Venus Demars interview
April 19, 2024 Brianna Nicole Austin , , no responses

Venus Demars

Venus Demars and I sat for an interview and it was surreal. I was sitting on a bed at the Charlton Arms Hotel, speaking to Venus — lead singer of the Minneapolis-based dark glam band All The Pretty Horses –, and wife Lynette. It was as if I was in someone’s dream, and in a way, I was. “This is my installation,” Venus explained, referring to the artwork that covered every square inch of the hotel room: walls and ceiling.

Dominated by background hues of blues, the focal point of the artwork was transgender beings in an angelic state, suspended in the air. I have never been a student of art, but the moods and inner feelings of the artist were in plain view to me. The work was honest and revealed the depths of who this person is.

Venus Demars and All The Pretty HorsesI first saw Venus perform in the spring of 2002 at Don Hills, and then again at the legendary CBGBs in NYC, and understood why Siren Magazine referred to All The Pretty Horses as “the most visually arresting band you will ever see.”

They were reviewing, musically and visually. At the time I was the New York City nightlife columnist for GIRL TALK Magazine and after the show sought out Venus to request an interview.

I was taken aback having just witnessed Venus command an ardent fanbase that they (Venus) were so down to Earth and welcoming.

So we met up a month or so later when Venus and Lynette were back in NYC at the Carlton Arms Hotel and for the next 40 minutes, we spoke about life, career, and art.

Brianna: As I do in every transgender-related interview, I have to start with the standard first question; do you prefer to be known as he, she, or does it matter? 

Venus: Well … I’m a transgender person, I can never be fully a woman, and am no longer a man — so I prefer something other than he or she. But, they don’t have anything, so Venus is fine.

B: Do you encounter difficulty being Venus 24/7?Venus Demars singer songwriter

V: When people see me, many times they are challenged to define their own gender and sexual identity – it makes many go to a place they’re afraid of. If someone refers to or addresses me as he, she, or drag, it doesn’t upset me. I calmly correct people when I have the opportunity, like this, through this interview. So, no, it’s not hard being me, but it’s all in how you perceive things.

B: What are the differences between how adults and kids react to you?

V: It’s funny because boys – 10 or 12 years old would ask me, are you a boy or a girl? If I said boy that would make them feel uncomfortable, again, because it challenged their self-image. But, when I’d say, “I’m neither a boy nor girl – I’m transgender,” they’re like oh, cool. Women seem to be accepting, and men, those confident with themselves, never have a problem with me – they’ll often come over and hug me.

B: Tell me a little bit about your art, what does it symbolize?

V: My art represents that life is a struggle, but if you’re at peace, you see more, experience more — then you die.

B: Earlier we discussed historical references to trans people, what’s your view of that? Venus Demars trasshed

V: In ancient times, Joseph wore technicolor – many men wore feminine clothes. Trans-people, especially in native cultures, were seen as spiritual beings – neither fully man nor woman. I try to capture the beauty and simplicity of that idea in my work.

B: You’ve been married for quite a while, and a documentary “Venus of Mars,” was made about that — how does being trans affect your relationship?

V: We were married five years, and I had to come out. I feared I would lose her, and at the time I thought there were only two options for me: to be a cross-dresser or a transsexual; but I couldn’t hide from her or myself any longer.

 B: Lynette, what were your thoughts as you found out?

Lynette: I was like, tell it to me slowly — let me absorb it. I had the basic fears, if Venus is bisexual, then that means Venus is gay, and for any woman, that’s a concern.

V: In relationships, gender never mattered much to me. All that mattered was monogamy. There has to be trust to explore and discover the depths of who you are together.

L: I also had to rethink sexuality.

V: And, this isn’t about female sexuality, it’s trans sexuality – which is not worshipping, or mocking – but, it’s my sexuality,

B: Tell me about your music and your influences.

V: I grew up with punk music, and was greatly influenced by that style. And Bowie, not only his music but his mindset – he broke all the rules. But, I have multiple interests in music. I enjoy opera and classical as well.

B: Do the stories and images of the ancients influence your music?

V: Yes. My music however is just another color of my art –it’s all my art, so it’s all intertwined. It’s like a dream, and within the dream, I’m influenced by it all. The art process is instinctive for me — it takes me where “it” wants to go. I may come back and reshape it, but it is created from that initial instinct, whether it’s music, drawing, painting, or whatever.

B: What does the band’s future look like? You’ve built a fan base, and are making ends meet.

V: I love being an Indie band. We are blessed that we can continue to do what we do. So many bands financially can’t survive. I would take a major label deal if it were the ‘right deal’, but we don’t need a “deal.” We have no problem remaining an Indie band forever.

B: How do you think ATPHs affect people in general?

V: We break down barriers. Our audience is so broad: young, old, straight, gay, whatever. And, it wasn’t preplanned, it just happened that way, but I’m glad.

B: Do you find people accepting?

V: For the most part yes, but once in a while we run into resistance – like the entire city of St. Cloud, Minnesota (chuckle). They have a history of anti-Semitism, racism, and anti-ATPHs (LOL)

B: What’s the lifelong goal, for you?

V: Working as long as I’m breathing (smile). To actively engage in self-discovery, and share my life’s experience — my art is my life, my religion.

Venus Demars interview

More InfoVenus Demars, YouTube Channel, Facebook

(FIRST PUBLISHED in GIRL TALK MAGAZINE 2002 in my A Bit of the Big Apple column, and later in Music Express 2005)

Copyright 2002 –  All Rights Reserved

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Brianna Nicole Austin is an author, writer, columnist and journalist and editor of from New York City, now living abroad.
Brianna Nicole Austin