KASEY

Philadelphia, PA

What are your pronouns?

I identify with any pronouns. I’m very comfortable with all of them.

Where do you work?

I work at a bakery called Aurora Grace. We specialize in French pastries and a combination of some American pastries as well. And I also do farmer’s markets.

Do you have any hobbies or special interests? What do you do for fun?

So, I model. I also do drag…burlesque…go-go dancing…I do a little bit of cosplay. I like playing video games. I love watching documentaries. I love to hike. I love food. I’m a huge foodie. I’m vegan. Also into super fancy cocktails. [My partner] Jack and I are huge hobbyists of going out to eat. We’re actually going to New Orleans next month. I’m so excited.

I grew up in Mass, I lived in Lowell and Dracut. And then when I was 18 we moved to Salem NH. I lived in Salem with my mom and my stepdad for a year and a half, two years, and then I got engaged at 20 and moved to Haverhill MA.

So I lived in Haverhill for like a year and a half, and then I moved back to my mom’s for a little while. And then I moved to Dover. And then I moved to CT, and I had already had a ton of friends in Portland Maine, and I would go up there a lot, and then I started dating somebody who lived in Portland, and so I moved to Portland. Was there for 4 years. Originally I was supposed to move here [Philadelphia] before I moved to Seattle, that was my plan. I was going on a West Coast tour for modeling to make some money so I could move to Philly, and then I went to Seattle and I fell in love with Seattle. I was there just for a couple of days and I was like, this place is everything. Because Seattle was way more queer – at that time, 6 years ago – than any other place. So when I went there and I just saw the different array of people that existed there, I was overwhelmed. And I was like, wow, this is what I need. When I was in Portland I still felt like I was kind of being pushed into the binary, and trying to be this specific type of person that only existed in the community that I was living in. So I did it. I moved across the country, really found myself as a queer person. I was in Seattle for 5 years, and I just kind of felt like I had done everything I needed to there, and I wanted to be closer to my family, and I was feeling kind of homesick. And I have a lot of friends on the East Coast in general, and the cost of living in Seattle was increasing dramatically because of Amazon and Microsoft. It went up like 120% in a year. I didn’t feel super tied to a lot of things there anymore. So I just decided to move back.

How do you handle the issue of pronouns and being gendered when interacting with strangers / mixed company / etc?

I always try to ask anybody what their pronouns are if I’m in that space, but I haven’t had a lot of really negative experiences, and maybe that’s because I identify as any. But I always feel really validated whenever anyone asks me what my pronouns are. I still think that’s an important question to ask anybody. And I’m super thankful that people have been really receptive to that. Especially in Philly, I feel like that’s something that happens really often. I work for a catering company, and literally every meeting that we have, if we’re just doing a briefing, we all ask each other what our pronouns are in the briefing. Just to make everybody feel good. And I’ve definitely seen people totally be misrepresented and if they don’t feel strong enough to say something for themselves, I typically will. I just have that type of energy that I won’t just let it sit and rest. I’ll purposefully [say what their pronoun is] and put it out there. You’re not representing this person the right way, and you should do that, because it’s not that hard.

[Pronouns are] not something that’s super important to me. My gender identity is super fluid anyway. But I understand why people have those feelings about it, because people do want to be represented as they should be. I think some of it is that people feel fearful to ask. They don’t understand that we are going to be happier that you asked than if you just pretend like you don’t know or just avoid that topic of conversation. Because that’s what makes us feel validated. And I think that when people can put aside whatever shame and guilt they’re having about that, [and ask what someone’s pronouns are], we’re going to be like, “Wow, thanks!” not “How dare you.” No one’s going to be upset that you asked.

On the street is a huge issue for me, especially when I’m more femme-identifying in a lot of ways. I wear a lot of makeup. Sometimes my style is a mix, like [what I’m wearing right now] is very mixed between all my feelings with gender. But sometimes I am really femme, and men love to approach me on the street. And it’s really frustrating for me, because they assume that because I look like this, that I must be into them. And it’s really tough for me, because I get so frustrated in those scenarios. But when men do approach me, I’m like, “Get the fuck away from me.” I was standing in the subway once; I was waiting for the subway, I had fucking headphones on, I wasn’t talking, and this guy literally comes over and puts his phone in my face with the number screen up. I just straight looked at him and I was like, “No. Get away from me.”

The other thing is, on the real, I constantly have to think about, when I’m walking out of the house, what I’m wearing and is it too much. Is it going to be too much for men on the street that I look like this? Because usually if I’m dressing wicked feminine – I never wear bras, that’s the other thing, so that’s also been an issue for me, is just being comfortable within myself, and then that being totally dismantled because some fucking asshole has to stop me on the street to be like, “What up?” Leave me alone. Just let me go through my day. I don’t dress like this for you. It’s just so fucking annoying. Unfortunately a lot of folks don’t feel like they can [stand up for themselves], or they’re too nervous to do that. So I definitely always want to be that person, that’s going to put some cis shitty dude in their place. Because it’s just not right. It’s not right the way that people are treated just for going about their day.

Have you had difficulties with changing your name and the way it affects you moving through the world, being recognized how you want, or being mis-gendered?

Honestly, I’m really lucky to have a gender neutral name. I’ve thought about that a lot. I feel like if I didn’t, I probably would’ve changed my name. But Kacey can be both. So that’s never really been a problem for me. But I do feel very strongly about folks who have had those difficulties, because that’s not an easy road at all. Especially with family members. I can’t even imagine what it’s like. My mom has always been really accepting of me in every possible way, and I feel like if it were to come down to it, and I did have a more feminine-identified name and I were to change it, I think that she would’ve been totally fine. My sister I think would’ve made a big stink about it. But not my mom. My mom’s always been in my corner. My mom is almost in her 70s, but she is one of the few people who is that age who’s been willing to change, and is open to understanding herself better.

What word(s) would you use to describe your identity?

Gamer. Quirky. I’m very quirky. Smart. I love learning so much. I love documentaries. I’m a huge documentary buff. 

I would also say sultry, which is more of my performer identity. I’m a performer. That’s another word. Model. Pastry chef, or baker. Either one works. I’m also a cook. Adventurous, definitely. And I’m just a goofball. That too.

Seriously, people see me on the Internet – I’m very sultry and serious in my modeling stuff. And then people meet me and they’re like, “Why are you so weird?” and I’m like, “That’s just my image!” I mean it’s a part of me, but, you know. I’ve been approached a lot, people just knowing who I am, being like, “Oh my god, you’re Kace Face,” and they get so nervous to meet me, and I’m nervous to meet them. I’m just a dork.

