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gender-free and proud

This pride month, the FYU PARIS team share 6 of their favourite artists, whose lives and works not only challenge gender tropes but help pave the way for a more inclusive future.

~ Xavier Dolan

In the film “Matthias et Maxime”, two childhood friends kiss for the purposes of an amateur short film. After this seemingly harmless kiss, a recurring doubt breaks in, confronting the two boys to their preferences, upsetting the balance of their social circle and, soon, their existence.

“There might be a proper age to know how to tell a story, but there's no proper age to start telling them.

~ Wendy Carlos

Sound engineer, artist, trans woman, pioneer of electronic music and the use of synthesizer, Wendy Carlos is a legend. It is likely that you have never heard of her, but almost certain that you already have listened to her music : the soundtracks of an orange clockwork, the shining or iron, that's her.

"What is filled with repetition or with formula is of a predictable boredom. What is free from any structure or discipline is of an unpredictable boredom. Art is in-between the two "

~ Vivienne Westwood

Eccentric, exuberant and colorful, these are the words that could describe Vivienne Westwood. This 81 year-old woman is a stylist, nicknamed “L’Enfant Terrible de la Mode” (fashions’ terrible child). She has constantly been pushing the boundaries of gender identity within her work and essentially her clothing line. As a matter of fact, Westwood believes in gender fluidity in fashion and has featured gender-binary-rejecting people in campaigns before. In an interview, she even reveals some of her thoughts during her teenage years : 

"I thought I was turning into a boy, and it didn't bother me at all."

~ Lil Nas X

Rapper, singer, songwriter and media personality, Lil Nas X has shaken the music industry these past few years. Mixing several genres together to create new styles of music, this young talent has brought a new light on the hip-hop genre. Breaking the codes with his innovative sounds, endearing personality and fashion style which seems to have no limits, Lil Nas X stands out in this industry. On March 26th of 2021 the artist chose to come-out with a tweet, on his platform of predilection.

“I know we promised to never come out publicly, I know we promised to never be "that" type of gay person, I know we promised to die with the secret, but this will open doors for so many queer people to simply exist."

~ Barry Jenkins

Moonlight is a movie written and directed by Barry Jenkins. It follows a young African-American man who is figuring out his identity and sexuality while experiencing the everyday struggles of childhood, adolescence, and burgeoning adulthood. In writing this story, Jenkins wanted to tell a story that had never been told before, to portray a coming-of-age story featuring characters that are never represented in media. He describes his films as "personal-voice-driven films about human characters and the place we live. Technically, I'm an independent filmmaker." He also remarks that until 'Moonlight,' he had never seen one black man cook for another on screen. However he wanted his characters to be free of 'groundbreaking' or 'never before.' As he points out, they were ascribed those things but weren't the point of telling the story. 

“My films are personal-voice-driven films about human characters and the place we live. Technically, I'm an independent filmmaker.”

~ Joe Caslin

Joe Caslin is an Irish street artist. He is famous for his pencil drawings which he then displays on walls all over his country. One of his most well-known piece is named The Claddagh Embrace which was created in celebration of the legalization of the same-sex marriage in Ireland.

“I want people to look up at this drawing and find hope.



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