GenderChill Fashion Show 2023 (Video)

On November 17, 2023, GenderChill (GC), an all-inclusive, queer fashion show dedicated to celebrating the rich tapestry of gender identity and expression held their fourth annual show, this year in Miami, thanks to visionary creator and producer, Jess Osborn. The event is a testament to the belief that sometimes, “when it comes to gender, you just need to chill” (Osborn).

This year’s show featured:

We sat down with Jess to find out more about the show and plans for future events.

dapperQ Tell us about the Gender Chill fashion show.

Jess: This immersive experience serves as an intentional, community-building event that raises awareness and consciousness around gender and body diversity through the lens of social justice. GenderChill is more than just a fashion show; it’s a platform for empowerment, support,and appreciation for diverse gender expressions and bodies.

dapperQ: What is the show’s mission?

Jess: As it evolves, it continues to spotlight real bodies and their essences at their intersections, shining a light on the inherent value of real human beings, who are all beautiful LGBTQ+ peoples. GC is also a fundraiser for local queer organizations because giving financial donations is a fundamental aspect of supporting one another.

dapperQ: How many years have you been producing the show?

Jess: 4 years and going strong!

dapperQ: What was this year’s show theme? 

Jess: There was a soft theme of the culture of Miami, a very tropical feel, with the diversity that the region houses. It also spotlights Transgender Day of Remembrance, with an installation set up by the stage with the names of those we’ve lost throughout the year. TDOR Installation Credit to: Dimitry Saïd Chamy @2urn_ and Jadayne @awkward.js

dapperQ: What is the selection process for designers? Models?

Jess: Mostly, that they were just queer and local to the region. We also had a partnership with the Andro Fashion Show from Atlanta so we worked with their designers and models. Many of our models and designers were students from FIU as well. This was a platform to support their expression.

dapperQ: Why are these shows so important to visibility? Tell us what impact it makes for individual designers and models, as well as the collective LGBTQ+ communities. Share a little about what impact these shows have on the larger fashion landscape?

Jess: My show is important because we challenge the notion of what a beautiful body looks like. We love showcasing all sizes, stretch marks, surgery scars, visible and invisible disabilities, and all queer and trans bodies- it is all valid and sexy.

I think of queer visibility as step one for self actualization, it’s a big action step of activism, to just be out, open, and authentic about yourself. Being openly queer is a big deal in the world we live in today because we force everyone to contend with the idea that we are real people and not the boogie monsters under your beds. We aren’t misguided, mentally ill people, we actually fit right into the everyday human experience, we go grocery shopping, we laugh with our friends, and we also look fabulous once you sit still and just look at us without judgment. It puts things into perspective, especially for cis straight and queer folks, I hope they think: “Wow, actually, they’re FUN, they make me feel great because of how great they feel and it makes ME feel more valid, I am worthy too, with (whatever) scars I carry.”

Secondly, it empowers the queer community, it gives us a boost of this energetic confidence that also cannot be denied. It helps us come out of our several closets, the trans closets, the body shame closet, and the worthiness closet too. And we need to come out of those closets to really change the world we live in, so we ourselves can have a better quality of life, which in turn positively affects the immediate environment we live in. I like to think of queer people in general as the pioneers of our own culture, everything is so new for us, how to act or who to be, and because of that we get to set the terms and boundaries … and I also get a little tickled that it goes waaayyy past the normie culture!

We help with the exploration of the self, which includes the human experience we all go through, just by getting together and creating art, creating our expression. And doing it together makes it all that much more powerful.

My third and last point is that this helps straight and cis people too. Cis folks can feel the pressure too: maybe they feel they need more or bigger muscles, maybe they think they need to wear a waist trainer or add more breasts to fit in. In this way we can support each other with our body modifications when we realize that’s what this is. We all get to augment our avatar any way we like, regardless of identity and expression. I hope it just shows one of the many ways we are linked, we are all more similar than as different as we’ve been tricked to think.

When we start to think more openly about how we all have a better time together, and for me life is about having a good time, that’s it. I believe we can reach a farther height than we couldn’t even imagine. But it’ll come to us as we go along. So long as we keep creating art, creating fashion, and creating space for the world to see.

Follow GenderChill on Instagram to support and learn more about upcoming events. 

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