LOUISVILLE – As some of you may know, we had a zoning meeting on September 24 at one of the local branches of the library to discuss the change in zoning for our building. Some of you may have seen footage on WHAS, as well.
There were many people who came out to protest our being a part of the neighborhood, more than 200 of them. At least two private trolleys were used to bus people in for the meeting, which lasted two hours.
There were a few people who were there to support us, but the protesters were overwhelmingly vocal, and were in possession of a great deal of misinformation, or information which they intentionally or unintentionally misunderstood. Because of the size of the group, and the animosity towards us, the council person’s assistant did call the police to maintain security and order, and there were two and later three policemen who were in the room behind us during the meeting.
The protestors have indicated that they plan to work to make it impossible for us to stay in the building we now occupy. We have been honest with our landlord, and he is in favor of the zoning change, but we do not, at this point, know how much of an impact those plans and those protestors will have on us. We expect to have a conversation with the landlord within the next few days and that should at least let us know what our options are and his position on our group. The landlord has always indicated that he would be willing to work with us if we need to relocate, and we believe that is still an option.
The reaction from the meeting last night has no actual effect on the zoning change, at least at this point. We are still absolutely operating within the law, in all ways. We are not, as all of you know, a sex club, and we do not allow sex on our premises, period.
We have, in the meantime, taken down our webpage because there was so much that was being misinterpreted and used as reasons to not want our continued presence. We expect to have it back up soon, probably with a member’s area behind a password. We are working to make that happen now, and we will continue to work towards our goal of a welcoming and community-based center for members of the gay, transgender, kink and other disenfranchised communities.
We plan to continue with all scheduled activities, and will take steps to make sure we provide the same kind of well-run and fun-filled events as we have since opening our doors, and we know that our community will stand with us and behind us, as they always have, to continue to build and grow our family and our vision of a safe place to gather.
We also appreciate that many of you want to come out to show your support at any future meetings, but please believe us that we will ask for your support and your presence when we need it, when we feel it will further our cause. In this case, we did not, as a Board, think that having our supporters there was likely to be helpful for any of us.
If you want to voice your support, the best thing to do is send an email to our case manager, Julia, at Julia.Williams@louisvilleky.
Your support for us, though, individually and as a community, has been enormously gratifying and we cannot thank you enough for that.
In the end, though, the most vital support we need from you as a community is to come to events, to participate in the community in a real way. That will do us the most good.
The Board of Directors, Fringe Elements, Inc.