Tag Archives: gender

What Is It Like To Grow Up Without The Rigid Gender Roles (Video)

In Vice’s newest documentary Raised Without Gender, host Amelia Abraham goes to Sweden – the world’s most forward thinking country when it comes to questioning gender – to find out what it’s like to grow up without the gender binary.

The documentary comes at a time when transgender issues are at the forefront of liberation debate across the world and more young people than ever before are defining as something other than simply “male” or “female.”

In Sweden, the gender neutral pronoun “hen” has been in the national dictionary since 2015 and is now commonly used by most Swedes, the Swedish government’s school plan has since 1998 forbidden enforcing gender stereotypes, and government funded gender neutral kindergartens with gender aware teachers has made it possible for families to raise their children without a set gender identity, something that often sparks controversy in the foreign press.

In the film, Abraham spends time with one of these gender non-conforming families, mapa (mom and dad) Del LaGrace Volcano who was born intersex (both male and female), the children Mika (5) and Nico (3) and their grandma Margareta.

She visits Mika and Nico’s gender aware kindergarten to find out what the teachers and the other kids make of Mika’s gender expression.

She also meets the founder of Sweden’s gender-neutral kindergartens, Lotta Rajalin, to learn how they go about deleting gender norms from education, as well as psychiatrist Dr Eberhard who is against Sweden’s attitude to gender in kindergartens.

Queer Fantasy Novels Are Pushing the Boundaries of Gender and Sex

Gender and sexuality are endlessly complicated. And yet we tend to see everything in terms of male or female, gay or straight.If you identify as a gender other than the one you were assigned at birth, you’re trans. If you like someone of the same gender, you’re queer.

If you identify as a gender other than the one you were assigned at birth, you’re trans. If you like someone of the same gender, you’re queer.

Even all the different types of women – femme, butch, masculine-of-center, stemme, and more – are just lumped into the category of women.

But it’s more complicated than that.

That’s why fantasy books are the some of the more progressive pieces of queer literature available. They reimagine what sexuality, gender, relationships and even race could be.

For example, let’s look at Jon Skovron’s Empire of Storms Books.

Skovron is a man who knows the blurring of identities. He identifies as a man, but considers his masculinity atypical – he’s sensitive and creative, all of his close friends are women and gay men, and he was raised in a houseful of women. He was married to a woman for nine years until she realized she was a lesbian and left him for another woman.

After that devastating event, he realized that gender and sexuality are fluid. Just because his wife fell in love with a woman didn’t mean that she had never loved him. He realized that people are always changing.

That helped to inform the characters in Empire of Storms. He finally freed himself up to write dynamic characters that defied labels. He says,

If we can imagine flying dragons and elves, why not a third gender, or a fourth, or a whole spectrum of gender?”

The protagonist, Red, identifies as a man but not with “typical” masculinity. Like Skovron, Red identifies more with emotions and female friendship than with “many” activities like fighting. He says, “Red is, in part, my attempt to embrace and celebrate my own somewhat unconventional masculinity.”

Another gender-defying character is Brigga Lin, who can magically change sexes at will. This power is less about how cool it would be if one could switch back and forth, but about how powerful it is to be able to present as your desired gender at will.

Skovron isn’t the only writer to do this. In Ursula K. LeGuin’s Left Hand of Darkness, everyone is sexless except for once a month, for breeding purposes, and everyone uses the pronoun “he” regardless of what sex they happen to take on that month.

In Ann Leckie’s Ancillary Justice, the main character comes from a genderless society and finds it tiring and futile to interact with a society with such rigid genders. The character refers to everyone as “she.”

Read more about Skovron’s gender-bending writing here or Left Hand of Darkness, Ancillary Justice and other gender-queering books here.

A ‘Frozen’ Fan Made the Queer Sequel

Frozen’s Elsa might be gay. Maybe, maybe not. There’s no way to know until Frozen 2 releases in 2019.

In the meantime, what are queer, Disney-loving women supposed to do? We’ve been twiddling our thumbs for ages, wondering when Disney is going to have a gay Disney princess.

Moana is a step in the right direction – it’s a breath of fresh air from the Princess-Loves-Prince-Charming plot or the recently popular Princess-Doesn’t-Need-Prince-Charming plot (Tangled, Frozen, Brave). Moana is notable because it doesn’t address men or sexuality in the slightest.

Still, hurry up with that gay princess, Disney.

In the meantime, we’ll just have to bide our time and wait for the maybe, slightly, possibly queer Frozen 2 to release two years from now.

Olly Pike couldn’t wait. And you don’t have to, either.

YouTube animator Olly Pike has created a short fairytale film exploring the life of a lesbian ice queen. The film is called The Ice Queen and Her Wife. The princess looks exactly like Elsa, from the dress to the blonde braid.

In this reimagined Frozen, the ice queen lives with her wife, Summer, in a gorgeous castle. Instead of fearing her ice powers, she uses them to make gifts for her wife. Her wife, in turn, has the ability to make plants flower on command. They live a beautiful life of ice and earth, snow and sun.

Pike says:

It’s sad to think that the heartache found in our story is the reality for so many LGBT+ couples across the globe. These people are forced to keep their relationships/sexuality secret or risk imprisonment or even death in certain places. We hope our story highlights how unfair and tragic it is to dictate whom may love whom. Our stories are aimed at a younger audience in the hope that we can educate them about equality and diversity, in order to build a kinder, more accepting society for future generations.

Although the story is aimed at younger audiences, it may be the burst of sunshine that you need today.

When you’re done, smile at their other cartoon, Jamie – A Transgender Cinderella Story.

‘A Series Of Unfortunate Events’ Is Groundbreaking Queer TV

Nothing good ever happens in A Series of Unfortunate Events. Countless villains exploit the newly orphaned trio, the Baudelaire children, and wherever the children look, they run into more danger, sadness and tragedy.

Although it’s a children’s book and TV series, the show is incredibly dark. The Advocate said it best when they said, “Evil characters do not always get what they deserve, and neither do the good.”

A Series of Unfortunate Events has no happy endings. None. So don’t get your hopes up.

It does, however, have plenty of queer and gender non-conforming characters. It’s one of the first children’s television shows to do so.

If you thought the casual gay moment in ParaNorman and the oh-so-brief lesbian couple in Finding Dory were cause for applause, then get ready to break into a standing ovation.

Count Olaf, the Drag Queen

Neil Patrick Harris, an openly gay actor, is excellent in the role of Count Olaf. He’s funny, layered and unafraid to wear a dress in order to get his hands on the Baudelaire children. In order to kidnap the children, he dresses in drag. In this universe, it’s completely normal.

Henchperson of Indeterminate Gender

Any old villain can have a henchman. But Count Olaf, the equal-opportunity employer, hires a gender non-conforming henchperson whose gender is deliberately indeterminate. It doesn’t matter what gender the henchperson is as long as that person gets the job done. In one scene, the henchperson says, “It doesn’t matter what gender you are.”

Gay Lumberjacks

Gay couple Sir and Charles operate a lumber mill and take in the Baudelaire children. The pair are introduced as “partners.”

The show’s narrator frequently defines words for the young audience. In the opening scene, the following occurs:

NARRATOR: In fact, ‘partners’ can mean several things. It could mean two people who own a lumber mill together or a cupcakery. And now, with the advent of more progressive cultural mores, not to mention certain high-court rulings, it could also mean –

SIR: I do all the work, he irons my clothes!

CHARLES: I also cook your omelets!

NARRATOR: The definitions are not mutually exclusive.

A Caveat…

Sharp-eyed viewers may point out that all of these queer characters are villains. Yes, that is true. However, in this universe, everyone is a villain. You get used to it.

Grab your girlfriend and catch the first season on Netflix.

To learn more about queer representation in children’s programming, check out this article.

Normalising Men In Makeup Is Important

When I was younger, I used to run a fashion blog. Nowadays one of my best friends is a beauty vlogger enthusiast, familiar with most parts of the culture around makeup and trends. While if you dig a bit into it you realize that both fashion and beauty are not only forms of expression but also forms of art, many people would undermine what me or my best friend were interested into as being “too girly” or taking our “lady duty” too seriously.

This is because most processes tied to beauty and dressing up are entangled in way too many double standards. Makeup for example is tied intensely to double standards for women, or people who are socialized as women.  Makeup in its traditional sense is not considered an art form by most people, especially not an art form that all genders can perform.

On the contrary, it’s limited to something that women are just supposed to do, something they are expected by society to do in all occasions in order to be deemed acceptable and considered as beautiful, therefore deemed as worthy of social respect: much like shaving your body hair. Some women don’t even want to put makeup on and they’re often shunned for not making an effort, or for not being feminine enough.

And yet there are double standards here, cause if you care too much for makeup, follow beauty vlogs and save up to buy a set of glam brushes, you are shunned for doing too much lady work; the work you are supposed to do anyway, but on a level that makes you appear as having intensely feminine interests, which is considered a social aspect that people use to undermine you as not worthy enough to do things men do.

Gender roles being so tightly knit in our social practices can make it extremely hard for men who put on makeup.  For reasons that seem absurd, certain arrangements of fabrics have long been thought to be “women’s clothes”, and slightly different arrangements of fabrics have long be thought to be “men’s clothes”, in the same way that makeup is considered to be a “woman’s work”.

Fortunately a massive twist is steadily being made in both the fashion and the beauty industry, following the redefinitions of the social conceptions of gender. Beauty outside the gender binary and cis/hetero-normativity standards is being redefined. There is a powerful community of extremely talented trans beauty vloggers, drag beauty vloggers, and a wonderful community of beauty bloggers who wish to normalize makeup for men.

