KT is celebrating Pride Month with our colorful new Be Proud print and period underwear donations to the Slash Kit Program— a program delivering period protection to trans and non-binary people in need. You can learn more about how to help here.
We're also celebrating Pride Month by chatting to My!a— an artist, illustrator, and our fav green-haired non-binary cutie. We sat down with them to chat all things pronouns, empowerment through art, and the importance of educating yourself on queer issues. Meet My!a!
Hi My!a, how do you celebrate Pride all year round?
I celebrate pride all year round by being authentically myself. That may not seem like much, but as a queer, Black femme, non-binary person in America— being your true self is a celebration in itself.
What does being non-binary mean to you and how you navigate the world?
At first I thought when I came out to myself as non-binary I owed the world and myself androgyny. I really struggled with the myth that the only way to be non-binary is to reject femininity. However as time passed, I learned that I am allowed to embrace my femininity and still be non-binary.
I tell myself every day that there isn’t just one way to be a non-binary person and I live by that now. Navigating the world as a non-binary person can be difficult, being that most places don’t view it as a real gender identity and it is often ignored. However it doesn't bother me too much! I love being able to be different and be a living example of gender as a social construct.
Do you have any tips for people having trouble with their friends' new pronouns?
New pronouns can be tricky. It’s hard to make that adjustment, but you want to put in the work to affirm your friend. One of my favorite tips that I tell people is to start off by using that person’s name instead of pronouns. For example you could say, “My!a has green hair” instead of using any pronouns.
The more you swap those pronouns out for your friend’s name, you give yourself plenty of time throughout the rest of the conversation to try their correct pronouns too. There will obviously be some slip ups, but don’t make a big deal out of it! Just correct yourself and continue on normally. You will get the hang of it, I promise. :)
If people have questions about sexuality and gender, why do you think it’s important for them to do their own research before asking a queer person to educate them?
I am super adamant on non-queer people educating themselves on queer related issues instead of always going to their queer friends to ask questions. Don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing wrong with going to your friend with a lighthearted question, but I like to keep in mind the fact that a lot of queer individuals may have experienced trauma related to their identity. So some questions may be triggering or emotionally draining to them.
Google is free! I always recommend starting there and maybe asking a few clarifying questions afterwards.
Tell us about Succinct Sketches! Where does the inspo for your art come from?
So Succinct Sketches came about while I was in high school. I realized that there wasn’t a lot of positive imagery of Black women and femmes in the media. I knew that I had artistic capabilities but I wasn’t really using them! So I decided to start creating art that affirms all sorts of Black women and femmes and gives them love.
There are so many harsh beauty standards that the world puts on us so it’s really an empowering thing for me. I want people that look like me and identify as a Black woman or a Black femme to feel appreciated, seen and confident when they see my work. My inspiration is all radiant Black femmes and women, period.
Brag about yourself. What’s something you’re super proud of accomplishing in the last year?
Honestly, I’m just super happy to be doing everything that I love on social media and reaching the milestones that I’ve created for myself! And I’ve been able to do this while also maintaining a beautiful relationship with my girlfriend and friends, all while being a full-time college student— a bad ass Dean’s list college student at that.