Are there ways that you dress / act / speak / etc. to specifically make a statement to others about your identity? Why?

I would definitely say my style is very queer-based. And a lot of that I ended up finding in Seattle, because so many people there have so many amazing different types of styles. Queer style there is just everything. And also the drag world there is very interesting. Drag there is very avant-garde and conceptual, and very quirky, and a hodge-podge of different styles and colors and concepts, and a little bit of everything. Because when I first moved there, living in Maine – I was wearing flannels with bandanas around my neck and had a fuckin’ asymmetrical scene haircut, and was wearing Vans and band tees. I was very simplistic. And then when I got to Seattle, once I really immersed myself more in the queer world, I started playing with gender and not really trying to completely gender myself in one way. I started kind of mixing everything up. But it depends on the day. Some days I wake up and I want to just be super neutral. I really love patterns and colors, but I also wear a lot of black too. That was a Seattle thing, I wore a lot of black when I lived there. But there’s so many different ways that you can mix different things to represent your gender. And I stick out like a sore thumb in a room full of cis people. It’s just so funny.

A good example is I went on a cruise with my mom and my sister like a year and a half ago, and everybody on that cruise were middle-America people, for the most part. We had gone on a cruise a few years before, and I had a very different experience; we didn’t really talk to anybody or meet anybody on the cruise. But this time it was really cool, because at the dinners, you had a dinner every night, but you had it with different folks. So they had two couples sitting with us, one of them was from Atlanta GA, the other one was from North Carolina I want to say. But it was really nice to be able to mix that up and kind of meet people, because then you already have those connections. And then the second night we were there we had this captain’s dinner. And I had cut-outs in my hair, my hair was mauve pink, it was super stylized – literally no one on the friggin’ cruise except for myself was queer. I was wearing this really fancy dress that had a neckline to here, it was floral, my makeup was all done super nice, and we decided to go to karaoke on the cruise after. And obviously I’m a performer, so when I get on a stage, I’m going to do it. So I did “Baby Got Back” by Sir Mix-a-Lot, because I know every single word to that song without fail. I don’t even need to look at the screen. My sister and my mom were sitting there, they were so proud of me, everybody in the crowd was freaking out, I was slapping my ass, I made a whole thing out of it. And then the next day, we were just going out for breakfast at the main function hall, and some fucking lady comes up behind me and goes, “Baby got back,” and literally for the next 2 days people kept approaching me and being like, “You were so good!” And it was weird, I didn’t think that I was going to have those experiences, and I think some of those people did see me initially and they were like, “What the fuck?” You know what I mean? Because I do stick out like that.

And then there was this older woman at this White Party one night, and [her] and her husband, they were fucking flawless, and they were probably in their 60s, and this woman, she just walks by me, and I’m like, “Wow. You look amazing,” and she’s like, “So do you!” And it was so nice. Because I think that’s the thing that’s so interesting to me, is that when people do see somebody like me, they make assumptions immediately. And more often than not, if I have a conversation with those people, all of a sudden they’re like, “Wow. You’re actually just another fucking human, and you’re awesome, and cool to talk to, and really polite and nice.” It’s always nice to see that change, to watch that change on somebody’s face when they realize that just because I look like this doesn’t mean anything. It’s just how I choose to represent myself.

That’s one of the biggest reasons why I model, just to really challenge people’s perceptions of gender and what it means for people to be in this community and how important it is for us to have that representation. Because a lot of people really do feel very fearful to completely be themselves, even if they are under that umbrella, because of other people. And it must be really shitty to feel that way, because I did feel that way for a long time, and I worked really hard to let go of all that and realize that what other people think about me doesn’t fucking matter as long as I love myself.

How early on did you know or suspect that you did not identify within the binary?

Straight out of the gate, really, when I was like seventeen. I went to Catholic school from 4th grade to 9th grade. But honestly, I saw more fucked up shit happen in my Catholic school than I ever did in public school. 100%. So when I was in high school, it was almost impossible for me to come out. Or feel like I could identify that way. And then [in] ninth grade I failed math, and my mom, as punishment, sent me to public school. Bad idea, ma! Because then I was like, woo! Freedom! You know what I mean? I started going to GSA [Gay Straight Alliance]. I felt different in high school, obviously, and I was like, I like these people, they make me feel included, and I feel like I have a community. Then when I was seventeen, I came out to my mom as bisexual, and she was like, “I already knew.” I [said], “What do you mean?” She [said], “When you were tiny, you came home from Girl Scout camp and told me you had a crush on your counselor.” And all of a sudden I was like, ohhhh, right right, and I remembered who it was. The second I came out, cut all my hair off. And had a mohawk. I literally went from 0 to 100. There was no between for me. Probably in like the first month or so. I cut off all my hair and started wearing boys’ clothes. 

Then after that, I mean I definitely played with gender but not as much – I think I really didn’t find that sort of concept of being completely non-binary until I moved to Seattle 6 years ago. Even in Maine I felt different than the people in the lesbian community because I [felt] like I fit in but not entirely, and I didn’t understand, and then I moved to Seattle and I was like, Oh, that’s why. Because I’m not a lesbian. Weirdly enough, I think the reason why for me is because there are a lot of folks in the lesbian community who are completely like fucking cis dudes. They are misogynist. And they really base their entire personality off of cis men. And it’s fucked up. It’s not [attractive]. And it’s really problematic for me, which is why I don't hang out with a lot of lesbian-identified people because I don't feel like they fully understand what it really means to be in this culture.

Let’s have a conversation about how 75% of Boston fucking culture is that. Like, the backwards fucking Hurley caps, with the short-sleeve flannels and/or polos… Those are the people [at Boston dyke nights]. Actually, something that was really eye-opening to me is when I lived in Seattle for a couple years and I came to Pride in Boston for the first time in probably like 4 or 5 years - I looked entirely different, I was wearing all black, I was wearing like a boy/girl hat from Pride Animals, a genderqueer brand from London. I’ve been working with them for years. They’re really really cool. And it was funny, because this person who worked for Dyke March or for Boston Pride or whatever came up to me in like the middle of Pride and was like, “Wow, you look so different.” Like, compared to everybody here. She was like, “Can I take photos of you?” I [said yes], so she did, and even all my friends were just like, “Wow, your style, everything,” I was like a whole new person. But I felt like almost everybody that I saw there and reconnected with was exactly the same person that they were 6 years ago. And I think that’s part of my issue is that a lot of folks in New England, I feel like they haven’t changed at all. They’re just stuck. And that’s really super sad for me. I’m sure some of them are happy with the way they are and that’s fine. If that’s how you want to live your life. But it was so interesting to me. I feel like I went [through] a fucking time warp, like Boston Pride was the exact same way as it was the last time I was there 5 years ago. Most Pride is [dominated by capitalism] now, though. Boston Pride is definitely a whole different type of beast and energy. There’s a thing here [in Philly] that happens, I don't know if you know about it, called Outfest. Pride already happened, and then they have Outfest, and basically all of the Gayborhood, all the streets are shut down, and there’s block parties everywhere. It’s so much fun. It’s late September through October.

