Tag Archives: ftm quarterly

TQ Nation EXCLUSIVE Interview: Amos Mac

Amos Mac (Photo Credit: Austin Young)

TQ Nation had the marvelous chance to interview the infamous photographer and co-creator/ editor-in-chief of Original Plumbing Magazine, Amos Mac.

Amos Mac is a world renown trans artist who documents a realistic view of the queer community through his camera.  He has been featured in publications like the annual documentary photo book “Cutter”, BUTT magazine, McSweeney’s, Maximum Rock N Roll and in every issue of Original Plumbing.

Original Plumbing is a quartley publication that documents the society of trans males through photography and was inspired by Amos Mac’s vision.  A vision that became his full time reality in June 2009 and hit the stands later that year to become the first ever “magazine dedicated to the culture and sexuality of FTM Transsexuals.”

Amos Mac’s revolutionary vision is unique. Why?  First, it is a dual creation between the great minds of Amos and his co-conspirer Rocco “Katastrophe” Kayiatos, which has combined the forces of two extremely talented and artistic transmen in depicting a very real look into their community that, up until now, has remained hidden.  Most importantly, Original Plumbing is a very intimate and behind the scenes illustration into the lives of female-to-male transsexuals, which has opened the eyes of the world, and for many FtM’s has helped eliminate their feelings of isolation and awkwardness in their own skin.

Fascinated?  Interested in finding out what all the fuss is about? Check out  OP TV, Fan OP on Facebook, Follow OP on Twitter & Amos Mac on Twitter. Of course, you also need to go directly to Amos Mac’s website to keep up with his latest photography, events and news.

When TQ Nation was flushed with the opportunity (*wink*) for an exclusive interview with Original Plumbing’s, Amos Mac, we were honored! We asked 10 questions and received answers that were comedic, to the point and full of his energy. Amos has already made a huge impression within the community and is on his way to establishing the most profound documented historical magazine of our generation.

Not to mention, he’s a TQ Nation citizen!


TQ: What do you believe has been your biggest role or accomplishment that has benefited the transgendered community?

AM: I feel that launching Original Plumbing magazine has benefited the trans male community for sure.  It’s something I’m so proud of, and I had no idea that the response to it would be the way that it has been so far.  It’s giving trans men a space to be highlighted and appreciated and giving us all a soapbox to talk about the issues we feel are relevant, and also it’s just so important to be more visible and acknowledge that we exist and we’re all out there and that we all have different stories. I also feel that my photographs of trans men are important for historical purposes… I’m documenting a culture and a group of men who have not been visible for very long and I’m trying to change that.

TQ: What is the craziest thing one of your fans has ever done to get your attention?

AM: Ha ha! This question makes me feel like a Backstreet Boy or something. My life doesn’t really work that way.  I’m not exactly a performer or someone who is publicly seen on a stage, and the work I do doesn’t exactly warrant a crazy fan base. Does it?  I mean unless I just don’t know about it.  Plus in general I’m the type of person who is very approachable so when fans want to get my attention, they’ll usually just email me or walk up to me at an event.

TQ: Where do you see yourself in 10 years?

AM: Still photographing, showing my work and publishing. Documenting queer existence in whatever form it has taken on in ten years.

TQ: Who is the one person that has played the most significant and positive role in your life? Why?

AM: Queer and trans artists and allies who have come before me. There are so many, I can’t pick one! Writers, photographers, sex workers, activists, performers… the people who were out there creating art or causing a scene while I was still figuring out my place in the world. All the people who gave me something to read and dream about when I was young. Also, so many of my friends, people that I spend my days and my nights with. The people closest to me inspire me daily. If you want me to name names, here’s a mixed list of all of the above : Rocco Kayiatos, Rhiannon Argo, Tuck Mayo, Leslie Feinberg, Michelle Tea, Max Wolf Valerio, RuPaul, AA Bronson, Cookie Mueller, John Waters, Tammy Faye, Austin Young, Pee Wee Herman, Daniel Nicoletta, George Michael, Michael Alig, Tara Jepsen, Kirk Read, Larry Clark, Ben McCoy, vintage porn, and all the drag queens I hung out with in Arlington, TX in the year 2000. To name a few.

TQ: What do you consider to be your greatest achievement so far in life?

AM: Original Plumbing magazine. And my moustache.

TQ: Being a face in the “limelight”, what types of privacy or safety concerns have you faced? How did you deal with them?

AM: The privacy and safety concerns I have usually revolve around meeting new people who do not already know me and me figuring out/obsessing over/struggling with how/if/when to disclose to someone that I am trans. Mainly I am referring to these situations in the cases of meeting new people when it comes to dating and/or sex, and how to live a safe life where I’m not putting myself at risk (physically, emotionally or otherwise) by disclosing. A plus side to this is that because of the work that I do, people often assume or know that I am trans, at least in some communities, so that is half the battle for me, because I’d rather people already know.

