For the past few years, as part of our annual Queer Issue, we've rounded up a few of the people who have inspired us with their unique approaches to queer life. Whether they're activists, artists, performers, or just plain hot-to-trot rabble-rousers, they've made our queer hearts beat a little faster (and reminded us of the fantastic diversity and dedication of the community). This year, we've gathered together another Hot Pink bunch, and asked them. "What inspires you right now -- and what could the queer community use more of?" This year's Hot Pink List was photographed by Keeney + Law.
Singer, performer, social worker, photographer, glamour girl — Miss Honey Mahogany (www.itshoney.com) does it all and leaves you breathless. Catch up with her on the SFMOMA Pride Parade float (a drag salute to Paris, 1928) on Sunday, June 26, and look for her forthcoming EP this summer. "I feel really lucky to be coming of age as a performer at a time when there seem to be more and more queers out there in the public eye. Whether it be in popular media, politics, art, advocacy work, research ... we are everywhere! One thing I would really like to see in the next few years is the rise of new, massively popular gay icons ... and I mean ICONS, not celebrities. I think the world is ready for that. In fact, I think the world needs it."
ROSE SLAM! JOHNSON
Have fun or make a difference? Bike-food-community activist Rose Slam! Johnson has found the two can make hot partners. She helped plan SF Bike Coalition's Bike to School Day, and merrily oversees the Western Addition's Urban Eating League, Apothocurious (a bike-powered organic food subscription service, www.apothocurious.com), and her own queer adult outdoors camp. This summer, she's embarking on an multimonth bike ride and camping with Northwest queer youth. "Fear and defensiveness often distract us. By bringing people together around things we are passionate about — food, bikes, community, fun — we are able to move towards love, acceptance, and healing."
KB BOYCE AND CELESTE CHAN
The masterminds behind Queer Rebels (www.queerrebels.com), an organization that showcases queer artists of color, KB and Celeste are involved in everything from Community United Against Violence (www.cuav.org) to "TuffNStuff: The Last Delta Drag King," KB's musical act. Upcoming "Queer Rebels of the Harlem Renaissance" (Friday, July 1 and Saturday, July 2), part of the national Queer Arts Festival (www.queerculturalcenter.org) is a stage extravaganza celebrating that great period. And TuffNStuff performs at the Trans March Rally (www.transmarch.org) Friday, June 24 from 3:30 p.m.-6:30 p.m. "We are inspired by new queer work that creates our own myths, reveals hidden histories, and is unapologetically, riotously gay!"
ALIX P. SHEDD
"It's very rare to find an aesthetically dedicated queer space that isn't centered around alcohol, includes queer youth, and is right for all different kinds of performers and performances. Somewhere you can scream, dance, and love everything that's gay." So Alix (with help from Lorin Murphy and a ton of volunteers) found a space, painted it pink, and launched the Big Gay Warehouse (www.biggaywarehouse.org). For the past year, the bGw has hosted many of the city's most intriguing queercentric events, from punk concerts and video nights to sensory derangements and environmental makeovers. Alas, bGw's days are numbered due to rising rents, but Alix — who's also involved in trans-women-empowering nonprofit thrift store the Junque Shoppe and designs a clothing line called Apocalypse Vintage — already has the next move in mind.
MICAH TRON (WITH DJ JEANINE DA FEEN)
Super-sharp MC Micah Tron has been rising through the Bay's hip-hop ranks with a deep electric sound and sexy come-ons. Check her out at www.soundcloud.com/Micahtron and peep her forthcoming EP "Jungle Music," produced by the HOTTUB crew. She'll be performing at the Crooked party at the Showdown on Friday, June 24 and on the Pride celebration main stage (www.sfpride.org) on Sunday, June 26 at 11:50 a.m. with her DJ Jeanine Da Feen. "Walking the streets of San Francisco inspire me, there's nothing like being surrounded by people who aren't afraid to be themselves. Our community could use more self-acceptance — we're beautiful people!"
JOCQUESE "JOQ" WHITFIELD
Work! Voguer extraordinaire, Jocquese teaches the wonderful Tuesday night Vogue and Tone class — "a dance class with a party feel" — at Dance Mission Theatre (www.dancemission.com). He's also part of the raucous Miss Honey nightlife crew and is a collaborator, with Shireen Rahimi, on the West Coast Dopest Outsiders youth life skills program, encouraging "movement through movement." He'll be performing at Crooked and Pride with Micah Tron. "I think we live in a society where we place sexuality on everything. I want to strip that away and tell people to just be themselves and dance."
DIEGO GOMEZ/ TRANGELA LANSBURY
George Washington was due for a kick-ass sex change — so artist and illustrator Diego Gomez (designnurd.blogspot.com) started painting colorful characters like Storm from X-Men, She-Ra, and Jem on dollar bills, a.k.a. "Diego Dollars." As the designer for Tweaker.org, he gets out valuable information from the San Francisco AIDS Foundation. He's currently illustrating an "all-Latin porn-graphic novel" called Spicey and a comic book called "CuntBricks," making clothes and accessories for Barney's New York and local boutique Sui Generis, crafting with his "Needle X Change" knitting group, performing as his alter ego Trangela Landsbury, and a ton of other neon-bright activities. "I'd like to see more glitter and gold in the future and 'happy' surprises (not to mention endings)."
CHRISTOPHER REYNOLDS AND ALYSIA SEBASTIANI
Sustainability was all the queer conceptual rage this past year — but Christopher and Alysia, the powerhouses behind landscape design firm Reynolds-Sebastiani (www.reynolds-sebastiani.com) have been setting the principles in motion by designing and maintaining spaces throughout the city that morph norms to create alternative environments that adapt to change. Recent projects include a redesign of the Phoenix Hotel grounds, to be unveiled at Juanita More's Pride Party on Sunday, June 26 and a show of amazing terrariums using vintage bottles they unearthed at St. Francis Fountain in the Mission's new event space, Candy Kitchen, opening Thursday, June 23, 6 p.m.-10 p.m., and continuing for two weeks. "Like any cultural paradigm shift, sustainable practices must reach and change the popular vernacular in order to become truly sustainable — in this way they're like queer culture," says Christopher.