Happening in Kansas City
Trending around OUTvoices
Despite the attraction of the spring sunshine, more than 90 people chose to gather indoors April 10 to soak up the fresh radiance and warmth of advocacy. The Kansas City chapter of PFLAG hosted the group’s regional conference that day at Village Presbyterian Church in Prairie Village, Kan. Local experts and nationally based presenters were on the agenda, including Missouri State Sen. Jolie Justus.
The Kansas City chapter’s president, Randy Fowler, and a committee of fellow volunteers planned and executed the details of the conference, which included several seminars to choose from.
The idea for a Midwest regional conference came about after Fowler received word of a PFLAG area gathering in Oklahoma. The meeting notification came too late for most Kansas Citians to arrange to attend. This regional miss and the cancellation of a 2009 national meet-up led Fowler to inquire about the possibility of a Kansas City-based conference.
He contacted PFLAG field and policy coordinator Brooke Smith, formed a local steering committee and worked with the national organization to develop topical themes. Particularly because this would be one of Fowler’s last big projects as PFLAG-KC president, he wanted the conference to foster unity within the local community and among the region’s other PFLAG organizations, improving upon inter-chapter cooperation.
Highlights from the Seminars
Cultivating Safe Schools: In this seminar, which Brooke Smith presented, she stressed that all students deserve advocacy, not just LGBT youth. She told attendees that some educators claim there are no gay students in their schools and that others aren’t even familiar with the acronym LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender).
Smith discussed cyber-bullying as the new front in harassment, the bewilderment of not knowing which school official handles bullying issues and how sometimes personal stories can make a world of difference in helping people understand why safe schools are important.
If you are an educator or counselor, PFLAG has resources for you with regard to safe schools. If you are an advocate, consider donating books or videos, sharing your story or volunteering your time to your local school.
Straight for Equality: Launched in 2007, Straight for Equality (straightforequality.org) brings together straight individuals who don’t necessarily have a family member who is LGBT, but who want to stand up for equal rights because it’s the proper thing to do.
Elizabeth Fregiato, director of policy and programs with PFLAG national, told her audience how straight allies can help secure justice for LGBT citizens by speaking up on issues involving work, faith, health care and everyday discrimination.
Love Won Out: Fregiato also presented on this group, the “traveling ex-gay road show” started by Focus on the Family but now run by Exodus International. She spoke of the group’s genesis as one of the religious right’s responses to the 1960s homosexual movement.
Fregiato shared many humorous anecdotes, such as the fact that two Exodus International founders left the group and united in a same-sex commitment ceremony — as well as stories of her own undercover assignment at a Love Won Out conference. But there’s no denying how pernicious the actions of this group can be. The Love Won Out message and leaders inspired the Uganda “kill the gays” bill.
The group has adopted much of the PFLAG and LGBT-advocate nomenclature in an attempt to appear warm and welcoming, but it uses the tactic of “getting to the straights to get to the gays,” i.e., instead of attacking LGBT people directly and forcing them into things such as reparative therapy, Love Won Out appeals to the religious-minded friends and families of queer people to try to set them straight.
It never works. These people are misguided. God loves you just as Zie made you.
Faith Panel: A panel of Kansas City ministers — Kurt Krieger, Gerald Palmer, Jeff Clayton and Meg Peery McLaughlin — addressed the “clobber scriptures,” especially those from Leviticus and Romans, that are cited out of context to vilify gays. They called out the hypocritical message of some churches that say, “Being gay is wrong, but you’re welcome to sit quietly in our pews.” The panel spoke with unanimity of the goal of justice, love, grace and the inclusivity of Jesus Christ. Krieger said, “I know a God who loves you for who you are.”
Other Presenters and Seminars
The full slate of offerings was too much for one person to attend, but it included the following:
LGBT Grandparenting: Facilitated by Midwest Alternative Family Alliance and organized by Lynn Barnett.
