Samantha's Corner - Celebration, Tragedy, and Lots of Events

With Pride month behind us, I look back with amazement at the number of activities that the community put together. We started the month with KC PrideFest and ended it with two Pride events on the last day of June – the Johnson County Pride Picnic and Northland Pride. Although representatives of Kansas City Center for Inclusion  couldn’t be everywhere, we did make it to 18 different events throughout June.

June can be bittersweet for me ever since the Pulse nightclub massacre happened in Florida in 2016. I spend time reflecting on the deaths of those 49 people and the hurt that the attack caused in our LGBT Latinx community.

Tragedy struck here at home when Brooklyn Lindsey, 32, a local transgender woman, was found slain on June 25 in Kansas City, Mo. She is the 11th black transgender woman killed in the United States this year.

The work done by the Kansas City Anti-Violence Project (KCAVP) was central to the community’s response to her death. It was also refreshing to see other organizations throw their support to KCAVP in the form of fundraising and following their lead on how best to respond.

This tragic killing occurred a few days after two positive local events: The first Kansas City Trans Pride March was June 22, and in late June, we heard that Kansas is changing its policy and allowing transgender people to update their birth certificates.

Since Pride Month ended, we’ve had a giant exhale with moments of self-care as we gear up for an eventful fall.

Here’s the latest news from our board of directors.

  • We are planning our first LGBTQ Job Fair from 2 to 7 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 21. We have about 15 companies committed to being there, including Hallmark, Hollywood Casino, Garmin, Crum Cleaning, and Children’s Mercy Hospital. Please follow our event on Facebook and our website to learn more. This event is being hosted by University of Kansas Health System, and we have recently toured the space. A special thanks to our host for being so gracious.
  • We have also planned three business-related workshops. One, on interview skills, will be Aug. 8. Others, on building credit and social media marketing using LinkedIn, have already occurred.
  • This year at the Renaissance Festival, we are managing a couple of food establishments instead of helping with parking. At the White Stag, a sit-down restaurant, we will be providing service staff to wait on people and managing the Chicken & Chips booth. If interested in helping, please contact
  • Other events we will be a part of this fall include the NAGAA Gay Softball World Series (Sept. 2-7), the National Association of Asian American Professionals Convention and Gala (Aug. 22-24), the PFLAG National Convention (Oct. 25-27), and the Latino Arts Festival (Sept. 7), as well as planning for our fall programming and holiday fundraisers.

When you see me out and about, please take the time to say hello. Hearing stories about how the Center is making a difference and how we can do more brings me joy.

Samantha Ruggles is executive director of the Kansas City Center for Inclusion, 3911 Main St., Kansas City, Mo.





WhistlePig + Alfa Romeo F1

SHOREHAM, VT (September 13, 2023) — WhistlePig Whiskey, the leaders in independent craft whiskey, and Alfa Romeo F1 Team Stake are waving the checkered flag on a legend-worthy release that’s taking whiskey to G-Force levels. The Limited Edition PiggyBack Legends Series: Alfa Romeo F1 Team Stake Barrel is a high Rye Whiskey selected by the Alfa Romeo F1 Team Stake drivers, with barrels trialed in their wind tunnel to ensure a thrilling taste in every sip.

The third iteration in WhistlePig’s Single Barrel PiggyBack Legends Series, the Alfa Romeo F1 Team Stake Barrel is bottled at 96.77 proof, a nod to Valtteri Bottas’ racing number, 77, and the precision of racing. Inspired by Zhou Guanyu, the first Chinese F1 driver, this Rye Whiskey is finished with lychee and oolong tea. Herbal and floral notes of the oolong tea complement the herbaceous notes of WhistlePig’s signature PiggyBack 100% Rye, rounded out with a juicy tropical fruit finish and a touch of spice.

Keep readingShow less
by Spectrum Medical Care Center

Nurse Practitioner Ari Kravitz

When I started medical transition at 20 years old, it was very difficult to get the care I needed for hormone replacement therapy because there are very few providers trained in starting hormones for trans people, even though it’s very similar to the hormones that we prescribe to women in menopause or cisgender men with low testosterone.

I hope more providers get trained in LGBTQ+ healthcare, so they can support patients along their individual gender journey, and provide the info needed to make informed decisions about their body. I’ve personally seen my trans patients find hope and experience a better quality of life through hormone replacement therapy.

Keep readingShow less

Descanso Resort swimming pool and lounge area

Descanso Resort, Palm Springs' premier destination for gay men, just received Tripadvisor's highest honor, a Travelers' Choice "Best of the Best" award for 2023. Based on guests' reviews and ratings, fewer than 1% of Tripadvisor's 8 million listings around the world receive the coveted "Best of the Best" designation. Descanso ranked 12th in the top 25 small inns and hotels category in the United States. Quite an accomplishment!

Open less than two years, Descanso Resort offers gay men a relaxing and luxurious boutique hotel experience just minutes away from Palm Springs' buzziest restaurants, nightclubs, and shopping. Descanso has quickly established itself as a top destination for sophisticated gay travelers, earning hundreds of 5-star guest reviews and consistently ranking in Trapadvisor's top positions alongside brother properties Santiago Resort and Twin Palms Resort.

Keep readingShow less