Scroll To Top
Pride OUT LOUD + H&M Women's

Aja: What Pride Means To Me

Aja: What Pride Means To Me

Aja What Pride Means to Me PRIDE OUT LOUD H&M
Photography: Eric White

Love, self-acceptance and survival.

What is Pride? For me it's so simple, and yet so complicated. For a long time, I thought of it as a way to create community, and engender courage. Those are important things, but for me it goes deeper. Pride is about survival. Without it, I cannot survive. If I had no pride in myself, my craft and my talent, I would not be here. Pride has been my strongest asset--and my constant ally. And for that reason, I've come to appreciate that pride is so much more than any one definition.

Aja-resize-1

Photography: Eric White

Pride is love, pride is self-acceptance, and pride is finding the strength to persevere. Thanks to my work as a performer, and the reach of social media, I meet people all over the world, and every one of them inspires me by just being themselves. That's not always easy. Wider society sometimes tries to tell you that you must live your life in a particular way, or be something that everyone else is--but that's just not true. We have to break the labels that have been placed on us in order to understand and appreciate who we are.

Aja-resize-3

Photography by Eric White

For any gender fluid person still figuring out who they are, growing up in a place like Brooklyn can easily be a disaster. Fortunately, I never had to "come out" because everyone just knew. It was not hard to tell, but knowing I could be myself around those who I love and care about was, and is, so important to me. My mom always told me "Just be who you are and if people don't like you, then they're not worth your energy," and boy was she right. And she taught me that through femininity, one can find so much power.

Video by Paul Bui

Now my goal is to always channel both my masculine and feminine energies into my personality and feel comfortable where ever I go. That freedom is what Pride means to me.

Shop the Pride Collection at H&M.

Latest Stories