Queer Media & Pop Culture!

ALL NEW SCENE

Featuring Black Pride, Barb Barb, Austyn Owens, Austin Matthews, Mali Obomsawn and a whole lot more. 

Keep scrolling to read the featured stories.

Black Magic Weekend: Summer of Soul

August 18-22 | MN POC Pride

POC PRIDE VIP PASS 

The Minnesota People of Color Pride Organization, in collaboration with other LGBTQ+ and supporting-ally organizations, produce the Twin Cities premiere MN POC LGBTQ+ Pride festival. This festival celebrates and recognizes the diversity within our LGBTQ+ communities and cultural traditions. MN POC Pride will work in tandem with Twin Cities Pride, with the Twin Cities Pride festival kicking off the summer in June, and the MN POC LGBTQ Pride festival closing out the season in mid-August, just before Labor Day.

The official VIP passes for POC Pride: Black Magic Weekend are now available. Pay one price for access to all official POC Pride events.

Black Hart of Saint Paul

1415 University Ave W 
Saint Paul, MN 55104 
blackhartstp.com | (651) 528-8028

The Black Hart is a neighborhood, queer, and soccer bar in the Midway neighborhood of Saint Paul.

Barb Barb

Drag Scene! Kings & Queens of the Twin Cities.

Connect

How long have you been on the Drag Scene? 
Well I am 40 years old so...that long!
 
What does the term “drag” mean to you? 
I think drag is an art form to express yourself.

How do you separate your “dual identity”? 
I don't get paid to be Trevor (onlyfans coming soon).

Who is your “go-to” artist? 
I don't have a go to artist, my favorite song to perform is Whats Up.

Greatest performing moment? 
Dragging on the River in Hastings, MN. I watched a town celebrate humanity!

Say something nice about one of your fellow performers. 
Watching Ann Omertas brain create and perform is inspiring!

Any special involvement in the LGBTQ community? 
I have worked with many great organizations over the years but no specific ties...WIFE ME UP! 

Where in the Twin Cities can you be seen? 
What a great question, LUSH! Mirage: Drag After Dark Saturdays @10pm and Brunch of Drag Saturday and Sundays @10am.

What words of wisdom would you have for someone just starting in the Drag Scene? 
Don't surround yourself with "yeeeassss mawmaw" people, instead surround yourself with people that will tell you the truth and celebrate your success! 

Who do you nominate for the next Drag Scene interview? 
Ann Omerta.

The Nicollet Diner

1333 Nicollet Mall Minneapolis, MN thenicolletdiner.com | (612) 399-6258

Local Minneapolis American restaurant specializing in breakfast all day, burgers, fries, homemade soups & malts. Full bar 8am-2am. Open 24/7/365.

McPeck Scene

A Funny Perspective
sarahmcpeck.com

By Sarah McPeck

The Teaches of Peaches

Pay attention you queer cats and kittens! We have a hot and fresh Peaches interview coming your way! I chatted with Peaches about the 20th anniversary of The Teaches of Peaches! She will perform the entire album at each concert. The Teaches of Peaches tour is the singer’s first since 2017. Her latest record is Rub and she recently had an art show called Whose Jizz Is This? We talked about how the tour is going, ageism in the music industry, costumes, and her favorite snacks. There are still tickets available for the concert on August 19th! Contact the Varsity box office! 

Peaches is an iconic musician, performance artist and feminist. She has stood at the front of the line and charged the gates with her passion for truth and justice. A staple in the electroclash music scene, Peaches has consistently blurred gender lines, courted controversy with cheeky lyrics and never asked for permission to create. This has resulted in a fan base that stands behind her through thick and thin. Currently, Peaches is in the middle of a worldwide tour of the twentieth anniversary of the album, The Teaches of Peaches.

Congratulations on the twenty-year anniversary of The Teaches of Peaches. When you were creating the album did you think it was going to resonate with so many people?
I had no idea. I really had no idea. I knew I liked it. I knew it. The music felt good. And it felt fresh to me. And I was excited to play it for people, which felt good to you know. But I really had no idea what would happen with it. Or nor did I have dreams of grandeur of where it would go.

What was going on in your life, during the creation of that album?
There was a bad breakup. And yeah, a renewed renewing of my situation because it was, you know, living with personal everything. And, under a renewed idea of what music is too. You know, taking more of an understanding that you can do production yourself and make music you want and the way you want to do it and presenting lyrics in that way, you know, just taking control of music instead of trying to fit in some way.

You definitely blur the lines of gender. You are a provocateur and someone who doesn’t shy away from pushing boundaries. What is the impetus for this and for the art that you make?
I think it is just questioning why things are the certain standards they are or why they are that way. And if they are that way, why I don’t feel comfortable with them that way. People should feel comfortable in the world that they live in and be able to be who they need to be. So that’s the impetus.

