Terence Alan Smith, a Detroit native, called Chicago home from the late ‘70s to the early ‘90s when he worked as a fitness instructor, actor, political activist and drag performer at such clubs as Berlin and Lower Links. Smith was one of the founders of the Chicago chapter of Queer Nation, a political action group focused on queer issues at the height of the AIDS crisis. In 1990, Queer Nation asked Smith to run for Mayor, as his drag persona Joan Jett Blakk, against Richard Daley. The goal of Joan Jett Blakk's campaign was never to win the election but to garner as much media attention as possible for Chicago's queer community and the AIDS epidemic. In 1992, on the Queer Nation Party ticket, Joan Jett Blakk ran for President of the United States. Shortly after, Smith moved to San Francisco and joined the performance group Pomo Afro Homos, launched his talk show, Late Nite with Joan Jett Blakk, and continued to run for office. He still resides in San Francisco today.