Everyone's journey is unique and takes us in very different directions. Darrell Klassy has taken several paths on his journey and the one thing I get from him is that he's unapologetic.
Darrell talks openly about his time in the military. How he sacrificed being himself (gay); you have to remember this was a time when being gay could get you discharged. While in the military he would meet Rodney, the man he would spend 29 years with; he remembers meeting him for the first time while stationed at Keesler Air Force base. "I was terrified that someone would find out that I was at a gay bar" he stated, "and it would be on my 4th visit that I was introduced to Rodney by friends". They both understood that their relationship would have to remain quite, which wasn't difficult since they were both very private and quite about their sexuality.
March 2016 he would make himself come out for the first time since Rodney passed away (something he talks about with emotion). He knew almost nothing about the leather community, but wanted to explore this aspect of his life. In 2017 Darrell joined the Lords of Leather in New Orleans. Darrell stated, "I found a place that I belonged, it interested me, I knocked down a door for myself and it was something I wanted".
It would be later that year he would enter and win the Mr. Louisiana Leather, a contest that represents not only New Orleans but the Gulf South. Darrell knew he didn't have much experience and didn't feel right about doing it, but after several people talked him into registering for the contest he went full steam ahead. Now until that event, I'd never heard of Darrell, but hell he had the guts to do it, so why not. "I was nervous as fuck and it wasn't until I came out for the second portion that I began to feel comfortable," he says. "I remember saying holy fuck I won". The next step for Darrell is IML in Chicago where he will represent New Orleans and the Gulf Coast.
Our conversation turns to HIV/AIDS something he is very passionate about. He finds it amazing how many people are not properly educated on HIV; how so many don't even understand what it means, what undetectable is and the history of HIV/AIDS. What angers him the is the stigma of HIV, "the LGBT community gives this false sense of security about HIV and then there are the pharmaceutical companies and the healthcare industry that use fear to present drugs to the community", he says. He also thinks that the use of PreP has allowed members of the community to become complacent about HIV/AIDS and STI's
One of the interesting aspects of his journey is his personal relationship(s). He is currently in a polyamory relationship. Darrell stated "I have different feelings for each one, they are my family and each person has their own life outside of our family. I just ask they respect each other and be true to us all".
Regardless of what you think of Darrell, he is determined to live his life for himself "I don't care what people think or say about me, this is my life and I'm not changing my life for anyone", he states. So, I'm going to end this on that note, it couldn't have been said better.
Everyone has their own personal taste in music, just a fact of life. For example, mine vary from classical to pop, or trance, depending on my mood and what I want to listen to that day. So, as usual, I’m sitting in front of my computer doing some work and then someone sends me a request to post something either on my website or Facebook pages. If it hadn’t come from someone I know, I would have just skipped over it until later. The request was to post an event on my Facebook pages, and therefore, I went ahead and posted it. However, I decided to do a google search and learned that Mr. Simon appears to be an accomplished singer/songwriter. Well, I wanted an interview. Not just because he is a singer, but because he is a part of the LGBT community.
Parker Simon is an up-and-coming singer and it’s evident from his music that he very passionate about his music. Music that is defined by the events in his life both past and present; which has shaped his music and made it very personal.
Parker grew up in a conservative town in Oklahoma and into a very religious family. He stated that it was very hard being gay, knowing that his family wasn’t supportive made it very hard to talk about. He endured constant judgment, was told he would go to hell, and wouldn’t be saved (Baptist). Parker would deal with depression and at one point went into reparative therapy (Conversion) all to be normal as defined by his up bring. It wouldn’t be until he went off to college that he would begin the process of self-acceptance, and learning it was ok to be gay, and it was his normal.
We need everyone to be who they are, be yourself. Everyone has something to bring to the table and everyone has a spot at the table. Parker Simon
So, how does this relate to his music, he stated: “music is a story about my past and present life.” His music has a definite pop tone, but you hear a little of musical theater. Parker admits that his music has elements of an angry overtone, mixed in with his personal feelings about his life. It is telling a story about a rebirth, coming out and being who he is. I must be honest his music is interesting and at the same time unique. Unstoppable, It’s Going Down, and Moving Away have a concise message about living life on your own terms, being who you are, never settling for second, and believing in yourself.
