Generation Genderless - Issue #12

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Generation Genderless
Generation Genderless
Hi - my name is Kris Harrington, CEO and Creative Director of Kris Harring Apparel Group. We specialize in gender-inclusive fashion design and product development.
Generation Genderless is your guide to the top news and insights covering gender equity and society within the fashion industry and beyond.

Industry News
André Leon Talley, Fashion’s Last Great Editor - The New York Times
André Leon Talley was the last great editor of a lost era.
There is a scene early in “The September Issue,” the 2009 documentary about the making of the year’s door-stopper Vogue magazine, that features a meeting between the designer Vera Wang, dressed down in a striped shirt and no makeup, and, like a character from an entirely different movie set, the editor André Leon Talley: very tall, very imposing, in dark glasses, silk tie and bespoke suit, swathed in a mink shawl. They are discussing the state of New York fashion.
“It is a famine of beauty,” Mr. Talley enunciates with an air of great tragedy. In case she didn’t understand the weight of his words, he repeated them: “A famine of beauty.” And again, “A famine of beauty, honey.”
Then, finally: “My eyes are starving for beauty!”
Beauty mattered to Mr. Talley, who for decades was one of Vogue’s — and the industry’s — power players. Since his death on Jan. 18 at the age of 73, that “famine of beauty” line has been quoted again and again in obituaries and in the hundreds of social media posts memorializing his life. In part that is because it is so representative: grandiloquent and absurd at the same time; the words of a diva, uttered at a time when divas were going out of style. But also because it is a reminder of just how much succor can be found in the gorgeously conceived dress, object, apartment, sentence.
Since his death, he has often been called “the only one,” the title of a 1994 profile of him in The New Yorker. Though it referred to the fact that at the time Mr. Talley was often the only Black editor in any given setting, it could just as easily apply to the part he played, both in fashion and in representing fashion to the world.
He was the last of the great pontificating editorial personages, those characters who saw personal style as a kind of religion, the dictats of chic as a catechism, and considered it essential to practice what they preached. Who believed categorically in the virtues of dressing up, rather than down.
It was an archetype rooted in the early days of Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar and embodied by such characters as Carmel Snow and Diana Vreeland, Mr. Talley’s earliest mentor, not to mention the designers he idolized such as Yves Saint Laurent and Karl Lagerfeld. In their wake he arrayed himself in bespoke finery and erudition (he had a master’s degree from Brown and was a voracious reader, often quoting Truman Capote, whom he saw as a kindred spirit) and dared the glossy gatekeepers to bar the skinny kid from Durham, N.C., from the door.
His costumes served to dazzle and distract from just how anomalous he was. But no matter how exaggerated the regalia appeared, it was always rooted in substance: in the idea you could not understand the present without understanding the past and that it was crucial to always do your homework. He knew more about designers’ references than the designers. Knew that the gilt on the top of the Invalides where Napoleon was buried was real gold leaf and the name of Marie Antoinette’s hairdresser. (Marie Antoinette, he once said, was the first fashion victim. (Read More on The New York Times)
Celebrities, Fashion Industry Mourns Manfred Thierry Mugler
Figures like Casey Cadwallader, Riccardo Tisci, Tracee Ellis Ross and others have honored the visionary designer on Instagram.
The fashion world is again in mourning following Sunday night’s news that French fashion designer Manfred Thierry Mugler, known for helping to define 1980s power dressing and creating fantastical celebrity looks, died. He was said to be 73.
His death follows that of André Leon Talley, who passed away on Jan. 18 also at the age of 73. Mugler’s death was revealed on his Instagram account and further details on cause of death were not revealed.
In addition to his power dressing, Mugler’s fashion designs were whimsical and avant garde, with many of the brand’s fantastical looks worn by the likes of Kim Kardashian West, Cardi B, Beyoncé, Demi Moore and many others. In recent years, several of his looks went viral on the red carpet, including the vintage 1995 Venus gown Cardi B wore to the 2019 Grammys.
