Style Dossier: Naa Akua

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 Naa Akua, a spoken word artist and emcee from Mount Vernon, now residing in the Bronx, New York. Naa prefers the pronouns: she, her, them, they.

Gabrielle: Who is your biggest fashion icon and why?

Naa: Funny thing is, I don’t I have a fashion icon that’s known! As I got older, I do remember looking at black and white pictures of my grandfather that impressed me. I wanted to follow his look and his style. My grandfather gave me the desire to wear suits and hats and look fly.

Gabrielle: How much of your personal style is influenced by your identity?

Naa: When I was young, I always wanted to wear jeans and sneakers and most of the time borrow my father’s shirts and button downs. Everyone labeled me a tomboy, but I just saw it as me being comfortable. That comfort never changed as I got older. However, now I am able to say who I am. I am two spirited, though I am not of Native American descent. I feel I carry the balance of masculine and feminine energy. So my style expresses the comfort I have with both energies.

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Gabrielle: Why is queer visibility important and how does fashion help create space for members of our community?

Naa: I feel queer visibility is important because many of us –  whether young, middle aged, or in the golden years –  are still afraid to come out (and I know it’s for many reasons). Talking to someone who just came out to their parents last year, the process is real, but the outcome, no matter what, is a meaningful one. I believe fashion creates a space to express such visibility. Fashion is the answer to your question, “Well, how do I feel today?” It allows you and many others to experience your mood or feeling. I believe fashion within the LGBTQ community gives us a chance to all have a voice.

Gabrielle: What challenges do you face in your profession, if any, as an LGBTQ person?

Naa: I see my life as a learning experience and everyone can choose if they like to learn with me. So I won’t say that I see challenges as an LGBTQ person. I see more opportunities to learn and teach. Whether I’m on stage performing, working with youth, or talking to co-workers about everyday life, all will get a chance to see that we are not that different from each other.

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Gabrielle: Tell us about your biggest fashion and/or shopping fail.

Naa: Biggest fashion fail: turquoise wrestling boots. I’m not too sure why I thought that was a good idea!

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?

Naa: When you know it, you own it. Now you’re not making a statement, you’re just being you. So, no matter who sees you, they will respect the confidence that you carry and the clothes that adorn it.

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Gabrielle: Tell us something unique about yourself.

Naa: What I find unique about myself is that I truly feel I have the ability to create a space for people to feel comfortable and to connect with me on a human to human level.

Gabrielle: How did you hear about dapperQ? Why were you interested in a feature?

Naa: I heard about dapperQ through the great world of Instagram. I became interested in becoming a feature when I saw myself in every picture and story I had seen. I was one of many who were searching for visibility.

Want more Naa? Follow on social media:
Instagram : @naa_accepts
Facebook: Naa Akua
Soundcloud: Naa Akua

Photos by Jeanesque Photography

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