Author Archives: Chris Andoe

Strike a Pose: St. Louis has a storied ball scene — and its stars are ready to strut their stuff at Pride

It was 2001 when Mechee Harper took her nineteen-year-old friend Meko Lee Burr to Chicago for his first ball. “We ended up taking over a KFC as our dressing room,” Harper recalls. “And the employees were like, ‘Well, alright!’”  The underground, largely black and Latinx LGBTQ ball culture has mostly existed out of mainstream awareness

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

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

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.

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

Shawn Jennings Kohrs: He Makes a Wish Come True

Sitting in the garage with family in 2012, Shawn Jennings Kohrs stumbled upon a Facebook post that changed his life. A woman in Kentucky wrote with intimate details about how her thirteen-year-old son knew he was going to die, but still worried about her well-being. “Two seconds in I was invested, and knew I had

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