an exclusive interview with:
Q: Introduce yourself: Your name, preferred pronouns, how you identify in the LGBTQ+ community. Feel free to include or exclude whatever information you would like.
A: Hi I’m Anthony, my pronouns are he/him/his and I’m a professional people decorator. I’m a 21 year old, gay, South-East Asian American, and I’m deeply in love with every quality I possess for which I am oppressed.
Q: Talk about your fashion. Does it relate to a certain way you identify? Has it changed over the course of your life?
A: Firstly, I really love being able to wear clothing that I know I can only pull off because I’m brown. As a gay man there is a lot of pressure to be masculine in both physical build and fashion choices. Being able to pass as straight is a fetishized trait. As an Asian male I’ve already been desexualized and feminized by society in a way that puts a lot of pressure on me to pursue masculine ideals…a pressure that is only heightened in the context of LBGTQ+ circles. I’ve recently started to totally reject this and capitalize on the traits that I was blessed with as a Southeast Asian queer man. I’ve stopped trying to be “handsome” because I feel like “handsomeness” is just beauty filtered through a patriarchy. I know that beauty has a lot more to do with presence than it does with a laundry list of gender specific traits. I love fashion that makes me feel beautiful, not handsome.
Q: Can you talk about your thoughts on the 'coming out' process, whether that be coming out to yourself or to the people around you. Do you agree/disagree this should be something Queer-identifying people should engage in? Is this something you did yourself?
A: Coming out is not a moment, it is an ongoing experience that queer people endure throughout their lifetime. Although the closet of my childhood has long since shattered, the weight and fear of not knowing how or when to reveal this truth still lingers. Queer people find themselves having to come out again and again over the course of their life to people they meet. Even if it’s not as explicit as the first time, things like dropping small information about a significant other can feel endangering in certain situation. I came out to my friends and family when I was 15. Ever since then, it has become easier to live more openly. But I like to view coming out as letting people in, not moving from a hidden place into the light.
Q: Can you discuss the intersectionality within your own queer narrative?
A: Queer, by definition, involves a deviation or departure from norms. In the LGBTQ+ community, many problematic norms have become ingrained that work to actively oppress people of color, trans people, and those with different health statuses. As a queer person of color, I often times feel doubly excluded because of my race and sexual orientation. Sometimes this exclusion is actually heightened in queer spaces because one factor has been equalized, so the disparity between other aspects of identities is magnified.
Q: Social media and digital presence have become such a large facet of Queer lifestyle, can you discuss how it has impacted you positively and/or negatively as a Queer-identifying individual. How does internet culture/clout relate within the LGBTQ+ community?
A: I use social media as a way to allow other people to share in the excitement and joy I get from being able to create. Followers are a side effect of something entirely different. I always really love discovering new creatives through social media and expanding my knowledge of up and coming designers
Q: Do you have a role model?
A: All trans womyn of color.
Q: If you could impart advice, tips, or guides to a younger version of yourself, what would they be? Is there anything you would like to say to your future self?
A: There will always be someone who has better technical skills than you, more inventive ideas, and is more adored. But the only person who controls how hard you work is yourself.