Queer Voices

October 11th 2023 Queer Voices

October 12, 2023 Queer Voices
October 11th 2023 Queer Voices
Queer Voices
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Queer Voices
October 11th 2023 Queer Voices
Oct 12, 2023
Queer Voices

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We speak with Amanda Rose, president of Katy Pride, and their plans for this event.  Anticipate a weekend filled with advocacy, acceptance, and celebration as she unveils a sneak peek into the lineup of vendors, riveting entertainment, and the cascading events from the kick-off party at Postino Cinco Ranch to the after-party at the First Christian Church of Katy.

Guest: Amanda Rose
https://fcckaty.org/katypride/

Next, we shift gears into a world bedazzled with sequins and feathers, as David Sartie, a.k.a. Chloe Knox, takes us down a captivating journey into the realm of drag pageantry. Listen closely as David unveils how at the tender age of 15, he stepped into the spotlight of drag and how it played a pivotal role in his personal and professional trajectory. Learn about David's experiences with homophobia and the reflective role of his mother's support. Get a glimpse of his flair for fashion as he navigates through his unique drag style.

Guest: Chloe Knox
http://www.missgayamerica.com/chloe-knox.html

And finally, step into the shoes of the multifarious Hunny Marie - a socialite, realtor, and artist. Join us as we walk through the pages of her book, 'She's a Runner, She's a Trackstar: How Love Became an Anchor,' and discover how her past experiences shaped this poignant tale. Engage with her advocacy for mental health awareness and her upcoming book tour. Be sure not to miss out as Honey invites us all to her book launch on October 22nd, and shares a portal to her online world. Buckle up, beloved listeners, as this episode is an adventure you don't want to miss.

Guest: Hunny Marie
https://www.hunnymarie.com/

Queer Voices airs in Houston Texas on 90.1FM KPFT and is heard as a podcast here. Queer Voices hopes to entertain as well as illuminate LGBTQ issues in Houston and beyond. Check out our socials at:

https://www.facebook.com/QueerVoicesKPFT/ and
https://www.instagram.com/queervoices90.1kpft/

Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Send us a Text Message.

We speak with Amanda Rose, president of Katy Pride, and their plans for this event.  Anticipate a weekend filled with advocacy, acceptance, and celebration as she unveils a sneak peek into the lineup of vendors, riveting entertainment, and the cascading events from the kick-off party at Postino Cinco Ranch to the after-party at the First Christian Church of Katy.

Guest: Amanda Rose
https://fcckaty.org/katypride/

Next, we shift gears into a world bedazzled with sequins and feathers, as David Sartie, a.k.a. Chloe Knox, takes us down a captivating journey into the realm of drag pageantry. Listen closely as David unveils how at the tender age of 15, he stepped into the spotlight of drag and how it played a pivotal role in his personal and professional trajectory. Learn about David's experiences with homophobia and the reflective role of his mother's support. Get a glimpse of his flair for fashion as he navigates through his unique drag style.

Guest: Chloe Knox
http://www.missgayamerica.com/chloe-knox.html

And finally, step into the shoes of the multifarious Hunny Marie - a socialite, realtor, and artist. Join us as we walk through the pages of her book, 'She's a Runner, She's a Trackstar: How Love Became an Anchor,' and discover how her past experiences shaped this poignant tale. Engage with her advocacy for mental health awareness and her upcoming book tour. Be sure not to miss out as Honey invites us all to her book launch on October 22nd, and shares a portal to her online world. Buckle up, beloved listeners, as this episode is an adventure you don't want to miss.

Guest: Hunny Marie
https://www.hunnymarie.com/

Queer Voices airs in Houston Texas on 90.1FM KPFT and is heard as a podcast here. Queer Voices hopes to entertain as well as illuminate LGBTQ issues in Houston and beyond. Check out our socials at:

https://www.facebook.com/QueerVoicesKPFT/ and
https://www.instagram.com/queervoices90.1kpft/

Speaker 1:

Hello everybody, this is Queer Voices, a home-produced podcast that has grown out of a radio show that's been on the air in Houston, texas, for several decades. This week, wendy Taylor talks with Amanda Rose, the president of Katie Pride, an event which will be held this coming Saturday.

Speaker 2:

This is a community event. There are plenty of people in the Katie West Houston community that want to be a partner, so we're really seeing the future that, you know. I mean the sky's the limit right now. We think we'll have like 1,500 to 2,000 people attend. That's like in our mind what we're thinking. I believe it's actually going to be more than that. So maybe we're just trying to be conservative and number and make it feel better. I don't really know.

Speaker 1:

Brett Cullum talks with local performer and artist David Sartie about drag pageantry.

Speaker 3:

I wasn't sure if pageantry was for me. I didn't think that I was the kind of person that would excel in pageants. Then I saw my friends doing it and I thought, well, I just want to tag along, basically, and it all just sort of took off from there.

Speaker 1:

Tiffany Scales has a conversation with Honey Marie about her new autobiographical book.

Speaker 4:

Chapter one is about my parents and my parents love story. It was okay to be a cheater with them. I watched them because I was growing up. I watched them cheat while they were married to other people, have a whole secret life, so I could be connected. That was okay.

Speaker 1:

And we have news wrap from this Way Out Queer Voices starts now.

Speaker 5:

You're listening to Queer Voices. I am Wendy Taylor. Today we're talking with a representative of Katie Pride, Amanda Rose. Hi, Amanda. Hey how are you doing today, Wendy? I'm doing fantastic. Thank you so much for joining the show. I wanted to talk to you about this Katie Pride event. Do you want to tell us when it is?

Speaker 2:

Sure Katie Pride is happening on Saturday, october 14th, from 11 am till 4 pm.

Speaker 5:

That's exciting.

Speaker 2:

It's the inaugural celebration and we're super excited about it?

Speaker 5:

Is there a theme this year?

Speaker 2:

No, there's really no theme. I mean, the entire theme of Katie Pride is just about advocating acceptance and community and so building that community. So if you want to say there's a theme, that's the theme. We just want to bring people together for a celebration to honor everyone's individuality, celebrate who they are and to know they're accepted and wanted in the Katie West Houston community.

Speaker 5:

Is there going to be a festival, or is it just a parade?

