We Got Ace Week Recognized Locally & You Can Too!

We got Ace Week recognized in Kansas City and we’re here to share how you can do the same in your area! Plus we share a couple of weird stories about our beloved KC including the one time Courtney was almost the subject of a Super Bowl commercial.

Proclamation Resources

Other References


Courtney: Hello, everyone, welcome back. My name is Courtney. I’m here with my spouse, Royce, and together we are The Ace Couple. And The Ace Couple did a thing back in October. October of 2022. We actually managed to get Ace Week formally recognized by the city of Kansas City, Missouri. And we’re going to tell you how you can do the same in your city and/or State. State might be better. We were limited on time and options this year, so we went for the city level, we had a more direct line that way.

Courtney: So we’ll give you a couple options, the standard method and the method we took, in case you too would like to get some Ace Pride proclamations proclaimed. And since I anticipate that talking through what we did, and what you could do, and the significance of getting Pride events and celebrations recognized at a government level, it probably won’t take very long, so, heck, we will tell you some weird stories about Kansas City and why we love being here.

Courtney: I think we’ve teased a couple of stories on the podcast before that we just actually haven’t gotten to yet.

Royce: That sounds about right.

Courtney: So let’s see, we could talk about today. We actually, very recently, talked about the very unusual hike for Obscura Day in Kansas City, where I had a gyro in my purse. So maybe we’ll share that one. It’s also– it’s almost Super Bowl time, isn’t it?

Royce: Probably?

Courtney: [chuckles] It’s– I think it’s almost Super Bowl time. We should tell the story about how I almost got paid 50,000 dollars to be given my own Super Bowl commercial. Because that was also a weird one. Boy, Kansas City, I love you. But first the important business: Ace Week.

Courtney: Or if we are to be technical, any Aspec Pride event or time period. Ace week is the one I’ve been most familiar with, because it is the longest running international Ace Pride campaign. But a newer one is International Asexuality Day. I want to say April 6th, but I feel like I need to fact check that. Yes, April 6th. And then of course, we also have Aromantic Spectrum Awareness Week, which is coming up probably pretty soon, at the time this episode is going to be released.

Courtney: So that is something to think about. That is the– the first full week following Valentine’s Day. So that’s coming up, you know, mid to late February. By the time this episode releases, it might be a little too late if you haven’t already tried to put in a proclamation for that, but that might depend on your area. So we’ll get to time restrictions as part of this as well.

Courtney: So I suppose let’s start with the basics. A proclamation is not a law, it’s not legislation, so it doesn’t have to go through the whole committee hearing and then voted on, you know, Senate House, Governor... It doesn’t go through the same process a bill takes to become law. In– in some ways they’re almost useless. [laughs] Royce, I saw you cracking up over there. What was that?

Royce: Just– good start.

Courtney: Well, I mean that in the sense that it isn’t tangible action and it’s not necessarily going to actually, meaningfully, equate to aces having a better life, or more rights.

Royce: As you mentioned, it’s not a law. It’s more of a City or State, like, local sanctioned awareness.

Courtney: Yeah, they do a lot of awareness weeks, they do a lot of dedications. It’s– It’s rather ceremonial, in that sense. So I would say, honestly, I think this is one of the best introductions to political activism. Because it is very much an easy process to request. It is something where you’ll have, you know, a certificate. You’ll have at least one person on your side who’s standing with you saying, “Hey, I agree with this thing. I’m going to sign my name on this proclamation on your behalf.” And so I almost think of it more as, like, a building block up to something bigger and more tangible.

Courtney: So the sort of history of getting Ace Week recognized via these ceremonial proclamations actually started in Seattle in 2019. A group of Seattle aces and aros got a proclamation like this signed. So 2020, the year following, was a very big year where many ace organizers said, “Hey, let’s try to get a campaign going where we’ll try to get this done in more places all at the same time.”

Courtney: A lot of this information you can find on aceweek.org and we’ll link some resources in the show notes, so that you can also see what some of this organizing effort has looked like, what some of the past proclamations have looked like. And there’s even a series of documents, which is really, really helpful especially if you yourself are saying, “Hey, I want to get this recognized, but I don’t– I don’t know any people affiliated with the government in my area. I’ve never gotten a proclamation like this signed before.” These documents are vastly helpful, because it’s broken out by State, so if you’re in the US, you can pick your area and there are already links to the website where you can go and get information. Because every State’s going to be a little bit different. But most States, you kind of just have to ask for a proclamation and everyone’s going to have their own process.

Courtney: Thankfully, a lot of them are online, so– some of them it’s really just a matter of filling out an online form saying, “This is what I want recognized, please sign it.” And it just might happen. It could theoretically be as easy as that. Now, remember the people reading this, whether it be the government, whether it be a mayor, or a council member, that person on the other end is still going to need to agree with what you’re asking for. So if there’s someone in office who’s very, you know, bigoted, very acephobic, someone who doesn’t think that asexuality is a real thing, they’re not going to sign it just for the sake of signing it. Because their name is now going to be affiliated with that. So, part of it and part of the significance is also just getting that gesture of goodwill and that commitment of allyship from someone who does hold office.

Courtney: Because then if you are later down the line, lobbying for something that is a little more tangible, something that is a bill or resolution, then you can sort of point back to this and say, “Hey, you stood with us on this thing, you put your name on this paper, saying you stand with us.” And so it could theoretically be used as leverage, but it’s also very much a sort of means of publicity as well. And while I suspect that most people who do sign these Ace Pride proclamations are genuine allies, or at least aspire to be genuine allies, it is an official documentation that they are signing off on saying that they stand with you. So if you really needed to, say, hold their feet to the fire later down the line… couldn’t hurt, right?

Courtney: So check out the show notes if this is something you’re interested in doing for an upcoming event.

Courtney: I should say that once you get something recognized, it doesn’t go year to year. So if you get Ace Week, for example, recognized one year and you want it recognized the following year, you have to go through the process again. Because it’s not just a recognition in perpetuity, it’s for this year, we are dedicating this week or this day, as this thing.

Courtney: And even if you don’t want to sort through all the documents, you can probably just google it. I think most States are going to be pretty good about telling you their proclamation process.

Courtney: Let’s pick a random State. South Dakota.

Royce: Random. Completely random. No other reason.

