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Lisa Marie: Kelly and I share in a great relationship by encouraging one another to excel in our individuality. Our motto: A better me makes a better us. Trust, this Gemini can put a mood or five on. We build our relationship based on the needs of us. Many of these needs include exploring, tasting and pushing our boundaries to enjoy the fruits of the earth. Let us take a venture into the best of the best fruits of 2009.
Kelly: So many professionals go solo. Not us. We never, ever miss a chance to explore together on the company dime. Lisa has been fondly nicknamed the “corporate traveler” by my cohorts, and I really believe my business partners get more out of their meetings (slash wine-sloshin’ beer bashes) with the corporate traveler than they do with me. Nothing seals a deal better than a sexy lesbian lover who happens to pull me to her side. This past year, we dined on oyster “flights” in Boston and ate until our fingers stung from the lemon and horseradish.
Lisa Marie: I research restaurants online to find those with style, quality and good reviews. It makes for a better experience overall. The flights from B&G Oysters were de-lish. Later we headed over to the Institute of Contemporary Art for the Shepard Fairey exhibit. The museum was small, modern and beautiful. The exhibit seemed a slice out of history with the recent events and legalities over the Fair Use Act with his Obama poster.
Kelly: And then there was Vegas: We were enchanted by the wine angels in the Aureole restaurant at Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino. These angels work inside the restaurant’s chilled, 42-foot-tall wine tower made of laminated glass. They wear black catsuits and harnesses and flutter from one wine bottle to another to retrieve the bottles that customers request.
And then we found the local H&M and ran through the store pulling jeans and hats off the rack before it closed.
Lisa Marie: Honestly, one night in Vegas is all I need. Good thing, cuz that’s all we got. A city with an H&M is a city worth visiting. Get it while you can because there’s no online H&M shopping in the United States. Speaking of get it, Kelly grooved it in Vegas for her public-speaking gig. It’s fun to be a corporate traveler and watch sassy girls speak at conventions, especially when they’re yours.
Kelly: We took the corporate traveler far … all the way to the Philippines, where we felt the guilty pleasure of the bourgeoisie while staying at the elegant and hip Makati Shangri-La Hotel in Manila. We rode in the local jeepneys, ate hot Indian food, traveled by car through privately owned highways and rice paddies, visited Mount Mayon, which is now erupting, and received the deepest, hardest, longest massages on Earth. It’s a massage society, and we did as the Romans do, spending all day at the baths.
Lisa Marie: And very authentic with the lovely women bathing in a shared bath, with a large movie screen playing American movies from the ’90s. During our massage, I looked over to the table next to me to see Kelly launched in the air in a crescent shape and balancing on her therapist’s limbs. The next second, I found myself in the same position and loving every moment of it.
The Philippines trip is definitely at the top of my list. I screened my documentary the same, but different, which explores the various life roles of four transgender people, at the University of the Philippines. We were fortunate to have Hender, my sexy, clever, multi-lingual and transgender hostess give us a tour of local Manila, from street food (chicken intestines on a stick) to skinny jeans to the Makati red light district.
Kelly: Did I mention the massage of my life? Oh, you thought I was talking about the Philippines massage, which was incredibly amazing, painful, and frightening all at the same time. Who wouldn’t feel that way about a 90-pound Filipina woman hoisting your entire body, like a bag of rice, into the air with her feet? Sure, that’s fun, but what I’m really talking about is the amazing massage Lisa gave me in her studio for Valentine’s Day.
I admit … I was nervous. Her studio was minimal: just a massage table setup in an old, dark-wood Kansas City office building in the West Bottoms. I gazed at the art on her walls — a few large art pieces constructed around the theme of broken bones. The only light in the room was a few beams softly sifting through the blinds. It was dark. The energy in the room clearly centered around the massage table and Lisa. Without any hesitation, I did everything she asked me to do. Diligently. What followed was a set of methodical touches, slow and deep moves, and subtle adjustments. Over the sheet. Under the sheet. I let her do everything that was on her mind.
