This Model Proves How Stunning Gender Fluidity Can Be

Photographed by Gabrielle Revere.
The recent cultural and media focus on trans people has been a big step forward in learning about and understanding a long-ignored and often-shamed subset of the LGBTQ community. However, with this proverbial enlightenment come quite a few hurdles. One such issue is the public's need to categorize every trans individual into a specific gender category — a groupthink that requires trans people to establish and declare themselves as either male or female.

While many trans people do in fact identify as men or women, for some, pronouns are inconsequential and not related to how they define themselves. They move seamlessly between presenting as male and female, and they refuse to be represented or constrained into one or the other. Seth Atwell, a model who has been the buzz of the fashion world recently (thanks to an appearance on the Hood by Air SS16 runway show), is embodying this concept with a string of high-profile appearances — and as the star of a new photo series by photographer Gabrielle Revere.

Atwell describes gender fluidity as "an identity, a dynamic mix of boy and girl." Adds Revere, "Seth is the embodiment of all that is both masculine and feminine. The dynamic of Seth’s ability to fluctuate seamlessly between masculine and feminine was like watching dual entities interchange and merge into one persona."

Revere describes Atwell as the definition of the word "muse." Her photo series, which features Atwell embodying both hyper-feminine and masculine personas, is a reflection of how we view beauty and its relationship to gender. The collection features three specific series: Raw, a candid and provocative statement; Suave, an updated take on the classic man archetype; and Vivid, which Revere says "blurs the lines of sexual identity and the antiquated definitions of 'gender' and 'self.'"

We spoke with Atwell about fluidity, fashion, and how gender non-comformity fits into the trans conversation.
Photographed by Gabrielle Revere.
Recent mainstream awareness has created more opportunities for those in the trans community to tell their stories. What is your take on trans awareness, and how has that affected you personally?
"I think it's amazing how many positive things around the trans community have been happening this year. For me, it doesn't affect how I feel...because I am very aware of who I am and I understand it completely. But for those who don't, I think the media should start showing that there is more to identity than just male and female — that there is something in between. I think people should start speaking out more about gender fluidity and making that a mainstream as well."

Why do think there is such a fascination, among those outside the trans community, with someone identifying with one gender or another?
"People find things that they don't understand interesting. Trans [identities] and gender fluidity are not new to the world. But they are finally starting to get recognized more, and it's being understood, which I find extremely important — I want the next generation to not have trouble understanding... I think the more the world sees it in the media in a positive action, the closer we are to succeeding with that goal."

Do you feel the fashion world has been more accepting?
"Fashion has no limits, and they have always respected and accepted new and different interesting things and people. The industry is positive about trans [identities] and gender fluidity, yet fashion is still so critical and not everyone is as accepting... We all know that the industry has come a long way, but I think it's only halfway there; there is still room for improvement."
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Photographed by Gabrielle Revere.
Who are some models you really love right now?
"I still really like Lindsey Wixon. She is not a new face, but she is so striking to me; I never get bored of her. And I recently fell in love with Janice Dickinson back in the 1980s when she was at the peak of her career. I find her story really inspiring, and it has showed me exactly what it means to work hard to succeed at your dreams. "

What advice do you want to pass on to other trans or gender-fluid individuals?
"To anyone who is coming to terms or living as trans or gender-fluid, the best advice I can give you is to never compare yourself to other people. Always be confident and love yourself. Focus only on people who love you and care about you. Always follow your dreams and goals, no matter how hard it is to get there. If you really want it, you will get there."
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