Mar 072012

By Ellen Deatrick

The Undressing Normal: (Un)conference on Sexuality for Those of Us DisLabeled took place February 10 at the Clarion Hotel in Lexington. Roughly 70 people attended—a diverse group sharing at least one purpose: they wanted to talk. Or should I say “we,” since I was one of the attendees, eager to engage.

In preparing to cover this event, I had someone ask me: “So is this going to be like an unarticle?” I thought about how an “unarticle” would look. One of the guiding principles of an unconference is: “whatever happens is the only thing that could have.” I like it. Yes, this will be an unarticle.

Six months ago, a steering committee met—that is, what became a committee. Then, it was simply a concerned group of Kentuckians. Latitude Artist Community led the synergy, sparked by the summer incident in Hazard County and looking to extend discussion on issues surrounding sexuality, disability, and gender identity. Back in June, two gay men with intellectual disabilities were forced from a Hazard community pool for what some deemed excessive displays of affection. While all parties involved appropriately resolved the situation, the events highlighted how few resources are available for educating disability caregivers on sexual matters, notably on LGBT support.  Co-owner of Latitude Bruce Burris flatly stated: “Since we’re accepting the idea—finally—that sexuality is, most people would agree, a normal part of life, it is about time that we should start talking about this.” Continue reading »

Apr 132011

Sollee partners with Latitude for Merch that Matters

By Niah Soult

“100 Community Values”, a creative collaboration between the Latitude Artist Community and one of Lexington’s finest musicians, Ben Sollee, is one of the more refreshing demonstrations I’ve witnessed of Visual Art functioning as a Walking, Talking, Living thing. Designed to promote the importance of community inclusiveness and more socially conscious practices, the project has resulted in 100 painted canvas bags reflecting 100 different values. The bags will be sold in place of generic concert memorabilia while on tour with Ben Sollee. Continue reading »