Speaker 2:

It's actually just a festival. We are not doing a parade, so it's just a festival we will have over. As I looked at the numbers last night, I think we were around 53 vendors, different things. A lot of them are advocacy groups, some are just informational, some, of course, you can buy your amazing price merchandise that people make out there and we'll have entertainment. So it's just a fun, and it really is. It's a family oriented festival because we'll have an area for kids, some inflatables, just food trucks, just the time people can come and be in community with others, whether they're a member of the LGBTQ plus community or they're an ally.

Speaker 5:

Is there going to be anybody who is performing or hosting?

Speaker 2:

The host. I guess you could say I will kick off the festival when we start. So we don't have a big name performer or anything. One of the when we started Katie Pride not that long ago, to be honest with you, we really wanted it to be community based and community entertainment. So we have a local community member who does spoken word poetry. We have a local band that's going to perform, you know, for about 15, 20 minutes. There's a street performer out of Houston that we have reached out to that does a lot of covers and stuff like that. It's just good family environment. And we have a DJ and we're going to showcase the transparent closet which is a pre-clothing boutique for youth and young adults that are either transitioning or exploring their gender, and that closet is actually held at First Christian Church in Katie, which is the same location of the festival. So we're giving them space for entertainment to do a fashion show and kind of showcase this resource that they have. So it'll be fun.

Speaker 5:

First Christian Church of Katie is where it's going to be hosted. That's also where the after party is, and the after party is get wicked with the Queens at 5.30 on the 15th, so 5.30 on the 14th same day, 14th, thank you. I did have that written down. And we have some fantastic drag performers for that as well. We've got Kiki Dionne Van Wells, vegas Bancardier, desi Love Blake and Montario J Ross, who I have seen every single one of them perform, and they're everybody's in for a treat.

Speaker 2:

It's a great lineup. We're super excited to have Desi Love Blake. We know they're really active in the Houston drag scene and Montario. I have also seen them perform and just absolutely fall in love with their performances. And of course, kiki has done a lot for First Christian Church of Katie and their drag shows that they have done. Seeing Vegas and Cartier before too, so super excited. I'm excited for the whole day but I'm really excited for that.

Speaker 5:

There is also a kickoff party, right.

Speaker 2:

Yes, there's a kickoff on Thursday, october 12th, at 6.30 pm at Postino Cinco Ranch, which is in La Cintera, that whole complex of shopping and dining, just a few hours to be with the community, enjoy some drinks, some hors d'oeuvres, just to kind of kick off what's going to be an amazing weekend, because we are kind of thinking it's really a weekend Because once you start the kickoff, people are just going to have fun and they're going to enjoy the entire weekend.

Speaker 5:

What made you decide to do a Katie Pride?

Speaker 2:

In the Katie community. There are pockets where you know the LGBTQ community is accepted and welcomed, but there's not a strong presence. I mean, I'll just name that. There's not a strong presence. And there's some of the work that First Christian Church Katie has done in the Katie community having the transparent closet, hosting drag shows, showing up to support at the school board meetings because of some of the policies and issues that are being presented at Katie ISD it was obvious there's a gap.

Speaker 2:

Houston is great and there's amazing resources and you have Montrose, the Montrose Center, the Montrose area, all that is great. But you know, houston is such a large city that, being out in Katie West Houston, that's not necessarily accessible for everyone for a variety of reasons Like transportation, financial, and sometimes it's just they don't have the time, you know, because it is kind of a drive you have to plan like it's their traffic and things like that, and not everyone wants to feel like they need to go somewhere else. They want to be a part of their community where they live and so, through those things that I had mentioned, a couple of us were like we should totally do a Katie Pride and at first it was really just a thought bubble that was put out there and then, as more has happened in Katie over the past, to say the past year it was like we really should do this. I think it was May is when we got serious about the conversation and four of us sat down and committed like we will sit on the board for this year and we're going to bring a lot of community people involved as well, because we can't do it ourselves and did it, you know, did all the legal stuff, got formed an LLC, got our nonprofit status and just kind of went with it.

Speaker 2:

We have been working with Woodlands Pride, who have been great supporters of us and helping us along the way and what to do, what not to do, lessons they learned from when they started and we've just done that. The support from the community and community businesses and members of the community has been phenomenal and we drew me as the president of Katie. Pride just reinforces why what we're doing is so needed in this area. That's really where it came from. It's just from seeing things, hearing things, some of the hate that was happening and the really negative comments. It's like, no, there's life outside of the loop and people want to be in their community and their community and we want to make sure people know that they're welcome and valued and they belong here.

Speaker 5:

What do you see in the future for Katie Pride?

Speaker 2:

So we're super excited about this first event that's coming up in two weeks I mean, it's two weeks from today, which is really kind of scary but super exciting at the same time and we've already the four board members like I said, we're not the sole ones planning it. We've already talked about how we would do some things differently and we've really talked about how are we getting other people on the board, because this is a community event. There are plenty of people in the Katie West Houston community that want to be a part of this. So we're really seeing the future. Is that, you know? I mean, the sky's the limit right now.

Speaker 2:

We think we'll have like 1,500 to 2,000 people attend. That's like, in our mind, what we're thinking. I believe it's actually going to be more than that. So maybe we're just trying to be conservative and number who make us feel better. I don't really know. But I think we're going to have a great response and we see this growing to where, right now, first Christian Church Katie is allowing us to host the event on their property, because they do have a decent amount of property. But we believe that either in a year or two years we will not be able to host a year because they physically will not be enough space, because there's going to be that much support and interest from the community that wants to be a part of this.

Speaker 5:

So it's interesting that a church is the home for this. What else has the church been doing?

Speaker 2:

First Christian Church, katie. I know sometimes people are like it's a gay people church, like they don't mix, it's oil and water. And that's not the case for First Christian Church, katie. They're an open and affirming church and they don't just say that, they follow it up and they act on that. And so they've have the transparent closet. They, as I mentioned earlier, for youth and young adults that are transitioning or exploring their gender. It's a free clothing boutique. All the items are donated. People can come in and take as much as they want, as much as they need shop, make donations, because those donations are done through the church in their 501c3. So that's a great resource. So they've been doing that. They've also been hosting I think it's almost exactly a year the church hosted their first Drag Zingo, which last year at this time when that happened, they had 500 of their closest protesting friends across the street from the church and that brought a lot of attention and so. But that didn't stop the momentum. It actually said we're doing the right thing and we need to keep doing what we're doing. They were definitely not going to let hate win and so from there just kind of went forward, had hosted drag shows.

