Name of your collection: Becoming
What is the inspiration or concept behind it?
Becoming is a design led transgender health and wellness community based in accessibility, sustainability, free sharing of knowledge and resources, co-creation and collaboration. Trans people face discrimination on every level of society, from social interactions to being denied medical care. Becoming is a community of people working together to create trans health and joy through education, and validation. It includes a Trans Artist Collective, Trans Talk video series, gender affirming wear, which promotes gender euphoria by creating validating silhouettes, and a Supporting Trans Students workshop for professors. Due to COVID-19 impacting so many people’s lives, Becoming has expanded to include a group of sewers who are making hospital gowns and shoe covers for the Callen Lorde and Housing Works Shelter/Health Clinic, which serves at risk and sick homeless people in NYC, especially people in the LGBTQ community.
How is sustainability part of your ethos?
Sustainability is health and equity for humans and the environment. Becoming is working to help create a world where everyone is regarded as worthy of respect and love, regardless of gender, and where the human comfort and self-expression of fashion does not come at the expense of other life on Earth. All of the gender affirming wear is made with as much natural materials as possible, including wool from an endangered breed of sheep in some of the packers. Trans Talk video series, and the Supporting Trans Students workshop spread education in order to decrease the violence that trans folk face. The gender affirming wear and personal protective equipment protects trans people’s mental and physical health. The gender affirming wear, designed to be as functional and comfortable as possible, enables trans folk to have an affirming silhouette all day without discomfort or the need for frequent adjustment, which are problems that other gender affirming wear are currently struggling with. A truly sustainable world is one where all life on Earth, human and non-human is valued and regarded with respect.
How do you see the current situation changing your expectations/path?
So many people across the entire world right now are being impacted by COVID-19. And so Becoming is joining in the global effort to protect people and keep them safe. Callen Lorde and Housing Works are partnering to run a temporary shelter and health clinic for at risk and sick homeless people in New York City, to keep them out of the crowded shelters. Most personal protective equipment is going to the major hospitals, leaving community organizations like this one with severe shortages. I designed a hospital gown and shoe covers and am working with a group of sewers to make them, to protect the staff at the shelter and health clinic run by Callen Lorde and Housing Works. I was able to utilize the amazing network of people I had built through the rest of Becoming to find sewers. We now have people making hospital gowns and shoe covers in Las Vegas, San Francisco, and more. As the COVID crisis continues, the homeless population in NYC will increase. It is vital that organizations that provide for people in need have the resources they require in order to do so. Especially now when LGBTQ healthcare is being threatened in the United States and beyond.
Where do you hope to be in 3 years?
In three years, I want to be engaging with queer and trans community and continuing to help trans people be safe and empowered. I want to be mass producing gender affirming wear, so that trans people can have comfortable and validating clothes that are designed for their bodies and experiences. I want to be leading workshops on gender diversity around the country. I would love to work for an eco-friendly fashion brand that is inclusive of all people and bodies. Most importantly, I want to do work that brings joy, wellness, and gender euphoria.
Three things keeping you sane right now
I’m currently isolating with family in Vermont, and I’ve been going on walks through the woods and hay fields for hours everyday. Three things keeping me sane are going on long walks through the woods, gardening, and continuing to do work that is building community and helping people stay safe.
If you could dress anyone in the world who would it be and why?
I would dress the high school age trans kid, still living with their parents in an environment where they are not accepted for who they are. I would dress them in validating clothes, like tucking underwear, or a chest binder. The validation and comfort that gender affirming apparel brings to trans folk is powerful! I want to give young trans folk the same gender euphoria that I felt when I put on my first binder. I want them to know that there is nothing wrong with their gender. And I want them to know that there are people out there who love and support them, and who see them for who they are, even if they haven’t met those people yet.
Find Edmund on Instagram at @green.langdell