Celebrities and fashion industry figures have taken to Instagram to honor the late fashion designer. Actress Tracee Ellis Ross shared a video of herself and her mother Diana Ross walking in Mugler’s fashion show in the early 1990s with the caption: “Thierry Mugler was a defining force in fashion. Even his archive collection today seems futuristic. He was a true dreamer. He designed for a future where women were in charge and on top. His clothes were sculptural, sexy and fierce. I remember him as joyous and beautiful. He loved my mother. And allowed me to take part in his incredible world. What an honor it is to have a small piece of history with a true fashion icon.”
There are still size standards that should be met but are not readily available to the public, which is truly a shame. So what direction would we like to see fashion go in the year 2022?(Read More on WWD)
What We Want From The Fashion Industry in 2022 : We Ask Some Of Today’s Rising Influencers To Share Their Thoughts
Fashion is a means of expression that holds no bounds and follows zero rules. It is one of the most visual ways to showcase one’s personality and show it off to the masses. When it comes to the current state of the curve/plus-size fashion industry, it is fair to say that there are more “choices” than ever before, but there is still a long way to go to achieve true inclusivity all across the board.
TCF Style took a moment to ask some of today’s rising curve/plus-size creatives about what they would like to see in this new year.
Photo Credit: www.instagram.com
“I would love to see more ‘High Fashion’ cater to all sizes of Women. The models on the runway, although they push the envelope with being "Plus” size in my opinion, still don’t represent the ‘everyday woman.’
It is important that the fashion industry represents all aspects of the female body, not just the more ‘visually pleasing.’
High fashion, Streetwear, all these categories can still look amazing on various body sizes.
We shouldn’t have to shop for men’s clothing or pay twice the amount to get something that is accessible and cheaper for those who wear smaller sizes.“ (Read More on The Curvy Fashionista)
Will 2022 be the year of legislation for the fashion industry?
Each of the 10 defining themes in The State of Fashion 2022, the authoritative annual report from The Business of Fashion and McKinsey & Company, highlights strategies to safeguard recovery and tap new opportunities for sustainable growth in the year ahead.
As fashion’s superpower brands recalibrate their retail footprints and prioritise environmental and social advancement, 2022 may be the year of legislation, forcing the industry to take responsibilities for its actions. With governments monitoring how fashion businesses operate, unsustainable practices will come with legal and financial consequences.
Digital scrutiny
New European rules will come into effect sometime in 2022, offering consumers protection for making online purchases. These rules take into account that when shopping online, consumers increasingly make purchases outside of their own countries, and that more and more products and services have digital elements. The ‘legal guarantee’ will thus also apply to products with a digital element, such as services and content.
Mandatory human rights, environmental, and good governance due diligence
Last March the EU paved the way with its directive for due diligence and corporate accountability. Penalties will be served if fashion brands are found to cause harm by insuffient due diligence in their supply chains, for example, ensuring no child labour, fair wages are paid and the environment is protected.
In May, the Netherlands Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM) launched investigations into approximately 70 companies in the clothing sector. These companies were being investigated for making misleading marketing claims about the sustainability of their products, otherwise known as greenwashing. For those found in breach of the competition watchdog’s rules, fines up to 900,000 euros or a proportion of company revenue were ordered. (Read More on The Fashion United)
Fashion Tech
The New Technologies Fashion Schools Are Teaching Students
Students are training in 3D design and data analytics as the fashion industry undergoes a digital transformation and readies itself for an increasingly virtual future.
As the fashion industry races into a digital future, the schools training its next generation of workers are hurrying to catch up.
The presence of emerging technologies in fashion curriculums has at times proved scattered and uneven. While there are some schools taking up the challenge, many still have not.
A recent survey found only five of the eight top fashion schools looked at included 3D design — perhaps the most common new skill students are learning — as part of their core curriculum as of October 2021, according to Peter Jeun Ho Tsang, who worked with IFA Paris to create its MBA in fashion tech and is the founder of Beyond Form, a venture studio specialising in fashion and technology that partners with startups to launch their businesses. One of Tsang’s students conducted the research.
