Photos by:Jason Frazee and Paula "Luv" Kasun
Photos by:Jason Frazee and Paula "Luv" Kasun
Miss Paula Luv Kasun
They could care less you know what gender I was born. They look at me like any other pin up.
PRIDE means different things to different people in the LGBTQ community... This amazing photo captured by my friend Jason Frazer portrays perfectly what it means to me.
It doesn’t mean I force anything about myself on anyone, it means I refuse be told who I should be by them. It means that I will not be bullied.
And it means that I need the approval of NO ONE.
I understand there's always people that mumble under their breath when you walk by. You know there's always people they give me the side eye. And then there's lots of people that come up and like ‘I think it's so great that you have the confidence to compete on the stage,’ you know.
I kind of had this eye for rockabilly style clothing. And this one particular trans girl kind of took me under her wing when I decided that I was going to go out. We are very, very close friends. She actually was really super into the rockabilly style clothing also. And so I really kind of tried to pattern a lot of what I did after her in the beginning stages . . . And I became friends with a couple of people that are in the pin up community. And some of them wanted to do a photo shoot. I thought it would be really fun. I wanted to do a traditional style pinup shoot.
Photos by:Jess W, Photography and<Maggie Mae
When I refer to pin up community I’m generally referring to models if you will or people who dress and do shoots and participate in events. And among among those individuals I've experienced nothing but a very positive reception. And I think that there are certainly feelings of people being inclusive and accepting of various body types, races, and so far in my experience gender expression hasn't been an issue either.
I have five older sisters. I'm the youngest in the family. I first started kind of exploring playing around in some of their things whether they were dress up clothes in our basement or whatever as early as 4 and have kind of been very various stages of being active in cross-dressing since I was that age. About 10 years or so ago doing going out to clubs and things in public. I performed in drag for the first time just back in early March . It was sort of a bucket list thing for me.
My practice has really been to try to create the most passable presentation that I can. I wish there was more in the drag community of what I sort of remember seeing before — whether it was in magazines or old film footage or whatever — of people that identified themselves more as female impersonators than drag queens you know.. . . It's sort of not the prevailing way that people do drag anymore. When I'm performing in drag, I probably I sort of stand out in that way because not many people who perform approach it that way anymore.
Somebody who's a genetic female can very easily put together a summery pin up look that you're wearing on really hot days outside And it works out ok. In my case, I've got all sorts of layers of shapewear and wig and very heavy makeup and usually sometimes in the summer I'll go two or three months at a time without doing any of that at all. Just because it's just not pleasant to do. It’s not a lot of fun.
Miss Blessed Jess
I’ve always loved the vintage look. It's just the look of it's just — it's classy, it's feminine.
You get to be free in yourself.
Some of the trans community here are really good but I found the vast majority of them are, 'You must live this way. This is the only way you can be.' You must fit into this category and if you don't you're not part of the trans community . . . Whereas the pin up community has been, it’s a very broad spectrum of what the pin up community is. There’s different looks, different things, different feel, different vibes but it all kind of meshes together.
My whole life I knew something was different. My whole life I always associated more way more with female friends. For the most part I've mostly had more female wants and needs of activities . . . I've always felt like I should have been a girl. I remember you know at the ages of four and five and and you know wondering why I didn't get a doll for Christmas or all that stuff and I got this car that I didn't really want. So it's been it's been a bit of a struggle.
I posted a few pictures to a couple of the local pinups that I've chatted with in the last couple of years. And they're like no no it's beautiful. I'm like I just don't see it. And one of them posted to a local group for the local pinups up here. And I had overwhelming comments and likes and shares and messages coming from people I've never even talked to. Of how good I look and how well I presented. And I’m like wow. You know they've just been a very welcoming community. Very encouraging, ‘Don’t worry about what other people come to think, just come out and hang out with us.'