The lists we can link to are endless: I wish I had the time to watch these imaginative tutorials all day! If someone watches their videos they’re gonna realize this is much more than just trying to look pretty in socially acceptable ways: it is art, and it is beautiful. Galaxies, stars, monsters and fauns, flowers, zombies, and anything you can imagine.

Last year, Refinery29’s beauty editor Phillip Picardi said, concerning his collection Men Wearing Lipstick: “when thinking about how to best showcase some of the season’s most exciting new lip shades, I was envisioning plenty of things: kisses on cocktail napkins, close-ups of pouts, animated GIFs of mouths moving, talking, kissing, eating, etc.

But, then I thought, Why not let boys show us the lipsticks? Women constantly appear in beauty editorials — why would it be weird to let boys do the same? Men wearing lipstick is not a novelty for me: In my world, as a beauty editor and a gay man, it’s a regular occurrence. But, I appreciate the men here taking time out from their jobs to sit down, pick out lipsticks that spoke to them, and try something new for the day. The lipsticks ended up enhancing their looks; making them cooler.

The work of makeup artists can be awestriking whether it is professional or not, and in the past few months history has been written in representing male makeup talents in the rise of this new era.

The first highlight was James Charles, a 17 year old student from New York whose Instagram account currently has 1.2 million subscribers, after becoming the first CoverBoy in CoverGirl’s 58-year history in October! He does his friends’ makeup and has a Youtube channel where he posts his unique tutorials about artistic makeup.

He took his senior yearbook photos twice because he didn’t like the way the highlighter on his cheekbones looked. His spot spread on Twitter and Zendaya tweeted to him: “You win.” Charles joined Katy Perry who is the current CoverGirl ambassador to promote its products, the first product being CoverGirl’s So Lashy Mascara.

Charles said, in his interview with the New York Times:

The fact that I am the first boy is so cool. It shows that this industry is actually becoming genderless, and we’re really making the push toward equal opportunities for everybody, regardless of race, sexuality, gender. I think it’s a huge steppingstone for such a big and iconic company.

Hopefully other people will see this, and when they think, “Oh, this random 17-year-old kid just started doing makeup recently and is now the face of CoverGirl,” I hope that inspires them to really be themselves and feel comfortable and wear makeup and express themselves in a manner they haven’t been comfortable doing before.”

He also addresses the issue of online bullying, saying that there will always be people who will try to keep others from doing what they love. However, his followers are so loyal and supportive that they make hate comments matter much less. He’s always been a fan of “RuPaul’s Drag Race” but he makes it clear that what he does is not drag: he identifies as a boy, and he’s a boy in makeup.

CoverGirl’s competitor Maybelline recently made American Youtuber Manny Gutierrez their first male ambassador. Gutierrez has acquired more than two million Youtube subscriptions since he started posting makeup tutorials in 2014. Gutierrez has a Makeup Geek eye shadow palette and an Ofra lip set named after him. He’s friends with Patrick Simondac, who also has more than 2 million subscriptions on YouTube. This year Simondac was made a brand ambassador for the nail polish line Formula X.

Gutierrez too makes it clear that what he does is not drag. He explains to Marie Claire: “It’s an art form for me. I’m still confident as a boy and I will always be a boy. I can be confident with bare skin and with a full face.”

It’s time for makeup to be normalised for guys: people need yet to realize that it makes no sense to assign genders on liquids and pastes or pieces of fabric, for that matter. Thankfully in 2017 everyone is allowed to do art, to paint on a canvas or tattoo their bodies; it only makes sense that everyone should be allowed to paint galaxies on their faces.

Two Spirit, The Spiritual Concept Of Gender In Native Tribes

In modern Euro-American societies, opposition against socially imposed gender roles, as well as trans and gender-non-conforming people, are often described, in different rhetorics – both conservative and not – as a rather new element of society, as newly-discovered or constructed identities that didn’t exist before Judith Butler or the Rocky Horror Picture Show.

To go a step further, advocating for the rights of LGBTQ+ people is seen – since it is unfortunately only performed and answered in this way – as something radical, as if we are not human beings as valuable as cishet people.

Treating heteronormativity and the gender binary as the default system of an essentialist human condition, apart from being as scientifically and ontologically wrong as it is sociologically problematic and harmful, is also a view clearly blinded by a misleading colonialist American/Euro-centric view. Not all cultures used to view gender in the same way that we were taught it essentially exists as – a strict binary of male and female, where gender and the roles that are imposed by it align in a presupposed way with the biological sex.

Digging into the history of how tribes that were colonised by European countries viewed gender and sexuality is extremely important, not only to denaturalise harmful views that we have been taught to consider as given and essential, but it is also vital for Native American people who wish to decolonise their language and culture, in the process of claiming and reclaiming their gender and spiritual identities.

As Mahealani Joy, a kanaka maoli queer woman and activist explains in their article:

trying to decolonize something means critically examining it, seeing how colonization (aka everything since Christopher Columbus arrived) has influenced it, and then trying to realign things with our traditional community values and practices.”

This is something that many Native LGBTQ+ people do today by claiming, among other things, the term “Two Spirit” for themselves, in order to describe their gender identity, often giving meaning to the spiritual aspects of the word. Identifying as Two Spirit can be empowering for Native LGBTQ+ even though not all of them choose to identify as such, especially considering that Native communities vary greatly in their beliefs, values and traditions, so not all Native people think and feel the same way about different issues, including gender and sexuality. In the process of decolonising their language, for some Native people using the term “Two Spirit” can be a political statement, while some others might choose to use other tribal identities in their own language, since the phrase “Two Spirit” is technically still English.

When the European conquerors arrived at what they called “New World” they found that the Native Americans acknowledged different models of gendered life and distribution of gender roles. There were three-five genders acknowledged: female, male, Two Spirit female, Two Spirit male, and transgender.

In the same way that European colonisers exploited and systematically exterminated most aspects of the Native tribes that they conquered, they also destroyed the lives and extinguished the existences of Two Spirit people. The same people who were so deeply venerated by the members of their tribe, were described by the Jesuits and the French as merely sinful – and chased as such.

Christopher Columbus’ crew was extremely violent towards Two Spirit people. Euro-Americans forced Native people to conform to the standards and beliefs that European societies had established about gender.

According to Walter L. Williams, author of The Spirit and the Flesh and Two Spirits: A Story of Life with the Navajo, and Professor of Anthropology, History and Gender Studies at the University of Southern California, years later, during the 20th century, with the rise of homophobia and the spread of Christian influences, the respect that Two Spirit people held even among their tribes declined and Two Spirit people were forced either by the government or by the predominant Christian religion to conform to standard gender roles. Many indigenous people who couldn’t conform would have to go underground or even committed suicide.

A new era of heightened respect for Two Spirit identities seemed to emerge with the Native American “red power” cultural pride and the rise of gay and lesbian liberation movements in the second half of the 20th century, however Native Americans are still awfully marginalised in many aspects of their lives, and their identities are often not acknowledged as valid.

But what does Two Spirit mean? How did different tribes perceive the concept of gender in other ways than the Euro-American culture?

Two Spirit was referred at by people of the Navajo tribe as Nádleehí, which means “one who is transformed” and by the Lakota people as Winkté, which refers to a person thought to be male at birth but then behaving as a female.

The term also translated as Niizh Manidoowag (which meant Two Spirit) in Ojibwe and Hemaneh (which meant half man – half woman) in Cheyenne. The term doesn’t always translate in the “Two Spirit” phrase that is used universally in the English language. Such examples can be found in the Iroquois Cherokee language where such gender variations are acknowledged but there exist no such terms to describe them.

The term that was mostly used by European and American anthropologists until the 20th century was “Bardache”. It derives its origins by the French “Bardache” which means a male prostitute, and the Arabic “Bardaj” which means “captive” or “slave”. This term was considered to be offensive by Native LGBTQIA+ people who wished to distinguish sexuality and the connotations of it and the spiritual character of their identities. This is why many of them chose to claim the term Two Spirit as an answer against the colonization of their identities. The term started being used again mostly in 1990.

The way someone expresses and performs their gender and sexuality, for many Native tribes, was not something to be judged or interfered with morally. People were judged by their contributions to their tribe and by their character, while parents were supposed to let Nature run its course and thus did not interfere with the way their children would express their gender e.g. with the clothes they would wear, the gender they would choose and the according ceremonies they would follow.

According to Walter L. Williams, Native Americans don’t wish to “force every person in one box, but to allow for the reality of diversity in gender and sexual identities”.

The term “Two Spirit” refers at a body that is inhabited by both a masculine and a feminine spirit. It is today used as an umbrella term to describe gender-variant/gender-non-conforming or LGBTQIA+ members of some Native communities. Two Spirit people are born with both spirits and are able to express the roles of both genders. As it is believed by some Siouan tribes, a child can even choose its gender and have it granted by The Creator.

Two Spirit people were highly respected and thought to have been gifted by The Creator, as they were able to see the world simultaneously through the eyes of both genders. The families of Two Spirit people were considered extremely lucky. Two Spirit people usually held greatly revered positions within the tribe, and they were thought to be intellectually and emotionally gifted. Native people with all bodies and gender expressions could become hunters and warriors and be considered as equally brave and strong.

Two Spirit people could participate in all important social structures and perform all roles directed to a gender different than that of their birth. They could also get married to people of a different gender, without their biological characteristics limiting them. Their gender was to be respected, and it would be considered extremely disrespectful to expect a Two Spirit person to perform the traditional roles of the gender connected to their biological sex.

