QUEER SOUL STAR - Alyssa
Alyssa (they/she) is a nonbinary, queer, loud, unapologetic sex educator, horror movie fanatic, and all-around badass living here in the Bay Area!
Alyssa and I did musicals together in high school - in fact, we both did shows at the same company with Queer Soul Star Kimi! The three of us started as sweet little cis girls and became incredible queer nonbinary people... I'm sensing a pattern. 😆
Like pretty much all of us, Alyssa "got the morbs" (an old-timey term for being depressed) in high school. The cycle of depression is debilitating, and by the time they got to college they were close to giving up entirely. Then, they realized something that was key to their recovery: when everything falls apart, you don't have to do the work of picking up the pieces and trying to rebuild that old sense of normal. Instead, she took that clean slate and ran with it. She took all sorts of random classes in college, trying EVERYTHING to see what stuck. One of the things that kept popping up was that they'd never had an orgasm, despite being sexually active. So Alyssa dove deep into learning all that they could about bodies, sex, and intimacy - both on an educational front and in their personal life.
Exploring the sexual frontier wasn't all positive, though. Alyssa figured out that not having basic knowledge about these topics and no real access to resources to find these things out is incredibly common. She learned about period poverty, which is the inability to access period products and the resulting disasters that happen for people with periods, including the inescapable cycle of poverty.
Guess what? Once again, this is all about white supremacy, misogyny, and capitalism. Not surprising. Alyssa jumped into this work, putting period products in public bathrooms and working with incredible organizations like the LGBTQ Youth Space and Planned Parenthood. They also are part of an organization called Health Connected that sends sex educators like Alyssa into schools to teach a comprehensive, sex positive, LGBTQ+ inclusive curriculum to students.
Through all this exploration, they also began discovering their queerness and eventually having a gender crisis during the pandemic (which SO many of us did) that led them to realize that they were nonbinary, too! We wanted to celebrate this whole journey of empowerment with her first set of photos, which we did in my home studio. Alyssa brought a bunch of different props to use, in a sort of "a few of my favorite things" concept. I love how you can FEEL them owning their space and radiating confidence. 🤩
At first, Alyssa felt a bit self conscious that this photo set wasn't a super clear vision. They'd ask if their ideas were silly, weird, or not good enough. But this is the beauty of The Queer Soul Experience: if it's authentic to you, you're doing it correctly. Being creative and making art in this way isn't about pleasing the person seeing this content or their story. If you (the Queer Soul Star) stay true to yourself and really lean into whatever feels right for YOU without taking anyone else into consideration, the result will be meaningful and impactful not only to you but to everyone. After that really sank in, we had a BALL using vibrators as microphones, candy cereal and marshmallows as sweet acid tabs, and making this witchy disco queen vision come to life.
Then, we went to a local arcade and (with permission from the management) went NUTS with the games. This concept was loosely based off Alyssa's killer coat (pictured below), and a dizzying neon acid trip. We had the best time running around to all the games and trying out different shots to take advantage of the unique lights and colors! I'm really, truly obsessed. Check out some of the highlights:
If you'd like to support any of the incredible organizations Alyssa has been involved with, please consider donating or volunteering:
Free public access to diverse, intersectional LGBTQ+ education through real-life lived examples is CRUCIAL to the future of the US and the world, and you can help make this possible. If you're able, please consider donating to The Queer Soul Fund! 100% of the donations will go to providing this life-changing experience for FREE to queer people who wouldn't be able to participate otherwise. I'll be able to compensate the queer artists involved fairly, rent clients' dream locations, and empower them to be the representation they never saw for future generations of LGBTQ+ folks. Any amount helps - you can read more and donate HERE: https://gofund.me/5fd7e9ff
Don't forget to listen to Alyssa's episode of The Queer Soul Spotlight podcast! We talk about the gay agenda, starting fresh at the start of a new life chapter, and horror movies/cults/aliens/conspiracy theories... 👽🛸
The link opens in Spotify, but The Queer Soul Spotlight is also available on Apple Podcasts and Anchor.
Interested in getting involved with The Queer Soul Experience? Nominate yourself or someone else and get more info HERE:
Read about more Queer Soul stars HERE: jennichapmanphotography.com/blog
Follow Alyssa on Instagram: instagram.com/alyssathesexwizard
Follow me for more Queer Soul content: instagram.com/jennichapmanphotography