Lisa Marie: Ahem, well I’m blushing. Now that I’m a retired professional massage therapist, I can get my romantic on a bit more in the massage arena. As should we all!
Another body treatment that you have to search for the romantic in is the Master Cleanse, a 10-day fast that don’t go so fast, you know what I’m saying? You may drink a lemon-maple syrup-cayenne-and-water concoction to your heart’s content, but may no food enter thy mouth. You may also indulge in peppermint tea. Not only do you awake and think, “Ugh, no food today,” you also awake to a warm quart of saltwater in the morning for your saltwater flush to keep things a-movin’. That’s the gist of the process, and it’s awesome for you as you detoxify and break habits.
Now, how we made it sexy? You bide your time with the other’s bodice. Rav-ish, baby. We took long, hot baths and ate slushies and popsicles made from our lemonade concoctions. It’s a major accomplishment, and you feel proud and confident in completing the task. We each dropped about 10 pounds and felt a bit more bootylicious in and out of our jeans.
We’ve found that eating vegan maintains a bootylicious figure. While on vacation, we veer from vegan but not far. In the KC ’hood, we enjoy a few places to entice our cravings such as our latest find, The Foundry, with their out-of-this-world vegan pizza and other options. I will say this — all good restaurants should have a vegan option listed outright on the menu in this day and age.
Kelly: One of my friends told me, “You and Lisa, you guys always do things that require helmets.” True. Like GoCars in San Diego, electric vehicles with automated guide systems that chauffeured us through downtown, giving us historical tidbits about the city. The best part was that we could stop and park, and run into a restaurant or store.
Another helmet moment: tandem biking through Napa Valley, riding from one amazing winery to another, in the spring sun, our skin warmed and the chardonnay chilled. We stayed at the Chateau de Vie B&B, gay-owned and exquisite all-around, with the most amazing boutique wine on-site. Oh yeah, there are more helmet events: kayaking in La Jolla, Calif., where we chased down migrating whales; Segway riding at Union Station, which resulted in an unfortunate arm injury; and wakeboarding at the Camsur Watersports Complex in the Philippines, where we were slung around a manmade lake at high speed on our knees, dodging steep ramps and other debris (mainly billabong-outfitted tourists like ourselves).
Lisa Marie: We’re rough and tough and enjoy a good ride. Life is full of adventure!
Making money is art and working is art and good business is the best art.
— Andy Warhol
Kelly: KC is chock-full of great artists who fill local spaces with their fantastic pieces. What I’ve found is that the coolest and smartest gallery owners tend to attract the best artists in town. Night parties, hip and unusual music, food, drink, smart conversation, warm patios or plush seating all tend to foster the idea that art = congregation and love. You need to spend time in the space surrounded by art and artist to understand art appreciation. It’s a physical experience. And it’s good business.
Tom Deatherage of the Late Show, Apryl McAnerney of Slap & Tickle, and Jody Wilkins of Pi Gallery all understand this. They live their galleries. Each gallery, housed in questionably renovated Kansas City buildings in the Crossroads art district, has its own energy and themes. Pi is fun and open, with a great patio view to the outdoor Crossroads music stage. Inside, there is an old cigarette machine transformed into an art-dispensing contraption where small art drops out for a few dollars.
Lisa Marie: Pi also offers coffee and tasty treats, and makes for a cool dining experience. Owning and running a gallery ain’t easy, folks. It takes love. And Jody loves us.
Kelly: The Late Show is hard and driven and masculine, like its owner, Deatherage. Art pieces are stacked against the walls. Security tape and lights block off specific work areas for Tom. Every inch of the upstairs space is covered in art. Artists love showing their work at Tom’s, not only because the space is cool and he moves the art fast into the hands of buyers, but also because his opening night parties are a blast and usually standing room only.
Lisa Marie: I love Tom, and everything he touches turns into art. Even the pretty boys. He’s a Kansas City art warrior, but better known as art daddy. His character adds the cool to KC, people. Stay close and he may rub off on you.
