Ever had a story that you thought would make a great movie? Six creative storytellers will reveal their untold tales about LGBTQ life in Kansas City in a live performance celebrating Storytelling Saturday at this year's festival.

Your host is Joel Barrett, the debonair impresario of OUTwords, who each month gathers LGBTQ storytellers for a popular and highly entertaining show at The Outburst Performance Gallery in the Crossroads. In this special performance at the Tivoli, the sextet you see below  will throw open the closet doors with illuminating stories about life in this shared place we call home. Great stories make for great films.  Hear these movie-worthy tales first right here, right now.


Saturday, June 24 |  1:00pm
Tivoli Cinemas in Westport
Hosted by Joel Barrett 
Annette Billings
Philip Hooser
Suzanne Wheeler
Rashaan Gilmore
Ash Allee

Philip blue owl Hooser is a Native American (Choctaw) actor, director, playwright, and published poet. He is a host of KKFI’s The Tenth Voice and he is the lead screening for the Kansas City LGBT Film Festival.

Suzanne Wheeler is a retired U.S. Army Colonel and was the highest ranking “out” transgender officer on Active Duty at the time of her retirement. She was a member of the team which assisted former Secretary of Defense, Ashton Carter, with the lifting of the ban against transgender military service.

Annette Hope Billings is an award-winning Topeka poet dubbed "Maya of the Midwest" by fans. The accomplishment she remains very proud of since grade school is the ability to say all the auxiliary verbs in less than fifteen seconds. Time her!

Ash R. Allee is a trans-masculine Social Worker, queer activist, and consultant in Kansas City. Ash owns a consulting company called Equity Dynamics, where he travels to businesses, social service agencies and schools to teach people about issues related to gender and sexuality. He is also a co-founder and steering committee member of Transfinity KC, the Midwest's first predominantly transgender chorus.

D. Rashaan Gilmore is an outspoken social justice advocate and passionate serial entrepreneur with deep roots in the business, civic and non-profit communities in

Kansas City and beyond.

Joel Barrett


Joel is an LGBTQ Writer, Speaker, and Gatherer. He is a former Baptist pastor and survivor of
ex-gay therapy. Today through Joel Speaks Out his work focuses on encouraging others to live authentically, not controlled by fear.  He is passionate about building community and creating safe spaces to have real talk about real life.