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Gender Diaries: Gryphyn

As the world continues to push against gender constructs, the conversation around how people are identifying themselves is constantly evolving. Each week, MILK.XYZ will feature a guest editor writing about their specific relationship with gender and, often, where it intersects with fashion. This week, we feature NYC creative Gryphyn

I moved to New York straight out of high school to pursue a career in the arts. When I first got here I was unsure of my direction and to a certain degree still am. My artistic inspirations come from a variety of places and is sometimes hard to pin down. In the last year I’ve found myself working as a makeup artist, stylist, creative director, host, designer, etc. Things I probably wouldn’t have categorized myself as a year ago. I am still learning and growing, and I find my creative direction changing regularly. I think it’s exciting.

I take on both feminine and masculine aspects of fashion, and morph them to my own style. My gender is my expressive identity. I am not confined by my physical body in expressing myself because it’s not that simple; I am genderless in my art. It has led me to create a completely new identity, one that I learn from everyday. i’ve never liked labels and always get uncomfortable around that subject. On my day to day life I present more masculine (makeup takes a lot of time for me but if I had time to put it on everyday I probably would). I love changing my appearance whether it appears  more femme, or masculine.

As an artist, I am so happy that the world is beginning to have a more open dialogue about the complexity of gender identity. For me It brings the opportunity to play in the grey space between masc and femme. Although day to day I present masculine qualities, my art stretches across a wide spectrum of gender. Androgyny helps me take a step back, and bring new styles and ideas to my work. I give my life, body, my beauty and my grossness to you. Take what you want from that. I’m just trying to be honest.

When I reflect on the past, I wish I had more confidence in my self expression. I would have encouraged myself to be more open, accepting, and loving to not only my own feelings, but others as well. I have always been scared of people’s reactions to my art, but as I grow I find I do have supporters and a safe space  that allow me to tell my truth. I find that I do my best art when I love and respect myself, so in the end, I strive for self care and love.

There’re so many types of people in one community, and I find that so many of us are being isolated because our identity doesn’t match what mainstream (acceptable) archetype for people in the LGBTQ community. I see that femmes, bi , and trans people struggle with exclusivity the most.  A lot of this has to do with fear and and lack of visibility from inside the community. Notice how every gay film on Netflix has the same premise with a cis white cast. Judgement from other members of the same community is the most damaging thing I see..in any community, but still. I try to stay away from that as much as possible because I want community, I want support. There’s enough judgement already from outsiders, there’s no need to have that hate come from the one place we feel safe.   Another problem I see is the need for labels. People want to know your sexuality, gender identity and other personal questions, not having an answer is unacceptable to many people. As someone who doesn’t fully know how or what to identify as, I see how this is damaging to people who are still coming to terms with their self identity.

I am always finding new ways to challenge my art and create new interesting things. Music is next, and I am currently in the process of making a short collection of experimental sounds, combined with visual art and video. Then, I am releasing a collection of my latex clothing later in the year. But most recently, I am styling a show in la at the end of the month and + couple more editorial project in the works for the near future. And most importantly,  I am gearing up for halloween, the busiest + BEST month for freaks like me.

An exploration of gender identity, gender stereotypes and creativity.  

This photo series was a collaborative project between NYC based creatives, Sionán Murtagh, Jordan Parvex and Gryphyn.

Editorial shot and edited by Jordan Parvex.

Styled by Sionán Murtagh.

Diarist, Model and Make-Up Artist: Gryphyn.

Sionán Murtagh: www.sionan.net 

Jordan Parvex: https://www.warmbrothersmag.com 

Stay tuned to Milk for more Gender Diaries and see our previous installments here.

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