According to the Lakota actor, Native rights activist and American Indian Movement co-founder Russell Means: “In my culture we have people who dress half-man, half-woman. Winkté, we call them in our language. If you are Winkté, that is an honourable term and you are a special human being and among my nation and all Plains people, we consider you a teacher of our children and are proud of what and who you are.”

However, Walter L. Williams states that the biggest part of the evidence we have about Two Spirit traditions and identities, is focused on the native tribes of the Plains, the Great Lakes, the Southwest, and California, while numerous other tribes with different traditions exist as well, so we should avoid overgeneralising.

Even though in many Native tribes Two Spirit people were highly revered, “[…] many of the documents that report negative reactions are themselves suspect, and should be evaluated critically in light of the preponderance of evidence that suggests a respectful attitude. Some European commentators, from early frontier explorers to modern anthropologists, also were influenced by their own homophobic prejudices to distort native attitudes.”

Mahealani Joy specifically focuses on avoiding generalisation of different Native tribes, starting their article with an incident of a person that claimed that every Native LGBTQ+ person should necessarily be using the Two Spirit term instead of any other universalised term to describe their identities. According to Joy this is not the case, and there are specific reasons for which both decisions of a Native queer person, to either claim this identity or not, are valid.

But is Two Spirit referring to gender, or sexual orientation? In Western culture we hold these categories as entirely different and unrelated. Yet when it comes to different LGBTQIA+ Native individuals claiming the terms to describe their identity, its uses may vary. Some people use it to describe their gender identity based on the initial meaning and history of the term, or to describe multiple genders, and some others use it as an umbrella term derived from their own culture, to refer more generally to LGBTQIA+ or fluid identities.

In below video, produced by Basic Rights Oregon, Indigenous LGBTQIA+ people share their stories, and some of them who describe experiences that gay, lesbian and bisexual people in Western culture can relate to, use the term Two Spirit to describe their identities.

The ways that Two Spirit will be used depends on how the individual will choose to claim it, and the language links between how such a term existed or was originally used in different tribes, and how it can be used today are not that clear, since many elements of Native languages have been extinguished by colonisation.

Many Native LGBTQIA+ people may not choose to identify as Two Spirit because their tribe and its history are not associated with this term, since there exist countless different opinions on this topic and we shouldn’t make generalisations.

Some tribes are hostile towards Two Spirit identities, therefore their members may not feel comfortable to use this term. For the people who choose to identify with this term, it can be truly empowering and send through an important political message against the combined racism and homophobia/transphobia that Native LGBTQIA+ people have to go through.

Many Native LGBTQIA+ people may also choose not to identify as Two Spirit for personal or political reasons, and their choices must be respected. As for non-Native LGBTQIA+ people, they shouldn’t appropriate this term to identify with, since it does not connect in any way to their history, heritage and tradition, and there are important social and political reasons for which this term should be used exclusively by Native people.

If you are a Native LGBTQIA+ person and are wondering where to start from, concerning the Two Spirit term, Joy’s article on Everyday Feminism can offer you some really good resources.

Disney’s First Gay Princess Could Be Just Around the Corner

Disney princesses have evolved over the last eighty years.

They began with Snow White and Sleeping Beauty, films in which beautiful women lie in comas until Prince Charming rescues them.

In the 1990s, princesses began to rescue themselves. Mulan is arguably the queerest Disney movie to date – it is a genderbending tale of a woman who dresses up as a man in order to fight in the army and protect her father. The movie raises questions such as,

What is a man and what does it mean to be masculine? If being a ‘man’ is just a set of actions and attitudes, then can’t anyone perform manhood?”

In 2012, Disney released Brave, the tale of a girl who rejects both heteronormativity and traditional gender roles. In 2013, thousands of Frozen fans demanded that the protagonist Elsa be depicted as queer (#GiveElsaAGirlfriend).

Brave’s and Frozen’s plots touched on questions of male suitors, but Disney’s 2016 Moana, unlike previous Disney movies, does not address relationships at all. Moana’s role as chief is tied in no way to a marriage or to gender roles. She never even mentions a suitor. This is groundbreaking.

The directors of Moana, John Musker and Ron Clements, have made further history by declaring that “the possibilities are pretty open at this point” for a queer Disney princess.

Musker told the Huffington Post that he and Clements “have never really had restrictions placed on what we’ve done,” which allowed them to create Tiana, a film about a black princess.

According to Musker, creating a lesbian or gay princess merely requires a director passionate about the project – as long as Disney’s Chief Creative Officer gets on board, the film could start production immediately.

Just because a princess is LGBT doesn’t mean that her storyline has to revolve around romance, of course. Being queer is just one facet of a person’s identity. The point of a queer princess is for LGBT children to have role models to signify that everything is going to be okay.

No official movie starring an LGBT princess has been announced yet, but Frozen fans believe that Frozen 2 may finally come through.

Serena Williams Pens Open Letter Criticizing Double Standards Women Face in Sports

Serena Williams has penned an inspirational open letter highlighting issues of inequality she has faced throughout her career.

In a letter published in Porter Magazine and republished by British newspaper The Guardian, the 22-time Grand Slam champion addressed “all incredible women who strive for excellence.”

My dream wasn’t like that of an average kid, my dream was to be the best tennis player in the world. Not the best “female” tennis player in the world.”

Williams also notes that her male counterparts like LeBron James, Tiger Woods or Roger Federer, are never described by their gender and weighed in on the equal pay debate.”

Earlier this year, former pro Ray Moore – the tournament director of tennis’ most prestigious event outside the majors, the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells, California – said women’s players should get “down every night” on their knees and thank Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal for carrying the sport.

I was fortunate to have a family that supported my dream and encouraged me to follow it. I learned not to be afraid. I learned how important it is to fight for a dream and, most importantly, to dream big. My fight began when I was three and I haven’t taken a break since.

But as we know, too often women are not supported enough or are discouraged from choosing their path. I hope together we can change that. For me, it was a question of resilience. What others marked as flaws or disadvantages about myself — my race, my gender — I embraced as fuel for my success. I never let anything or anyone define me or my potential. I controlled my future.

So when the subject of equal pay comes up, it frustrates me because I know firsthand that I, like you, have done the same work and made the same sacrifices as our male counterparts. I would never want my daughter to be paid less than my son for the same work. Nor would you.

As we know, women have to break down many barriers on the road to success. One of those barriers is the way we are constantly reminded we are not men, as if it is a flaw. People call me one of the ‘world’s greatest female athletes.’ Do they say LeBron is one of the world’s best male athletes? Is Tiger? Federer? Why not? They are certainly not female. We should never let this go unchallenged. We should always be judged by our achievements, not by our gender.

For everything I’ve achieved in my life, I am profoundly grateful to have experienced the highs and lows that come with success. It is my hope that my story, and yours, will inspire all young women out there to push for greatness and follow their dreams with steadfast resilience. We must continue to dream big, and in doing so, we empower the next generation of women to be just as bold in their pursuits.”

Williams was forced to defend how much women’s players receive at Wimbledon after she crushed Elena Vesnina in 49 minutes in the semifinals back in July. Wimbledon was the last of the four grand slams to institute equal pay for singles winners in 2007 — with Williams’ older sister and fellow Wimbledon winner Venus playing a pivotal role.

Serena Williams bids for a 23rd major — which would be the most in the Open Era, one more than Steffi Graf — at January’s Australian Open. She lost her No. 1 ranking to Angelique Kerber in 2016 during an injury riddled campaign.

10 Things To Keep In Mind If You’re Questioning Your Sexuality And/Or Gender

LGBTQ+ voices, communities and public dialogue, often focus on issues that concern specific identities (the more widely accepted and talked about the identity, the better).

This is absolutely necessary, but what we need to remember sometimes is that not all the people who have reached that point of sharing their experiences with others, giving useful advice about coming out, relationships, advocacy and support, had their identities, preferences and desires figured from the very beginning. In fact, most LGBTQ+ youth go through a questioning process.

That happens not only because it is absolutely normal for people to reevaluate their choices as they go through different things or to experience situations in their lives fluidly, but also because we live in a hetero-cis/normative society that sets heterosexual, cisgender existences as the default, so that everyone else might first have to go through a process of doubting, shaming and dismissing themselves and their feelings as if they’re something that “can’t be”, that doesn’t make sense, something that’s just in their minds, or something they can’t easily validate just yet. But that’s alright.

Think of that: have you often heard people around you worrying whether they might be straight, or questioning their sexuality because it occurred to them that heterosexuality may be a possibility? I don’t think so.

Society’s standards for us to initially be heterosexual (and sexual, for that matter), make it evident that people are most likely to question this given sexuality when they feel it doesn’t explain their feelings and experiences. A paper published in the Journal of Sex Research shows that in a survey answered by women who identified as heterosexual, most of them were deliberate in their answers and had come to a conscious conclusion about their heterosexuality “after contemplating alternative possibilities”.

Such effects are even more visible in questioning our gender. Our society is strongly gendered, aligning bodies with preferences with behaviors, and limiting us within a binary system of only male and female that we are assigned at birth without even having a concept of what gender might be. We grow up all our lives being taught that we should do X things, behave a Y way and make Z choices based on our genitals and these lines can truly be drawn very strictly around us.

That makes it even harder for us to question whether the gender we have been assigned at birth does not feel entirely right for us, since questioning even gender norms, let alone gender identities, is not something that society encourages.

For non-binary questioning people things get a lot more complicated, since genders that fall outside the gender binary are outright invalidated by public discourse.

So what should a young person expect when they’re questioning? What should you keep in mind when you’re unsure, or experimenting about your sexuality and/or gender identity?

