LGBT Kansas City History

The Phoenix Newsletter Articles, 2014-2016

LGBT history articles by GLAMA curator Stuart Hinds

"The Ladder: The Voice of a Lesbian Generation"
Winter 2014

"Trailblazing: Phoenix Society Was Kansas City's First Gay Organization"
Spring 2014

"History of Pride: Kansas City's LGBT Community Has Been Celebrating for Nearly 40 Years"
Summer 2014

"AIDS Walk T-Shirt Collection"
Fall 2014 (by Christopher Leitch)

"The Seventies: Decade of Growth and Change"
February/March 2015

"A Look Back at a Grim Beginning: 30 Years of Good Samaritan Project"
April/May 2015

"The Jewel Box Lounge: Kansas City's Home for Femme Mimics"
June/July 2015

"Kansas City Women's Liberation Union: One of the First Local Feminist Groups Began in the '70s"
August/September 2015

"Anita Bryant: Hatemonger Descends on Kansas City"
October/November 2015

"The 1987 March on Washington: Second Major Demonstration Becomes a Catalyst for Political Change"
December 2015 / January 2016


40 Years of Pride

Series of 22 blog posts by GLAMA Curator Stuart Hinds

June is Gay Pride Month, and June 2015 marked the 40th anniversary of the first Pride Celebration in Kansas City. To honor that milestone, Pride-related material from the collections of the Gay and Lesbian Archive of Mid-America were posted all month long at Scripts & Grooves, the blog of LaBudde Special Collections and Marr Sound Archives at the UMKC Miller Nichols Library.


Excavating Our Pride

Articles from a 1992 supplement to the News-Telegraph

"What Was It Like 25 Years Ago?"
Development of bars and other social outlets | by Lisa J. Church

"The Making of a Community"
Development of LGBT politics in Kansas City | by Scoop Phillips

"Women in Kansas City's Heritage"
History of the local lesbian community | by Linda May

"The Churches: Not Always the Enemy"
Support for the gay and lesbian community from local religious establishments | by Scoop Phillips

"Play Ball!"
Evolution of organized gay and lesbian softball in the area | by Cindy Craft


Changing Times:
Almanac & Digest of Kansas City's LGBTQIA History

Published by local historian and GLAMA co-founder David W. Jackson

Kansas City-area Gay & Lesbian Sites, 1930s-2016 [PDF]

An extensive list of hangouts and hot-spots from Kansas City's past and present, as included in Jackson's 2016 book about LGBT local history. (50th Anniversary Commemorative Edition / 2nd ed.)

These sites are also featured on an interactive HistoryPin map.


From Blackface to Max Factor: The Evolution of Female Impersonation in Kansas City

Stuart Hinds - Community Curator Lecture, Kansas City Museum at Corinthian Hall

Original Program Notes [PDF]

The unfurled, spray-painted paper towel and toilet paper tubes have lost some of their curl, and most of the glitter that once covered the faux hairpiece has been dislodged. The skirts convey lives of hard use, their stains, tears and repairs a diary of myriad performances. While this ensemble from the Melinda Ryder Collection, from donors Bruce Winter/Kirk Nelson in the Gay and Lesbian Archive of Mid-America, is a quintessential example of their long and active career, it also serves as a direct reminder of the deep theatrical roots of female impersonation, or “drag.” Because Kansas City has been a “theater town” practically since the time the Chouteaus were emptying their traps, the pieces from this collection provide the opportunity to examine the overall history of female impersonation in Kansas City. In doing so, we see an intriguing tension between the illegality of the practice and its open presence within the community, national trends reflected in local activities and an unexamined slice of Kansas City history ripe for further investigation.


AIDS Service Foundation Archive

C. Stephen Metzler - Community Curator Lecture, Kansas City Museum at Corinthian Hall

Original Program Notes [PDF]

Discussion of the history and impact of the AIDS Service Foundation and AIDS Walks in Kansas City as reflected in the archival documents and artifacts of two GLAMA collections: AIDS Service Foundation and Mike Sugnet (AIDS Walk T-Shirts).