This Site's Menu Of Various Directions


Gone But Not Forgotten!!!

We did our best to turn
Louisville's Drag World

(to be read with a bit of sarcasm)
For those who were stressed or concerned or confused about us and what we were doing...and why...
Well, it's all fixed now.
Sumshee's is gone now.
It's OK now.
All those creative and differently-minded and
young counterfeit girls are gone from Preston St. now.
It's OK now.
It's OK now.
Sumshee is watching...standing guard...
She won't let them back in at 204 South Preston St.
(Of course, there IS no building THERE, anymore)

It's OK now.
It's OK now.
It's OK now.
It's OK now.
It's OK now.
It's OK now.
It's OK now.
It's OK now.
It's OK now.
It's OK now.
It's OK now.
(end of sarcasm)

The last six years of my life was both a twist AND a turn, in so many ways.
I wouldn't exchange those six years for anything in the tangible world.
Lessons were learned.
Laughs happened a lot.
ALL the emotions poured out at one time or another.
I have met the most wonderful people. I have also met some real scuzbags.
By the way, don't ever assume that you can see the scuzbags coming. They will often arrive in classy attire, in the classiest surroundings and sometimes disguised quite well as friends.
I never saw the friends coming, either. I just sorta turned around and realized, "Damn!...I never expected THIS one to stay by my side. Cool!"

In business, things can change a lot...ESPECIALLY if you happen to NOT be the shrewdest or most adept in that realm.
That's me.

After six years of 24-7 concern over a pantyhose clad, many legged monster, I have welcomed, in many ways, the closing of Sumshee's.

This was a closing, NOT the demise of Sumshee's. It will live forever because it DID exist.
In addition to updates on MY ongoing life, let this website be a reflection and tribute to a really unusual place inhabited by some wonderful people.
(OK. Some were not so wonderful...just interesting)
Sumshee's was not just mine. I am not just saying that. It would not have even existed if not for some incredibly life-saving help from some very giving and loving people. I will pay tribute to them by name in my book which WILL be written. And names WILL NOT be changed. ( I am sure that that worries SOME folks.)
Memories were made, loves were found, hearts were broken, fun was had, things were discovered and time was passed in the company of congenial comrades.
As I told my young friend Shane (aka Sideshow) , "Someday, maybe in twenty, thirty or forty years, you'll reach over an shove a friend's shoulder gently and say, ' you remember Sumshee's? What a wild and crazy place'. And Shane, you will remember it as better and grander than it was...and that's fine...and's O.K.".

Regardless of how many downs came with the ups, this was the most incredible six years of my life.
And because of what we had and what we experienced there, a pace will be set for a certain number of people. I hope they keep it up.
I hope they keep their minds open, their hopes high and their loves strong.
May I go catch up on some sleep now, folks?


For six GREAT years we were at:

204 South Preston Louisville KY

Corner of Preston St. and Market St.




Sumshee's is closed. It will live as long as there are memories, from fond to vicious.
What follows here is a collection of some of those reflections, sympathies and such that have been coming in since August 26th, 2007...that fateful day when a sense of normalcy returned to my life.

OK!OK!OK!!! I will never have a normal life, I know! But, you know what I mean.
Some of the emails are followed by a response from me.
The letters are not in any particular order or preference...they just ARE!


((This first comment from my "daughter" Tina is in response to having heard the good news that the incredible
8-foot by 16-foot Egyptian mural in Sumshee's was (reasonably) successfully removed and taken to storage.))

Thank God; I was worried about the beautiful art on the wall.
The mural is one of the most beautiful original pieces I have ever seen and I was fortunate enough to actually know the artist.
I was hoping you would be able to save the work.
I have been very blessed to know you, Sumshee. But even more so, to not only call you friend, but also mother. As a friend, you introduced me to many talented and great people in our community. As a mother you showed me the way through my "straight" gay life into the world of the transgender life, which I so much desired. Without you I might not have met Greg and without you I might never have found the happiness I have today.
I can never say "thank you" enough to my wonderful loving mother.
Thank you,


