Here's a startling fact about one of our favorite founding fathers: In 1779, Thomas Jefferson — who was considered a liberal by his contemporaries — proposed a law that would have required castration for gay men and mutilation of nose cartilage for lesbians. It's safe to bet that no one was organizing gay-pride events back then.Though a few Jeffersonians still skulk among us, things have changed considerably over the past 200-odd years — can you say California
? Gay-pride events happen all over the globe now; you could probably attend one every month of the year. Whether you decide to attend Amsterdam's Gay Skinhead Week next April is up to you. But for now, come out to Kansas City Gay Pride 2008, which kicks off its weekend events tonight with Street Blast, a free street dance from 6 p.m. to midnight at 19th Street and Main. DJs include Chris Medley, Ken Hall, Daniel Weaver, Chad Slater and Jerry Griffith.The 30th Kansas City Gay Pride Festival
runs Saturday and Sunday between 11 a.m. and 10 p.m. at Liberty Memorial Park (Pershing and Main) and is pet- and kid-friendly. Family activities include sack, hopper-ball and three-legged races, hula-hoop contests and face painting. For the adults, featured performers include K.C. Latinos, the Heartland Men's Chorus, the D.C. Cowboys dance troupe, 2 Unlimited and singer Deborah Cox. The Spirit of Hope Metropolitan Community Church will conduct a commitment ceremony at 3 p.m. Sunday. See kansascitygaypride.org
for the full lineup and other festival specifics.
Fri., May 30, 11 a.m.-10 p.m., 2008