Gender, sexuality and fashion

Students share what influences their style

Photo+courtesy+of+Ronel+Cooper

Photo courtesy of Ronel Cooper

by Angelo Harper, staff

High school is a time where most students are discovering themselves and determining their futures based on those discoveries. People have many ways of expressing themselves whether it’s through art, music, friends, culture. A common form of expression is fashion, especially with sexuality and gender.

Here at Shorewood, plenty of people tailor their style to these factors. Everybody is unique in their own way, but some people strive to stand out from the crowd. They show it by bringing to school their own styles that some see as unconventional.

Some people follow fashion trends while others stray away from the norm and dress more unconventionally. Kiana Yoshimura, junior, often takes inspiration from a mix of gothic and street wear with baggy clothes while also putting a focus and dressing comfortably with sweats. “I like dressing pretty neutral because I just don’t like conforming to the binary,” Yoshimura said.

Some students say their style is greatly influenced by their gender and sexuality. Senior Ren Healy, who gets most of his clothes from thrift stores like Red Light Vintage and online brands like Cider, regularly varies his style. “Day to day my clothing choices change based on how masculine, feminine or androgynous I feel,” he said. He skims past the boring or “safe” neutral colors and goes straight to the bright, vibrant colors and patterns. Healy takes inspiration from drag queens like Gottmik and is comfortable presenting feminine. “Being able to wear feminine clothes and feel good in them feels like I’m overcoming my dysphoria,” Healy said.

But not all who dress unconventionally put as much of a focus on sexuality or gender. Some don’t see gender as a factor that should go into style. Ronel Cooper, senior, says he tries to think of clothing as just clothing and tries not to attach a gender to it. Cooper likes to dress androgynously, he said, and takes inspiration from high fashion brands like misbehave (MISBV) along with online fashion trends and creativity from his friends. Said Cooper: “I kind of just go with what I feel and if I like something no matter if it’s directed towards women or men, I kind of just wear it.”