What should you ideally be demanding other people around you to do in order to make you feel more comfortable and at home during this process – that might either lead to concrete results, or may never end up doing so?

1. Define in your own words.

I can hardly remember questioning my sexuality though I’m sure it kind of happened – the thing is that it did happen but I accepted the change too quickly, so my questioning period wasn’t that long. I identified as straight until, during my adolescence, I started getting strong crushes on female celebrities. The explanation was pretty simple: having grown up in a homophobic and biphobic environment, I was homophobic myself… until I wasn’t.

Reading gay fanfiction about my favorite characters was what actually helped me stop being a bigot, and that was the solid and concrete turning point where I woke up and realized that my crushes on women were actually crushes, and not simply fangirling on celebrities I admired. I came to accept that I might, after all, have experienced a crush or two for girls in real life as well, and boom! There was even a pre-existing word for it: I was bisexual.

Soon, after I heard about non-binary identities and met non-binary people, I shifted more towards identifying as pansexual, as I realized that there weren’t only two genders and that people’s gender was not a determining factor for me to feel attracted to them.

It was not that simple, however, when I recently started questioning my gender, and I will say more about it later. When this started taking shape in my mind, the first thing that helped me was to try and put into words whatever messy raw material I possessed at that moment; the very fresh, blurry feelings that you might not yet be able to distinguish, but you can say a thing or two about them.

It doesn’t matter if you don’t know exactly how to describe everything that you’re feeling, or if you’ve never heard of people with similar experiences to yours before, or even if you have – but the experiences you’ve heard of are slightly different than your own, or were dealt with differently. No one else can tell you how to feel, or experience things, simply because no one else feels and experiences things for you, without you. Only you know what’s valid for you, and even if you don’t know for sure what works and what doesn’t.

Do this for you: take your time to define yourself and not let anyone tell you that “you’re not gay enough, trans enough, – something – enough”, that “it’s all in your mind” or that “it doesn’t work this way”.

2. Put a label on it – or don’t.

Honestly, in this whole questioning process this is the only rule: do shit your way. I’m all for labels and yet I feel like things are still too fresh for me to grasp everything around the term “trans”, even though I might not be as cis as I always thought, even though trans is an umbrella term used to describe everyone whose gender and the way they experience it doesn’t entirely match what they were assigned at birth. When something is new for you, you might need time to feel like you’re in clothes that fit without it all being too disorientating.

Labels are really important if, by naming your identity helps in reminding you that it’s valid, that it exists, and that you can be included in communities. Labels, however, can also feel limiting if you see them as definitions that don’t quite define you. You don’t have to use them if they tend to limit you even more, or if they end up turning this into a competition of constantly having to prove yourself and people around you that you are what you are.

And if you use them, remember that they’re not books that you borrow from a library or DVDs that you have to return to the video club in excellent condition and pay for them. They’re not a checklist, or something that you have the privilege – or the gained right – to appropriate, and need to treat cautiously. Instead they’re something that you need to own, rephrase, adapt and transform in the way that feels right for you.

The main point of labels (and what makes them very useful) is not to make you feel like a mass-produced tin of soup, but to help and empower you, to give you the sense of community and solidarity with other people with similar experiences.

Don’t try to meet up to other people’s standards for your identity. Don’t follow behaviors that don’t fit your personality, or habits you don’t feel comfortable with, just to prove something that cannot be proven with a super market receipt or a college degree. The purpose of labels is not to dictate what you should or shouldn’t do or conform with to identify the way you do, so try not to think in terms of “I can’t be X because I don’t fit Y requirement”.

Don’t let anyone tell you you’re not trans enough if you don’t experience dysphoria, if you don’t try to pass, if you don’t fully transition or if you decide to not transition at all – whether it be socially, legally or medically. Don’t let anyone tell you you’re not asexual because you’ve had sex in the past. Don’t let anyone tell you that you’re not a lesbian or bisexual because you haven’t had sexual relations with girls yet.

You are something if you say you are. You may feel like one concrete thing or many things at once.

4. Be open.

Accept all possibilities. It’s not always that easy, especially when you’ve learnt that you’re something you whole life and then suddenly something starts feeling off – or, hell, if it’s been feeling off all along but this shit is not the easiest to deal with. If something has always been different but you haven’t yet figured it out, it’s okay. If something changes oh so suddenly, it’s not the end of the world. Both your gender and your sexuality may be fluidly changing during your life (and at this point remember to distinguish bisexuality from sexual fluidity, or questioning processes phases from sexual fluidity). Just because you identify as one – or ten – things now, it doesn’t mean that you’ll continue to feel that way for the rest of your life.

People (even from within the LGBT community) may try to invalidate the way you identify because, to them, it’s just a way of transitioning to another identity. For example, many people dismiss bisexual identities or experiences because they think it’s just a process of you accepting that you’re truly gay, or they may dismiss non-binary genders because they may assume that it’s just a phase, before coming to terms with being a binary trans person.

You’re not going through a phase: you’re going through a process. Everything that has to do with self-discovery is changeable, and everything is a process. Being bisexual, asexual and/or genderfluid, agender or whatever else is not a phase, but your true identity as long as you feel like it describes you.

And even if you stop identifying as bisexual and start feeling attraction only towards women, or if you decide that a binary gender identity suits you best, it doesn’t mean that the ways in which you used to identify were just phases. Imagine being in university until you become twenty four, and then getting a job as a lawyer.

Just because you’re a lawyer now and you’re not a student anymore, it doesn’t mean that you were never actually a student, or that this period of your life was any less real or valid than your lawyer period. You were a toddler once. Just because you’re an adult now, it doesn’t mean that your toddler period never existed. Your identity at a specific period of time is valid and it affects you and it is what matters, whether it’s going to change in the future or never change at all.

As Adrian Ballou writes about social transition in their article I think I might be trans: “You have the right to change [your name, pronouns, and/or gender expression] […] as often as you want or need.”

4. Ask, talk, read, research, participate…

Thankfully, even if our societies may sometimes not even acknowledge, let alone represent, sufficiently research, or talk about our identities, LGBTQ+ individuals and communities have started developing huge pools where you can fish knowledge and resources, available either online, in LGBTQ+ media, or in local communities.

Tumblr was a great space for me to start and meet people like me even before joining the LGBTQ+ group in my area. That being said, the latter was the best thing I ever did to myself. Reach for people with similar experiences to yours. Ask them how it was for them. You’re gonna discover that, even those who seem so sure about their identities now and you imagine them being born that way, did go through a questioning period when everything felt confusing as fuck.

The Internet is your friend. Search for online support groups. Tumblr is a space where you can find people willing to share their experiences with you and help you find what you’re looking for without having to come out to your surroundings just yet. The Asexual Visibility and Education Network is the widest online asexual community and can tremendously help you.

Here you can read why it’s important to value trans or trans-questioning identities that come without experiences of dysphoria and in this article that I quoted before you can find an amazing guide with resources useful if you think you might not be cis. This is a guide to non-binary identities, which are usually so hard to see represented and sufficiently talked about and this is an article (all of this writer’s articles, actually), that helped me tremendously when I recently started considering being non-binary and had absolutely no idea of where to start.

Also, gradually more books, articles and movies about LGBTQ+ issues are being brought to the public eye. Here is a book list as well as a movie list to read and watch if you’re questioning your sexuality, and you can find numerous TV series and websites – such as, of course, Kitschmix and Everyday Feminism – that represent you and share advice and experiences that you may relate to.

5. …but even if you do so, don’t expect others’ experiences to echo yours.

It’s most likely that someone, somewhere, has experienced things the exact same way that you do, and they can make you heave in relief when they affirm “I can relate!”

If you meet people with similar experiences, then that’s grand! But if you don’t, it doesn’t mean that there’s something wrong with you, or that your identity is not valid. There are countless ways to be gay, bi or trans (there are limitless ways to be a binary trans person, and limitless ways to be a non-binary trans person).

There’s no wrong or right way to be who you are – unless that something is hurting others and, in the case of your gender and/or sexuality, it shouldn’t be hurting anybody, given that they don’t hold homophobic, biphobic or transphobic views.

Also, don’t listen to people who clearly don’t understand. Demand from others to respect your feelings. When I first decided to share my concerns about the fixity of my gender with some of my childhood friends.

Since I wasn’t yet ready to discuss it with people of my LGBTQ+ community (for reasons I’ll share below) they insisted on discussing the whole issue as solely a gender expression issue (eg. it’s okay to want to dress with all kinds of clothes or to have sexual fantasies like that, you never had a “typically female” behavior and that doesn’t mean you’re not a women) which is all absolutely right, but the point was that I wanted to discuss things I felt were happening with my gender identity, and not things that had to do with my dressing style (which most of the time is, by the way, pretty femme), or my (un-)ladylike attitude.

I was heavily disappointed and that led me to avoid discussing this again for a while. When I shared my thoughts with a friend who doesn’t identify with a binary gender though, the response was much more helpful and made things look much simpler and easier to deal with.

And that brings us to:

6. Coming out

Coming out is great, but you are not obliged to do it if you’re not ready. No one is waiting behind a desk, staring at their watch and tapping their foot impatiently for you to declare Name, Surname, ID number, Pronouns, a fixed gender and sexuality all at once.

Keep in mind that people around you may also react in problematic ways that may affect you if you come out. First of all you need to protect yourself and do what feels right and necessary.

Ask yourself: is it important for you that the people around you know everything about you? What do you need them to know and what do you prefer to keep for yourself? Are you going to have problems with your family or colleagues if you come out? Are you going to have problems with yourself if you don’t come out?

