MAY COVER MODEL
NO: Can you tell our readers a little about yourself?
HOPE: Well for starters I am 26 years old and I’m from Miami. I am a trans woman of color and an activist who is hell-bent on making sure that women of all kinds, but especially black women are heard in spaces where we are often told that we shouldn’t speak or where our voices are often silenced to compensate for folks who are deemed more important than we are. I do a lot of work around working on myself and finding things in me that I think of this beautiful and unique I learned a long time ago that as a black woman we have to build ourselves up before going into the world and asking other folks to see our magic.
NO: Can you give me six words that best describe you?
HOPE: Leader, vibrant, fighter, stubborn, happy, lover
NO: Define the meaning of beauty in your own words.
HOPE: To me, beauty means being able to see the version of yourself that makes you happiest it’s not always about excepting things as they are but creating the you that you are most happy with.
NO: How can we overcome the current perception of what the media portrays what beauty is?
HOPE: Honestly I don’t think there’s a way to overcome however, I think that being able to create liens of beauty that differ from what we’ve been taught growing up is very possible and to be honest I see it happening every single day when we have different artists and every day people breaking molds and essentially making sure that society and a lot of these major brands in fashion houses understand that beauty goes beyond a size 4.
NO: What are some positive and negative qualities about yourself?
HOPE: I think my positive qualities that I really wanna genuinely help people, but my negative quality is that I want to help people so much sometimes I burn myself out I don’t know the meaning of not really working.
NO: What is the difference between “genderqueer” and “transgender”?
HOPE: Genderqueer is more so A term to describe folks who are androgynous in their presentation or folks who straddle the line and mystify that gray area between the land of masculine and feminine whereas trans folks usually in most circumstances decide on agenda presentation that matches either male or female this isn’t definitive however it’s definitely a majority of what you’ll see when looking at trans folks versus genderqueer folk
NO: Did you received any backlash from friends or family once you transitioned?
HOPE: To be honest I didn’t really receive backlash from anyone I think that there was more so resistance to change. A lot of the people in my life were just very resistant to the idea that I was becoming somebody else and that I essentially was not leaving room for them to debate that with me. There were no conversations; there were no soliloquies is about what I was planning on doing it just happened and they either had to understand it or not.
NO: What should people avoid doing or saying to a transgender person?
HOPE: My golden rule is if you have to overthink it you probably shouldn’t be saying it.
NO: What can the world do to make trans individuals feel more comfortable to be themselves?
HOPE: I think that trans people are comfortable being themselves what the world can do is get comfortable understanding that trans people exist and are cohabitating with them. A lot of folks think that trans people are uncomfortable, but when you pull the veils back it’s really more so about the gays that society has on us and how uncomfortable other people are because of our president, to be blunt, we are not the problem people who see us as a threat are. I think that trans people are comfortable being themselves what the world can do is get comfortable understanding trans people exist and are cohabitating with them.
NO: What is the one thing you would tell a young girl or boy looking in the mirror who is having a hard time with their identity?
HOPE: Take it slow you have your entire life ahead of you to make yourself exactly who you need to be. Don’t rush the process because of social media or your favorite celebrities do it feels right, do your research, and live your life on your terms.
NO: Do you have any other projects coming up that you can tell us about?
HOPE: Actually I’ve started working on my second book and I’m really excited about it and I have a couple of things coming up with my nonprofit organization they allow me to move a little bit later this year but I’m not really sure how things will pan out with the coronavirus in effect.
NO: What is your meaning of a “Luxe Beautie?”
HOPE: A luxe beauty to me is a woman who is empowered and understands that that power comes from a place that you have to dig deep into yourself to find it is not surface it is not palpable to folks who are not willing to do the work and I think that Luxe Beautie is understanding that. A luxe beauty understands that with great power comes great responsibility and she owns that.
NO: What do you want your legacy to be?
HOPE: If I’m honest, I want folks to know that my fight was and is always intersectional. It’s important to me that what I leave behind is a reflection of all the communities I represent and that I love all of the things that have helped to make me who I am. I want them to say “That black woman wanted everyone to win!.”