"Is that a boy or girl?" 
"What the fuck is that?" 
"What the hell is he wearing?" 
"Yo man, did you see that" *commence laughter*
"Hey, are you a man or girl?"

Questions and taunts that I'm faced with almost everyday by the bigoted, bitter humans of the world. 

Why does it fucking matter? 

It's unfortunate to see people have such narrow-minded perspectives. I don't really care what they have to say since they have zero significance in my life, but I can't help think that these attitudes need to change. They are slowly changing thanks to the gender neutral, androgynous movement that fashion is currently experiencing as well as the rise of individuality and it's such a beautiful sight. 

Although I do get compliments and admiration from many (for which I send many thanks to those who appreciate my sartorial choices), I was always made fun of since I was young for being gay, and then it continued once I started experimenting more and more with fashion in high school. I was Lady Gaga of the "Sham." To this day, living in NYC, I'm still made a mockery of because of my attire. It doesn't and has never really mattered to me what people thought because I've accepted who I am. If they think I'm this poisonous being to the world, then it’ll be one of my missions to help change their perspectives. Maybe they're just bitter because I can work a pair of heels and short shorts better than they or their girlfriend can (just kidding… kind of). 

Being gawked at with negative ignorance is one of the major downsides that I (and many others) have to deal with for being "different," but you know what, It's a small price to pay for your own happiness. 

To be really happy, I discovered that I had to be completely honest with myself and who I am. Hiding and being ashamed of who I was and what I liked was only weighing me down from blossoming into the person I'm meant to be. I either could have found a solution to fix my issues (aka repress myself to being basic) or just accept my idiosyncrasies. I chose acceptance and to not worry about what others think because the only validation that mattered was my own, not from my peers, family, or the NYC strangers. Only with my validation could it lead me to Nirvana on earth. As "man repelling" and unorthodox as my fashion choices are, I chose to accept my "strange" style because dressing the way I dress made me happy. People can deal. 

When I was little I used to yearn to be a girl because of all the pretty, sparkly, and pink clothes, accessories, and toys they had! I was so jealous and thought I would be so much happier if I was just a girl! 20 some years later I no longer have that desire because I've found a place where I pull and play between the binary genders. I've discovered a way to make “feminine” and “masculine” clothes work for me, which has lead me into the world of androgyny, and I've never looked back since. I guess you could consider me genderfluid or nonbinary but I just consider myself to be just... me.  I wear heels, short shorts, jumpsuits, blazer dresses and honestly I've never felt happier, confident, and stronger. It's amazing how powerful fashion can influence your perspective on life, it can completely change your outlook with the confidence it supplies. Once I'm in an ensemble that I feel extra fly in, I'm overcome with euphoria and it's like I can take over the world and nothing can stand in my way. It's such a perfect medium to express yourself and to help you feel comfortable in your own body. Fashion has helped me find myself and allowed me to be in my purest and rawest form, and what's not happy and fulfilling about that?

For me, fashion honestly has given me life (you too mom)! For without fashion, I don't know where I'd be right now. Perhaps some normal routine confused and depressed desk job employee in the suburbs of cookiecutterville, which sounds absolutely dreadful. I wasn't really accepted in the world (town) I grew up in, with the constant teasing and degrading insults, but fashion is the one world that has truly accepted, embraced, and pushed me to cultivate myself. Once I realized this, I knew I wanted to be in fashion, to be in that fantastical world filled with other eccentric, creative, and progressive individuals that embraces differences.

Hopefully the existence of other "special" individuals along with myself can help open people's minds and educate them about all the various colors of the human race--we're not as simple as the black and white world where their minds currently reside. So, I wouldn't change myself in any way for that reason. If anything, their taunting and sickening thoughts only motivate my ambition to change those negative comments into positive ones. Hopefully at that point they will find solace in life as well.

So to answer that question earlier, It doesn't fucking matter because I'm happy, a fucking happy unicorn.

x d

Also, sending lots of love and thanks to my family and friends who have accepted me for who I am, and support all my fashion choices. 

Jacket: Levi's | Vest/Dress: Express | Shorts: Black Cat Vintage | Shoes: Public Desire | Earrings: Sorelle | Watch: Skagen | Patches: Mokyuobi

Photography by Kelsey Ann Rose
Edited by Trace Otsuka & Vitaly Usherenko