Getting Bent with Hot Metal Hardware

Since 2010, Hot Metal Hardware (HMH) has been a staple of genderqueer entertainment in Pittsburgh, presenting all manner of drag and burlesque shows at locations around the city. Their upcoming event, GET BENT! A Night of Gender Fauxery, focuses on ‘gender mayhem’ and features gender-bending performances, the Steel City Sisters, and a 50/50 raffle to raise money for Proud Haven, which supports queer youth with unstable housing situations. QueerPGH sat down to talk about the event with Lyndsey Sickler, a founding member of HMH.

Hot Metal Hardware Mars Mori Pittsburgh drag burlesque
Malcum Tent, Scarlet Feverson and August DeVyne hosting. Photo by Mars Mori

QueerPGH: Is this the first Get Bent! show?

Lyndsey Sickler: This is the first ‘Get Bent’ show, but this is not the only or first show for HMH.  Hot Metal Hardware has monthly shows at Cruze Bar every first Friday. Doors open at 9 and shows start sharp at 11 pm. No, seriously…11pm. We will no longer be operating on ‘drag standard time’.

QueerPGH: Who all is performing?

Sickler: This month several of our Core troupe members will be performing, MCing and supporting the show. We will be bringing a guest or two in as well,  it’s sure to be a great show.

Jennifer Warner Mars Mori Pittsburgh drag Burlesque queer pittsburgh
Guest Performer – Jennifer Warner. Photo by Mars Mori

QueerPGH: How is this show different?

Sickler: Our shows are diverse and inclusive across the performance continuum, we regularly have drag kings, drag queens, burlesque, boi-lesque, femmes fatales, male entertainers, and many, many more types of performances, occasionally even including live singing and other types of performance. What started as a rag-tag group of only gender-queer gender-fauxers, focused on drag kinging in mid-2010, is now a full-blown gender performance troupe inclusive of all those that wish to be included. Several performers dabble in a few different kinds of gender performance.  We are a training troupe, which means we regularly take baby/new performers and teach them the ropes of whatever  performance genre they wish to explore. We work hard to create a safe space to reflect the diversity of our community in a fun, engaging, and entertaining way.

Hot Metal Hardware Brandon Cox Mars Mori photography Pittsburgh drag burlesque
Brandon Cox photo by Mars Mori

QueerPGH: Why is this important?

Sickler: We believe it is vital that people are able to play with gender identity and all the other aspects of self, for the personal, the political, and the entertainment value. We want people to be who they are, when they are quiet, outrageous, debonaire, suave, nerdy, geeky, all of it, and most of all, to HAVE FUN! Being able to show different sides of yourself to others on stage, playing up aspects of different types of the art of drag and gender performance… all these things are reflections of not only who we are as human beings and entertainers but also is fun for the crowd to watch and engage with.
Over the years many folks who have come to our shows have mentioned how fun and  engaging they were and noted Hot Metal Hardware as a catalyst for their own exploration of gender, both personally and on various stages in their own right, sometimes even joining us.

QueerPGH: What can people expect from the show?

Sickler: People can expect a lots of fun and entertaining things. Hot, engaging, sexy performances, specialty drinks, vendors, dancing and more.  We also recently teamed up with the Steel City Sisters which is a local chapter of an international group called The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence.  They have become integral to our monthly shows helping us to sell raffle tickets to raise money for not only our individual groups, but also funds for local charities and non-profits.

Check out GET BENT! by HMH on May 5th at Cruze Bar, in the Strip District. A $5 cover will be charged at the door for this 21+ event. ‘Like’ the Hot Metal Hardware Facebook page for updates on their future shows.

This article originally appeared on QueerPgh.com. This article is preserved as a part of the Q Archives project. Please consider donating to help preserve Pittsburgh’s Queer history.