The celebration of Pride is truly a time for LGBTQ+ individuals to reflect on our past selves, our past loves and most importantly, our past history as a community. As we approach the 50th anniversary of Stonewall, Bonobos is acknowledging the past by celebrating members of the next generation of LGBTQ+ leaders who are moving us all forward to a brighter future.
As New York City gears up to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Movement and World Pride, Bonobos wanted to pay homage to the city that aided in launching the Gay Rights Movement by extending the voice of a native New Yorker who is fighting to make a difference. Devin-Norelle is a transgender advocate, writer, and model who has been featured in publications like Teen Vogue, Allure, them., The Daily Show and Refinery 29.
"Growing up, I didn't fit in. I was viewed as an anomaly, ostracized for being a 'masculine gay girl', and often called 'weird' by those I confided in about my plans to medically transition," recalls Devin-Norelle sharing zis personal journey of self-identity. "It hurt to be rejected for my differences. I just wanted to be liked and accepted. Instead, I felt like a burden. As an adult, I still don't fit in, but I'm very proud to be different. I thrive in my uniqueness; I live my life authentically, without feeling any shame for the beautiful person I've grown into."
Devin-Norelle believes that Pride not only affects our community as a whole, but also impacts our own individuality and beliefs. "Pride is living out LOUD when I thought I'd have to live my life in secret." Devin-Norelle went on to say that "Pride is sharing myself authentically with my family, the same family I thought I'd lose after transitioning. Pride is finding love when I did not believe I would be desirable because I was different. Pride is sharing my transition with friends who would not let me push them away from my shame of feeling abnormal. I'm living out the life my younger self never believed I could have; this is Pride."
When asked how ze found zis seat at the table, Devin-Norelle boldly responded, "I didn't claim a seat at the table, I've made my own. I embraced my differences and learned to love myself for who I was. I don't sit at my table alone. There will always be plenty of space for people like me."