Transgender Awareness: Presented by Donna Ross, whose Chrysalis Mission combines education and faith to teach others about transgender issues.
Financial and Legal Planning: Kent Rains and Jason Purinton of the Rains/Purinton Group and Denver Vold, LLM, spoke to conference-goers about domestic partnerships, investments and other legal issues that affect LGBT people.
Adoption: Attorney Sandy Krigel shared his expertise on LGBT adoption in the Kansas City area and beyond.
What’s PFLAG All About?
Founded the year after Jeanne Manford’s historic 1972 march with her son, Morty, in a gay pride parade in New York, PFLAG (Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays) supports, educates and advocates on behalf of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people and those who love them.
The organization now has roughly 200,000 members and supporters, with local affiliates in more than 500 communities in the United States and abroad. PFLAG (pflag.org) is headquartered in Washington, D.C.
The Kansas City chapter of PFLAG has been active for about two decades. President Randy Fowler serves as an unofficial state coordinator, helping to bring together chapters at the sub-national level. PFLAG-KC is often the first call people make when they don’t know where to turn regarding a gay or lesbian family issue.
Fowler and his colleagues have fielded calls from as far as Wichita and Joplin, Mo., and the Kansas City chapter has put together presentations for several communities, including Pittsburg, Kan. and Maryville, Mo.
With around 30 active members, PFLAG-KC meets at 3 p.m. on the second Sunday of each month at Village Presbyterian Church in Prairie Village, Kan. Everyone is welcome to drop by the meetings, and many non-members regularly do so.
An open board meeting precedes each general meeting, followed by treats, member/guest introductions, announcements and small group/special needs time. Each meeting then has a presentation or speaker.
All discussion items are held in confidence among the attendees. Smaller or individual meetings are available for those uncomfortable with a group setting. If you have an LGBT family or friend issue that needs to be addressed, please come, call or write to PFLAG-KC.
PFLAG-KC also helps to spread the word about the Straight Spouse Network.
May 9 Mother’s Day Potluck – Bring a covered dish.
June 6 Kansas City Gay Pride Parade —
March and wear your PFLAG T-shirt.
Meetings & Contacts
3 p.m. meetings,
second Sunday of each month
(1:30 p.m. open board meetings)
Village Presbyterian Church
6641 Mission Rd.
Prairie Village, Kan.
pflagkc.org email@example.com or 816-765-9818
After the last 2 years of dealing with the pandemic and packing on those COVID pounds here are some motivational quotes that can be the spark plugs to our wellness engines. You can have a full tank of gas, a clean carburetor, all the fluids topped off, and 300 horsepower of Detroit’s finest under the hood, but you’re going nowhere without that initial spark. In your quest for well-being, you need a catalyst to move you from idle to ideal. Here are some motivational jolts to inspire you to get your health and fitness vehicle moving.
Make time for exercise each dayPhoto by Victor Freitas on Unsplash
Thomas Paine said, “The harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph.” You will have conflicts with making time for exercise each day. The treadmill will conflict with your enjoyment of the living-room couch and its fluffy pillows. Your body will engage in conflict with dumbbells and exercise balls as it seeks better health. Embrace these conflicts with excitement, and walk through the smoke and fire. Triumph is waiting on the other side.
Marathon runnersPhoto by Miguel A. Amutio on Unsplash
John F. Kennedy said, “Things do not happen. Things are made to happen.” The firefighter’s 55-pound weight loss did not just happen one day on a call. The computer programmer’s success in the Chicago Marathon did not just happen on a Sunday in October. The 4th grade teacher’s significant drop in cholesterol level did not just happen the day before spring break. These people made things happen…and it took time.
Ralph Marston of The Daily Motivator website, wrote, “What you do today can improve all your tomorrows.” Let today be the first day in 28 years without a cigarette. Stay an extra five minutes on the recumbent bike at the gym today. Start training today for the three-day breast cancer walk that is scheduled for the fall. Tomorrow is always waiting to see what you put in your piggy bank today. Invest wisely and watch the dividends grow.