Speaker 2:

The church also hosts PFLAG PFLAG meetings once a month. This is a fourth Tuesday of every month. They host those and the church actually in August debuted, released, opened, put a word in there called K-Place, which is a youth, young adult safe space for the youth in the community. Because the church is really believed and I believe that the youth are our future. We want them to stay in our community, not really like, okay, I'm not welcome here, I'm not accepted, like I feel out of place here, that I need to leave and go somewhere else. So they've opened this space and in the same time PFLAG is happening, there's two queer therapists that come in and, kind of you know, just talk with, talk with any of the youth that come. You know it's not necessarily a therapy session but creating that environment, that safe space, that supportive environment and what resources are out there. So they've really done a lot and they're trailblazers in the Katie community because there's no other organization in Katie doing any of that, let alone a church.

Speaker 5:

If you're trying to build this around the community, where are the other places that you might be looking to keep this more of like a centralized like? In Houston we have the Montrose area or the Heights or something like that Does. Does Katie Pride have a plan for something like that?

Speaker 2:

We don't at this point because, to be really honest with you, there might be a small pocket here or there, but to know that there is support and people will be loved and welcomed regardless, that doesn't exist in Katie. It does not exist in Katie. First Christian Search Katie has really become that beacon of light for the LGBTQ community in Katie and so that's why we are having in here for our first year. We would love to have it here for our second year, but if we don't, it means that's successful and that well attended, that we needed to move, because it's just gonna keep bigger and keep getting bigger and bigger.

Speaker 5:

It sounds like it's going to be an exciting event and a wonderful place for people to bring their family Again. Let's say it's October 14th.

Speaker 2:

Saturday, october 14th, from 11 am until 4 pm, and then the after party, which is get wicked with the Queens, is the same day. So, october 14th, the show will start at 5 30 and the doors for that will open at 4 pm.

Speaker 5:

How is it being received so far by the community?

Speaker 2:

So far it's been great, considering things that have happened in the past when, like the church has done drag events, we haven't gotten any hate like that but people have been very well supportive. We have had some comments of not in Katie, not in my town, go to Houston, you know those types of things, but we haven't had anything that I would call serious threats or anything like that. We've really networked with groups in the area we know that are supportive of the LGBT community. We've leaned on friends and businesses that we know are supportive. They hate get this out to your network. We really had a great response. I say that like I can't remember the number of sponsors we have all across the board in a monetary range, but to have 53, I think, is what I said earlier. I think that's the number we're at of vendors and each day we seem to get someone else like, hey, I want to be a part of it.

Speaker 5:

I want to be a part of it. Let's talk about the history of Pride a little bit. Pride started as a protest. Will there be anything political there as far as the protest goes from Katie Pride?

Speaker 2:

We are not a where of any protesters coming, but you know, on any given day anything is possible and it is their right if they wish to protest. So we will not be surprised if some people show up protesting. That would not be shocking, just based on past history of things that have happened, and we believe in people's first free speech right to be able to protest as long as it is peaceful. That is what we are looking for. So we have not heard anything. We do work with local law enforcement to see if they hear any chatter, as they like to call it, and there has not been anything. But you never know, I'll say. I think having this in Katie, which has historically been a very conservative community, I think is a protest in and of itself.

Speaker 5:

Is there an agenda that you would be pushing for the year, or anything in particular that you like to touch on?

Speaker 2:

So, like I said, I think this is a protest in and of itself, and when we talk about Katie Pride and what we're trying to do, we really believe in the youth and that's the future of the community, and so we've gone out to KDIISD school board meetings, most recently when the board was discussing and unfortunately passed this gender fluidity policy which, out people in the LGBTQ community, is not inclusive. Lots of bad things have come from that, but we were there at the meeting to support. We've connected with local gay straight alliances or gender and sexuality clubs in the high schools whatever acronym they use. Working with First Christian Church Katie, we met with some of those student leaders to say we are here to support you. We want you a part of this community. I talked about Katie Pride and we're hosting any high school GSA that wants to come out and have a booth and promote themselves, maybe even raise money for themselves, because we really believe that is the future and that is also how change happens.

Speaker 5:

Now, when you say GSA, you mean Gay Straight Alliance.

Speaker 2:

Gay Straight Alliance. Some some of the groups in the high schools here refer to as a gender and sexuality club. Whatever acronym they use it, but it is a typical. What older generations might remember is like a GSA.

Speaker 5:

Now, you did bring up an interesting point earlier that I'd like to touch on, and that is security. Do you have a security plan in place to make sure that everybody saves?

Speaker 2:

Yes, we do have a security plan in place, as any large event should have in place. We do have that. There will be plenty of security people on property and the hope is that no one notices it, because that means your event was successful and nothing happened. That would have warranted people to really be aware of the security. We will have hired off-duty officers and some other things happening that I don't want to say because we hope no one ever has to see anything go into action.

Speaker 5:

This sounds like it's going to be an outstanding event. You're listening to Queer Voices and I am Wendy Taylor, and we're talking to Amanda Rose with Katie Pride. Amanda, thank you so much for coming on the show today to talk about Katie Pride and the event that you're having on October 14th. I hope you have an incredibly successful event.

Speaker 2:

I really appreciate the opportunity to share more information and get the word out about Katie Pride, because we're excited. This is the inaugural event and we know there's going to be lots of love and joy and fun, and that's what we want from people who are here and a part of the community.

Speaker 5:

Where can we find more information about Katie Pride?

Speaker 2:

If you want to go to the website, it's katieprideorg. Or if you follow us on social media, facebook and Instagram accounts are at katiepridelgbtq. Either one of those someone has a question. They want to reach out, get more information. They can reach out via social media or they're always welcome to email info at katieprideorg.

Speaker 1:

Coming up next on Queer Voices local performer and artist David Sartie, then local activist honey Marie, talking about the release of her new book this month.

Speaker 6:

This radio program we Are Voices has existed since the 1970s. On KPFT we have this little crew of folks working every week to produce what's no longer unique because we're almost mainstream now, but we're still an important voice that might not otherwise get heard because it's not on that many places. So KPFT is very important to give voices to those who might not otherwise have voices. So, as Glenn always says, you participate by listening. You should also participate by supporting the station. So please go to kptorg and make your donation right away.

