Welcome back to Style Dossier, Gabrielle Royal’s column that profiles stylish queers across the country. This edition, Gabrielle is featuring Diandra Marie, a host (interviews/event coverage) and podcast producer. Diandra also recently made dapperQ’s fifth annual 100 Most Stylish list, earning a coveted spot among 500 other sartorially smart queers and style rebels.
Self portrait edited by @dapperpenniless
Gabrielle: Tell us a bit about your personal style.
Diandra: I love wearing ties/bow ties and having some fly shoes to match. Brands don’t matter too much as long as you can make it look good! Most of my accessories come from Harrison Blake Apparel. I also just started buying my button ups from H&M (men’s section). They fit really well and I like the different styles.
Gabrielle: Who is your biggest fashion icon and why?
Diandra: I don’t really have an icon. I just look at what’s going on in fashion and mix my own personal style into it.
Gabrielle: How much of your personal style is influenced by your identity?
Diandra: All of it. I feel that’s what style is all about. It’s not about what brands are hot or having the most expensive clothes on. It’s about having your outfit represent who you are and how you feel on the inside.
Photo by @dolo_foto
Gabrielle: Why is queer visibility important and how does fashion help create space for members of our community?
Diandra: Queer visibility is relative depending on who you are. Again, fashion and style should represent how you feel on the inside. Not every queer should feel “obligated” to be visible in what they wear. For those who
step a bit outside of the box with their style, I think fashion definitely helps with that. When people choose to dress dapper and wear it with confidence, that’s what people see. So for me, I don’t say “I’m that queer chick who wears bow ties,” I’m more like “I’m that DAPPER chick!” and most people will feed off of that energy.
Gabrielle: What challenges do you face in your profession, if any, as an LGBTQ person?
Diandra: Fortunately, I haven’t faced any challenges in my profession. Entertainment has always been a lot more accepting of lesbians than gay men. I just hope to educate anyone who doesn’t want to be defined by their sexuality to still have that respect and recognition they desire.
Photo by @dolo_foto
Gabrielle: Tell us about your biggest fashion and/or shopping fail!
Diandra: My shopping fail (that still happens to this day) is buying the wrong size pants. I absolutely despise trying on clothes at the mall/store so I just kind of try to buy what size I think is right. Pants are the worst to do that with because different pants fit differently. There have been plenty of times I’ve had to return/exchange pants, and if I got them on sale, I end up paying out of pocket because the sale would be over when I go to exchange them!
Gabrielle: What advice would you give our readership? What advice can you offer to people who fit outside of society’s understanding of traditionally masculine and feminine styles?
Diandra: Just stay true to who you are. I know that sounds so cliché, but not everyone is going to like you. Even if you’re a saint, people will find reasons to have something against you. It’s easier to deal with haters when you’re true to yourself than if you’re trying to be someone else in the first place. Also, make sure you have a support system around you. There will be times people will get to you and it’s good to have people that truly love you in your life to build you back up when you’re not feeling so great about yourself.
Gabrielle: Tell us something unique about you!
Diandra: A lot of people don’t know this, but I’m really into God and Greek Mythology. Though I’m still learning to live to the word of God, believing and putting your trust into something can definitely help when you’re feeling happy/sad/angry/etc. I really have to give Him all of the glory. People always ask me “how does that work since you’re gay?” Again I don’t let my sexuality define who I am. I also believe that being a lesbian is not a choice and that God loves me anyway. If God is with me, who can be against me?
With Greek Mythology, I’ve always had a fascination with. I love reading about the different gods (Zeus, Athena, Medusa, etc.) and their back stories. Even the History channel had an entire series about the different gods and The Odyssey and it was so good!
Gabrielle: How did you hear about dapperQ? Why were you interested in a feature?
Diandra: I heard about dapperQ after following your Instagram. I didn’t realize there was a community of dapper queers like myself all in one place. Again, having a certain support system and knowing there are people like you in the world and doing great things wonderful to look at on your timeline. Being that dapperQ is doing such great things, I really wanted to be featured since I feel like I fit the images and mission they are portraying.
Gabrielle: How can our readers find you on social media?
Diandra: Twitter/Instagram/Snapchat: @itsdiandramarie