The reasons for the delayed uptake of the latest technologies can vary. Some tradition-minded schools can be slow to embrace new ways of working, and cutting-edge tools can require costly upgrades to equipment. Updating a curriculum can be a drawn-out process, not to mention risky if it involves technologies that might become quickly outdated. But a shift may be underway.
Parsons in New York has begun teaching the 3D-design tool Clo3D to all students beginning in their third year after running trial courses in 2019 and 2020. The Institut Français de la Mode (IFM) in Paris said advanced training in Clo3D is now part of its curriculum for all design and pattern-making students as well. It also offers a six-month programme on “virtualizing” the value chain, from material design through marketing, and a master’s degree in fashion management with courses covering data science and analysis.
At IFA Paris, along with training in traditional skills like pattern cutting by hand, first-year students all learn to design digital clothing in tools such as DC Suite. Going into their second year, they cover prototyping — “so 3D printing, laser cutting, body scanning,” said Tsang. The MBA programme, meanwhile, gives students the opportunity to learn programming and artificial intelligence.
“Things are changing — they’re changing quite rapidly,” said Matthew Drinkwater, head of the Fashion Innovation Agency (FIA) at London College of Fashion. “You can see across the scope many schools now beginning to offer courses specifically in digital fashion.” (Read More on BOF)
Rent the Runway Launches Program to Recycle Fast Fashion Garments
The project is part of their “Fast Fashion Free” campaign.
In a new sustainability effort, Rent the Runway is dedicating resources to collect “unwearable” discarded fast fashion items and recycling them during the month of January, according to WWD. Customers in New York can drop off their work clothing at the Rent the Runway flagship store near Union Square. The recycled clothing will be sent to New York-based Green Tree Textiles Recycling and turned into insulation material for new houses and buildings. The clothing rental company also plans to follow this initiative up with other sustainability-focused campaigns throughout the year.
Rent the Runway’s clothing collection drive is part of a new anti-fast fashion campaign they’ve launched called, “Fast Fashion Free.” They’ve partnered with bloggers and public figures who are passionate about sustainability like Intersectional Environmentalist cofounder Leah Thomas, “Seamoss Girlies” podcast host Kate Glavan, Goingzerowaste.com founder Kathryn Kellogg, and The Naked Diaries founder Taylor Giavasis.
Rent the Runway is hoping that starting an initiative like this in the new year will align with people’s own New Year’s resolutions. “This is the ideal time to issue a targeted challenge, asking people to stop buying fast fashion, which we know in large part is fueling rampant overproduction and overconsumption — not to mention knock-off culture — across the industry,” said Jess Burns, Rent the Runway’s senior vice president of brand marketing. (Watch on Teen Vogue)
Sustainability
New York Could Make History With a Fashion Sustainability Act
The state would be the first to pass legislation setting broad sustainability regulations for the industry.
Last September, as New York Fashion Week was taking place for the first time in a year, Kathy Hochul, the new governor, sat front row at the Prabal Gurung show, marking a fresh era in the relationship of the fashion industry and the state government. “This is where all the eyes of the world are when it comes to fashion,” she later told Vogue.
Just four months later, the eyes of the world may open a little wider. On Friday, the Fashion Sustainability and Social Accountability Act (or Fashion Act) was unveiled: a bill that, if passed, would make New York the first state in the country to pass legislation that will effectively hold the biggest brands in fashion to account for their role in climate change.
Sponsored by State Senator Alessandra Biaggi and Assemblywoman Anna R. Kelles, and backed by a powerful coalition of nonprofits focused on fashion and sustainability, including the New Standard Institute, the Natural Resources Defense Council and the New York City Environmental Justice Alliance, as well as the designer Stella McCartney, the law will apply to global apparel and footwear companies, with more than $100 million in revenues, doing business in New York.
That is pretty much every large multinational fashion name, ranging from the very highest end — LVMH, Prada, Armani — to such fast-fashion giants as Shein and Boohoo.
