Hello Kansas City,

It’s been almost a month since my previous position leading the Kansas City Center for Inclusion came to an unexpected end. Since then, I’ve been resting, reading and practicing self-care. I’d like to thank everyone for the check-ins and kind messages. They are very much needed and appreciated.

Like during a war, you don’t process trauma during the fight; you just keep moving on to the next battle. Once your tour is over is when the PTSD sets in. I get that now. As an empath, I feel the feels of so many people and communities.

The violence that took place this past year was profound. Thank you to the good people at the Kansas City Anti-Violence Project (KCAVP) for doing the hardest of work. I am glad I was there to support your efforts, and I will continue to do so.

In developing pillars of community service, I’ve always enjoyed programming that is poignant and engaging. To this end, I’m now working on some topics that I can address in creating a social media channel. I’ve also enjoyed the work around economic justice, and I’m toying with the idea of an LGBTQ job creation and placement agency.

Saving lives, mostly around HIV prevention and harm reduction, is also important to me. I will be part of a task force working on the “Get Tested KC” initiative.

The needs of the transgender community are glaring, a fact that is supported by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data. It is my goal to make certain that resources are provided for the most marginalized people.

In reflecting upon my work in the community the last four years, it is hard to discern what I’m most proud of. Whether it was with the Transfinity KC Chorus, Equal Trans Support 

Group or at the Center for Inclusion, it can best be summarized in a recent holiday gift I received – a book called Real Queer America: LGBT Stories from Red States by Samantha Allen. If you haven’t read it, I suggest that you do. The book speaks to a lot of what inspires me as an activist.

This gift included a letter to me. Here’s what it said, paraphrased for context:

Dear Samantha,

I hope you can see why I thought of you when I heard about this book, because like I’ve said before, you are what I think of regarding LGBTQ+ activism in Kansas City. You are the person who introduced me to this work and who made it a reality. You’ve shown me how hard it is, but also how important. Your capacity for care has widened my own, and your motivation to do good has pushed me in the same direction. I see you in the pages of this book. I hope you see how integral you have been to the local LGBTQ+ story of Kansas City. 

I do not know what is in store for me next. But I was moved recently by this paraphrased statement attributed to Martin Luther King Jr.: “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”

Warm regards,

Samantha Ruggles
LGBTQ+ community activist

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.

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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.

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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.

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