By Kristi Parker
When you first pick up C.J. Janovy’s new book, No Place Like Home: Lessons in Activism from LGBT Kansas (University Press of Kansas, $29.95), you might expect a leisurely Sunday read. Think again. What’s inside is a thoroughly researched book chronicling the time LGBT Kansans came together to fight the anti-gay marriage amendment to the state Constitution.
The book is broken up by cities, from Topeka to Wakeeney, Kansas City to Wichita and everywhere in between. Manhattan, Salina, Hutchinson, Dodge City and Garden City. It appears Janovy spent hundreds of hours researching, interviewing and compiling information from all the major players from across the state.
The amendment, which passed in 2005, was a huge blow to the community. However, for the reader who wasn’t involved in the fight, the stories of those who were are inspiring. It is a captivating, motivating read and I believe enough time has passed to take in and learn about the local community history without feeling the loss all over again.
Books about Kansas’ LGBT history, however focused, are few and far between. Janovy’s offering is an immeasurable gift that everyone - not just those in our community - should take advantage of. C.J. Janovy is an arts reporter and editor for KCUR (Public Radio Kansas City, MO) and former editor of the Pitch.