Culture

Here’s Why One Latina Helped To Create A Queer-Friendly Clothing Line With Underwear For Everyone

I first heard about TomboyX from a podcaster who claimed they were the most comfortable, queer-friendly underwear to ever exist. And then my girlfriend bought us a pair of matching holiday patterns, one in bikini and one in boy shorts. I was sold.

Trust, these underwear are already super comfy and make you feel like the most comfortable you you can be. What you’re about to find out about the Latina co-founder, Naomi Gonzalez, and the kind of company you’d be supporting will make you feel like an actual modern day hero. Except you’re sporting heroic underwear under your streetwear.

They have an agenda. It’s not feminist. It’s not gay. It’s human.

CREDIT: “MicroModal Neutrals” Digital Image. Tomboyx. 7 September 2018.

They create bras, underwear, sleepwear and activewear for all bodies, all genders, and basically, just all people. Their definition of good underwear is one that “any body could feel comfortable in, regardless of where they fell on the size or gender spectrum.”

Known as “Fran + Naomi,” these tomboy founders have shaped a company they’ve dreamed of.

CREDIT: “Tomboyx founders: Fran and Naomi” Digital Image. Tomboyx. 7 September 2018.

In an interview with GO Mag, Gonzalez made it clear that what she’s doing is fulfilling an unmet need for the queer community.

“I’m a first-generation Cuban who grew up in New York City. We were working class and my parents always struggled to make ends meet, working all the time. I knew at an early age that I was going to do whatever I could to find a way to fulfill my dreams of doing something different and meaningful with my life.”

Obviously, there’s hella gay pride.

CREDIT: Untitled. Digital Image. Tomboyx. 7 September 2018.

This is literally just the tip of the iceberg. You can choose to have underwear with a white elastic band or a rainbow. You could get them all and just wear what you want depending on the mood.

And TomboyX customers help shape the brand Fran + Naomi set out to create.

CREDIT: @tomboyx / Instagram

In their mission statement, they admit, “In trying to fill a need, we unwittingly unleashed an outpouring of emotion. The comments and conversations, emails and letters that we’ve read from our customers told us long ago that we were onto something bigger. At the heart of it all, we’re still us, the same founders since the beginning, with the most supportive and thought-provoking customers we could’ve ever hoped for. You helped us to create what TomboyX is today. ”

One thing’s for sure: TomboyX is showing us breathtaking beauty we don’t see in the mainstream.

CREDIT: @tomboyx / Instagram
Just follow their social media channels and you’ll feel affirmed in every single way. People all across the gender spectrum, physical abilities, shapes, sizes, skin colors, everyone is proud to wear a brand that is proud to feature people that look like them, like us.

Plus, their values start at the source of production: women-owned factories.

CREDIT: @tomboyx / Instagram

Everything they make is ethically produced and sweat-shop free. They even make frequent visits to their factories across Canada, China and the United States to ensure the conditions align with their values. Those visits are weekly, and even sometimes daily. Their exact words: “We have chosen to work with women-owned facilities, who share our values of taking good care of their workers and reducing their environmental impact.”

Their cotton is completely toxin-free.

CREDIT: @roseybeeme / Instagram

Apparently, it’s all “Oeko-tex 100 certified”—which basically means that it’s top-quality worldwide. If you’re vegan, you might want to avoid the activewear since they use crab and shrimp shells instead of synthetic chemicals to give it a quick-dry, antibicrobial and moisture-wicking properties.

And it’s sustainable for the environment.

CREDIT: @tomboyx / Instagram

Their luxury MicroModal fabric is made out from sustainably harvested and processed Beechwood fibers. According to their values, their “Signature Prints use a water-based, earth-conscious method, recycling water well above the standards required. We are always looking for the greenest, cleanest method for everything we make.”

So go ahead and ditch laundry this week. Shop away. ; )

The staff even takes Earth Day as an excuse to get a little dirty.

CREDIT: @tomboyx / Instagram

“For #EarthDay, we spent some time volunteering in a local park. Check out our story for more and tell us what you are doing to celebrate ????”

Can you spot Naomi + Fran?! Tan cute.

Their activewear has an activist message.

CREDIT: @tomboyx / Instagram

You can also find briefs and trunks that are quick-dry and moisture-wicking, that way you don’t have to have a weird mesh underwear thing that you find in men’s trunks, and you can feel fly while swimming, working out, adventuring, etc.

