Popsugar Presents: Pride Revolution – a series that celebrates the beauty, brilliance and resilience of a strange community. LGBTQ + arrogance is always revolutionary in nature, pushing the boundaries of society towards more acceptance, more assurance and more inclusion. When arrogance spreads pop culture, revolution is as necessary as ever to ensure that security, equality, fairness and inclusion are at the center.
“Pride is a riot,” says Richie Shazam. “It’s a protest. And through art and expression, it’s the ultimate way to demonstrate.” Designer Muse, image maker, performance artist and activist, is honoring the legacy of Shazam-colored pioneer trans women. As trance and non-conforming narratives begin to move forward, he is doing everything in his power to ensure that they remain there.
In anticipation of her upcoming directorial film debut, Shazam contacts POPSUGAR for a kiki. First, however, we had to discuss her outfit: a yellow brocade toy corset two-piece set, yellow platform boot harness and cut hair. “We’re serving fashion and face today,” she tells us We would not expect anything less from the front row head.
“Pride is a riot. It’s a protest. And through art and expression, it’s the ultimate way to show off.”
As a pioneering fixture in the fashion space, her biography is an element of legend. First, he has bold and high-spirited struts on the runways like Vivienne Westwood, Stoud, Sandy Liang and Luar. While she’s not catwalking, she’s in the front row watching head-to-toe designer Prada, Diesel, Jean-Paul Goltier and Schiaparelli, sometimes with famous friends like Julia Fox.
She has starred in international campaigns for Calvin Klein, Miu Miu and Mark Jacobs, posing in their artistic designs with a faint glimpse of her signature. And Shazam as well as a photographer, interviewing and lensing covers of publications like 10 Magazine. Now, he is back on camera again to direct his first short film “Savitri” at the Tribeca Film Festival premiere in partnership with Converse. The film serves as an autobiographical insight into Shazam’s journey from adolescence to the present, surrounding his family.
The self-described “NYC Bollywood Princess” has built a career as a multi-faceted storyteller. Shazam often immerses himself in his work, taking on characters, and presenting fantastic narratives in the wheelhouse of female artists such as Lauren O’Grady, Cindy Sherman, and Vaginal Davis.
“For me, my escapism was built on imagination,” he says. “We have so many beautiful ways to imagine and imagine our world and the future because we are constantly given this short period of time to stay on this earth.” According to a long-running study published in the Lancet Diabetes and Endocrinology, transgender people are twice as likely to die as Sisgenders. “Our lives are cut in half, and it forces us to live each day to the fullest.”
As a native of Queens, Jamaica, Shazam says her NYC upbringing inspired her to discover the camera and her inner beauty. “New York City is the ultimate backdrop,” he says. “I was born and raised in New York and Jamaica, Queens, just trying to find my way as a first-generation teenager. It was very important to show me the alternative reality of how I could live.”
But he admits his journey was not without challenges. “Of course, there is a lot of chaos, and it wasn’t easy. It’s very turbulent, a lot of hard work and perseverance, and not just in terms of work / creation, just in the politics of identity, to build oneself – it’s really scary. To find the tools needed for survival. I had to dig really deep and NYC, in part, helped. “
As the millennium trend tends to be, we are somehow associated with the sign of astrology. “I’m an Aquarius, and we like drama,” she says I tell her I am a Taurus, and she is immediately enlightened. “Oh my God, amazing! My mother was a Taurus. My mother raised me, and we had a beautiful, special relationship.” Shajam talks a lot about his relationship with his late mother Savitri, which is also the title of his upcoming film. Savitri’s death closes the chapter on Shazam’s connection to his nuclear family.
What he is saying is very familiar to many strange people, whose nuclear families are unfortunately not equipped to confirm, see and support them. “Through the strength of the family I have found, I have reached where I am today. They have given me the tools – unconditional love, support, affection, compassion – to be myself and it was not something that I grew up in a nuclear family. There were no tools. ” This lack of support and polarity can mean life or death for many, leaving them at risk for homelessness, suicide and the loss of crime. That’s where the found families come from.
The history of the chosen family is a legacy. Think of the diverse literary circles as friendships between James Baldwin and Lauren Hansberry; Ballroom rooms, which were built to house safe spaces and to serve as selected families; Trailblazing Satters Motorcycle Club; And the onscreen, offscreen family of “Pose” actors Michela Ja, Angelica Ross, Hailey Sahar, Dominic Jackson and India Moore. LGBTQ + people have been searching for their people – the families they have found – for decades
“The agency of diverse artists has the beauty and power to tell their own stories. Brands must be in our position of power and we must be creative directors.”
Shajam speaks affectionately about the family he found. “You know when you meet someone, and your eyes just go down, and you instantly think, ‘I see you, and you see me,’ and don’t say anything? That’s what I had after meeting my girls.” To each other, “he says. “It was a sensation I had never felt before.”
Since we are currently in the middle of the month of Pride, there are thoughts about Shazam’s annual tradition. “It’s so intense, like a whole month’s commodification, but I think we have a lot of work to do, just like the world.”
To echo Shazam’s sentiments, pride is becoming a growing product, and while visibility and collaboration are essential, it’s important to make sure that the essence of pride remains true to its revolutionary beginnings: on the shoulders of color trans activists.
Pride is celebrated in memory of the Stonewall riots; On June 28, 1969, New York City police raided a quarry club in Stonewall Inn, Greenwich Village, NYC, and the main character, Marsha P. Johnson, Sylvia Rivera and other bizarre pioneers resisted. These demonstrations led to pride as we know it today.
Representation is important, but representation without equity is low. “I think diverse artists have the beauty and power to tell their own stories,” Shajam said. “Brands and companies must be in a position to empower us and tell us stories. Let us be creative directors.”
In the context of arrogance, Shazam wants to draw attention to a critical detail: “I tell all dolls, ‘Don’t do anything for free in the month of arrogance, period. If anyone wants you there, you’ll need a bag.'”
As an epidemic of anti-trans violence continues to plague trans and gender-diverse communities, ensuring their safety is also crucial. “Our safety, security, and ensuring that we are cared for should be a) most important and B) a priority.”
Shazam also shares tips for young queer, trance, and non-conforming people to navigate their true path. “You have to find your community, your girls,” she says. “I think it’s about finding places that confirm your identity and lean towards those weird pockets of your society, no matter where you are.”
In addition to finding a safe place to live, he recommends “focusing on self-assured things to boost your self-esteem and confidence and explore your beliefs, creativity and self-esteem so that you can be afraid.”
“Everyone has their own journey, they have their own set of challenges, but it’s going to get better and have some patience knowing it’s going to lean towards your tribe for support – that’s very important.”
Shazam’s short film, “Savitri”, in collaboration with Converse, is set to premiere on June 16 at the 2022 Tribeca Film Festival. The film will be screened at selected events throughout the month of Pride and the rest of the summer, and will be released to the public later. This year.