New York Fashion Week & Halloween are some of the only times I feel comfortable walking around as myself in the city. In both occasions there's a sense of social permission for gender transgression -- people think I'm wearing some "costume" and let me go about my day. On the whole people are so much nicer to me: a man even went out of his way to come up to me and tell me that he thought my dress was beautiful
I realized later that this is the first time a stranger had said something nice to me when wearing a dress in public. I am used to people going out of there way to make me feel like trash. I couldn't tell if I was more affected by his words or my surprise. .
I yearn for a world not just where gender non-conforming people can be safe, but also one where every day we encourage and celebrate transgression, creativity, and experimentation.
People always ask me why they should care about trans issues if we are "such a small percentage of the population?" This is about gender, but it's also about something else. It's about the potential for people to be themselves in a culture that makes that so utterly impossible. It's about developing an alternative relationship to difference, it's about unlearning all the ways we have been taught to fear and dismiss the unfamiliar
I also think there's something there about appreciation of artistry -- of all of our potential to birth new worlds out of our bodies and our words. Because I think we live in a world that is terrified of possibility because it so desperately relies on the status quo to keep people down
So to that man on the street, and to you on your screen, here is to fighting for all of our artistry. To supporting one another in making meaning and truth and possibility EVERY DAY out of all of the monotony and bleakness around us.
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