Speaker 7:

Today, my guest on Queer Voices is David Sartie, who is better known to the world as Chloe Knox. She is a drag icon of Houston who has just won the Miss Gay Texas America title. Chloe has been a fixture on Houston's drag scene for years now. When not in a gown, david is an incredible visual artist and a strikingly tall, handsome guy. Welcome to the show, david, or, as I know you most affectionately, as Chloe. Thank you so much for having me. You just won Miss Gay Texas America, which was a huge thing, so tell us what that means for you. What are your responsibilities as Miss Gay Texas America? What are you going for next?

Speaker 3:

Well, I guess, holistically, what it means for me is, of course, the culmination of gosh, about six, seven years of work and just this moment of vindication of getting to do this job that I've been so eager to do and working towards. And then what it means in terms of the parameters of the job is, you know, heralding the preliminary competitions that will start next year after Nationals, because by rule, we can't start preliminaries until after Nationals. So I'll get to run orientation and overseas scores and do all of that work, traveling this big old state of ours. And, yeah, next on the books is Nationals, miss Gay America, which will be in Little Rock. So I'm going to get all that prepared and squared away.

Speaker 7:

I think what a lot of people don't know in the general community is what the pageant system is. Can you kind of tell us a little bit about the Miss Gay America system and how you got involved with it and things like that?

Speaker 3:

The history of the system is started in. Miss Gay America started in 1972. The story goes anecdotally that it was sort of the gay men who were doing makeup artistry for Miss America and those pageant systems that catered to cisgender women sort of got the mind of like, well, why don't we just do this with ourselves as contestants, because we can do all of this artistry on ourselves as well? It's for me, it's a huge thing with charity and with uplifting our community, but most of all it's a personal and professional development kind of world, kind of like how, with cisgender pageants, they have scholarship programs for university. It helps you develop professionally and develop leadership skills.

Speaker 3:

I mean, you're leading the system for the year that you're reigning and I got involved because of the people and I think that has to be your main motivating factor. Certainly can't be money, because it is a labor of love that we are doing. My friends got involved in the system and when I started performing as a drag queen I wasn't sure if pageantry was for me. I didn't think that I was the kind of person that would excel in pageants. Then I saw my friends doing it and I thought, well, I just want to tag along, basically, and it all just sort of took off from there.

Speaker 7:

Tell me a little bit about how you started doing drag, because I think it's kind of an interesting story.

Speaker 3:

I started drag I mean, it is generous to call it drag. What I was doing when I was 15, 16, I just always found women's fashion and makeup really artistic, really creatively compelling. And I was in bed one night and just thought, yeah, I don't think that this desire to pursue that is ever going to go away, and I'm just not the one to just kind of sit on my hands and wait until I am living on my own and can go out as an adult and do it. I just when you're a kid that seems like forever away anyway, and I just wanted to do it. I was so intrigued by it, especially when RuPaul Stragrae started, because then I was able to see kind of what that world looked like from a professional standpoint, like, oh, people can actually make a career out of this.

Speaker 3:

And, yeah, I started doing living room drag I suppose one might call it and doing like little YouTube videos online and dressing up at school. And then, as soon as I could, I ran out there to start going to clubs and I started getting the VIP text for South Beach and it would send texts about the amateur contest at Meteor, a club that is no more One of the nights that I was out, I met someone, rebecca Ross, who lived very close to where I lived at the time and she was like oh yeah, I go every Thursday, you should come too. And that's how I started performing. And pretty much any competition or contest, I just wanted to cut my teeth, I wanted to prove myself and show that I had the abilities, but mostly like the tenacity, like I was going to keep doing it until I don't know when, but I just wanted to show people what I had. And then, low and like 11 years turned around and, oh my gosh, all this time is just gone.

Speaker 7:

Are there attributes that you take on as Chloe, that you don't feel you carry through with David, or how do you create this character?

Speaker 3:

On stage certainly. In fact I've gotten that note in pageant sometimes because I'm a very I don't know, I'm a very like quirky, offbeat, kind of geeky, you know dude. And then on stage, you know, in person, I think, when I'm just interacting with people, whether I'm in drag or out of drag, I'm the same, personality wise. I don't think really anything about me changes. But then on stage, obviously, depending on what the song calls for, I often kind of go for like a regal, grand kind of a domineering, regal presence. And people have said you know, oh, you should try and bring some of that to your interview.

Speaker 3:

That's on stage, that's acting. That's definitely not how I am, that's sort of. The other thing too is I always wanted to be an actor and I feel like that can be tough because the entry point for acting is so kind of elusive. You have to you know, know the right people and know the right doors to get your foot in, whereas the point of entry for drag is incredibly low. There are amateur contests everywhere, plenty of venues and bars where you could just you know, if you have a flash drive or you know music, you can go and perform, and it's essentially you know it's acting. You know you can do up there and whatever the song is calling for you portray that.

Speaker 7:

As an actor. I see what you guys do on stage and think you are just creating a character in a story that kind of carries forward through the years. It's very interesting to me. One of the things that fascinates me about your system of support is your mother comes to your shows and she supported your run for Miss K, Texas, America and got very involved in your company where you work. Your coworkers celebrated you as well and I think in my generation that's very unique. What kind of support system do you have? I just think it's so fascinating.

Speaker 3:

I'm incredibly blessed with my family. I was just thinking about this the other day how it was always a little bit easier for me facing adversity and like bigotry in my community because you know, I grew up in suburban Texas and and all of that because I had a supportive home to support, a family to go home to, and my family was never I don't even really think LGBT people were ever really mentioned growing up like it was just not really a Common topic of conversation. My parents had like gay friends and stuff, but it was just not something that they ever really mentioned. So I was kind of allowed to develop my my beliefs around the queer community and in queer rights on my own and you know a lot of that was through TV and media and then eventually the internet, being allowed to kind of just have the space to develop those beliefs without the influence of my family. Or you know I didn't have. My family is also not religious at all, so I also didn't have that as an influence.