Put your priorities straight (no pun intended) and don’t feel pressured by anyone to do anything. Questioning is hard enough without the possible homophobia, biphobia, acephobia and transphobia that you may encounter and have your process halted by. In the end, the people who care are those who will make an effort to understand, even if they’ve never been in your shoes before.

7. Don’t shame yourself.

I’m a guilty person by nature. You might find me apologizing for global warming, for the arrival of your period cramps, and for other things I shouldn’t normally feel guilty about. That usually comes with the feeling that I’m taking up too much space. I’m also a talkative person by nature, and an overly dramatic person by nature, so all that clashes a bit destructively: when something happens I’ll feel like it’s the end of the world, I’ll tell everyone and take all the time whining about it, and then I’ll feel too bad for whining too much and making a big fuss about myself.

Sometimes when I advocate bi/pan-sexual issues, or when I demand that my identity be respected, I might momentarily feel like I’m taking too much space from gay and bi people who are currently facing discrimination because they are in a relationship with a person of the same gender, while I’m in a so-called straight-passing privileged relationship. That’s all total bullshit, but it does feel like that when I’m in the mood of shaming myself.

This was all much more intense when I started questioning my gender. According to Natalie Reed:

Internalized cisnormativity leads us to assume that we need to prove that we’re trans to ourselves, but that being cis is simply taken as a given.”

Having spent my whole life thinking I was cis, I immediately tried to shut my feelings down because “they must be fake and un-true since they haven’t been here all along/since I haven’t been experiencing dysphoria the way I’ve heard other people describe”, “it must all be in my mind”, “I might be doing it for attention”, “maybe I’m  appropriating lives that are not mine and issues I don’t share with other people”.

And, most importantly: “maybe I’m gonna take up too much space that I don’t deserve since for some people their gender and its connotations affects and shapes their lives to a great extent, while for me the way I’ll be gendered on the street might not make that much of a difference”.

Then I talked more, with people who’ve gone through the same things and it was incredibly helpful. I found out that these are thoughts some of them have had in the past, or continue to have now that their identity makes more sense. Or I found out that their identity never ended up making perfect sense but hey, it doesn’t always have to.

They told me to stop shaming myself for what I was feeling and to give value to the way that my needs present themselves to me.  This made a huge difference to other advice such as “don’t give it much thought, you get easily influenced anyway”, which made me feel like a fake gender-copycat lil’ piece of shit. Spoiler alert: no one benefited from that thought. Neither me, nor my trans loved-ones the space of whom I was scared I’d steal.

Experimenting can be tricky since, following the previous point you might feel like you’re appropriating something that belongs to other people. But here’s the thing: gender and sexuality don’t solely belong to other people, and just because you do something that other people do doesn’t mean that you share all parts of their identities.

If you want to sleep with boys to check whether you’re bisexual, do it. You might end up loving sex with boys as much as you love sex with girls. You might end up in a relationship with a boy. You might find out that you’re still only attracted to girls and that you identify as a lesbian. If you want to put makeup on, pack your bra, bind or tuck, do it. Ask yourself what pronouns would make you feel comfortable. Play it all in your head over and over again.

Create an online roleplay account or dress up or shave off your entire head if that makes you feel comfortable. Some things you’ll end up sticking with, some you’ll realize that they’re making you feel uncomfortable.

It’s normal if it all feels overwhelming in the beginning. You don’t have to do everything or anything at all to figure out your identity, but teasing your limits can always help consider things and cross out others. After all your identity is not about a single term, but about choosing who you want to be perceived as, how you wish to express yourself, what practices you want to follow in your everyday life, and how to speak about what you’re feeling.

9. Take your time.

It’s only normal that, when you start questioning something it might be overwhelming and make you anxious with the need to figure all out at once. But it’s amazing how clear things may become if you take some time to let it all unravel.

10. Remember that it’s okay to be confused.

Confusion is not something to have your feelings invalidated over. People usually say you are confused to make you feel like what you’re going through isn’t real, but you can be confused without that meaning that what you’re experiencing is not actually life-changing, significant, or very truly real. Being confused is the most normal thing you should expect. Hell, we are confused over what’s our favorite movie and about the mixed feelings that salt and vinegar chips or too many gummy bears give us. Gender and sexuality are things just as complex (or more complex, depending on how you see it), as picking between The Smiths or The Magnetic Fields, or digestive reactions and neurons reacting to pineapple flavor supplements.

Questioning things around – and inside – us has been part of the human condition since (almost) forever. The point is to learn how to give these questioning processes the value and attention they need, instead of dismissing them just because they may be transitional periods, or periods of confusion.

Gender Defying Drag Kings Are Gaining A Massive UK Following

All around the UK Drag Kings are gaining followers by the 1000’s. 5 years ago there were only a handful of Drag Kings in the UK getting regular work in the performance world. Now, there are around 60 getting gigs on a weekly basis.


There are some venues in the UK that are now offering special Drag King nights. In She Bar, Soho, they have a night once a month called Boi Box. In Glory Bar, East London, they hold a weekly Drag King contest with a prize of 1000 pounds and they get up to 12 acts performing a week.

The Marlborough Theatre in Brighton holds an annual Drag King competition and in Blackpool they have the UK’s first ever Drag King Karaoke Bar.

Dr Meagan Tyler, an expert in gender and feminist theory believes the reason Drag Kings are getting so popular is because:

 The current growth is born out of younger generations of women,” They are less bound by traditional paradigms of gender conduct in the wake of various feminist movements. Social attitudes in this country are undergoing tremendous changes when it comes to acceptance of otherness.”

Also there are a number of celebrities talking about being gender fluid – such as Ruby Rose, and Lady Gaga’s drag alter ego, Jo Calderone – or even trans gender’s, and it’s not hard to see why drag kings are gaining popularity. Some acts are accumulating more than 50,000 hits on YouTube which proves how popular they are becoming.


Stylist Magazine spoke to Benjamin Butch (real name Bethan Rainforth), a 22-year-old sales assistant originally from Lincoln, to discuss a Drag King’s typical stage dress and preparing for a show. Benjamin said:

 “Being in drag on public transport is not a pleasant experience. I start with make-up, which my fiancée does for me, then hair (it’s short, though some people use wigs), then body – binding [to strap down the chest] before contouring my abs with make-up, though some people use Sharpies for darker lines. I find binders annoying, so I use sports tape on my chest; it’s comfier. And then it’s the package – a prosthetic penis – and the right outfit. Because, of course, the clothes maketh the man…”

Most of the acts consist of a combination of lip synching, dancing and singing as well as some comedy. Stylist magazine asked Adam All (real name Jen Powell) who also runs Boi Box, how it feels when she performs:

“When I’m Adam, I feel powerful and liberated. The first time I dressed in drag I was 17, and my first public appearance on stage was at 19. It was quite nerve-wracking; I didn’t know how people would react. Yet the audience loved it. It felt so free to be appreciated for myself, or the part of myself that I previously had to keep hidden away all the time. People mistook my gender from as young as four-years-old. I never fitted the typically feminine stereotype and I found it really hurtful. I struggled with gender identity between the age of 18 and 22, and considered transitioning to male at one point, but in the end it didn’t feel like the right thing to do.”

The drag scene seems fun, explorative and exciting. It’s inclusive. Underneath the sports tape and cartons full of fake chest and beard hair, every drag king seems to have one thing in common. Whether they were gay, straight, bi, non-binary, black or white they had found a movement where they finally belong. And as the public are embracing the scene with so much vigour and attending the performances on a regular basis, let’s hope the scene grows from strength to strength all around the country.

Why Is Gender Equality Still Not Been Fully Achieved?

America has come a long way in terms of gender equality, but, Susan Adams, a professor of management at Bentley University asks a very important question. ‘How long will it be before the gender of a presidential candidate is non-issue?’ How long indeed. There are many recognized reasons why this is but there are also some reasons that are not so well known.

Chores at home are still considered feminine roles.

Although American Dads have tripled the amount of time they help out with childcare over the last 50 years, they are still not doing enough chores to lighten the load that women do around the house. In a study carried out by sociologists at Indiana University it was discovered that over two thirds of American adults believe that women in heterosexual relationships should be responsible for doing the cooking, cleaning, laundry and buying the groceries.

This shows that many women themselves believe it is their role around the house. Gender roles have become so ingrained over the years that women automatically assume these gender roles without even questioning it.

In the same study, participants were given descriptions of same sex couples, one of whom was stereotypically ‘masculine’ and the other ‘feminine.’ Two thirds of the participants thought that the ‘feminine’ partner should do the housework as they incorrectly presumed that same sex couples follow straight gender roles in their relationship. The idea of gender specific roles is so deeply ingrained in people that they are simply taken as the norm.

There are less female inventors than men.

Lydia Dishman recently made a report to Fast Company stating that in 2010 only 7.7% of new U.S patents were filed by women. There are a number of likely reasons for this, a large one is the gender gap in STEM fields. According to a study by the Institute for Women’s Policy Research (IWPR), the few women who are inventors tend to file patents in female-dominated fields like jewellery (26.7% of all patents) and apparel (25.3%). It’s typically when women belong to a group of inventors, the report found, that they’re better represented in other fields, like chemistry and pharmaceuticals. Even female scientists and inventors are genderizing their own work to things that are considered ‘female’ in the field.

