Rye Silverman

Modcloth spotlights transgender comedian Rye Silverman

Rye SilvermanSince I outgrew my stars and stripes two-piece that I wore pretty much every day of the summer when I was 8 and 9, I’ve never found a bathing suit that made me feel comfortable and fabulous and willing to be photographed. Which means that, for 15 years, any time I was at the beach or the pool, I wasted a lot of that precious time worrying about how I looked in my swimming costume. And then I found this little number, from ModCloth. It’s the first cossie I’ve had since puberty that has made me love the walk from the towel to the pool. That little stretch of poolside used to feel like it was happening in agonizing slow motion. Now I don’t care if it’s in slo-mo, because I feel like a goddamn rockstar when I do it.

That was enough for ModCloth to win my love. Then, they started featuring plus-size clothes and actual plus-size models modeling them, and started normalizing the racial and ethnic mix of its models. And then, this week, it took the next step in #doingitright, featuring trans comedian and stylista Rye Silverman, interviewing her, photographing her modeling their clothes, and naming a dress after her.

In the interview, Rye talks about growing up queer in Ohio, her preferred pronouns, and, of course, her style, which she describes as, “a quirky or edgy twist on vintage.” When asked to name one thing that people should know about the trans community, or about her experiences as a trans-identified person, and she uses it as an opportunity to push back on the idea that there’s just one thing to know:

There isn’t one single driving narrative for transgender people. We come in a wide assortment of experiences and flavors and trying to force us all into one box of treatments or mentalities can be pretty destructive. Trans people, especially trans women of color, are severely targeted for violence and hatred, so there’s a great need for support, understanding, and compassion that is still sorely lacking. I think people need to let go of the idea that they have to fully understand trans identities in order to have support and compassion, but we’re literally dying while you try to figure it out.

What Rye said. You should read the rest of the interview here, and listen to some of Rye’s comedy here, and if you haven’t found the style that expresses who you are yet, you should keep looking for it, and when you find the bathing suit that makes you feel good enough to stop wasting your precious time hating your body at the beach you should rock that shit like the slow motion rockstar that you are.

Photo via

New York, NY

Chloe Angyal is a journalist and scholar of popular culture from Sydney, Australia. She joined the Feministing team in 2009. Her writing about politics and popular culture has been published in The Atlantic, The Guardian, New York magazine, Reuters, The LA Times and many other outlets in the US, Australia, UK, and France. She makes regular appearances on radio and television in the US and Australia. She has an AB in Sociology from Princeton University and a PhD in Arts and Media from the University of New South Wales. Her academic work focuses on Hollywood romantic comedies; her doctoral thesis was about how the genre depicts gender, sex, and power, and grew out of a series she wrote for Feministing, the Feministing Rom Com Review. Chloe is a Senior Facilitator at The OpEd Project and a Senior Advisor to The Harry Potter Alliance. You can read more of her writing at chloesangyal.com

Chloe Angyal is a journalist and scholar of popular culture from Sydney, Australia.

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