Courtney: There’s no reason why I pulled out South Dakota. [typing] “South Dakota proclamation request.” So that’s what I’m googling, and the very first result I get is how to request a proclamation, South Dakota Governor. And I click on it and I see a lovely picture of Kristi Noem’s face. Hmm, not my favorite human, that. But even for South Dakota – which is a State I do not anticipate this getting recognized in any time soon – not when Kristi Noem is the one with the pen in her hand. It states what a proclamation is, how to request it and preference will be given to in-state requesters. Which– different States are going to be more strict about that. Of course, if you live in the State you are requesting, that is always going to help. But there are a good number of States that just say, “We aren’t even going to look at your request if you don’t have an address in this State.”

Courtney: But there’s a button here. It says “Request a proclamation,” you click on it, and the website takes a million years to load because it’s a government website. [sing-songy to the Jeopardy theme] Do, do, do, do, do, do, do, do. All right. There it is. That took entirely way too long, and this one is an online form too. So type in name, address, the date, and then you fill in the text for what you want the proclamation to read. That’s another tricky part if you’ve never written a document in government-ese. You have to write the proclamation. You basically write it for them and say, “Sign this please.” And they might make changes to the language, so what you present to them might not be the final product, but they aren’t going to write it for you. If you say, “I want Ace Week to be recognized.” They are not going to write it for you.

Courtney: So that is also a good reason why you should check out the resources in the show notes, because you’ll be able to see some examples of what previous proclamations have been put out there. Because there’s– there’s a word you need to get very well acquainted with, if you’re going to be requesting proclamations, and that is ‘whereas’. A lot of whereas-ing happening. You’re probably going to need four or five ‘whereas’ statements, and it can seem complicated and weird because that’s not– we don’t normally write like that, right? So–

Royce: We never write like that.

Courtney: It seems kind of weird, but if you break it down into the components it’s not too bad. Because you can kind of follow– kind of follow a flow of like “Whereas Ace Week exists,” zhuzh that language up a little bit, and then, “Whereas Ace Week is very important. And whereas there are asexual people that live here. And whereas this place cares about said people. Therefore, hey this week is Ace Week. Here’s my signature and government seal.” That– that’s kind of the format. And if you need to, or want to, there is no shame in, basically, just copying and pasting what someone else has already done in the previous year. Because, like I said, the language is a little bit irrelevant because it’s not going to change anything. It’s– we want that piece of paper and we want that signature, and we want the publicity of them saying, “Hey, this is this thing. We are proclaiming it to be so.”

Courtney: Most States are going to want to get your request for proclamation in advance. You can’t suggest it the day before. You probably can’t suggest it the week before. A lot of them require a month. So, if you want Ace Week recognized, you’re probably going to want to be thinking about this in September. If you want Aro Week recognized, you probably want to start thinking about this in January. But definitely do check your individual State, because it’s really disappointing to miss the cutoff date. Because if you miss the cutoff date, it’s just not gonna happen. And hey, what do you know? That’s exactly what happened to us this year. So, Courtney missed the cutoff date for getting this recognized in– So, we’re in Kansas City. And there is a ‘Kansas City, Kansas’, there is a ‘Kansas City, Missouri’. Then there’s the Kansas City Metro Area, which kind of spans both of them. So we’re at a very weird sort of dual State intersection, and we’ve got very strong connections and ties on both sides of the State line. So we have our– we had our tendrils in Missouri and Kansas and we missed the dang cut off time.

Courtney: So, we weren’t going to get it done in– at the State level. But here’s another way to go about it. Here’s what we did. Kansas City has an LGBTQ Commission, and this is Kansas City, Missouri. And some States have this, some cities have this, not all of them will, so check your area. Pennsylvania, for example, has an LGBTQ Commission who has a prominent Ace activist on the board, Marshall Blount. And this commission is very local to the city level, but they’re a group of folks who are basically just dedicated to making sure that things get better for LGBTQ folks. So, if your place has a commission that does have a specific focus like this that fits within the purview of what you’re trying to do, really good idea to connect with those folks if you can.

Courtney: And as a local, I had just followed the LGBTQ Commission. So I just followed them on social media, and I saw that they were going to have a meeting where they were inviting locals to show up, and listen to the meeting, see what they were doing, and then time for question and comment at the end. And what do you know, it was happening via Zoom. So, I didn’t even have to go anywhere. Because there’s still a pandemic. So I don’t go places, still. But I thought, hey, I’ll attend this LGBTQ Commission. Partially to ask if Ace Week was even on their radar. If the folks involved in this even knew what this was, or if there was any desire to commemorate it in any way, or celebrate it. But also just to see what– what was up, what are you doing in our local area? What’s– what’s the buzz?

Courtney: And I tell you, even if you don’t have something like this you’re trying to accomplish, if your local area has an LGBTQ Commission and you can attend those meetings, go to them. Because, around the time that I attended this one, monkeypox was very much a topic. And I’d see these really– I saw basically two types of articles, very ringing the alarm, “We’re going to be having two pandemics happening simultaneously, everyone panic,” or really bigoted articles that were like, “This only– This is– this is a gay disease.” Like a very unfortunately reminiscent of the AIDS crisis. And I swear in like the 10 minutes that they were discussing what our local area was doing about monkeypox, and what they were doing for education, and what they were doing for vaccines, and where they were going to educate people in our local queer spaces… I learned more about monkeypox and the vaccine for it, and the actual numbers and situation and what was being done about it, in 10 minutes at that meeting than I did in a dozen articles about it.

Courtney: So, local politics can sometimes seem really daunting and it can seem very small in the grand scheme of things, but there’s actually stuff getting done. And I recommend– I recommend participating if you put– Oh my goodness, my words. I recommend participating in it, if you can. So once this meeting opened up for comment, I just stated Ace Week is coming up, here are the dates, it’s the last full week in October, are there any plans to recognize this? And they were very nice. They did not know about Ace Week but they were very happy to learn. And then they asked me what would you like to do to honor Ace Week locally. And I said, well, first of all, we’d love to get a proclamation from the city. And then I also stated, you know, I am an ace activist, I am a speaker, I’m a writer, but given pandemic things I’m not personally able to do live events right now. That’s something I’d love to look at in the future, but the proclamation is a big one.

Courtney: And then I also– This one didn’t come through unfortunately, but Kansas City does this really cool thing where for certain Pride events the city skyline will be lit up in Pride colors. So we’ll get a rainbow skyline for, like, Pride Month, and we’ve also gotten, like, trans colors skyline for trans awareness events. So I was like, I don’t know how we get those, that Skyline lit up, but– but that’d be pretty cool if we could do that for Ace Week. And they were like, “Yeah, we can try that!” Turns out the answer to how you get that done is just peer pressure. [laughs] I didn’t know if there was like a shared memo between all of these buildings, like, “Hey, this is the thing we’re doing guys.” But turns out you just have to go to all of those buildings individually and just peer pressure them. And be like, “Man, it would sure be a shame if you’re– you were the only building not– not getting in on this very important event, huh? That– that’d be bad optics. That’d be a bad look, right?” They were like, “Yes. We would be happy to threaten some building owners for you.”

