The Influencers: 2020

Our editorial team assembled this list of influencers in January, before COVID-19, the subsequent financial collapse, and well before the seismic shift in the discussion on policing and race spurred by the murder of George Floyd. The world is a very different place than it was six months ago. We are proud to say that

Mark Moore: Socializer with a Cause

“Taking the time to smile at someone and say hello can change them. Doing something this simple can sometimes make or break a life,” says Mark Moore, whose profile has been rising in the LGBT+ community since 2011. Moore speaks with positivity and high energy during our conversation. We talk about his roles in the

James Lesch: A No Show for Drama

With more than a decade of front-row involvement in St. Louis’ queer community, James Lesch, 34, feels right at home in the thick of things. At the same time, in spite of the fact that there is almost always something brewing, he’s widely known – and respected – for his ability to stay above the

Heather Brown-Hudson: The Teacher

A fired-up teacher who believes in you can make all the difference. Dr. Heather Brown-Hudson is the chair of the gender studies program at Lindenwood University. Her time there began in 2010, teaching in the French and English departments. In 2013, she pitched a gender studies program, and it took off. “The program began and

Brandon Reid: Turnaround Artist

Brandon Reid is a youthful 33, but don’t let the babyface fool you — he’s packed a lot of life into those years. He puts all of it to good use in his personal and professional quests for bettering his fellow humans. “I was actually incarcerated,” Reid says. “So, eighteen years old, I caught a

Grayson Chamberlain: Fashion Fixer

Figuring out what to wear on a date is tough enough. Throw in a closet full of clothes that don’t reflect your true gender expression (and a strapped student bank account) and the task becomes that much tougher. Grayson Chamberlain loaned some natty button-downs to a fellow trans man on his dorm floor for a

Joan Lipkin: Lifetime Achievement

It’s about 5:30 a.m. and I’m up early trying to finish the final task of the massive, unwieldy undertaking that is the Out in STL Influence Issue: a profile on theater guru and activist Joan Lipkin. “You’re writing the Joan piece? Good luck with that,” laughs a mutual friend I will not name. So much

Jeff Small: The Comeback

We’d be hard pressed to think of a local LGBTQ+ celebrity who fell as far and as publicly as Jeff Small. A household name in St. Louis due to his years as a KDSK reporter and anchor, his January 2018 drug arrest made for shocking headlines and viral posts. While his life had seemed ideal

Christine Elbert: “Lesbian Jesus”

In 2010, Christine Elbert was walking through the Pride Festival with a friend, and it took her 45 minutes to get through the throngs of folks wanting to say hello. Impatient to get another drink, the friend quipped, “We gotta wait for Lesbian Moses over here parting the Red Sea.” Somehow, “Lesbian Moses” quickly morphed

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