Queer is an umbrella term to represent a sexual identity, orientation, gender expression that focuses on moving away from binarisms that began to be used as an insult, but that little by little has been appropriated by members of the LGBTIQ + community -the Q is from QUEER- to be visible.
As I am too curious and I also have two precious friends. I asked two queer people @lineadeluz and @lucius.wtf who express themselves through photography, makeup, art and etc, to explain a little more about the subject:
How old are you? Where were you born and where do you live?
I am 28 years old. I am Pisces Sun, Sagittarius ascendant and my moon is in Virgo. I was born in Los Angeles, California. I am the daughter of Mexican immigrants from Guanajuato and Jalisco. I moved to Berkeley, California in 2010 for college, after graduating in 2014 I moved to Mexico City and have lived here ever since.
I am 21 years old. I was born and raised in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. I have lived in the suburb of Rio since I was a baby.
How do you identify yourself? Sexual orientation? Gender? Pronoun?
Depending on the context, I can identify as a woman, a queer woman or a femme. Most of my life I have expressed a fairly normalized femininity and have been socially read as heterosexual. In relation to my orientation I consider myself pansexual and it is something that I continue to explore. My pronouns are «she» and also «they».
I identify as bisexual and you can use «he» or «she» when you speak to me. I think gender is a construct, so neither or both are fine with me.
Did you «came out of the closet»? What was it like? At what age?
The concept of «coming out» I’ve been thinking about a lot lately because I recently accepted myself as queer. As I am pansexual, my attraction to masculinity along with my gender expression has dovetailed with social expectations and I am assumed to be heterosexual, even I assumed to be straight a few years ago. Although I have been attracted to femininity since adolescence, it was not clear to me that I could like more than one gender … so I did not question it. In the common sense of «coming out of the closet» I have done it more through actions than all the speech and performance of that moment.
As a sociologist, I have thought a lot about this concept as a performative act that the hetero patriarchal society demands of queer people to continue generating divisions among all. I also believe that «coming out of the closet» is not a singular act, it is something that constantly happens and then even is not so active, since the appearance, beliefs, etc. they can do it for you. From my perspective and political practice, this concept bothers me as it brings up the conditions and rules imposed on dissident bodies in order to continue pigeonholing ourselves. As a queer individual, for me its about opening up the fluid possibilities of being. I think there are many things that I am building on this and I think it is important to contextualize this within experiences that do not relate to hetero / gay, cis / trans binarisms. It’s an idea that I keep exploring and thinking about.
My mom forced me to «come out of the closet» when I was 17 years old. She went into my Facebook and saw the conversations I had with my boyfriend. It was horrible because neither my family nor I were prepared for it. It was very difficult at the time, I had many thoughts of hurting myself, but thanks to my friends, I held on. Today my relationship with my mother is fantastic and I am very proud of who I am.
How do you define your style?
My style is eclectic and versatile. It’s a challenge for me to answer this question because my aesthetic is so varied and so open to interpretation that it really depends on the day and the context. My style is very my own, in the sense that even if I am wearing something that is fashionable, it is still very unique to me. I grew up with a mother who is a seamstress, so from a very young age I am very used to wearing clothes that are made specifically for me and made to measure. I think this has impacted my overall aesthetic. I don’t see anyone else wearing it because it’s clothing made just for me, or it’s vintage items … combinations that other people couldn’t come up with. I really like quirky and sparkly things so I definitely have my fair share of eye-catching pieces in my clothes. I think I can also achieve a wide variety of styles and I really like that.
I am very influenced by the Kids Club and the Drag aesthetic, I love scaring people with my art and my face.
How do you express yourself?
I express myself with everything I can. For me, the body is a very powerful vehicle of expression. So from my haircut, clothes, makeup, accessories, my glasses, the nails that I wear, even my artistic practice is another extension of this.
I express myself with makeup. Also, I compose a lot of poems and songs. I am a photographer, I always try to produce images. I think that as LGBTIQ + people we are always expressing ourselves through art or something like that, because many times we have no one to talk to about some issues. So, at least for me and my friends, art is the way we have to express ourselves.
Would you like to explore more ways to express yourself?
I am always in a process of exploring new expressions. I am someone who loves to learn and explore, and I don’t limit myself to one medium. Something I’d like to learn is video editing, I have a lot of content that I could use and it’s on my to-do list.
