PUSHING THE ENVELOPE IN COUNCIL GROVE, KS

  • HndsmKansan

    Posts: 16311

    Jan 09, 2009 2:56 AM GMT
    Well here I was, finishing lunch with a client in Council Grove today.
    This community is about 2,000 residents in east central Kansas and ranks as one of the "historical" communities in Kansas, much like Abilene, Dodge City and a few others.

    It also seems to have its fair share of gay men. I've had more friends comment about Council Grove and the number of gay men who grew up or live in the area. I always thought it was an overly active imagination.

    So I walk out of a restaurant with a client talking specifics, suit and focused.... and suddenly I noticed 2 men walking and holding hands.
    They walked right by me and I was totally stunned. The interesting thing was this: The client I was there talking with lives in the community.....
    and there was nothing said, no one stared, nobody made comments.
    I simply told my client to have a great afternoon and climbed in my car
    looking at the gay couple.

    It was a totally natural and I'm glad nobody said anything.
    I learned something this afternoon.
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    Jan 09, 2009 2:44 PM GMT
    I always think of Kansas as being hardcore fundie territory, so I find your story very surprising. I live in Fairfield Iowa, home of Maharishi University of Management, and the TM organization has this nutty idea to build a huge university in the exact center of the country, in Smith Center, KS. Let's just say that the reaction from the residents of Smith Center has been significantly less than friendly.
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    Jan 09, 2009 2:55 PM GMT
    Knowning "Handsome" aka Chris personally and living in Kansas myself I have to ask why he was surprised? I have ventured all over Kansas and found most cities accpeting, especially those who are high on tourist maps. They relay upon those incoming funds and always seem to be more OPEN.

    Several cities like Council Grove have tons of shopping and attract tourist. They don't want to run them off. Another great city is Lawrence KS. They have domestic partnership registration.

    I also believe that is up to the gay men. To confidently display who they are and not fear others. Religous bigot, backwoods bubbas and such feed on our fear. If we don't show the fear they typically leave you alone. They chose to pick on the weak.

    So to all of you in California, NY and Florida. Come visit the midwest. Lawrence or Councel Grove Kansas. Weston Missouri is another awesome place as well. A place where you can be yourself, relax complete and take in some of the old west. If you visit Council Grove go to the Hayes House resurant. In business since the 1880's and you can still see real cowboys wearing spurs.
  • HndsmKansan

    Posts: 16311

    Jan 10, 2009 12:27 AM GMT
    The Hays House is a great restaurant... and the place where this occurred.
    I was surprised and it was warranted, mainly because I'd never seen a gay couple walking in rural Kansas in that manner. This wasn't Church St. in Toronto.. it was C Grove, KS.

    I do agree, Kansas is a great place to visit and I'd encourage anyone to take the time.

    icon_biggrin.gif
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    Jan 10, 2009 12:31 AM GMT
    I might have said "Toto, I don't think we're in Kansas anymore.".
  • DCEric

    Posts: 3713

    Jan 10, 2009 12:44 AM GMT
    I've learned something over the years. People see what the expect. The people of Kansas expect to see heterosexual couples and same sex friendships. The brain automatically corrects for what the eyes "miss-see". People who expect to see it, will. You saw it, but your client may have missed it because he wasn't expecting to see it.

    This isn't universal, it doesn't work all of the time. I know a number of people, even in an area as accepting as Washington DC, who said, after I came out, that they had not seen so many same sex couples holding hands.

    The best place to hid something is in plain site.
  • GQjock

    Posts: 11649

    Jan 10, 2009 12:15 PM GMT
    The more these things become commonplace in the minds and databanks of the American people the less intolerance there will be in the future

    Kudos ... goes out to those men who were holding hands
    because they have forwarded our cause just by doing what they did as much as any ballot measure or ordinance can
  • DCEric

    Posts: 3713

    Jan 10, 2009 12:31 PM GMT
    GQjock saidThe more these things become commonplace in the minds and databanks of the American people the less intolerance there will be in the future


    The African-American and Jewish communities would like a word with you.

    GQjock saidKudos ... goes out to those men who were holding hands
    because they have forwarded our cause just by doing what they did as much as any ballot measure or ordinance can


    Though I do agree with this.
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    Jan 11, 2009 2:01 AM GMT
    really Chris !? i didn't know that ! we should pop over there for lunch sometime and do some "bird watching"...LOL.

    I do know Lawrence is pretty cool....I went to school at KU and many gay people were very open and nobody cared a bit. People were very accepting there.