Photography by Djiun Wang
Richie Moo, a 25-year-old Puerto Rican native, has been modeling since he was 14, but he wasn't always welcomed with open arms.
"It was a bit tougher being an androgynous model in Puerto Rico," he explains to Out. "Agencies would want me go to the gym or act more masculine, but that's just not me."
SLIDESHOW | Horror & Romance: Richie Moo
Since he's been working in New York City for the past three years, his modeling experience has been a lot different. "I never had to explain myself here. Casting directors are much more open and accepting here. They understand and respect me for me. It's amazing that I'm not forced to explain who I am."
Moo, who was raised in a Catholic household in Puerto Rico, says his family never judged or questioned who he was. "I never had to come out to my family," he says. "They were very supportive of me all the time. When I was growing up and would rather play with dolls than with little cars, they would let me."
In school, however, Moo wasn't greeted with the same acceptance. Even though some of his classmates would bully him, he never let them stop him for being who he is. "I just kept moving."
And in case you're confused: Moo identifies as male, but he doesn't get offended if someone calls him a girl. "I never mind what people call me," he says. "I know who I am and that happens to be a boy. If I ever wanted to be a girl, I would have done it a long time ago. I'm just doing what feels natural to me."