I originally wasn’t going to do a review post this year. It can feel a bit unnecessarily self-aggrandizing. But, late 2022 and January 2023 have been rough! Sometimes looking back is a great way to realign yourself, remind yourself of your goals, and celebrate what you’ve accomplished in the face of so much hardship. This post is serving those purposes for me!
Let’s get into it: from hosting parties to speaking engagements, published work, and even my first-ever keynote speeches (I gave two keynotes this year!), here’s my 2022 in Review!
On February 1st, I was the Black History Month Keynote Speaker at NEOMED. You can find the official write-up here. This was indeed one of my favorite lectures I’ve ever given. The students and faculty were very interactive; we learned and laughed together. A staff member in attendance for the lecture wrote the following:
In February, we also announced that Mx. Juneteenth: A Black & Queer Liberation Celebration would be returning for its second year. Mx. Juneteenth is a community festival I founded in 2021 that is built of an abolitionist, liberating, and celebratory foundation. With a help of an amazing leadership team, Zoe Bryon, DeNavya Tolbert, and Alex Frazier, we announced and started planning for Mx. Juneteenth 2022!
The first weekend of March we held our first fundraiser for Mx. Juneteenth 2022: Party with a Pisces. This doubled as a birthday celebration for myself and Zoe. And, I can say without bias, it was a great time!
Party with a Pisces was the first party I ever hosted. I was just having a good time, it turns out I was actually good at it. This opened the door for me to start working in nightlife as a host and MC. The first official gig I hosted was HUNNY, presented by Broken Aracde Media Production.
Also in March, I gave my second keynote of the year at OACAC Guiding The Way to Inclusion Annual Conference! Another life-changing experience for me!
Thankfully, April was a quiet month. I needed the time to focus on planning Mx. Juneteenth!
I hosted another party with Broken Arcade Media Production titled Trash and Thrash!
That same weekend, I was at Creation 4.0: Revival to promote Mx. Juneteenth. I also gave a small educational segment about the history of Juneteenth, what it actually commemorates, and debunked some common historical misconceptions & misinformation when it comes to the Civil War, enslavement, the Emancipation Proclamation, and “freedom” (remember y’all, I was a history professor not too long ago). Also, my outfit was on point that night!
Between Pride and Juneteenth, June is easily the busiest month of the year!
I started the month with Twist Night Club; fundraising for Mx. Juneteenth at their Pride Drag Bingo. Thanks to the wonderful Malibu Peru, we raised about $700 that night!
That same weekend was Cleveland Pride. I failed to get a picture there, but I did give a short speech on Juneteenth and promoted Mx. Juneteenth.
A few days later, I sat down with Cleveland Public Library to discuss “Commercializing Culture” hosted by the amazing Chris Tanaka! You can watch it here.
Right after that, I sat down for an interview with Cleveland.com to discuss the importance of Juneteenth and to promote Mx. Juneteenth. Check it out here.
Shortly after that, I participated in a News segment with Fox19 concerning the commercialization of Juneteenth and Pride. I can’t locate my interview portion, but check out the article here!
The day before Mx. Juneteenth, I was on a panel hosted by the incomparable Eris Eady on the topic of Abortion as Liberation. I was on the panel alongside Lique Gates and Traci Person.
Then, it was time for the big day. Mx. Juneteenth 2022 was here! We served 100s of attendees, presented an amazing cast of performances, provided vaccines and booster shots, Central Office tested about 70 attendees for HIV and STI screening, and more. It was truly amazing!
July – August
July & August were a much-needed months off!
I got back in my writing bag this month. I published an essay with Belt Magazine about the absurdity of the phrase “police accountability.” Check it out here.
This month, I had the pleasure of MC’ing the party of the year: Freak Lick: Taste Like Beyonce. A night full of Beyonce with an amazing cast of Cleveland’s most talented drag artists and go-gos: Kardi Redd Diamond, Joliee Blak, Dakota Cox, Nintedou Arcade, and Queue!
Later that month, I hosted a Halloween party with Broken Arcade titled HUNNY: Scream Queen!
The morning of HUNNY, I had the immense pleasure to interview the LEGEND herself: Latrice Royale as a part of the grand opening of Studio West 117 Fieldhouse. It was a pleasure and it started my interview series: Drag With A Leftist. The child of a podcast I founded and co-hosted: Drag From The Left. You can listen to my interview with Latrice here.
Unfortunately, I had to speak at a Candlelight Vigil for the victims of Club Q in Colorado Springs. I hate that we get having to have these; we HAVE to deal with this white supremacist violence is dealt with head-on!
I ended the year by interviewing my second guest for my interview series, the multi-talented Aaron Williams. We talked about artistry, ballroom, appropriation, religion, manifestation, and more! Check it out here.
There you have it, a glimpse into my 2022. What this year shows is the complexity & manifoldness (is that a word?) of my person and me as an artist. I host parties, give keynotes, write, organize community festivals, and more. No box can contain me. I’m taking that energy into the rest of 2023.
Watch me work!