In case you didn’t get the memo, it’s Pride Month. And yes, there is glitter to wear and fun to have, but it’s also important to remember to take the time to listen to meaningful stories of discovery and belonging while learning about the rich history of the LGBTQ+ community. We sat down with Quinn Fontaine—comedian, famous novelist Hanging like a seahorse and soul coach – to talk about her new projects, recent anti-trans laws (with words of encouragement), her journey as an active member of the trans community, and her upcoming show Pride at Meow Wolf (10 p.m. Saturday, June 25. $25. 1352 Rufina Circle, (505) 395-6369) alongside the Albuquerque Saints Ball drag troupe.
It’s that time of year: Pride month! What are you doing now? Are there any new books or projects in the works since Hanging like a seahorse?
I’m actually working on my stand-up special right now, so I’m going back to my roots, so to speak. This is where I started years ago in San Francisco. I’m so excited to be back on stage, just me and a microphone, with some real truth. It won’t be scripted. I’ll have an outline based on where I want to go, but there’s a lot of room for improvisation and real conversations with the audience. He doesn’t have a name yet, but it’s all coming. I use my comedy as a unifier. I know what it’s like to be different, different and left out. My comedy as a trans guy is about bringing everyone together. I think the world is so divided now in many ways. Part of my life mission is, among other things, to help bridge the gender divide. As a trans man, I’m nearly eight years into my transition from female to male and I feel like it’s time to move on with this.
Unfortunately, it’s predicted that this year we’ll see more laws against the LGBTQ+ community, especially against transgender youth: things like denial of medical care, bathroom limits, etc. What has the community done to alleviate some of this unwarranted pressure? Do you have any wise words of encouragement to share during such a disheartening time?
As a trans guy who is proud and proud, I returned to my hometown in Virginia, whose state motto is “Virginia is for lovers.” As a little person, I knew that didn’t mean me. I left at 18 and, in my own words, I was a boy in the wrong body who liked girls. It’s my identity. But being back in Virginia and coming out and healing those schisms has been profound. All I personally do is live my life out loud; I could be stealthy; I might fly under the radar, and I “pass”, but I choose to speak my truth wherever I go, speaking for the people who can’t.
At one point in my life, I couldn’t leave my house. I had agoraphobia. But my message of hope is to find your tribe, find your people, speak your truth when you know it’s safe for your community. None of us need ever be alone again, thanks to the internet, chat rooms and the various ways to find help. It’s imperative that people know they don’t have to be alone, as it’s a choice if you want to be, but you don’t have to be. As an artist, my first thing is to bring humanity together. We are all much more alike than we are different, all of us, no matter what.
You are playing for the Meow Wolf’s Pride event. What can the Santa Feans expect, other than a good time, of course?
It’s just gonna be a great dance party. We have DJs, we have Galaxy, Justin Christofer, BadCat. I intervene between the DJ sets, in the middle, to present Saints Ball. They’re from Albuquerque, the premier drag band in town, and I don’t even know how to describe them. They are phenomenal if you don’t know them, but you can check them out on Instagram. I’ll reel in, chat a bit, keep the audience connected and feel the vibe. If you want to dance, come dance like crazy.