Courtney: That one didn’t come to fruition, but we did get our proclamation. And I would like to say that we all lived happily ever after, and everything was perfect and seamless and beautiful from that point on, but… mmm, how do I say this? I have nothing but respect for the LGBTQ commission of Kansas City, and the people I spoke to directly were fantastic. The chair and the vice chair at the time were very receptive, they were very eager to help. I actually learned that there actually was an ace on that commission also, because someone was asking like, “What are the ace colors? We don’t even know, like, what the Ace Pride colors are.” And someone piped up and was like, “Um, you guys, there is an ace right here on the commission.” And– and they were all flabbergasted.

Courtney: And I was like, “Oh, that’s good information.” Because I didn’t know that either before I attended. But they basically said, “We will go to the Council ourselves, as the LGBTQ Commission, and we will lobby the City Council in person to do this on your behalf.” So I was like, “Awesome! We’ve got some allies.” I worked pretty closely with Justice Horn, who was the vice chair of the time, he is now the chair. Because the chair moved away, out of Kansas City, so promotion. Well done, Justice. And he was great, he was very helpful. He was the one who was, you know, shoes on the ground in the capital making this happen. Since it could not be me.

Courtney: And so between a combination of being at the meeting, and then emailing back and forth after I said, “Hey, this is who I am, this is who we are. This is how we have been active in the Ace Community over the years. And these are the things we do, the things we’ve done. And here’s why it’s important.”

Courtney: And I also stated to them, you know, Ace Week has been recognized in all of these places, like Colorado, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Oregon, Washington. But it’s never been recognized in Missouri, or Kansas for that matter. And certainly not in Kansas City, at the State level. But I did find writing in the Ace Week documents for what was an attempt at a Missouri proclamation in 2020. As far as I know, it didn’t happen. But I found the verbage for it. And so I gave them that and then I gave them my notes on that. What I saw was, [reading] “Whereas Asexuality is often unknown and misunderstood sexual orientation; and whereas people who are asexual, but have not heard of asexuality, may often feel confused, broken and alone; and whereas discovering asexuality can be a positive life-changing experience; and whereas, the goal of Asexual Awareness Week is to promote education and understanding about asexuality; and whereas there are estimated to be at least 61,000 asexual people in the state of Missouri; and whereas the state of Missouri is proud to be at the forefront of LGBTQ+ recognition and acceptance; now therefore, I, Mike Parson, Governor of the State of Missouri, hereby proclaim these dates 2020, as Asexual Awareness Week.”

Courtney: So I gave them that, but I mentioned I don’t know definitively where the estimated figure of 61,000 for the State of Missouri came from. But there’s a common refrain in the community that aces make up 1% of the population, and I suspect that that was how it was factored. This is based on a slightly older study, and more recent studies have suggested that the figure is at least 1.7% to 2% and, of course, projected to increase with more societal acceptance and education. And then by this point, Marshall Blount had already done his thing as he does every year and got Ace Week recognized in the State of Pennsylvania. So he’d already posted on Twitter, “Hey, here is the document. It is done.” So I also sent that to them and I said, “This is the most recent proclamation that has been put out for this year.” And so I gave them the language of that as well. And the fabulous Justin Horn went, took that information, lobbied the Council, got it done.

Courtney: But what they wanted to do, they wanted to actually meet us in person. They wanted to do like the photo-op thing, and actually present this to us at the Capitol. And we were like, “Oh, we haven’t been anywhere yet… [laughs softly] Are– are we really going to mask up to go to the Capitol to get this piece of paper and take a photo?” And so I expressed my concerns to them. I said, “I am immunocompromised. If we do this we need it as few people as possible. We need masks. And can we maybe do it outside of the Capitol? So we don’t have to actually go in the doors or go through any high traffic areas.” And they agreed to that. So we were like, all right we can do this. But then communication start breaking down a little bit. And some of it I definitely understand, because at that time our local– I think it was a Costco. There were some local pharmacies where pharmacists were refusing to fill any prescription for gender affirming care.

Royce: I think it was specifically like one physician at one Costco location, yeah.

Courtney: Mm-hmm. And– But there were like multiple people who had tried to fill prescriptions and then gone to the LGBTQ Commission, saying they’re refusing to– to fill this. So naturally, that was a very important immediate need. So a lot of their attention got taken up by that. And that is totally understandable. That is a lot more important than our little ceremonial certificate.

Courtney: But then Ace Week rolls along, and we’re trying to schedule when we can get together. And the person in charge of this, I don’t know if it was the councilwoman or an assistant of hers, but I was told whoever’s in charge of getting this done got sick. So I was like, “Oh, no.” Oh no, no, no. Well, first of all, I don’t want to be in the same room as that person. So I at least said, “Well, we can meet you – the Justice Horn was who I was talking to at this time – and here’s some of our availability.”

Courtney: But Ace Week, we were really taken up. We had a ton of things we had to do. We were– Well, first of all, Wednesday was Disabled Ace Day, so that was a whole thing. We were doing a live stream with Aces Playing At Attraction. We were doing a live stream with Ace Chat on Instagram. We were doing all kinds of things that week. We were already very, very busy. And so I said, “Well, before Wednesday. Because once Wednesday happens, like 24/7 we’re busy for the rest of the week. But we could probably squeeze you in on, like, Monday or Tuesday.” And I told them that, and they were like, “Hmm. No. Can’t do. We can do Wednesday, Thursday or Friday.” And I was like, “Ah….!” But I thought, you know, I will have the reins of the Ace Week account on Wednesday, for Disabled Ace Day, it would be cool if I could actually announce on that day, on the Ace Week account, “Hey, we got this done.” And show a little certificate and our photo.