TQ: What’s the biggest piece of advice you would give someone who wants to follow in your footsteps?

AM: It doesn’t matter what kind of camera you have! Just keep shooting. Seriously.

TQ: What is the most interesting or memorable photo shoot you have done?

AM: Every one is pretty memorable for me. Even if I’ve just met the model that day and then never hang out with them ever again, I feel pretty bonded to them for life. From the hundreds of photos I’ll take during a photo shoot with one model, there will always be that one photograph that I single out that forever reminds me of that day or time in my life, or relationship to that specific person. I mainly shoot queer artists, a lot of writers and performers, gender variant individuals, drag performers, people who I feel are iconic in the queer community, so it’s impossible for me to choose just one shoot.

TQ: TQ Nation is giving you a personal soap box – What do you want to say? (include your spout outs: vents, complaints, thanks or anything you want people to know)

AM: Press is dying, and that makes me really sad. Support your favorite magazines, authors, and zines-makers… Purchase them at your local bookstores. Keep print media alive, and keep the stores alive that give printed matter a home.

Also, I love cats.

TQ: What upcoming event/tour can your fans look forward to in the future?

AM: I have two exhibits that focus on trans men I’ve photographed, both in San Francisco — One at the LGBT Community Center (called “The Boys of Original Plumbing – Past, Present & Future”) March 31-May 13th, then another exhibit at the Lexington Club in San Francisco, which will be up from June 22nd for a month.  I’ll be doing a huge Original Plumbing model search at that June 22nd opening party, which happens to fall during Pride week madness.

On June 24th, as a part of the National Queer Arts Festival in San Francisco,  Rocco Kayiatos and I are curating a multi-media event featuring 6 different trans male performers.

Then, in April 2011 I’ll be on Sister Spit tour with Michelle Tea and an all new line-up.

Written by TQ Nation 1st Lady, Sicily Skye



Filed under Entertainment, TQ Nation Exclusive Interviews

TQ Nation EXCLUSIVE Interview: Rocco “Katastrophe” Kayiatos

Rocco Katastrophe

TQ Nation had the opportunity to squeeze into the busy schedule of San Francisco based rapper and producer, Rocco “Katastrophe” Kayiatos for an exclusive interview.

Katastrophe got his start in 1997 doing poetry slams which led to rapping and making beats in 2002. He has taken hip-hop to the next level by traveling down the ultra-lyrics highway. He can spit about education, gender, culture and do it all with musical emotions ranging from pounding-reality rage to flirty shake-yer-booty tunes.

He has created three solo cd’s, toured the US and Europe multiple times and has been featured everywhere from Showtime’s “The L Word” to several documentary films. He was named “Producer of the Year” by Out Music Awards and his video for the song “The Life” was on MTV networks LOGO top ten hit list for twelve weeks.

Last year, Rocco teamed up with renowed photographer, Amos Mac, and together they have successfully produced the FTM quarterly magazine, Original Plumbing. Rocco holds the title of Assistant Editor.

Want more? I suggest you dive into his amazing talent for yourself by checking out his website HERE, becoming his fan on Facebook and friending his a$$ on Myspace. Of course, you also need to see him in person so make sure to keep informed of his next scheduled tour. You can also meet him at an Original Plumbing release party which happens every quarter.

Not to mention, he is also a TQ Nation citizen! *wink, wink*

TQ Nation

Exclusive Interview

TQ: What do you believe has been your biggest role or accomplishment that has benefited the transgendered community?

RK: I don’t know if I know what has had the most impact. I was one of the first transguys making music and discussing my transition from a stage. I figured out I was trans in 2002 and performed the entire time I transitioned. My first CD dealt heavily with issues of early transition, some of those ftm specific songs were featured on the L Word. I know that I reached a lot of young trans guys looking for their reflection in culture during that moment. That felt important and cool. A bunch of young dudes wrote to me during that time about how they used a couple of those songs to come out to their parents. I never set out with the goal of affecting the community, I just want to be real about my life and struggles and if people relate or get something from it, that is a big bonus.

TQ: What is the craziest thing one of your fans has ever done to get your attention?

RK: Nothing too out of the norm I think. Had a couple bras tossed my way, sweet fan letters etc.

TQ: Where do you see yourself in 10 years?

RK: God, I can barely see ten days from now. I try to just think about each day and not worry about the future too much. This has served me well so far.

TQ: Who is the one person that has played the most significant and positive role in your life? Why?

(Photo Credit: Jessica Miller)

RK: Only get to pick one? Well, I can’t, there have been too many. I would say direct influences have been my sister and my mom and dad, for all believing in me and pushing me to do anything and everything I felt inspired to do. My parents really accepted me for exactly who I am and supported me every step of the way. Even when I told them I wanted to be the worlds most famous Transsexual rapper!

