Bold & Beautiful: Tara Lipsyncki
Performance & Theatre
If anyone is the epitome of being both bold and gorgeous AF, it’s Tara Lipsyncki, a drag performer, activist, comedian and all-around amazing individual. Lipsyncki is a crucial member of Utah’s LGBTQIA+ community and has been providing a safe space for community members of all ages for years. Although she is no stranger to the harsh reality of being a queer performer in Utah, Lipsyncki continually rallies to bring light and laughter to all those she meets.
Born and raised in SLC, Lipsyncki is a full-time entertainer. “I’ve had my ass handed to me in the last year,” she says. “I really took a deeper look at myself, asking ‘Why do I want to be an artist?’ … It’s about activism, and it’s about providing safe spaces for trans and queer youth especially.” Lipsyncki’s art, her community work and her creation of safe spaces sets her apart. “I split my time between here and Rock Springs, Wyoming, helping them grow a queer community,” she says.
She is currently working on a production of Hedwig and the Angry Inch (with the help of Wyoming-based production company The Starling Company) that will premiere there in April before coming to SLC in May. Lipsyncki wants the project to “just give hope and light to these queer populations in small towns that have been neglected.”
“It’s amazing what you can do with some laser pointers and some smoke.”
Back in SLC, Lipsyncki says, “I host and produce an open mic at Roja Brewery the second or third Friday of every month. I’ve done stand up at Wise Guys, and even though I’m comfortable doing stand up, it’s been tough being in the mood lately due to the current social climate.” After the latest attack on our queer SLC spaces where a group of heavily armed Proud Boys showed up to protest allowing youth to participate in drag shows, Lypsincki has rallied the support of other business owners and allies and created their own safe spaces. “I am not a musician, but my specialty is drawing on the Disney background and having that level of production. I see that level of production easily,” she says. “It’s amazing what you can do with some laser pointers and some smoke.” If Disney can do drag, so can our queen. Hedwig is premiering April 20-22 in Rock Springs and then in Utah May 5–6.
While performing at wine and tea shop Tea Zaanti here in our beloved Salt Lake earlier this year, Lypsincki received some terrifying news—there was a group of fear-mongering protesters just outside the building. A group of armed, grown-ass men showed up to intimidate performers and patrons for putting on and attending an all-ages drag show. These men, calling themselves “Proud Boys,” claimed the event was “grooming” young children. What was meant to be a safe space for the community was turned into a homophobic, transphobic, hate-fueled protest. Luckily, the allies who work at Tea Zaanti and support their business remained calm. The shows were paused, and Lipsyncki has since returned to the stage to provide a place where the queer youth can be “unapologetically themselves,” as Lipsyncki says.
Since that incident, the queer community has rallied around Lipsyncki and other queer and trans folks. Armed Queers Salt Lake City, a group “dedicated to the self-defense, and self-determination, of people’s movements,” according to their Instagram page @armedqueersslc, provide security for Lipsyncki’s events to ensure protection and safety for all who attend. According to Lypsincki, many attendees felt safer with the Armed Queers present to keep any potential violent protesters discouraged from threatening vulnerable minorities.
“I’m just over the pretty show girl that does nothing for the community but looks like a fucking mannequin,” she says. “And then as soon as they see there’s a social issue, [they think] ‘I’m gonna get so many likes for this,’ just to get engagement. But get this straight: actually go and protest and put your money where your mouth is, and don’t be racist. Put trans people in your shows,” Lypsincki says. We need more trans visibility, more allyship and more fight behind our cause, and Lypsincki is showing us how.
“I’m just over the pretty show girl that does nothing for the community but looks like a fucking mannequin.”
The fight for our siblings may be exhausting, but it’s necessary. We’ve spent countless hours protesting the loss of trans rights, abortion rights, attacks on our LGBTQIA+ family and on and on and on. Meanwhile, we are dealing with our own personal losses. Lipsyncki is no different. Losing two parents back to back, she pushed even harder.
Make sure you support our local queens and all the rest of our LGBTQIA+ family with presence and power. Additionally, it’s my great pleasure to add, Bes-Teas is BACK! The family-friendly drag show now has a monthly residency at vegan bakery Sweet Hazel & Co (@sweethazelandco) in Midvale. Tickets are available through Lipsyncki’s website and through linktree. Be sure to follow them on Instagram @taralipsyncki , and always remember to tip your local drag queens.
Read more Bold & Beautiful features on members of the LGBTQ+ and performing arts community:
Bold & Beautiful: Ms Jaliah J
Bold & Beautiful: Mari Cona
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