11% of U.S employees don’t believe in equal pay for women

In March, Glassdoor discovered that a massive 11% of workers do not think women and men should get the same pay for doing the same job. Many companies have recently committed to ensuring equal pay amongst their employees, but many companies have not committed to do so and some have even been disclosed publically stating that they do not give equal pay to men and women carrying out the same job. If female employees believe they don’t deserve the same pay and male employees believe they are worth more than women, there is some way to go to achieve complete gender equality in society. The change can only come about when women believe themselves they are capable of becoming leaders or earning more money than men, men can accept women are equal and are prepared to do work they normally presume is a woman’s job and our future generations grow up to believe there are no such things as gender roles. When this attitude happens only then will gender equality have been achieved.

What To Do If Your Partner Comes Out As Trans*

Recognize that coming out to you wasn’t easy.

It takes a lot of courage to come out, and they’ve probably been working up the nerve to talk to you for a long, long time. Listen respectfully, hear everything they have to say, and keep their feelings in mind while you process.

Hear them out.

Suppress your knee-jerk reactions. Let your partner finish speaking, take a moment to breathe, and then respond.

Don’t assume. Ask questions.

Maybe you’ve seen Transparent. Maybe you love LaVerne Cox on Orange is the New Black. Maybe your best friend in transgender. But that doesn’t mean you know everything about being transgender, and you definitely don’t know what your partner is going through, so ask questions.

Don’t say it’s a phase.

Validate what your partner is experiencing. Even if they’ve changed their pronouns several times in the past year, that doesn’t mean they’re being wishy-washy or going through a phase. It means they’re taking the time to figure out who they really are.

Ask what they need from you.

What pronouns do they want you to use? Do they want help picking out new clothing? Do they want help finding a gender therapist? Do they want things to stay the same?

Recognize that your partner is still your partner.

Maybe you’ve always identified as a lesbian, and your partner comes out to you as a trans* man. That doesn’t mean your partner is suddenly becoming a man – it means he’s always been a man, he just hasn’t been able to tell you. Your partner is still your partner.

… But recognize that your partner might change.

Your partner’s personality may change, especially if they decide to pursue hormone-altering therapies. For example, testosterone injections can result in increased sex drive and irritability – not to mention facial hair. If your partner expresses interest in hormone treatments, make sure to do your research so that you’re prepared for changes.

Educate yourself.

Talk to your partner. Read articles. Order books. Watch documentaries. Learn as much as you can about being transgender and about being the partner to a transgender person. If you’re not sure where to start, ask your partner for resources.

Consider your own feelings too.

Your partner’s gender journey isn’t about you, it’s about becoming true to their identity. Whether you support them or not, they will go through with it, and asking them not to transition will just erode your relationship. That said, keep your own feelings in mind because a transition is hard on both partners. Consider talking to a counselor or therapist. And keep track of your own self care.

At the end of the day, your partner is just becoming who they were meant to be. If you support each other through the process, it may strengthen your relationship.


New Web Series ‘As We Are’ Aims High As It Brilliantly Tackles Gender And Sexual Identity

If you haven’t seen the trailer yet (you can check it out right below), the story focuses on Chloe, a gay woman, as she travels back to Brighton for a week to take care of Robyn’s cat, her ex-girlfriend, while she is out of town with her new girlfriend.

Chloe dates a couple women during her stay, but ends up taking a special interest on Blake, Robyn’s neighbour. Upon knowing Chloe has met Blake, Robyn quickly outs Blake as a trans man, who becomes the first trans person Chloe has ever met.

Nevertheless, Chloe finds herself attracted to Blake, but what could this all mean?


Is she attracted to men, or does she not see him for who he really is?

Deborah Espect, the writer and creator, is a published novelist, screenwriter and playwright, with several awards under her belt as well as critically acclaimed short films shown in Canes, London, West Hollywood and Brighton.

Espect is also openly gay and we can count on a cast and crew composed mainly of LGBTQ+ women.


Fox Fisher (Blake) is no stranger either! He is a trans activist who first appeared on Channel 4’s My Transexual Summer and since then has been a spokesman for Trans matters. He also has vast experience behind the cameras, having made more than 50 short-films for My Genderation, a project focusing on the gender spectrum and its variations (you can check out their Youtube channel right here).

With such a unique story finally brought to our small screens, it’s quite hard not to be excited and ready to tune in as soon as possible!


Well, good news, the release date is Autumn 2016, although a specific date hasn’t been given yet, so stay tuned for more information.



Majority Of LGBT+ People Still Feel The Need To ‘Hide Sexuality’

According to a new poll, the majority LGBT community feel the need to lie about their gender or sexual identity.

The poll – commissioned by Pride in London – asked more than 1,000 members of the LGBT community how they felt about discussing their private lives in public.

A massive 74% said they still felt the need to hide their sexual orientation or gender identity.

A further 59% of respondents said they felt threatened by other people’s attitudes and behaviours towards them.

Other findings showed that 41% of gay men also said they would think twice about holding a partner’s hand in public.

The charity – which organises London’s annual gay pride event – commissioned a second survey among the general population, which showed a “huge difference” compared with LGBT+ people.

In particular, a larger proportion of the LGBT+ community had “felt threatened by other people’s attitudes and behaviours towards them”, and were more likely to experience workplace bullying as a result of their gender.

It found 77% of LGBT+ respondents had revealed their sexuality to friends, while 50% had come out to all their colleagues.
Chair of Pride in London, Michael Salter-Church, said:

Great progress has been made in the name of LGBT+ equality in recent years, but these figures show the striking reason why Pride is still as important as ever”.

The latest figures show that homophobic attacks all also saw a rise between 2014 and 2015.

The results also showed that the number of homophobic incidents recorded was nearly double those of Islamophobic crimes, and three times the number of anti-Semitic crimes.

The Met data showed that 1,667 homophobic offences took place in the 12 months to July 2015 – up from 1,289 in the 12 months to July 2014.

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The Sims Just Binned Gender-Specific Character Restrictions

Last week, Maxis – the studio behind long-running life simulator series The Sims – announced a small change to their current title, The Sims 4.

The free update, automatically rolled out to all users, would apparently make changes so

…female Sims can wear suits like Ellen [DeGeneres], and male Sims can wear heels like Prince”.


In reality it did much, much more than that.

The game, has removed binary gender categories for clothes, hairstyles, accessories and physical characteristics – such as voice pitch – in its customisation options for characters.

blogpost from Maxis announced the changes and focused on the game’s history of LGBT support and the freedom it wanted to offer players.

The Sims is made by a diverse team for a diverse audience, and it’s really important to us that players are able to be creative and express themselves through our games”, the post reads. “We want to make sure players can create characters they can identify with or relate to through powerful tools that give them influence over a Sims gender, age, ethnicity, body type and more.”

The Sims has allowed same-sex characters to kiss and fall in love since the game’s original incarnation in 2000.

This progressive gameplay stance, rare for its time, was originally unintended. When demoing the game at the E3 games show, two female characters began to kiss in a live simulation.

In a New Yorker piece, entitled ‘The Kiss That Changed Video Games Forever’, Patrick J Barrett, one of the game developers, recalled:

No other game had facilitated same-sex relationships before – at least, to this extent – and some people figured that maybe we weren’t the ideal ones to be first.”

But the developers decided not to alter the game code and to keep same-sex relationships in place.

The option for same-sex marriage was introduced in The Sims 3, released in 2009, while the first offline same-sex marriages did not happen until March 2014 in the UK and June the following year in the US. The option for gay couples to adopt was also introduced in the game’s third iteration.

Women Are Charged More For Almost Everything, Suggests New Investigation

At the hands of the patriarchy, women already have a tough time. Not only are women passed over for jobs (despite being more than qualified) and paid less for doing the same work as men, but women are also subject to ridiculous standards, dehumanised and verbally abused just because of their gender.

But that’s not all, as we can now add ‘women are charged more for almost every product’ to that troublingly long list.

That information comes from The Times which recently investigated, analysing “hundreds of products”.

For example, a pack of razors from supermarket chain Tesco costs £1 for 5 razors when they are pink and labelled ‘for women’, but it costs £1 for 10 razors when they are blue and labelled ‘for men’.

A women’s pair of Levi’s 501 jeans also costs (on average) 46% more than a men’s pair, despite having the same length and waist size.

Even worse, is at Argos, where the pink version of a child’s toy scooter cost £5 more than the blue version.

While the retailer released a statement to BBC Newsbeat explaining that the pricing was an “error”, vowing to change the price, given that just one of the products The Times analysed (underwear) cost more for men than for women, many will struggle to believe that Argos didn’t price those products as such because of gender bias.

Some would argue that sexism isn’t the only issue here as it’s also problematic products that are blue and pink are gendered as male and female and we should be working to dismantle such limited, binary thinking.

However, for now it should be considered a win that the investigation has gotten attention from those in power.

Conservative MP Maria Miller, who heads up the women and equalities committee says that…

… it is unacceptable that women face higher costs for the same products just because they are targeted at women. Retailers have got to explain why they do this. At a time when we should be moving towards a more de-gendered society, retailers are out of step with public opinion.”

It’s yet to be seen how the government will tackle this issue (it’s certainly not the first time it’s been brought up) but we’ll keep you posted on any new developments.

Super Simple Pictograms Show The Absurdity Of Gender Stereotypes

Man Meets Woman is a series of simple pictograms by Beijing-born, Berlin-based designer Yang Liu.

They address gender stereotypes in a light-hearted, yet eye-opening way, by placing stick figure drawings of men and women side-by-side.

With no text other than a short title, Liu manages to say a lot about the way we categorise behaviours as “male” or “female” and what actions mean, dependent on gender.

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Susan Sarandon ‘Open’ to Finding Love with a Woman

Single actress Susan Sarandon is “open” to embarking on a relationship with of someone of any “gender”, confessing it “increases your chances” of finding a suitable partner.