Specifically, it would require such companies to map a minimum of 50 percent of their supply chain, starting with the farms where the raw materials originate through factories and shipping. They would then be required to disclose where in that chain they have the greatest social and environmental impact when it comes to fair wages, energy, greenhouse gas emissions, water and chemical management, and make concrete plans to reduce those numbers (when it comes to carbon emissions, specifically in accordance with the targets set by the Paris Climate Accords).
Finally, it would require companies to disclose their material production volumes to reveal, for example, how much cotton or leather or polyester they sell. All of that information would also have to be made available online.
“As a global fashion and business capital of the world, New York State has a moral responsibility to serve as a leader in mitigating the environmental and social impact of the fashion industry,” Ms. Biaggi said in a news release, calling the law “a groundbreaking piece of legislation that will make New York the global leader” in holding the fashion industry “accountable.” She also said that the act would ensure that “labor, human rights, and environmental protections are prioritized.” (Read More on The New York Times)
Designing a circular fashion system that works for all
The fashion industry is transforming from linear to more circular business models — including repair, recycling, resale and rental — while simultaneously being shaped by macro forces, such as automation and climate disruption.
This transition brings both an opportunity to proactively address the industry’s long-standing labor concerns by designing new business models and a responsibility to ensure that the new jobs created are good jobs.
The significant momentum behind circularity begs the question for both industry and policymakers: How can we leverage this transformation to reimagine and rebuild the global fashion system so that it works for all?
Through Keeping Workers in the Loop (KWIL), we convened over 45 major fashion industry players — established brands, emerging circular businesses, worker representatives, sustainable fashion experts and international institutions — to explore this very question.
Our research uncovered three key findings:
1. As business models change, circularity offers an important opportunity for entrepreneurship and upskilling
Growth and investment in circular fashion signal the significant commercial potential in transforming the fashion industry. For example, just four luxury resale platforms attracted over $134 million in total investment in the 16 months to August. Businesses that offer recycling services, repair, rental or resale platforms are emerging quickly and growing rapidly.
As major legacy businesses seek to adapt, circularity can also provide economic and entrepreneurship opportunities for workers. Our research, in which we surveyed almost 200 workers, suggests significant appetite to engage in and start new circular businesses. In India, 66 percent of workers surveyed, and particularly women, are keen to start their own businesses but feel constrained by lack of investment and business skills. Workers already possess much of the knowledge needed to successfully navigate the transition. For example, informal waste workers understand how garment and textile waste is segregated, processed and reentered into the marketplace.
Jobs in the circular economy require soft skills such as agility, language and business skills, and technical competencies (garment deconstruction). Our research found that both skills (broadly) and training are lacking at all levels of the industry. Equipping diverse groups of workers with the necessary skills and entrepreneurship opportunities can accelerate the creation of a circular and resilient fashion value chain. (Read More on Green Biz.com)
The fashion industry moving towards a circular economy
Do you turn old t-shirts into rags to shake off? Do you try to donate or give away clothes that you no longer fit or that you used only once? You also don’t have prejudices to rent an evening dress or a suit, or even, have you already become a fan of the new second-use stores? Congratulations, you are ready to participate in the circular economy of fashion.
In recent years, the amount of natural and human resources used by the fast fashion industry, those relatively cheap fashion clothes that are designed to last only one season and then be thrown away.
The large chains in this segment expanded worldwide in the last 20 years and contributed to an increase in the production of garments, but also led to a greater generation of waste.
Read also: Circular economy, the “coup de grace” for scavengers
According to the study Circular Business Models, of the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, between 2000 and 2015 the production of clothing doubled, while the period of use of a garment before throwing it away fell 36%.
This caused the fashion industry to generate 2.1 billion tons of greenhouse gases in 2018, that is, 4% of total emissions worldwide.
It is estimated that 70% of gas emissions from greenhouse effect of the fashion industry come from onshore activities, such as sourcing textiles and clothing preparation and processing, for which new ways are urgently needed to de-link fashion industry revenue from the mass production process and the use of natural resources.
In addition, due to low garment prices and economic losses caused by excess inventory, shortages and returns, the profit margins of clothing manufacturers decreased an average of 40% from 2016 to 2019.
