Personal Care Assistant Melissa Jensen feeds Michelle Lacy a smoothie for breakfast.

Even when she’s getting her nails done, Michelle Lacy brings a personal care assistant with her. “Because I can’t hold my hand still, having someone there is a comfort to me” she says.

Underpaid & Underappreciated

No Funding to Combat Critical Shortage of Personal Care Assistants for Disabled


May 2018

BY MARK SAXENMEYER

When Michelle Lacy was a child in the 1970s, she and her father would slowly walk up and down the street outside their home, night after night. Diagnosed at birth with cerebral palsy, Michelle’s parents believed that if she could walk, she’d be OK and have a better life. Wearing leg braces, or using crutches, or with the aid of a walker, she and her dad would walk as far she could, for as long as she could. “His belief was that the more we walked and the farther he pushed me each day it would soon get easier,” Michelle remembers.

Flash-forward to 2018 and Michelle, now 52, can’t walk, despite her father’s best intentions and devoted efforts during her childhood. Michelle’s cerebral palsy (CP) has evolved over the years and she now requires the assistance of personal care assistants (PCAs) for as many as 11 hours a day. They help her bathe, get dressed, eat, and attend to other basic needs. They lift her into her electronic wheelchair (she calls it “my safe haven, my freedom”) and help guide her through the Minnesota snow, among other hurdles and obstacles. They run (more…)

Sunny Dee-Lite, who appears in “The Queens,” will also be performing live following the film’s screening in St. Louis on May 27th.

The Queens

Spring Screenings of The Reporters Inc.'s New Documentary Scheduled in St. Louis, Portland and Seattle


After successful premiere parties and screenings in Chicago and Minneapolis during the winter of 2018, the next (currently scheduled) screenings of The Queens are set for:

* St. Louis, Missouri on Sunday May 27th at Hamburger Mary’s

* Portland, Oregon on Monday May 28th at The Hollywood Theater

* Seattle, Washington on Thursday June 7th at Neighbours Nightclub & Lounge

Part Paris is Burning, part RuPaul’s Drag Race and part Miss America, The Queens is a feature-length documentary that explores the transgender subculture of competitive female impersonation. When the lights dim and the curtains part, gasps can be heard in the audience because the queens in The Queens never fail to mesmerize.

They’re gorgeous, mysterious, complicated, and infinitely entertaining. But the secrets and the scandals inside the longest-running female impersonation club in the nation, and behind the scenes of the most prestigious transgender-centric beauty pageant in the nation, are equally fascinating. The entertainers immersed in this community share the highs and lows of their lives as they compete for the coveted crown, in The Queens.

For ticket purchase info, additional film details, and more trailers: www.thereporters.org/project/the-queens/

The first reviews are in:

The Queens is a joy ride, presented with gritty vibrancy, showbiz pizzazz and erotic splendor…this documentary entertains, informs, and ignites the imagination. The lines between male and female are sculpted into new forms…we witness artists in process with purpose. They glory in the unfolding transformation, sometimes at great sacrifice and expense.”  –John Townsend/Lavender

“Some people see these performers all dressed up and might dismiss them as frivolous but The Queens also brings fabulous historical context to subjects like violence against trans women, addiction, sex work and HIV/AIDS.” –Scott Duff/Co-Host of “Out Chicago” on WCPT 820 AM

Tiffany T. Hunter, who is profiled in The Queens, will be performing live following the film’s screening in St. Louis.