Tag Archive for: Louisville

Queer Kentucky x Louisville Magazine: Connor Holloway

Grew up in St. Matthews, now living in Brooklyn, they/them

photos by Clifton Mooney, he/him

Queer Kentucky has partnered with Louisville Magazine for our fourth print issue. We asked Louisvillians and Kentuckians at large about their queerness and its relationship to the city, where they feel at home, who was there for them when it felt like nobody else was, the biggest issues facing Louisville’s queer communities, and much more. We would love it if you — whether you live in Louisville or not — would answer the questions too. If you’d like to, you can find the interview here. In this issue, you will find stories of Queer Kentuckians telling tales of their beloved safe spaces, paying tribute to the loved ones who uplifted them when no one else would, laughing about their coming out stories, and so much more. Kentucky, and Louisville, have a lot of work left to do when it comes to embracing the queer community. But hey, it’s not as bad as people think it is. Read on, you’ll see. You can purchase the print version of this issue here.

Besides your own house — or the house of family or friends — what Louisville place makes you feel at home?

The Kentucky Center for the Arts in many ways felt like the house I grew up in. It was a rare place that felt both intimidating and also entirely nurturing. By the age of 12, I practically spent more time there than I did in school. I learned how to express myself and be vulnerable with others. I remember it being scary, but I always felt protected by the community I shared the stage with. That type of support was essential in my personal growth and ultimately what gave me the courage to pursue my dreams.

What piece of art — a book, a painting, a movie, a TV show, etc. — means the most to you?

The Golden Girls feels incredibly nostalgic to me. A few years ago, I lost my mom to mental illness. Whenever I hear the theme song,‘ Thank You for Being a Friend,’ I’m immediately transported back to my parents’ bedroom in River Wood, across from Locust Grove. I can so vividly recount all the seemingly late nights cuddled up watching Blanche and Dorothy make jokes I believed with all my heart I understood, but didn’t. The show stops time for me and reverts me back to a place of safety with my mother. She always let me be me. I’d wear her clip-on earrings and shuffle around her white-tile bathroom in her slingbacks and sequined cocktail gowns without question. Every night, we’d read Guess How Much I Love You, and I’d mimic Little Nutbrown Hare’s every move to adequately display the depth of my love for my mom — handstands and all.

What’s the biggest issue facing Louisville’s LGBTQ+ communities? What do you think would help solve that issue?

Black. Trans. Lives. Matter. Stop questioning it. If people took the time to really connect with people they don’t understand, the impact would be life-saving. We underestimate our own ability to empathize because we never really try. I recently served on jury duty and am amazed by how much it has expanded my understanding of my own biases. It’s not always by choice, but we are more segregated than we even know — our country was built that way, after all — and if we don’t actively pursue diversifying our circles, we’ll never be able to understand each other. And truthfully, when it all boils down, we’re all the same. We just want to matter.

Anything about how you identify that you’d like to share?

I am non-binary. In many ways, it doesn’t feel important to share because it’s personal and simply how I see myself. I understand the world perceives me to be a man, and that’s not their fault. It’s the way our brains have been educated to understand each other. But I hope for more. We’re capable of more. My hope, as non-binary people gain more visibility, is that people can learn not to make assumptions. To not limit your beliefs about a person based upon the way your brain perceives them to be. Whether that’s a level of education, capabilities at work, contributions to a conversation, sexual orientation or anything anywhere in between — we underestimate people every day. That’s something that being non-binary reminds me not to do. For that I feel grateful.