Beyond Dorothy

There was a time when America needed Carson Kressley. Nick Barron thinks that time has passed. A local writer and editor, Barron advocates moving the push for gay rights into a post-sexuality mindset. Kressley and other gay pop-culture icons served an important purpose, he says, but he hopes that the nation has transcended those stereotypes. In a 1 p.m. presentation today at Haag Hall (5100 Rockhill) on the UMKC campus, Barron will outline his vision for the future of equality and civil rights in the gay community.”After I came out, I figured I needed to start going to musicals, quit following sports and start dressing better,” Barron says. “If you looked at me, you wouldn’t know I was gay, and it really doesn’t matter. But as gay people, we tend to focus too much on our sexuality and those kinds of stereotypes.”Barron sees the portrayal of gay Americans as sexual creatures first and citizens second as a drag on the ascension of equal rights. The movement has come a long way in a short time, and though he appreciates that, he believes even open-minded people have some perceptions to change. “I want to move past the Will & Grace picture of what a gay person is,” he says.

Sun., Dec. 30, 1 p.m., 2007