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In Their Own Words: Testimonies from Trans Kansas Citians  Unheard Voices

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3 minute read

The most recent episode of “Flatland in Focus” about the transgender community in Kansas City left our hard drives full of powerful interviews.  

Many of the kind and courageous folks who lent us their time shared stories of joy and of pain. Some shared their coming out stories, or how the decision to seek gender-affirming care was a lifesaving choice.  

Their stories say a lot, so we’ll let them speak for themselves.  

Kim Conyers (She/Her) 

Kim Conyers wears a lot of hats. She’s a bassist in several local bands, community organizer and one of the founders of the vegan pop up Cauldron Collective. 

Conyers talked about the community she has found and cultivated here in Kansas City and her decision to move away.  

Freddie Dolphus (He/Him)  

Freddie Dolphus is a boxing instructor and personal trainer in his hometown of Kansas City. Dolphus has worked with several advocacy groups in Kansas City including the Kansas City Anti-Violence Project and BlaqOut.  

Dolphus talked about the unexpected support he found from his family and his experience accessing gender-affirming care.  

Kipp Ellis (They/Them) 

Kipp Ellis is a registered nurse and artist in Kansas City. Recently, Ellis started a series of Trans Joy Picnics in Kansas City.  

Ellis shared some of their experiences as a trans and gender non-binary individual in the region. They also talked about the importance of celebration and joyful spaces.  

Kale Marie Michael (She/Her) 

Kale Marie Michael is a student at the University of Missouri-Kansas City, and founder of KC Trans Coalition, a trans advocacy group. 

She opened up about the impact of gender-affirming care on her life and well-being.  

Donato Fatuesi (She/They) 

Donato Fatuesi is the social media organizer for Transformations, a Kansas City organization for trans women of color. Fatuesi is based in Los Angeles where she also works as an actor and model.  

Fatuesi chatted about knowing she was trans from a young age and about the intersection of being trans and a woman of color.  

Fatuesi and other leaders from Transformations embark on a Liberation Tour this summer to connect trans women of color across Kansas, Missouri and Arkansas.  

Cody Boston is a multimedia producer for Kansas City PBS and the producer of the Flatland in Focus. Cami Koons covers rural affairs for Kansas City PBS in cooperation with Report for America. The work of our Report for America corps members is made possible, in part, through the generous support of the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation.

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