I feel like a lot of the queer stuff here, too, is more on an underground level. I mean, there are gay clubs here, but I would never fucking hang out in any of them. [There’s] not really a space. I feel like a lot of that space exists in drag, and burlesque and stuff. There’s so many cool performances that happen here. And Outfest honestly is great too. I mean there definitely is a mixed demographic, but I think it’s better than the Pride demographic here. Also they fucking charged for people to go to Pride this year. In Philadelphia. $15 to go to the end festival, where all the stuff is. That is the most not inclusive thing I’ve ever heard in my life. Why would they do that? Thousands of people are going to come. You’re going to make your money. You don't need to fucking charge.

Do you think anything about the way you were raised or where you grew up affected how you drew conclusions about your identity?

Yeah, I would say within school, I definitely felt like I had to be a certain way and present myself in a certain way, but also I have a lesbian stepsister, and so when I was really young, I was already introduced to that type of thing. I don't think I ever really felt like this sort of fear that a lot of people have had, unfortunately, to come out. For me it was really easy. I mean, it definitely took me a while to figure it out, but – coming out was one thing, my gender stuff was another. It definitely took my mom a little while to understand it. “I don't get it. What do you mean? You’re queer? You’re not male or female?” I definitely think it took my mom a little while to really conceptualize that the binary means nothing, and that I'm just this free-flowing spirit kinda person who doesn't need to have this gendered identity for any reason. And I think that now she gets it.

But my family; another thing that was really tough for me is my family was always really critical about the way I represented myself. Like when I started doing my eyebrows, filling in my eyebrows, they were like, “Why are you doing that?” And would make fun of me for it. When I stopped shaving my body hair, that was a huge point of contention between certain members of my family. “Oh my God, your legs are really hairy.” They would just make comments. And it really bothered me, because [it] was like, Why do you fucking care? It’s not affecting you in any way, and it’s really not a big deal. I would feel really good about it, and something like that would happen, and I’d [think], Oh, maybe I shouldn't be doing this, or [I would] question the choices I was making. I stopped wearing bras, and I cut all my hair off. Certain things definitely took my family a little while. Just because you don't understand it doesn't mean you need to make fun of it or make me feel guilty or shitty about it, because you’re doing that because you’re uncomfortable and because it makes you feel better to say something like that, because it’s the only way for you to deal with that issue. And that’s not right.

My sister’s like a perfect example of somebody who does that to me. The first time she was in town, she really wanted to go out. And I was like, That’s fine, can we go to the Gayborhood? And she [said] no. She was not even down to go to a gay club, and I was like, why? The music’s gonna be better, it’s gonna be funner, like, why don’t we just go? And there’s so many spots we can go to, we’ll have many options, if we don’t like one place we can just swing to another. [No.] And there’s this one place here that I’ve been to before that I knew about that’s this really big space, it’s in this old mall or something, but they redid the whole space, and the whole downstairs was this huge club. They have an adult ball pit, and three different bars, and the bathrooms are humongous, it’s really cool, and they play all hip-hop and R&B, but it’s very cis. Very cis. And I was like, I am fucking doing this for you. And she doesn't get that. She doesn't understand that I actually put a lot of myself aside to comfort her and to make her feel okay. That sucks to have to do that, to have to weasel around her. The way she feels about herself has nothing to do with me, and when she tries to make it about me, or make me feel shitty about myself, that sucks. She’s probably like the one person in my life who’s always making me feel like I’m not enough. It’s definitely a difficult - we actually don’t really have a relationship right now. Because she continues to not take any responsibility for her place in the failing of our relationship and sees me as this person who doesn't have her shit together and also looks at her life as better. She’s a stay-at-home mom with 4 kids, you know, our lives are very different. And she thinks that because she sacrificed her entire young adult life to be a parent that she’s better than me. And sees me living this free existence where everything’s constantly changing in my life and I think she feels unhappy. So this is her way of dealing with that, by striking me. I shared this thing the other day that said that so many of us are going to therapy to deal with the people in our lives who don’t go to therapy and don’t take care of themselves. Because it’s so true.

Can you give any examples of misconceptions people have about those who identify outside the binary? Have you personally dealt with them?

I think that a lot of people assume that we are going to actively put it in their face all the time. Like in a way that’s making them uncomfortable. Or assume that we don’t have our lives together. Or assume that we’re shitty people. I think that their perceptions are completely based around fear, and not really understanding or feeling like they can ask the questions that they want to ask. I feel like when any person asks me a question, when they don’t understand it, they immediately apologize. I’m like, Don’t be sorry, you’re trying to learn. And I think that’s so important that people try to learn. I think when you put yourself at a halt, and basically tell yourself that you’re not going to try to understand this thing, that’s when it creates a problem. A lot of [people think] that we want to be another gender. “Oh, you’re dressing more masculine? You must want to be a man.” They just don’t understand that style preferences and gender representation doesn't have anything to do with...I mean, it does align with who we are, but it also doesn't at the same time. It’s just how we see ourselves and how we find a sense of comfortability.

I think for a lot of folks in their late 20s, 30s, 40s, and above, they never really had the freedom to express those things when they were kids and teenagers. Like, teenagers today have so much... I would give anything to be a teenager in this generation and to have not spent my high school years doing the thing that I did to fit in. Because now, you don't have to do that anymore. I mean, in Middle America and places like that it’s still a huge problem, but, there is a lot of representation. There’s a lot of access. There’s a lot of inclusivity that we never had. I think that people are definitely more open-minded today, because they have the access to that knowledge, but I think for us, there was always a lot of fear around that judgment of totally being who you are. So now people are coming out at way different ages because they’re all of a sudden having this epiphany that they don’t have to fit this mold to make other people comfortable. That’s what a lot of it is, is just the sense of discomfort that people have with non-binary [people]. Or feeling like they need to figure us out. You don't need to. You just need to accept us. Just get to know us. Because we’re all really fucking cool people who also have expansive knowledge. I feel like any queer person I’ve ever met has been so worldly and really has a high perception of their mind and how to have a healthy relationship dynamic. [They have] worked really hard to be who they are. And people try to tear that down. It feels horrible. Because all we’ve ever wanted is to be happy. Kids today have it fucking easy. Seriously. They don’t know the full struggle. I mean, some of them, definitely, I’m sure, but there wasn't “queer” when we were in high school.