The star has been single since splitting from Jonathan Bricklin in March following a six-year romance.

When pressed this week on The View, Sarandon answered questions on her love life by saying she isn’t “actively looking” for a new love, but

I’m not actively looking (for love), but if there’s a person, I would leave open the age, the color, the gender even, I’m open. Well, it increases your chances, doesn’t it?”

Also read: Susan Sarandon Supports Marriage Equality in Human Rights Campaign Video

Outlining what she’s looking for in potential partners, she says,

Somebody who is not gonna find it difficult to be with me and (when) people come up to me and say, ‘Oh, I love your work,’ it won’t turn out to be a problem.

Someone who is really passionate about what they do and they love what they do. Someone who’s open and adventurous and travels and has a lot of fun. (Someone who is) spiritual, (it) doesn’t have to be religion, exactly…”

As she goes on and say what she’s looking for in a partner, Whoopi Goldberg says, “You’re starting to sound like me!” and they share a moment.

Note: The YouTube video only plays in some regions.

What Does it Mean to be Gender Fluid?

For many people, the terms ‘gender’ is interchangeably. Both Miley Cyrus and Ruby Rose have spoken publicly how they about identifying as gender fluid. But what exactly is it and is it on the rise? If you’re not familiar with the term, gender fluidity refers to somebody viewing themselves as both male and female.

Some gender fluid people will alter their clothing depending on whether they feel more masculine or feminine while for others it’s a state of mind that they don’t outwardly express.

While you might have put Miley’s transition from girlie Hannah Montana to her current androgynous style down to fashion preference, but the child star has announced she doesn’t want to be boxed into one gender identity.

She recently told Out.

I didn’t want to be a boy … I kind of wanted to be nothing. I don’t relate to what people would say defines a girl or a boy, and I think that’s what I had to understand: Being a girl isn’t what I hate, it’s the box that I get put into.”


Also read: Miley Cyrus: “I’m Not Hiding My Sexuality”

Meanwhile, Ruby Rose, soon to be star of Orange Is The New Black, shared a rare insight into being gender fluid in her short film Break Free, where she transitioned from an ultra feminine version of herself with long blonde hair to a masculine version in a suit.

The only reason it was a surprise was because gender fluidity doesn’t get talked about enough. Once the film went viral, the floodgate opened; to me, that said that this was something much bigger than I thought it was.”


Gender is all around us. It is actually taught to us from the moment we are born. Gender expectations and messages bombard us constantly. Upbringing, culture, peers, schools, community, media, and religion are some of the many influences that shape our understanding of this core aspect of self. How you learned and interacted with gender as a young child directly influences how you view the world today.

However, the diversity of gender is a normal part of the human experience, across cultures and throughout history.

Non-binary gender diversity exists all over the world, documented by countless historians and anthropologists. Examples of individuals living comfortably outside of typical male/female expectations and/or identities are found in every region of the globe.

The calabai, and calalai of Indonesia, two-spirit Native Americans, and the hijra of India all represent more complex understandings of gender than allowed for by a simplistic binary model.

Further, what might be considered gender-expansive in one period of history may become gender normative in another.

One need only examine trends related to men wearing earrings or women sporting tattoos to quickly see the malleability of social expectations about gender. Even the seemingly intractable “pink is for girls, blue is for boys” notions are relatively new. While there is some debate about the reasons why they reversed, what is well documented is that not until the mid-twentieth century were notions of pink for girls or blue for boys so firmly ensconced.

So, you can make the case that “pink is the new blue!”

Perhaps the most fundamental aspect of a person’s identity, gender deeply influences every part of their life.

In a society where this crucial aspect of self has been so narrowly defined and rigidly enforced, individuals who exists outside its norms face innumerable challenges.

Even those who vary only slightly from the norm can become targets of disapproval. Yet this does not have to be the case forever. Through a thoughtful consideration of the uniqueness and validity of every person’s experiences of self, we can develop greater acceptance for all.

Not only will this create greater inclusion for individuals who challenge the norms of gender, it will actually create space for all individuals to more fully explore and celebrate who they are.


Egyptian Actress Mona Hala: ‘People Are Free to Be Homosexuals; It Is Not My Place to Judge Them’

Mona Hala is one of Egypt’s leading young actresses. In a recent interview, she called for the rights of sexual minorities in her homeland to be respected.


Hala, who has appeared in films including Cairo Time, Zaky Chan and The Baby Doll Night, gave the interview on 19 April to Egyptian television channel ON TV but the footage has only appeared online this month. The footage was uncovered by the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI) who shared the video on their YouTube channel.

In it she asks why it is necessary that the government includes her gender on her identity cards.

I have never classified myself as a “woman.” Quite the opposite. As far as I’m concerned they should delete that field from our ID cards … Why shouldn’t I be treated as a human being? Why does my sex have to be recorded? Why does the government have to know it? Why is it so important whether you are male or female?”

In response her interviewer asks what she would think would happen if a man went about dressed as a woman if gender was not recorded on ID cards.

He is free to be one. It is not my place to pass moral judgement on people. It’s none of my business. Homosexuality has existed since ancient times. Many people throughout history have been like that, so who are we to judge them? Alexander the Great who built Alexandria was homosexual. Is that a reason to destroy Alexandria or to change its name?’

Hala also touched on the suggestion that gay and lesbian tourists should be prevented from visiting Egypt or should be deported if they were discovered in the country.

I am opposed to discrimination against any human being, whether on the basis of skin color, religion, gender, or sexual orientation. Anything. It is the same as if, after the [Charlie Hebdo attack] in France by Muslim terrorists, they had prevented all Muslims from entering France. It’s not fair … It’s the same as preventing all homosexuals from entering Egypt. Let’s say that someone [is in a same-sex relationship] in his country and he wants to come to Egypt to see the antiquities and so on – what right to you have to prevent him from doing so? I don’t get it.”


Maria Bello Questions the Labels We Give Ourselves

In November 2013, Bello wrote a column for the “Modern Love” section of The New York Times called “Coming Out as a Modern Family” about her family. For Bello, her “modern family” consists of her beloved son, a close friendship with her ex-husband and a romantic pairing with her long-time friend Claire Munn, whom Maria only realised she was in love with when she was 45 years old.

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The column received thousands of comments, which prompted her to write a book called Whatever…Love is Love: Questioning the Labels We Give Ourselves.

The book allows Bello to explore various aspects of her life. For example, each chapter starts with a question like “Am I a Catholic?” and “Am I LGBT or W?” – The “W” stands for “whatever”. It’s also a book about loving yourself and honouring the real relationships in your life, whether or not they fit the model of what family, friends or lovers are “supposed” to look like. Rejecting that nasty compulsory white-cis-heterosexism that tries to trap women – just find a man, and you’ll be OK.

I raised questions about the meaning of partnership, modern family, and the labels we all carry. I wrote about the people standing by my bedside when I was sick at the time.

They were all my partners in some way, whether I slept in the same bed with them, did homework with them or had a child with them. When I told my son that I had fallen in love with a woman [Clare Munn] who was like a godmother to him, he simply said to me, ‘Whatever, Mom…Love is love’. That statement opened up a door to a larger conversation about how many of the labels we use today are outdated.”

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In a recent interview with on GLAAD: All Access, hosted Claire Pires, actress Maria Bello opened up about her new book. Watch the interview here:


MTV Celebrates Diversity With ‘It’s Our Prom: A Night To De-Gender’

Just last week, a prom proposal went viral when Jacob Lescenski asked his best friend Anthony Martinez to prom. The two were featured on Ellen, where they talked about how grateful they are to go to a high school that supports anyone who wants to go to prom, no matter who they bring as a date.

However, not everyone is this supported. For people who do not fit into the gender binary, prom can be a difficult experience. Students are often given restrictions on what they can wear, who they can bring as their dates, and sometimes are rejected from prom all together.

Enter MTV News, who wanted to send the message that prom is for everyone, so they asked 12 young adults with diverse gender identities to help create a series of looks that celebrate the fashion and true joy that’s possible when no one is excluded – It’s Our Prom: A Night To De-Gender.

Among the models for this shoot was Tiq Milan, who works with media outlets to ensure accurate and fair reporting for trans people.

It’s important for young people to see examples of LGBT and gender non-conforming folks having fun and showing love to one another. I would love for schools all across the country to allow students to come to prom in whatever makes them feel good and with the date of their choosing.”

This story highlights the importance of inclusion and support for the LGBT community in high schools. Every student should have the opportunity to attend and enjoy their prom, no matter their gender identity or sexuality.
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It is important to promote messages of acceptance and authenticity among high school communities, and to let all LGBT people know that you can be your true self at prom, and we’ve #GotYourBack.

SeX.ED 101 | WTF Is Gender?

Gender (n.) – the state of being male or female (typically used with reference to social and cultural differences rather than biological ones).

What does it mean to be a woman or man? Whether we are women or men is not determined just by our sex organs. Our gender includes a complex mix of beliefs, behaviors, and characteristics. How do you act, talk, and behave like a woman or man? Are you feminine or masculine, both, or neither? These are questions that help us get to the core of our gender and gender identity.

‘GenderFlux’ Fashion Label Caters to a Diverse Genderfluid and Non-Binary Audience

When you go into most clothing stores these days, their clothes will be separated into ‘male’ and ‘female’ sections based on how feminine or masculine the designs are. Not only is this a pointless move on the retailer’s part (clothes are just clothes and should not be inherently gendered) but it’s also discriminatory to those who don’t identify as male or female (or identify as both) and are just out to buy some new threads – without misgendering themselves in the process.

