Lou Sant's style is an amalgation of his upbringing and passions influenced by his queer identity. Photo: John Taylor.

SLUG Style: Lou Sant

Art and Fashion

Lou Sant is a visual artist, plant and cat father and professional movie quoter raised between St. George, Utah and Waikiki, Hawai’i. Inspired by his parents’ love of classic rock, his eclectic style reflects his outgoing personality and confidence in his LGBTQ+ identity. Keep up with Lou’s fashion, friends and art on Instagram at @king_baby_lou.

Every month, SLUG Style features a distinct member of the community and asks them why they do what they do. Exploring more than just clothing, SLUG Style is an attempt to feature the people who give Salt Lake City flavor through personality and panache.

What are your stylistic influences? This could be a band, decade, fictional character—anything.

I feel that my style comes from a lot of trial and error and a weird combination of periods of my life. ‘80s hair bands are definitely up there on the list of influences, which is all thanks to my parents who raised me and my siblings on ’70s–’80s rock music. It’s fun to wear my vest in public and get excited reactions and be stopped by the elder generation who I get to talk with and bond over the hard rock community with from things that happened 20-30 years before I was born. There’s also some influence from the early ‘90s and the skating community, thanks to my older sisters and brothers who I will always think are so much cooler than me. Other than that, I mostly just gravitate toward comfort, which includes anything black or white or both.

If you had a superpower, what would it be?

It might sound cliche, but time travel for sure. I’d love to be able to experience small and big moments in history for myself. Seeing Queen at the Live Aid concert at Wembley Stadium. Visiting any major Cathedral on its opening day. Seeing Star Wars in theaters with my teenage dad or Rocky Horror Picture Show live with my teenage mom in a theater in downtown Waikiki that doesn’t exist anymore. 

What are your interests or hobbies? What is the hobby or interest that you have that no one would realize to ask you about?

I make miniatures inspired by movies or architecture that I really love. I usually make it a little dystopian in the end, though, because I love the idea of nature reclaiming cities. My main interests are horror movies or documentaries, which I do a lot of research on after watching and then dump info on everyone around for a period of time. Also just movies in general, I love movie scores and cinematography as well as the background workings of how a movie is made. Something that I keep to myself (because I never have really had anyone else to talk about with) is my love for the Batman comics. 

How does your personal style translate to your miniatures, interior design and other art forms?

Honestly, my style stays very black and white because it’s comfortable and I don’t have to think too hard about coordinating color. But when it comes to my minis and my room I want everything to be colorful and maximalist. It’s not that I’m not out and loud in my life, but I feel like I prefer that to be more about my personality than my outward appearance, and I channel all of my love for color and design into my creations as an outlet. 

Are you always “on” or would someone see you at the grocery store, for example, with less elements of your style?

To be so for real, I’m more off than on in general public. I work in a kitchen, and I’m mostly a homebody, so when I am leaving the house it’s to do grocery shopping or take the train from work. I feel my style mostly comes out when I’m going to a concert or out on an activity with my wife. 

What are the most prized pieces in your wardrobe?

My vest is definitely something that I hold very dear and is a constant work in progress, I love that it is something that truly shows what I’m all about. My other favorite is the Bon Jovi shirt I stole from my moms closet when I first moved out— I had to fight to keep it after she realized it was gone. I have staples like my Converse and bandanas that are technically very replaceable, but I really don’t let anything go until it’s truly unusable. 

If you had to describe yourself in three words, what would those be? 

In individual words, probably: Husband. Mimi. Baby. As a sentence, definitely: Scary Dog Energy. 

How has your personal style evolved over time?

Well, between growing up Mormon in southern Utah and raised a, you know, girl, I really tried to force style and outward appearance a lot—trying to fit in and then trying to be the complete opposite of everyone around me. I think my style through the years has really just evolved with how comfortable I am with myself. 

What are your favorite smells and why?

Rain, eucalyptus, wet dirt, swampy sea salt, gardenia. They all make me think of my Grammys backyard in Hawai’i or thunderstorms in the desert. I love the rain and the way it looks, feels and smells. The way a beach always has an underlying smell of still water is where the ‘swampy’ comes in. Not always pleasant, but definitely nostalgic. 

How did coming into your LGBTQ+ identity impact your style, if at all?

Well, like I said earlier, I think my style has always just reflected how I feel about myself and the level of confidence in myself and my identity. I think being trans and navigating that definitely made for some questionable clothing choices and hairstyles, but I like to think I’ve found myself. 

From your experience, how would you describe the role of personal style within the LGBTQ+ community? Do you feel that your style helps to signal your identity to other queer people, and if so how?

I think style has a big role in the queer community, especially here in SLC. It’s not that hard to stand out among the majority of people here, so why not go all out? I think it’s fun and beautiful. I think as a trans man that doesn’t societally “pass,” my either mostly masc, or at least bordering, style does point people into the queer direction at least. 

If you could give one piece of advice to your younger self, what would it be?

Oh, man. Probably something along the lines of: Trust your gut and just drop out of high school and get your GED already, don’t wait for senior year. It’s really not worth it. 

See more SLUG Style features:
SLUG Style: Kat Aleman
SLUG Style: Amanda Madden