Baltimost is a Baltimore Fishbowl feature series that asks locals what they love about their city. The idea is to celebrate Baltimore and the people who make it so unique.
So what makes Baltimore the Baltimost to you? It could be a favorite place, a great meal, a memorable interaction or something else entirely. Email suggestions to Karen at Knitkin@baltimorefishbowl.com.
Jonathan Sneddon, 37, is an IT administrator and artist. In their words:
“I am from Dallas and I moved to Baltimore in 2014.
I’ve been girl-like since I was a child. I was aware of being different; not from my perspective, but from how others viewed me. I would ask my mother why people called me a faggot; she would say they’re just jealous.
In my 20s, I was asked to write a gay lifestyle and nightlife column called Hookin’up with Gsus (pronounced Jesus) for a local city paper. At the time I didn’t know much about LGBTQ lifestyle or nightlife, but I had big hair and glitter everywhere. I wore all black and always carried a Hello Kitty purse. I could only imagine what the editor thought about me.
As part of the job, I reviewed gay porn. The first porno I reviewed was called ‘Latter Gay Saints.’ I found it comical so I had these porn-watching parties.
I promoted my art online and in the paper. I went to cosmetology school to learn more about beautification. That got me a lot of clients: girls and gays who wanted to go out looking fierce, moms who needed a pep in their step, hipsters who wanted to be ridiculous. We would go shopping, do shoots, go on trips and be fabulous. It was fun being on the go every night.
After moving to Baltimore, I decided to reinvent Gsus as Teara Newhole Gsus. She is one of my drag characters. My home is a drag coven. We are the Haus Ov DeathGlam. I have several drag children and grandchildren. We create projects and shows. My dragdaughter Pariah Sinclair just hosted the first Upper Chesapeake Bay Pride. I could not be more proud.
We have a recurring performance installation called #Provocateurs at the Baltimore Eagle. We explore kink and fetish with a focus on cultural identities. We want audience participation and authenticity. The next installment is on August 10.
I’m also working on a docu-style mini web series. I want to understand the perspective of people who live on the fringes. I’m looking to the kink, fetish and queer communities–anybody who feels different or not visible. The interest so far has been very diverse.
Personally, I am more of an asexual queer individual. For me, it’s not about what parts you have, but who you are. I have found my community in Baltimore.
One thing I love is the Baltimore Eagle. It’s an extended family, a safe place to express myself and showcase my art. A place where I can be authentic and different.”