Furthermore, because of the way that clothes are gendered in stores it means that genderfluid or non-binary folks often fail to find clothes that fit them, as they are designed to fit cisgendered bodies. Even when clothes do cater to non-cis people, those sizes tend to be on the small size.

This dilemma is exactly why Elliott Alexzander’s style blog – House of Alexzander – has been such a huge success. Alexzander explains:

“This came from my personal struggles. I had a hard time finding clothes that fit my body and still allowed me to express who I am. When I started my fashion blog, I quickly realized I wasn’t the only one.”


And following on from the blog’s success, Alexzander has ventured into the world of fashion retail, having launched the GenderFlux fashion label. The idea behind behind GenderFlux, Alexzander says, is that:

“We want to create fashion that is marketed in a way that doesn’t make the customer feel bad about their body or their gender expression. And to create a space where non-binary people can shop for clothes without feeling uncomfortable.”

One way that Alexzander is keeping to that is by using models of colour, as well as models with varying body types to promote the clothes on the GenderFlux site (GenderFlux.com). As it stands, GenderFlux’s products include a bracelet and several t-shirts emblazoned with the gender variant logo and the phrases ‘GenderVariant’, ‘Non-Binary’ and ‘GenderQueer’.

The obvious issue with these clothes is that although they are inclusive, there aren’t really any options for genderfluid or non-binary folks who have not yet told people about their gender identity and so wearing a piece of GenderFlux clothing could out themselves. Alexzander says that there are plans for a full GenderFlux clothing line which will be designed to fit all sorts of body types, so perhaps this issue will be addressed then.

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What It’s Like To Be Intersex

Intersex is an umbrella term referring to people born with differences in their sex characteristics.

These differences can occur in places like their genes, chromosomes, genitalia, reproductive organs, hormones, or secondary characteristics (like body hair). It is a totally natural, not infrequently encountered medical condition, but despite this their is unfortunately a lot of shame and secrecy within our communities, perpetuating the invisibility. So many intersex people have been instructed by our doctors, parents, and friends not to tell anyone about our conditions, which makes people feel shameful and unworthy.

Watch this powerful video on what is actually like to be intersex…


A Reality Show Looking To Shift The Lines Between Gender And Sexuality

Could Marcus Parker be the next big reality star? Yes – I watched the first minute of the below show reel and was hooked.

Marcus Parker is a husband, a Christian and father to three young children, but he’s hardly traditional. Why, because Parker is also drag queen called Flame Monroe, who happens to be bisexual that is married to a lesbian butch, and also self-identified a transgender person, having had surgical interventions to create breasts and other feminine characteristics – WOW!

Post by Rasheda Daniel.

“Before I had children, I was living a whole ‘nother life—I was living as a girl 24 hours a day. My sacrifice came when I had children and their mom left, and I had a choice: Do I take my career, or do I take my children?

I’m a transgender man who lives his life now as a man, so that my children can have some kind of normalcy in their lives. Because I’m already extreme.”

Marcus Parker

I guess what makes the story line so interesting the shifting lines between gender and sexuality. Parker’s political and moral commitments challenge the idea that all queer people must share the same values.


This story throws out so many questions – is he a trans* woman or a drag artist? Does his living as a man mean he’s doing a male drag act at home? And what is the correct label to use about his sexuality considering his relationship is now with a female soft-butch lesbian.

But deep down, what is clear, is a show like this demonstrate that these kinds of questions don’t really matter. Parker has made a family and a life for himself that clearly brings him joy, so the details shouldn’t concern us.

And as we advance as a culture and society these individual cases will become less unique – gender and sexuality will not be an issue.

When The Broad City Duo Met The Sleater-Kinney Trio

Following Tuesday’s release of the Sleater-Kinney new album No Cities to Love, NPR has made available a full video of the intimate, 90-minute panel discussion, hosted by the stars and creators of Comedy Central’s Broad City. 

As part Q&A Broad City‘s Abbi Jacobson and Ilana Glazer peppered, the Sleater-Kinney trio – Carrie Brownstein, Corin Tucker and Janet Weiss –  with some great questions on creative restlessness, feminism, gender-based pigeonholing, audience and media expectations and commercialism.

Glazer even read off a few questions submitted by Amy Poehler, an avowed Sleater-Kinney fan who helped will Broad City into televised existence.

Watch the new Sleater-Kinney video featuring Ellen Page, Miranda July, Natasha Lyonne, Sarah Silverman and so many more of our faves sing the band’s new song, “No Cities to Love,” which is the title track off their album, coming out next Tuesday.

Why Unisex Bathrooms Should be a Must in 2014

Ever since I was a child, I had always been a tomboy. I cut my hair short and I was rarely seen in anything other than a pair of jeans and a t-shirt.

When I was 10 years old, I thought that being mistaken for being in the wrong bathroom was for this reason only. It was only as I started to get older I realised actually, I don’t really look much like a girl, nor a boy. I’m 5’8″, I’m very slim, about a size 8-10. I don’t have much shape and I don’t really have many feminine characteristics.

Facially, I don’t think I clearly resemble either. I don’t wear make-up, partly because I don’t think I need to but also because I wouldn’t have a clue where to start. I would hazard a guess at 65% of the people I meet will say “hello love” and the remaining 35% will greet me with “alright mate”. And that’s not an exaggeration either way.

During my early twenties this created many problems for me as I was an extremely shy person. If someone was to mistake my gender I would literally run in the opposite direction too embarrassed to correct the culprit. Work life was a problem too, with not enough self confidence to go out and get a job I’m more than capable of doing, through fear of receiving that strange look or being judged.

Now I’m heading fast into my 30’s, my outlook has changed somewhat. I am a lot more comfortable in myself than I was in my twenties.

I embrace the way I look rather than be embarrassed about it. I am comfortable with using terms to describe myself such as ‘andro’ or ‘androgynous’ and that confidence has done wonders in allowing me to date some absolutely beautiful women, so it cant be all bad!

However there has always been one thing that has remained an issue in my life and I think always will. Public bathrooms.

Public bathrooms have become almost a phobia. I will go in them when I absolutely need to, but if I can avoid using them I will.

A packed out restaurant on a Friday night or a busy motorway service station is like an anxiety-ridden nightmare. If I can see the toilet door I will find myself watching how many people go in and come out before I think its safe to casually get up and go. But alas, 50% of the time it is inevitable that I will meet another woman in the public bathroom.

Some say nothing, perfect! probably because they are very well aware that I am female and so why would they say anything? Some, give me the look up and down as we cross paths, and unfortunately for me I doubt this is in the way that I would be hoping for. The best ones though are when I’m about to open the door to leave and almost bump into someone with an “oh, sorry” as they glance up at the door signage to make sure they’re the ones heading into the right bathroom. Sometimes to lessen my own embarrassment I say “yes, you’re in the right one” with a smile 🙂

When I went down to Brighton a few years ago one of the gay clubs had changed their toilets to all Unisex, and I know of a couple of other gay clubs that do this too.

In theory I think this is a great idea, although don’t get me wrong, I think there should still be separate men’s and women’s facilities available. I also understand the issues surrounding safety where public bathrooms are concerned.

However, in this day and age, where people are so individual, should there not be the option for those who are gay/lesbian/transsexual/transgender/gender-neutral (the list goes on) or simply just uncomfortable in their own skin, to be able to use a public bathroom without being second glanced or commented at for being in the “wrong one”?

We’re allowed (pretty much) to be whoever we want in this life and express ourselves however we feel comfortable- until it comes to toilets. You can be whoever you want, but when you need to use a public bathroom you are still segregated; MAN or WOMAN, you pick.

Just a thought..


The Art of Androgyny – Androgynous Models Turning Gender Expectations Inside Out

Sexual ambiguity is in, and to celebrate we’ve listed out the hottest models to take into consideration for rocking gender identity.

Here 10 androgynous models turning gender expectations inside out

1. Ari Fitz (@itsarifitz)

It’s like an unspoken trust – that i will give them something powerful, unique, and new … every time i create.”

Ari Fitz

2. Jana Knauer (@janaknauer)

When you start your career as a fashion model, you usually know what the industry likes about you most. It is either your agent who tells you right away, or you will learn on jobs… for me: eyebrows.”

Jana Knauer

3. Elliott Sailors (@Elliottsailors)

It was a natural transition earlier on in my career, I would get frustrated because I thought I looked too masculine. I have a strong jaw, wide forehead, huge eyebrows. I thought I looked like a man wearing make-up… One of my favorite things, actually, about working in menswear is that people are much more direct about what they want.”

Elliott Sailors

4. Beck Holladay (@mickeypancake)

…dressing like a boy and having the biggest hair”

Beck Holladay

5. Erika Linder (@richiephoenix)

The fashion world always changes. You can’t keep up and it’s not something I keep up with to be honest. I think it’s hard for androgynous models to really get known or get a good gig. This world in general is hard to get into and do well I reckon. It all depends on how far you wanna go. I just imagine that I wanna be the best that I can be…”

Erika Linder

6. Courtney McCullough (@courtneymccullough6)

I find utter enjoyment in travel planning and researching rather than leaving it up to a travel agent. In another life, I’d be THE perfect travel agent; just give me a budget and what you’re looking for and I’ll create the perfect trip for you.”

Courtney McCullough

7. Agathe Mougin (@agathemougin)

8. Agyness Deyn (@agynessdeyn)

When I started modeling, I didn’t have a fucking clue what I was doing. Actually, I still don’t know what I’m doing while modeling. But at the beginning, it was like, “Oh, god, is this right? Is it not?” So I’m kind of going through that again, but I think it’s a discovery, which is fun.”

Agyness Deyn