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Lucas Crigler at NYFW

Lucas Crigler at NYFW

The first time my pal mentioned “NYFW” I had no idea what that stood for. New York Fresh Water? New York Fried Waffles? New York Friends Wanted? No. New York Fashion Week!

 Little did I know that a few months later I would actually have a message in my inbox asking me — little nobody me — to walk the runway for Los Angeles-based fashion designer MarcoMarco. My heart dropped. The closest I had ever come to that was secretly dancing alone in my room to “I’m Too Sexy” by Right Said Fred. So why me? This was a unique show and little did I know we were about to make history. Marco set out to break boundaries by producing the first major show on the main fashion week circuit featured no openly cisgender models. All 34 models (and I use the term loosely, considering I am hardly a model) were either trans, gender-nonconforming or non-binary identifying. HOLY COW. I gladly accepted the invitation, even though the nerves were setting in.

 Fast forward to September 8th. My 15 minutes of fame arrived. I was rushed around through makeup, hair and wardrobe, which wasn’t much because it was an underwear fashion show. That was particularly tough for all the models considering body dysphoria is something most *trans people struggle with on the daily. My anxiety was through the roof. Luckily, I had started a group chat on Instagram with my other FTM (Female to Male) pals and we had been supporting each other the whole way to the starting line. We were there as a team, not as competitors. I couldn’t believe this was happening. And of course, Marco placed me right behind the spectacular Gigi Gorgeous. And let me tell you, “gorgeous” is an understatement. Not to mention the other huge names walking with us including actress Trace Lysette, from the Amazon series Transparent, Pose actresses Dominique Jackson and Angelica Ross, Carmen Carrera, Geena Rocero, Hanson Gobron, Aydian Dowling, and and Laith Ashley, a model, singer, and activist for trans rights. There was no time to be star-struck. I had to do this, not just for me, but for all the other *trans-identifying humans in the world who don’t have a voice or a platform. I was there for them, to be visible, to show everyone that we’re just as capable and deserving as anyone else. 

And in the blink of an eye, it was over. But really, perhaps it had just begun. The energy was fierce. The love was real and raw. We now have a bond that can never be broken. This was more than about fashion. It was about family and acceptance. And my heart is full. 

“I wanted to create a space to celebrate trans bodies. This was an opportunity for their presence to be undeniable and reinforce that trans is beautiful.”

-- Marco Morante

Check out the entire show here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QNMzgoOsA3c

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