Bio—tell us a little about yourself: How long have you lived in Louisville? Etc.
Hi! My name is Benjamin Moore and I am a lifelong Louisvillian. Born and raised. So I’ve been here a while. I was raised in the Bon Air neighborhood and am a proud JCPS graduate. I attended the University of Louisville where I majored in political science at the McConnell Center and went on to complete my masters in urban planning. I was fortunate to land a spot at the Leadership Louisville Center right out of school, then moved to the marketing department at Norton Healthcare followed by a stint at the Mayor’s Office for Economic Development before landing my current role.
I met my now-husband, Tadd, in 2003 and we have enjoyed 18 years of life together. He attended Bellarmine University and completed his medical degree and training at the University of Louisville School of Medicine. He specialized in emergency medicine. Over the course of our time together we have enjoyed traveling to lots of places around the world but always love returning to our hometown, if nothing else for the great tap water (yes, it wins awards!). In 2011, following a lengthy hospitalization and cancer diagnosis, Tadd proposed. We enjoyed our engagement for a number of years and ultimately began planning a wedding celebration in the summer of 2014. We had no idea at the time that we the Supreme Court would take up the landmark marriage equality case that next summer. On June 20, 2015 we said our vows and celebrated a rocking reception party at the historic Seelbach Hotel with 250 of friends and family. One week later, we rushed to the courthouse to obtain our marriage license and became one of the first couples legally married in the Commonwealth of Kentucky. We were honored to be part of that historic day and are in constant appreciation of those that fought for that important legal recognition. In August of 2015 we purchased our dream home and began what will eventually be a decade-long restoration and renovation. In the fall of 2016, we began our journey toward fatherhood. During this time we met some amazingly generous, compassionate and loving people. Our surrogate is our angel and after a loss, a failed transfer and a third hail-Mary attempt, allowed us to realize the dream of meeting our son. We welcomed Callum Joseph in November of 2019 and he’s been an amazing, life-changing addition to our family.
What neighborhood do you live in? Highlands Douglass
What is your favorite neighborhood and why? I have always loved the Highlands because it’s a great mix of classic architecture, local businesses and restaurants, parks and greenspace and proximity to other amenities and neighborhoods in the city. Plus, the people in the Highlands have always been so welcoming and inclusive.
What do you do here (what is your job)? Vice President, Strategic Alliances for the Louisville Healthcare CEO Council
What are your top 5 “must dos/see” in Louisville?
1.) Grab a cocktail at Alex&der on the roof of Copper and Kings before heading over to a Louisville City soccer game. The vistas from Alex&der are a beautiful way to see the city and the cocktails will knock your socks off. Louisville isn’t a one-horse town, while bourbon is our backbone, brandy, beer and other spirits are a big part of our DNA. The new Lynn Family Stadium is one of the nicest sports venues I’ve ever seen and it’s built with the fan in mind. The fan experience is immersive without being too rowdy and the team, their ownership and fanbase are wildly inclusive and supportive of all human beings! I don’t know the rules of soccer, but I still love the games and feel welcomed there.
2.) Visit the parks, as many as possible, Parklands, Cherokee Park, Shawnee Park, Waterfront. They are all so unique in their amenities and terrain, plus visiting the historic Olmsted parks and the newer Parklands and Waterfront is a fun way to see what these amazing new developments will look like in a few years.
3.) Urban Bourbon. The distilleries, the Frazier trailhead, the Seelbach. Each stop is so special with their story and experience that you could spend weeks exploring it all. I love the historic ties to Louisville but also to see newer brands emerging and presenting the craft of distilling in a whole new way.
4.) Visit a local coffee shop. I frequent Safai in the Highlands since it’s so close to my house. You’ll often find me camped out there enjoying a cold brew, regardless of the outside temperature, and one of their incredible crepe creations. The team there is so friendly and fun, I just always feel safe and welcomed there.
5.) Boo at the Zoo. Kids or no kids (but with kids is a blast), this huge Halloween event at the Louisville Zoo is fun for the family and friends. Getting a group together for costume ideas is a fun way adventure around the Zoo in the evening for some trick-or-treat fun. Plus, the soft pretzels and wine offerings are perfect for adults.
Do you have a favorite local restaurant and why? El Mundo. A staple of the city for years, their margaritas are incredible, food is sensational and very friendly and inclusive. Plus, their deck at the Highlands location is great for a toddler!
Where’s is your favorite place to grab a cocktail? The Champagnery is such a beautiful spot with amazing cocktails and food. I love their aesthetic and service!
What is your favorite seasonal event? Why? The St. James Court Art Fair has always been such an incredible rite of passage for fall in Louisville. I love strolling the blocks of juried art with those gorgeous Old Louisville residential architecture as a backdrop. Throw in what is usually crisp fall weather and you have a perfect setup for a fun day with friends and family. Plus, the retail therapy you can get from purchasing original artwork is second-to-none.
Are you a bourbon fan? If yes, how do you prefer it? Yes! And I prefer my bourbon many ways, depending on the brand and proof. I love a neat bourbon for higher proof, or an Old Fashioned cocktail since it originated in Louisville.
What makes Louisville a great place to be out?
As a native, I know I’m biased, but I started going “out” when I was 17. From those days where I felt like there were pockets of gay-culture in the city and safe places, I now see more integration, and a city that went from tolerance 20 years ago to inclusion. We are not perfect, I fully acknowledge and realize that, but I feel safe and seen here. I see a city that was the first in the south to pass a Fairness Ordinance protecting the LGBTQ community from discrimination. I see the long campaign by so many of my peers and elders (and I mean that term with the utmost affection) that have fought for decades not just for representation and tolerance, but they waged the hearts-and-mind battle. I see more young people from the Commonwealth relocating here to find a safer more inclusive environment and a growing diversity within our community. I know my experience comes with certain blinders and privilege, but I believe Louisville to be an inclusive and safe place for LGBTQ folks.
How would you describe Louisville's LGBTQ community?
Growing, thriving and well-supported. With new endeavors like Queer Kentucky and CIVITAS, the new LGBTQ/NGLCC Chamber of Commerce show me that a well-established and activated community is thriving. LGBTQ-owned businesses continue to pop up in all sorts of industries and leaders from corporates and small businesses are becoming more representative.
What would you tell someone who has never been to Louisville before? Be prepared to be swept off your feet and fall in love. This city truly has something to appeal to anyone. Food culture. Spirits and beer. Sports. Parks and outdoor recreation options. Architecture and history. A culture. Louisville as a soul. And when you come here, you’ll be amazed that a city of our mid-size can pack so much punch.