The Influencers

Meet fifteen LGBTQ community members making a major impact in St. Louis Where do we get off, telling you who the influencers are in this town? Well, we’d like to think we keep our ears to the ground and watch who’s moving and who’s shaking, who’s driving the discussion and who’s pressing buttons. This collection

Cami Thomas: The Storyteller

Cami Thomas wields her influence in gentle but powerful ways. She’s a journalist, with bylines in HuffPost Black Voices and this very magazine, and a documentary filmmaker lending her unique perspective to issues in a post-Michael Brown world. “I grew up in Florissant, the tippity-top of north county,” says Thomas, 25. “I went to middle

Chuck J. Pfoutz: Running the Runway

In 2013, photographer and producer Chuck Pfoutz attended his first drag pageant. He was inspired. “Some of the best production I’d ever seen,” Pfoutz says. “I was fascinated by how far people would go to win a crown,” he adds. “Hours of effort to achieve something great and entertain while doing it. I documented 30

Kameo Dupree: No Boxes

Mister Kameo Dupree is that suave, debonair gentleman who opens your doors and brings you flowers. You may have fallen under the classic male illusionist’s spell at the Grey Fox or other venues, sharply suited and slaying tunes by Jessie J, Brad Paisley or Jason Derulo. “I just don’t do that heavy metal,” the musically

David Dwight IV: Forged From Ferguson

Philadelphia-area native David Dwight IV, 25, didn’t plan on sticking around after getting his biomedical engineering degree from Washington University in St. Louis. But his priorities and his trajectory had to pivot: During his final year, unarmed Ferguson teenager Michael Brown was killed by police, and things changed. “The killing of Michael Brown Jr. and

Christa Cunningham: Removing Barriers

From starting a real estate company in New Jersey, to coming out as transgender to her ex-partner of fourteen years, to signing away her business to start a new life in St. Louis, Christa Cunningham’s only constant has been change. After rebooting her life in 2006, Cunningham, now 49, enrolled at Southern Illinois University- Edwardsville

Joss Barton: A Necessary Defiance

It’s by some cosmic fluke that the people of 2019 St. Louis get to experience the outrageous wonder that is Joss Barton, when everything about her indicates she rightfully belongs in the provocative art scene of 1970s New York — a time when the city was so sinister, tourists were given brochures with survival tips.

Dr. Christopher Lewis: The Gender Doctor

To his coworkers, Dr. Christopher Lewis is known as the gender doctor. But to the LGBTQ community in the city, the region and beyond, he’s known as a great influencer. Lewis co-founded the Washington University Transgender Center clinic at the St. Louis Children’s Hospital, a cutting-edge center of care for trans youth. “[St. Louis] is

Bryon Pierson: There’s an App for That

Bryon Dawayne Pierson Jr. is driven in the way someone is driven to escape a burning house. At just fifteen, the Alton native ran away from his dysfunctional family, determined not to succumb to their lifestyle of guns, drugs and sex addiction. Despite bouncing through six foster homes, Pierson excelled in O’Fallon (Illinois) High’s wrestling

Maxi Glamour: God Save the Queen

Maxi Glamour is our indigo demon queen, dancing the polka and burning Satanic rites down the Mississippi River. For ten years they have summoned plagues of glamorous disco punk to St. Louis that defy attempts at binary categorizations. To simply label Maxi a “drag queen” would be to incur their fiercest voodoo curse. Maxi’s scales

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