LGBTQ

Kentucky Fairness Campaign Director arrested for Protesting KFB Discrimination policies

Fairness Campaign Director Chris Hartman and fairness advocates Sonja De Vries and Carla Wallace were dragged out of the Kentucky State Fair’s ham breakfast for the Kentucky Farm Bureau Thursday morning.

The three were arrested after protesting KFB’s discriminatory policies against LGBTQ+ people.

Each year, Kentucky Farm Bureau Insurance customers are automatically charged a fee that enrolls them as compulsory members of the company’s 501(c)4 lobbying arm, which spent nearly $100,000 last year lobbying the Kentucky General Assembly on policies outlined in their printed policy book, which elected officials receive but policyholders do not.

The policy book includes positions that are anti-LGBTQ, anti-teacher, anti-union, anti-choice, anti-POC, pro-death penalty, and more, They recently added a policy targeting transgender students in Kentucky schools. Anyone can download a full copy of the 2019 Kentucky Farm Bureau Policies book at Fairness.org/KFB.

In 2015, three protesters were arrested for standing in silent protest of the policies at the Kentucky Farm Bureau Ham Breakfast. The Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals recently ruled 2-1 against activists’ First Amendment and False Arrest claims against the Kentucky State Police in Hartman et al. v Thompson et al.

Letter to the Editor: Openly gay Kentucky man to challenge Mitch McConnell for Senate

Jimmy Ausbrooks official Facebook

Dear Editor, 

I wanted to reach out to the readers of Queer Kentucky and announce my candidacy for the United States Senate. I am a native of Kentucky, a mental health counselor, and a proud gay man that advocates for the LGBTQ+ community. 

I grew up in rural Simpson County, raised by my grandparents and attended church regularly as a child. I feared coming out due to the stigma within both my family and the community I lived. Today, I live in the same community, but discovered the courage to live my life and pursue my career and my dreams. I graduated from college and took off to see the world. Those experiences allowed me to discover the man I am today.

I elected to go back to school after twenty years in retailmanagement and become a mental health counselor. I did accomplish my goal of becoming a counselor and now provide gay affirming therapy in addition to substance and mental health counseling. I strive to be a positive role model within not only mycommunity, but the state and hopefully soon on a national stage. I am the President of the Kentucky Association for LGBT Issues in Counseling (KALGBTIC), a Division of the Kentucky Counseling Association. I also serve as the Vice-President of the South Central Kentucky Mental Health Counseling Association and Chair the Advocacy Committee. In the past few months I have drafted letters to the Bowling Green City Commissioners advocating for the Fairness Ordinance. I plan to hold the first LGBT Mental Health Conference in the state early 2020 and win the 2020 Democratic nomination for the U.S. Senate.  

I am running against the third most powerful Republican in the United States. I have the goal of defeating and unseating Mitch McConnell in 2020. It is time that Kentucky’s Pride is restored and true representation for Kentucky takes place. As a proud member of the LGBTQ+ community I was tired of business as usual in Washington. Seeing continued failure to get any work done in the U. S. Senate, like not bringing the Equality Act to the Senate floor. Our community deserves equal protect and equal representation.  

I support many progressive policy ideas like free education, student loan debt forgiveness, healthcare for all, mental healthcare expansions, affordable prescriptions, immigration reform, living wages, term limits, tax reform, common sense gun legislation, balancing the budget, climate change and most importantly equality for all, including women’s right to govern their own body and reproductive rights, in addition to EQUALITY for the LGBTQ+ community. 

I am a hardworking individual that lives paycheck to paycheck like so many American’s do, I don’t have deep pockets, wealthy friends, or special interest groups funding my campaign. I do have a passion, a vision, and heart. I would like to have the support of the LGBTQ+ community, labor unions, farmers, hardworking families, teachers, and any man or woman that is tired of not being represented in Washington. 

I want to restore the duty of Congress. I am about the people’s interest and not my personal interest, providing true leadership, and demanding both action and accountability from leadership. I am humbly asking for your support of my candidacy. I would like to request both an endorsement of Queer Kentucky and the support of Queer Kentucky readers. 

Together, we can give a voice to the voiceless, expand equal rights, and build a bridge to the Equality. My campaign is about building bridges not walls. Stand with me and you stand for Equality, you stand with me we can defeat and unseat Mitch McConnell and keep Kentucky moving forward. Together, we will change the direction on policy, equality, and basic human rights. 

Sincerely, 

Jimmy Ausbrooks, M. Ed., LPCA                                                                                                                     Candidate for the United States Senate 2020

‘The word Queer means strength’

Briana Patterson, Ft. Knox/Radcliff

So here’s my story, the very short version:

I’m originally from Kentucky. I grew in an emotionally abusive household where I traumatized by my alcoholic father.

I moved to San Francisco when I was 18 to go to school for Graphic Design. I fell in love with SF and the culture. Over the years, my depression and childhood trauma began to surface and I began to battle with it on a daily basis.

I had abusive relationships of my own, began to self harm and attempted suicide multiple times.

My sexuality identity was the only thing about myself that I didnt hate. I got involved with the Kink community in SF and I realized that I wanted to start my own loose leaf tea business and become a Massage therapist so I could lead erotic massage workshops. I met my most recent ex at a kink event and it was love at first sight.

Fast forward a year. I had the most painful mental breakdown of my entire life when I quit my job to focus on my tea business. I couldn’t make enough money with my business and was no longer able to still life in San Francisco.

That was devastating. I moved in with my ex and was completely crippled by my depression. I began going to therapy and my life turned around.

I was able to work again and was feeling hopefull. My ex broke up with me because of the depression after almost four years together. Since I was getting better, he told me that I could handle the breakup. This was October 2018.

So I moved back home. December 2018.

