When Rain Dove sat down for one of StyleLikeU's "What's Underneath" interviews, she started ranking the representations of herself that mainstream society is most comfortable with.
Surprising exactly no one, cisgender heterosexual white male was first, followed by a cis gay white male. Up next is a lesbian: "People will respect me more if they think I'm a cisgender lesbian woman," saying that people are comfortable accrediting her short hair and style choices to her sexuality. Closing out her list, in order, are a transgender man, cisgender heterosexual or bisexual female, and finally a transgender woman.
Dove has been dealing with attacks on her sexuality since she was young, enduring jeers of "tranny Danny" before she even knew what a tranny was. "Part of me didn't feel surprised," she admitted, after understanding struck her when an episode of The Simpsons used the same slur.
Dove was first exposed to the modeling world when a friend urged her to go to a casting call, where she ended up being cast in a men's Calvin Klein underwear show. After the press got wind of a woman walking in a man's show, she became a sought after face. Now, Dove takes advantage of her aesthetic, calling herself a "gender capitalist." Refusing to work for free only escalated Dove's demand. "I put a price and value on myself," she said.
She takes a refreshing approach to her body, seeing it as the vehicle through which we experience life. "The reason I like this body is because I've grown with this body," she said. "This is not really what I am, but it's how I can have an experience in this world and in this life. This is just an expression of who we are. It's this, and then our underwear, and then our clothing. Watch Dove's StyleLikeU appearance, below.