We had the pleasure of spending an afternoon with Pheonix (he/they/it), styling him in the gender-affirming outfit of his choice. It chose a suit, heels, and earrings. After taking photos and videos of Pheonix wearing his suit, we sat down to hear their story and journey of self-love as a young person who chose and continues to choose himself.
content warning: transphobia, homophobia, and abuse
"When I put on gender-affirming clothing, I feel powerful.
I see masculinity but not toxic masculinity.
As a kid, I always felt different but didn’t know why
I always found myself being an outcast because of gender roles and the way teachers tried to put me into skirts or assign feminine qualities that felt restrictive
And as I grew up, I started to learn about the LGBTQ community, but I didn’t know where I fit in
Although I found a community where I could place myself, I felt like more of an outsider because I was confused.
To relieve some of that confusion, I looked for labels that could fit me, but being in a conservative household at the time, it was hard to feel safe and live in those labels.
If I even told my dad I liked the same sex, he would beat me.
Around the time I turned 12, I knew for sure I liked girls, but I couldn’t explore my sexuality safely in that household, so I chose myself and went into foster care.
After going into foster care, I went from label to label, trying to find where I fit.
I went from bisexual to pansexual, but then I realized she/her pronouns weren’t fitting me, and they never felt right and still don’t feel right.
So I started exploring pronouns and figured out I was transmasc.
I say transmasc because I don’t feel fully male. I feel masculine.
I explored some more and found the label demiboy, and ever since then, I have felt right in that identity, and the label felt right for once
To me, being a demiboy allows androgyny and gives me the ability to change the way I dress from day to day. It gives me the chance to explore feminity and masculinity, while still feeling comfort.
The suit symbolizes acceptance and loving myself through hard times."