Kelly: Slap & Tickle also has its own thing going on. McAnerney’s space is like walking into a big toy box: cosmic, plush and filled with odd characters.
Lisa Marie: Apryl is always the hostess to sexy art and music events in her space, dressing the part and playing up its name. If you see a foxy, dred-headed girl in a mini-skirt and boots, tell the gallery owner to keep on and keep it real.
These gallery owners make the job seem glamorous, but keep in mind it is a j-o-b. We should all be mindful of how we can support these gems to keep them alive and well. It’s a group effort, for those of you into the group thing.
Art of Dining
Kelly: Along with adapting to veganism, the art of dinner parties is a newfound love from this past year. You learn quickly that vegan does not go well with restaurants, unless you like hummus and couscous on a regular basis. For this social being, this was a gap that had to be bridged, and bridged it was by carefully constructing our own social mélange of friends. The parties are casual, but the menus are well-constructed. All guests are asked to participate in the dinner in one way or another via a dinner theme. Of course, the success of this really depends on whom you are inviting. At one party we had the following attendees: a zoo keeper, personal trainer, political studies professor, die-hard renaissance festival attendee, a local chef, and of course, your favorites, a lovely filmmaker and art collector. A perfect ensemble!
Lisa Marie: The food is not the only area with a recipe, my good folks. I enjoy experimenting with a combination of personalities and good energies as well. This is what makes fine dining.
Kelly: Themes can range from wearing something red along with a story, to preparing a “top chef” dish, which was created through a lottery pull from regions, colors, and courses.
Lisa Marie: Tell us how much you enjoy our article and we may invite you over as well!
Lisa Marie Evans is a local filmmaker and artist, and Kelly Reed is a creative writer and art collector. Together they enjoy the sexy, finer things in life, such as travel, food, art, adventure and women. In their column, Lisa Marie and Kelly wish to share with the LGBT community what they find out about the ways to enjoy and appreciate life.
Worldwide opera star Renée Fleming will perform in Kansas City on Thursday night, November 18, but the day before, she'll be part of a panel discussion for "Music and the Mind" — a conversation about how music affects the brain, cognitive development, healing and quality of life.
WHAT: Music and the Mind with Renée Fleming
WHEN: Wednesday, Nov 17, 2021
TIME: 4:00-5:30 PM
WHERE: The 1900 Building, 1900 Shawnee Mission Parkway, Mission Woods, KS, 66205
Music has a profound impact and the ability to shape 86 billion neurons in the brain for cognitive development, healing, and therapy. Science research has clearly shown that music therapy interventions can improve quality of life across nearly all neurological disorders. And there is tremendous public-interest in applying music to creative aging, childhood development, and community wellness.
But scientists want to know more.
Join soprano Renée Fleming and a distinguished panel of local Kansas City experts in neurology, music therapy, music and healing, and more for this cutting-edge discussion. Audience members will be able to participate in a Q&A following the panel discussion.
*Please note this Music and the Mind Event is not a musical performance*
As Artistic Advisor at Large to the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Renée Fleming has spearheaded a collaboration with the National Institutes of Health, with the participation of the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA). The Sound Health initiative explores and brings attention to research and practice at the intersection of music, health, and neuroscience. This collaboration has led to workshops at the NIH, and events and performances at the Kennedy Center. This initiative has also led the NIH to recently award $20 million dollars in funding for music and neuroscience research over five years.
As part of her advocacy, Fleming is also advisor to the recently launched NEA/UCSF Sound Health Network and co-chair of the Aspen Institute/Johns Hopkins NeuroArts Blueprint, both working to advance the field of arts and health.
This event is free and open to the public, but seating is limited. Please call the Harriman-Jewell Series at 816-415-5025 to reserve your seat.
WHAT: Renée Fleming, soprano in recital
WHEN: Thursday, Nov 18, 2021
TIME: 7:00 PM
WHERE: Helzberg Hall, Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts
COST: Tickets from $25.00 *discounts available for students, educators, first responders, active duty military and veterans with valid I.D.
