Black/queer Kansas City {B/qKC}: a digital archive

Black/queer Kansas City {B/qKC} is a digital archive educating the Kansas City community on the contributions of local Black LGBTQIA2S+ community members–in turn, liberating their histories from racism and homophobia-fueled erasure.

This project is grant-funded by Stories For All. Stories For All is a collaborative digital storytelling project created by The University of KansasHall Center For The Humanities, and the Mellon Foundation “to recover marginalized and suppressed histories, and share them widely through digital media.” Learn more here.
This project is presented in partnership with BlaqOut. BlaqOut is a united community of individual advocates, community activists and healthcare professionals who work to address the psychosocial and environmental challenges faced by Black MSM in the Greater Kansas City Area. Learn more about the organization here.

Founded in April 2022, Nasir Anthony Montalvo began researching various Black queer Kansas City figures and organizations in hopes of finding community themselves, and released a series of pieces each focusing on a different aspect of local Black LGBTQ+ community. After writing Volume 1, Montalvo morphed the anthology into a multi-location, self-service exhibit from February 27th – March 4th, 2023 hosted at PH Coffee, BLK + BRWN, and Café Corazón.

Volume_1’s exhibit has, since, had a grand opening and week-long feature at BlaqOut’s newest space on Main Street; and was housed at PH Coffee in the Historic Northeast for the Summer.

Through researching these histories–and dually sharing them in the digital and physical realm–Montalvo is building an accessible, living database of Black queer history, and share a widely unknown plight of Midwesterners living on the ‘fringe.’


Remembering Edye and Ray: The First (Documented) Black Drag Queens of Kansas City


Edye Gregory in a signed headshot to a loved one. Edye smiles with her right shoulder facing the camera, dressed in a light-colored, feathered dress.

Edye Gregory and Ray Rondell are some of Kansas City’s first documented Black Drag Queens and, more broadly, part of the only recorded histories of Black, Queer Kansas Citians at large.

Men of All Colors Together: The Kansas City organization fighting racism amidst gay men in the 80’s–90’s


In 1980, this group of Kansas Citians founded a social club and safe space for those seeking to fight racism amongst queer men of all races.

Kansas City’s “Out There”: The 90’s Gay & Lesbian Variety Show Featuring Lea Hopkins


In 1993, a group of 16 people came together to launch Kansas City’s first-ever Gay and Lesbian Variety Show on American Cablevision in light of statewide, anti-queer legislation.


IN PROGRESS. If you’d like to sponsor this project, please scroll to the bottom of this page or view our Sponsorship Guide here.



The Multi-Location Exhibit
@ PH Coffee, Cafe Corazon, and BLK + BRWN.

MAY 12TH – 16TH
Special Grand Opening + Temporary Exhibit
@ BlaqOut
View a recap video of the grand-opening event on Instagram.

June + July 2023
PRIDE Exhibit
@ PH Coffee
View interviews about this exhibit on KSHB and/or KMBC.


exhibit curated by @1800nasi through @kansascitydefender.

tvs/computers and foliage displays by @apiarymatrices.

printed display, along with mini zines and zine table by

photographs of BlaqOut Exhibit captured by @directorvaughan.

presented in partnership with @blaqoutkc.

supported by @viventpreventionkc.

in-kind support from @midamericalgbt.

additional thank-you’s to @queerblakc@queerconnectkc@umkclibraries and @fountainhauskc.

Aid us in the discovery, liberation, and creation of history for the future generations of Kansas City.

Download a PDF of this sponsorship packet here.

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