Courtney: So I was like, you know what, Royce can drive, I can manage a Twitter account from a phone for an hour, so let’s do that! And then I didn’t hear back from them for a couple of days. And I was like, well, Ace Week is almost over now and I would love to at least have a virtual copy of this, so I can share this to the community during this week. So they did that. They sent us the virtual copy. And there were a couple of issues. And I– There– I actually sent the virtual copy to QPR-friend – who is not ace but is a fierce ace ally, and very important to us – and I was like, “Hey, could you maybe work a little photoshop and correct all of these typos? [laughs] ‘Cause I’d really like to post this online, and tell everyone that Ace Week is recognized. But um… if anyone actually reads the words and doesn’t just look at the photo and say, hey, good for them, this is kind of embarrassing.” [laughs]

Courtney: I really am starting to think that we’re the only ones who did read this, because the LGBTQ Commission tweeted it out before us. Like, they beat us to the punch. They were like, “Thank you The Ace Couple for making this happen. We did this, Ace Week is officially – you know – recognized in Kansas City.” And I was like, “Oh no, they posted it.”

Royce: No one reads government documents.

Courtney: Oh, I hope no one reads it. [laughs] Oh, I hope no one reads it! Because then also there’s on Twitter– The Asexuality Archive I think is what it’s called. Yeah, the at is @AceArchive. I like watching their account during Ace Week because they’ll put up a map of the places that recognize Ace Week. And I really wish they’d use Alt Text because that’s my biggest concern is that, if someone is a screen reader user, they have no idea what States this has been recognized in. But for me to be able to glance and see the map as it starts to fill out, that’s really nice. And I even referenced some of that when I was talking about, “Here are the other places Ace Week has been recognized before.” So I mean I tagged the Asexuality Archive and I was like, “Hey, we got this done in Kansas City. I really hope you don’t read this.” [laughs] You guys, you guys… it’s so embarrassing.

Courtney: And the thing is– I suspect, and I don’t know because the only person I spoke to directly were the people at the LGBTQ commission, and they were all great. They were on board. They were probably not responsible for this final product, and they probably didn’t read it thoroughly, and that’s fine. The councilwoman, this was put in front of, probably didn’t read it. And I wonder if the person who wrote it is the one who got sick. If that’s the case, I at least know that that happened ahead of time and–

Royce: Given the nature of the typos, it just seems like it was rushed.

Courtney: It– Yes, it seemed very rushed. So, first of all– And the thing is, since we didn’t end up meeting in person, they sent us the virtual copy. But they were like, “We still want you to have this physical copy.” And they were like, “We can overnight it to you.” And so I was like, “Great, here’s the address.” They did not overnight it to that address. They did not even mail it to that address. Like a month later, someone just showed up and knocked at the door, without a mask, and just handed it over. And we were like, “Oh… Okay…” So we’ve got these big beautiful, like, high-quality folders that have this, like, gilt stamp on the front, like, “City of Fountains, Heart Of The Nation, Kansas City, Missouri,” with the logo and a beautiful border. And the proclamation is on this big, beautiful, high-quality paper with the seal of Kansas City. And– [sighs] But you guys, you read this… [laughs] I was like, how?! They– they messed up the name of the city. Twice! [laughs] In two different ways!

Royce: Twice? I thought it was three times.

Courtney: Was it three times? Okay, we’re gonna– we’re gonna read this, again. Because I– And I thought too, since it was a month later and someone just showed up with the physical thing, I was like, “Maybe the typos got fixed.” No… no. [laughs]

Royce: No one reads government documents.

Courtney: [reading] “Proclamation: Recognizing Ace Week, October 23rd through the 29th, in Kansa City. – No S on that word. – Whereas, Ace Week is an international campaign first established in 2010, that seeks to raise awareness, acceptance, and to celebrate the asexual community world-wide; – That’s pretty good. I like that. – And whereas, Ace refers to that fit within the asexual spectrum and individuals that hold those identities; – A little clunky, but no– no typo-bad. – And whereas, discovering asexuality can be a positive, life-changing experience; and whereas, asexuality is often an unknown and misunderstood sexual orientation and many grown up not knowing that asexuality is an option; – Yeah, okay… – And whereas, it is estimated that asexual people make up about 2% of the city’s population; and now, therefore, be it resolved that Councilwoman Andrea Bough, on behalf of the City Council of Kansas City, Missouri City, proclaims October 23rd through 29th, 2022 as Ace Week, advocating for greater understanding and acceptance of ace identities.”

Courtney: So no, that was twice that they messed up Kansas City. The only time that Kansas City is correct on this form is at the bottom of the page, the signature stamp for the Council member, which I’m sure is just the exact same every time. Like, 6th District At-Large, Kansas City, MO. How did they say– And the top where it says, “Recognizing Ace Week October–” it’s in huge, bold, fancy font, and it says Kansa City! And in the, “Therefore, be it resolved–” it says Kansas City, Missouri City. Why? How did this happen? [laughs]

Royce: At least the one near the signature is the correct one. That’s the most important one.

Courtney: I– Yeah, I suppose? I would argue the one in very big, bold [laughs] fancy font at the top saying what this document is is probably the important one! Ah… So–

Royce: So, back to your point earlier, don’t try to rush these things. [Courtney laughs] Do them ahead of time. Bad things will happen, things will come up.

Courtney: Yes, absolutely. And the thing is, if I had done the month ahead of time, proper channels, requesting it through the State, and like, this was the final product and they did it…? I’d be livid. I would be like, “You really did not care about this at all, even a little bit.” I’m more forgiving at the more local city level, because I actually saw all of the stages as they were playing out. And I was talking to people. So I knew that a bunch of attention got diverted to the immediate crisis of not being able to fill prescriptions at a local pharmacy. That’s forgivable. I knew someone got sick, and I was like, “Oh, pandemic. Oh no, I don’t like that.” So, is it a little disappointing? Yeah. Is it very hilarious? Also yeah. But hey, you win some, you lose some. Sometimes simultaneously, win and lose. [laughs softly]

Courtney: So where are we at, for time, Royce? Do we have time for some silly Kansas City stories?

Royce: We can tell some stories. So I guess, the first one to mention was the gyro story. And do you even remember how you brought that up?

Courtney: During a recent episode– I think it was the autism assessment episode. We were talking about all the things I used to keep in my purse.

Royce: That’s right. Everything you could need in your purse.

Courtney: Yes! Usually, an unusual snack that most people would not think to put in their purses.

Royce: So the preface for this was that we had a day where several things were going on around downtown. Do you remember what that context was?

Courtney: It was Atlas Obscura Day.

Royce: Right.

Courtney: Mm-hmm. Which– Atlas Obscura, if you’re not familiar with it, it’s a website. They’ve got some blogs, but it’s also kind of just a directory of, like, weird places, like, strange local gems and weird history. So, it’s really fun. I usually like to pull up Atlas Obscura when I’m traveling, if I have some free time, so I can just see, like, what are some strange places. Think like Roadside America, but plus also more weird and sometimes macabre things thrown in there.

