Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Wick Thomas, teen-services librarian and punk drag activist, answers The Pitch Questionnaire

Posted By on Wed, Apr 16, 2014 at 7:16 AM

click to enlarge SABRINA STAIRES
  • Sabrina Staires

Name:
Wick Thomas

Occupation: Teen-services librarian, punk drag activist

Hometown: Drexel, Missouri

Current neighborhood: Westport

What I do (in 140 characters): I combine activism, public service, performance art, and music to make Kansas City a radder city and inspire youth to be themselves.

What's your addiction? Mud Pie cupcakes

What's your game? Katamari. The King of All Cosmos is such a babe.

What's your drink? Whiskey water. Nothing fancy.

Where's dinner? Vegan pizza from Waldo Pizza, at home cooking with my boyfriend or takeout from Sheng.

What's on your KC postcard? The Dave's Stagecoach sign. I used to bartend there and have a soft spot for dive bars.

Finish this sentence: "Kansas City got it right when ... " It realized the value of artists and made the Crossroads Arts District into a destination spot.

"Kansas City screwed up when ... " It sold its soul to the Cordish Co.

"Kansas City needs ... " Reliable public transportation designed with input from low-income communities.

"In five years, I'll be ... " Either doing policy work internationally or be a rock star. Depends on which side picks up faster.

"I always laugh at ... " My group of friends. We are a ragtag assortment of ridiculous personalities that all mesh together very well.

"I just read ... " I just got named to the American Library Association's Stonewall Book Awards Committee, so the only books I have time to read this year are queer books. When I get the chance, I sneak in some early gothic fiction.

The best advice I ever got: "Get it."

Worst advice: I come from a very low-income background and have supported myself since I was a teenager and heard a lot of "It's OK to pay for your education in student loans."

My sidekick: My library card. I never leave home without it.

My dating triumph/tragedy: All of them.

My brush with fame: I was backstage at the True Colors Tour and got to dance onstage with Cyndi Lauper during "Girls Just Want to Have Fun," met my idol Joan Jett, made friends with Margaret Cho, sang the finale onstage with Erasure and the B-52's, and then drank with the Blackhearts afterward. That was a good day.

My 140-character soapbox: We have to support access to public services, protect public education, and move toward universal health care.

What was the last thing you had to apologize for? Telling my truth too often. I come from a rural background and still haven't really figured out city manners.

Who's sorry now? Everybody

My recent triumph:
I am on the March cover of Library Journal for the work I am doing in library world. I get to help decide which book will receive the Stonewall Book Award this year and have some really exciting partnerships coming up with local schools and governments. Outside of that, I am terming out of office for EQUAL, a youth empowerment nonprofit that I helped found, and am incredibly proud of the work being done by the young people I've mentored. I am having a really great time fronting Wick & the Tricks, have a new band project coming up, and The Rocky Horror Picture Show cast I emcee for just found a new home at the Alamo Drafthouse. No one big triumph but lots of little ones that I am really excited about.

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