Me for Me

Charlie Nwoye

From appearance alone, many assume that I identify as a woman. I grew up struggling to accept my nonbinary identity in result of constantly being hyper masculinized due to racism. I went through bouts of hyper masculinity and hyper femininity until I realized I connected to none of it. Working on the Visible project honestly made me feel extremely conflicted. On one hand, I love getting to find different ways of exploring the self. Self expression—especially through fashion—is extremely important to me. However, I feel like I’m just starting to find out who I really am due to being raised in a religious Nigerian household. Living closeted was necessary for my survival and I never truly felt seen. My concept for how I perceive myself was an exploration on a way to express my jumbled personality. The concept for how others perceive me was a play on how I feel like I’m constantly on a stage, performing for others so they perceive me positively. I just want others to see me for me.