It was quite bleak, raining even, but that only fueled Ashley’s quest of escapism in her search for mental, social, and emotional freedom. She is found traipsing the verdant landscape of the Belcour Lodge estate – rainforest, river, and apiary — in wanderlust.The more she wanders, the more she blossoms into an expressive, no-holds-barred character.
From the way she smiles just before laughter -- an innate feminine characteristic that flickers like a lit bulb – to the way she enunciates words or rolls her eyes so gaily. It’s all too poetic how she eases wisps of hair behind her ear; the dip of her waist as she poses; the arching of her instep as her toes point; demonstrating the elegance of the woman she’s become. Beautiful Ashley, with a face so striking, commands a strong, undeniable presence. Her stature, bolstered with conviction.
She is woman.
Overview: A contrast between hard and genteel presented via the feminine aesthetic: ruffles, layers, and delicate designs, paired with gold, vintage, and mod statement jewellery in a St Andrew rainforest – to show just how styling can alter one’s perceptionon femininity. As a gender nonconforming Jamaican man, who oftentimes suffers from anxiety and depression just from commuting, Kadeem felt the need to incorporate this burst of bold – in colours, clothes, accessories – to highlight the escapism and liberation through garments. This is for all my queer, misunderstood folks who are bold enough to go for it despite the critique and stares.
Purpose: To break down the misconceptions of masculine and feminine by highlighting the effeminate and fluid nature of the sexes, particularly that of a ‘trapped’ young black transwoman
Styling: Tropical rainforest chic
Team: Alexander Wong (Photographer); Kadeem Rodgers (Stylist/Creative Director); Cleopatra Powell (Creative Director/Grooming); Ashley Gordon (Model); Jeremy Braham (Assistant)
Location: Belcour Lodge, St Andrew, Jamaica
Shoot date: Wednesday, April 25th 2018
Transgender | tranzˈdʒɛndə,transˈdʒɛndə/
Gender variance, or gender nonconformity | A state in which a person has physical and behavioral characteristics that do not correspond with those typically associated with the person's sex.
— Lisa M Diamond et al, Handbook of Child Psychology and Development Science, 7th edition, 2015