This situation was exacerbated in 2020 by the pandemic, since it highlighted the fragility of fast fashion supply chains, since most assembly plants in Asian countries at low cost and their profits collapsed 90% compared to 2019. (Read More on CodeList)
Ambercycle Raises $21.6 Million to Build Circularity Ecosystem in the Fashion Industry
Materials science company Ambercycle Inc. announced today the closing of an oversubscribed $21.6 million Series A financing from H&M CO:LAB, KIRKBI, Temasek, BESTSELLER’s Invest FWD, and Zalando. With this new funding, Ambercycle has raised a total of $27 million in order to develop infrastructure and materials for circularity within the fashion industry.
Environmental and governmental agencies estimate that over 120 billion garments are discarded annually. Ambercycle was founded in 2015 by Shay Sethi and Moby Ahmed with the goal of building circularity for the fashion industry. The company’s breakthrough process, Ambercycling™, separates and purifies post-consumer textile waste at the molecular level to produce regenerated materials that brands and designers can craft into new garments. This simultaneously reduces the materials going into landfills as well as the need to extract finite resources from the planet.
The company’s first solution, cycora®, is a breakthrough material that makes use of old garments by regenerating end-of-life textile waste into new fabrics. cycora® serves as a direct replacement to the tens of billions of pounds of polyester used annually, and emulates the functional characteristics of these conventional fabrics while allowing apparel brands and designers to produce high quality garments with circularity in mind.
“The transition to circularity in fashion is inevitable” said Shay Sethi, Co-Founder and CEO of Ambercycle. “We are building an ecosystem in which materials can exist in harmony with humans and the environment. Our breakthrough molecular regeneration process enables a clear vision for circularity, in which fashion can flow in and out of our lives. Not only will this improve the sustainability performance of the items in our closets, but it builds a new way for us to interact with our materials.” (Read More on Waste360)
Beauty
  • MACHINE GUN KELLY LAUNCHES GENDER-NEUTRAL NAIL POLISH BRAND, UN/DN LAQR: As the world enters 2022, one thing is for certain: gender stereotypes will continue to be challenged and redefined, for better or worse. Hip-hop star turned actor and entrepreneur Machine Gun Kelly appears to be embracing this trend with is new gender-neutral nail polish line, Un/dn Laqr. The cruelty-free and certified vegan line, whose tagline is “self-expression starts here,” is designed for “newbies, creators and non-conformists” according to the brand’s website. The line consists of ten shades, mostly basic matte colors as well as some splatter paint and glitter options and base/top coats. The site also has eight polish sets with suggestions on how to combine several polishes for a specialized look or design. The brand also offers art brushes and other nail art accessories.(The Source)
Data
  • How Identity Shapes Science: A new study of millions of academic papers and the scholars who wrote them finds a connection between lead authors’ racial and gender identities and their research topics—and that underrepresented groups are overrepresented in topics with relatively low citation counts. The study’s authors say these trends limit both individual and scientific advancement. They urge more access to science for nonwhite scholars and women, plus more funding for the research they pursue. If science really was a meritocracy, Monroe-White said, “there would not be a relationship between race and gender, research topic and impact. That there is one demonstrates that advances in scientific knowledge are shaped by socially constructed, nonmeritocratic factors.” As the study notes, “The compound effect of different citation rates of topics and unequal distribution on topics by race and gender leads to negative effects for marginalized groups and for science itself, as some topics become systematically less studied … The diversification of the scientific workforce is necessary to create a scientific system whose results benefit all of society.” Demonstrating how these dynamics hurt science in the long run, the study offers what it calls a “coarse” but striking counterfactual: if the demographics of scientists across fields more closely resembled those of the U.S. population, the last 40 years would have yielded 29 percent more articles in public health, 26 percent more on gender-based violence, 25 percent more on gynecology and gerontology, 20 percent more on immigrants and minorities, and 18 percent more on mental health.(Inside Highered)
