Corey: "The way I've started dressing over the past couple of months, I have become my childhood fantasy. I used to do things like put on lipstick at my babysitter's house — but when I'd come out and get laughed at, I'd pretend it was a joke, even though I thought it looked beautiful. Now I wear dresses, and color, and have long, loud nails. But at the same time that I’m feeling free to express myself, my existence has become a political talking point. Using pretty much any public bathroom at this point is so uncomfortable — I have to think, 'Will this be dangerous? Am I going to make people uneasy?' So I can't say I was surprised by this election; I already knew we had so much work to do.
"I bought this dress from a store where the sales associates were so rude to us, just gawking at us, and I was so upset. But I'm still so glad I bought it, because I feel beautiful when I wear it, even if it represents something that the majority of people in this country don't approve of. It makes me feel so happy in a way I almost can't describe, which is its own kind of resistance. This is how I want people to see me. This is my most authentic self. I have never been more me."
Jarrid: "My outfit is about queerness, blackness, and fat positivity. Right now especially, I want to give representation to people who embody these qualities — for the girl who doesn't have passing privilege, who can look at me and see masc and femme and know it's okay to be that. For black youth growing up like I did, even with a pro-black family, always straightening my hair at the encouragement of my white friends and insisting that I wasn't 'one of those loud black kids.' I put on a facade just to navigate the world, which was really damaging — but I eventually learned to fully embrace my blackness. It's the same with fat positivity; I only really learned about it by removing myself from working in the theater and fashion industries, and discovering these beautiful, empowered fat people online who provided representation for me.
"The fight against equality, racial and otherwise, has been here all along, but it's more public now. Now, I want to build an army of people who don't fit inside certain social standards, who are fiercely loving and protective of each other, and who are saying 'We're here, and you can't put us back into a box. We're not going to let erasure happen.'"