He is unapologetic about his life, and his music. For him, it’s an outlet to express his feelings and explore his life on his own terms. He doesn’t care about those who feel it’s just a hobby he states, “I’m at a place in my life where I don’t care what people think of me,” and “I love music and I’m not going to apologize for that.”
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Just about everyone in the South has grown up with an appreciation for food and cooking. Learning to cook in Louisiana it’s almost a rite of passage. We gather for food for just about everything, a wedding, death, birthdays, graduations; to be honest we don’t even need a reason.
My first memories of my great-grandmother (my dad’s side) was her kitchen. It was a room filled with amazing things, all conversations were held in the kitchen, and the grocery list would hang from a magnet on the refrigerator. I remember if you went into her kitchen you had better be prepared to help, either peeling carrots, shucking beans, or setting the table. It always seemed like a madhouse with precise order. For my great-grandmother cooking was a passion, using receipts handed down from generation to generation. Adding over the year her own touch to family receipts.
This is where I must be completely honest, I’m not a cook in any sense of the word. I couldn’t tell the difference between a zucchini and butternut squash. But for a few in New Orleans cooking is a passion, a mission to explore food and the art of cooking.
Poppy Tooker was born and raised in New Orleans, and cooking for her began in her great-grandmother kitchen, a deep rooted fascination with food and cooking. “My great-grandmother taught me to love people with food” and “Sunday dinners were a special time, the table set with the best china, and conversation”, she stated. While in high school she relates that she had to cook, since her mother couldn’t, it was during this time that she truly developed the passion for cooking.
The decline of cooking would become more prevalent between the 1980s and 90s, as people were more concerned with dining out. Poppy describes this much like after “WWII people lost the ability to sew because of the prevalence of ready to wear clothing.” Another fear she shares is that “in 25 years the dining table will no longer exist.” Her belief is that an entire generation could lose the passion for shopping, preparing, and presenting a fabulous meal. To Poppy, there is an excitement for shopping, then preparing the food, and finally watching guests enjoying the food. It really is a passion and a deep love for Poppy.
It’s her desire to covey and champion people to grow, prepare good food, nurture a culture and uphold the tradition of cooking and compel people to think about the differences in food. On her radio show on WWNO Louisiana Eats, it’s about introducing people to food and cooking, and to smile, she says “I always smile into the microphone, people can feel that smile.”
Then where does her devotion to the LGBT community come from? Paul Doll and Tom Struve opened the first gay restaurant Flamingo’s Café that crossed Canal Street. Poppy recounts an incident involving a somewhat uptight man; as she was bringing drinks they slipped off the tray and splashed on the man leg. Upset he was approached by one of the owners, and they offered to pay the dry-cleaning bill stated that “this might not be the restaurant for him and his friend.” At that moment Poppy understood the compassion to protect, and love someone that not only worked for them but had become family. A bit of history; it was Paul Doll and Tom Struve that founded WWNO. It was also the loss of many friends during the 80s due to AIDS that Poppy became a solid fixture in the LGBT community, something she continues today with her Drag Brunches, that raises money for Food for Friends.
Regardless of what you think about food and cooking, there is no way you can’t walk away from Poppy without feeling that passion, it is contagious. Her passion is evident whenever she talks about it. She is funny and has a wicked sense of humor that I love. She has written and revised several cookbooks, and her radio show Louisiana Eats continues to be a favorite among food enthusiast. Where does she go from here? Well, if it involves cooking, there is good bet she’ll be around.
catch poppy on
Steppin Out - Friday nights at 7:30PM on WYES
Louisiana Eats Saturdays at 11:00AM and Wednesday at 1:00PM on WWNO/ NPR Podcasts
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My fascination with Dj's is something new these days. I find it intriguing and interesting to interview DJ's. I came across DJ Dan Slater when I noticed that he would be performing at Oz New Orleans this Halloween. As with most stories I write it starts with basic curiosity.
