Joey Grant – A Chicago native, is the founder of Mint Male Magazine and MintMale.com. Mint’s purpose was to highlight the passionate and professional men in the gay community. After two years Mint is evolving into a multimedia site that will have something for all queer people. The new site will feature queer artists, videos, original web programming, and a daily blog for Mint Male fans whose goals are to live in mint condition. Joey has coordinated dozens of events for several charities e.g. GetEqual, HRC, Howard Brown, and Toys for Tots. In addition Joey has worked on events featuring the arts, live theatre and fashion, all while holding down a full time job as a hair stylist in Lakeview at L’etoile Salon.
Tony Soto – Originally from Clinton, IL, Tony has pursued a career in the arts for most of his life. Starting with acting, he worked on many live stage shows, but it took the sardonic wit of Londons thespians to make him realize he would never “make it big” acting. Upon returning to the states Tony went back to school where he received a BA in directing from Columbia College Chicago. Immediately after graduation his life as a freelance artist began. Now, Tony is in front and behind a camera. Since the internet has proven to be more than a fad, he has decided to give it a shot. Teaming up with Joey Grant, founder of Mint Male Magazine, Tony is thrilled to have launched The Qu, a brand new online venue geared toward showcasing queer artists and their work. Follow him on twitter: @tonythesoto
Lucy Wieczoerk – is originally from Tulsa, Oklahoma. In 1999 she fled her native homelands to this great mecca that is Chicago. Having been accepted to the School of the Art Institute of Chicago she attained her BFA in 2003 with a focus in sound, video and performance art. For the past 8 years she has actually made a living (successfully, who knew?) as a sound and video designer for theatre productions, DJ, videographer, still photographer and fire dancer. She slaves away giving “the man” forty hours of her life every week, but it’s as a video editor for Playboy Enterprises, Inc. Although being a corporate drone for said company can have it’s perks, Lucy is forever looking for new and inspiring projects to help better her art form as well as making greater connections with the individuals around her. She still currently freelances outside of Playboy and for many years has collaborated (and still does) with Tony Soto on theatre and video productions. Lucy is very excited to work and create in an amazing venture such is the qu.co and is looking forward to becoming more involved with our incredible community!
Chicago native Erin O’Neal has spent the last 20 years promoting independent music and conceptual dance parties as a musician, talent buyer, booking agent, poster designer, and trusted consigliere to countless bands. With encyclopedic music knowledge and a sharp critical ear, she has DJed on WLUW as well as at clubs including Smart Bar, Bottom Lounge and Double Door. O’Neal documents her world by writing about music, politic, feminism, LGBT issues and the people she encounters on the bus. Her contributions to Chunklet magazine and a personal blog have earned her renown amongst those who appreciate her healthy sense of the absurd.
Ben Kramer – known in some circles as Benny Stardust, is a Chicago-based creative personality, performing his own brand of burlesque beard drag with live singing throughout Windy City watering holes, including Berlin, Sidetrack, and the Parlour. Originally from Philadelphia, Ben’s artistic journey began as a classically-trained musical theater performer. A finalist for Windy City Gay Idol 2011, he has also performed in 3 sold-out runs at the Second City Skybox. He strives to lead a life of artistic and creative merit, following in the footsteps of so many innovative queer artists before him.