In a world where Donald Trump is president and laws are put in place to ban individuals from using specific restrooms, model Maria José finds it necessary — now, more than ever — to speak her truth. “I don’t remember feeling fear, but I feel it now,” she told Allure. “We’re still not part of the traditional narrative of what life is.”
The model, who identifies as a queer, gender non-conforming, transfeminine person, has always known who she was but never had the freedom to say it aloud until her early teens. “Transfeminine means that you have transcended the gender that was assigned to you at birth, whereas a trans woman is someone who wants, believes, is, a woman,” she explained.
Now, however, she embraces who she is, and lets other people see her for who she is — from the inside, out. “I’m seeing this girl right now, and she’s another trans girl — it’s like a dream,” she said. “And I feel really beautiful when she tells me I am. You know, I’m literally naked in bed, and someone is telling me that I look good, while there are so many systems and people in the world who judge me for having that very body.”
In the video above, which is part of our Dispelling Beauty Myths video series with StyleLikeU, Maria José opens up about living as a queer and gender non-conforming, transfeminine person in a traditional, behind-the-times society.
More people who are working to dispel beauty myths:
- How This 64-Year-Old Woman Learned to Love Her Gray Hair
- This 71-Year-Old Fashion Designer Explains Why Being 21 Is Overrated AF
- What Makes a Woman With Albinism Feel Beautiful