Beyond Same-Sex Marriage | KCUR

Beyond Same-Sex Marriage

Landon Vonderschmidt

Editor's note: StoryCorps OutLoud visited KCUR in the summer of 2015 to collect stories from Kansas City's LGBTQ community in partnership with the Gay and Lesbian Archive of Mid-America. This story originally aired in August 2015. Since then, Bernard Shondell and Brigid Burgett both say they remain good friends. StoryCorps is once again in Kansas City, and KCUR will begin airing new stories recorded here starting Monday, August 20, 2018.

Bernard Shondell and Ann Marie Pikus were best friends in high school. After college they were inseparable and decided to get married. They were married for 10 years and had three kids, then 14 years ago Ann Marie died of cancer. It was after her death, during a car ride with his three-year-old niece that Shondell had a profound realization about his sexuality.

“It was Christmas after Ann had passed away,” recalls Shondell. “And as we were driving around Colleen just blurts out, ‘When are you going to get a new mommy for Joey?’ That really kept me up.”

Why get married? Once, there was a time where that might have seemed like a silly question. But now, many people can tell you exactly why not. We examine how marriage has been changing over the last few decades ... and what it might look like in the future.

Guests:

 

Now that same-sex marriage is the law of the land, what has and hasn't changed for same-sex parents in our region? Three local parents tell their stories.

Guests:

  • Jacqueline Smith, Central Grazing Company
  • Dustin Cates, Heartland Men's Chorus
  • Lynn Barnett, MidAmerica Family Treatment Center

Editor's note: StoryCorps OutLoud visited KCUR in June to collect stories from Kansas City's LGBTQ community in partnership with the Gay and Lesbian Archive of Mid-America.

Living as Sean Power simply wasn't working.

Gillian Power, 43, knew as early as age 5 that she was not comfortable in her assigned gender. But growing up in what she calls the "hypermasculine" culture of South Africa, she repressed those feelings for most of her young life and then lost track of them as her adult life transpired. 

What is life like for LGBTQ folks in rural Kansas and Missouri? A Kansas City actor/writer and residents from Kearney, Missouri and Hiawatha and Hays, Kansas share their perspectives.

Benjamin Smith Photography

Editor's note: StoryCorps OutLoud visited KCUR in June to collect stories from Kansas City's LGBTQ community in partnership with the Gay and Lesbian Archive of Mid-America.

Raymond Cattaneo and his husband Dustin Cates were together six years before they decided that they wanted to adopt a baby and build their family.

Mktp / Flickr--CC

For a while, Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback was saying it was going to be pretty difficult to start offering benefits to same-sex couples who worked for the state following the landmark U.S. Supreme Court ruling.

It took a few days, but the state finally started granting gay and lesbian couples benefits. But local governments have been quietly offering same-sex benefits for some time.

The LGBT community has won a battle on marriage equality but workplace, education and other discrimination problems continue. We find out from a panel of local LGBT leaders what challenges remain.

Guests:

Photo courtesy of the Gay & Lesbian Archive of Mid-America / LaBudde Special Collections, University of Missouri-Kansas City

After the U.S. Supreme Court's recent marriage equality ruling, members of Kansas City’s gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender communities will begin turning their attention to other issues. Meanwhile, three pioneers of the gay-rights movement provided KCUR with some historical context for LGBT activism in Kansas City.

Three decades of local activism began in the late 1980s, when gay men and women all across the country were responding to the AIDS crisis. One of the organizations was ACT-UP, the AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power. Jon Barnett founded the local chapter.