Letter from the [Other] Editor: She Works Hard For The Money
When I was 14, two months into my freshman year of high school, I moved from California’s Central Coast to Baldwin City, KS, where I would eventually teach myself guitar and meet my first girlfriend. During my early stages of coming out, I routinely hitched a ride to Lawrence in the backseat of my best friend’s minivan while listening to Less Than Jake through crackling speakers, windows down, whipping my Manic Panic atomic pink hair into knots.
Between the occasional makeout sesh at Centennial Skate Park and double-shot Sex Bomb coffee dates at The Java Break (IYKYK), I leaned heavily on picking up The Pitch Weekly every Thursday at the crosswalk between Supersonic Music and the Granada. This ritual helped me stay connected to anything remotely interesting throughout this newfound cultural desert, at least in my mind. Rock Against Bush at the Beaumont Club, Rise Against with Tsunami Bomb and Alexisonfire at El Torreón, poetry slams, Brown Bag Drag featuring Daisy Buckët… ok, obviously I was very wrong about the Midwest. Turns out it’s fucking great—when you know where to look.
Without realizing it, I used the publication as a tool for finding inclusivity and solidarity, and it might have made me a better person.
I used to say working for The Pitch would be a dream job. I never guessed it would actually happen. Here’s to coming full circle.
What you’re currently looking at is perhaps one of the most organically collaborative issues of The Pitch we have to date—er, well, at least in the year and some change that I’ve been associate editor here.
The Summer Guide is meant to be an extensive list of really cool events in the metro and surrounding areas, organized into thoughtful categories so readers can stay connected to the vibrant sanctuary that is our city. You’ll also find a story on Missouri State Senator Greg Razer’s advocacy for trans youth. You’ll learn how to thrift for relics. You’ll see how ketamine is actually transformative. You’ll learn Midnight Market’s kinks and the power of respecting “no.” Thirsty? Keep your eyes peeled for our newest series, Pitch Pop-Up, in which Kate Frick shares simple drink recipes that will impress your neighbors and make you want to call yourself a “mixologist.” (Please, don’t do that.)
When Brock first asked me to spearhead our annual Summer Guide, I knew right away that I wanted it to be this super empowered, glossy, vibrant, juicy, delectable masterpiece of… beautiful people doing fun things.
We wanted this to be a Pride issue without having to call it a Pride issue. Not because we don’t want to celebrate people for who they are and who they love, but because a decent percentage of our staff stands under that big queer umbrella, and we do our very best to make sure every issue is giving a voice to those who’ve been silenced and appreciating those who dare to be authentic.
We wanted the June issue to feel like stepping into a better version of a Midwestern summer. A parallel universe. The way things should be. And I think we’ve accomplished that.
Upon reaching out to the power duo at Pilsen Photo Co-op with the idea of a ‘60s/’70s/’80s-inspired kitschy Americana drag BBQ, it was evident that we all had the same vision. Photographer Caleb Condit said he wanted “people to see these photos and think, ‘Yeah, that really happened.’”
And I want to stress that it did, in fact, happen.
This mag ended up being one big series of phone-a-friend. Our Mise en Place columnist and now resident bar artist Kate Frick knew Elizabeth Daniel from when she ran the Myers Hotel Bar and suggested a collaboration. Liz is literally a professional thrifter and graciously offered up her extensive vintage kitsch collection, house, and backyard as the backdrop for this dream of a kiki. Local drag performers Jenna Stanwyck, Dirty Dorothy, Karmella Uchawi, Genewa Stanwyck, and Lana Luxx brought the glam and a “casual soda-pop-with-a-silly-straw slay.”
Kate and I spent the night before gathering items and making all the food you see in the photos. I got to be grill daddi for two hours, which is always a good time. The Pitch’s art director Cassondra Jones stopped by to referee and help curate the grill marks on some red hot franks. She also managed to zhuzh Kate’s primordial lime green Jell-O mold using whipped cream and maraschino cherries brushed with lip gloss (for that camera-ready shimmer). Let me just say food styling is no easy task, but somehow we managed to make everything pretty and edible.
Did we all need to be there? Probably not. But we wanted to be. This photoshoot transcended “work” and turned into a passion project for everyone involved. We all had a shared goal: to part the red sea and give these hard-working Queens the platform they deserve.
ICYMI, this magazine is a safe space.
Now, sissy that walk,