a couple of weeks ago i went to a casting call for new york fashion week. when i got there the line was full of conventionally beautiful, thin, gender conforming women wearing all black. there i was in like 10 prints in all my gender non-conforming finesse. i want to tell you a story about triumph: how i strut my way to the top, how everyone lost their minds, but sometimes it’s not like that.
i was overwhelmed by feeling ugly: in a deep & visceral sense. it overwhelmed me. i kept on spiraling, comparing myself to everyone else: who did i think i was showing up like this? mostly i felt stupid: “this is not for people like me.” i walked away. didn’t really know where i was going but i did not look back.
we talk about runways but we don’t talk about running away. glow ups, not break downs. there are so many opportunities in my life i have run away from because i felt inadequate. what do you do when you can’t point at someone else to blame?
it has taken so much work in my life to believe that i should be here: alive & gender non-conforming. i know that i do not deserve violence...but i do not know in a fundamental sense that i deserve beauty. there is a difference between saying “don’t abuse me” & “i am worthy” & i felt it that afternoon at the casting call: knotted & thorny in my gut.
but then i remembered sunsets: how one of the most spectacular moments in the day is a departure not an arrival. there is magnificence in the withdrawal. the iridescence of the retreat: leaving is another form of arriving, running is another way of finding. sometimes we have to lose in order to gain. & so i turned the street into my runway. & so i walked. away.
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