Fragile, that’s the word that would describe me the best. I didn’t really have a peaceful childhood, I saw and experienced things as a kid that I shouldn’t have witnessed. At a young age I needed to switch roles with my Mother and become a parental figure. I was trying to take care of her and working towards a stable and happy way of living for the both of us. Throughout the years I walked on this planet I created a façade and mask around me to protect myself from the outside world. Making me look strong and constantly happy but inside I am still broken. They say wounds heal but my scars remained.
After my coming out I didn’t know how to act. I felt free but still stuck. It felt like I was taking a big step forward and yet three steps back. Who was that gay guy stepping out of the closet? I was lost in search for a new definition of myself. That definition kept changing day by day, week by week and year by year. And as I am taking control of my mental health that definition is still continuously evolving.
I found a way for me to express myself without using words. I fell in love with dancing by getting lost in sound and movements.
It felt good at first but later in life I figured I had more to express than movement could justify.
I always pushed my dream of doing something with fashion away because I was being told I wasn’t talented enough, I was too young (and the list goes on) to study fashion which made me doubt myself. After being declined at two fashion schools. I started to believe everything people said that maybe indeed I wasn’t enough.
The next year I tried it again and managed to get in. Within the first week one of the teachers came up to me out of the blue and told me ‘Don’t expect a different treatment because you are black.’ I was in shock and disbelieve and there were the thoughts of doubts again. After a year I dropped out and eventually switched schools because I felt the same love for fashion as I did with dance. I see clothing as a extension of the human anatomy, my way to express and tell my story. My pain, my heart, my mind is in my designs. They tell the story I can’t vocally express. It feels like fashion is the therapy I needed.
I wouldn’t say I’m completely confident in my skin yet but working towards it day by day. I grew a though skin but I’m still fragile. at least the mask and façade are gone.