seven sydney queer boys on the power of clothing, identity and self expression

Discussing the transformative role of fashion in their lives, refusing to conform and dressing to feel good.

by Kurt Johnson
|
20 March 2018, 3:55am

Connor Cody, 23
How does clothing allow you to express your identity in regards to your sexuality and gender identity? Clothing can help me to express whatever mood I feel that day - from showy to demure to moody or sporty - but I don’t think fashion is as much about clothes as it is about attitude. If you’re shining and beaming with light then it won’t matter if you're not wearing the latest Balenciaga or Vetements. If you truly embody love and self acceptance then I think you could wear anything, within reason. No matter what you wear, your inner soul shines out. I personally don’t specifically identify with either gender roll. As a trans femme gender noncomforming male, I find that clothing quite simply just allows me to live and exist in mainstream society.

If you could broadcast one message to every phone screen in the world, what would it be?
Be kind!

Jaycee Mentoor, 20
How does clothing allow you to express your identity in regards to your sexuality and gender identity? Clothing allows me to express my identity in the way of being an extension of what's already perceived by the general public. I try to have as much fun with the types of things I wear, anything that makes me feel good about myself really, my gender identity is super fluid so I love wearing female clothes and pairing it with something more masculine, so I have a balance.

If you could broadcast one message to every phone screen in the world, what would it be? Be comfortable in yourself. Stop worrying about what everyone else is going to think about you because people are going to talk regardless so you might as well be yourself.

Liam Frappell, 21
How does clothing allow you to express your identity in regards to your sexuality and gender identity? It's a reflection of my refusal to accept the limits of how gender or sexuality is expected to shape us. I dress how I want, without regard for how it may be perceived. From a young age I remember getting into trouble with my dad for putting on my sister's dress. I knew it wasn't meant for boys but I didn’t really care. I’ve always lived in my own introverted bubble without much concern for others' opinions. I have the queer community to thank for providing a space for someone like me to express how I feel outside the limitations of gender or sexuality.

If you could broadcast one message to every phone screen in the world, what would it be?Push yourself outside your comfort zone as often as you can, swim against the stream, treat people with compassion and don’t cause harm to another. When you do find what gets you out of bed, be stubborn and determined, happiness is for the brave and out there somewhere, no matter who you are, is a group of people waiting for someone just like you. Things will get better, just don't give in.

Harry Pickering, 24
How does clothing allow you to express your identity in regards to your sexuality and gender identity? Clothing is the medium of interchange between my internal world and our shared one. It's an offering, in which I often sacrifice the safety of conformity to challenge others' assumptions of what a body could be. My sexuality and gender are gelatinous, so my external sheaths should be just as transmutable. Shimmering, not fixed.

If you could broadcast one message to every phone screen in the world, what would it be? Usury and land ownership are the roots of all evil. Witches stand up, reclaim the commons!

Adrian Kalaiziovski, 25
How does clothing allow you to express your identity in regards to your sexuality and gender identity? I've always explored my femininity and have never let social constructs of gender affect the way I express myself with clothing. I love the way more 'feminine' items fit my body - it makes me feel super confident. I feel the same with 'masculine' items too. I don't really think into it that much tbh. It's just how I dress/my style.

If you could broadcast one message to every phone screen in the world, what would it be?Libra season never ends.

Harry Barclay, 20
How does clothing allow you to express your identity in regards to your sexuality and gender identity? My sexuality isn’t exclusively represented in my style, my clothing choices are expressed through my mood at that time and place. I just wear what I wanna wear when I feel like it and I mean it; I’m that person you will see in the club wearing a hoodie and sweats, because I felt like it.

If you could broadcast one message to every phone screen in the world, what would it be?
I would just keep it simple and say, “be good because it feels good”. Oh and I would plug my Instagram. I would also probably link the Oprah speech and a whole bunch of TED talks, oh, and I would just exclusively tell Donald Trump to choke.

Luke James Bodley, 26
How does clothing allow you to express your identity in regards to your sexuality and gender identity? Clothes allow me to code and present my body and gender multidimensionally. Clothes cocoon and protect me when I am tired, coy or anxious. Clothes transform my surface into a psycho-sexual tapestry. By manipulating fabric, colour and form, I can inscribe my brown body with music and messages.

If you could broadcast one message to every phone screen in the world, what would it be? Anime will save and heal you.

The title of this article was amended.

Credits


Styling / Casting Kurt Johnson
Photography Mia Rankin
Make Up Joel Babicci @ Company1
Hair Taylor Redman @ Company1

Tagged:
Culture
LGBTQI
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