He started his career by performing in musical theater throughout Australia. Needing a new challenge, he attended university and studied Business in Marketing, but it was his desire to be creative that lead him to learn what he could about being a DJ. "I never expected things to take off like this." In the world of DJ'ing, he is relatively new but has managed to make a name for himself. First starting in Sydney for Mardi Gras he has quickly become one of the best and most sought out DJ's. Performing at venues around he has worked at The Week (Brazil), We Word Pride Festival (Madrid) and Winter Party Festival (Miami). With regards to production, he admits that having his remix "I Walk Alone" by Cher which peaked at number 2 on Billboard's Hot Dance Club Songs and thus inspired him to work on remixes and his own original tracks.
There is no doubt that staying true to one's sound, while remaining current is always a challenge and he freely admits that this can be hard. With those challenges comes the reward of producing your own music and used for a live performance is quite special to him.
I’ve been lucky enough to play at numerous clubs and events around the world and every experience is very different. In some countries electronic music and events are still relatively new, so the events may be smaller or more intimate. But the crowds are still so enthusiastic and the energy is great. DJ Dan Slater
It appears that DJ Slater likes getting the crowd involved which becomes a mix of their favorites, music he personally likes and enjoys hearing. He knows that he must be able to read the audience and the vibe of the crowd is just as important, he stated: "you have to be able to change the direction of your set to build a better energy. It's a balance of old and new tracks, keeping your sound and set fresh."
He truly believes that clubs have and will remain a great place of the discovery and appreciation of electronic music because you can see a live DJ performance, feel the music and is very different than to listen to a track or podcast. As the music is important so is the space it is performed at, there must be a relationship between the music and space, or it's just not going to work according to DJ Slater. He clearly knows that music is universal, and appreciates the differences and styles played around the world. For example, the United States and Asia has a more tribal house style, whereas Europe has a tech house or house music sound.
In closing, he wanted to say that "I’ve been lucky enough to play at numerous clubs and events around the world and every experience is very different. In some countries electronic music and events are still relatively new, so the events may be smaller or more intimate. But the crowds are still so enthusiastic and the energy is great. I think you just need to approach each gig with an open mind, and playing in different countries has exposed me to different sounds that can influence my set as well."
DJ Dan Slater will be performing at Oz New Orleans this Halloween Friday, October 20, 2017 starting at 12:00 AM. I've listened to some of his music and I must admit I'm quite impressed. Check out his music on SoundCloud.
Two DJ that Mr. Slater recommends that he feels deserve some attention:
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To understand someone, you must listen with an open mind about what they’ve gone through in life, what makes them who they are and the path they have chosen. I don’t believe anyone just wakes up one morning and says, “I’m going to do porn”. Of course, I could be wrong, but it’s unlikely. But I do wonder what drives someone to succeed in the porn industry? I mean it’s a cut-throat industry, where you ride a high for a few years then you’re considered old news. Why? Because someone younger and new has come along, and before you know it you’ve been replaced.
To be honest, I didn’t know that DJ Dominic Pacifico was even in porn, I had only known him as a DJ, and a damn good one at that. So, you can imagine my surprise when I Googled him and there it was several results for pornhub, xvideos, mansuger, and redtube. It was apparent that not only was he a porn star but a well-established DJ. I began to wonder how does one cross over from porn to DJ’ing and do them both very successfully.
Dominic started doing porn in 1998 in San Francisco, after leaving Key West with his boyfriend at the time. After being dumped he found himself needing money and a place to stay. He would be discovered by Brian Mills who introduced him to still pornography (X-rated pictures). As an 18-year old he had the twink look that everyone craved. This allowed him to make anywhere between $500.00 to $1,000.00, and thus started his path into porn. He stated, “I didn’t realize that I was doing porn, it was art”. At 22 he would do his first feature film for Raging Stallion and would be mentored by Michael Brandon. Dominic learned the ropes so to speak, always understanding that his fans were the most important aspect of his porn career.
I do have an opinion about politics, and world events. For those who think I don’t give a shit, I do. It can be hard for me not to say anything. DJ Dominic Pacifcio
He has been in the industry for 19 years, and for anyone to last that long is an achievement. I asked him how he did this, he explained that it’s all about branding, staying focused, having something to sell, and being in the right place at the right time. One of the important aspects of the porn for Dominic is having the adaptive ability to change with the times.