Speaker 3:

By the time I came out and was going out into the world I already had very kind of forthright Opinion about about gay rights in the queer community. I had never really experienced it. Occasionally people would be more Elusively homophobic, like I would get dress-coded at school and they would try to veil it as like oh no, we're just. You know, we would dress code anybody for wearing this. But it was kind of a convenient way to be homophobic and work. I had a job at a Pet care place that I won't name that. Um, they fired me and they directly told me it was because I talked about being gay and being a Drag queen at work and they had gotten complaints. It kind of blew my mind because nobody had ever been direct about it like that before. But I understand why. At the end of the day there was really nothing I could do about it. It was my word against theirs. So, going from that to my current job, which is so incredibly supportive and you know it's a company developed in 2006. So it's a little more New Age, a little more millennial Gen Z Virtually everybody who works there you know it's lots of queer people, lots of crazy hair colors and tattoos. So they they definitely have inclusivity as a part of their brand, but it's the support for me and Pageantry has been particularly spearheaded by one person in particular, my friend, johnny Lopowski, who works there, and he has just been so supportive and he helped his sister when she did pageants back in the day, so it's just a natural interest of his having their support. It was just very overwhelming because it's so far from what I've experienced at any other day job.

Speaker 3:

Then you have my mother, who also has worked at my place of business. She worked here for a couple months and everybody at work loves her, even in those couple months my mom share everybody loves Sharon. She's like the den mother for all the gay kids and drag queens and my friends will come up to me and say like, oh, your mom's the best. Sometimes I'll be having a hard day and I'll post something on Facebook and she'll message me like you know, keep your chin up, sweetie. You know my mom talks to my friends more than I do. Like she's just the single sweetest, most empathetic human I've ever known and that just drives her to be the biggest beacon of support that I could ever ask for. So I'm just incredibly lucky and I'm so happy to be able to share that with people in the community who get to meet her.

Speaker 7:

We're talking to David Sardy, who performs as Chloe Knox, a legendary drag queen in Houston. One of the things that I noticed the most about Chloe is fashion. You are one of the killer fashion queens in the city. It's such a huge part of your drag. How did that kind of come into that and how do you manage that?

Speaker 3:

well. Thank you I you know for For finding your brand in drag. That's always kind of tricky because it's just not always intuitive. You know, I think I've tried, I've dipped my toe in every Style of drag and I still play around. I still love doing comedy. I don't really dance anymore because I learned after you know a long time that that is not really my, my foretape.

Speaker 3:

The fashion thing, I mean, I've always been fascinated with fashion and I took fashion design and fashion merchandising in school and Was just always really interested in modeling in particular.

Speaker 3:

I just always found super models really Fascinating and compelling and I think a huge part of it, if I'm being perfectly honest, just has to do with genetics. Being as tall and thin as I am, you know, you're just kind of a natural clothes hanger and Definitely got to give a shout out to Trenmal here in Houston and a lot of the fashion outlet stores, like Justin and you know the places in Harwin because getting stuff being my height and build, which is an unusual one, I do have to get stuff custom made pretty often and that can be very, that can be very cumbersome and Expensive. So having fashion outlet stores where you can go get pretty Interesting, decent looking stuff with like rhinestones, you know it doesn't look too cheap. Then, being blessed with a physical frame that those clothes will hang on pretty well, I just get to serve like a fashion you look and then just kind of having a general intuition of like what colors go with what, what's gonna look good on you. I think also helps if I can give myself a little credit.

Speaker 7:

One of the things that always strikes me is you do look like a high fashion model, but what really impressed me is that even out of drag, you look like a high fashion model as a guy. So have you ever modeled? Is that something that you've ever aspired to do or done, either in or out of drag?

Speaker 3:

Oh, thank you so much. I appreciate that I as a boy really have not modeled at all. I've always wanted to and of course now you know I'm getting up there in years, but thankfully that has been kind of reworked in in recent years. You see models Modeling throughout their entire life. It's definitely something I'd love to pursue, but I have gone to fashion auditions and I audition as a boy because getting a drag for that would be a pain.

Speaker 3:

The only things I've ever booked people have asked me to do in drag, because often a lot of local designers Know that I do drag or find out and want me to be a drag queen model for them. And I think being a model as a boy would be even more feasible. Just because modeling in drag modeling like women's wear is tough because I'm like a size 15 and women's 15 heels. Even though I'm like slim, I'm also six foot five, so you know I have a big skeleton so I could never fit like a sample size, which I'm pretty sure for women is still like a size two. I would love to to model as a boy, but for now I mean really all. I just pay photographers to have fun and model for my Instagram basically.

Speaker 7:

How do you decide what numbers Chloe Knox is going to perform?

Speaker 3:

The venues that have the shows at which you perform Narrow that down for you pretty well, based on the parameters of the show. I mean, for instance, I'm I occasionally perform at a Bar where one of the shows is celebrity illusions, so obviously that narrows it down to just whichever celebrities you're doing and then a show where it's a certain decade, so that narrows it down Often. What'll narrow it down the most? The most common thing is they'll tell you it has to be a certain amount of time, so the numbers have to be five minutes maximum or five minutes minimum, they have to be doubles, so there has to be multiple songs in there, etc. And also pretty commonly you'll get the note that the music has to be upbeat, up tempo, note ballads, things of that nature, which is never one of my favorite parameters, because I I do love a ballad. I like a power ballad or a dramatic moment.

Speaker 3:

That's my favorite kind of music. It's often just what I'm feeling. If there's something I've been listening to on my walks or when I've been working out a lot, then that might be one I dog ear for. Like my next show, my friend violet will often use a method that I also Appreciate, which is, she'll like assign herself a color for the night. If you have that color, then you know you working into your makeup and then you pick outfits that coordinate with that color. And then that's kind of how I tend to work. I'll like pick the outfits first and then at the bar like pick songs that go with those outfits.

Speaker 3:

Often I just have a flash drive full of music that. That was especially when I was working full-time. I mean, when you're working that much, that can be a way to make your life a little easier. But often just whatever music I'm feeling. And I see someone asked what celebrities that I do that I do best. I suppose the ones I do the best would be Celebrities that I physically have a chance of looking like, which, at my height and build, is pretty much just like Taylor Swift and I guess you could say like Annie Lennox and a few other people. But I really like doing Stevie Nicks and Kasha and pink and various people, especially people whose music that I already like. I mean that makes it easier.

Speaker 7:

Okay, since you are the current reigning of Miss Gay Texas America, I'm gonna ask you a very pageanty type question what, what do you think that drag says to people of your generation or your age? What is it doing today?

