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Kristi Parker, founder of LGBTQ newspaper, dies at 49

WICHITA, Kan. — The founder and editor of the Liberty Press, a Kansas-based LGBTQ newspaper with the motto, “We were gay before it was cool,” has died.

The Wichita Eagle reported that Kristi Parker died Saturday after suffering a stroke. She was 49.

Parker grew up in Wichita and, in 1994, became co-chairperson of the city’s committee that organized an annual celebration of the area’s gay and lesbian community. She produced a guide for the event, selling ads and writing stories.

The guide evolved, and Parker established the Liberty Press the same year. The monthly publication eventually grew to average about 60 pages with 5,000 copies printed in each run, winning national awards.

Parker’s friend, former business partner and ex-wife, Sharon “Vinnie” Reed, said Parker was passionate about the project and her death means the end of the publication.

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