Sumshee, I just wanted to let you know that although I don't think we got off to a great start nor end, U were an amazing influence on my life and many others. you were "mom" to EVERYONE. no matter if they were getting on your nerves to which you wanted to strangle them you were always there. I cried my eyes out on the night of the last Goth night at the drag show because it hadn't hit me that sumshee's was actually closing until it was time to leave. I want to keep in personal contact with you from here on out. I miss you and every other regular that visited the place of my home every Saturday night. I miss it. every morning when I'm getting ready to leave my house i reach in my closet and pull out a different skirt or shirt that brings back so many memories of sumshee's that place meant a lot to every one of us whether or not some admit it. you had a wonderful thing going and it went strong for a long time... more than what some places can claim in Louisville! Sumshee, you made a difference. You gave everyone a chance. You are a great person and I don't want you to forget it. I know I won't. Call me sometime very soon! My number is 502-xxx-xxxx
Love always,


I think I speak for everyone when I say that it was a wonderful experience shared by all. To have a safe space, open to all ages, where we could lounge, socialize, listen to music, dance, watch movies, play board games, use computers, etc., is something we will unlikely see again.
I never saw it as really a business (I often felt I was in the minority buying an obligatory drink). Your "family room" (aptly named), will be greatly missed.
However, if you do chose to make an attempt to reopen, on Preston or elsewhere, we will all do what we can to support you and help you build, decorate, occupy, and successfully operate the business. I am sure we all have ideas we can share. I hope it won't have to become too much of a traditional business to succeed, but there must be a happy medium.
-Daniel "Doc" Grossberg


Submitted by John E. Sensbach
of the Johnny & Maree show,
(thus dubbed by Summie.)

I'd like to begin this e-mail by submitting a poem Inspired by the "no-strings" inclusive love & acceptance experienced by myself (& others) via the extended "FamilyRoom" @ the hands of: Sumshee Urszula Kirken.

I was in attendance for the finale' closing night @ Sumshee's Family Room.
Six great years/six tortuous years...
Hey, C'mon we're all twisted in some way(s)!

After the makeup, drag show, glitz, glamour, and the mayhem, reality kicked me in the gut... and thus this prosey poem was birthed...

Early the next morning...
mourning woke with the Amber Dawn...
& I wiped the sleep from mine eye...
As the scarlet Orb rose up in the Eastern sky...
Bearing with it...
A flood of emotions, Laughter & Tears, grief & Joy.
Memories of:
Happy times... creative times... encouragements
Life-lessons stored up for an eternity of tomorrows...
For me personally the many joys far out-way the sorrows!
For a select few of us the simple yet stirring
words from Sumshee closing night, along with its
loving implications & moreover their application...
Will forever reverberate through our souls . . .
Like a pebble dropped in an azure pool . . .
Live the golden rule! ! !
"Lean into Life!"
To many of our ears that night
we read between the lines and filled in truth @ its essence . . .
From the true no-strings friendship, I've come to cherish from Summie . . .
Right now . . . Relax, take a well deserved deep breath . . .
Breath it all out . . .
This time, breathe in self-forgiveness.
Consciously choose to retreat from all toxicity . . .
Give yourself a hug in honor of the many you've received from Sumshee Urszula Kirken.
Choose to adopt an attitude of gratitude toward something today... Accept life on lifes term while truly enjoying the uniqueness & beauty of the eternal NOW!

Animal biologists tell us: "When mourning doves mate they mate for life." & when widowed the broken-hearted surviving mate can grieve literally to death especially if deprived of closure.
Do you remember the scene where Hannibal Lector's favorite orderly allows the dove to mourn then shoo's him away to move on ? To live again?
When humans experience loss the DSMIV refers to one form of this loss as survivors guilt. That is not to say survivors are solely responsible or in most cases responsible at all for not doing more to keep their loved ones going...but that doesn't keep us humans from feeling guilty.
To my way of thinking, bottom line, Sumshee and his lovely wife were more like family to me than any one else on the planet including my wounded parents ...
You perhaps heard it said that no one can hurt us as much as our family members of origin? They know how to push our collectives buttons like none other!!!
Over the past years during hours spent in front of my computer's screens in chat rooms, whether Mojo or . . .
I've on many, many occasions said, "Don't you wish the IGNORE feature worked on our families of origin??" This sentiment is particularly poignant to those of us who grew up in dysfunctional homes...But what would a functional home look like & what IS normal? L.O.L.
The other day I spoke with Sumshee and he mentioned that in some ways The Family Room was Not exempt from this dysfunctional family phenomena.
To me whether your separation from the Family Room was due to greater or lesser pain than mine was immaterial & irrelevant. So . . .
Remember guys/gals, hermaphrodites, fats, fems, whether you're Gay, straight, Bi, Tri, or you'd try anything once...androgynous, homogonous, Addicts come in a variety of shapes and sizes and basically whether cron or hermit, you were and always always be accepted just as you were/are in Sumshee's heart...

