Kate Opalewski

About Kate Opalewski

Kate Opalewski is BTL's features editor and has been since 2015. She has covered a variety of topics ranging from art, politics and community outreach. Recently, she was honored by the Detroit Police Department LGBT Advisory Board for her work for the local LGBTQIA community.

‘Life in the Doghouse’

By | 2018-09-19T12:15:53+00:00 September 19th, 2018|Guides, Pets|

Ron Danta says that to "truly do rescue really well, you cannot at all be selfish." And, to show how selfless they are, he and his partner Danny Robertshaw have opened their 4,400-square-foot home to over 80 dogs in need of adoption.

Pros and Cons of Canine Influenza Vaccination

By | 2018-09-19T12:08:16+00:00 September 19th, 2018|Guides, Pets|

Over the past few months, news outlets, veterinarians and vaccine manufacturers have all been warning the public about the canine influenza epidemic that has hit nearly 100 dogs in New York City and elsewhere. However, Dr. Glynes D. Graham — owner and primary veterinarian of Patterson Dog & Cat Hospital in Detroit — says that there is "no need to panic." She said that although vaccination is always a personal decision for the pet owner, "there are many precautions" available for those who are concerned.

Advocates for Change

By | 2018-08-24T11:03:40+00:00 August 23rd, 2018|Michigan, News|

AJ Sims said he is passionate about two things: LGBTQ laws and transgender rights. He has been able to pursue his passion by way of a youth advocacy project at the Ruth Ellis Center in [...]

LGBTQ Ally Vies for Seat on Michigan Supreme Court

By | 2018-08-09T12:43:07+00:00 August 8th, 2018|Michigan, News|

Considered by some to be the most important race for the people, the campaign for justice of the Michigan Supreme Court can often be overlooked when the public is particularly focused on the gubernatorial and congressional races. This year, two of the court's seven seats are up for consideration and following the November election, 25-year strong civil rights attorney Sam Bagenstos is hoping to fill one of them.

Mara Keisling Keynotes Pride Brunch in Kalamazoo

By | 2018-05-29T15:46:29+00:00 May 29th, 2018|Michigan, News|

Founding executive director of the National Center for Transgender Equality, Mara Keisling, was in Kalamazoo on Saturday, May 26 to talk about her work in the advocacy organization, their legislative work in the presidential administration, and the political power of optimism.

Nickki Stevens’ Secret to Success: Her Mom

By | 2018-05-10T07:04:35+00:00 May 9th, 2018|Michigan, News|

Walk into Gigi's Gay Bar today and you're likely to see drag queen Nickki Stevens grace the stage. Her punchy humor, big looks and classy style — despite her trucker mouth — have been thrilling audiences since the late '80s. But, what some might not know is that in many ways, Stevens' act could be considered double. After all, even though her mother, Sharon Hughes, doesn't grace the stage herself, she spends her Saturday nights working concessions, selling jewelry, and providing her drag daughter much support: from painting, to cleaning, to decorating.

LGBTQ Wedding Expo Attracts Hundreds

By | 2018-03-14T20:29:50+00:00 March 14th, 2018|Michigan, News, Wedding|

Ashley Howe and her fiance Justine Simpson have been to several bridal shows, but none quite like the Ultimate LGBT Wedding and Anniversary Expo held on Sunday, March 11, in MotorCity Casino's state of the art ballroom in Detroit.

Expo Cuts Through Cake Politics

By | 2018-03-13T13:49:04+00:00 March 8th, 2018|Marriage|

BTL LGBTQ Wedding and Anniversary Event Returns to MotorCity Casino. Click here to get tickets. Same-sex marriage may be safe for now, but the LGBTQ community is not safe from business owners who are allowed [...]

Grooming Future LGBTQ Leaders

By | 2017-11-16T09:00:00+00:00 November 16th, 2017|Michigan, News|

The Equality March in Flint this past June. Photo courtesy of Equality Caucus. Nicole Derusha-Mackey is on a mission to build a farm team full of LGBTQ people who will best serve their community [...]

Gretchen Whitmer On LGBTQ Issues

By | 2017-10-24T09:00:00+00:00 October 24th, 2017|Michigan, News|

No stranger to duking it out, Democratic gubernatorial frontrunner Gretchen Whitmer is showing up for the LGBTQ fight. "That's one of the first and most important things to do is show up," says Whitmer. "I [...]

Love Wins in the City of Jackson

By | 2017-08-16T09:00:00+00:00 August 16th, 2017|Michigan, News|

Chris Moore, Nikki Joly and Barbara Shelton, director of the United Center for Caring in Jackson. Hundreds gathered for a fundraiser on Tuesday night to support Nikki Joly and Chris Moore, an LGBTQ couple [...]