LGBT Stakeholders Critical to Neighborhoods

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Tomorrow night, City Affair will hold its monthly salon discussion of the St. Louis social and urban landscape.

This month's discussion focuses on lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender citizens and how they anchor and improve neighborhoods, including what St. Louis is doing to attract and support the community.

"City Affair is run by a small steering committee of urban enthusiasts who think it might be cool to engage the greater public in these discussions," Randy Vines, a founding member of the group, tells the Daily RFT. The group holds themed monthly discussions with audience participation.

(By way of St. Louis enthusiasm bona fides, it's worth noting that Randy and his twin brother Jeff are the not-so-evil geniuses behind STL-Style, everybody's favorite Lou-loving line of clothes and accessories.)

"The gay and lesbian community has been instrumental in pioneering the rebirth of the city -- in general, but St. Louis in particular," Vines says. "It's been a long-running trend in American cities -- this community really helps to anchor neighborhoods that are in transition. We thought that would make a really interesting discussion."

Panelists will include Alderman Shane Cohn, the city's first openly gay alderman; Robyn Montague of TransHaven Missouri; Muriel Lynn Jones of the St. Louis LGBT Community Center; organizer Chris Andoe; Eric Kahm of Growing American Youth; and blogger Pamela Merrritt, a.k.a.  the Angry Black Bitch.

Vines will moderate, along with Matthew Mourning and Emily Beck.

And the audience includes YOU. Go check it out. It's at Van Goghz Martini Bar and Bistro at 3200 Shenandoah Avenue in Tower Grove East Thursday at 7:30 p.m.

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