As the world continues to push against gender constructs, the conversation around how people are identifying themselves is constantly evolving. Each week, MILK.XYZ will feature a guest editor writing about their specific relationship with gender and, often, where it intersects with fashion. This week, they feature NYC-based performer Gia Garison.
I wish gender and sexuality in fashion weren’t even topics of discussion in our current day and age. It’s 2017… But because they are such hot topics discussed within society, my relationship to them has become complex. As a trans woman who used to be a gay twink who used to be a “straight” nerd, I’ve had many unique relationships to fashion (most of which I will not be discussing in this article due to the sheer tragedy of it all), yet throughout each and every interval of my life, fashion has allowed me to express myself. Since I was young, I loved playing dress up with my cousins and I would always sneak into my mother’s closet when she wasn’t home, whether it be to try on her dresses or dance in her ballerina Pointe shoes. I’ve always loved to bring fantasies to life. And dressing myself allows me do that.
The way I present myself on the street or in the club is a huge part of who I am—my confidence, my personality, my art. I see dressing myself as an art form, I put in as much effort into crafting a look as a painter would put into creating a masterpiece. It’s all about the details.
The hardest thing about being trans and a woman in terms of fashion: it’s a lot more difficult to allow yourself to simply walk out the door into the world sans glamming up. I always feel this pressure to put on this specific image so people don’t harass me or misgender me. Sometimes it’s really hard to fight that. Whether it be a T-shirt and jeans and no makeup, a head-to-toe ball gown with a smokey eye and thin brows, or a Dior monogram bikini with blush and winged liner, I should be able to feel comfortable and live my life free of torture from the people on the street who have no right to come for me. So what if I like to wear crop tops, mini skirts, and sheer dresses? Get over yourselves and stop acting like you aren’t a human and have never seen a human body.
Images courtesy of Yuki James