What’s it like being called a Daddy now? He smiled and said “I love it. All these young men come at me all of the time, and it’s flattering”. I got the feeling that he has embraced the so call daddy porn. As “daddies” are become more in demand, and the younger generation seeks more of this genre, Dominic has once again reinvented himself to adapt to the need and demand. “Hell, I don’t mind, it’s crazy that I’m given a 2nd chance to reinvent myself”, he stated.
I wondered how he went from porn to DJ’ing. DJ’ing didn’t come easy for him, he admits that being in porn created road blocks, since he wasn’t really taken seriously by the more established DJ’s. But somehow, he has managed to merge the two. I think this comes from his determination to be himself and to prove that he is more than just a porn actor. Since his first DJ’ing gig at the Castro Street Fair in 1998, he has come a long way. Now playing around the United States and the World. He is influenced by Brazilian house, early 90’s and seth pop. I asked him how does he know that what he’s playing is being well received he stated, “I try to understand the age demographic, venue, and style of the people”. Either way, I find his music intriguing, interesting, powerful, and well mixed.
Regardless of what you think about DJ Dominic, I found him fascinating and quite intelligent. He has proven to be a smart businessman and inventive with regards to both his porn and DJ careers. For example, in two weeks Dominic Entertainment will release self-molds of Dominic Pacifico Signature molds to be sold worldwide, along with signature self-molds of Casey Everett, Brandon Jones, and Pierce Paris. It’s another expansion of his business and brings to his fan what they want. The ability to adapt.
It is easy to pass judgment on someone that you don’t understand or even know. He said something that really had an impact on me. He stated, “you know you’re at a bar, and the quiet man sitting alone tells you hello, that’s your true fan.” To be humble and sincere is quite unique, and I must say I enjoyed my time with him.
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WARNING: Website contains adult material.
Images are the property of DJ Dominic Pacifico and cannot be copied and/or reproduced without written permission.
If you know me, then you know that I really love DJ Kidd Madonny, and have been a fan of his for-a while. Then comes along someone with a completely different style and approach to music. DJ Whitney Day is a DJ and event producer based in New York City. Her work can be heard throughout the United States, Europe, and Australia. Her focus is about bringing high caliber events to the lesbian and LGBTQ communities.
It was in college that she discovered a different side of music and her interest changed to music production, recording and technology. After college, she began to work in the film industry, it was now in her life that learned mixing, composing music and sound design for both TV and film.
Before she was 21 she would spend time checking out clubs and raves in the city and Brooklyn. It would be her fascination of the DJ that she would be inspired with the concept of remixing a song and blending different parts together, it would be her ability to re-imagine a song that would carry her through her career, even today she strives to perfect her vision of music and sound. While she considers herself a DJ, she has also expanded to include event production. She continues to search for venues always hiring the best in the industry and those coming up the ranks.
For Whitney, this is not a black and white subject. There are factors that determine what she will play, and how it’s played. For her every venue is different, the crowd, location and of course her mood. Throughout the years she has learned to be flexible and maintain a somewhat “open format”. DJ’ing is about learning how to spin for any crowd, this would include funk, soul, hip-hop and pop. For her this would be the basis for learning the art of DJ’ing. The importance of experimenting with mixing genres, and overtime cultivating and developing your own sound. This is to move the audience, but to expose them to new songs, artist and genres. Whitney states “These days I play very little pop and hip hop, but have grown into my own taste which tends to be dominated by soul inflected house music – sometimes with a disco thing, sometimes more percussive and other night with a deeper more electronic sound. It’s all organic and spontaneous”.
But it’s her ability personalize her music choicest that makes her unique and widely in demand. Whitney states “Giving them something that’s creatively more than what they’re used to and hopefully memorable and exciting”. To balance what the audience likes and wants to hear and remain true to my music is a complicated process at first. She appears to have mastered that and delivers music that is fresh and new. I get the feeling that for her it’s not just about winning over a crowd, but really giving them something to dance to, to remember, and want to hear again. That she wants to expose people to different styles of music and to show energy.
