Day: July 16, 2019

More Kentucky Conservatives push back on Pride events: Western Kentucky Pride Festival

PADUCAH — A Western Kentucky Pride event could be in jeopardy after conservative community members advocate for it to move indoors and out of the public waterfront. In the past week, Western Kentucky Pride Festival event sponsors have received letters requesting them to back out of the event, said Dustin Havens, director of WKPF. So …

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BREAKING: POSE Star Dominique Jackson to speak at UofL Pride Week

According to a Facebook post from the LGBT Center at University of Louisville, Dominique Jackson, Star of POSE & Author of The Transsexual from Tobago (Revised), will be the keynote speaker for the University of Louisville’s Pride Week.

This event is in partnership with the LGBT Center and Student Activities Board at UofL.

The event is Thursday, Oct. 3 at 7 p.m. at the UofL Activities Center.

Model, Actress, Author, Advocate and Activist Dominique Jackson was born on the smaller island of the twin island Republic of Trinidad and Tobago.

At the age of 15, she moved to the US to escape traumatic situations. Jackson graduated in the 10th percentile of her class at Owings Mills High School before going on to attend Fayetteville State University and Morgan State University.

Enduring intolerance, discrimination and prejudice, Jackson left school and moved to New York City, where she became a member of The Underground House/Ball Community, the NYC LGBT Entertainment Circle and The Pageantry System – winning six crowns/titles while competing locally and nationally.

A leader in her community, Jackson has been awarded several accolades and was also inducted into the House and Ballroom Hall of Fame and deemed Iconic on February 27, 2016 at the NYC Ball Awards. In 2017, Jackson received the Legacy of Pride Award presented by Harlem Pride and received the first Bronx LGBT Leadership Award presented by Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz JR and Allies LGBT PRIDE CELEBRATION. That same year, she was honored with the New York State Assembly Citation issued by Mark Gjonaj.

A fashion model since 2000, Jackson began her career at Brooklyn Fashion Week before moving onto Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week. In 2011, she served as Mistress of Ceremonies in Solomon Harris’ take on the ballroom scene Newark Is Burning at NJPAC (Newark, NJ). Jackson is one of the resident models to Adrian Alicea Couture, Manuel Pelferes Couture and Angel Ayala Couture. She added Gypsy Sport by Rio Uribe and Stevie Boi to her runway accomplishments during 2016 Fall/Winter Fashion Week.

In 2014, Jackson released her autobiographical memoir The Transsexual from Tobago (Revised). Later that year, she starred in Carla Pridgen’s Incongruence produced by Ivy Theatre. In 2016, she starred in Oxygen Network’s GLAAD Award winning reality docu-series Strut, executive produced by Whoopi Goldberg and Tom Leonardis, and the short film T Times by Gabriel Torres.

Jackson has served on the Community Health Program Board at the Montefiore South Bronx Healthcare Clinic for the last two years.

Entrepreneur seeks to establish Black, Queer sober spaces

by Arielle Clark, MBA (she/her/hers)

The Louisville LGBTQ+ scene is inundated with white, gay people and is steeped in alcohol culture.

 There, I said it. And did I stutter? Insert shrug emoji here.

Louisville is my home. I was born in a Louisville hospital, raised in a Louisville home, and attended Louisville schools (and have the student loan debt to prove it).

Louisville is where I had my first crush on a woman, realized what “not being straight” is, and came in to my blackness via reading and rereading Audre Lorde.

Louisville is where I have fallen in love, had my heart broken, and cut off 10 inches of my hair as a result of a bad breakup.

Louisville is where I have planted my roots, grown, been pruned, and have blossomed into whom I am today — an out, loud, proud, queer, black woman.

As I’ve loved and learned and grown in this city, I’ve started to look around and go, “Goddamn, where can I hang out with some black, queer folks that isn’t centered on alcohol in my own hometown?”

As I wander through Louisville, trying to find my space, I make an internal list in my head as I drive down street after street or scour Google for sober, black, queer spots for women.

So far, I have come up empty. While there may be informal spaces for us (perhaps Safai? Maybe Wild Dog Rose when it had a physical space? I’m drawing a blank), there are no designated spaces for me, for us, the black, queer women, the chocolate chips floating in seemingly-endless bowls of milk that seem like oceans to us.

My sisters and I meet informally in majority-white spaces, on high alert as we hear people use African-American Vernacular English effortlessly while simultaneously telling each other that “All Lives Matter” and “if black people just listened to the police and did what they said, there wouldn’t be any problems.”

We rant about how Tinder, Bumble, and Her are full of people with Ru Paul’s Drag Race as their favorite show in their profiles and “no blacks” a few lines down.

We empathize with one another as we talk about how the white people we’ve slept with have said shit out the side of their necks like, “I’ve never been with a black girl” or “you’re my African queen” and “I don’t see color.”

When we finally relax enough to enjoy each others’ company despite being constantly critiqued by the white gaze, a white man comes up and proclaims, “Yas, queen! You are slaying that whole look. I am shook.”

We sigh, pay our checks, and leave.

As an out, queer, black woman, I long for a sober space that caters to us. I long for a space where we can come together and commiserate.

Right now, we are floating so far apart, drowning in milk, barely able to see one another as our heads bob up and down in the waves of whiteness and alcohol.

We’re trying to stay afloat while simultaneously being hunted as fetishes as sharks taking chunks of our culture to use as their own.

At the age of 27 (going on 28), I’ve had enough.

I cannot wait any longer for a space to appear, so I am making secret moves to create one. If y’all need me, I’ll be hustling to finally make a headquarters for us — a home in our hometown, a bowl full of chocolate chips melting together.

Check back in a year or so. I’m determined to make this happen. I don’t want to be drowning in a bowl of milk anymore; I’m lactose intolerant as it is. And alcohol makes my head hurt.

Stay strong out there, black, queer women. Our space is coming soon.

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