version of Richard O’Brien’s The Rocky Horror Show, the musical that inspired the iconic 1975 film, live on stage for seven performances, Oct. 21-23 and Oct. 28-31.
Performances will begin at 8pm on Fridays and Saturdays, 7pm on Sundays and 11:59pm on Oct. 31 and will be held at the Wichita Scottish Rite, 332 E. 1st St. Due to building policy, outside props will not be permitted. An approved prop bag will be available to purchase before the show for a minimal fee.
Directing The Rocky Horror Show is Deb Campbell. Campbell serves as the Artistic Director at Signature Theatre and is well known to Wichita audiences for her work on shows such as the annual production of 1776, Urinetown and The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee.
WICHITA - This year’s National Coming Out Day will see the world premiere of Out Here In Kansas, a documentary exploring the relationship between Christians and the gay community. The premiere will be on Tuesday, Oct. 11 at Roxy’s Downtown, 422 ½ E. Douglas. Doors will open at 6pm for those who would like to order dinner and drinks. A social hour begins at 6:30pm and the half-hour documentary will be shown at 7:30pm, followed by a filmmakers Q&A around 8pm. Tickets are $5 and can be purchased at the door.
Out Here in Kansas is based on a pair of news articles, published 14 years apart by longtime journalist Adam Knapp, who directed the film. It centers around three people:
By Trevor Reichle
KIOWA - More than the traditional two parties are being represented this year in the Senate race in Kansas’ Fourth District. Miranda Allen, a businesswoman and previous Republican candidate for the district in 2012, is running again – this time as an independent.
Allen, whose campaign slogan promises “Common Ground for Kansas,” made the decision to run as an independent this year after seeing how successful Greg Orman’s 2014 independent run was in the state. While Orman did not win the election, his independent bid garnered enough support to win nearly 43% of the vote that year against incumbent Republican Pat Roberts’ 53%.
Liberty Press writer talks with Sara Quin
By Ciara Reid, staff reporter
KANSAS CITY - Dancing to heartache never felt so good. Touring on the heels of their eighth album Love You to Death, Tegan and Sara have become masters of crafting songs that effortlessly blend inescapable melody with the limitless complications of love and relationships.
Liberty Press spoke with Sara Quin on the eve of their North American tour, which kicked off in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada and included a Kansas City stop on Sept. 13. The day before a huge tour is hectic. In addition to several interviews, the band conducted two full production rehearsals at their venue in Saskatoon, completed a photo shoot for their look book, and squeezed in radio promos.
Canadian twin sisters Tegan and Sara, who just recently celebrated their 36th birthday, started their career 17 years ago with the album Under Feet Like Ours. The duo caught fire with 2004’s So Jealous, which included one of their biggest and most beloved hits to date, “Walking with a Ghost.” So Jealous elevated their visibility, mostly in the indie rock and alternative scene, and landed on numerous “best albums” lists for that year.