dapperQ is for anyone who wants to make any element of men’s fashion truly their own, but it’s also for anyone who aspires to deeper levels of personal authenticity.
On one hand, it’s for all of us who have been discouraged – in a million and one subtle and not-so-subtle ways – from gleaning for self-expression from the rich and robust universe pioneered over centuries by dapper gents and today reflected in glossies such as GQ, Details and Vogue for Men. On the other, it’s an on-going celebration of maveriQ’s like Ellen DeGeneres and Rachel Maddow of whom America can’t get enough.
One piece of the brilliant poem Transcendental Etude by Adrienne Rich describes it like this,
“…We aren’t virtuosi, or child prodigies, there are no prodigies in this realm, only a stubborn cleaving to the timbre, the tones of what we are–even when all the texts describe it differently…”
I am instigating this community now because I believe that is needed now more than ever. It’s not just the fact that mainstream designers are only now beginning to find the lucre in styling dapper clothes for our bodies – be they female, trans or anything not straight up male.
It’s not the fact that our money often simply isn’t good enough for clerks who guard the chasm between men’s and women’s sections informing those who dare to transgress that we aren’t welcome even in single, self-contained dressing rooms where “gentleman” vet the merchandise. (Beware the impending dapperQ shame on places like Loehmann’s on 7th Avenue in one of NYC’s queerest neighborhoods!)
It’s not the fact that, except in urban centers, anyone female or trans who doesn’t do male clothing in a manner readily acknowledged as “cute” or “ironic” literally endangers themselves. (Even in Brooklyn, last week a man felt free to speak to me his truth on the street, “Look, it thinks it’s a man.”) While this community I am launching will gleefully celebrate both cute and ironic, it will do so having chosen from a much broader palette of options.
I believe that this community will grow exponentially because it reflects an evolving sense of possibility, in a world that has conspired to withhold from us many goodies infinitely more important than fashion.
I also have a hunch that most who will be drawn to this community see fashion not as an end, but as a expression to our ever-evolving capacity to advance change in a world that sorely needs it.
But I don’t intend to let the conversation deviate too far from the transgressing of men’s fashion and the inspirational lives of those brilliantly personifying this instinct. While there are an infinite variety of conversations being had about sexual politics, fashion, and gender, there is a dearth of information for and about those of us simply dressing to fight the good fight each day.
Susan pictured with her wife Shannon Lynch.