(may the divine in me celebrate the divine in you...:o)

John E. Sensbach


Randy, (Sumshee's former name)
I received an email from Jeffery Hunt the other day. It was a forward from you explaining that Sumshee's Family Room would be closing in the future due to the sale of the building. I went to your website today and read with great sadness that in fact you are now closed. I can't let this occasion pass without letting you know what the vision you had meant to me.

I remember now and always with great fondness the night when I came into the original pride store and you told me with that uniquely "Summie" childlike gleam in your eyes of the availability of the storefront just next door for rent. How exited you were at the possibility of a new venture to expand into a coffee shop with a family room feel to it. How quickly that excitement transfused into my own veins. A lot of sweat and some months later, that exciting dream became a real life breathing place.

To this day, the early years of The Family Room were without a doubt the best years of my life. I was just getting comfortable in my "gay" skin and those years were just what I needed to feel part of a community of folks that accepted me just for what I was. I met so many wonderful folks in those years, not to mention the special friendship I developed with you. You allowed me to dream with you and even helped me discover that I had ideas and allowed me to bring those ideas to fruition. For that time, I will be forever grateful to you. I would not trade those years we had together there for anything in this or any other world.
As in anyone's life, things changed in my life. Randy, I want you to know that my disappearance from the nightlife world had nothing to do with anything other than a career change. Going to day shift quickly changed my social patterns. I found that by 10 at night I was ready for bed and that is when the clubs and the Family Room was just starting up. I found myself going out less and less. My health started to crap out somewhat soon after that and I ended up being sort of a recluse. By no other's fault but my own. In that process I lost contact with you, and for that I am so sorry. Please know that it was never anything that you did, or did not do or say, it was just me. There are absolutely no hard feelings on my part, nothing but love and fond memories no matter what any gay rumor mills may proclaim. I hope that you feel the same way too.

I know that I have not seen the last of you, our paths WILL cross someday again. I hope that with this email, we can at least keep in touch from time to time. I did not send this email to be a public endorsement for anything, just want to say thank you so much for the several wonderful years of memories and friendship. It means more to me than you will ever know and I was blessed to know you.

Love always,

Paul Moon

P. S. Now that you have some free time again, how bout we keep in touch and make plans to meet for dinner sometime soon. ===============================

Back to Paul:

Paul, I have cried many....many tears lately. How this willl all affect me and for how long, I have no idea. I DO know that, aside from the turmoil in my life right now, which is more multifaceted than this communication can handle, I am OK with things as they are going: away.

There is a death here.
A death of a part of me that was integral with my very soul.
The many facets of Sumshee's were necessary.
I saw, early on, that whatever I did within those walls was going to be misunderstood, hated and rejected as much as loved, cherished and patronized. I knew that there would have to be changes, resets and repulsions. My directives were to keep moving so as to not let too much familiarity and comfort set in. I hung in too long with some of the stages. I was ignoring my mission. I desired comfort.

I guess that my mission came back to base, somewhat. There were a lot of changes in the last year or so...some initiated by me and some initated by the customer base reponding to what they perceived.

It wasn't a good way to do business in a profit sense, but it was what was needed, whether or not anyone understood. My concern was other criteria than the staleness of the common. That sounds horrible. But it is the fucking truth. You WILL get the truth from me. After six+ years on Preston St. , I can be very blunt.

