Questioning the Locals: Benny Streuli

free-wheelin’ discussions with local folks

V1 Staff, photos by Andrea Paulseth |

Benny Streuli – better known as Benny Nyland – has taken the Chippewa Valley by storm in his iconic drag performances. When not dazzling crowds in drag, Benny can be found on a different stage – with the Eau Claire Children’s Theatre and the Chippewa Valley Theatre Guild. He is also married and has four kids ages ranging from 6-36. Watch out for him on stage and in this year’s Best of the Chippewa Valley Reader Poll (wink, wink).

I’m a transgender man who absolutely loves Eau Claire.

What is your occupation?

Member account representative at Royal Credit Union

What’s your passion?

Education. My philosophy is the more you know about something, the less scary it is.

What place in town considers you a “regular”?

Scooters Bar.

What is one of the best cultural experiences you’ve had in the Chippewa Valley?

Jazz in the Park. They encourage everyone to be themselves and encourage kids to experience music so they can find a passion as well.

Death bed, one meal from a local restaurant, what would it be?

Mom’s Kitchen. They have an omelet that is very Wisconsin. It’s brat and cheese. You can get hollandaise sauce on it, but I don’t care for it. It comes with toast and your choice of potatoes or pancakes. I choose pancakes.

What’s your favorite local festival?

This one is tough. I don’t have a lot of money to spend so I haven’t had the chance to go to much. But if Rock Fest counts it would be that. I used to work there so I got to see the acts after my work shift.

Water Street or Downtown?

Downtown. I don’t binge drink and I have a hard time on Water Street being sober.

What sort of economic development would you like to see in our area?

Affordable – and I mean truly affordable – housing. Affordable healthcare including mental health and more jobs that pay higher than minimum wage.

What part of town have you never visited (and why)?

I can’t think of an area I haven’t been. I like to see how everyone lives.

Benny’s Shoutouts

Scooter’s. “For accepting me as is and never questioning me as
a person.”

The Wigwam. “It’s always a fun time and one of the reasons I originally fell in love with Eau Claire. The different types of people who go there and just have fun together always impresses me.”

The LGBTQ+ Community. “For raising me up and giving me courage to live my truth everyday.”