In your own words, how would you explain that gender identity is different from sexual orientation?

I think that there are a lot of folks that think that cis people can’t be queer. Or shouldn't be queer because of the privilege that they have. And while I get that, just like the white folks who are doing work for black people, understanding their privilege, I think cis people can do the same thing. And I think if they do identify as a queer person and see themselves as being not in the binary but being attracted to cis men, there’s nothing wrong with that. As long as they’re not dating shitty cis men. There are some that are lovely who I have met, but I 21-question any cis man who wants to enter my bubble. I have a really hard time being open to that, but I try to be. Just like I don't want anybody to make a perception about me, I don't want to make a perception about anyone else until I get to know them.

But I think gender and sexuality can be intersectional, for sure, especially in the LGBTQ queer world, because I think that a lot of the ways that we connect are through the ways that we represent ourselves physically. And there have been times where I’ve been attracted to people that look more inherently femme or cis, which is kind of rare for me. I tend to be attracted to people who are very non-binary, gender-neutral like myself. But every once in a while, I meet a really femme person, and I’m like, “All right. Yeah. What up?” It’s also felt like I’ve made a lot of my own perceptions about femme women sexually that are fucking wrong, and I’ve had to really dismantle that idea in my head that cis femme-looking women or cis-identifying women are bottoms. Or really submissive, or don't know how to fuck or top me at all. And then in the past like 2 years, that perception has been completely blown out of the water. But I’ve also had a similar flip-flop of, I’ve dated a lot of more androgynous, or on the masc [masculine] side of being queer who feel like they have to be this dominating person sexually, or the top, because they are perceived that way. But I’m a hard switch, and being more femme-identified, when I get in those scenarios with someone who’s more masc, and then I top them, they’re like, “Wow.” Because they’ve never really had that, and they’ve never really felt like someone like me would be that person. And then all of a sudden they start re-examining the things that they’re into sexually, and re-examining the way that they see themselves in a sexual situation. And becoming more comfortable with themselves and their bodies. Nothing feels more validating than for me to make somebody feel fucking good about themselves in a sexual scenario that they’ve never felt before. There are a lot of hard ways, hard concepts of how we see ourselves in that binary, even though we’re trying to like escape that, especially when it comes to sexual identity. Being non-binary people, we kind of need to let go of some of those perceptions of the way that we’re supposed to act in a sexual way based on our identity as a gender thing. Or feel like we have to [pigeonhole ourselves].

People think fashion is hard to understand and conceptualize, but it’s really not. It’s basically all about the way that you style it on yourself. And it’s also finding your own style. Finding what you’re comfortable and what works for you. I figured it out slowly over time, just started opening up my mind to things that I would never pull off a rack. You go into my closet and it’s like, who lives here? Because I have everything you could imagine. Usually my MO is some sort of patterned shirt… You just need to go to a thrift store and they have all the nanna shirts. This is like an old lady shirt. But you would never know that, right? Does it look like a nanna shirt? Sometimes I wear it more open with something underneath, which kind of changes the whole style. Fashion is complex.

How do you feel represented in media and society at large?

Social media has always been a huge thing for me as an artist and as a performer and just as a queer person. My entire focus as an artist is to give representation to people who feel like they don’t have a voice when it comes to gender identity and sexuality. I’m very loud about those issues online. If I have any sort of gripe about anything or want to talk about a subject, I will, and I’m not afraid to. And I think that people really feel validated. I’ve had many people in the past 10+ years like send me messages [saying], “Wow, you really helped me feel comfortable within myself and you really helped me feel validated, and I see myself in you.” And that’s empowering, and so fulfilling for me, because I’ve never tried to change myself in modeling to fit into a mold, and if people want to shoot me, this is it. If you don't want to shoot my look, go the fuck away from me. I consistently try to talk about queer issues online. Another big thing I talk about a lot is mental health, you know, I have a lot of issues with anxiety, and passages of PTSD. I’ve been in really abusive relationships in my life, and I will talk about those things. So I’ve always felt really good about using my voice as a way to advocate for people who have the same issues, and have the same gender stuff.

Social media is really great for that, but it can also be a fucking hellhole, too. There’s a lot of shitty people online who want to take people down when they have a certain opinion. It hasn’t happened a super lot, that I’ve had a lot of negativity towards the subjects I’ve brought up. Also, guys are disgusting online. Unfortunately, a large part of my demographic of folks who follow me are cis men. And, I mean, they give me money, but also, they’re really ruthless about the ways they choose to approach me at times. And they think that because that veil of the internet is there that they can say really inappropriate fucked up shit to me, they can send me dick pics, and that’s not what I want, you know. So it’s kind of weird because I was super bummed that my Instagram got deleted, but now I feel like I’m able to rebuild my platform in a way that fits me better. I’m really trying to like cater to it being more about gender, or anybody on the spectrum following me, and I’ve kind of been able to cultivate that a lot better this time around.

For me, my modeling is very emotional, and it comes from a place of deep understanding within myself. I originally got really well-known because of my self-portraits. I’ve been shooting myself since the beginning. I used to shoot on old Samsung and Nokia phones. I always used a cell phone as my platform. To this day, I actually have like a tripod for my phone and I shoot my content that way. And a lot of my self stuff has been really emotional, or about my gender identity or my body, or the way I see myself, and it’s been really helpful emotionally for me. [It] also inspires other people to shoot themselves, or to play around with those concepts, or try new things, and that’s been really cool. I still believe firmly in self-portraiture because shooting with shitty men is not my favorite thing, and I mostly only do it if they know what they’re talking about and I know them really well and we get great content. But that’s why I do self-portraiture, because then I don't fucking have to deal with XYZ at all. I can just do it myself and get the content that I want without you. I don't know if you follow Trans Normativity? [They’re] really awesome. They’re a queer person and they live in San Francisco. We’ve been friends online for years. They are fat and body positive as fuck, and when people are like, “Oh, you’re this fat person,” they go OFF. And I love that about them, because they don’t care. They’re just like, “This is who I am.” I’ve dated an array of different body types, I’ve dated people who are as small as me, I’ve dated people who are twice my size, that has never been a thing for me. I’ve never thought twice about that being a way in which I would choose to date somebody. It’s all about personality and how we connect and how I feel in that space and moment in time. I think that choosing to date people based on their body type is fucked. You’re missing out on an opportunity to possibly be with somebody who’s fucking amazing.

