Written by: Mikhael Sublett
On Saturday, June 25, the LGBT community came together at Missie B’s for a fundraiser to benefit the victims of the Pulse shooting in Orlando, Florida. The benefit was hosted at Missie B’s but included several LGBT nightclubs including Sidekicks and Hamburger Marys. The event hosted several vendors and local musical acts all serving the same purpose: To raise money for the Pulse shooting victims in a celebration of their lives. The event held a silent auction, drag shows, vendors, and live performances from local acts such as The Philistines, Holmes Street, and Vigil and Thieves.
Massev caught up with Jan Allen, the general Manager of Missie B’s to discuss the event and community. When asked how the community has been affected by the Pulse incident Jan said “People are more aware of their surroundings” and “has seen more displays of affection, more ‘I love you’s’”
Sidekicks Bartender Devin Young stated that the Pulse shooting “has made the community stronger and to be a community again, which is the purpose of the event. “Devin also said the shooting is not an LGBT issue but a human issue. He also praised the contributing businesses for putting together a phenomenal benefit.
Love was the common theme of the evening. Comments from the patrons ranging from community strength, outpouring of love, affection, and compassion were common, and all had a central theme of family. This is what they could do for their brothers and sisters affected by this horrible act. Throughout the evening that sentiment was repeated, from the vendors, to the bartenders, from the performers to the patrons. Family, community, support.
That same support was shared among the performers as well. During Vigil and Thieves set, when Steph Castor’s guitar malfunctioned, Susanna Barchak of the band Holmes Street provided her own instrument so Vigil could finish their set. It was an amazing illustration of the type of support this community discovered in the wake of this tragedy.
Sources at Missie B’s report that over $25,000 was raised for the Pulse victim fund and the Pulse employee recovery fund. They were also quick to say the donations are still coming in and may not have an accurate number until later this week.
The following evening, I returned to Missie B’s and spoke with Vince Gonzalez, security for Missie B’s, about his take on the previous night’s events. He stated “the event went well” and “there is a lot of love that comes through this bar.”
The Kansas City LGBT Community came through for their brothers and sisters in Orlando. Their strength and compassion know no boundaries, and love for one another is their mantra.
If you missed the event, photos can be found here Below, you will find interviews with Pam Allen, general manager of Missie B’s, Devin Young, bartender at Sidekicks Saloon, and Vince Gonzalez, security for Missie B’s. As usual they are unedited, so you experience what I did. Check them out:
Jan Allen, GM of Missie B's
Devin Young, Bartender, Sidekicks PT1
Devin Young, Bartender, Sidekicks PT2
Vince Gonzalez, Security, Missie B's