The Emperor’s Exit

**As an opinion editorial piece, Tales From The Emperor does not reflect the views or opinions of Vital VOICE **

I’m a loyal guy. Back in 1993 a friend helped me move when I was in a bind, and to this day drinks are on me when I see him out.

As a freelance writer I’ve written for many publications, but I got my start at Vital VOICE and for that reason I’ve felt loyal to the publication. I stuck by them in their darkest days, when it looked like the LGBT Center scandal might be their undoing, and that loyalty has been reciprocated — most notably with the launch of my book.

There’s a common misconception that I’m an employee of the magazine, and that it’s my primary source of income. As a result, it’s where my local detractors swarm when upset about something I’ve posted on Facebook or on my personal blog.

Groups have also brought out the torches for myVital VOICE interview and opinion pieces, despite the fact Vital Voice gives people room to say what they want, even when it’s critical of the magazine or its contributors– as was the case with former Bad Dog owners who were allowed to publish a sprawling rebuttal to a piece they didn’t like, and recently with Jim Weckmann’s controversial interview in which he criticized the magazine, Publisher Darin Slyman, and myself.

One queen named in Weckmann’s interview was so enraged over his assessment of her– that she’s bitter and vengeful– she had friends threaten violence against him, and vowed to exact revenge by going around town throwing away all copies of the magazine from here on out (she really proved him wrong!). 

DSC_0104My articles about the bizarre antics in St. Louis, so colorful they’ve drawn an international following, are a labor of love– not how I feed myself. Those angered by my work rarely say I’m dishonest or inaccurate, instead they seem to feel discussing bad behavior is worse than the behavior itself. 

I’ve grown tired of seeing associates targeted because of what I write, so I’ve decided to officially move my column from Vital Voice to my blog.Vital VOICE will remain my media partner for Delusions of Grandeur through mid-2016.

I want to thank Darin and Jimmy for standing by me during so many controversies, and I wish them well as they continue to grow and expand to new markets.
For readers who enjoy my local stories, those tales will be a lot more fun and unfettered now that I don’t need to worry about businesses and associates being punished for them.

And for those who don’t like my stories, just wait. V

Written by Chris Andoe

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About the Author

Chris Andoe

  • Columnist

In the preface of his critically acclaimed book Delusions of Grandeur: A Few Hundred Tales From the Emperor of St. Louis, Metrosource NYC editor Paul Hagen writes, "Chris's writing - in particular his chronicles of the goings on in around St. Louis - had the urgency of a journalist embedded in a war zone...He opened doors to a world of people with multiple aliases and secret identities, sinister perpetrators of long cons, and drag performers who embody every aspect of the world legendary." Andoe's long-running "Tales From the Emperor" column in Vital VOICE attracts an international following. When he's not writing or touring, his interests include politics, climbing through abandoned buildings and knocking wigs back.

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