I asked her about the role of women in the DJ industry, and she stated that “it is unbalanced, and yes there is a glass ceiling”. With that said she strives to focus on events that celebrate women in music, as well as queer artist.
Whiney proved to be an interesting induvial to interview, thoughtful of her abilities, a firm understanding of the LGBTQ community, and mostly importantly her love and drive to be the best DJ without compromising herself.
This Southern Decadence Whitney will be at The Bourbon Pub and Parade, it would be worth the effort to hear her spin. For more information visit : bourbonpub.com
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Images are the property of Whitney Day and cannot be copied and/or reproduced without written permission.
As a culture, we can be quick to judge someone without really knowing the complete story. Last week a friend forwarded an article to me to read; at first I wasn't sure why I was reading this article. However, it was apparent that this man’s journey in the gay adult industry seemed short lived. Most of the article’s I could get a hold of focused on three tattoos, a comment made, and his arrest on drug charges.
I have learned over time there is more to a story than what's written in some publications. I am curious how this young man with a promising career went "downhill" so fast. What is his story and most importantly what happened?
Cameron Diggs didn't just fall into porn, nor was he looking for the chance to become involved in the industry. Instead, he started dancing at local clubs in the Dallas area. Cameron admitted it was the need for money and this was a good way earn some. Now Cameron is by all accounts and confirms that he is bisexual. That sex with either sex is enjoyable; he just prefers women over men. There have been reports that he is a gay-for-pay porn actor, and he states that "this was because until I did gay porn, I had never been with a man, a transsexual once, but that was it." He doesn't understand why his "sexual preference would become or be an issue since he's not the only guy doing gay porn that might be "straight."
I have to question the reason why some people might be so concerned about his sexuality. I mean how many gay porn actors are straight, and let's be honest their sexual preference isn't why we watch a gay porn scene.
Of course, I had to ask the question about three tattoos that have for some reason become a major concern. Cameron has an Iron Cross symbol on the upper right and left of his chest and SS lightning bolts on his right hip. Now before I go any further, let me just say this I had to look and then have someone point them out to me. With that said, did anyone just sit down and ask him the reasons? Or, did certain people just assume they knew the answer? First, let me say that there have been several gay porn films made using the Nazi/ Skinhead themes, do we judge them? Is there a difference? Don't say it's because their actors, and were just acting, I'm calling bullshit on that, what makes these films less offensive?
"I do respect everyone, regardless of color. I really look past a persons race, religion, or creed. It was never my intention to disrespect anyone, especially my fans. I know my behavior and actions would cause people to form a opinion about me, but like everyone I have made mistakes, and I continue to grow and learn from them."
Now I'm not making any excuses for racism, or racist behavior but just trying to see the difference. I asked Cameron directly the meaning of the tattoos, and he stated: "those tattoos I got while serving four years." He explained that when you go to prison, you have to choose sides and that prison is very racist and segregated whites with whites, blacks with blacks. To survive, you have to do things that normally you wouldn't do; he states "I had to prove myself. Therefore, I got into a fight and proved I was strong and not weak". The tattoos were placed there showing he had prison bravery and won a battle. He admits that he regrets the tattoos and they don't describe him as a person. He's very firm that he is not a racist, nor does he judge anyone based on religion, sexual preference, or skin color. It's not who he is, and those that know him understand who he is and what he believes in. I then asked about a comment that was reported in Str8UpPorn last summer in which he stated: "when it comes to having kids, I prefer to stay in my race." He explained that as a child and teenager his grandparents had adamant feelings about interracial children, it was their point of view, and it remains instilled in him even now. Does one comment make a person a racist? For me, it's' their actions, and from what I can tell there doesn't seem to be any indication that he supports any neo-Nazi/ white supremacy group(s), or aside from this one comment has not made any racist remarks. How many times have you gone onto Grindr, adam4adam, manhunt and found profiles with white/black only? You could argue that it's racist, or in most cases, you say "it's my preference." Either way, in my opinion, you have to look at all aspects of a person's behavior before labeling someone a racist.