Oh, and make that statement, mami.

You might have guessed that the brand isn’t afraid to make political statements.

CREDIT: @tomboyx / Instagram

You’d be right. “We stand with the students and supporters fighting to make their communities safer. People have a right to be safe at school, at a movie theater, at a concert, and everywhere else. #EnoughIsEnough Who’s marching tomorrow? ✊????✊????✊????✊????✊????”

The founders marched at Seattle’s Women’s March in support of immigrants.

CREDIT: @tomboyx / Instagram

“What an incredible day. We brought our friends, families, and partners and took to the street in Seattle with many other incredible humans. Let’s keep fighting! #powertothepolls”

And the company made a PSA in support of Puerto Rico, donating $10,000 to relief efforts.

CREDIT: @tomboyx / Instagram

“We’ll be donating 10% of our sales to United For Puerto Rico until we reach our goal of $10,000. As fellow US citizens, as humans, as sisters, brothers, and family, we are called to stand by them.”

Plus, people seem to genuinely feel themselves in TomboyX.

CREDIT: @tomboyx / Instagram

The testimonials are all over the internet, and never have I ever seen such a troll-free, supportive comment feed in all my life. I mean, look at that gorgeous princesa with her cute af teacup and cozy rosy sweater on deck!

Including Vicki Martinez, rising star from “Orange is the New Black.”

CREDIT: @vickimartinez / Instagram

Her and her girlfriend (recognize her as the CO who had crazy PTSD this season?), walked the runway at New York Fashion week this year sporting TomboyX and looking like female warriors.

TomboyX let’s queer people demand to be seen in intimate-wear that actually feels good in our power.

CREDIT: @m00nyeka / Instagram

One very clever Instagram user (@m00nyeka, i.e. muñeca) wrote, “As womxn, we’re fed so many messages that strip away our inner strength, so the times that I get over my nerves, demand to be seen, and then tap into my ancestors and myself to be in my power….it’s surreal.”

Sounds too good to be true? They will also let you try your first pair free.

CREDIT: @tomboyx / Instagram
You can get a full refund or exchange within 30 days, no questions asked. That’s how confident they are in their quality, fit and inclusivity. All their underwear has no back seams, which means the likelihood of a wedgie is nill, and their quality fabrics means they’ll last for a long time. 

“One day I decided to stop apologizing for my body…

CREDIT: @sheisalwaysenough / Instagram

“… I decided that I didn’t have to change in order to be loved and wanted and worthy. I decided that the idea that I could be successful and inspiring just as I am was going to be a reality. I decided that I was going to speak or even yell my truth, and the truth of thousands who are constantly told they aren’t enough. There is so much that makes up the wonderful person that is you than what’s society sees through its distorted eyes. @tomboyxthank you for giving people a chance to make their voices heard, for being so inclusive, and making a new ???? neutrals line that everyone can feel like they are slipping clouds onto their bodies.” -@sheisalwaysenough

The brand just released a neutrals line for all skin tones.

CREDIT: @tomboyx / Instagram

This should not be a game-changer in the industry, but it honestly is. Most neutral underwear you find at Victoria’s Secret is a pretty white. “You are not one thing. You are everything and quite something. #MoreToMe #TomboyXNeutrals”

But they also have some rad prints.

CREDIT: @tomboyx / Instagram

OK, these underwear are not made for dogs and I have questions for the person who plans to wear those underwear at some point. Mostly, “Why?”

TomboyX proves that when Latinas run the show, everybody can feel welcome.

CREDIT: @tomboyx / Instagram

Maybe it’s a gift we have, or maybe it’s the sincere intentionality behind a brand that has taken up the white space in the underwear industry. My fellow gays, we finally have underwear that’s going to celebrate us on literally every single one of their ads.

While I do enjoy TomboyX underwear, this post was not sponsored by TomboyX, though if you’re reading this, Fran + Naomi, you can sponsor me anytime. ;P 


READ: Every Hairy Latina Can Relate To These 7 Stages Of Grief

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Ricky Martin Opens Up On Being A Queer Latino And Talks New Music In Powerful New Interview

Entertainment

Ricky Martin Opens Up On Being A Queer Latino And Talks New Music In Powerful New Interview

Mike Windler / Getty Images

Ricky Martin has long been an international superstar – even long before ‘Livin’ La Vida Loca’ took over virtually every airway in the world. But it’s hard to deny that with that song, the Puerto Rican singer entered the global mainstream and ever since he’s been a pop icon.

