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Our LGBT + allies blog is enriched with multi-media content that offers you updated stories, features, and life pieces in print, audio and video. Enjoy.

Hoist and the Memphis Leather Community

June 15, 2018 - articles

by Vincent Astor | photos courtesy of Hoist   (Above photo, left to right: Jim Pickens, Vice President; Ken Briggs, Road Captain; Jake Tanner, Sgt. at Arms; Mark Keidaish, President; Chaz Fowler, Secretary; Aaron Moore, Historian; Brian McCraig, Treasurer.)   What do you think when…

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A PRETTY LITTLE ROOM: Alice Mitchell at Bolivar Asylum: An Opera Scene

March 30, 2018 - articles

story by Vincent Astor This story is an epilogue to the one previously published in Focus Mid-South magazine, Alice & Freda, by Vincent Astor In a city rich with history and eccentric characters, operatic material is everywhere. The Opera 901 Showcase premiering in April will…

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Alice & Freda: In 1892, Memphis girls’ young love ends tragically, creates national headlines

February 4, 2018 - articles

by Vincent Astor It was one of the saddest days in the history of Grace Episcopal Church. A very young parishioner, 17-year old Frederica Ward, was being laid to rest. She had sung in the choir and had a “decided turn for amateur theatricals.” Her…

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Heart Strings: How a 1989 Musical United Memphis & Raised Critical Funds for HIV/AIDS

June 2, 2017 - articles

by Vincent Astor | photos courtesy OUTMemphis, and David Sheppard ©2017 DIFFA   According to a Chicago Tribune article from September 7, 1989, Heart Strings was ‘an upbeat musical production that brought its songs and dances of hope in the fight against AIDS’ to 30…

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Hunter Johnston – Storied activist now fights for senior LGBT wellness

November 25, 2016 - articles

by Vincent Astor  |  photos from the private collections of Vincent Astor and Hunter Johnston unless noted otherwise Back in the deeps of time (1977) a singer named Anita Bryant flaunted her strong anti-gay Christian beliefs, and successfully fought to repeal an anti-discrimination act in…

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Dragnificent Part 3: What is it about drag?

August 11, 2016 - articles

Why has drag been a staple of entertainment for our community for so long? It’s not necessarily about being transgender. Nor is it about a demeaning parody of women. Part of it is a boy wanting to look like a girl for a while and…

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Dragnificent Part 2: George’s-Fun on a mission

August 9, 2016 - articles

by Vincent Astor Tracy Love found a box with photos of shows and people from the George’s era and put up a page on Facebook called “Remember George’s Disco?” Photos and memories began to flood onto the page and someone suggested a reunion. A committee…

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DRAGNIFICENT! – Part 1

August 5, 2016 - articles

Friends of George’s—the new face of drag shows by Vincent Astor Photos courtesy of Friends of George’s and Kevin Reed Photography. Identifying and historical information provided by Vincent Astor. What was George’s anyway? In 1969 George Wilson took over management of a little beer bar…

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