EXEMPLIFYING BEST JOURNALISTIC PRACTICES WITH AN APTITUDE RARELY SEEN, THE SUNDAY, AUGUST 30, 2015 NEW YORK TIMES SERVED UP AN UNDERSTATED SOCIOLOGICAL LESSON IN CHANGE. ITS FRONT PAGE EXTOLLED THE FOUR-DECADE-LONG TRAIL BLAZED BY TRANSGENDER PIONEER PHYLLIS RANDOLPH FRYE, WHO RESHAPED CONVENTIONS TO BECOME A JUDGE. THE PAPER’S MAGAZINE, MEANWHILE, CELEBRATED SERENA WILLIAMS WITH A COVER ARTICLE IN WHICH THE SUPERSTAR ATHLETE SPOKE OF THE CORNERSTONES LAID BY PRECEDING BLACK TENNIS PLAYERS. “ZINA GARRISON, ALTHEA GIBSON, ARTHUR ASHE AND VENUS [WILLIAMS] OPENED SO MANY DOORS FOR ME. I’M JUST OPENING THE NEXT DOOR FOR THE NEXT PERSON.” COLLECTIVELY, THE FEATURES REVEAL THE IMPORTANCE OF INDIVIDUAL ACTION IN AFFECTING CHANGE AND EMPOWERING SUBSEQUENT GENERATIONS TOWARDS PROGRESS: THE POSSIBILITY TO WAGE NEW BATTLES, RATHER THAN REHASHING OLD ONES.
Enter, Gogo Graham. The 24-year-old transgender fashion designer creates wardrobe staples for trans-women of all ages, races, shapes and sizes. This diverse target audience debunks traditional societal classifications of the demographic and reveals the complexities of strong individuals with different tastes, body issues and personalities. Gogo, herself, exemplifies this originality. From Pearland, Texas, she studied pre-med before moving to New York to pursue costume design, followed by a stint at a midtown garment factory and the subsequent creation of Gogo Graham, the label, currently in its fifth season.
WHAT IS YOUR EARLIEST MEMORY?
I remember seeing red and green flowers on the ceiling of a dark room. It turns out my parents took me and my sister to a laser show when I was one.
IF YOU COULD RELIVE A DAY OF YOUR LIFE, WHAT WOULD IT BE?
The day my older twin, baby sister Abby and I went swimming in a lagoon in Hawaii and found ourselves in an urchin den. We had fun getting out of that pickle. She and I are so close.
A QUOTE YOU LOVE?
"I don't care about anything." - Utada Hikaru
A LATE SUMMER SONG
A SONG FROM THE FIRST CONCERT YOU ATTENDED
A SONG THAT MAKES YOU THINK OF YOUR PARENTS
A PICTURE YOU WISH YOU'D TAKEN
IF YOUR HOUSE WAS ON FIRE AND YOU COULD ONLY SAVE ONE THING, WHAT WOULD IT BE?
A POEM YOU LOVE?
Sick by Shel Silverstein
"I cannot go to school today,"
Said little Peggy Ann McKay.
"I have the measles and the mumps,
A gash, a rash and purple bumps.
My mouth is wet, my throat is dry,
I'm going blind in my right eye.
My tonsils are as big as rocks,
I've counted sixteen chicken pox
And there's one more - that's seventeen,
And don't you think my face looks green?
My leg is cut, my eyes are blue -
It might be instamatic flu.
I cough and sneeze and gasp and choke,
I'm sure that my left leg is broke -
My hip hurts when I move my chin,
My belly button's caving in,
My back is wrenched, my ankle's sprained,
My 'pendix pains each time it rains.
My nose is cold, my toes are numb,
I have a sliver in my thumb.
My neck is stiff, my spine is weak,
I hardly whisper when I speak.
My tongue is filling up my mouth,
I think my hair is falling out.
My elbow's bent, my spine ain't straight,
My temperature is one-o-eight.
My brain is shrunk, I cannot hear,
There is a hole inside my ear.
I have a hangnail, and my heart is -
what? What's that? What's that you say?
You say today is ... Saturday?
G'bye, I'm going out to play!"
WHAT DO YOU WISH WE TALKED ABOUT MORE?
The ongoing murder of trans women of color.
WHAT VALUES ARE MOST IMPORTANT TO YOU?
YOUR FAVORITE CHARACTER
A PERFECT STYLE MOMENT
YOUR LOVE WHEN YOU WERE 18
A SUMMERTIME SONG FROM WHEN YOU WERE IN HIGH SCHOOL
A SONG WITH AMAZING WORDS
WHAT ADVICE DO YOU WISH YOU COULD GIVE YOUR 14-YEAR-OLD SELF?
Look up hormone replacement therapy, babe.
WHAT DO YOU LIKE MOST ABOUT BEING THE AGE YOU ARE NOW?
I'm still here.
WHAT IS THE BEST THING ABOUT YOUR WORK INDUSTRY?
I get to connect with other trans girls.
WHAT JOB WOULD YOU PROBABLY BE DOING IF NOT THE ONE YOU DO NOW?
I've always wanted to be a surgeon.
A PICTURE OF HAPPINESS
A SONG THAT MAKES YOU CRY
A SONG THAT REMINDS YOU OF AN EX
A ROAD TRIP MOMENT
AN IMAGE THAT WAS ON YOUR WALL AS A TEENAGER
ONE OF YOUR PARENTS
WHAT DO YOU LOVE MOST ABOUT NEW YORK?
So many trans babes out here.
IF YOU COULD HAVE DINNER WITH ANYONE ALIVE, WHO WOULD IT BE?
WHEN DID YOU LAST CRY IN FRONT OF ANOTHER PERSON?
Three years ago, I cried hysterically in front my angel, Juju Huang, because I had just broken up with my then boyfriend, Benjamin Sands. I love both of them.
YOUR DREAM CAR
A SCENE THAT HAUNTS YOU
A SONG THAT YOU'RE EMBARRASSED TO LOVE