Yes, I think it is important to be open to growing as a person and especially as an artist, so whatever I have the opportunity to do, I will do it. I am not afraid to try new things, I believe that everyone who is LGBTIQ + should not be afraid, we must be brave!
Is there a difference from you in «real life» and in social media?
Technically yes, but for my way of expression, no. In social media I talk about the topics that I talk about in real life and I see myself the same way. For me, social networks are a tool to extend my personal expression and my way of being. I don’t see them as a hobby, they are a specific tool that I use for specific social purposes, to generate networks and relationships with people.
Of course there is. My social networks are the means I have to show my art, that’s why I am much more daring. In real life I have to be more careful about homophobia and the dangers of being a queer person. However, I’m always good and talkative so if you see me online or in person don’t be afraid to talk to me haha.
How has your identity transformed your context?
It has been a symbiosis. My context has transformed my identity and my identity my context. One thing influences the other. I’m really digging into self-documentation of my identity through the selfie because I think it’s a pretty important visibility practice. Seeing people around me, be it on the street or online, who are totally being themselves, gives me inspiration and I want to do it myself. That essence is something so unique. When you see someone who is really being authentic, it cannot be denied, there is presence in that person. It is like seeing the most innate nature, your soul, it is something so beautiful. They have praised me a lot for my style and way of being and they are people who share those ideas of being myself. It is so cool to generate ties, that they recognize that in you and you in them.
Yes, that is, when you become more aware of your identity and trust yourself more, you no longer want to live in a space where you no longer feel comfortable.
Do you have references, references or someone who has inspired you?
Well, inspiration and references will always be many. The closest and most special is my grandmother. She is a totally creative and artistic woman, just like me. She embroiders, paints, sews, sings, does endless crafts … and she sells them all. He has really taken his artistic production to levels that always impress me and you can see that he does it because he loves it. But not only this, she is a sweet, loving and happy woman who, regardless of the difficult life she has had, has been able to take advantage of it and live it. She is an inspiration to me and really a source of pride because it is clear to me that I come from a line of creative and powerful women.
I am inspired by women! They are the strongest and most powerful people there is. I also have a lot of queer icons that I love, for example: Rupaul, Linn da Quebrada (an amazing singer from Brazil) Michael the III and Mateus Porto (@orograph) the last two are photographers. I mean, everyone who is brave enough to live who they are without hurting anyone is an inspiration to me.
Tell me anything else you want 😊
It has been a struggle to define what it means for me to express my femininity and masculinity, not because it is not within me to be queer, but rather because I have lived most of my life within these parameters of heteronormativity that have led me to feel like an impostor by claiming queer identity.
Since I was young, however, I felt that I did not fit in, my tastes were always seen as strange, the masculinity that I was attached to always had feminine aspects that other friends did not like and I also felt that I expressed masculine qualities in my way of being. be and dress.
I always really enjoyed going to gay clubs because I felt like I could dance and sing amazing pop songs with fabulous makeup and clothes, but as I started to be more in tune with gender expression and sexuality, I started to notice that in gay spaces too many of the toxic traits of masculinity are reproduced and I was disheartened.
It wasn’t until I started moving into more queer spaces that I realized this was the kind of space where I could really be myself.
I believe that until a couple of years ago I have been able to put into words correctly my experience of learning who I am and how I can express this in every facet of my life. For me being queer is not just my orientation, for me it is a very important political and cultural effort present in every part of my life. It’s about visibility and showing that my queerness is valid.
I love pizza, art, makeup and expressing myself. I live in Brazil, one of the countries where the most LGBTIQ + people are killed in the world, so for everyone reading this, remember: YOU CAN DO EVERYTHING, YOU ARE AMAZING, YOU ARE LOVED AND YOU ARE THE INSPIRATION OF SOMEONE IN LIFE. Also, you can follow me to see all kinds of queer art.
I always emphasize being better people, getting to know each other and exploring, I also want to emphasize the importance of representation. Things exist when you name them, that’s why when we feel bad, we talk to someone and do the exercise of naming everything that is happening to us, the feeling changes and the weight is transformed.
You may not know things you just read, but I hope that we have solved some doubts and that we have left you thinking about something new. We need to learn to respect, to let be and not to get into anyone’s life. Let us love.