Royce: So a part of this was going out to basically a trail marker, a historic trail marker. The Kansas City area historically was a major jumping off point towards the West. There’s like the intersections of the Santa Fe Trail, the Oregon Trail, and the California Trail, are all in different areas here. And the one we went to was, I believe, it started at Santa Fe Trail Park which is just a little thing with, like, a stone marker. And we went to a– We were told we were going to go on like a little hike, or a walk.

Courtney: [mockingly] “We’re gonna go on a hike and learn about the history!” Because apparently there was like, oh here’s a huge rock that people would look at over and see, you know, Independence, Missouri. And so, like, it was supposed to be historical in nature. “And here’s this trail, and here are some of the trail markers that were actually used way back when…”

Royce: Right. But no preface into what this hike was actually going to be like.

Courtney: No.

Royce: Before we had gotten here, we had– went to lunch somewhere in the area, hence the reason for a gyro in the purse, it was leftovers.

Courtney: Well, yeah, I had to– had to get some extra because we were going to, like, four different places in a row, back to back to back. So, I was like, “Well, I’m gonna need this later.” Pop an extra gyro in the purse.

Royce: But we met up in this little area, little bit out of the way, with, I don’t know, maybe a dozen or so other people and the people who are going to guide us down that trail. And we start going into the tree line near this little park, which was pretty dense considering its, you know, within the city. And I remember pretty immediately, like, maybe only a minute or two in, walking on what was not a well traversed path.

Courtney: No.

Royce: Two people in the back, like, started talking to each other and were like, “I don’t think we brought the right shoes for this. Should we just go back? I think we should just go back.” And they just– they just left.

Courtney: I was, mind you, wearing a dress and a top hat with a huge purse slung over my shoulder.

Royce: Yep.

Courtney: And flats.

Royce: But we ended up walking for quite a while, not a terribly tough hike at first, but it was like– it was not what we expected. It was a little rough. Went around basically following a few little trails of water, getting a little bit of a rundown of the history of the area and all of that. The entire trail, I think, was probably about a mile, maybe a mile and a half, something like that. But I do remember at one point it suddenly getting more serious, because we started walking over this, like, large, concrete, pipe.

Courtney: That really tripped you up.

Royce: Yeah, I don’t like heights. And so it was over this really, like, dirty-looking algae, like, I don’t want to call it a pond, a marsh… I couldn’t tell how deep it was, but there was water and we were walking over–

Courtney: It was like a creek.

Royce: It was– [sighs] It felt more like a small lake to me. It wasn’t just, like, one moving area of water.

Courtney: Hmm.

Royce: But the dozen or so of us are walking across this fairly large concrete pipe, probably 10 to 15 feet above the water.

Courtney: Mm-hmm.

Royce: And–

Courtney: It was long too!

Royce: It was quite a while.

Courtney: I was surprised how long we were on that damn thing.

Royce: And I don’t like heights. The person in front of me was also not feeling great about this. And at some point we got stuck. [Courtney agrees] Like something needed to be done upfront that I couldn’t tell what was going on, and we were just standing there.

Courtney: That was the second pipe! There was another one! The first one we passed really freaked you out. And we were like, “Well, at least that’s done, and we’ll try to find a way back where we don’t have to cross that again.” But then we found another even longer pipe. [laughs] And literally–

Royce: It’s funny, I can actually see this pipe on Google Maps. [Courtney laughs] There is enough water around it that the tree line is cleared and it’s, according to Google Maps, at least the exposed area of it was over 300 feet.

Courtney: Uh-huh. But yeah, at one point, we have no idea what happened, but everyone just stopped. And we were just standing single file on this big pipe overhanging a very gross looking body of water. And we were standing there for so long, and we’d already been hiking for so long, but some people just sat down on the pipe.

Royce: I considered it. It was just wide enough that I felt fine standing up in my normal stance, but like, I wouldn’t have wanted to– like, you couldn’t walk back and forth. [Courtney agrees] I wouldn’t want to have moved around very much on it. And in fact did not.

Courtney: And then we literally at one point like scaled the side of– I don’t know what– What– Could you call it a cliff? Was it big enough to be a cliff?

Royce: It wasn’t huge. It was vertical enough that a couple of people needed to climb part way up and sort of brace themselves to help the rest of the people up.

Courtney: Yes.

Royce: And it was– I would say it was probably about 20 feet high, just off of memory.

Courtney: Yeah.

Royce: I can’t remember if that was before or after– I think that was near the end. I think that’s how we got out of it.

Courtney: Yeah.

Royce: I think before that someone else was like, “Oh, I wasn’t prepared for this. I’m getting really hungry.” And you were like, “I have a gyro.”

Courtney: Oh yeah! Well, we kind of got lost. Because after the, like, pipe hold up – where we still don’t know what happened there – there was, like, a group that had gotten off of the pipe and continued on. So once we got off of the pipe, we were, like, split into two groups and we were like, “We have no idea where the leader of this hike went.” So we were in a smaller sub-group of people trying to find our way. [laughs]

Royce: Also, surprisingly we are just, what, lost in a tiny forest?

Courtney: [laughs] Yes!

Royce: On the edge of the city? [Courtney laughs] Like, how did we get lost in this area?

Courtney: I know there were pipes involved. But yeah. And so we were lost. We didn’t know where we were. We didn’t know where the group leader was. We’re with a small group of people who are like, “That pipe was terrible. Scaling this, like, 20 foot steep, straight up and down, incline was terrible. And now I’m hungry.” And I was like, “Don’t worry!” I opened my purse, I was like, “I’ve got a gyro!” And handed it to them.

Courtney: The look on this person’s face when I produced a gyro from my purse and handed it to them was very similar to the look I got when I went to the Royals’ victory parade, after they won the– not the Super Bowl. What do the baseball do?

Royce: The World Series?

Courtney: Yes, when the Royals won the World Series. It was shortly after Halloween, and this was before we went vegan and before I learned about the evils of the chocolate industry. So I’ve always been the house that’s like, “The kids get full candy bars.” I love Halloween, the kids love Halloween. I want to see the kids’ costumes. I want kids trick-or-treating at us regularly. So we are giving out full candy bars. And I had some extra. So I put– I put some candy in my purse, to go to the Royals’ victory parade.

