If i had £1 for the amount of times that someone has told me that social media is the “thing” of the moment, I would a) be able to afford to live a somewhat elegant/rupaul stylised life and b) would be rich enough to leave the conversation because it gets VERY boring hearing people repeat that social media is the “thing of the moment” when i’m pretty sure we all know that. But, despite the stigma and perceived millennial/generation z obsession behind social media, it is a tool that isn’t just used to stalk that cute guy who’s in the year above you. It can actually be used to spread a positive message. A message to people who think they’re the only one, a digital olive branch, intertwining groups of people whom share the same ethnicity/gender/age/disability to create a safe place for them. A place where they can begin to see a way out of the loneliness they could be feeling, or to see the journey that their lives can take as a result of growth, age and time. Seeing people older than you who have had the exact same struggles as you, and to see them happy and managing their lives, is a REAL help for so many people, especially trans/gender non-conforming people. Here are a few people who I ADORE on social media, who have showed me that there is a way to live, flourish and THRIVE as trans/gender non-conforming people.
Identifying as Genderqueer, Jacob Tobia is not afraid of being unapologetically themselves.They use their confident and eloquent vocabulary and professional manner to combat transphobes one at a time, as a prevalent LGBTQIA+ rights campaigner and speaker. I was introduced to Tobia after hearing about them on the MTV ‘True Life’ series titled ‘I’m Genderqueer’. This was the first TV representation of the identity that I personally identify with, and it made me so proud to be part of such a small, yet powerful movement. Jacob’s infectious personality is shown through their social media, posting pictures on Instagram of beautifully styled outfits, locations of activist talks they’re partaking in, and of course 23482398 selfies. A definite must follow for anyone who wants to know not just how to rock their identity, but rock 5 inch platforms.
OH my goodness literally Jeffrey Marsh is the biggest ray of sunshine I have ever come across in my life. They’re gorgeously positive, glowing every second of their day, radiating love, positivity and realism in every post they create and every step they take. Author, activist and LGBTQIA+ icon, Marsh has just realised their first book, ‘How To Be You’ with Penguin publishing, embracing all things fulfilling and enriching in life. Jeffrey’s short instagram/vine video’s truly uplift me, with an emotional to camera quote spurring you on for your day, it truly makes the world of difference when you’re feeling low and need that extra motivation to be able to validate your existence on this planet we call earth. A MUST follow.
3. Jaden Smith
It was difficult to find out whether or not Jaden Smith had personally identified himself as gender fluid, however due to their influencer status in society and their fame, they are definitely a name to follow in the gender fluid fashion scene. Smith discusses how his gender non-conforming fashion choices have been a subliminal message to the future generations to prevent gender specific bullying when it comes to fashion. I remember when I saw the pictures of Jaden Smith wearing a skirt at his prom, and the media created SUCH a whirlwind behind it, posting pictures and articles questioning Smith’s identity and gender expression without a second glance, which can be so damaging to a person who is just literally wearing a skirt because they wanted to and for no other reason (to be honest what other reason do you wear a skirt?). Like I said, due to Smith’s influencer status and fame, it has landed him modelling jobs with Louis Vuitton for their ‘Series 4’ collection. I can’t wait to see more from Jaden, and to see him fight the rigid masculinity that surrounds us all.
4. Rain Dove
If you don’t know/follow Rain, you need to follow them right now. Rain encapsulates all that is right with the fashion/modelling industry at the moment. My favourite quote from rain was from an interview with DapperQ, where they state, ‘I model as no gender. I model as all genders’. Its such an interesting concept, yet for some people, such a complex one at the same time, but what defies me is – what’s simpler than defining yourself as a human being? Dove is charismatic, funny, talented, and a real trailblazer in the fashion industry, showing that androgyny and female masculinity isn’t just a trend, but a notion that shouldn’t even be labelled in the first place. I met Rain at a model casting I was working at and literally screamed (and also called them the wrong name in a haze of “oh my goodness it’s FUCKING RAIN DOVE – classic me).
Janani Balasubramanian and Alok Vaid-Menon are my NEWEST infatuation, forming the trans duo DarkMatter – combining gender, sexuality and a plethora of social concepts into a fun, enigmatic and thought provoking performance art. I am only recently aboard the DarkMatters boat, and haven’t seen them live unfortunately due to them being based in New York, but their performances are a queer safe space, aimed at attacking the mountain that is LGBTQIA+ rights from a new and refreshing angle, a queer critique if you will. They also both wear neon lipsticks and it just does things to me – and their instagram account is FULL of bright, beautiful and billowing outfits that are SURE to spice up your OOTD’s in the near future. If you’re lucky enough, make sure you check them out live because I am sure they are 23471 times more amazing and encapsulating in real life and in their element.
Kind regards and GET FOLLOWING !