Introducing our seventh Hero of Pride!

In celebration of the NYC arrival of WorldPride 2019, The Mixx is honoring 12 individuals who are making a difference in the lives of the LGBTQ community. Our seventh Pride Hero is Patrik Gallineaux, LGBT Manager and Ambassador for Stoli Group USA, and fabulous fun enthusiast. Read the interview below!

What does Pride mean to you?

PATRIK: Visibility and gratitude. Gratitude for those who have paved the way by marching publicly in the first Prides as their true selves in the 50 years since the Stonewall riots of 1969, despite the massive oppression that has been present for so long and only recently has begun to lighten thanks to these brave efforts. Visibility in the joy and beauty of being able to present as my own authentic, true self today and owning the responsibility to continue this legacy. Visibility is what brings hope, especially to the many places in the world that have barely begun to receive mere glimmers of the chance for equality and recognition of diversity. Burn bright, be loud, be PROUD.

Who is someone that has paved the way for the community?

PATRIK: A less obvious answer might be one of my personal heroes and also a dear friend, Bruce Vilanch. As a comedy writer and true influencer, he is one of very few gay men who was living his life openly and publicly since the early 70s. With one of the kindest hearts I know (he donates a tremendous amount of his time to organizations fighting for equality, the eradication of HIV/AIDS) there is no doubt he has had a massive difference in the perception of gay men over the decades while influencing hundreds of individuals with a platform to stand up for LGBT equality.

A more obvious choice is Harvey Milk; it was Harvey’s name I heard on television in the 70s the very first time I had any outside perception of what being gay was. The visibility he stood for, I believe, was and still is key to achieving acceptance and equality. I have to pinch myself that over the past few years I have had the honor of getting to know his nephew Stuart and the award-winning work for global equality of the Harvey Milk Foundation, and to be able to demonstrate said visibility with the introduction of the Stoli Limited Edition Harvey Milk Tribute Bottle this year.

Where is the best place to catch a drag show in NYC?

PATRIK: Fortunately, New York has a dizzying number of places to catch incredible shows, but hands down it is Hardware, because of one word: Shequida. I think she made a deal with the drag devil because she looks even better than when she started, and perhaps it’s a selfish choice as I moved to NYC that very year and would like to think I share her almost Dorian Gray-like reverse aging superpower. On top of that, she is a multiple-threat talent (and mostly just a general threat), and beneath all the lashes and lipstick is one of the most authentically kind people I know in New York; and her home bar of Hardware has one of the cutest, most comfortable show lounges anywhere.

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As a partner to the LGBTQ Community, The Mixx is thrilled to be able to put the spotlight on some of our personal heroes all year long. Stay tuned for the next installment, and reach out for more on how YOU can get involved with WorldPride 2019!

Lisa Chernin