Here’s something I wonder about: I love Andrej Pejic. He’s gorgeous and brave and it is nice to see that although he’s still somewhat sensationalized, he has been able to make it big as a model with a nonbinary gender, doing shoots in clothes designed for women despite the male gender society assigned him at birth. It is great that our society has moved to the point where it allows this to happen.
But the other thing is that Andrej Pejic still passes as a beautiful, skinny, feminine, white woman. He has all the traits the media assigns to what they overwhelmingly call ‘beautiful women’. It seems that this is the only way his nonbinary existence has been allowed to become popular. And it makes me sad that despite his success, I doubt I will ever see a nonbinary or trans* model who doesn’t look like the stereotypical model of their preferred gender, or even one who does but happens to be a person of color.
Having Andrej Pejic in the public eye, consistently challenging conceptions of gender (as well as showing that just because he was AMAB and likes wearing female clothing doesn’t necessarily mean he is trans* or has any desire to transition) is wonderful. I hope it changes something. But white people can stop patting themselves on the back for being so inclusive with Pejic when even this lone example doesn’t deviate too far from the norms we already see.