the day after walking in new york fashion week i was called a faggot/freak/tranny by seventeen different people on the streets of new york city. this is a dissonance i know well: the disconnect between a runway & a subway, a stage & a street.
we talk about how social media creates a distorted perception of the lives of the people we follow (people are just sharing their highlight reel), but i think for gender non-conforming people it takes on another dimension. the harassment we endure is constant, unforgiving, getting worse. our triumphs can be translated on here, but very rarely our tragedies. how to capture chronic pain? a structural suffering? that even while writing this post on a train there are people gawking me. how to let you know yes this great thing happened to me but then i was assaulted on the way home, yes i sold out a show but then i got spat on after it, yes i have more followers online but i am still getting followed outside.
the work i am doing here is desperately ironic: look at the image & consider what you do not see. think about everything around the photo: what did it take for us to get there? how are we getting home? do you support us even when we aren’t inspirational, beautiful, or fashionable. would you have defended me or watched idly?
after the @openingceremony show queer theorist @sashavelour reminded us that the goal is not just having queer people recognized in fashion, but everywhere — being able to exist in a fundamental sense in public. fashion & beauty then are launchpads to something more essential — let’s call it dignity, maybe even personhood.
this is an art form queers have been practicing since the beginning: redeploying the very technologies that erase us to emancipate us. & that might seem impossible but i remember that every day i go outside knowing that i will be hunted. but still i go. i remember that queers have always lived in the realm of the impossible. for us: it is just another opportunity to prove you wrong.
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