JUSTIN HAINES & CAROLINE PHILIPS
SECTION OF THE DRESS: Our identity
Married non-binary couple Justin and Caroline reflect on important parts of their identities.
My piece reflects my non-binary gender fluid identity. The figure reflects male and female energies. The non-binary colour is yellow. I have represented the spirit energy with the colours of the trans flag. White with flecks of blue and pink. Being a non-binary person with a more female energy I wanted to convey although I am happy with my male anatomy I do feel the divine feminine within me. This energy is powerful. I inhabit the physical form of a white male but that's just what the world sees.
I added the red ribbon motif to symbolise my HIV positive status. There is a fear from most HIV positive people about disclosing their status. The word 'stigma' is commonly used. I have lost friends who couldn't live with the stigma. It's time for me to stand up and say 'look at me, I'm living with HIV and you know what I'm doing well'. U=U mean's undetectable means untransmissible. If you are on medication, you can't infect anyone else. That gives us hope.
My robot image illustrates my practical approach to my day to day activities. As a teacher I’ve had to be systematic in order to organise lesson activities, resources whilst thinking of the needs of the students.
Additionally, I feel I’ve never identified with binary expectations, and this has made me feel robotic in my identity as a non-organic existence frees one from identifying as a gender.
The bear element however interesting contrasts with this thinking. Looking at Kawaii imagery brings me joy, it’s an escapism from the ‘grey’ elements that the world has the ability to project.
As a child I would think, ‘wouldn’t it be lovely to live in Technicolor’.
Interestingly always joke with my colleagues, ‘if it’s an inanimate object but has a cute face it probably belongs to me’!
If you would like to contact/commission Justin or Camila, please connect with them on Instagram: www.instagram.com/justinstylefashionista