Queer Kentucky

Artist workin’ the fur


David J. Welker, Louisville, Kentucky by way of New Orleans, Minnesota and Ohio

I have this sad obsession with fur coats. But they’re so cheap at Goodwill sometimes.

One of them was real, but it was four dollars. It’s the one thing I feel I can pull off that I don’t see a lot of people doing these days. So its like a weird trademark of mine.

Life has taught me to have some attitude and I like to dress more bitchy, like wearing a fur coat and geometric jewelry. I just try to be as sharp and sexy as I can be sometimes. But oh my god, I will wear sweatpants and a drug rug and vans all day long.

I love wearing crop tops, and music festivals where I don’t know anyone is the perfect time to wear one; or when I’m modeling for someone. It was a cool experience modeling high-fashion for photographers when I was in school.

I’ve never modeled officially, but its nice to work with a photographer you’re comfortable with and being in front of the camera. I love seeing a photographers face glow up when they get the perfect shot. And being a photographer myself, I also know what that feeling is like.

It’s kind of fun to be you, but wear things you would never really want to wear. And I love finding things that I look good wearing.

Yeah, you could consider me an artist. I would consider myself more of a graphic artist. I love photography and doing weird shit in Photoshop. I work at a local advertising agency as a production artist.

My art for the most part, represents my mood at that moment to a certain extent. It’s my overly dramatic release to the world. It’s also my job.

Art also gets me out of the house to take photographs. Sometimes I see something that others might think, “oh, it’s just texture,” but I post it to my Instagram. I think it should be appreciated, so appreciate it!

For a project I made a whole calendar composed of happy foods that are in sad situations. I’ve always kind of liked that look and juxtaposition. I love stupid random little things like this sad ice cream cone.

Titty Tiki Tuesdays


The Limbo is Louisville’s newest and only tiki lounge and the home of Titty Tiki Tuesdays. Ethel Loveless hosts and produces this show every Tuesday with different performers each week. Many forms of burlesque, boylesque, drag, and other varieties are included in the night’s festivities. You never know what you’re going to get!

The night starts with DJ MINT spinning  tunes at 9:30 p.m. Around 10:20 p.m. the show begins with Loveless’ outrageous introductions of performers and audience banters. The first half of TTT consists of practiced routines that the performers brought to showcase. However, the music and theme of the performers is chosen by DJ MINT and the performers have no idea what is coming. DJ MINT selects a song from his crazy insane vinyl collection and each performer must improv dance.

Olivia Griffin, owner of Limbo, came to Loveless over a year ago wanting to bring new breath to Louisville burlesque and Loveless said, “I was all over it.”

Starting a monthly local burlesque show “Prohibition Parlour” at The TAJ in Jan 2017, transformed into the beloved “Titty Tiki Tuesdays” at The Limbo.

I learn something new each week and this summer Titty Tiki Tuesday will reach new heights now that there is an outside patio. Bitches love a good patio. – Loveless

Loveless wants to eventually get enough sponsorship to bring in more out of city and state performers to shake their stuff and put Louisville on the burlesque map.

More on Limbo


Owner, Olivia Griffin moved to Kentucky from San Francisco in 2014 and realized there was no tiki bar in Louisville. Having spent her 20’s experiencing the wonders of classic Bay Area tiki bars like Smuggler’s Cove, Forbidden Island, and Trader Sam’s, she has always sought out unique, themed bars in every city she has visited.

With a background in theater, design, and event production, Olivia will be booking entertainment nightly for the stage at the Limbo featuring vinyl djs, burlesque shows, string quartets, swing dancing, and live bands ranging from Surf Rock, Hawaiian Swing, Latin, and Calypso.

Olivia is an ambassador of the South 4th District, owning and operating hat and apparel shop “The Mysterious Rack” at 558 S. 4th Street for 3 years. Transporting people to another space and time and creating a 360 degree memorable, one of a kind experience is the desire and objective of the staff and owner of the Limbo. Swing by our “Tiki-z” tucked behind Crafts Gallery across from the Louisville Palace, and have a night you will never forget.





She thrives and survives


Syimone, DJ from Louisville, Kentucky

Queer means independent to me. It means that you are standing up and claiming who you are and who you can be. I identify as trans, and as history has taught us, trans women were the movers and shakers of this movement. Trans women of color don’t get the respect we deserve.

I grew up in Louisville by Churchill Downs and I’ve always been who I am and that’s always been sort of a difficult sitch. I’ve just been pretty forthright about who I am as a person and when I was growing up there wasn’t a word for who I was – it was just called gay. No one knew what trans was. They knew what drag queens were of course, but it didn’t matter because I was on journey to discover myself. And although I was different I was looked after and protected by the community where I lived.

I’ve lived in all types of places, but the shows brought me back to Louisville. There aren’t a lot of girls that do the work I do. And as a DJ and performer, I’ve managed to exist and survive through the love and support of others. It’s very hard to be a trans woman of color in spaces that often times don’t want you there. Being able to thrive in those spaces is very rare. I have a natural defiance with people telling me what to do and I will call your ass out. I have no problem with confrontation at all. In fact, confrontation can sometimes change things for the better.

I’ve enabled myself to work in many establishments and I believe I belong to the whole community – the good and the bad. I’m seeing so much racism and homophobia and transphobia within our own community. But I also think that we’re seeing a lot of younger white gays leaving their privilege at the door. They’re acknowledging it and stepping up and stepping out. But these new ideas are being met with a lot of hatred from people who are set in their ways. It’s easier to be ignorant than be a progressive person and try to work past things you don’t understand.

I cannot be replaced.

I’m the only black trans woman in many situations and often times there’s a lot of intrigue, a lot of disgust, indifference, and it’s sometimes my job to educate people I don’t want to educate. But the fact that I am someone who is recognized in the community, I try to use my presence for good. I never wanted to be a role model. I just didn’t feel like my personal business is anyone else’s business. It’s frightening to see someone living their full truth, I am a constantly shaking things up. There are so many trans women that don’t want what comes with being well-known or living truly out loud. I’m a presence and everyone is gonna know who I am when I walk into the room. I love making people uncomfortable. I’m a good judge of character and there are good people and bad people…and I can figure that out really quickly.

There are some things you’re not prepared for when you walk into this community and there are people who don’t feel like they fit in and that’s difficult when you’re in a room full of white people and you’re the only black person.

Black people don’t have the privilege to sit back and see everything; we see it all. It’s just the truth. I’ve seen what this community is.

I’ve seen the phobias. With Grindr, nobody would hit me up besides undercover straight boys. Come 3 or 4 a.m. my Grindr would be blowing up! You get the whole, “don’t tell anybody we did this.” That’s fun for a little bit when it’s a boy you really want, but after a while you realize they’re fuck boys. With this horrible drug epidemic in our community and HIV infections, I took myself out of the race. Rejection can be the best thing sometimes. Rejection is what has saved my life. If I fucked half the boys I have the hots for, who knows where I’d be today.

Life is very short and you have to be the most important thing in your life. You can love people and people can love you, but you always have to practice self-care, never allow something or someone to come into your space and ruin that for you. I think I give everybody the same advice. This is your life and no one gets to live your life but you. Sometimes friends and family are ignorant and dismissive, but you get to choose how to live your life, and if you have to remove people form it, then you have to. I would rather eat alone than sit at a table I hate.







Joshua, Meade County, Kentucky

I’m here, I’m queer, and I’m just trying to find balance.

I think it’s important to find balance with queer identity because it can’t be your soul self. It’s an aspect of who I am but it doesn’t need to rule my entire life.

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