Queer fashion

Written by Lucie Lastinger, Arianee Wang, and Rhiana Warawa | Visuals by Sonia Ionescu, Sophie Jean, and Arianee Wang

What is “queer fashion”? This question came up a lot while working on this article. Time and again, we contemplated the relationship between queer people and the style associated with them. We recognized that within our community there exists a particular aesthetic, one that is decidedly queer. In our conversations with friends and peers, we noticed a tension between wanting to acknowledge and celebrate queerness and its many manifestations, while also resisting the idea that all queer people are identifiable by their attire. Indeed, there is a pressure within our community to conform to this style, a pressure to be queer in the ‘right’ ways. This tension is exactly why we wanted to put together this piece; we wanted to center the imaginative and creative ways in which queer people are expressing their sexuality, gender, and politics through their style. We wanted to observe how queer people felt about the pressure to conform, and to demonstrate that you don’t have to look a certain way to participate in queer fashion. As many of our interviewees noted, queer fashion is fluid, malleable; it looks different on every person, and that’s part of the charm. Queer fashion is a fashion that lets you be different, or not. Like the term “queer,” it’s political, it’s transformative – it does something.That something could be being queer even when the world assumes from your appearance that you’re hetero and monogamous, or being so explicitly queer that no one can ever deny it. Queer fashion is fucking with heteronormativity, whether heteronormativity realizes it or not.

Note: Individuals who were photographed for this article were nominated by their friends. We asked that all nominations be consensual in order to prevent non-consensual outing. All individuals nominated were contacted and invited to participate. There was no requirement of response or participation, and no sort of policing of identities. All information in this article was included with the explicit permission of those interviewed and photographed.

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