Do you have a favorite song to perform from The Teaches of Peaches?
I’m not trying to be diplomatic about the songs, but it’s just exciting to play the whole album, you know, because I would have shied away from a few of the songs. Like this song, Felix Partz, there’s no lyrics, so why should I do that? Doing all of them, I found their way, their performance power, which is that each one is different. I’ve reprogrammed all of the songs on to the original machine again because I didn’t have the songs recorded anymore. That was really exciting too! Remember this machine is half digital and half analog. So, it’s not like you have endless possibilities. Also, I’m not really that nerdy, I’m not! So, I was like, “Oh, sounds good, great move on.” You know, that was sort of my way doing it. The first couple of songs are all in the same BPM because I didn’t even know how to change the BPM.

When I think of a song like, Lovertits that has literally a drum beat and one sound. It’s a baseline. And when I wanted to make a bridge, I just did one note, instead of three notes that I was playing. And then when I wanted to ramp it up, I just sort of filtered that sound. Then it sounded like it was ramping up to a new part. Then that filtered version of that same sound made it sound like a new part. Then when I wanted to make it a new part, all I did was do an octave higher. Really, it’s one sound, the whole song.

When I was reprogramming, I went back to the power of minimal because this machine also could only record eight sounds. I probably never used all eight sounds on those because I was like “Oh, that’s all I need.” I need a bass sound, the base of a melody and then some sort of transitional sound or some kind of riff or some kind of sound that you hang on to. So, it was really interesting, going back and realizing the power in that.

You were on season two of the L Word. Did you have fun filming with the cast? Were you a fan of the show beforehand?
I had actually never seen the show. I already lived in Europe. And there wasn’t internet TV on every station yet. I knew about it. It was really fun that they wanted me to do it. They were like, okay we want you to wear your beard from the album cover and do I U She. And we want you to pull someone on stage and have an encounter. It was super fun. It was super fun.

Do you have a favorite TV show that you’re watching now or any binge worthy series that you relax with?
I am just about to finish, Better Call Saul. It is so intense. I just really think the writing is incredible. And it’s just so psychological and engaging, which is really not easy to do. There are a lot of shows that just end up with so much extraneous things that you’re like, “Could you just hold back a little bit?” I also love Atlanta. I just never saw the third season, so I’m watching that now. I binged watched and really loved, Working Moms.

Do you think ageism is getting better in the music industry?
I do, there’s no way out if it. I mean, people are growing older and they’re like, “I’m sexy, I look great. And I don’t care what you think.” It’s cool to see. I think Christina Aguilera is going a good route right now in terms of like, I’m just performing. I’m just like fuck you. I don’t care.

I love that you use so much comedy in your performance and I know you did a video with Margaret Cho for Dick in the Air. Why is it that you choose comedy as part of your artistic expression?
I think that it’s such a powerful force in getting your point across. You can really be you. You can really get a difficult message through by softening people up, to relaxing into it and then give them the punch, so that they don’t feel threatened by it. Right? You can enjoy it.

Do you have any favorite comedians?
Maria Bamford is just incredible. Also, you know, more of an independent but amazing, is Dynasty Handbag. I really am appreciating that work right now.

Who designs your costumes?
It’s all different people. Actually, there’s a whole article from Forbes magazine, believe it or not, it’s funny and is really extensive on the history of my costumes. Read the Forbes article here: forbes.com

What’s your favorite go to snack?
Oh, well right now, it’s Whisps. Do you know Whisps? It is like they’re a cheese cracker, but there is no cracker in it. It’s just like, kind of crispy cheese. They come in parmesan or cheddar. They’re really rich because it’s just like crunchy cheese. I’m just eating way too many of them. I can’t get them in Europe.

Don’t miss your chance to see Peaches sing the entire album of The Teaches of Peaches at the Varsity on August 19th at 7:00 PM. 

"Fuck the Pain Away"

The Teaches of Peaches Anniversary Tour 2022
ON SALE NOW! www.teachesofpeaches.com

Peaches performs on Full Frontal with Samantha Bee.

Muffin Top Cafe

1424 Nicollet Ave, Mpls, MN 55403 
muffintopcafe.com | (612) 315-5946

A locally owned and operated Coffee House in the Loring Park Neighborhood of Minneapolis featuring a full bar with happy hour 8-10AM & 3-6PM Mon-Fri