Since I moved here, I walk beside my depression and anxiety. I’m not ashamed of them. They are part of my story and they do not define me.

What does the word queer mean to you? How do you identify?

The word Queer means strength, overcoming adversity and not answering to anyone about who you should be or who you should love. I identify as Queer because I love people and their stories regardless of gender or how they choose identify.

Why? Or why don’t you identify as anything at all?

I used to get so caught up in labeling myself because I thought I needed one to be able to communicate to people who I am and who I am attracted to. It used to cause me so much stress and I found my self always having to answer questions like “Why?” or “Since when?” or “Are you sure?”

Where are you originally from and explain how was it growing up/living in Kentucky?

I’m originally from Kentucky. I was born in Ft. Knox, moved around a little bit when I was younger and spent most of my childhood in Radcliff. I lived in an abusive household, so honestly I hated Kentucky. I associated everything about Kentucky with my father.

What would you say to any person struggling to come into their own identity?

Listen to your inner voice and separate yourself from expectations.

How does your own identity run how you carry yourself? Or does it?

I used to think I should always be feminine. I would always wear makeup, wigs and dresses. I thought I needed attention and acceptance from guys. When I came into my identity, I rock my natural short hair, wear makeup occasionally and i’m not afraid to dress boyish if I want to. I don’t watch what I say around people anymore regarding my lifestyle. There’s a huge weight lifted without me needing a label of lesbian, bi or straight.

Do you feel excluded from the “mainstream” queer community? Why or why not?

Yes, because i’ve had boyfriends, people dont see me as Queer. Maybe I don’t give off a “gay” enough vibe?

Where do you feel “at your best” (safe, happy, fabulous, comfortable, etc)

Outdoors!

Who influenced the life you live now?

Not so much as a “who,” but San Francisco was life changing. What I saw there and who I became there influences everything I do now. Depression and PTSD have also been an influence to guide me down paths that have made me stronger.

12th Kentucky city adopts LGBTQ+ Fairness Ordinance!

DAYTON — With a unanimous vote of 5-0 tonight, the Northern Kentucky town of Dayton, population 5,338, became the twelfth city in the Commonwealth with a Fairness Ordinance prohibiting LGBTQ discrimination in employment, housing, and public accommodations.

“Dayton is extremely excited to be able to join the other eleven cities, out of 419 in the Commonwealth, to continue to be the welcoming community we know and love,” said Dayton Mayor Ben Baker upon the ordinance’s passage. “If any other river cities need help in embracing the Fairness Ordinance, please reach out. We urge our state leaders to adopt these protections—in Kentucky, y’all means all.”

Dayton City Councilman Joe Neary added, “I genuinely hope this carries up to the state level so cities don’t have to deal by this city by city. I can’t believe we’ll only be the twelfth in the Commonwealth.”

“We expect Dayton will be the first in a series of Northern Kentucky cities to adopt Fairness Ordinances,” shared Northern Kentucky Fairness leader Bonnie Meyer, who also helps run the Northern Kentucky Pride Festival. “We were proud to see Covington challenge its peer cities to follow their lead on LGBTQ rights.”

Eleven other Kentucky cities have adopted local Fairness Ordinances, covering just over a quarter of the state’s population—Louisville (1999), Lexington (1999), Covington (2003), Vicco (2013), Frankfort (2013), Morehead (2013), Danville (2014), Midway (2015), Paducah (2018), Maysville (2018), and Henderson (2019). 2020 will mark the 20th anniversary of the introduction of a Statewide Fairness Law, which has only ever received two informational hearings in the Kentucky General Assembly. This year, nearly a quarter of state legislators co-sponsored the measure.

The Queer Kentuckian behind our Twitter account: Christian from Ashland

The word queer to me can mean a lot of things. As a queer person you sometimes think about when people refer to things as queer.

Does someone who identifies as a male wearing a crop top make them more queer or one who likes football is less queer? I think it just boils down to the person identifying as queer.

There shouldn’t be a queer spectrum. I identify as a male with he/him pronouns and I haven’t really put much more thought into that aspect of my life because it’s not the most important part I’m concerned with.

I’m from Ashland, eastern Kentucky, and I loved growing up there. Being queer wasn’t something that really affected my life and friendships there.

I have a loving and accepting family and friend group from back home, I was the gay theater kid so it probably didn’t shock too many people when I came out.

Not like anything actually changed about my life and for a town in eastern Kentucky it was pretty accepting overall. You should always come out on your own terms, it’s your timeline on when you feel you are ready.

I know people who have come out super young and later in life. Start by telling one person, that’s what I did and the weight is immediately off your shoulders and you can take a deep breath. No rush in when you decide to tell the next person.

There are issues in every community but one I think I see the most in ours is just self confidence and self love. It’s something I struggle and it’s something we aren’t really open enough about. Maybe if more people were open about it, it would help but instead we see the Twitter gays with a 6 pack complaining about their weight.

Not that they can’t have self confidence issues but how would that make someone who doesn’t look like that feel? It’s a never ending circle honestly. I’m not even sure what I would refer to as the “mainstream” community. Does that mean I’m excluded? Im not really sure, but I love my queer community here in Louisville so that’s my main concern.

I feel at my best when I’m just surrounded by my friends and laughing. It’s really that simple.

My mom and Robin Williams influenced my life. My mom is the nicest person on the face of the planet and Robin Williams was just always my comedic hero and I truly thinking making someone laugh can make their day just a little bit better.

I feel like their are so many queer performers we don’t see enough in mainstream music. Troye Sivan and Sam Smith aren’t the only queer musicians. I love Tegan and Sara, Perfume Genius, Years and Years and that’s just the tip of the iceberg. It’s important to support any queer artist and you can broaden your horizon a little bit in the process.

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