Family Ties [cover feature]

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Club promoter and actor Mario Diaz and Drag Superstar Jackie Beat on Trump’s America, reinforcing community ties and their framily, a family of friends.

BY MARK ARIEL  |  PHOTO BY DUSTI CUNNINGHAM

In the horrific aftermath of the new world order, when our most fundamental values—values such as decency, reason, and compassion—are under attack—Drag Superstar & writer Jackie Beat offers some words encouragement.

“No one person runs this country. Thankfully, it is set up so that hopefully one idiotic buffoon can’t do too much damage,” says Beat.

“Don’t get me wrong,” she clarifies, “Trump can do plenty of damage – offend and/or alienate other world leaders, tarnish the image of our country, turn back the clock on basic human rights—but he cannot and will not run America into
the ground.”

Beat, along with club promoter and actor Mario Diaz, spoke with THE FIGHT this month about Trump’s America, reinforcing community ties and their «framily,» a family made up of friends.

“These are the times when our voices are the most important,” says Mario Diaz. “Sometimes things need to get ugly before they can get cleaned up and hopefully we can all learn from this ridiculous turn of events. A magnifying glass has reflected the sad reality that a huge segment of our population has hate in their hearts. That cannot be ignored and it’s time to be tough, stand together and kick some ass. These issues have always been present but now there’s no hiding from them.”

When asked if this new reality could bring us closer together as a community Jackie Beat reveals that she is “already experiencing a new unity and comradery at my shows. When I do an anti-Trump song, people make it very clear that they agree wholeheartedly with what I’m saying.”

“This election drew a distinct line in the sand,” says Diaz. “We are on the right side—the side of inclusion. What it should mean to be an American. We are the majority, we are the future and with that we can bond and take care of each other.”

LOVING FRIENDS

While many in the community are grappling with family members who voted for Trump, Jackie Beat reveals she is blessed to have an “amazing family”—as well as “framily”—a family of friends.

“My mother and father were intelligent enough to accept the biological reality of gay people,” says Beat. “But not everyone is that lucky, so family is something that many of us ‘freaks’ have to build out of like-minded and loving friends…. So many of my chosen family members are straight women. I feel like the relationship between a gay man and a straight woman is a sacred one that has existed throughout history. You just know that Cleopatra had a gay BFF, probably her hairdresser, who talked about sex with her. And he no doubt was the one who talked her into her signature hairstyle and fierce eyeliner!”

“Not all of us find the acceptance, support and sense of security from our blood families,” says Mario Diaz. “Aside from the classic homo with daddy issues, I have been well taken care of in the love department. And that is mainly due to my ‘chosen family,’” reveals Diaz.

“Throughout my life, since I ran away at 15, I’ve been blessed with a brilliant, diverse and loving group friends I have always considered my family. And that hasn’t changed to this day. I’ve got my people…and what an amazing bunch of Queerdos I have… We all need someone to laugh with, create with, debate with, commiserate with and someone to be there in tough times. I’ve got all my bases covered with this Motley Ship of Fools.”

GO BONKERZ!

“Many people are already suffering from the effects of this volatile election and we need to stand up for one another,” says Mario Diaz.

“If you see something…do something! Don’t just watch and film it with your iphone… have their back! Step up! Make your voice be heard and be a shoulder to cry on… there are many other actions that we can take. Like donating to groups and programs that help protect the rights we’ve been fighting for all these years. If that’s not a good option for you then volunteer your time and support in your community. Work with at-risk LGBT youth, The Trevor Project, Equality California, The LGBT center, soup kitchens or support groups. And we should all support grassroots candidates that have your values in mind. This is how we make progress.”

On a lighter note, Jackie Beat recommends to continue enjoying life. “As my sister Nadya Ginsburg always says, ‘No one parties like the oppressed’ so let’s have some fucking fun! Come to one of my shows, go to one of Mario’s parties. And if you’re craving a bit of both, check out the club night we do together called BONKERZ! It’s at Precinct DTLA and the next one is Saturday, December 10.”


For more on Mario Diaz—visit mariodiazpresents.com.


For more on Jackie Beat—visit missjackiebeat.com.

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