Speaker 3:

That's interesting because People my age you know we're not the youngest generation, we're not like the kids who were born in, like the 2000s and the Gen Z's and we're not the older generation just kind of coming out of that. You know, I grew up in the 2000s, I was born in the mid 90s. For the young kids now I would think it would just be so much like just a normal part of life that with how ubiquitous drag has been for Gen Z kids of today growing up that they wouldn't think that much of it. But then drag has been such a hot button issue the last few years that I would imagine drag being this intensely political thing, is this innate thing to a lot of kids Upringing today, like how I grew up in the 2000s and gay marriage and prop 8 were like the big social issues of my Upringing.

Speaker 3:

And you know the older generation run the gamut. You can have any everything there, from people of the older generations who love drag, who hate it, who are ambivalent. The younger kids I would imagine see drag as this Just really intensely political thing, almost like they did in the the gay rights movement of the 60s and 70s of this just powerful thing. And I think people of my generation In like their late 20s, early 30s ish, who were teenagers just when drag race was coming out, probably see it as this just super ubiquitous standard thing.

Speaker 3:

It's just a part of life, we're just used to seeing drag around and that's sort of the confusing part of how politically contentious it's been, because I think a lot of people my age was like it's just drag, we're just having a good time. I don't see what the big deal is and especially those of us who have been doing it for a living for a few years are like it's just essentially kind of like my nine to five, it's just work. So it can be a little confusing of how it gets thrown on the slab as this, like Sacrificial lamb and this, this culture war. Now All we can do is keep doing it and we had that moment of victory now with SB 12 getting struck down. Any time I've taken a break from drag and I have taken breaks throughout the years I always say cross-dressing is always gonna be there and I firmly believe that.

Speaker 7:

Tell us how we can find Chloe Knox on social media, how we know where you're gonna spring up at different venues, and things like that.

Speaker 3:

Well, I have a fairly limited social media presence. You know, I don't have tick-tock or I always have to tell guys I don't have snapchat because dudes on dating apps are all about snapchat. Nope, I don't, I don't have any of those. I just have Facebook, where I'm Chloe Knox, and Instagram, where I'm Chloe Knox, chlo ee K and O X. There are two ease there, just because the ones spelled with one e was already taken. But yeah, instagram and Facebook are my big ones and yeah, on my story on Instagram and on Facebook, I'm always posting show flyers and where I'll be next. So that's my social media presence.

Speaker 7:

We're very proud of you to be representing Houston and Miss Gay, texas, america. Best of luck to you as you move towards the big culmination of the national pageant in Little Rock in January and we will be looking for Chloe Knox, always on the scene of Houston. Thank you for being here today.

Speaker 3:

Thank you so much, you guys. And as far as performances, you know, I'm at Michael's outpost twice a month. I'm at barcode occasionally, basically wherever they'll have me.

Speaker 1:

If you hit me up on social media, that was Brett Cullum talking with Houston artist David Sartie. This is Clear Voices.

Speaker 9:

This is Tiffany Scales of Clear Voices. Today we'll be interviewing with Honey Marie Houston, socialite, one of the favorite realtors of Fort Bend County, founder of two nonprofit organizations and a new artist who has put her work into a book called she's a Runner. Hey, miss Honey, how are you? I'm great and you, I'm grateful. I'm grateful for having this conversation with you. I was very excited to hear about your book. How did you even find time to write it?

Speaker 4:

Well, I've been working on it about a year now, so whenever I can get it in, I was getting it in. How did you come up with the title? I came up with it because, when I look back, the book is about love. The title is she's a Runner, she's a Trackstar. How love became an anchor. And I don't know if you know what an anchor is in track and field. It's like the last person and that person has to make up for the time. And if their teammates come to and run into them and they lack time and they're in last place, that person has to make up for all the time.

Speaker 4:

So in my past with love, when we and my wife asked me, how did you all make it this far and this and that? And I really had to think about it, like how did I make it this far, knowing where I came from, to talk about my story and talk about my parents story? So chapter one is about my parents and my parents love story. It was okay to be a cheater with them. I watched them as I was growing up. I watched them cheat while they were married to other people, have a whole secret life, so I grew up thinking that that was okay. So she's a runner, she's a track star. I'm running through people like running through love, and it doesn't matter like what they got going on, what I have going on, how they feel about me and feelings. I didn't have any feelings. It was like whatever I wanted.

Speaker 9:

Very transparent. I think that makes them best sellers when the author is actually on the page, In the sense of what your experience has led you to. How are you today, as a woman, as a wife, as a track star, still in?

Speaker 4:

America. The book is actually in real time as I start writing the book. My wife and I have separated as of August of this year. So what I thought when I was making a fairy tale ending? I don't know what my ending is going to be.

Speaker 9:

It's a fairly told story that people are so transparent. Continue, please.

Speaker 4:

I don't. The marathon continues, so it'll be a part two and we'll see what it holds.

Speaker 9:

Now, this being your first book, who do you think will benefit from reading it?

Speaker 4:

I think that we who have experienced toxic or abusive relationships, whether it was with the significant other or family, so I really think that everybody, from whatever age group, can benefit from it. You can. It can be wives, husbands, friends, family, like everybody, because everybody has been through heartbreak. Everybody has been through family issues because I talk about that in the book, in chapter one to where I didn't have a child with it. As soon as I turned 15, I had to take on the role of being a mother to my brother being there for my stepfather because my mom was out with my real father. I'm dropping my mom to be my biological father at the motel, so I just had to step up to the plate.

Speaker 4:

My mom and I, we lived just alike in an early age when she was 16. And as soon as I got 15, I guess she was like she knew what she needed to do Save the strong child. Step up to the plate like she did, because she didn't have a child who could. She had raised me. That's another thing I talk about toxic, that generational curse Like when I have a child. I'm going to try next year. I don't want to pass it on to my daughter once they get 15 or 16. My mom's mom, my grandmother, did it to my mama, so it's just like in my family's generation curse once you get 15, 16 years old, you have to step up to the plate and be grown, and I wouldn't want that for my child in the future.

Speaker 9:

Do you think that the perspective would shift? Like, by way of having conversations reflecting of how you've written this book and the resentment that you have and continue to heal from, from being forced to grow up? How do you feel that, in the retrospect of those truths, has that shaped you as a professional?

