It’s no secret that nightlife plays a significant role in the queer community. Throughout history, dance clubs, drag bars, music venues, and countless other unique nightlife settings have acted as places for people across LGBTQIA+ spectrum to gather, fully be themselves, and embrace queer identity together.
We celebrated pride this year by paying homage to one of the most distinct and original forms of queer nightlife – drag shows. We chat with DJ CHRYSALIS ahead of our Los Angeles Event to discuss queer spaces and community, what pride means to means to them, and more. Checkout highlights from the LA event and read our talk with DJ CHYRSALIS below.
Who are you? What do you do?
My name is Chrysalis my pronouns are they/she and I am a DJ.
Can you tell us about the sense of family and community that exists within the queer community?
The queer community is huge on chosen families and having a closeness with your friends to the point it feels like y’all are cousins, brothers and sisters. You discover so much about yourself through the love and acceptance your community shows you and each other. The support is so genuine and it makes you feel like you can accomplish anything. I personally have this connection with a multitude of people in my life and it makes me feel like I can fly. I am so grateful for my community.
What influence have queer-centric spaces and events had on your creative work?
I’ve been influenced by the safe spaces and clubs I’ve entered that embrace me as the person I am. The “come as you are” mentality that queer spaces exude has allowed my creative work to widen as there are no limits on anything. I want my listeners to be encompassed in a realm of sound and ambience that embraces you to be yourself and to move freely. I urge to take that same energy into your day to day life and always aim to be the person you know you are because no one can tell you anything when you are your truest self.
Which causes/charities are close to your heart?
I choose to donate to gofundme’s of black trans folk that are in need of assistance. It is almost everyday that I see a post about someone needing clothes, food, rent or even funds to help with gender affirming surgeries and medication. I do my best to either share or send some funds to them when I am in the position to. I feel these donations are personal and direct in helping an individual’s betterment.
What does Pride mean to you?
Pride is showing up for yourself and the ones around you, to inspire and live in your truth.
How do we keep the focus on LGBTQIA+ rights all year round?
By being visible and continuing to show up for each other. Being loud about what you need and to stay resilient through all of the challenges.
What challenges do you think are facing Pride in 2022?
Being silenced and not being taken seriously. The biggest challenge is the heterosexual cis-gender mindset of men and women seeing transgender folk as not their equal, but beneath them in some way. Small brain mindset.
If you could celebrate Pride with one LGBTQIA+ historical icon, who would it be?
I would celebrate with the iconic Jackie Shane who we lost about 3 years ago. She’s historical for being a pioneer transgender performer and R&B singer back in the 60’s.
What would you expect from someone who wants to be an ally to the LGBTQIA+ community?
I’d expect an ally to speak up and protect the people around them, utilize themselves for the betterment of the community. An ally is not a bystander in a crisis or in general, they show up and be as loud as the next person and they don’t back down.
Explore our gallery of photos by James Alan Duran.