Cameron does have a "bad boy" image (ok the tattoos are hot to me), one that he says comes naturally to him, and he has allowed that image to become too entwined with him as a person. Which he freely admits has created problems and misconceptions about who he is. Over the past seven years, he has dealt with a meth addiction; and this past February Cameron was arrested in Oak Lawn a suburb of Dallas. He stated, "this was a low point, I kept thinking that I was going to lose everything." I am not going to go further into this aspect of his life, and only because it is an open investigation.
Then Sketch Sex, a bareback site comes out with some promo video implying that Cameron was going to be seen doing a bareback scene. I asked Cameron to explain this, and he stated: "I was going to do the film because they offered me a substantial amount of money. However, my test results didn't come back in time, and therefore I was a stand in". Are you going to judge him now because he thought of doing a bb scene? As if he was the first to do this, guess what he's not (the list could be quite long).
We have all made mistakes some are more serious than other, but who are we sit and judge someone's life and actions. Do they directly affect you? Have his tattoos directly impacted your life? Did a stupid comment somehow derailed your life? I suppose if he were still fucking in gay porn you wouldn't care.
I have to admit I found my conversation with Cameron very open and direct. I've been doing this for a while, and it appeared to be sincere and genuine. I do wish him the very best of luck on his journey we call life When asked if he would ever like to return to gay porn Cameron stated "yes, I would like to. I miss my fans, performing, and dancing".
Images are the property of Cameron Diggs and cannot be copied and/or reproduced without written permission.
Have you ever wondered how the hell you became friends with someone? I wondered about my friendship with Troy, it’s not like we just “hit it” off. In fact I always thought that Troy was snobbish, stuck-up, and a bitch. You have to understand that while we knew many of the same people we never conversed. From what I can remember he just sat next to me and said hi, and to be honest I thought this bitch is going to put a knife in my back. However, like most of my friendships they just happened, I don’t go out and seek people to be my friends, they just happen.
Since then I do consider Troy to be a close and dear friend, and I enjoy his company. He comes across as shy and reserved, but once you get to know him, he’s really a true friend.
Troy is currently the President of the Lords of Leather in New Orleans. A position he takes very seriously and with determined dedication. He has been involved in the leather community for 30 years (he joined the Lords in 2010). For him it’s about the freedom of expression, the ability to be himself. The friendships he has built over the years, and it’s more than wearing leather it’s about a community. When he won the title of Mr. Louisiana Leather, it allowed him to engage with the LGBT community. His platform was giving a broader exposure to local LGBT organizations. When he went to IML (International Mr. Leather) in Chicago, It wasn’t about winning but about making his community proud (placed 25th out of 53).
"I am a really nice person, just don't assume I'm a pushover. People who see me in my street clothes would never guess I'm into the leather scene". Troy Powel
Troy is currently the 2017 Mr. Gay Pride New Orleans. An honor that he says surprised him and stated “the fact the board of Gay Pride thought enough of me is truly an honor”. He admits that he has a short window of opportunity to fight for a cause, but regardless of what he does he is still honored to be a representation of the LGBT community here in New Orleans.
Asked what advice he would give someone who is interested in the leather community, he states “learn where the traditions sprang from and the meanings behind them, earn your leather, and be true to yourself”. When asked about the Mr. Louisiana Leather sash he commented that he is “very protective of the sash; it means something, and it’s an honor to wear it”.
Troy will admit that having a high profile in the local LGBT community places high expatiations, and thus can wear on him at times. But he also understands that this is price you pay if you want to affect change.
Regardless of what anyone thinks of the leather community, I’ve learned that it’s a tight knit community. Friendships and respect are earned, and basically about self-expression. Troy is a member of this unique community, something he never takes for granted. I am honored that I took the time to get to know him, and understand his point of view.
Images are the property of Troy Powell and cannot be copied and/or reproduced without written permission.
There are times that I might make an assumption about someone and not truly know who they are. This is one such time! I first heard of Misti when she was named one of the Grand Marshals for Southern Decadence in 2015; until then I had never heard of her, which isn’t surprising since we didn’t move in the same social circles.
