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What radical courage does it take to love in the face of hate? Through portraiture and personal narratives highlighting joy, belonging, found family and meaningful romantic and platonic relationships, KBIA’s Alphabet Soup challenges the notion that Missouri’s LGBTQ+ community is a monolith. Tucked away within the amalgamation of letters that makes up the LGBTQ+ community and the complex identities each represents is joy: rebellious, resistant, radiant.
Kellen Sapp sits on the floor on Thursday, March 21, 2024, at her childhood home in Columbia. Sapp, who is a 20-year-old asexual and transgender woman, is currently studying theater with an emphasis in lighting design at the University of Oklahoma. Growing up, her family raised her in a Christian faith community that preached “a gospel of love.” Sapp said she feels fully in harmony with holding both queer and religious identities, particularly as she has begun sharing her transness with her college friends, her family and members of her church. “Part of why being honest about all of these different identities is so important to making art is because I am happier than I ever was before, and I'm less scared of who I am, and that makes me a better artist, ” Sapp said. “Queer joy for me is joy that is tied to the connection between queer people and in queer community and with our queer selves. It's when I'm so happy that I'm trans—not just that I'm honest with myself, but that I get to be trans and that I get to be queer and that I get to exist with queer people in this world.”
Bailey Stover
/
KBIA
Kellen Sapp is a transgender woman who grew up in Columbia. She describes herself as a “faithful queer artist” and spoke about how her queerness and her Christianity are connected.
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(Columbia Missourian, KOMU, Missouri Business Alert, and Vox Magazine)