Courtney: And mind you, I’m from South Dakota. We don’t really have sports there, there are still sports lovers, but you kind of– When you live in South Dakota and you’re like an NFL fan, you have to just kind of pick your own team. South Dakota doesn’t have one. So some people will be like, “Oh, well, the Vikings are the closest to us in Minnesota. So we’ll root for them.” And some people are like, “No! The Vikings suck. I’m gonna root for the Packers because they’re not that far away, and they’re actually good.” And then you get like a random Cubs fan here and there.

Courtney: So I had never been to, like, an NFL game. I’d never been to, like, a professional baseball game. We have, like, a minor league baseball stadium that I went to a couple of times in South Dakota, but I just wanted to find out, like, what’s all the fuss about? Like, I just recently moved to Kansas City and now the Royals are winning the World Series and this is supposedly a big thing. And oh my goodness. I had no idea how big of a thing it was. Oh my goodness! The number of people that were downtown. There were people who were trying to drive downtown that day, who just parked their cars on the side of the interstate and walked. Because everything was jammed and closed up, and they couldn’t get any closer. And I was like, “This looks like the start of a zombie apocalypse film. What is going on?”

Courtney: But I met some friends and we ended up hanging out. Like, some– some strange people just adopted me and someone was really hungry while we were waiting for, like– The parade had already happened and then there is this big, like, ceremony down at Union Station. And someone was like, “Man, I hope they start soon because I’m really hungry.” And so I pulled a Snickers out of my purse, and I handed it to him and I said, “You’re not you when you’re hungry.” And I didn’t plan that, but I had a Snickers in my purse and someone around me was hungry, so I had to! And so, that’s about the same face that this person made when I pulled a gyro out of my purse.

Royce: Probably only through exhaustion from the hike, because the gyro is so much stranger. [Courtney laughs] I remember them sort of, like, staring at it questioningly a little bit, but they did accept it. They did eat said gyro.

Courtney: Yes. You have to build up your strength to get through this horrible, horrible hike. Which– I got 100 points– The hiking leader when we had to scale that like 20-foot wall, which– I have no arm strength, none, zero. I got up that incline with, like, spite alone. I was like, “I made it this far and gosh darn it, I am not crossing those pipes again. We’re getting through this!” Or rather, “I’m not making Royce cross those pipes again!” They didn’t bother me as much. But they were weird. And like, we signed waivers before going to this, but I thought that was just like standard. Like, you’re going out into the forest and this is just a volunteer local historian who’s going to be showing us the way. Like, they just don’t want to be liable. That's standard. We were not told how brutal this was going to be.

Courtney: So here I am in my dress, and my flats, with my huge purse, with my top hat. And when I finally scaled that thing– The leader of the hike had to stand to, like, help pull people over the side, because there were many people who could not athletically get up that whole thing on their own. So he was like at the top pulling people up. And when I got up out of sheer spite, he looked at me and he was like, “Wow, you’re really doing this in the dress and that hat with the purse. 100 points!” And I was like, “Well, thanks.” [laughs]

Royce: It doesn’t feel right to call this a forest, [both laughs] but it was a decent sized collection of trees and not people. [Courtney laughs] It was–

Courtney: It was a very complicated path.

Royce: It was a little intense at times, and it was surprising, not expecting some of that. But I wouldn’t call it a horrible, horrible hike. I do remember coming out– Midway through, we came out of the trees lower grounds near a river, and we did see, like, around that time– I think it was getting a little later in the afternoon and visibility is pretty good, and I remember seeing, like, just a vaguely unusual bird. I think it was a great blue heron just kind of hanging out by the river, and whatnot.

Courtney: Yeah. But then at the end of this hike, we let out into a park and people are playing, like, frisbee golf. And we’re like, [scoffs]

Royce: Yeah!

Courtney: [harshly] “Were you this close to us the whole time, frisbee golfers?!” [laughs]

Royce: I’m looking at the map, it’s kind of like you kind of have to deliberately get lost in this area.

Courtney: Yes! Like if anybody was not being led by this person who knew the area you could start on the same path we went, and just head in a direction, and become hopelessly lost. It was very weird and– [laughs] I’m sure most people don’t just cross those pipes when they come across them. Because I don’t think that’s what they’re for. [laughs] But no, it was actually fun and it was a good story. But there were some instances where it’s like, “I do not have the physical capability to do this thing.” And I still don’t know how I did. Like pure adrenaline. Adrenaline and spite

Royce: For anyone in the area who is curious, that park where people were playing frisbee golf right next to The Pipe [Courtney laughs] was Blue Valley Park. You can find it.

Courtney: Yeah. What a– what a strange day. Because then after we got done with the hike, we all jumped in our cars and one of the organizers of this event is like, “Alright, everyone follow me I’m gonna drive to Birds Botanicals.” Oh Birds– Birds Botanicals, rest in peace.

Royce: Oh yeah! I forgot that was on that day. That was a huge orchid farm in a cave.

Courtney: So the thing about Kansas City is we’ve got a lot of underground cave systems.

Royce: That you drive by sometimes and don’t even realize they’re there. They’re like underneath some populated areas.

Courtney: Yeah. So we went to an underground cave and we met Bird, who is really cool dude. He grows orchids, teach orchid– teaches orchid planting classes, has, like, created his own species of plants through crossbreeding…?

Royce: Yeah, we learned that there’s apparently just orchid competitions, like worldwide orchid competitions.

Courtney: Yes! And there were lots of carnivorous plants, which were very neat. And one of the only, like, real wasabi plants.

Royce: Yeah, he said that that was a just like a little personal challenge, or project. Because wasabi is so difficult to cultivate.

Courtney: And most wasabi is actually horseradish. Was that?

Royce: Culinary wasabi is usually horseradish and mustard.

Courtney: Mm-hmm. Yeah. So it was– it was great. It was so cool going into this underground cave and seeing this vast expanse of orchids, and carnivorous plants, and rare species. It was super, super neat. My feet were killing me by this point. Oh my gosh. And I don’t think I even brought my cane with me. Or did I have it for Birds Botanicals, but I didn’t bring it on the hike?

Royce: I don’t remember. I don’t even remember if you’re using a cane at this point in time.

Courtney: I don’t– What year was that? I don’t remember.

Royce: I don’t remember. I don’t think you had it on you for the secret, in a sewer pipe–

Courtney: Yes…!

Royce: Like, what do you even want to call that?

Courtney: The– the– I don’t– I don’t know! It was that. Like, so after Birds Botanicals there was an after party that was– Like, the urban explorers brought us to a party in– and we had to get, like, coordinates to get here.

Royce: It was– it was not legal.

