Portrait by James Emmerman
Fran is a crusader for queer visibility. He seeks to reclaim space for the queer + trans narratives to include stories that show these communities as owners and originators of art, style and ideas that are so heavily borrowed - and stolen from - in mainstream culture. Whether it is through the medium of a podcast, writing countless essays and articles, or simply living their authentic truth - Fran is a reminder of the unapologetic efforts it takes to change the way queer culture is perceived and consumed.
Who are you?
I’m Fran, the former deputy editor at Out magazine, co-host of the podcast Food 4 Thot, and previously on The Outcast and Queerly Beloved. I currently make queer content happen at Netflix, and remain a full-time homosexual. I believe myself to be a driving force in getting the stories of LGBTQ+ people heard on a large scale in a way that brings queer people joy while elevating their cultural capital.
Why do you make your work?
Because anything I do that isn’t for queer and trans communities feels like wasted time.
What do you believe in?
I believe that queer people and trans people, and black people and brown people, are the most extraordinary people in the world, and that they are also, either in part or in entirety, inventors of the greatest cultural moments and cultural objects that “mainstream culture” has ever placed in history, and that my work seeks out to remind people of that fact.
Name one thing you say no to?
I say no to unpaid labor. I say no to opportunities that exploit the work of queer or trans people with little interest in their real lives or communities.
And one thing you say yes to?
What changes would you like to see?
I want queer people to be conveyed with joy. Too often, we see oppression narratives, trauma porn or stories that center whiteness and cishet-ness in a way that is so empty. Queer joy is for queer people, and we deserve happy stories too.
Name one thing that makes you happy?
The way queer and trans people are at the forefront of our culture right now and in the driver’s seat, too.
How would you describe your personal routine?
What did you want to be as a child?
Can you remember one solid piece of advice you've gotten for the growth of your work?
Not everything needs to make sense. Appreciate the mystery of a moment and don’t doubt your process when something isn’t happening fast enough.
If you could collaborate with anyone, who would it be?
Who is one person in culture that you feel is making positive and inspiring change?
Where can we follow along with your work?
@fransquishco on Twitter
@fransquishco on Instagram