Trans-Q TV Explores Gender, Sexuality, and Ecstatic Acts of Being
By Lauren Goshinski, School of Art News, November 2012

Trans-Q Television"Like a Dadaist variety show for the 21st century, or a truly warped fusion of Lawrence Welk, Sonny and Cher, Andy Warhol's TV, Ernie Kovacs, Flip Wilson, Carol Burnett and Wigstock," Trans-Q Television shines a humorous and provocative light on queer and transgender issues and themes.

This online variety series is both an undergraduate course and community project produced by students along with many artists and writers from in and outside Pittsburgh. "While there are some members who continuously serve particular roles because of skill level such as editing, shooting, press, grant writing, producing and writing, all members are on hand to take on whatever task needs to be done. This ensures everyone is experienced in all facets of show production," explains Harrison Apple (BHA '13).

Expect everything from stand-up, micro-documentaries, musical performances, video art, and animation to interviews, literary presentations, theory and performance art in an episode. Explains Suzie Silver, Executive Director and Professor of Art, "it's pretty utopian."

The series website will launch January 2013 with six episodes per season. Til then, check out their blog and attend their premiere party November 30.

Live Performances: Darla de la'Piranha, Dani Lamorte, Veruca la'Piranha and Liz Busch
DJs: Ginger Brooks Takahashi, Ed Um and DJ Dad Time
VJs: Fagnelly, Kevin Ramser and Just Nico
Episode 1 Highlights: hosted by Alaska Thvnderfvck, RuPaul's Drag Race Season 5 contestant and Pittsburgh drag queen; an all transgender/drag soap opera produced with California-based filmmakers Zackary Drucker + Rhys Ernst; music video from hip-hop producer Le1f's recent performance at Pittsburgh's VIA Festival; and a fashion show by students in artist Scott Andrew's MAKESHOP residency at the Children's Museum of Pittsburgh.

Who will we see on the show this season?

Musical Performances (SSION, Le1f, Sabrina Chap), Skits and quick vignettes (Word of the Day, Tuck and Pack, interstitials of various themes, short animations,), Interviews and Performances (SSION, Mikey McParlane and Erica Gressman, Vaginal Davis, Suzie Silver, Shana Moulton and Nick Hallet's Opera, Narcissister), Readings of written works (Max Steele, FemSlash, Maggie Negrete zine fiction), Collaborative Video Works(Drag Soap Opera with Zachary Drucker and Rhys Ernst) Exhibitions and Event documentation (Pat Loud speaking on the Loud Family [her son, Lance, the early openly gay 1970's reality show character of "American Family"], True T Entertainment Vogue Ball footage and Inteviews), Stand-Up Theory performance (Jonathan Musser 'Veronica Bleaus', Hoang Tan Nguyen)...

Who are some dream guests?

We're interested in anyone producing creative work that challenges static concepts of gender and sexuality. Orientation and self-labeling is not a criteria, we are interested in what is available to push the limits of expression and lifestyles.

Rumi Missabu, Kenneth Anger, James Bidgood, Pierre And Gilles, Genesis P-Orridge, Kate Bornstein, Dr. Muñoz, Christeen, E. Patrick Johnson, Midori, Lisa Bufano, Coco Fusco, Penny Arcade, Dynasty Handbag, MC Crumbsnatcherm Diamanda Galas, Shelley Hirsch, Ron Athey, Amos Mac, Pyuupiru, Julie Tolentino, Lana Wachowski, House of Ladosha, Christeene and PJ Raval, Empress Stah, Kembra Pfahler, Sandra Bernhard, John Waters, Lady Bunny, Kalup Linzy, Judith Butler, Jack Halberstam and many many more!

You're all traveling a lot to get footage, what have been some of your most challenging shoots?

There were back-to-back days (of the VIA festival) that included setup and shooting for Mikey McParlane and Erica Gressman's performances, shooting footage of Le1f and SSION, interviewing SSION, and a Vogue Ball that went until 3 in the morning in Homewood. Just the coordination and stamina behind this schedule was intense. When it comes to thinking on our feet and being flexible, on our way to shoot a segment with Narcissister in NYC we managed to add on an impromptu interview with Vaginal Davis and her many incredible friends including Bebbi Henson, an original Warhol Superstar, and Dr Muñoz of NYU's performance studies department, at her art opening in the Lower East Side plus a reading with Max Steele. We are always hustling!

Trans-Q Team: Suzie Silver (Executive Producer, Professor of Art), Scott Andrew (Producer, MFA 13), Associate Producers/Crew: Harrison Apple, Elizabeth Buschmann, Allison Cosby, Nicole Dimascio, Keith Lafuente, Daniel Lamorte, Nicole Marrow, Anna Nelson, Justin Old, Rigel Richardson, Stephanie Ross, Lauren Smith, Rachel Wagner and Nico Zevallos.

Supported by Carnegie Mellon University's Center for the Arts in Society and School of Art.

Read the Carnegie Mellon News Press Release