I am in the act of becoming a designer of queer things. I remember the first time I realized that people (who are not me) saw my identity as a fixed thing. At the first showing of my neckwear designs, after the models walked, I was asked to say a few words. I remember almost whispering into the mic “I’m the designer of these pieces” (pretty sure that was the only thing I managed to say).
No one in that room thought twice about the act, and in that moment, my identity as a designer was fixed for them. But for me, that act was pure courage. The thing is, I tend to have a fixed idea of what it means to “be” something or someone, and the idea of “becoming” is more elusive. When we were kids, there was no way to understand that we would become adults and that the concept of an adult is made-the-hell-up. The only thing we had to look at were the adults already in our lives and imagine that we would be adults when we looked and acted like them. I feel a little bit the same about being queer. We all have people who we imagine that we might be someday, failing to acknowledge that we’re becoming ourselves every day, and if part of ourselves is “queer,” well then, maybe that’s what queer looks like.
Maggie Nelson wrote about becoming in The Argonauts…essentially that our lives and relationships are endless acts of becoming–we never just are someone; we’re in a constant flux of moving into being someone and moving out of being someone else. I read this thought after I’d decided to brand my designs with this word–becoming–and reading her words felt like an awesome moment of affirmation. “Becoming” is an ethic and a reminder–that we get to grow and change and be gentle with ourselves.
These might seem like lofty thoughts for a brand that makes neckwear, but here’s the thing–it’s not just neckwear. It’s about having tools to feel more embodied in your life. It’s not hiding behind “work drag” or putting on your dad’s tie. It’s about wearing something that’s for you. It’s about learning a sense of your body and your self as being worthy and deserving of clothing that fits it. When you look in the mirror, you don’t see someone who’s trying to be someone else. You can see that you’re in the act of becoming you. It has been my experience that the more and the longer I dress in clothing that fits me and is made for me and my people [with intention], the easier it becomes to feel like an active participant in my identity and my life.
#theactofbecoming #queer #andro #designer
#making #becomingbowties #androfashion