SQUEERSPACE

 
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Did you know SYRO is a Squarespace site?

In collaboration with photographer Ryan Freaking Pfluger, Squarespace explores some diverse perspectives from some queer users

— like us!

 
 
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How did you get to where you are today?

Years of self-hate created the queer gender extremist that is me — Shaobo Han. It took so much internal work to unlearn everything I was taught to hate about myself: my feminine demeanor, my non-masculine body, and my yellow face. The moment I started to embrace my femininity was the moment I finally felt correct in my body. I felt free and unbothered, that was the moment I took control of my identity. I could not have done that without the affirmation of my chosen family, and the safe space other queer POC have built.

 
 

What inspires you?

As I became more comfortable in my own skin, I realized that my biggest inspirations are other celebrations of femininity and anyone who disregards traditional masculine ideals. Everything Femme gives me so much life. I look up to the resilience and the strength of gender nonconforming folx who are out there on the streets, tearing down the gender binary.

How do you describe yourself and what you do?

Liberated from societal expectations, I can freely explore the endless possibilities between fashion and the gender spectrum. I am also a troublemaker, breaking the restrictive boundaries of gender norms and disrupting the comfort of heteronormativity. I often ask myself what I can do to take up more space for us queer folx — oh right! Be as visible as possible. I think visibility is the key to normalizing gender nonconformity, and hopefully encourages folx to be more comfortable in their bodies and free in their expression.

What does Pride mean to you?

I stand on the shoulders of queer giants who have fought for my right to exist. Let's never forget that the first Pride was a riot. A riot led by gender nonconforming folx of color who said, "Enough is enough!" Pride is acknowledging all of the struggles queer elders have endured so I can have the courage to live my authentic life. Pride is looking at how far we have come, and how far we still have to go. Our trans sisters of color are still under attack, and we must protect them!

Pride is the sheer joy of simply being you. Pride is surrounding yourself with your chosen family showering you with support and love. Pride is the reality that I used to think was only a fantasy.

 
 
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How do you embrace your queerness in what you do?

Visibility is an imperative aspect of the work SYRO does. I want to show that gender nonconforming folx not only exist in the digital realm, but we are also real and complex human beings. Not only do we exist, but we are also thriving and celebrating each other.


When I strut down the street in my heels, every fiber of my being feels correct. It is a political statement to be visibly queer because my authentic self transgresses what is acceptable in the real world. I am aggressively femme, and quite frankly, I don’t give a damn about what society thinks of me. I sanitized my queerness for too long.

What advice would you give to your 10-year-old self?

Never give up. No matter how hard things might seem at the moment. One day, you will find your tribe. One day, you will be surrounded by people who adore you, you will be loved for who you are, and you will be rewarded for all the hardships you've endured. There is light at the end of the tunnel, and your fantasy will one day be your reality.

How do you feel about queer representation in your community?

We are at a pivotal point of the gender nonconforming movement. Collectively and independently, there is this wave of femme empowerment coming out of Brooklyn. I am constantly meeting other creative, talented queer folx (artists, poets, writers, and activists) who are doing absolutely amazing work and contributing to the mainstream visibility of gender nonconformity. The gender revolution is inevitable!

 
 
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How do you describe yourself and what you do?

An intensely visual person who believes in fashion's power to explore and liberate queer identity! And as an entrepreneur, I design and sell gender non-conforming footwear for mostly queer folx.

 
 

What are your hopes for the future?

To witness the demise of an outdated and destructive gender binary. It's an exciting time to witness trans and nonbinary representation infiltrating the mainstream and adding crucial diversity to our #rainbow.

What inspires you to do the work you do?

Queer conversations inspire me. The exchange of stories, theories, and ideas that fuel actual queer work. Let's talk about it!

 
 

What does Pride mean to you?

Pride is a daily affirmation — of strength, confidence, and love — for my queer self, my queer communities.

The words of advice you’d give your 10-year-old self?

Own it, baby!

 

See all full interviews by clicking here.

Thank you Ryan!

Thanks Squarespace!

 
Henry Bae