Speaker 4:

As I wrote the book, I didn't realize I had so much resentment. But it also helped me understand where they were coming from, because I only thought from my perspective. When I started writing the book, my mom and dad only did or taught me what they knew, so I'm like they didn't have nobody to teach them. They were learning too how it has to be a person. Yeah, in the words of the masses, it's because you're so multifaceted, right?

Speaker 9:

Like. You're a socialite You've been on the Houston scene for over 20 years curating events and having people come out and have a good time, whether they were raising money or just engaging in socializing but also the dynamics of your capacity, because you've been a realtor. For several years. You have been a businesswoman with the orient of maintaining and balancing things in life, all the while going through levels of hellaceous experience. How has your experience affected you and put you in a position to be so capable?

Speaker 4:

Because at a young age, stuff started coming on my plate and all I know is to push and keep going, no matter what the circumstances are, whether they're good or bad. Whatever I do now is like I'm a core If it works out, it works out. If it doesn't, I'm going to try different. I'm going to keep going and keep pushing, because that's something that I want to accomplish and it's a bigger picture for me, bigger picture of helping people, being a community, being there for people, and I'm just a vessel and I just want to be there to help people get through what is professional, mentally, emotionally or whatever. Being there for people in general, you know, out of love. So that's how it works.

Speaker 9:

Indeed, I know your advocacy has always been centered around mental health awareness. Why are you so passionate about that?

Speaker 4:

Because if your mental not right, then you're going to be able to do that. You're not going to be able to focus on anything, and I'm still learning it to this day. I just try to be an advocate. Even if you feel like nothing's wrong with you, you still need to talk to somebody, even if it's quarterly, because you never know that your suppressor, something triggers you and then it comes to surface and you were like dang, I didn't know that, that bothered me or that was an issue.

Speaker 4:

Yeah, I just since people walk around thinking, yeah, I'm okay, you might seem okay on the surface or you might feel like you're okay, but sometimes it takes you to go a little bit deeper and we don't want to do that. We don't want to face our demons. We don't want to face those triggers, those things, the issues, the suppressors. We carry a lot of baggage from other relationships. We carry a lot of trauma from childhood that we never faced and we just bear it in the back of our mind and just trying to go on with our daily activities until something triggers it. So I just want everybody to, even if you feel like you're okay, you can still benefit from, you know, going to see a psychiatrist, therapist, a counselor, pastor, psychiatrist, whoever, or just visit somebody to get that stuff out of you.

Speaker 9:

You know I really appreciate the servitude that you continue throughout the things that you have faced on personal levels. Even going back to the book, you know she's a runner. If someone were to read the cover and, just you know, see the title alone, they might consider that being something pertaining to someone who runs from love or runs from, you know, sustaining relationships and getting through the things they face. But getting more insight of the actual person who is giving the perspective of someone who has always felt the need to pick up the slack. I do look forward to knowing what the next book's title might be. Have you come up with that yet?

Speaker 4:

No, I haven't, but it will be about a family in Blakey, russia, and it's going more in-depth on how I was raised, because I only talk about that in Chapter 1, the rest of the chapters are each relationship, and she's a runner, she's a track star. The next book is strictly on family and how our parents don't understand how we mimic everything that they do and we're conditioned and we don't even know it and just breaking generational curses.

Speaker 9:

What do you have planned for the rest of the things that you're working out with? I know you've got two nonprofits. You have your real estate business. What will you be doing the rest of this year, or are you going to pause and just focus on a book tour?

Speaker 4:

I'm going to do a book tour, probably starting the beginning of next year. My book launch release is October 22nd, so I'll set Fort Bend County Pride at the Fort Bend County Fairgrounds that's November 12th from 2 to 8 pm. So I have that and then my yearly fashion show, queer Contour Fashion Show. I moved it from this month of October to December and it's going to be focused on AIDS awareness. This year we'll be partnering up with LGBT Caucus and so we have a partnership moving forward for this year's fashion show. So I'm really excited about that and just trying to close out these projects that I have going on Now.

Speaker 9:

Miss Honey, I know that your book launch for she's a Runner is on October 22nd. Can you please give us the details of how to get connected with you for that particular celebration?

Speaker 4:

You can go to my website, honeymariecom H-U-N-N-Y-M-A-R-I-Ecom. You can order a book online. I'll have the books ready for pick up at my book launch October 22nd, and it is from 12 to 3, and it's at Black Fox Kendall Company. And again it's Sunday, october 22nd, and we'll have food, we'll have fun and I'll release some other little products and stuff like that.

Speaker 9:

Thank you, and thank you again, miss Honey Murray, for your time today, for this great interview, and congratulations on your first in the new books.

Speaker 10:

I'm Ava Davis and I'm David Hunt With News Wrap, a summary of some of the news in, or affecting LGBTQ communities around the world for the week ending October 7th 2023. Activist Abdul Ridwan Viras Asik proclaimed From today, as a citizen and a human being, I am now free to love whoever I want without fear. Above all, it also means that the next generations can fully and freely embrace their sexuality without fear of being arrested. He was talking about the Mauritius Supreme Court's October 4th decision to overturn Section 251 of Criminal Code 1838. Yes, 1838 was the year British colonizers criminalized anal sex between men and made it punishable with up to five years in prison. The High Court's ruling questioned why the state had any interest in what gay men do. They concluded Accordingly, there must exist particularly serious reasons for the state to justifiably interfere with the manner in which homosexual men choose to have consensual sexual intercourse in private.

Speaker 10:

Plaintiff Asik challenged the statute in 2019 with the support of the London-based Human Dignity Trust. For him, the ruling came as an enormous relief. Just 22 of the 54 countries on the African continent have decriminalized private consensual same-gender sex. According to a tally by Pink News, Virtually all of those laws are colonial leftovers. That's why Human Dignity Trust Chief Executive, thea Braun seized the victory in the East African Mauritius a landmark decision, in her words. It finally topples 185 years of state-sanctioned stigma against LGBT people in Mauritius and sends yet another important message to the remaining criminalizing countries in Africa and beyond. These laws must go.

Speaker 11:

Elsewhere on the continent. The organization Eswatini Sexual and Gender Minorities says that the minister of commerce, industry and trade still refuses to grant it legal recognition. This despite a unanimous Supreme Court ruling in June that failure to register ESGM is unconstitutional. According to ESGM's tweet, the ministry claimed the principles and rules of the Roman Dutch law are still enforceable. That could be considered quite a stretch. Roman Dutch law is a hybrid of classical Roman civil code and early Germanic Dutch legal humanism. It held sway in the Netherlands from the 15th to the 18th centuries and left its mark on the Dutch colonies. Esgm is not giving up its campaign to be recognized.