Derek Please

Beauty for Everybody derekplease.com

By Derek Murawski-Harguth

CAUGHT IN THE ACT: A MEMOIR

Behind SHANE JENEK’s rise to global fame as beloved drag queen COURTNEY ACT is a story of searching for and finding oneself. Told with Courtney’s trademark candor and wit, CAUGHT IN THE ACT: A MEMOIR (Pantera Press Trade Paperback Original: September 13, 2022) is a hilarious, often scandalous, and at times heartbreaking, peek into the entertainment icon’s journey towards understanding gender, sexuality and identity. In CAUGHT IN THE ACT: A MEMOIR, Courtney writes about growing up in Brisbane, Australia in the 80s and 90s and how adolescent Shane’s unconventional angst was pitted against the love of his traditionally wholesome parents. She shares tales of the thrill in discovering the Sydney drag scene and then unflinchingly recounts her adventures into its seedier side that led her to dabbling in methamphetamines and multiple sexual encounters with a broad spectrum of sexualities and genders including straight-identifying men. Of course, Courtney also dives deep into her wild ride into the world of entertainment, losing so many TV reality shows and finally winning one. There's lots of Drag Race tea spilled, too, including her shaky introduction to Adore Delano and oh, the time RuPaul blocked her on Twitter. In CAUGHT IN THE ACT: A MEMOIR, Courtney Act does what she does best: she dazzles and titillates. At the same time, her honest reflections help readers to reexamine and appreciate wrong choices they may have made that ironically helped steer them toward the right path on their own life’s journey. Derek had the chance to chat with Shane about the memoir. 

Australian drag superstar Courtney Act — known for her iconic run on RuPaul’s Drag Race season 6, and reality TV appearances across the globe — will release her hardcover book Caught in the Act: A Memoir stateside on Tuesday, September 13. The book is available digitally as an eBook and audiobook now. 

In it, she recounts her rise to global fame and journey toward understanding gender, sexuality and identity. I had the chance to interview the indeed fabulous former Celebrity Big Brother (UK) contestant. Read on for our candid conversation.

In your new memoir Caught in the Act, you write about your time with Australian pop duo The Veronicas. Do you have a favorite song by them? 
Oooh. I mean, Untouched is a banger. Um, yeah, I’m gonna go with Untouched.

Is there a moment that you wanted to include in the book, but was edited out? 
I wrote 220,000 words, and they trimmed it down to like 80,000. So there is a lot of moments that were edited out. And I think for the best. I think what remains is the best, um, and the most constructive content of what was written.

Do you have any fun memories from recording the audiobook version of Caught in the Act? 
Well, I recorded it all, and then I listened to it back. And it sounded too much like a children’s book, like I was reading it far too enthusiastically. I finished it early, and I was like it is possible for me to go back? Not is it possible, I have to go and re-record this, I just cannot um have it released like this. I was like I’m happy to pay for the studio time, I don’t mind. So I actually re-recorded the first eight chapters. Although Google Play, the wrong version went up onto Google Play. So the people [that] initially downloaded it from there got the wrong version, because I could hear all these children’s book versions of sex stories and whenever I asked people where they were getting it from, they said Google Play. I believe that it’s all been replaced now. Now only the approved version remains.

You write about your experience on Celebrity Big Brother (UK). Do you still keep in touch with any fellow contestants?
No.

Have any of your friends or family read your book? What’s their reaction been like? 
Yeah. Mom and dad have read the book, and my friend Vanity read the book. I mean everybody who’s in the book had to read their parts before it got published anyways, so it could get approval from them. But generally speaking, um, yeah everybody’s read it and loved it. I think in context from beginning to end it all makes sense, like you can pull out some quotes about, you know, rimming or crystal meth that might seem extreme. But I think when you go on the whole journey of the book, it all fits in. And that’s why like act one was important. I think the book really kicks in at act two when I arrive in Sydney, and things start getting wild. But I think you need act one to help contextualize everything.

Have you worked with any of the queens of RuPaul’s Drag Race Down Under? 
Well, Maxi Shield, Coco Jumbo. I mean at the time of the show aired, I think it was just Maxi and Coco that I knew from real life. And I knew of Art Simone. Um, season two, Minnie Cooper and I have worked together for many years. She is really the only one old enough for me to have worked with. All of the others are young chickens, but I do know Kween Kong and I have seen her perform, and I think she is amazing. Um and of course little Hans, Hannah Conda, I know because she’s worked with my big sister Vanity for many years, and she’s a wonderful and talented, lovely queen.

Do you think you’ll ever record music with The AAA Girls again? 
Uh, you know, maybe we’ll do a twentieth anniversary reunion where we perform on the rooftop of some bar in West Hollywood. Uh, though we did make a music video for a song from our album Access All Areas. The song being, “When the Water Runs Clear.” We just shot that last week in Los Angeles. So that will be coming out soon, in conjunction with the release of our tour documentary from 2017, which is called Access All Areas. We filmed it on our North American tour and we edited it all up, [but] we didn’t release it until now. We had our premiere last Thursday, and it will be coming to a streaming service near you.

