Gender Diaries: Sheila Rashid
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 where it intersects with fashion. This week, we feature designer Sheila Rashid.
There is so much to think about. The history, the nature, the stars, the pyramids and its direct connection to our very existence.
My Granny would take me to church faithfully almost every Sunday when I was a kid. I wore my share of dresses and “girly” shit. Moved around a lot and was exposed to this world we now live in. Once I realized in middle school I was attracted to women, I thought about what I was taught as far as the Bible and what’s perceived as right and what is wrong. During my high school years, I remember changing my clothes to more baggy wear on the Metra train just so my Mom wouldn’t see me. Opposite to other girls who would change into something a bit skimpier away from moms. Around this same time was when I decided to come out. Being that I was shamed a bit from my family, I doubted what I was feeling at first until I said to myself, I don’t care what anyone thinks and I’m going to embrace it.
I’ve always been a free thinker. Knowing what I now know it seems the world is stuck in this ‘patriarchal’ society and we as a humankind are spiritually fighting to gain our peace back. It’s bigger than “are you a man or a woman” for me. The root of the matter is we were taught to believe you have to identify yourself as one or the other and therefore act as your “gender.” We’ve had this whole shift in history from matriarchal to patriarchal all for the love of capitalism. With that came hate and greed. Clearly, we’ve strayed so far from our initial connection to nature and the universe.
I believe the subconscious revolution has already begun. We are entering a new age of awakening. As a fashion designer, a black woman, a gay black female fashion designer, I’ve been blessed to create an art that reflect my interpretation of this time. Changing everyones opinion on style by making clothes that are unisex. This binary way of thinking is hindering love to circulate the masses. Fashion has evolved so much when you simply look at how women in the 50s were the first to really enjoy the freedom of wearing pants as acceptable women clothing. And it wasn’t until the 70s when the first women shaped jeans were created.
So if you ask me if fashion is liberating, absolutely. Do we still have a long way to go to feel ultimately liberated in this world dominated by men? Most definitely. I’m not saying that all men are horrible people, but simply there is a hindering of the psyche that must be unlearned in order for humankind to flourish. So long are the days to feel inferior to anyone. It’s time for fear to take a backseat and allow love to be the weapon of mass healing, just as the pyramids were. It’s not a coincidence the pyramids were aligned with the stars. Now is the time to look up and realize we are also aligned with something much larger than male, female or intersex.
Images courtesy of Gian Frias
Stay tuned to Milk for more Gender Diaries and see our previous installments here.