My girlfriend, writer Michelle Tea, when she said “jobs are for quitting” meaning I never needed to find a career path other than the artistic one I am on. James Kass, director of Youth Speak! He gave me my first job right out of high school, teaching and performing poetry. All the queer artists brave enough to put their identities and art out there and create space for others to
follow suit. And most currently Amos Mac for conceptualizing and bringing me on board with Original Plumbing. This project is changing my life and the world forever. The project is magical and so is Amos!

TQ: What do you consider to be your greatest achievement so far in life?

RK: I can’t quantify. Maybe surviving adolescence and thriving in adulthood. Making money as an artist!

TQ: Being a face in the “limelight”, what types of privacy or safety concerns have you faced? How did you deal with them?

RK: I was offered a spot on VH1’s “The White Rapper Show” and declined because I wanted to keep a certain level of anonymity. I like being gaymous or sublebrity. I think the hardest part is having people feel like they know me without knowing me. It feels a little imbalanced. Overall it’s cool though.

TQ: What’s the biggest piece of advice you would give someone who wants to follow in your footsteps?

RK: Do what you are driven to do and worry about the result later. If you get caught up in wondering what will happen, you will never just make stuff. Don’t listen to anyone who tells you you can’t. And everyone has an opinion, but what other people think of you is ultimately none of your business.

TQ: How did Original Plumbing magazine get created? Tell us the story.

RK: Amos was going to create a zine to showcase his pictures of the guys in our community he’d shot and he told me about it. The more we talked about it the more inspired we both got about it. I asked if I could help and we decided to run it as more of a real magazine than a zine and to commit to making it for a full year and see how it went. Well, the response was immediately overwhelmingly good. And now we are committed to doing it forever. Neither of us is short in ideas or inspiration and the world is full of guys that are willing to model, so we are set.

TQ: TQ Nation is giving you a personal soap box – What do you want to say? (include your spout outs: vents, complaints, thanks or anything you want people to know)

RK: I think the only thing on my mind that I want to rant about right now is how big the world is, and how in our small communities, sometimes we forget this. I think queers spend a lot of time fighting for space with each other, and that energy would be better spent making space in the larger world. We don’t have enough of a voice outside our community. I think we forget this and tear each other apart. As an artist, my voice gets heard a bit more, so then people are sometimes bummed when they feel like I am speaking for them. I can never speak for anyone but myself, I hope to speak to people and make more space for more voices to be heard. Also, I think if you don’t see yourself reflected in the larger world, do something about it. We don’t have enough time to spend it thinking or saying negative things about other people. Let’s all assume everyone is doing their best and try to love and understand one another. It is just as easy, if not easier, to see the similarities than the differences. Try a little tenderness. There is enough room for everyone. Let’s not step on each others toes.

TQ: What upcoming events, appearances or movies can your fans look forward to?

RK: I just finished a month long tour. I will be back on the east coast and midwest in April and May, look out for those dates. And support queer art, buy my new cd its good. If you buy my cd, I can keep making music about our lives.

Written by TQ Nation President, Tristan Skye

Join the Revolution: www.TQnation.com

TQ Nation had the sensational pleasure to interview the National Entertainer of the Year 2009 (NEOY) aka “The Goddess of Seduction’, Bianca Nicole. Bianca Nicole is one of the most captivating female impersonators to ever grace the entertainment stage. She has stolen the show on stages all over the nation for almost 10 years and her popularity and notoriety hits new heights with every performance.

Bianca Nicole has perfected her stage performance, but it’s her personal life as a MtF (Male-to Female) Transsexual that truly shows her elegance and strength. Bianca started to live her life as a transgendered woman in 2003 and is continuing her own personal journey to a full transition in the upcoming future. Surrounded by the love and support of her fans, friends and most of all her family, Bianca Nicole is a name that you will hear more and more as she becomes an international icon in this community.

Are you intrigued yet?….., I suggest you see her amazing beauty and talent for yourself by subscribing to her YouTube channel http://www.youtube.com/MissNEOY2009 , Befriend her onhttp://www.facebook.com/bncanlas and http://www.facebook.com/thegoddessofseduction . Of course, you also need see her in person so make sure to watch for her shows and events at a venue near you.

Personally, I am not only a fan of Bianca, but also an avid supporter of her. I have been extremely privileged to see Bianca Nicole perform on numerous occasions and highly thrilled when she asked me to share a stage with her for one of her pageant benefit shows in 2008. Bianca Nicole is a DIVA, both on and off the stage. Her charismatic personality and the way she conducts herself is a breath of fresh air for everyone around her. Tristan and I feel extremely honored to call her an ally and a friend.

TQ Nation had the shimmering opportunity to lip-lock (*wink*) Bianca Nicole for an exclusive interview. We asked 10 questions and received answers that were endearing, light-hearted, and uncensored about her and her life. She has proven, yet again, to be beyond an inspiration for T-girls everywhere and a trendsetter for the Female Impersonator’s Entertainment World. Not to mention, she is also a TQ Nation citizen!

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Filed under Entertainment, TQ Nation Exclusive Interviews