Samira Mendoza is an interdisciplinary performance artist, DJ, curator, and educator currently residing in Pittsburgh, PA.
Western PA queer performer Pissy Mattress insists that she contains multitudes. Years ago, the oft-bearded, ever-mustached Pissandra Jo could be found crooning the side of an Atloona, PA jukebox, adorned in tattered leather and begging for a ride out of town. Much of her whereabouts from way-back-when to her 2018 emergence onto the Pittsburgh queer scene are unknown. There are rumors of a failed marriage and short-lived step-motherhood in Toledo. Others swear they’ve spotted her as an extra on Cheers, but that can’t be right. Regardless of where she has been- she is here right now. While on stage she finds herself urged to create an atmosphere that mimics the inclusion and oddity found in small pockets of Pittsburgh nightlife. She looks to you, gives a knowing wink through a haze of cigarette smoke, and saunters into the spotlight. A towering 6’5” with tiger eyes, she intends not to leave a mark in this world, but to leave a stain.
Remy Black is a radical Black trans woman whose performance work seeks to highlight Black excellence throughout the ages while providing a contemporary lense through centering her own queerness. Her work as a drag performer has been featured in the HBO documentary “Wig” and her daring numbers, which can involve full nudity and live singing have captivated audiences throughout the country. Remy is also an accomplished storyteller and social critic whose think pieces and sordid tales are often circulated in queer social groups. Remy considers herself to be a champion and advocate for the advancement of Black trans livelihoods and views every performance as an opportunity to demonstrate the power and beauty of the Black trans experience.
THE CHILDLIKE EMPRESS
The Childlike Empress is a Black and Indigenous, queer and genderfluid multifaceted artist and sex worker creating dynamic work focusing on mental health, sexuality, eroticism, fluidity and healing from trauma. They grew up in NYC, but currently reside in Pittsburgh where they have been working on their music, visual art and many other creative projects.
Duane Binion is the Co-Creator of True T Pittsburgh (PGH), a Pittsburgh-based 501-c3 organization that serves the LGBTQIA+ Community of Color through Creative Art and Entertainment, Social Activism, and meaningful Resource Sharing. He is a social change-maker, producer of art, and community leader working to build social awareness for LGBT+ POC and community members of the iconic underground Ballroom scene for over 10+ years. Duane has a passion for creating platforms that aid in dismantling the negative stereotypes and portrayals of black and brown queer people. In 2019 he was awarded his first Advancing Black Arts grant by the Pittsburgh Heinz Foundation to create a new project highlighting the rich creativity of the underground ballroom scene.
Luna Plexus is a multi-genre performer, enrapturing audiences with their modern and soulful performances. Inspired by the early intimate shows of legends such as Nina Simone, Luna Plexus draws from a wealth of backgrounds to enthrall with powerful elegance through passionate burlesque and pole routines. Luna Plexus has been highlighted in Rachel Rampleman’s “Drag is Life” series, and has performed locally with The Body Shop.
CALEB THOMAS GONZALES
Caleb Thomas Gonzales is a Mexican American queer creative currently attending Point Park University as a 4th year dance major. Southern California is where he was born and raised, and where he began his dance studies in hip hop during junior high. He has since then expanded his studies over the years in almost all styles of dance (Ballet, Modern, Contemporary, Jazz, Latin, Pole, Heels, and Vogue.) You can follow his journey on instagram @calebthomas.
Ensilence, hailing from New Castle, PA, is a multilayered musical artist influenced by heavy poetics and dirty rhythms. Her style and cadence is like a sweet breeze in summer heat. Channelling the great spirits of the music world such as Nas, Black Thought, Miles Davis, Parliament, OutKast and many more, Ensilence is an up-and-coming powerhouse within her own right.