I had written a blog posting regarding the naming of five Southern Decadence Grand Marshals, and how I thought it wasn’t necessary and somewhat excessive. It wasn’t until Misti invited me to a fundraising event that I started to get to know her, and she was not only polite, but very friendly. You have to understand that my blog article about Southern Decadence wasn’t very glowing, and yes I was very harsh. But Misti and I became friends over time, and I have come to respect and admire her dedication to the LGBT community in New Orleans.
Misti grew up in a small, conservative town just outside of Monroe, LA. She admits that living in such a small town shaped her views on the LGBT community; however, in 1999 she moved to New Orleans for a job, and it was here that she started to become a part of our community. It wasn’t until 2008 at the request of friends that she developed and conceived the persona of Johnny Passion, a scary move for her, since she had never been involved in the “drag” community. But over time she started to perform as Johnny Passion, in the LGBT community this is known as being a “drag king”, honesty I had never heard the term “drag king”.
In 2011 she would be named one of the Grand Marshals for New Orleans Pride, she described the appointment of this as a “complete honor”. Then in 2015 Misti would not only be named Southern Decadence Grand Marshal, but a Grand Marshal for the Gay Easter Parade. Two events that she states “both were a true honor, and no matter what I’ll always be a part of the LGBT community”, and give her a platform to bring the community together and become exposed to different aspects of our community.
June 2016 can be considered a milestone in her life, after 8 years of being together she would marry her wife Catherine, and in November of the same year would legally adopt their children. As she speaks about the adoption she starts to become emotional, it’s apparent that she loves them very deeply. A true testament to how they raise their children, her oldest son Ethan who is straight works at New Orleans Oz.
I asked her what is most important to her and she stated “respect yourself, respect others and pay your dues”. What I found most surprising is how she feels about people who win crowns/titles and don’t give back to the LGBT community. To Misti if you have won a crown, or hold a title, you have a duty to give back to the community, and to most it’s just about the crown/title and not giving back to the community that helped you win the title. To her that demeans and diminishes the reason you were given the honor.
"It's not just about raising money, or looking good. You have to set an example for the community, give back, and be humble" Misti Gaither
I have to say that over the past year I have come to know and respect Misti, not only as a person in our community, but for her efforts to raise awareness regarding issues affecting the LGBT community, and those that are important to her. To this day I have to thank her for changing my perception about others in the community, and allowing me to a part of her life!
Currently Misti currently the special events coordinator at the Four Seasons Bar in Metairie, and continues to support and raise funds for the LGBT community in New Orleans and surrounding areas.
Images are the property of Misti Gaither and cannot be copied and/or reproduced without written permission.
Every once in a while you come across someone that changes your perspective about how other’s live their lives and an understanding that while they may seem different, in fact you have more in common than you think. I first met Princess Stephaney as she was fawning over my husband, to be honest I didn’t know how to judge the situation, and yes I was somewhat upset about the situation. But what I learned is that she has this wicked since of humor, and it’s not reserved for just one person, it’s her way to engaging with people.
Princess Stephaney has lived in New Orleans for 25 years, and since moving here she has become an important and beloved part of the LGBT community. She is not a “drag queen”, but identifies as a transvestite. To her this means at work she is in “drag”, but performs as a “drag queen”. Now some of you may not understand this logic, and in reality it’s not anyone’s place to judge or make assumptions; it’s how she views her life.
I asked her where she gets her wicked since of humor she stated “Mae West”, and “I would watch all her moves, and write down all the one liners”, but she also admires Phyllis Diller and Cher among others. It was the comedian in each that she was drawn to.
Princess Stephaney was crowned Miss. New Orleans Pride 2017, and stated that she was “surprised and honored”. I have to say that she has earned the title; while some believe that maybe she shouldn’t have won, I ask why not? She gives of her time and passion to the LGBT community and is always there to help raise awareness for the LGBT community. She does this without looking for gratitude or thanks.
“I want to be all inclusive with my platform, wishing our community that is rich in diversity and ethnicity that we embrace our Latino and Asian sisters and brothers to become more visible. All year.” Princess Stephaney
Two years later I have a profound respect for Princess Stephaney, I admire her ability to just want to have fun, enjoy life, and be herself. It’s a rare quality to have and one that has been earned though just being herself. Thanks for being you Princess Stephaney!
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