I repeatedly reached... and found everything from enthusiasm to anihilation. That was my job.
I AM human. I wallowed in comfort and convenience too many times for my mission. We give in, we humans, to human inclinations.
Fickleness, theivery, betrayal and countless other contributing factors were destined to kill pedestrian and monetary success. With that as the case, I really wish that, since it was to end up being a funded playhouse, I had fucked everyone's head monthly with a complete changeover. ..............

(The rest of the letter back to Paul is deleted was more personal than pertinent to this space.)
-Everyone's Sumshee

Shane Basham wrote:
> Hi it is I shane, haha I checked my mail yet agian > XP well also to write you since this is an easy way > of communication since phones was never my thing > hahaha. sumshee's was and always will be the > greatest place and the greatest owner from this day > and still continuing! :P in my eyes the time we were > at sumshee's for our weekly events was the best > times of my life..Im gonna miss it. now Im going to > be home all the time when Im not working.. :( how > are you?


Sumshee's had a bunch of re-inventions in six years. All of them were cutting edge in their own ways.
You have no idea as to how important each of our roles were. Someday, I hope you do.

Sumshee's will always live because it DID live.
If another opening occurs, fine.
If it never happens, in thirty or forty years, you will probably occasionally reach out to a friend's shoulder, give it a little shove and say, " you remember Sumshee's?....what a great place!"
You will remember it as greater than it actually was, but that's OK and normal.
I will probably be dead as a doornail by then, but Sumshee's will live forever as long as there are people who want to hang free, live free and be themselves. That was my give that and receive it as well.
Recently, I have cried over this loss. The tears were just as much out of love for what we all had.

It was more than my pleasure to offer my home to you was my HONOR.
I will always consider you to be a friend.

Please feel free to stay in touch. I ain't dead yet and the Sumshee's ON PRESTON is gone. That doesn't mean that we can't bring it around again.
That may or may not happen.

How strong are YOUR dreams?

- Sumshee Urszula Kirken


I bet 6 years is a really long time really. its really hard to keep things going I look up to you that your really a strong willed person its a honorable to always call you a friend as well as it is honorable that I have met you. yes sumshee's will always live in my heart and like you said if it comes back as a different store then it does if it doesn't then keep in mind how how much freedom was giving to the crowd. Ive been to so many venues so many different places for goth nights and I truly have to say sumshee's was the best one and the greatest place to have it you were encouraging us to be who we are and continue what we enjoy to do. so many of the venues we stayed at tried pushing us away and was shutting doors in our faces. but not you you let us in like it was another home. I felt really really comfortable and relax at sumshee's and will always remember the times i had there. as well as you can always keep in touch too, Sumshee! :


I'm saddned to hear about the closure of Sumshee's. I never really attended Goth Night much because, well, I'm poor as shit, but when I did, it was awesome. Spook and Grozny were awesome DJ's, and the atmosphere is something to be desired in other venues. I do hope that everything will work out and Sumshee's will once again be open for all of us weird little kids to flock to. :]

- Noxie


Strange fickle Fate brought me to my emails too late Never have I abandoned my belief in you Whether present or absent I have been true I remain your friend, not an employee I just couldn't take the drama from the boyee This party may be wrapping up, but I can trust That you and your parade will never rust So I'll keep my eyes peeled It can't be concealed All is revealed You are truth Sumshee lives, it's not a place She promotes pride in the human race Although doors may shut, windows will open You're doing OK, always I'm hopin' Love ya You go girl


Well we made it, but we never got to see you. We caught a couple of performances, those kids are great on the stage, and was there for Felicia's 'Roving Reporter Routine'. It is sad it has to end. ... diverse. Goth is a diversity unto it's self. I hope they find somewhere to go as comparable as Sumshee's Family Room. Anyway, sorry we didn't get to spend time with you, but we will always be in touch, we are family. You succeeded at one of my dreams, coffee shop/sandwich shop. Another star for your crown and a feather for your hat. Hugs and kisses. -Tina


(****Note from Sumshee: Andrea is a friend Karen and I met while he was visiting America from Italy. What a sweet guy. Since then he has gotten married and made two more little Italians)

Sumshee, only for the place where sumshee was....'cause like you say sumshee's lives forever in my mind, like one of my best experiences on vacation, like my best experience in my USA's travels...


onward to the next chapter in your life, the last chapter was sure interesting.