Pair a glorious voice with a winning personality and you have a diva for the ages. Renée Fleming is a longstanding Harriman-Jewell Series favorite. With her many television and Broadway appearances, Fleming has been embraced by music lovers of all genres.
Whether singing at the Nobel Peace Prize ceremony, the Olympics, or Queen Elizabeth’s Diamond Jubilee, Renée Fleming represents opera to the world. In addition to her numerous operatic performances, Fleming often works classic show tunes and the Great American Songbook into her recitals. Fleming’s trademark rapport with audiences will give her Kansas City performance a warmth that is personal and sincere.
Rob Ainsley is pianist for the recital. His diverse career as a musician, conductor, educator, and administrator has taken him to top organizations and colleges from coast to coast. He now serves as Director of the Washington National Opera’s Cafritz Young Artists and American Opera Initiative. Ainsley performed with Renée Fleming in The Metropolitan Opera’s August 2020 “Met Stars Live in Concert” that was streamed worldwide.
ABOUT THE HARRIMAN-JEWELL SERIES
Renée Fleming's recital will mark the 977th performance since the Series was founded in 1965. From free education events that allow interaction with musicians and dancers, to our free Discovery Concerts that are open to the community, the Harriman-Jewell Series continues to offer life-enriching opportunities for its community's youth and lifelong learners.
Whether you're spreading truth, information, or love, traveling abroad for humanitarian reasons can have risks. Detained American journalist in Myanmar, Danny Fenster, is to be released from jail, and to fly home soon. But it doesn't always end well for every foreign national attempting to do good in a foreign country.
The missionaries consisting of sixteen Americans and one Canadian kidnapped by the Haitian “400 Mawozo” gang on October 16, is extremely scary. The gang has threatened to kill the humanitarian Christians if a million dollar per person ransom is not fulfilled. The group consists of men, women, children and an eight-month-old baby.
These missionaries have sacrificed their time and paid their own way to go to the poorest place in the Western hemisphere to try to spread God’s love and save some souls. In turn, the missionaries are experiencing a nightmare like they’ve never imagined. They’re imprisoned and being threatened with a bullet in the head.
Most of us will never get over seeing journalists being beheaded and tortured in Syria and Iraq by the barbaric Islamic extremist group called ISIL. Burning people alive and beheading others were too graphic and gruesome to ever be forgotten.
Years ago, I traveled to a third world country on a “missionary trip” with others thinking it would be a nice break. I’ve never worked so hard in my life.
Sadly, the 17 missionaries in Haiti are undergoing a cruel experience that may end with the cost of their very lives. What are they thinking now? What is going through the minds of the little children who traveled to a world to help others and spread God’s love?
Haiti has been the site of years of humanitarian efforts. The United States and other countries have given billions of dollars to help Haiti. Sadly, hurricanes, political unrest, underdevelopment and extreme poverty have all made for a sad scenario.
How much money would the world have to give to Haiti to make life better for this nation? This is a question no one can answer because usually aid is a short-term solution. We spent a trillion dollars in Afghanistan and they aren’t any better off today.
Good missionary people went to Haiti with good hearts for helping others in the name of God’s love. They went to share a message they hoped would bring about change and better lives. They may now lose their lives.
Christians point to Jesus as the model for such missionary efforts. He came preaching and teaching in an effort to demonstrate and spread God’s love and it cost him plenty – his life, executed in public on a cross.
There are some Christians today who, like Jesus, are willing to risk their lives for the sake of others. Did these men and women literally go to Haiti taking their children with them truly believe they could be killed? Would they purposefully do this to their children? Who convinced these people that such a trip with small children was a good idea?
My goal here is to simply say, think about such trips to places like Haiti. Afghanistan, Iraq, Northern Nigeria and numerous others countries are not vacation spots. Foreign travel may sound exotic and adventurous but consider the possible cost.
Many missionaries and Christian workers have paid the ultimate price in order to spread the gospel of Christ. Only eternity will reveal what their selfless sacrifice has meant to those whose lives they impacted.
