Welcome back to Style Dossier, Gabrielle Royal’s column that profiles stylish queers across the country. For her latest edition of Style Dossier, Gabrielle is celebrating the style of June Moon. Moon spent their summers in New York and school semesters down south in North Carolina. People often comment on the blend of Moon’s city accent mixed with a country twang. That blend influences everything about Moon. Moon is the 70’s child, raised on hip hop, southern Baptist, soul food, Black Wall Street, Black Power and the eternal struggle of Civil Rights. Moon is a writer and their stories can take form through photography, movies, or even songs.
dapperQ: Who is your biggest fashion icon and why?
Moon: Grace Jones. If ever there was a real life super shero, I think Grace Jones is the epitome! She’s a maverick pioneer who broke molds and started the androgynous style in the 80’s. She was a total bad-ass in the movies, especially as one of the few Black female characters in the James Bond franchise. Her style is timeless, troppo dope and extremely creative.
dapperQ: How much of your personal style is influenced by your identity?
Moon: I’ve been called a tomboy my entire childhood. I rode bikes, climbed trees and built tree-houses with my brother. I’ve always liked the fit of clothing made for men. The jeans sizes are more exact, the shoes fit my flat foot. I embraced my masculine side and blended it seamlessly with my feminine side at an early age. To me, it’s the most natural thing in the world. We have testosterone and estrogen both in our bodies. We all started in the womb as female. A few chemicals change or more hormones elevate, can change your entire life. I identify as a queer person of color, tomboi, shero, masculine-of-center and quite a bit of other things. I also believe that unlike jars, we don’t need labels. I seek the opportunity to be a holistic minded hue-man and not rely on any assumptions or per-fabricated agendas.
dapperQ: Why is queer visibility important and how does fashion help create space for members of our community?
Moon: Fashion and music have long been the most benign way of expression for queer visibility. There’s a mixing of worlds in those genres that allows more individual artistic freedom. Our society can often look at trends on the runway, in magazines, and pop culture overall to allow more open minds toward members of our community. In fact, it is often members of our community that are leading the way in the design of entertainment that is more inclusive and powerfully entertaining.
dapperQ: Tell us about your biggest fashion and/or shopping fail!
Moon: My biggest shopping fail is and remains to be finding my shoe size, and then getting the right fit. I remember trying to find patent leather shoes for a specific outfit on my sister’s wedding. I found a beautiful pair of Bandolinos on sale that were a half size too small. I thought I would be fine for just a couple of hours for the wedding and reception. My feet had never hurt so much. It went from a dull throb to a steady pain until finally my left pinky toe went numb. I vowed never to compromise comfort for style again.
dapperQ: 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?
Moon: The advice I’d give is to let yourself to be free. Don’t be afraid to try new things, including new colors. For a long time I thought to have a classic style meant to wear dark colors and layers. Now I’m trying new prints and bright patterns with a more fitted, tailored look. Many of the boxes we’re in are based on our own personal limitations. Dare to be different.
As an urban griot (storyteller), I know the basic unit of understanding is a story. For people that want to carry on the mode of tradition, I want to share that the basic units of clothing are shirt, pants, shoes. We have to challenge ourselves to think beyond the binary. We as humans dress to express ourselves through so many different ways. It’s limiting to think of clothing to match a gender. That’s like being limited to only chocolate and vanilla as ice cream flavors. The more flavors, the more choices, the more acceptance across the board for everyone.
dapperQ: Tell us something unique about yourself.
Moon: I’m currently in per-production for a live graphic novel. It’s one of the only graphic novels that features a queer woman of color as the shero, written by a queer woman of color. I’m excited to be in the Bay area to complete the process as well as premiering the show here.
dapperQ: How did you hear about dapperQ? Why were you interested in a feature?
Moon: I heard about dapperQ through Distinguished Cravat’s Kate Ross. I met her during an audition for the “What Is Butch?” fashion show in Charlotte, NC. I admired her style immediately and ultimately ended up writing a feature about her for an online fashion blog I had back in 2013 entitled Hot Things. I was interested in a feature in my effort to increase visibility of queer Black women. Its the same reason I became a member of the SF LGBT Speaker’s Bureau. I want people to know we exist, we’re talented, outspoken and care about our community and our world. We have a voice and it’s time that it’s heard!
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