What improvements would you like to see happen inside your communities, and in society at large?

I think Philadelphia definitely has some growth right now. They need to work on some stuff. Seattle was very inclusive in every way possible, very very queer in every way possible, and so when I moved here I was kind of expecting the same thing and they definitely are still figuring themselves out as a queer identified space. Also, working in nightlife and queer nightlife, in burlesque and drag, again, in Seattle they were very inclusive, very fucking weird drag, very gross drag, just like disgusting filthy awesome, so avant-garde. It was just so great.  It just felt so awesome. Here, it’s a little different for me. When I came here, I was right out the gate. I did an 8-week burlesque competition when I first moved here, it was my way to get into the community, and instead of feeling embraced, I felt judged. Because people here have this concept that they’ve had to work so hard to get to this certain height of their career, like hierarchy. I just think it’s so opposite of the way that I was embraced in Seattle. I won 3rd place in Mr. Philly Drag Competition this year, and I’ve done a lot of shows, and I’ve definitely been able to advocate for myself in a lot of ways. But I also see some people constantly trying to act like they’re about inclusivity and about creating space for new people but they’re not. They’re about themselves. And I want that to go away completely. Because drag and burlesque are a way for a lot of queer people and anybody in the spectrum to feel fucking seen and be able to really represent themselves. My friend Ally is in the cis spectrum, but she uses drag as a way to discover herself in that way and really play around with that. And that’s what drag is for a lot of people.

For me, I call myself a drag thing. I don't identify as a king. I don't identify as a queen. Because my drag is all about gender play. I did a performance a couple months ago where I came out in a dress and I was tied in ropes and I had a wig on and I had this really hyper-emotional song, and I basically undid the ropes and then pulled off my dress. Usually my drag is, I start out in full masc clothes, in a suit or a leather jacket or a tie and the whole bit, and then I strip down to lingerie, and I just totally fuck with people’s perceptions of gender in my performances. Because I feel like people really do go into one binary or the other, usually, with drag, but I really wanted to change that up. But recently I did the opposite, I started in a dress, and I stripped out and then I [bound] my boobs and put on a suit. And so many people came up to me after the show and they were like, “I cried. You really made me feel something and that was so powerful.” And I never thought that I would become a performer. I got approached by somebody in Seattle who [said], “Hey, I run this drag company, I’ve seen you on the internet, I know who you are, I would love if you would come and check out our show and see how you feel about it.” So I went, and I just saw so many different body types being represented, so many ethnicities being represented, so many gender identities being represented, and I was like, “Oh my God, I want to do this.” 

So I just did and now I can use that as another platform for me to talk about my gender and about how I want to be seen to the world and make people have an emotional response to that situation. It feels really good for people to [say], “Thank you for doing that,” because a lot of people don’t, you know? Especially onstage. Obviously there’s an array of different ways you can represent your gender, I’ve heard some people use humor onstage, I’ve seen a lot of people do that, which is great. For me it’s always been about just really trying to create an emotional response for other people. Or just wow them when they see me come out in a full suit and I’m all of a sudden in lingerie and they’re like, “What?” [laughs] “I was not expecting that!”

[Regarding Ruby Rose’s video], I’m not trying to clock it but I did a video like that before she did one. I don't think she’s a good representation of queer identity. I think that this is all a fucking image for her, and she’s also a horrible actress. People tell me I look like her, I’m like, I don't look anything like Ruby Rose, you’re just taking the one fucking gay person that you know and telling me I look like that because you don't know any other gay people. So I just have a hard time with her. My friend Sarah who I’m actually meeting up with today owns a really great video company called Peach Pit Productions, and it’s all queer people mostly, and I love that. I’m a chameleon in modeling. It’s actually pretty wild. I feel like I never look the same in photos all the time. It’s so weird. I just did a photo shoot with my friend Joe, and in every photo I feel like my face looks different. It was a lot of fun.

Could you tell me about an experience or moment in your life that was very impactful for you?

I got arrested 6 years ago. I was dating somebody who was kind of a sociopath, and we only dated for like 6 months. It was when I was really starting to play with my gender identity. When I first moved here, it was cold, I was wearing a lot of flannel and things that were warm and cushy. This person identified with dating more masc folks, and then as the weather started warming up and we started going to more queer parties. And we were going out to [one] that night, and I came out from the bathroom in a crop top and had my makeup done and stuff, and they just looked at me and [said], “Are you gonna wear that?” and judged me for looking more feminine. I didn’t really realize the small ways in which they tore me apart because they were so subtle, and then towards the end of our relationship, we had an open relationship but we were seeing somebody together. My partner at the time was a very small human, and this person was the totally opposite end of the spectrum, was like 150 pounds bigger than I was, very different body type, very different personality, and my partner started to feel kind of jealous in our sexual interactions. Because I was also coming to the terms with the fact that I was into kink and BDSM, and I was being able to explore that with this new person, and my partner was starting to dictate my sexual interactions with this person, or just really being really super weird about the progression of the relationship. [They] just did a lot of really awful things; they would get drunk and say really horrible things to me and do horrible things, and I started hanging out with the other partner, and I was really re-evaluating the relationship, and I found out my mom had cancer.

I was kind of on a break from my first partner, and just figuring out what I wanted, but then when I found out my mom had cancer, I felt like, even though this person treated me horribly, they were one of the only people I felt like I had an emotional connection to, because I was so new to Seattle. So I kind of gravitated to them again because I needed somebody, and I went home, flew back to Massachusetts for like a week to watch my mom go through cancer treatment, which was really hard for me because my mom’s a very strong person, and I had seen her in a way that I had never seen her before, and it was just really traumatizing. And I came back and we decided to work on our relationship. We went out one night, and there was this moment in time where we were supposed to go back to my place, and I had to work the next day, I’d only been home for a couple days, I obviously was still feeling a lot of feelings about what had happened with my mom and also just our relationship in general. And we’re sitting there and [they say], “I actually need to go home because I need my charger.” And in that moment, I just [realized], “You don't give a fuck about me.” I just finally woke the fuck up and I was like, I watched my mom go through cancer treatment and you’re telling me that you need to go home because your charger is more important than coming to my apartment and being there for me? Like, I couldn't, I was floored. We’d been drinking, and I got on the light rail, which is like the Seattle subway kind of, with them, and they got off at their stop, and I definitely wasn't in the right state of mind to try and have this conversation that I wanted to have with them, and it escalated, and we were in their apartment, and I just started crying.