Full MoonPhoto by CHUTTERSNAP on Unsplash
Jill McLemore once said, “Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you will land amongst the stars.” Set that goal to trim 75 pounds from your body. Only losing 42 pounds puts you way out there with the North Star. Aim to run 750 miles this year. Coming up 68 miles short will still put you past that former planet Pluto and on your way to the Orion constellation. Dropping eight waist sizes by Christmas instead of the projected 10 will let you glow with the luminescence of several brilliant wonders in the sky. By the way, I think there’s a full moon tonight!
Zig Ziglar stated, “You don’t have to be great to start, but you have to start to be great.” Tom Cruise was another aspiring pretty face in Hollywood about 30 years ago before starting to audition for parts in TV shows. Jared Fogle was a morbidly obese college student at Indiana University in the 1990s before beginning his Subway diet. Mark Zuckerberg was just another starry-eyed Ivy Leaguer until he began to implement a social network idea. They all have that common bond: They started something.
These motivational quotes should help get your wellness engine running and once your car is started there’s no telling where your health and fitness can go. Don't forget to end me a postcard when you get there!
This health and fitness article is brought to you by that guy who’s sneaky like a black hole and bright like a nebula. My name is Ron Blake and I can be found playing with my telescope at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Stay safe and get tested!
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Is there any cost?
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For uninsured individuals, they are covered under the HRSA fund under the CARES act. Curative will never send a bill to any individual getting a COVID-19 test through any of our testing sites.
How soon do I get the results?
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Curative believes that communal well-being is fundamental to individual health.
Curative is building infrastructure to make essential health services easier to access for everyone. Their infrastructure is designed to change as the world does—offering nearby access, affordable services, and science-based guidance.
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“I wish I could work out, too, but I just don’t have the motivation!”
Give me a dollar for every time I’ve heard that and I’d be in Cabo San Lucas with an umbrella drink right now. Let’s identify a few of your motivations to get you on the right path. They are there … you just need to realize them so you can make it a great 2022.
How about getting healthy so you can be at that Christmas celebration in 30 years with all the family gathered around and exchanging presents? There will be nieces, nephews, brothers, sisters, children and maybe some grandchildren, all enjoying the sounds and sights of the season. That would be amazing!
How about being healthy so you can watch the first man land on Mars in 2030? You hear all the talk about preparing for a mission to Mars, but it will be a long time in coming. Just think if you were alive and well to see it happen!
How about being healthy so you can attend that 60-year class reunion? It might even be nice to walk into the function with a spring in your step and a glow of health about you! Many of your classmates will have walked past St. Peter and those pearly gates by that time, but you can give yourself a chance to stay here with some proactive measures.
How about being healthy so you can spend more time being relaxed and retired? It would be awesome to just not have to do anything you didn’t want to do! Get up every day and use that watch they gave you as a fashion accessory only. With a healthy body, you can spend ample time in the lap of leisure well into your 90s.
How about being healthy so you can walk your dog with your grandkids or great-nephews after that Thanksgiving meal many years down the road? It will be so cool to have that turkey dinner with all the relatives, but it’ll be even more fun to be able to move around without having to catch your breath between steps.
How about being healthy so you can continue to enjoy vibrant sunsets, thrilling football games, colorful leaves in the fall, summer barbecues, or birthday cards in the mail?
Everyone can find the motivation to work out! You just have to identify which motivation will get you to your starting line each day and which will help you get to your daily finish line.
There are plenty of great things to enjoy in life. Find your motivation and start earning your frequent flyer miles for your healthy life. Then soar into the future with excitement about what will be!
This article of motivation is brought to you by a guy who knows a good thing when he sees it. That guy of good vision is Ron Blake, and he can be spotted on that bright horizon at email@example.com.