True LGBTQ stories

Agender person goes from being bullied to gracing the cover of French Vogue

Andre-J

[nmanske]

“Love yourself.”

It seems like a simple-enough mantra, but for Andre J. it took a lot of learning experiences to understand its true power.

After being bullied while growing up in the projects in Newark, Andre moved to Los Angeles to focus on their art. Andre’s unique look and style gained a lot of attention and admiration, earning three appearances on The Tonight Show With Jay Leno and Being Bobby Brown with Whitney Houston.

Andre recalls an epiphany:

I was like, “Oh, my goodness! All of the things that people teased me about or called me names about, or those things that were supposed to be my flaws, were really my strengths!”

Despite the great experience in Los Angeles, Andre decided to move back to New York City. On the flight back, Andre saw a documentary on two-spirits:

[W]hen I saw that, I was like, “Oh, my goodness, so this is not just about ‘gay’ or ‘straight.’ This is really about the spirit of people; this is about the way people feel about themselves.” So when I returned back to New York City, it was just like I had this new idea of life, this new energy, this spice. I decide I’m going to wear a wig and women’s clothes and heels and dresses. When I was doing this in 2005, no one looked like what I was doing.

This is Andre’s true LGBTQ story:

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“I’m from Driftwood,” a collection of “lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer stories from all over the world,” appears weekends on LGBTQ Nation. For more true LGBT stories, or to share your own, visit “I’m from Driftwood.”

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