I was so upset, and they never validated my feelings ever and I was just so fucking tired of feeing invalidated and useless, and that I wasn't important enough to care about, and so I got upset and backed them into a corner. I wasn't trying to physically hurt them or do anything, I just wanted them to validate me. I take full responsibility that I could’ve handled it in a totally different way, but their roommates called the police and the police showed up. I [said], “Hey, I’m dealing with some shit and you know, backed this person into a corner,” and the second that I said that, they cuffed me. And then I had to deal with this whole thing of being arrested and going to jail for 2 ½ days for the first time in my entire life. I had never been in that scenario, and then I had serious PTSD after, I was having a really hard time putting myself out there in the community. I also had a no contact order, so I felt too scared to even go out, but then after a month I finally was like, you know what, I’m gonna go out, and I’m gonna enjoy myself, and I’m gonna stop holing myself up and being said about this. Because when you go to jail for any scenario, all you do is repeat the scenario over and over and over and over again in your head and just think about the ways in which it could have been different. Or just completely distracting yourself so you don't have to think about it at all.

And literally a month to the day, February 13, I went out to this club, and it’s two floors, you literally can’t see anybody unless you’re standing directly in front of them, it’s really dark. And they were there, I guess, and somebody told me that they were there and I was like, oh shit, and so I left, but as I was leaving the club and walking across the street, the cops came. So I got arrested again. By a male cop that time. There was a female cop too, and the male cop was such a douche, he was such an asshole. I got put in the car with a female cop and she was bringing me to the station, and she turned off her recording equipment and looked at me, and [said], “I’m so sorry that I have to do this to you and I really don’t think that you deserve it but I don't have a choice,” and I was like, thanks for that. I went to jail for another 2 ½ days, and the fucked up part was, the second time, they put me in the same exact cell in the same exact unit in the same exact bed. I have really negative feelings about our judicial system after dealing with it. I [told them], “This person was extremely emotionally psychologically abusive to me. I take responsibility for my actions, but a lot of it was due in part to the way that this person made me feel like a fucking shell of myself.” They didn’t believe me. They thought that I came there with intent. It was just really messed up, and my public defender, because I couldn't afford a lawyer, didn’t fucking care. I felt completely invalidated by the justice system that was supposed to protect me.

So instead of just going to court, I took a plea deal. I had to be on probation for 2 years, and because he told the police that I had substance issues. I had to go to a psych eval [evaluation], and then also go to a chemical dependency eval. I don't do any drugs. I never have. I smoke weed, yes, but because I have had really bad experiences on manmade medications since I was a teenager, one in which I tried to kill myself when I was 17, so I don't believe in using medication as a way to deal with my mental health. This is the choice I’ve made. I believe in holistics. I believe in medical marijuana. That’s who I am. And I was honest. I went to like my eval, and I [said], this is what I do. I don't really drink that much. But they were like, “You have a substance problem.” In a state where it’s legal to smoke marijuana. So I had to go to treatment for a year, which meant I had to go to three NA meetings a week, a weekly group, a monthly one-on-one, I had to go to see my PO biweekly, I was working full-time and modeling part-time. And I was like, this is fucked. I did [have so much rage for this person]. It really put a halt on my life. I mean the “no contact” was in effect the entire 2 years I was on probation, and so I felt like I was constantly walking on eggshells when I walked around town. I was so nervous. I was terrified. I dreamt about it all the time. I dreamt about running into him all the time, I started grinding my teeth. But the good thing was, when I went to the mental health eval, they were like, “You’re not crazy.” I [said], “I know that, but I do wanna go to therapy.” And so I did, and that was really life changing for me, because I started to realize the patterns of behaviors that I was making in relationships and the people that I was ending up with, because I didn’t think I deserved more. I’ve been in physically abusive relationships, I’ve been in mentally abusive relationships, and also, honestly, mentally abusive relationships are so much worse because you just don’t see it coming. Therapy was really pivotal for me.

I did everything I was asked. I never fucking made a stink. I was pleasant and lovely and did what I was supposed to do. I finally got off probation and literally the day after I got off probation I ran into him. The day after. He showed up at the fucking party that I go to every month. He was in line waiting. And I saw him and I immediately was scared, and he [said], “Oh, how’s it going” Acted like nothing happened. I didn’t say anything. It took everything inside of me to just walk away. I honestly thought I was never going to get any sort of closure or validation. I questioned my sanity and if I was actually out of line. I don't even know.

But then a friend of mine had dated him for like a year and a half after all this happened to me, and the first night that I went to the drag show that my friend invited me to, my friend was there. I had heard through the grapevine that they had broken up, but I was still nervous, because I was still on probation for another month and a half or something. I was afraid that the third party contact would be troublesome for me. So I was really trying to stay out of their peripheral view, I didn’t want them to see me. [So I’m sitting near the front and] I’m freaking out inside, and all of a sudden I feel somebody crouch in front of me and put their hand on my knee and I look up and it’s [my friend]. And I was about to be like, “No no no, can’t talk to you, please go away,” but the first thing out of their mouth was, “I’m so sorry.” And I was like, What? And they [said], “I’m so sorry for everything that’s happened to you, and I’m so sorry for the ways in which you’ve been ostracized from your community for the past 2 years, and I’m so sorry for everything they did and the words that have been said to you and the things that you’ve had to go through. I just want you to know that you’re not alone and that I’ve had similar experiences with this person. I’ve been so upset with him at times that I had to lock myself in a bathroom because I was physically afraid I was going to hurt him. I’ve seen him be completely drunk and I’ve had to pull him down on the floor because he was just absolutely insane. They constantly made me feel beneath them on a regular basis, and I just want you to know that I am here for you. When you get off probation, if you ever wanna come back there, you are more than welcome, and if he tries to say anything to you or start anything with you or fucking talk to you at all, I just want you to know, I will protect you.” I started crying in the middle of the bar. And like it sucks because they obviously had to experience the same abuse, but I finally felt like I had closure on the whole experience. Especially never feeling validated in an official way or by the justice system or by anybody. The only time I was, was when my treatment center closed down, my PO was like, “I just want you go to go another place and get a new evaluation,” and when I went in and got a new evaluation, I was going to this therapy place that was all queer-run and owned, and it was amazing. And it was like an hour and a half of questions, and they closed the book and looked me in the face and they [said], “I’m really sorry. You should’ve never been in treatment.” I know! So I walked out of that office that day and cried. It was the first time an official person in this scenario was like, “You’re being wronged.” Our judicial system is fucked.

