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

Nicci Kincer: Pride With Purpose

It was the early ’90s when a fourteen-year-old Nicci Kincer came out of the closet. And what she found outside that closet was hostility and fear — and, ultimately, inspiration for her life’s work of making the way easier for the kids coming out today. “Back then if you were gay, you were the reason

Alex Cohen: Environmental Guardian

At the age of 24, Alex Cohen has organized more marches and actions than many older LGBTQIA folks have been to in their entire lives. Even if you’re not the kind of person to be found on the front lines of a protest, you may have noticed Cohen around town. His big smile, political T-shirts

Basil Kincaid: The Quilts We Carry

Outside Basil Kincaid’s porch, the skies are wet with rain-soaked clouds, but the chill of another winter day ends outside the door. Inside the white cottage, a rainbow of technicolor fabrics line the wooden walls and floors. Deep violet velvets, bleached denims and moss green textiles mix with the sounds of low-fi instrumental jazz and

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