In case you didn’t get the memo, it’s Pride month. And yes, there’s glitter to wear and fun to have, but it is also important to remember to take some time to listen to meaningful stories of discovery and belonging whilst educating yourself on the rich history of the LGBTQ+ community. We sat down with Quinn Fontaine—comedian, celebrated author of novel Hung Like a Seahorse and soul coach—to talk about his new projects, recent anti-trans laws (with words of encouragement), his journey as an active member of the trans community and his upcoming Pride show at Meow Wolf (10 pm Saturday, June 25. $25. 1352 Rufina Circle, (505) 395-6369) alongside Albuquerque drag troupe Saints Ball.
It’s that time of the year: Pride month! What are you up to now? Are there any new books or projects in the works since Hung Like a Seahorse?
Actually, I’m currently working on my stand-up special, so I’m going back to my roots, so to speak. That’s where I started years ago in San Francisco. I’m so excited to be getting back to the stage, just me and a microphone, with some real deal truth-telling. It won’t be scripted. I’ll have an outline based on where I want to go, but there’s lots of room for improv and real conversations with the audience. It’s unnamed as of yet, but it’s all coming along. I use my comedy as a unifier. I know what it’s like to be othered, different and left out. My comedy as a trans guy is aimed toward bringing everyone together. I think the world is so divided now in so many ways. Part of my life mission is to, among other things, help heal the gender divide. As a trans guy, I’m almost eight years into my transition from female to male, and feel like it’s time to move forward with that.
Sadly, it’s predicted that this year we’ll see more legislation against the LGBTQ+ community, specifically against transgender youths: Things like denying medical care, imposing bathroom limits, etc. What has the community been doing to alleviate some of that unwarranted pressure? Do you have any wise words of encouragement to share during such a disheartening time?
As a trans guy who’s out and proud, I went back 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 happened to like girls. That’s my identity. But to be back in Virginia and to be out and to be healing those schisms has been profound. All I’m doing personally is living my life out loud; I could be stealth; I could go under the radar, and I do ‘pass,’ but I choose to tell my truth everywhere I go, speaking up for the people that can’t.
At one point in my life, I couldn’t leave my house. I had agoraphobia. But my message of hope is find your tribe, find your people, speak your truth when you know it’s safe for your community. None of us have to be alone ever again, thanks to the Internet, chat rooms, and different ways to find support. It’s imperative that people know they don’t have to be alone, granted it’s a choice if you want to be, but you don’t have to be. In terms of being an artist, my number one thing is to bring humanity together. We are all way more alike than we are different, all of us, no matter what.
You’re performing for Meow Wolf’s Pride event. What can Santa Feans expect, other than a good time, of course?
It’s just going to be an awesome dance party. We’ve got DJs, we’ve got Galaxy, Justin Christofer, BadCat. I’m coming on between the DJ sets, in the middle, to introduce Saints Ball. They’re from Albuquerque, the city’s premier drag group, and I don’t even know how to describe them. They’re phenomenal if you don’t know them, but you can check them out on Instagram. I’ll be reeling off, chatting it up a little bit, keeping the audience connected and feeling the vibe. If you want to dance, come dance your ass off.