  • Students Embrace a Wide Range of Gender Identities. Most School Data Systems Don’t: Back in the fall of 2020, a few staff members from the Philadelphia public school system’s central office brought a vexing problem to Sarah Galbally, the district’s lobbyist in the state capital of Harrisburg. They’d already advanced a local policy aimed at making transgender and gender nonconforming students feel more welcome at school. Those kids now had the right to be addressed by the name and pronouns that corresponded to their gender identity. But the district’s student information system, used to digitally track everything from attendance to grades to class assignments, still forced students to identify as either male or female. And the software couldn’t be altered without first tweaking state guidelines for how schools report information into Pennsylvania’s longitudinal data system—a change that the Republican-controlled Pennsylvania legislature and many of the 499 other school districts in the state, which often serve smaller, more conservative rural communities, were unlikely to support.(Ed Week)
Culture
  • Here’s Why Brands Are Going Gender Neutral in the Kitchen: A man would decide to add kitchenware to the hype-fueled, drop-economy of streetwear. We live in the golden age of collaborations, and brands are melding products to bring together fans across various mediums—specifically, giving common kitchen goods a fresh design twist in an effort to appeal to menswear enthusiasts. High-end home goods that combine novelty and ephemerality by bringing the runway to your kitchen counter have been recurrent for luxury fashion houses in recent years. A few of our favorite decor collabs include the Hermès table collection, the Smeg and Dolce & Gabbana collaboration, and many collections from the late Virgil Abloh’s Off White. But there’s not only high-fashion labels in the mix: Brands like Supreme have also dropped various homeware products, like one with Pyrex. Although these lines and collaborations aren’t overtly masculine, they do follow suit with recent trends of being gender neutral and appealing to a wider range of audiences—drastically different from traditional kitchenware marketing strategies of the 20th century. (Architectural Digest)
  • New law requires gender inclusive signage on single-stall restrooms: It’s now illegal in the state of Nevada for public single-stall restrooms to not be gender-inclusive. “It’s offensive to people who don’t identify in those ways and it’s just kind of like a constant reminder right that they’re not accepted, they’re not safe,” said Susan Johnson. Assemblywoman Sarah Peters sponsored Assembly Bill 280 which passed during the last legislative session. It’s meant to help transgender people, gender non-conforming people and those with disabilities feel safer and more comfortable in public areas. The owner of Bangkok Street said he treats his guests like family, so he’s had gender-neutral restroom signs before it was required. “To me, I treat everybody the same, it doesn’t matter to me male or female, family is most important to me,“ said Jay Khohomklang, Bangkok Street Thai Street Kitchen owner. But not everyone shares that sentiment. Some argue the new law goes against their beliefs. “I think sometimes with certain things their viewpoints they kind of push it on a person and I think the same respect that you want as what your beliefs are, my beliefs are separate,” said Yolonda Anthony, who is against the bill. Regardless of where people stand, it is the law in Nevada. If businesses owners don’t comply, they could be charged with a misdemeanor under the new law.
