LIKEME Lighthouse Provides a Place to Gather a Group or Meet New People

The BMO Harris Financial Group’s LGBT affinity group Lions Pride has chosen the LIKEME Lighthouse as its 2014 LGBT Community Organization of the Year. At a special ceremony with several Lighthouse board members in attendance, the award was presented for outstanding diversity services to the Kansas City community.
For those of us who have had the pleasure of being involved with the Lighthouse, this does not come as too much of a surprise. Now in its third year, the LIKEME Lighthouse has established itself as a meeting place for LGBT people of all stripes and has become an increasingly dynamic force in the Kansas City LGBT community. But did you know that it also hosts people with a wide variety of interests not necessarily related to being LGBT?
Recently, a sewing group called I of the Needle has started up. It meets from 6 to 8 p.m. on the first Monday of each month. Also, the International Workers of the World have a Letters to Prisoners writing group at 2 p.m. every Sunday. Its mission is “to support prisoners’ efforts to stop prison slavery,” and it’s also a new addition to the calendar.
Interested in art therapy? The All Bottled Up art workshop meets weekly at 2 p.m. Sundays. But call ahead first: This group is limited to six people.
Ever want to learn how to cut a rug? The Not-So-Squares will return in September for Wednesday sessions starting at 6:30 p.m. This always attracts a good range of people, and if you haven’t heard a square-dance version of “Somewhere Over the Rainbow,” believe us, you’re missing out.
As for LGBT-specific groups, they span a wide spectrum.
The Hear Me Out Toastmasters, where LGBT folks came come to develop leadership and verbal communication skills, meet at 6 p.m. on the second and fourth Wednesdays.
The Kansas City Bear Mafia meets often, usually to plan one or more of the many activities they do throughout the year. PFLAG meets on the fourth Sunday of the month from 3 to 4 p.m. Lavender Ladies get together on the fourth Thursday from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. for a discussion session, with a different topic covered each month.
Yours truly recently started a small MTF transgender support group, which meets on the first Monday of the month from 7 to 8 p.m. People at all stages of their transitional journey are welcome. In addition, the Equal Trans Support Group (for all transpeople) is on the third Thursday from 5 to 8 p.m.
The Lighthouse has become not only a place to learn and support each other, but to have fun. For example, every Tuesday night is movie night! Each week a different LGBT-themed film is shown, with snacks and drinks available for purchase. Showtime is 7 p.m.
Recently we’ve had the uniquely hilarious Eat Their Words join us in their new home at the center. This event, in which dramatic readings from celebrity autobiographies are given on a wide variety of unlikely topics, is an absolute scream. Check the monthly calendar on the website for details as it settles into its new home.
Sound fun? The good news is, there are lots of ways to support the Lighthouse’s mission while having fun at the same time. For example, you probably know that Hamburger Mary’s, 101 Southwest Blvd., hosts Drag Bingo for various local charities on a regular basis. The Lighthouse will be the beneficiary of its Saturday, July 5, game. The game starts at 5 p.m., but it’s generally wise to get there early.
Even bigger news is coming up: A new fundraiser show is in the works, building on the success of last year’s fundraiser with Margaret Cho and friends. We can’t reveal much right now, except to say that it will be at the Folly Theater sometime in November. Expect a silent auction, the announcement of our Shine a Light award, and a night of great entertainment. Once again, there will be the option to purchase VIP tickets to meet and mingle with the headliners before and after the show. We can’t mention any names just yet, but watch this space!
In the meantime, why not stop by the Lighthouse at 3909 Main St. and see what’s going on? You can always call ahead at 816-753-7770 or go to LIKEME Lighthouse and click on the Calendar tab. Summer hours are noon to 8 p.m. Monday through Saturday and noon to 8 p.m. Sunday. Chances are you’ll find something you want to be a part of.
Kelly Luck has been a volunteer at the
LIKEME Lighthouse since 2013
."

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