I’m smiling in this picture, but just before writing this, I learned of the murder of yet another black trans woman in Texas. Last night, I went to a hilarious but poignant play starring Moonlight writer Tarell Alvin McCraney, commemorating the little-known first (and to date, only, to best of my knowledge) drag queen to mount a presidential campaign and crash the floor of the Democratic Convention (back in 1992; more on that to come). And it was recently announced that the life of famed dancer and choreographer Alvin Ailey will be brought to the big screen, courtesy of director Barry Jenkins.
In short, as we kick off Pride Month, the beauty I have on the brain this week is the tremendous debt of gratitude—and yes, protection—that we owe the LGBTQIA+ members of our community.
As someone who has now spent half her life working in beauty, fashion and entertainment, I cannot honestly consider a part of my world (or reporting) that has not been deeply, positively influenced by members of the community. While Pride is a time to celebrate who they are and all that they have overcome, we are reminded daily—through our administration, ongoing rhetoric, and the continued marginalization of LGBTQIA+ people—that those battles are far from over—just as the battle over women’s bodies isn’t over, or the battle for black and brown civil rights.
(Now, imagine being black, queer and a woman. Go on, dare to put yourself in someone else’s shoes, just for a second. Hell, maybe they’re your shoes.)
So, no, I don’t have a product review for you this week. I only have an impassioned plea that we see ourselves in each other; that we recognize the tremendous contributions that queer culture—like black culture—makes to all of our lives, whether recognized or not. That we are as proud of our LGBTQIA+ skinfolk as we are to be black. Because as they already know, Pride is an inside job, and it requires appreciating all of our many parts.
And if you want to know how I created my “Queer Eye for the Ally,” cop the Matte Book palette ($25) from Crayon Case cosmetics.