The New York Times published a story about Bindle & Keep, myself and our clients called The Masculine Mystique. I’m excited and thankful that the work Daniel Friedman and I have been doing for the past year and half is getting this kind of attention. I’m also excited about how statue-esque my dog looks in the photo below, as well as how clean my apartment looks. Mostly I’m excited about how handsome our clients look!
I just want to take a moment to write a follow-up to the article, which has an unprecedented amount of personal information about myself in it. While I value my private life and consider my gender identity private, I have also learned the value in allowing my identity to become more public. I’ve never really used this platform to explicitly talk about my identity except for in the context of style, but I do feel like it’s important to do that now, for a moment.
I’m quoted as saying I navigate a tiny space between two identities. That’s the space I tend to be assigned to exist in based on my appearance. I am impressed that this space exists and that it’s so easy for me to inhabit. But I want to add that I don’t see myself the way other folks see me. My identity is a defined thing; it’s just too private and complicated to discuss with a reporter. There are other details about my life included in the article that I would not have chosen to divulge but I take comfort in the power of visibility and this unprecedented portrayal of gender diversity.
This is the bottom-line for me, folks. Last night, as I was getting ready to have dinner with about 50 family members in the Bronx (God bless the Bronx), I was feeling over-exposed by this article and thus anxious about seeing my people. I took a moment to refresh my email (this is how people in the 21st century soothe themselves) and saw that a gentleman I do not know had taken the time to write to me and say that I am courageous, and that our visibility moved him to tears. I can’t say how thankful I am for his well-timed message.
P.S. Rachel Maddow, I want to make you a suit.
P.P.S. Really I just want to measure everyone in the world for a perfect pair of pants.
P.P.P.S. I don’t actually wear a suit when I’m at home hanging out with my dog.
P.P.P.P.S. For those concerned about my pronouns, please don’t worry. As my high school Earth Science teacher used to say, “I don’t care what you call me as long as you don’t call me late for dinner!”
P.P.P.P.P.S. Here’s my version of our story as published by the Huffington Post’s Gay Voices in February: http://m.huffpost.com/us/entry/2638530bespoke suits menswear queer style Bindle & Keep NYT The New York Times Metropolitan Section masculinity vulnerability butch trans transmasculine butch style transmasculine style handmade transmasculinity privacy queer menswear