Speaker 10:

A peaceful pro-LGBTQ march in central Beruut was attacked by Christian fanatics calling themselves Soldiers of God. The biker club wing of the protesters attempted to blockade the September 30th procession. Others took their unsuccessful demand to cancel the queer event to Lebanon's Ministry of Interior. The Soldiers of God denounced the marchers with offensively anti-queer slogans demonizing what they called any kind and form of homosexuality in the streets of Beruut. At least three marchers were injured. One social media post shows a young man with a bloodied head as his companions tried to fight off their attackers. Organizers said in a statement that the extremists forced the march to become a sit-in. They demanded the enforcement of constitutional guarantees and condemned methods of repression and attacks on public and private freedoms. The environment for LGBTQ people has become increasingly hostile in Lebanon. The same group of Christian extremists recently stormed a queer-friendly night spot hosting a drag queen show. There were several injuries during that melee. The Christian extremists are not alone. Shiite Muslim Hezbollah leader, Hassan Nasrallah, helped encourage the increase in anti-LGBTQ violence by calling for those engaging in same gender sex to be killed.

Speaker 11:

At least 14 schools in the United States have received bomb threats within a week of being targeted for their supposedly queer-positive activities by the far-right Libs of TikTok account. The educational institutions range from individual elementary schools to school districts to colleges. Former real estate huckster Chaya Raychik has some two and a half million social media followers to whom she pushes absurd conspiracy theories, including the belief that LGBTQ people want to groom children into their lifestyle. Three bomb threats over the course of four days were reported at an elementary school in Chicago after Libs of TikTok showed an LGBTQ pride flag in a classroom. After a Raychik expose denouncing a California State University Fresno Professor's pronouns policy, a bomb threat forced the evacuation of the entire campus. A school district in North Kansas City, missouri, was targeted when a transgender high school senior was crowned homecoming queen.

Speaker 11:

Raychik would not say if she felt any responsibility for the threats and instead insinuated the threats had nothing to do with her or her followers, with the threat being her followers. When she was contacted by the online news outlet Vice, transgender Harvard Law instructor Alejandra Caraballo condemned the mushrooming threats. She wrote in a social media post. Not content with inciting bomb threats at several schools, libs of TikTok has recently started to name individual school staff to send her digital lynch mob after for the crime of having a pride flag pin. This is terrorism full stop. Media Matters, lgbtq plus program director Ari Drennan told USA Today it's just truly a dangerous new era. We can't really afford to pretend that there's no separation between what goes on social media and what happens in the real world.

Speaker 10:

Tennessee has its first out transgender elected official. Olivia Hill was sworn in on October 2. As a member of the Metropolitan Council of Nashville and Davidson County, she represents the entire city of Nashville following her election on September 14 as an at large member of the first women majority council. Hill said during the ceremony representation is everything. I've been approached by so many moms and dads and teachers and leaders that have thanked me for running because now a lot of the trans community has someone to see. She's a Nashville native and served in combat in the US Navy during Operation Desert Storm. Hill also received multiple honors from Vanderbilt University, despite her contentious relationship with the institution. Hill's legislative focus on the council will include infrastructure improvement and expanding the city's public transportation system. She told the Tennessean, the fact that I'm trans is just a part of who I am. I'm here to help fix the broken parts of Nashville. Being realistic, she admits I know there's going to be people watching me, waiting on me to fail.

Speaker 8:

Finally do you solemnly swear that you will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic, that you will bear true faith and allegiance to the same, that you take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion, and that you will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office upon which you are about to enter? So help you God.

Speaker 4:

I will. Congratulations, congratulations.

Speaker 11:

US Vice President Kamala Harris swore in La Fonza Butler, the first black lesbian to serve in the United States Senate. Butler was appointed by California Governor Gavim Newsom to fill the seat of Senator Diane Feinstein, who passed away on September 29th at the age of 90. Her term expires in 2024. The 44-year-old mother of one does not plan to run for Feinstein's seat. Three more than qualified Democrats are campaigning for the party's nomination.

Speaker 11:

Butler is a former labor leader who was the first woman of color to head Emily's List, the largest organization in the US that focuses on electing pro-choice women. She's also served as a campaign advisor to Vice President Harris. Her appointment was not without controversy. There was pressure on Newsom to select Black Congresswoman Barbara Lee, but she is vying for the seat already. Butler has also been living in Maryland since taking the job with Emily's List, although she maintains a California residence. Following her swearing in, butler said in a press statement no one will ever measure up to the legacy of Senator Diane Feinstein, but I will do my best to honor her legacy and leadership by committing to work for women and girls, workers and unions, struggling parents and all of California.

Speaker 10:

That's News Wrap, global queer news with attitude For the week ending October 7th 2023, follow the news in your area and around the world. An informed community is a strong community.

Speaker 11:

News Wrap is written by Greg Gordon, edited by Lucia Chappelle, produced by Brian Deschaiser and brought to you by you, thank you.

Speaker 10:

Help keep us in ears around the world at ThisWayOutorg, where you can also read the text of this newscast and much more. For this Way Out, I'm David Davis. Stay healthy.

Speaker 11:

And I'm David Hunt, stay safe.

Speaker 1:

This has been Queer Voices, which is now a home produced podcast and available from several podcasting sources. Check our webpage QueerVoicesorg for more information. Queer Voices executive producer is Brian Levinca. Andrew Edmondson and Deborah Moncrief Bell are frequent contributors. The News Wrap segment is part of another podcast called this Way Out, which is produced in Los Angeles.

Speaker 12:

Some of the material in this program has been edited to improve clarity and runtime. This program does not endorse any political views or animal species. Views, opinions and endorsements are those of the participants and the organizations they represent. In case of death, please discontinue use and discard remaining products.

Speaker 1:

For Queer Voices. I'm Glenn Holt.

Katie Pride
LGBTQ Support at Katie's First Church
Katie Pride and Miss Gay Texas
Navigating Homophobia, Building Supportive Community
Drag Modeling and Drag Performances
She's a Runner
Mental Health Advocacy and Book Launch
Queer Voices Podcast Information and Credits