In the two years since dapperQ launched, I’ve interviewed countless genderbenders to learn what they know about the intersection between personal authenticity and style. While I’ve been repeatedly inspired, no one has matched Ariel “Speedwagon” Federow in her articulation of what it means for us to hold our personal space, and the power of that choice. That’s why I am proud to announce that Ariel “Speedwagon” Federow is being named the first annual dapperQ of the Year award.
Ariel talks about owning your space and knowing yourself, even if the outside world doesn’t know how to recognize you.
When informed of the award, Ariel said, “It’s a huge honor to be named dapperQ of the Year. So many of us are told we are inadequate in some way – less than perfect or less than some fictional idea. Eff that! If I am able to do one thing, it is to remind people – or show them for the first time – that it is okay and even necessary to take up space on their own terms, doing what they do best.”
Ariel describes what she learned as a fat modern dance student in a skinny school.
When I hear Ariel speak about her journey through gender presentations and through the world of modern dance as a fat person, I want the masses to hear her. Watch these clips and see if you don’t agree she would be AMAZING on something like The View. To my mind, Ariel is the personification of Pride 2.0 that encourages us not only to fight the fear of “otherness” in the world but to fight and find daily victory over it ourselves.
Ariel discusses the boxes of butch and femme and how her evolution of gender presentation brought her to who she is now.
Her art has been seen at The Bowery Poetry Club, Homo-a-gogo, the NYU Hemispheric Institute, as well as many other spaces and events. You might also recognize Ariel as dapperQ’s expert bow-tier.
You can see more of Ariel’s work at her website.
Ariel explores finding comfort in masculinity, and what masculinity can look like.
“I’ve been lucky in that, for me, the risk of being myself has always been less than the risk of NOT being myself — and here’s hoping that, as we continue to put ourselves out there, that becomes true for more and more people.” – Ariel “Speedwagon” Federow
Once again, dapperQ would love to congratulate Ariel “Speedwagon” Federow! If you are inspired by Ariel, please share this on your Facebook and pass it on. We could all stand a little Ariel in our day.
Pink sweater and Vimeo thumbnail photo credit: Yi-Ching Lin.
Varsity jacket photo credit: Jahn Hall