As a fan, I’m dying to know: When we can expect new solo music? 
I wrote and recorded a whole new album for my live show Fluid, which debuted in Sydney in February 2020. But then the world shut down, so [I’ve] just been waiting for the right time now that the world is open again to look at touring again and releasing that music, but there is a whole album of really wonderful stuff that I’m excited for everybody to hear. Actually I’m in a taxi on my way from Sydney airport to home after being away for two months, and I just saw a billboard for Six the Musical, the Broadway musical. The West End, Broadway, Sydney Opera House musical that won a bunch of Tony’s this year. I actually wrote a couple of songs from the new album, which is called Fluid, with Lucy and Toby, who wrote Six. They are on the album, and I love their song, and I can’t wait for [people] to hear them.

Lush Lounge & Theater

990 Central Ave NE Mpls, MN 55413 lushmpls.com | (612) 208-0035

We are the premier destination for live music, comedy, drag, burlesque and so much more. Lush is a special place tucked away in Northeast Minneapolis featuring a wide selection of cocktails and savory bites.

Austyn Owens
Gay 90s Friday, Saturday, and Sunday

Bottoms Up! Bartenders of the Twin Cities

What should we know about you?
I can remember your drink better than I can remember your name.

Hidden Talent?
Finding the perfect meme or gif to express myself in conversation.

Bartending pet peeve.
Leaving the receipt on the spill mat, the wettest place on the whole bar.

Craziest thing you've witness?
After working here for 3 years, nothing shocks me anymore.

Single, ready to mingle?
Single, yes. Mingle? Only if your idea of a good time is staying home and cuddling for days.

Give some advice.
Tip or stay home.

Mixology:
Rocket Pop (AKA, “IDK Something Fruity”)
Kinky Blue, Peach Schnapps, Lemonade and a splash of Cranberry layered on top.

Gay 90's

515 Washington Ave S Mpls, Mn 55415 gay90s.com | (612) 338-4214

The Gay 90's is the place to be! Gay, straight, friendly, beautiful People. 6 bars, 3 dance floors, dinner, and drag show.

TEAMM8 Sportwear
Fall Collection

Celebrates Unity in Community with Gender Neutral Gear.

TEAMM8

Sports brand TEAMM8 is taking the concepts of diversity and inclusion to the next level this fall with its first ever gender-neutral gear, TEAMM8 ONE. The new capsule leisure wear collection showcases three tones from its top-selling Skin underwear line ⎯ Amazing, Gorgeous and Stunning ⎯ redesigned as track pants, hoodies and track shorts. All pieces in the collection can be worn by all genders, because whether one’s pronouns are They, He or She, everyone demands to feel seen, heard and respected this season.

“TEAMM8 ONE is an extension of our Skin line,” Michal Nicolas, the brand’s founding director, confirms. “’Skin’ reflects the beauty of all people from all races and emphasizes how differences should be embraced rather than challenged. The same message applies in our ‘ONE’ collection but its focus is on celebrating gender.”

“Both collections are about finding the strength and determination to be comfortable in the skin we are in and to recognize that true community is found in coming together as one,” he continues. “Today’s generation is shunning antiquated beliefs on identity, sexuality and gender and we’re playing this game of life by our own rules.”

The TEAMM8 ONE campaign was shot in Sydney, Australia. TEAMM8 gathered models of different ethnicities, ages and genders and shot them in gear that matched their skin tones. They then allowed the models to choose tones they wanted to try. “We learned there is power in embracing skin that is different from one’s own,” Nicolas says. “It opens minds.”

Michal Nicolas launched TEAMM8 from his living room in 2008 with a simple website and two styles of men’s underwear. In the beginning, he operated and managed every facet of the business on his own. That quickly changed as his designs acquired a large following, especially in the USA. Today, the line has grown to include a wide range of underwear styles, swimwear and athletic wear.

“The world is a very different place today than when we launched fourteen years ago,” Nicolas reflects.

Being a boutique brand has allowed TEAMM8 the flexibility to adjust to his customers’ changing needs and preferences. “We’ve always based are decisions on authenticity. Our core customer is the ‘everyday champion,’ not necessarily an athlete. They are champions in whatever fields they choose to play on.”

In addition to its Skin and ONE lines, TEAMM8 recently introduced its first Bamboo Collection. The collection includes a bikini brief and a matching T-Shirt, as well as the brand’s first ever boxer short. A boxer short and matching rib tank were also added to TEAMM8’s classic underwear line.

For more risqué looks, TEAMM8 has released its AERIAL brief and jock, featuring see-through mesh in brooding dark hues and its SPARTACUS line of super bold and colorful sports brief, jock and thongs. The label is also re-releasing its best-selling SCORE collection (with its sheer peek-a-boo design across the sides of the brief and jock) and the ICON sports brief, jock and thong, in exciting vibrant colors.

“Our customers don’t follow trends, they drive them,” Nicolas sums up. “They demand gear that allows them to stand out from the crowd.”    

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