Courtney: But yeah, they had like a band set up. Nobody told us to bring, like, headlamps, but when we showed up, we were like the only one who didn’t have headlamps. And I was like, “Well, we did not get the memo.” But that was another, like, we had to go up and down a pretty steep, like 90 degree, incline to–

Royce: Yeah, there’s–

Courtney: – get up and down to this place.

Royce: There is a drop off into, I mean, the area that led into the big sewer pipe and someone had propped up a couple of pallets to make essentially a ladder.

Courtney: Yes.

Royce: That wasn’t very sturdy or stable.

Courtney: No…

Royce: And yeah, at this point in the day, your body was basically giving out. And I was tired. And I was like, “I don’t know if I want to be at a little impromptu music show in a tunnel. I’m already getting– [Courtney laughs] I’m already getting bad acoustics at this point in time, like this is probably gonna bother my ears.”

Courtney: We did walk all the way to the end of the pipe though, to see where it led out. And that– that was quite a view. Oh my gosh. It was– I think I preferred walking in the pipe, rather than on the pipe. Because in the pipe, [laughs] it did let out– there was a pretty steep drop also, to another, like, pretty big body of water.

Royce: I actually have no idea where that was at, so I can’t even check that on the map.

Courtney: No, I have no idea.

Royce: The official– The historical marker is a lot easier to find than the underground music show.

Courtney: [Laughs] Yes. But yeah, that was very much like, “Here are the coordinates. Here’s when you show up.” [laughs] And we’re like, “Great! I’m game.” Well, I was like, “Great, I’m game.” Royce was like, “Are we really gonna go to this?” And I was like, “Yes! When the urban explorers invite you to a secret after party, you go!”

Royce: But we decided to not stick around.

Courtney: So back to sports for a moment. Because I do think that by the time this episode releases it’s probably close to Super Bowl time. Let me tell you the story of how I almost had a Super Bowl commercial. So not too long ago, it was projected that the Chiefs were going to be in the Super Bowl. And that, to my understanding, was pretty rare.

Royce: Yeah it was a big deal.

Courtney: It was a big deal! And I still had not even– I still to this day haven’t, but I had not been to a Chiefs game, I had not been to a Royals game. One time, I won a couple of tickets to a Royals game, but that was a weekend that I actually had work business in New York City, so I couldn’t go. But the entire city was like, “Oh my gosh, the Chiefs just won the World Series not too long ago. And now the Chiefs are–

Royce: You mixed up your sportsball.

Courtney: Did I mix up my sportsball? I’m sorry.

Royce: Yeah, the Chiefs don’t go to the World Series.

Courtney: Did I say that?! [laughs] The Royals won the World Series, and now the Chiefs are going to the Super Bowl. And so the entire city was just very happy. And that’s the thing, because every time I’m not in Kansas City and I tell people I’m in Kansas City, most people associate with sports. So they’ll be like, “Oh, are you a Chiefs fan? Are you a Royals fan?” And I always say, “No, but I like it when everybody in my city is happy.” [laughs]

Royce: When– when every business that owns an outdoor fountain puts local dye in the fountain to turn it blue or red?

Courtney: Yes! And I like when the statues downtown– Because we are it, as it says on our fancy Proclamation, we are the city of fountains. We have the most number of fountains in North America. And I think we’re second only to, like, [emphasizing] Rome. But we’re second to Rome by, like, a long shot. [laughs]

Royce: It’s like an order of magnitude.

Courtney: Like our number of fountains is impressive by American standards. And we can be like, “Yeah, well, we’re second only to Rome!” But Rome is like… [emphasizing] Rome is its own thing. [laughs] But yeah, we have all these fountains and these statues, and, like, sometimes people will just, like, put a Chiefs jersey on all the fountains downtown. And it’s kind of cute! Like, I just– I like how happy everyone gets when our sports are doing well.

Courtney: And now at this time, of course this was all pre-pandemic and everything, so I did a lot of local business networking. Because I am a business owner, I’m self-employed, and I had a pretty big presence in a lot of, like– I was one of the co-organizers for the, like, 20 and 30 something entrepreneur group. I was at a lot of business networking, so I knew a ton of people. And a ton of people knew me because I had, dare I say, the most unique business of anyone there.

Courtney: And I was also the only one to, like, regularly show up to meetings with a top hat. And maybe a Victorian ball gown. So, multiple people sent me a link to a casting call. Several people were like, “I read this and thought of you.” There was a casting call put out for Kansas City for [cheerfully] “One-of-a-kind creative businesses. We’re looking for truly unique, innovative, small business owners, who stand out in their field. Trail blazers with creative and unusual, one-of-a-kind ideas.” And like, the number of words– they were like, “We’re looking for weird, wacky, strange businesses!” And I think it even gave examples, and like, all the examples they gave were, like, nowhere near as weird as, like, I make artwork out of human hair. I make custom orders out of the hair of your precious sentimental loved one.

Courtney: One of the examples was, like, “Are you a dog groomer, who does funky haircuts and dyes dog hairs in crazy colors?” And I was like, “Yeah, I do something with hair.” [laughs] So, all these people from– from local business groups, and the Chamber and all these things, were like, “Courtney! This is you!” And so I started reading all these casting calls that people were sending me, and I was like, “Yeah, you’re right that does sound like me.” And they were like, “We’re casting for a Super Bowl commercial.” And I was like, “Wh– Ex– Pardon me?” [laughs]

Courtney: And so everyone was like, “Are you gonna do it? Are you gonna do it?” I was like, “Sure! Sure, I’ll do it.” So I sent in my application, and I very quickly got a response back and they were like, “Alright, first audition we’re going to do a video call with you, with our casting director.”

Courtney: And so I went in, to this video call, I did this thing and the casting director loved me. She was like, “You are exactly what this brand we’re working with is looking for.” And I was like, “What’s the brand?” And she’s like, “We can’t tell you yet.” And I was like, “All right.” And I think I had like another two interviews and auditions. I think this was, like, my first application and then the first round of video calls, then I made it through to the second round. And then the third round, I get to, they were like, “It’s between you and one other person.” I was like, “Hot damn.” And I was like, “I know a lot of local businesses, and a lot of local business owners, and I do not know anyone who is weirder than me.” [laughs] So I was like, “I’ve got this in the bag.”

