Even the polar vortex couldn't ice my loins, so I present March's Crush.
Alberto Ramón Gutiérrez a.k.a. Mr Junior
Hometown: Santa Fe, New Mexico
Profession: Glamour aka Mister Junior, aka Burlesque star, stylist, designer, choreographer and dance instructor
Hobbies: Bicycling, cooking, manicures and pedicures, reading, coloring outside the lines in coloring books, and listening.
Our Town Why burlesque?
Alberto Ramón Gutiérrez I was granted special access into the wonderful and treasured world of burlesque, now a primarily female, lady power, femme-dominated world and found it to be an open place for expression and inclusion as a gender non-conforming individual, due in great part to the grace of Red Hot Annie.
OT Is Burlesque political?
ARG Burlesque is political because bodies are political. The way one chooses to use their body and showcase it is the most political act; from whom one chooses to share their body with to what one chooses to feed it and put inside it. Sexuality, sensuality, gender, size, skin color all become political tools for the burlesque artist to address personal and societal perceptions of a given body.
OT How do you conceptualize gender?
ARG Gender is a spectrum, a range of expression, how one relates to oneself and others, a personal identity, and something that can be fluid. Boy/Girl or Man/Woman are "guidelines" that may make it helpful to categorize and make sense of certain expressions, behaviors and presentations and they are not rigid, defined by body parts nor sexual orientation.
How has your relationship to your gender evolved as you’ve grown?
My gender is Glamor/neither. I found that trying to live up to unnatural pressures to act and present a certain way did not serve me, and I've suffered greatly for going against the grain; facing hate, bigotry, discrimination, and extreme violence. finding the strength and communities to showcase my deep personal expression of who I am inside this body and as a person have helped me move beyond the binary. In trying to explain the concept of gender to others, I've found that putting to rest the binary and including the option of "neither" in conversation makes it more understandable to people trying to get a handle on the spectrum of gender.
What's your favorite thing about Chicago?
Deep dish pizza, bike lanes, and public transportation.
OT What's your least favorite thing about Chicago?
ARG Ugh, winter's assault on my motivation.
OT Describe your perfect day.
ARG It begins with a wake and bake morning meditation with singing and dancing, hot tea while I catch up on social media and email from my home office and fry up a couple of eggs (I like them over-easy). Gathering some props and shoes to rehearse, teach a workshop or class, selecting a stylish, comfy, cozy, chic ensemble and then bicycling to the spot with some tunes in my ear and a helmet on my head. A great class, good stretching, and a nice sweat followed by a visit to The Lesbian Lounge, the home of my kindred spirit/spirit sisters where a delicious meal, strong drinks and big hugs are always plentiful is the next item on perfect day itinerary. A full tummy, smiley face, and warm soul guides me onward to a photoshoot with any number of my dear and talented photographer friends where I get to werq for the camera or style others for their close-upz. Concluding with a shared bowl and shared food and shared ideas and debate tops off the perfect day, before a bike ride home to pillow mountain (aka my lavish bed) to dream up new visions of beauty and love.
OTRelationship Deal breaker?
ARG Can't cook...food is so important to me!
OT Who was your first crush?
ARG Oh! my gosh, a fella named Josh in elementary school. He was such a cutie, smart AND cool...in 3rd grade, being cool was everything.
OT Why are you crushworthy?
ARG I can fry up some potatoes in a multitude of ways ;)
OT Any questions for me?
ARG What's your favorite ice cream flavor and favorite dipping sauce? What's your least favorite pizza topping? When are we going on our cosmetic safari?!
Bio- Mister Junior, the Queen of boylesque, is a burlesque performer of mixed nationalities, bridging his Mexican heritage and American upbringing through the art of burlesque to expose the farce of duality and binary-based perceptions with their seductive lqqks and moves. Each act seeks to question and confront societal expectations of race, gender normativity, submission and dominance, and performance. They playfully adapt Hispanic stereotypes such as the Lover, the Bull/Bullfighter, and the expectations for a hairy body and subverts them before your eyes. Trained in flamenco dance and club culture, Mister Junior is often referred to as an innovative, revolutionary, and visionary artist.
A writer with an MFA in Creative Writing from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Sarah Terez Rosenblum freelances for sites like Pop Matters and
afterellen.com Her debut novel, “Herself When She’s Missing," was called “poetic and heartrending” by ALA Booklist. Sarah is also a figure model, Spinning instructor and teacher at Chicago’s StoryStudio. Inevitably one day she will find herself lecturing naked on a spinning bike. She's kind of looking forward to it actually.
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