Recently the news has been full of societal and legal advances for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender Americans. Yet the struggle for LGBT equality stretches back decades, even here in the Midwest.
A panel of experts examines this often-overlooked local history in We're Here, We're Queer: The Struggle for Gay and Lesbian Rights in Kansas City on Tuesday, February 18, 2014, at 6:30 p.m. at the Plaza Branch, 4801 Main St.
Keyed to the upcoming Starr Symposium at the University of Missouri-Kansas City (an annual forum addressing women's issues and family concerns), this discussion explores a Kansas City gay rights community that predated the famous Stonewall Riots in New York City in 1969 and the birth of the gay rights movement. As gays and lesbians became embedded in the city's cultural life, organizations were established to ensure social equality and a political voice.
Panel participants include Stuart Hinds, head of the LaBudde Special Collections at the UMKC University Libraries; Kevin Scharlau, a graduate student in the UMKC History Department doing research on pre-Stonewall gay and lesbian advocacy in Kansas City; and Kay Madden, a local lawyer working extensively with the local LGBT community.
Admission is free. A 6 p.m. reception precedes the event. RSVP at kclibrary.org or call 816.701.3407.