Introducing dapperQ: transgressing men’s fashion

Margaret Cho and Girlyman’s Young James Dean from dapperQ on Vimeo.

I’m very excited to share with you all this new website, created by Susan Herr with help from Dana Variano, called DapperQ. The tag line is “transgressing men’s fashion.” The site is only a month old, but after poking around and talking with Dana and Susan, it sounds like it’s going to be a resource and community for all the folks out there who are masculine presenting, or want to play with gender norms in fashion or just can’t find their style reflected in the mainstream.
There is an emphasis on the queer community (the original tagline was “queering men’s fashion”) but their mission goes beyond the boundaries of sexual orientation and gender identity.
As a genderqueer person myself, who has serious problems finding clothes that fit my gender presentation and my body, I’m psyched to see a new and well developed resource like this one. The video above is just one example of the content over at dapperQ.
Check it out!
You can also find them on facebook and twitter.
Transcript for the video above after the jump.

Girlyman Video Transcript (Provided by Dana Variano)
Ty Greenstein: I don’t think I’ve ever fit in. I don’t think I really could. Being in a band called Girlyman, and everything like that, it’s just been more and more about being myself and seeing what that looks like. Young James Dean is a song that I wrote the morning after I read a book called The Last Time I Wore a Dress, by then Daphne Scholinski, now Dylan Scholinski. A book about his/her childhood, and basically being sent to mental institutions for being genderqueer. It really influenced me a lot. I sort of got in there, and I finished it before I went to bed, and woke up the next morning and wrote this song.
Nate Borofsky: Margaret [Cho] is making a video for us of Young James Dean.
Ty Greenstein: Margaret’s really active in the queer community, and she really cares about all those issues. I think it really just spoke to her.
JJ Jones: You know, you don’t fit in with who you are, which is a girl, and you don’t fit in with the guy that you’re sort of emulating, so everyone is sort of like, “you’re a freak,” “you’re weird.” But at the same time, you know you’re doing the right thing. There’s this sort of maverick quality, that you’re forging ahead with your own style and what you know is right.
Doris Muramatsu: It’s one of the songs that is the most requested song. I think a lot of people just relate to it. Feeling like an outcast and wanting to fit in, and just wanting to be themselves.
Shana Agid: Every time the energy of it just kind of gets me, and the thing that I love most about it is the way that Ty cobbled it together out of parts of other people’s lives and parts of her own life, and how it kind of takes on this way that that story starts to resonate for so many of us.
Ty Greenstein: There’s lots of different kinds of people in that video, you know there’s butch people, trans guys, people who identify as genderqueer, femme women, transsexuals. So there’s just this huge spectrum of people, so I kind of see them, when they’re lip sinking the words, it’s more like they’re owning that pride/shame/redemption that’s in the song. I think that’s something all of us have experienced.
Doris Muramatsu: I think everyone, in some way, has felt that they don’t fit in. Or that they aren’t accepted for who exactly they are, and kind of has to conform in order to be more normal. I think this song is about being yourself, and not being normal. You know? And having that be OK.
Ty Greenstein: Just because you don’t see a lot of people around you that maybe you identify with right now, doesn’t mean that they’re not out there. And there’s a lot of us.
JJ Jones: If you settle for something, I mean you’re cheating yourself of who you really are. And that’s not a life fully lived.
Young James Dean Lyrics
(written by Ty Greeinstein, performed by Girlyman, © 2003)
In the back of a camouflage truck
They locked me in once with the materiel
I was full of a rage no one could handle
I was a private in the army
All the real girls with their backs turned called me crazy
Called me crazy
I worked for a while at a diner
Manager said I had to wear that little uniform
Said I was part of the problem
But I was in love with that blonde girl
She kissed me twice behind the counter
But when I asked her to get into my car
She called her man, said ‘don’t bother her’
She called her man, said ‘don’t bother her’
I guess I’ll feel less than real all my life
With these feathers I made
Under me lifting me up
But I was a young James Dean
With a way with ladies
All the real boys in their black jeans called me crazy
Called me crazy
Called me crazy
Called me crazy

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