15 Jul I DON’T REALLY TALK ABOUT THIS (BUT I PROBABLY SHOULD)
My Elementary school accepted me with open arms. Teachers, parents and friends in my class understood that this was simply who I am. My Mother, Grandmother and Sister let me run free. It was at this time that I began to explore more of what was so fascinating to me.
Looking back on it now, I realise how lucky I was to have had so much acceptance.
Glamorous people and objects drove my creativity. I wanted to be a fashion designer when I turned 6. Sophistication, elegance and beauty were my kryptonite. Sailor Moon was my favourite TV show, and I had to be Posh Spice when playing pretends with friends. I even started sketching wedding dresses outside wedding shops and created my own magazine to showcase and write critiques on my own designs.
When I arrived at secondary school, the game changed. I was attending an all-boys private school, and masculinity was the aim of the game. I started hiding my interests, praying no one would ever find out about that person who I used to be and definitely no longer was. I’m a man now; I do boy things.
But everyone knows the truth always comes out.
This progresses into a story that is like so many others, some more fortunate and some worse. Yet they all follow the same plot: knowing you’re different, being targeted for it, and paving the way for yourself in your world until you find others like you.
Why do people target those who are different? Why are we made to feel less than when we are nothing less than exceptional. We are the people who push boundaries and swim upstream. We constantly test what’s tolerable and take it a little further. We are the ones making sure the future generations of us do better than we have done.
I always wonder what my creativity would be like had there been no outside influence. What if no one thought a boy playing with dolls was wrong? What if dressing up and experimenting with expression had no boundaries? That fashion and art were genderless, or the concept that anybody could be anyone and that they could do anything was a liveable truth. What if there was no idea of what was or what is normal?
What if the birds sang love and the leaves on trees listened? What if the wind could pick up its song and carry it like pollen? What if people listened to its sound and felt its message?
What if we could all just be?
I imagine it would be a Utopia.
I’ll live with the truth to these questions as unanswered. I wonder if I am poorer for having lost an explanation. Maybe I am richer for having gained a mystery.
I styled this editorial with Wynn Hamlyn‘s Resort 2022 collection. Although the Macrame dress and top is a unique and beautiful garment on its own, it has a symbolic representation of a barrier or cage in I don’t really talk about it (but I probably should). It is to communicate the idea that there is something holding one back, yet at the same time, there is a sentimental longing or affection for one’s true self.