In front of a massive Calvin Klein billboard in Manhattan, Black transgender model, actress and activist Jari Jones popped a bottle of champagne while her own likeness looked down over the city streets. The image of herself she was celebrating is part of Calvin Klein’s 2020 Pride campaign #PROUDINMYCALVINS, which features a cast of nine LGBTQ models including Jones, who identifies as a transqueer lesbian.”It has been such an honor and pleasure to sit in my most authentic self and present imagery of a body that far to often has been demonized, harassed, made to feel ugly and unworthy and even killed,” she wrote on Instagram on June 23.
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There are moments that I heard about, that help you forget when the world told you “Never” !!! . . There are these moments I heard about about that help you heal when the society has tried to beat you down , over and over again. . . There are these very real moments that I heard about that help you feel affirmed even when you don’t see yourself. . . I’ve been searching my whole life for those moments, I got tired of looking for those moments. . . So I decided to create them. Not for me but for the next dreamer, outcast, queer, trans, disabled, fat, beautiful black, piece of starlight waiting for their moment to shine. . . It has been such an honor and pleasure to sit in my most authentic self and present imagery of a body that far to often has been demonized, harassed , made to feel ugly and unworthy and even killed. . . I present this image ,myself and all that my body stands for to my community and chosen family, in hope that they see themselves more clearly than ever and further realize that they are worthy of celebration , of compassion , of love and gratitude. . . – Thank you to @ryanmcginleystudios and the @calvinklein family for a collaboration that will hopefully be a symbol of hope and love during these moments. BLACK TRANS LIVES MATTER!! . . . . #calvinklein #blacklivesmatter #blacktranslivesmatter #transisbeautiful #queer #celebratemysize #actress #honormycurves #pride🌈 #bodydiversity #soho #effyourbeautystandards #curvygirl #curvemodel #influencer #billboard #plussize #plusmodel #influencer #plussizemodel #bodypositive #swimwear #campaign #newyork #melanin #model #ad #sponsored
The other eight models include Brazilian drag queen Pabllo Vittar, trans genderqueer YouTube personality Chella Man, queer pop artist Gia Woods, and “13 Reasons Why” actor Tommy Dorfman, who is gay. The series of pictures and videos were shot by American photographer Ryan McGinley.In 2019, “Pose” actor Indya Moore was chosen to represent the brand’s Pride collection, but this marks the largest casting for a Calvin Klein Pride campaign ever, which also includes a partnership with OutRight Action International and its COVID-19 LGBTIQ+ Global Emergency Fund.
Jones first posted about the campaign on June 19, writing on Twitter: “Today, on #JUNETEENTH2020 a Fat Black Trans Woman Looks over New York.” The campaign comes at a time when Black Lives Matter protests continue around the world, along with demands for anti-racism and less lip service to inclusivity across multiple industries including fashion.Calls to celebrate and protect Black trans people in particular, who are especially vulnerable to discrimination and violence, arose following the killing of Riah Milton in Ohio and Dominique “Rem’Mie” Fells in Pennsylvania in mid June, the same week that President Trump revoked protection for LGBTQ+ people in the US healthcare system. On June 14, thousands of New Yorkers gathered in front of the Brooklyn Museum in a rally for Black trans people.