Courtney: And they were like, “Since this is the final round, we can tell you what brand this is.” And I was like, “Oh, what brand is this?” I kid you not, it was Head & Shoulders… And I was like, “Oh! Hair! This is mine! This. Is. Mine.” And then– So this is the final thing and they were like, “All right, so–” And I didn’t even know at this point that this was going to be a paid gig. Because I was like, they’re going to give me a Super Bowl commercial, I’m gonna get a ton of business after this. So they were like, “Now for a matter of discussing your fee. Would fifty thousand dollars be agreeable?” And I was like, [haltingly] “Hmm… [Royce laughs] But– Wh– why yes, that would– that would be quite agreeable.” [laughs]

Courtney: So, I’m at this final round. They’re looking for weird, wacky, creative, unusual, one-of-a-kind, trailblazing businesses. And it’s for freaking Head & Shoulders shampoo. And I was like, “This is mine. There’s no way that’s not mine.” Finally, the casting director gets back to me. They had presented me and this one other person to, like, the final decision makers at [emphasizing] Head & Shoulders, and she came back to me and she’s like, “I’m so sorry. I loved you. I thought you were perfect for this, [hesitantly] but your business was just a little too weird for them.” [emphatically] NO! I was too weird for the weird business casting call… for Head & Shoulders!

Courtney: So I was not paid 50,000 dollars to have my own Super Bowl ad. And the thing was, they were basically just giving you an ad. They were like, “Head & Shoulders supports small businesses, so here’s an ad for this business.” So it was, like, literally going to be me, and me in my studio, and talking about what I do, and like information for how to find me. Like it was literally going to be a commercial for me, on the Super Bowl! Paid for by Head & Shoulders, and also being paid BY Head & Shoulders. [laughs] So I got a lot of really good ‘almost’ in my run as a business owner, because lots– I catch the eye of a lot of casting directors.

Courtney: Lots of casting directors have either come to me or really liked me when I’ve applied for something. Mostly come to me. This is actually the only thing I’ve ever applied for. Usually, I’m approached by people, but, like, the final decision maker is always like, “We don’t know what to do with her.” I have all these great ‘almosts’.

Courtney: And I’m confident that the reason why they were looking specifically for a Kansas City business was because they were pretty sure the Chiefs were going to be in the Super Bowl. So they wanted that Kansas City connection. It would have been great.

Courtney: And I thought the person they chose– Like, no hate or shade to her, but I didn’t think her business was all that weird. So, I think all their, like, “looking for unusual, strange, one-of-a-kind,” I think that was a little, a little misleading. Because, if they knew the number of people who sent me this casting call, because they thought it was perfect for me…?

Courtney: I think she was just like a chaplain, just like a chaplain with a van. Like, a mobile chaplain who will go to places to do like weddings or funerals, mobily, with a van. And I was like, “Uh… Okay.” I mean, good for her she got paid 50,000 dollars [laughs] But yeah, my– I–

Courtney: Okay, I think this is the last story. Here’s my other very weird ‘almost’ because this just happened this last year. I was approached by a casting agent who is also looking for small business owner, you know, quirky, unique business and they were going to do, like, a documentary about me. They were like, “This is going to be part of a docu-series.” And I was like, “Cool.” But I was concerned about Covid, so I was like, “I’m not traveling right now, I don’t know when the filming for this is going to be.” And they were like, “Don’t worry, we have all these precautions. We’re going to be testing the entire crew. Everybody on set is going to need– to require to wear a mask, and we will send them to you. So we will film in your studio around your city. And like, director, camera people, all that they’re going to be in masks.” So I was like, “Okay, all right. Sure.”

Courtney: So, I filled out some information for this. Had an interview for that thing. And I was like, “By the way, what’s– what’s this going to be for?” And oddly enough, this docu-series was a combination of Vice and MailChimp, were working together. And I was like, “That’s weird because I actually have associations with both of you.” Because Vice– I think we told this story of when I was almost on, like, the Action Bronson Show. [laughs]

Royce: Yeah, we mentioned that quite some time ago.

Courtney: Yeah, in New York, a casting director just found me and was like, “We want you on the Action Bronson show! We want you to make something out of his beard!” And I was like, “Okay.” But then that show got canceled, like, the week before I was supposed to film. Yeah, show business for you. So I was like, well I wonder if anybody working on this project remembers me from that other one that we were talking about. And then MailChimp. I was like, I hope they don’t know me. Because we may or may not have hacked their Fast Fives Game, to put my Twitter account [laughing] at the very top of the leaderboard.

Courtney: Look, I’ve actually used MailChimp basically since I started this business. And I’ve liked it, I haven’t had any qualms with it. But the first time I ever sent out, like, my very first newsletter, there was an animation of a chimp, like, trying to high five the screen. And I was like, “Oh! I want to give a high five to the chimp.” So not thinking anything would happen, I just clicked on the hand as it came up to the screen, and it was like, “Fast Fives unlocked!” And it was a video game where you had to high-five the chimp, but don’t high-five the knives, or the feet. And it was great. And we maybe, maybe broke it. [laughs] So I was like, “Oh…No… Does MailChimp know who I am?”

Courtney: So, I don’t know what ended up happening with that, but after a couple rounds of going through this thing after being approached, they were like, [mockingly] “Oh, we’re taking this in another direction.” I’m like, [sternly] “Fine.” It was MailChimp, wasn’t it? [whispers] They know who I am. They’ve got a grudge against me. [laughs] Because Vice, they love me.

Courtney: So yeah, those are– those are all my weird ‘almost’ and the weird Kansas City sports-related, strange place related things. I love Kansas City. There have been so many weird and interesting and exciting things that have happened since I moved here. So it really is a great place and– It’s not perfect, no place is. I’d really be remiss, especially in the LGBTQ context if I didn’t mention that, like, there’re a lot more murders of Black Trans women here than there should be... It’s always a work in progress.

Courtney: But we do have our LGBTQ Commission now, I know the folks on that board work really, really hard. Whether or not higher ups or office holders listen to them every single time remains to be seen. But I’ve really gotten a lot benefit out of our local queer community over the years also, and honestly, I miss them all! I miss the local community, because I’ve not been a part of it since early 2020.

Courtney: So, on that note, I think we’re going to end here for today. Definitely check out all of the show notes, if you are interested in getting Ace Pride events recognized, other LGBT awareness initiatives recognized, what have you. And remember to keep weird food in your purse.

Royce: Don’t always follow Courtney’s advice. Or if you’re going to keep weird food in your purse, consume it quickly if it’s perishable, or pick something that preserves well. I don’t want someone being like, “The Ace Couple made me get food poisoning.”

Courtney: [laughs] Well, all I’m saying is I’ve kept a lot of strange foods in my purse and I’ve never gotten food poisoning. But I guess one of us has to be the responsible one. And the other one will just be the weird one. So we’ll see you all this time next week. Goodbye!