You are right about having a place where memories were made.
I loved your after hours several years ago when it was a funky living room on one side and a dance floor on the other side. I met some good people there.
Thank you very much for creating that memorable place.

Ed Cash


I am sorry to hear of the closing of Sumshee's. I will always remember the fun times I have had there and friends I have made because of it. You are right it will live on forever in the hearts of those who have been there. We will remember because we will think back to when we met that lifelong friend or lover, and say to ourselves, " thank god for sumshee's" Best of luck in your future endeavors. I hope to still see you on occasion as I consider you a good friend.
I have no doubt at all that you will be back stronger than ever (and hopefully in a capacity that does not have you dealing with all the petty BS and typical gay crap.) As for offending anyone, after all the shit you put up with, you have the right to throw around a little well deserved offense. (you know me well enough to know I dont' get offended easily.) If you are out on the town Friday night, I will be at Fusion (a b-day party for Jack Abrams, free entry if you say you are with the party) I will probably do the rounds later in the night maybe see ya at Tryangles. Much love and best of luck,

With much love and sorrow,

Bill Whisler


...and thank you for the kind and comforting words.
But, ya was time AND I couldn't deal with it anymore. No offense to anyone. I knew full well what I would be getting into: all the natural bullshit you run into when the general masses come together in that kind of open aggregation of minds, bodies and emotions. I knew it was there waiting. But I was STILL, astounded... often, to see new and creative ways to stack those bricks together to build their worlds. It was so amusing, sad, and educational. Humans are the most amazing devices.

Although, most likely, I will be back. Re-invented all over again, smiling broadly. YES!

Love to you,
Sumshee Urszula Kirken


you evil bitch lol,



Dear Sumshee,
I know that I have not been around for a few and I am sorry for that ... truly sorry !!
You have always been there for me; you have been my dear trusted friend; you have been a mentor of sorts; you have been a steadfast comrade ... you have been a lot more and not just to me ... to LOTS of folks.

A friend of mine ( that I originally met at Sumshee's ) informed me that you had closed your doors. I was stunned. After that initial shock wore off I began to think ... and think ... and think ... how I have missed you and your wonderful establishment. One of my primary and consistent thoughts since I got the news has been ... 'how much of a schmuck I have been...' I always believed that you and Sumshee's would ALWAYS be there. I let my petty fears keep me from coming to Sumshee's and now your Sumshee's is closed. I have missed your company and that is my fault. You NEVER did anything to warrant my disappearance. I have wanted to say alot of things since I went away. You have been in my thoughts regularly. I cannot express in words how sorry to you I truly am for my shitty behavior towards you Sumshee ... who has been nothing but a friend to me since day one.

I visited your website and read through it ... mailny because I was curoius. I was curious because "my friend", who passed Sumshee's closing on to me, had also told me that Sumshee has blamed the gay community for the closing of Sumshee's. Well ... I had to find out. After I read everything I thought to myself ... 'just how fucked-up people's perception is...'
What I read was not what "my friend" had told me ... what you have written is quite an accurate statement of the way things had occurred. I could NOT find ANYTHING that "blamed" the gay community for Sumshee' closing. What I found was quite simply ... Sumshee !!!

You my friend have stayed true to your vision !! You Sumshee never strayed off course. You my friend have always been you ... it is possiblly the most refreshing thing about knowing you ... the fact that you are always you.

Enough of my rambling. I can go on & on & on ... that about me will probably never change.

I have missed you and I am sorry that I went away ... that is all on me ... you never did anything to me to nake me go away ... petty petty fears (and I think I had told you ... but I will tell you again if necessary.

Maybe (hopefully) one day soon, you and I can just chat (like we used to) over coffee ... or whatever.

Thank you SO MUCH for everything you have been and everything you are ... Sumshee !!
Love always,
Leather Queer ( so dubbed by Sumshee )


If your words of concern are strong enough, I suppose you could make a very definite point to your friend as to your more realistic perception of the situation.

Would it do any good?
His (or her) actions here fukking proves points I did not even have to make.

More to come,


Website Manager:
Sumshee Urszula Kirken



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