#AWP24 LGBTQIA+ Community Support Updates

August 14, 2023

A 'zen' sculpture in Kansas City with a dark blue border and the #AWP24 logo.

AWP is excited to open registration and announce accepted events this week. As we get closer to #AWP24, we continue working to provide more information and resources to AWP’s LGBTQIA+ communities and attendees.

In the spring, AWP met with the LGBTQ Caucus, who expressed their concerns about gathering and traveling to Kansas City, especially for those in the trans community. They flagged several issues that AWP continues to work on and address with our city partners. In particular, we are working on providing inclusive and safe transportation options in Kansas City, providing more resources for LGBTQIA+ support systems in Kansas City, and compiling a list of trans-friendly venues in the city for off-site events, among other priorities.

In June, conference staff and Executive Director met with:

  • Senator Greg Razer, the only openly gay state senator in Missouri, and a proud resident of Kansas City. Senator Razer’s Twitter is great to follow for updates about issues in Kansas City and at the state level. Read The Pitch’s June profile of Razer and the work he is doing in the Missouri legislature.
  • City Councilmember Andrea Bough, who has been working on behalf of LGBTQIA+ communities. Bough, along with Mayor Quinton Lucas, forged relationships between transgender residents, healthcare providers, the police commissioner, and the county prosecutor, all in an effort to declare Kansas City as a ‘safe haven’ city for transgender care in Missouri.
  • Mayor Pro Tem, Kevin McManus who emphasized that Kansas City local government works to make the city inclusive and welcoming. Kansas City established a LGBTQ Commission in 2020 in order to advise council on community issues.
  • Vice President of the Mid-America LGBT Chamber of Commerce, Joel Barrett. Barrett is also the creator and producer of the KC Rainbow Tour, a free, self-guided, and narrated driving tour showcasing Kansas City’s rich and colorful LGBTQ history.

New initiatives:

  • We are also thrilled to be supporting Pride Haven, an overnight shelter for  LGBTQIA+ transition-aged youth facing homelessness, as our #WritersServe project for #AWP24. More information about how attendees can lend their support to this great organization will be shared in the coming months.
  • zTrip rideshare service will be the official transportation partner for #AWP24. Unlike other rideshare companies, zTrip provides enhanced safety features and driver training, including sensitivity training. More information about zTrip will be shared soon.
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