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    Thornton, 31, is organizer of the Lip Gloss Diaries, a slam poetry event featuring girls ages 12 to 19 April 2 at the Kentucky Center. “As a young girl, my mother wouldn’t let me wear lipstick, but she was OK with lip gloss,” says Thornton, who lives in west Louisville. “To me, that shows a sign of becoming a woman.”

    LM: Earliest childhood memory?
    “Getting chased by a squirrel. Weird.”

    LM: What song is stuck in your head?
    “‘I came to slay, b****.’ Beyoncé’s ‘Formation,’ of course!”

    LM: How’d you make your first dollar?
    “I won $50 for an art/drawing contest in high school. I was pretty good at still life, so it probably was flowers or something.”

    LM: In one sentence, what do you actually do in your job?
    “Provide a platform for young ladies to voice their opinions.”

    LM: Your most noticeable quirk?
    “My face always says what I’m thinking. Can’t control it — or maybe I don’t want to control it.”

    LM: Who’s doing big things in Louisville and is flying under the radar?
    “Chad Golden and a few others have formed what is called Books and Breakfast, which was originally created by the Black Panthers. They provide free breakfast and books to people in Louisville.”

    LM: Besides your current job, what’s the best job you’ve ever had?
    “I can’t believe I’m saying this, but I loved being a barista at Starbucks. It taught me a lot about different kinds of people.”

    LM: Your drink?
    “Peach-mango lemonade. I have my own beverage company called Teas You. I make my own fresh fruit iced tea.”

    LM: Favorite possession?
    “The infamous cell phone. A little bit of my life is in here — my poems. I have it next to me like it’s a child.”

    LM: Your favorite thing hanging on the walls of your home?
    “An original piece of artwork from my first poetry show called Lipstick Wars. It’s a bold, edgy, uncensored woman. It’s the first thing you see when you walk in my house.”

    LM: What’s on your nightstand?
    “Jewelry, water, money, potpourri bowl, pencil and paper in case I come up with a poem. In other words: organized chaos.”

    LM: What are your vices?
    “Netflix. It captures my soul and makes me watch every episode of my favorite shows: Once Upon a Time, The Walking Dead and Supernatural. I have a little road rage, too. OK, so a lot of it.”

    LM: What’s on your credit-card statement?
    “Not a damn thing! I don’t have one (anymore, that is).”

    LM: What should every person try once?
    “Writing a poem. You have something to say, you just don’t know it yet. And my sweet tea.”

    LM: Best book you’ve read over the past year?
    “The Bible — like the whole thing in its entirety.”

    LM: If forced to get a tattoo today, what would you get?
    “It’s cliché, but I’m going with a rose.”

    LM: What’s something you wish you had known when you were younger?
    “It’s OK to dream big, to think differently from your peers. It doesn’t make you weird — just brave.”

    LM: If Actors Theatre staged a production about your life, what would the performance be called?
    “Rheonna...No, Not the Singer!”

    LM: What’s something unexpected you love in Louisville?
    “The panhandlers are some of the most honest people I’ve met.”

    LM: Fill in the blanks: Would you rather ________ or ________?
    “Would you rather win the lottery or bring back one person from the dead (not like a zombie, though)?”

    LM: All-time-favorite album?
    “Off the Wall, by Michael Jackson. I remember hearing ‘Rock With You’ for the first time. I thought Michael was magic, for real.”

    Plus 8 More:

    LM: What do you collect?
    “Lipstick and earrings, honey!”

    LM: Where do you go to be alone?
    “I sit in my car.”

    LM: All-time-favorite Kentucky Derby winner?
    “Funny Cide, 2003.”

    LM: What are you wearing right now?
    “All black everything.”

    LM: What’s something nobody knows about you?
    “I used to eat dirt. I can’t believe I’m telling you this.”

    LM: The first thing on your bucket list?
    “To go to Africa.”

    LM: What movie has the greatest ending?
    “The Lion King. Yeah, I said it!”

    LM: When are you most creative?
    “At the last minute.”

    This article originally appeared in the March issue of Louisville Magazine. To subscribe, click here.







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