  • Raleigh mall changes family bathroom to all-gender facility after author denied access: When Devin Pearson pushed the buzzer to use a family restroom at Crabtree Valley Mall this summer, they didn’t think they’d have to wait nearly half an hour, only to end up leaving the mall without being able to use the bathroom. Pearson, who is non-binary and uses they/them pronouns, said a routine trip to the mall in late August left them feeling “personally humiliated” when they were repeatedly refused access to a vacant, single-occupancy family restroom. Mall representatives apologized to Pearson, assuring them days later that the private bathrooms would be made available to anyone who needed them. But Pearson, determined to see a more inclusive policy put into effect, continued to push for a permanent solution. This fall, the mall converted its family restrooms to “all gender” restrooms, replacing signs and taking down security cameras and buzzers. Pearson told The News & Observer the situation was unfortunate but that they were glad the mall listened to their feedback and made their restrooms more accessible. They wanted to share their experience to raise awareness about the need for gender-neutral bathrooms in malls, hotels and other public places. “I think we can definitely be more mindful of those needs, and hopefully this can be a conversation that can start getting those gears going. I sure hope so,” Pearson said. (Rockingham Now)
  • DC Council bill to provide free period products for students: The D.C. Council passed a bill Tuesday to provide free period products at every middle school and high school in the city. Council Member Brooke Pinto, who introduced the Expanding Student Access to Period Products Act of 2021, told WTOP that the products will have to be available in every women’s and gender-neutral bathroom at every public, private and charter school in the District. If a school doesn’t have a gender-neutral bathroom, it will be required to have period products in one men’s bathroom. She said schools will have the flexibility on how many hygiene products to give out and what kind of receptacles they will be held in, but she said schools will be required to replenish the items at a “reasonable rate.” “That’s a similar standard we have with toilet paper in our schools,” said Pinto. “Students are expected, rightfully so, to have access to toilet paper when they use the restroom. And the idea here is that they should absolutely have access to period products as well.” The bill also mandates that all public and charter schools in D.C. begin teaching health classes about menstruation to students starting in the fourth grade, regardless of gender. Pinto campaigned on the issue of period equity and said she’s heard from students who struggled to pay for tampons or pads, with some even missing school because of it. (WTOP News)
  • American figure skater could become 1st out nonbinary Winter Olympian: Timothy LeDuc and their partner, Ashley Cain-Gribble, are challenging figure skating’s traditional gender stereotypes. American figure skater Timothy LeDuc could make history this week.  On Thursday, LeDuc, who uses gender-neutral pronouns, and their partner, Ashley Cain-Gribble, will compete in the U.S. Figure Skating Championships with the hope of securing a spot on Team USA for the 2022 Winter Olympics, in Beijing in February. If they succeed, LeDuc would become the first out nonbinary person to compete in the Winter Games. (NBC News)
GenZ
  • ‘Refusal to engage’: Gen Z sees gap in support of LGBTQ+ rights among faith groups: It’s no secret that the young people born in the late 1990s and the first decade of this century are proving to be an activist generation, taking deeply to heart causes such as Black Lives Matter, gender equity, racial justice and environmental justice. But of the values that they cared about most, a recent report by Springtide Research Institute found, Generation Z believes their faith communities are most falling short when it comes to LBGTQ+ rights. In Springtide’s study, The State of Religion & Young People 2021, the largest gap between what respondents felt “I care” about and “faith groups care” about came in regard to LGBTQ+ rights, showing a 27% difference. Generation Z is coming of age at a time when the majority of Americans support gay rights, about half a decade after the Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage. At the same time, a growing percentage of the U.S. population identifies as LGBTQ+, including one in six Gen Zers, according to a recent survey. In all 71% of Gen Zers told Springtide they care about LGBTQ+ rights. The growing support for LGBTQ+ rights has been occurring among people of all faith groups. A 2018 study from PRRI found that solid majorities of all major religious groups in the U.S. support laws protecting LGBTQ+ people from discrimination. In 2021, hundreds of faith groups and their leaders joined half of Americans in supporting the Equality Act, a bill that would ban discrimination against people based on sexual orientation and gender identity. This message isn’t getting through to Gen Z. When asked if they think faith groups care about LGBTQ+ rights, only 44% of them agreed. (The Religion News)