Who in your life do you feel you can trust or depend on?

My mom. She my BFF [best friend forever]. And my chosen family. I would say chosen family definitely, my partner. We are just constantly growing together and that’s really great and validating as a relationship. It’s probably the healthiest relationship I’ve ever had. They’re older than me, but I feel like I’m also helping them realize things about themselves, because they’ve been in a string of abusive relationships and bad relationships too. Because I’m very low key, I’m chill about almost anything, and I think that’s partially about Seattle. It’s such a different environment, compared - you know how people in New England are. They’re fucking aggressive, and they go from 0 to 100. Then I moved to Seattle. That was a huge change for me. So once I started having different types of relationships and then being with Jack, we don’t ever argue. It’s always a conversation and we never need to get that elevated. So it’s nice to still be learning about relationships. But yeah, definitely my mom. We talk every week. She’s really great.

 

How has your identity played a role in your relationships, romantic or otherwise?

I definitely think that my identity has been really helpful to some romantic relationships. Jack is really trying to find themselves as a person in the non-binary world, and sees the way that I present myself and wants to feel more comfortable. They didn’t come out until like their mid-20s. They didn’t have the same sort of experiences that I had being able to come out so easily. Their mom wasn't really into it originally, and they kind of felt like they presented as a cis person and all these things that I can’t understand. I just don’t personally understand what that would feel like. I think I’ve definitely dated some people who I’ve helped kind of figure themselves out. Friends are another really big one, like the cis people in my life who are open to having discussions about being non-binary has been really great. Because I think that anybody, everybody should learn, try to learn about those types of different identities. I also think it’s been funny that some of my cis women friends have eventually been attracted to me, and they’re like, “I don't understand,” and I’m like, “This is why.” [laughs] It’s all the image and the fact that you’re questioning your sexuality is a good thing. Because I think that people do put themselves into boxes and think that they have to only fit into this XYZ thing, and then they meet somebody like me and they’re like, wow, I’m just attracted to you are as a person. I think that all people should try to live that way.

Are you able to find adequate medical care?

Ugh. No. I mean, sometimes, but no. “Could you be pregnant?” “Never.” “What do you mean?” What the fuck do you think I mean? [I love fucking with doctors!] It’s great! One time, I was living in Maine, and a friend of mine came to visit and I was really young, like in my early 20s, we got way too drunk and she fell and sprained her ankle.

So we had to bring her to the hospital the next day, and this fucking female nurse was like, “Oh, is there any chance you could be pregnant?” and she laughed, and was just like, “Ha! No!” And the nurse [said], “Well, why?” And she [said], “Because I date women,” and [the nurse] said some fucking religious propaganda shit to her, and we were both just standing there like, “Did she fucking just say that?” It’s really weird. Also, when I was having a lot of psychiatric problems when I was younger – I self-harmed for many many years, and one of the failsafes for me to prevent myself from doing that was to go to a hospital even though I hadn’t done anything just to prevent myself from doing anything, and they didn’t understand that. There was this one time I did that, I don't think I really had hair at the time, I think [it was really short], and I had already had cuts on my ankles from a previous time, and they stuck me in the middle of the emergency room in a fucking [gurney]. And I had my period. And they didn’t have any tampons, so they made me sit on a fucking pee pad in the middle of the emergency room on a gurney in front of all these people. [This was in] Amesbury, Massachusetts. I don't remember what it was called.

Sometimes I feel validated, sometimes I don't. It just depends on where I am. I think that trans people have the hardest time when it comes to being valued by anybody in medical science. Unless they’re obviously seeing a trans-competent doctor. But, more often than not, they’re not being treated in a way that’s fair. Or being put on the back burner because of whatever. My mom’s a nurse practitioner, so I grew up in that environment. My mom’s not that person. My mom is all about medical marijuana, all about inclusiveness for anybody. So I’m lucky enough to have a parent who works in that field who does understand all those things, but there are definitely a lot of people who don’t, because they only see the science. They don’t see anything else. And that’s really blinding for them. I mean, isn’t that your fucking job, to examine that? It’s your job to help us. Plus our whole healthcare system, as I’m sure you know, is completely fucking...fucked up. And doesn't make any sense. I want universal healthcare. So badly. [A lot of people don’t realize they want that] because they like having high health insurance, they think that’s like a luxury. Trump was saying certain autoimmune things are not considered things to worry about? Having asthma is on that list, fucking anxiety. Like what the fuck is wrong with you that you think that we don’t deserve medical care?

How has your view of yourself changed since you were younger?

I’m definitely way more comfortable with myself, and not afraid of being who I am. I got made fun of a lot in middle school, a lot, and I had mental health issues really young. Tried to kill myself when I was 10. Tried again when I was 17. Obviously didn’t succeed either time. Well, I didn’t try to kill myself when I was 10. I contemplated it. I tied a jump rope to my bed, and threw it out my window. And thought about it. I was severely made fun of in middle school. Small Catholic middle school was 22 people in my class, and it was just a lot. But I also feel like it’s funny now, because the people I feel like I almost connected with the most are the people who had some serious trauma of their own that they weren’t dealing with and that’s why they were bullies, or have since apologized to me for the way that they treated me when I was a kid. I really think that’s great. But I mean, I definitely constantly felt like I had to be this certain person because of the people that I was surrounded by. And then once I separated myself from that and realized that there was all these other options, that’s when I was like, “Whoa, I don't need to do that.” I’m also friends with people I’ve known since third or fourth grade. A lot of people don’t feel that way about people they went to middle school with. And I’m lucky enough to still be close to some of those people. Who have seen how much I’ve changed over time and are like, “You are such a beautiful person now who doesn't give a fuck what anybody thinks about you.” Because I was 100% the opposite before. I definitely seriously tried to fit the mold.

What advice would you give to your younger self?

Don’t be afraid. And just speak up when you’re feeling a certain way. And advocate for yourself more. And to deal with your fucking mental health better. I mean obviously it was different then, but if we had had the type of ability to feel like mental health wasn't a burden, or seen as a bad thing to be dealing with, I think that a lot of people would’ve had a different reality. Some people would still be alive today. But to be real, I would rather have lived in the type of scenario we did than have all this access to social media, because kids today… You have all that access to all this information, and people are really not afraid to bully you on social media. I miss MySpace. I really do. I miss being able to customize my whole page and know how to do HTML and have John Mayer on my top 8. Yeah, it was the best. It really was.

