LGBTQ

Kids in Circle
Monkey Business

Updated Tuesday, October 31, 2017 at 12:06 p.m.

A Big Brothers Big Sisters chapter in West Virginia will suspend mentoring services for underprivileged children after donors pulled funding earlier this month in response to an LGBTQ-awareness training program.

Dave Mistich / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Before a September 12th Parkersburg City Council meeting, LGBTQ rights advocates held a rally to let members of the council know that, despite the failure of a non discrimination ordinance, they’ll continue to fight for equal rights in their hometown.

In early August, the Parkersburg City Council shot down an ordinance that would have protected residents from employment and housing discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

Fairmont Passes Ordinance to Revive Human Rights Commission

Sep 13, 2017
Elisa Swartzmiller / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

The Fairmont City Council passed a controversial Human Rights Ordinance Tuesday, making Fairmont the eleventh city in the state to adopt similar proposals.

More than 50 people lined up outside of the Public Safety building in Fairmont to attend the public hearing. Some arrived in the early morning for the meeting that began at 7 p.m.

Kara Lofton/ West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Do people who identify as LGBTQ struggle for acceptance in Appalachia? In this week’s episode of Inside Appalachia, we explore how ideas about gender are changing across the country and in the region.

 

Still, some people, like 20-year-old Soleil-Dawe, who lives in Shepherdstown and identifies as gender queer, have found that coming out to their family isn’t easy.

 

Kyra Soleil-Dawe, Kyra, The Struggle to Stay
Liz McCormick / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Last week, we met Kyra Soleil-Dawe, a 20-year-old aspiring theater director and playwright who lives in Shepherdstown, West Virginia.

“And this place is so beautiful," Kyra said, "how would you ever wanna leave it? And I hope that I’m not the only one that sees that, I hope that I’m not the only one that sees that there’s something really incredible happening here.”

courtesy Crystal Wilkinson

Ever hear the word 'Affrilachian'? In the 1990s, a poet in Kentucky named Frank X Walker came up with the term. It refers to African Americans living in Appalachia. 

Us & Them

Not that long ago, you could get locked up for being gay. 

Us & Them

North Carolina repealed its notorious bathroom law, but not necessarily for the better. Transsexuals remain outside NC’s equal protection laws—whether in the bathroom or in the workplace. All of this has got me thinking about my friend Anne Kelly.

Women's March, Donald Trump, Inauguration
Joni Deutsch / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

About 2,800 people gathered outside the Capitol in Charleston on Saturday, Jan. 21, to show their support for women’s equality one day after President Donald Trump’s inauguration.


Gender Neutral
Toby Talbot / AP Photo

  West Virginia University has launched a housing program for students to room together on campus regardless of sex, gender, gender identity or sexual orientation.

WVU's True Colors community also supports students who are transgender or gender non-conforming in choosing a roommate of any gender. The gender-neutral community isn't intended for romantic couples.

Us & Them: Femme Voice

Feb 29, 2016

  Back in the fall of 2014, I read an article in the Gazette about, Anne Kelly Skinner, a Charleston lawyer -- formerly Greg Skinner -- who was transitioning from male to female.  The story piqued my interest because having grown up as a son, nephew, brother and friend of many of Charleston’s attorneys, I knew with almost absolute certainty that this was new territory for many in that Kanawha Valley legal community.  I expected that I’d produce a story that would be about the tension of transitioning in a conservative “old boy” community, but we didn’t end up talking about any of that stuff. What we ended up talking about… was the way Anne talks.

Fairness West Virginia

Songwriter Sam Gleaves was inspired by the story of Sam Williams, a former coal miner who was harassed at work for being gay. 

Sam Gleaves is a musician who grew up playing old time mountain music in Southwestern Virginia. His songs have a high lonesome, old-time sound. Their roots are deep in Appalachia, and the stories they tell explore some bitter truths about how hard it can be to be different here. I met up with Gleaves at his home in Berea, KY to talk about one song in particular.