By chance, if you decide such an international trip is not for you, don’t feel bad. Consider helping in an American inner city, Appalachia or maybe your own neighborhood. Service at home is needed across America.
Let’s pray for the safety of these missionaries and for those negotiating their release. May God help them and all who may consider such endeavors.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Dr. Glenn Mollette is a graduate of numerous schools including Georgetown College, Southern and Lexington Seminaries in Kentucky. He is the author of 13 books including Uncommon Sense, Grandpa's Store, Minister's Guidebook: insights from a fellow minister. His column is published weekly in over 600 publications in all 50 states. Glenn Mollette has been on numerous International humanitarian and missionary group trips. Hear Glenn Mollette every weekday morning EST at 8:56 on XM radio 131. Editor-If you need to tweak or do a small edit for you paper or website that is okay. Please respond to this email if you need a picture for this column. Scroll down for additional biographical info. Buy his latest recording titled "Black Coffee" on iTunes. Learn more at www.glennmollette.com
The Black Trans Fund, incubated at Groundswell Fund, and Grantmakers for Girls of Color launched the Holding a Sister Initiative, the first-ever national fund explicitly dedicated to transgender girls and gender-expansive youth of color.
Dr. Monique W. Morris, president and CEO of Grantmakers for Girls of Color, and Bré Rivera, program director of the Black Trans Fund are together spearheading the Holding a Sister Initiative to bring attention and resources to organizations supporting trans girls of color, normalize concern and investment in their success, and create learning opportunities for cis and trans girls of color to move in deeper community with one another.
The initiative will award $1 million in grants in the first year, and will ultimately engage trans girls and gender-expansive youth of color in the decision-making process for selecting grantees on an ongoing basis.
While there has been an increase in donor attention to work led by people of color, it has yet to translate into significant gains in funding for trans and gender-expansive youth of color.
According to recent regional studies in Detroit, South Florida and New Orleans, trans women of color face higher levels of hunger, homelessness, unemployment, incarceration and discrimination. At the same time, the majority of this year's record-breaking anti-trans legislation are targeted to affect youth, including bills that prevent transgender athletes from playing in school sports and the "Save Adolescents from Experimentation (SAFE) Act." Research has show sharp rises in suicide attempts among trans youth during 2020 and 2021.
"The reality is transgender and gender-expansive youth of color require more attention, and resources to interrupt the staggering intersections of trauma and crises they experience," said Bré Rivera.
The initiative joins existing funding intermediaries who have been leading the work to resource trans communities and engage trans people in the direction and distribution of resources, including the Third Wave Fund, the Black Trans Travel Fund, and Fund for Trans Generations. As funding partners, the Black Trans Fund and Grantmakers for Girls of Color aim to expand and transform philanthropy's investments in trans and gender-nonconforming youth. The initiative will move resources to organizations serving and led by trans girls and young women of color. It will also amplify narratives that elevate the humanity, dignity and leadership of trans and gender-expansive youth of color, as well as the ways their experiences and contributions have been overlooked, minimized and targeted by oppositional and systemic forces, and larger social justice movements.
The Holding a Sister Initiative will be led by a manager, who will steward culture change through grantmaking, capacity building, narrative shifting and philanthropic organizing. The position is currently open for applicants.
About Grantmakers for Girls of Color
Fiscally-sponsored by Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors, Grantmakers for Girls of Color (G4GC) works to mobilize resources and amplify transformative organizing work to dismantle systems of oppression led by girls and gender-expansive youth of color. Grantmakers for Girls of Color openly invites partners and stakeholders to co-create an inclusive space in support of girls, young women, and gender-expansive youth of color across programmatic issues and geographic areas. Learn more by visiting Grantmakers for Girls of Color.
About the Black Trans Fund
The Black Trans Fund is a groundbreaking endeavor: the first national fund in the country dedicated to uplifting and resourcing Black trans social justice leaders. BTF seeks to address the lack of funding for Black trans communities in the U.S. through direct grantmaking, capacity building support, and funder organizing to transform philanthropy. Learn more by visiting Black Trans Fund.