  • Gen Z fashion trends to look out for in 2022: Gen-Z has always stood out for being the generation to break away from the traditional norms and keep individuality at the centre. This philosophy is also reflected in their fashion choices. With Gen-Z style icons such as Jaden Smith and Billie Eilish shaping up future trends, in 2022, Gen-Z is sure to step out in some of the most unique fashion trends we expect to rise. Bindiya Bhatt, Director – Category, at Myntra, shares some of the most promising trends that we expect Gen Z to flaunt in 2022. Experiments in Color: Gen-Z is more open to experimentation with the colours that they pair. They aren’t afraid of mixing and matching colours that aren’t conventionally worn together to create a unique ensemble that is fashionable and comfortable. Want to don a pair of pink trousers with a bright orange cardigan? Gen-Z wouldn’t shy away from that and neither should you! Turning back to the 90s: Fashion trends come in strong, disappear and then resurface again, and right now, Gen-Z is experiencing all the 90s fashion trends that Millenials swore they would leave behind. With the revival of cut-outs, asymmetric slits, sparkly butterfly clips, tinted sunglasses and skinny baguette bags taking centre stage, Gen-Z is living out the 90s fashion dream, of course, in their own unique way, made popular by popular global trend-setters. Going Fluid: Gen-Z has a more fluid approach to gender than the previous generations, as cultural norms shift and gender fluidity becomes a more recognized concept. Hence this cohort never shies away from flaunting fashion in any way they see fit. Gender-neutral clothing has been gaining popularity over the past few months, and we expect to see significantly more of this trend in 2022. With global brands already hopping onto the gender-neutral wagon, we can expect more brands to also join the gender-neutral hype train in the coming year. (Telaganda Today)
Gender from Around the World
  • ‘Boys and girls have equal freedom’: Kerala backs gender-neutral uniforms (India): It’s break time at Valayanchirangara primary school and the pupils run freely beneath the mango trees and palms. Girls race against the boys, hitching up their knee-length shorts, cargo green for girls and teal blue for boys, as they go. It’s been three years since this small government primary school introduced gender-neutral uniforms for its pupils, and in doing so set in motion a quiet revolution that is now sweeping across the south Indian state of Kerala. “I feel very thrilled and comfortable with the uniform. It’s quite distinct from that of my friends studying in nearby schools. I can play well with this dress,” said 10-year-old Sivananda Mahesh. Inspired by the Valayanchirangara model, more than a dozen schools in Kerala have shifted to gender-neutral uniforms and the state’s ruling Communist party of India has pledged to support the movement being implemented across the state. Several women’s rights groups have also come out in support of the unisex uniform initiative, saying it will help bridge the gender gap. Kerala has India’s highest literacy rate, but there is still a higher literacy rate for men than women and gendered and patriarchal expectations continue to be placed on women in society. However, this initiative to tackle gender inequality at a young age is now facing stiff opposition from a section of Muslim organisations in Kerala, which accuse the schools of forcing western dress on their children and denying girls the right to wear what they deem to be appropriate feminine clothes. (The Guardian)
  • Opinion: I am gender confused (Austrailia): Okay, I’m not actually non-binary. How could I be? It’s not even a thing. In truth, I’m a regular guy who, having endured a torrid 2021 – and survived Christmas alone battling Covid – figured he could do with some love. I got the idea to come out as non-binary last week when I watched in amazement at how it played out for a certain AFLW player. No sooner had the footballer declared their non-binary status on Instagram than they were inundated with thousands of ‘likes’ and hundreds of messages of support – in the off-season, no less! So, I decided I would use this platform to publicly announce my gender confusion and then spend the next few days glorying in the attention. In case you are unfamiliar with how this works, let me lay it out for you. Basically, I tell you that I’m non-binary and you tell me how incredible I am. Don’t worry that there is no such thing as non-binary. And don’t waste time asking why it’s necessary for me to shout my gender muddle from the rooftops. If we all play our part, I get to feel special and you get to feel enlightened. Those are the two outcomes. It’s binary, you see. (Spectator.com)
  • Trans Man From Tamil Nadu Asks For Gender-Neutral ‘Parent’ Tag In Child’s Passport (India): Over the years, gender-neutral norms are becoming an integral part of one’s identity, and they are being accepted by the world slowly and steadily. In light of this, a trans man from Tamil Nadu is fighting to cement his identity in a legally-binding document. On December 13, he filed a petition to the Madras High Court, asking for the non-binary term ‘parent’ to be included in the Indian passports, instead of the gender-specific terms ‘mother’ and ‘father’. A Long-Drawn Battle Tarun* was assigned female at birth, but it was difficult for him to conform. Feeling different initially, it was not easy for him to express himself in front of his family. “From the age of 2, I have always told my mother that I am their son. I came out to them a couple of times, but I was asked to shut out and to look up to my siblings, who have conformed to the assigned gender. Learn something from them,” he shared with The Logical Indian. (The Logical Indian)
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