What are your concerns for the future?

Climate change. The big one for me right now. We need to change the scenario right now, because Trump’s an idiot, and - Trump in general is also a concern. [laughs] I’m really excited for the election. I think that there’s a lot of people on the ballot who have similar ideologies and that’s really nice to know that there are a lot of folks with the same feelings. Climate change is a huge one for me, just the ways in which our climate has changed. We’re having constant natural disasters, year after year, that are way more than we’ve ever had. Our big problem with social media is that these things happen and then we just move on. We don’t actually stay focused on the issues. Because everything is temporary on social media. Meme culture also is a huge part of that. Like when they had the small [earthquake] in Maine, there was a meme going around that said, “The Maine Earthquake 2009” and was [picture of] a lawn chair tipped over. Yeah it was funny, but also, it’s kind of serious, and I think that we need to really be actually more involved in changing that structure. Also, just, Trump, again, needs to go the fuck away. Every word out of that man’s mouth is garbage. I did a couple protests in Seattle. It was empowering and amazing. But it also takes a lot out of you and it’s just mind blowing the things that are happening right now, that are able to happen, like the border. Everything that’s going on at the border. The fucking camps right now, how is that even possible? Have you seen the comparisons that they made to when concentration camps existed? They had these [propaganda] photographs of these people living these leisurely lives in these camps, and they’re doing the same thing now. I don't know how long ago it was, somewhat recently, there was the cluster of photos of people in the detention camps sweeping and sitting on the bed, and trying to act like everything’s going great over there, but we all know it’s not.

What do you look forward to in the future?

Traveling more, definitely. And the main thing as a pastry chef, one of my goals is to start a queer-owned, run, and operated walking food tour with a focus on plant-based establishments in Philadelphia and other queer-owned business. I’ve reached out to a couple places. A lot of things are not very queer-inclusive, but there are businesses that are very queer, or queer-owned and operated, or fully woman-owned, and there’s a lot of businesses like that out here and I want to give them more representation. I used to work for a food tour, I was one of the tour guides, and I’m really personable and really super good with people. Once we went with this group of 13 suburban New Jersey middle-aged housewives, and they first saw me and they were like, “Um, no.” By the end of the day they were giving me wine and asking me all these questions about my gender. It was so much fun. But I realized that there weren't any places that were queer-owned and operated except for one that they didn’t even go to on the tour, they just walked by it and didn’t even bring up that the owner was trans. They just brought up that it was on Cupcake Wars, and I was like, Why don’t you fucking talk about that this fucking owner is a trans person who built this place from the ground up and is advocating for other queer and trans people to own businesses? 

Like, you know, that that wasn’t a conversation. And there’s a lot of really amazing vegan places, a lot of vegan bakeries here that are queer-owned and operated. I posted about it in some groups and everybody was like, “Let’s do this!” So I’m excited that people are hyped about it. I think it’s going to be great and I think it’s going to attract more queer people to come to Philadelphia and go to the places that they would want to go to. You know?

What have been the important frustrations in your life, and the most important successes?

Frustrations... Being understood. A New England thing of mine is I’m very upfront, and I think some people don’t really know how to handle that. I mean, I’m used to people thinking I’m a little more abrasive, and not really think too much about how I said stuff, but now I’m way more thoughtful about that. Especially in food service, I love working in food service and I really value the things I do. But I think a lot of people have lost the original reasons why they got into food service, which is to create amazing food for people, and be validated by watching people enjoy that food. I think a lot of people in food service, once they get to this certain level, they just become a fucking asshole. The space I’m working at now is really great. I love the woman I work for and I love the people that work there, and I feel really good about it. But I just want to learn how to better get a point across without offending anybody, but also validating myself and standing up for myself when I feel like I’m being wronged in a situation. Because that happens all the time in food service. It happened in my last job, and I honestly finally stood up for myself. I basically [said], “If you do not do the things that you legally need to do, I will take legal action.”
 

But, positive things, working in food services taught me a lot about myself, and about my work ethic, and my abilities. I never thought I could bake. I was anti-baking. And then turns out I’m fucking good at it. My stepdad owned a brunch place when I was a kid for a couple years, and so I learned how to cook when I was really young, and I was really passionate about it. For me, for the future, I just want to constantly be learning, I want to evolve. I think that that’s the most important part of being a human is the ability to know that you don't ever have to stay stagnant. You can always change yourself and whatever that means for you. And keep learning, because I think that’s what happens to a lot of people, they get to this point and they think that they know everything and that they have all the knowledge that they need for the rest of their life, and they don’t try to be more open-minded or knowledgeable or worldly in any way. And that’s usually when I have a block with people. I’m just like, why don’t you want to do that? I’m like always reading, always watching documentaries, always trying to like be able to learn things so I can have impactful conversations with people.

Which is why I wanted to do this project, because I saw what you were doing and creating a lot of representation and for people who are queer, and want their stories to be heard and to be understood, I think this is a really cool thing. You’re helping people learn more about who we are. And giving them the space to be able to do that without judgment. There’s actually a person in Seattle who’s a trans person who did a photo series called Queer Feelings, and it was all about queer bodies, and all nude. Just the different types of queer bodies and the ways in which we see ourselves or don’t see ourselves. And it’s so beautiful and impactful, and I was in the first installment, and when I went to the show, they had some of the books, and I was the centerfold, and I cried. [laughs] I don't think they’re doing it anymore, but their name’s Adrien Leavitt, you can look into it. It was dope. It was a good project to be a part of. They had installments and they also sell single prints as well.

Do you have a philosophy of life? What’s your best piece of advice?

I would say definitely be yourself. Whatever that means. Not to worry about what other people think about you, because I think a lot of people spend their whole life worrying about that, and it really doesn't fucking matter. Because it’s how you see yourself, and if you’re happy with how you present yourself, then that’s gold. A lot of people don’t have that, and they personally put themselves in a mold or act or dress or be a certain way because they think that’s what they have to do. And I don't ever want to be that person. I spent too much of my life trying to be that person. And learn. Constantly. Like I said, I want to constantly learn and evolve. I just want to continue to educate myself and understand the bigger picture. That’s what I want to do, I constantly want to ask questions and I constantly want to learn and I want to continue to travel and understand the world around me as much as I can until I die.