Arnetta Smith is a multimedia Black queer performance artist, producer, educator, activist, and DJ. She has created productions for conferences, organizations, individuals, and as personal projects. Her expertise is in African American history and media representation. She received her Bachelor and Master degrees in Africana Studies and Ethnic Studies, respectively, from San Francisco State University. Her research examines the ways Africana queer masculine of center (MOC) women are represented in film and television. She is an Associate Professor of Ethnic Studies at Fullerton College in Orange County, California.
In 2007, Arnetta started performing as her alter ego King McQueen, as a way to disrupt and infiltrate the male dominated art form in general, and the over-representation of white drag kings, in particular. She also created King McQueen's Royal Revue in Oakland, California, as a way to create performance space for other drag performers of color. Currently, she uses drag as a tool for social justice by creating dynamic multimedia performances with goals that centers on representation, social issues, education, liberation, healing, and celebration. Subsequently, she served as the Performance Chair for Butch Voices, a biennial conference for masculine-identified female-born individuals and an event organizer for International Women's Day in Oakland, California.
In 2012, Arnetta created and co-wrote Dyke Central, a queer television series centering the lives of queer people of color living in Oakland, California. Arnetta's main concern and driving force behind Dyke Central was the lack of representation of queer women of color in media, research, and the arts. After producing and screening the pilot episode to a sold out audience at the Grand Lake Theater in Oakland, Arnetta knew media was a useful vehicle to disseminate information to the masses. She used film once again to produce Triggered, a short film that discusses domestic violence in queer relationships.
In 2016, Arnetta was awarded the Creating Queer Community grant from the Queer Cultural Center in San Francisco, California for her production of Seeds, a 90 minute multimedia theater performance that tells the story of a Black queer revolutionary. She created Seeds and Triggered under her independent production company Mi[C]heck Media & Productions.
Arnetta is currently working with Two Chicks in the Mix, a small, Black and woman owned, independent baking company, to produce their web series.