From being one of the first major pop stars to publicly come out as gay, to acting in popular TV series, and getting married and becoming a father of four, Ricky Martin has always been a very busy man.

And despite a global pandemic that has forced all of us to stay at home and find a ‘new normal,’ Martin has forged a path forward. He recently sat down for an interview with Billboard to discuss everything from new music, the global Coronavirus pandemic, and his identity as an out and proud gay Latino.

Considering we’re all still living amid a global pandemic, the Billboard interview started on this very relevant topic.

Billboard points out that Martin and his family live in a very big and beautiful house in Beverly Hills, which likely makes staying at home a bit easier compared to the rest of us. However, Martin points out that he has a very loud home – with four kids and his mom all living under one roof. But he admits, “…I am very lucky. I am in a comfortable home where my kids can play.”

Ricky Martin is also working on new music. He released Pausa in May, and now as he works on new music the world is a very different place. He told Billboard: “I started working on my music maybe nine months ago. In my mind, the album was going to be called Movimiento, which means movement. But with all this [pandemic], it just told me… “The way it was, was not working. Let’s do it differently.” I have music with rhythm, but I was not going to tell people to move! So I named it Pausa.”

He also speaks about his close relationship with fellow Puerto Rican, El Conejo Malo.

Shortly after Billboard released its history-making cover with Bad Bunny on the the cover, Martin described San Benito as a “Latin queer icon.” Many people – of all backgrounds – took issue with that. But Ricky Martin tells Billboard that “allies are so important. Without them, our fight for equality is impossible. It really tickles me to see Bad Bunny as a gay icon — just like Cher could be. Why not?”

The Puerto Rican singer shared what his coming out experience was like and reveals he never tires of sharing it.

In the interview, Martin is very open about his coming out as gay. The singer came out as gay in 2010, married husband Jwan Yosef in 2017, and together the couple is raising four children.

Rolling Stone asked Martin, 48, what it was like to remain closeted during “the most public, exposed period” of his life.

“I had moments of extreme positivity, and not so positive [moments],” Martin answered. “Life was a bit on steroids in those days. Everything was really intense, but I could take it! I come from a school of military discipline when it comes to training for music, dance, and acting. I started when I was 12. So for me, it was about not being ready to open [up]. When you open an egg from the outside, what comes out is death. But when the egg opens from the inside, what comes out is life. It’s something that needs to come from within. Every time someone forces someone to come out, what you’re doing is you’re destroying the natural flow of the self-discovery.”

When asked what motivated him to come out publicly, Martin said that a kid somewhere in America needs to see positive headlines about coming out.

“Today I woke up to this beautiful headline that I know someone out there is in need of. The headline was something like, ‘I came out. And ever since I’ve been the happiest.’ Something like that, something… My heart is beating faster because I know today a kid somewhere in America woke up needing to hear those words. A lot of people say they get tired of talking about the same thing. Why would I? Are you kidding me? For so many years I had to keep it inside. And then the effect of someone… What people are getting from it in their healing process?”

Billboard also asked Martin his feelings on how the media is profiting and accepting Puerto Rican and Latinx culture.

When asked if he feels that the American media has gotten better or more open to understanding Puerto Rican culture, Martin responded: “We certainly have a long way to go, but the important thing is that we see that there’s an audience that is interested. And it’s up to us to bring [the] education.”

And he’s absolutely right. This year has seen several Latino artists rise to the top of all sorts of charts. Bad Bunny and J Balvin are among the most streamed artists globally and Bad Bunny is one of the most streamed artists on YouTube as well.

Meanwhile, Maluma and Jennifer Lopez are working on a film that will be out early next year. The Emmy’s, VMAs, and other award shows finally had decent representation of artists of color – particularly among the Latinx community.

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The Pope Tells Parents of LGBT Children That ‘God Loves Your Children As They Are.’

Things That Matter

The Pope Tells Parents of LGBT Children That ‘God Loves Your Children As They Are.’

Pope Francis is, once again, making headlines for his progressive views on contemporary issues. Since his election to papal office in 2013, Pope Francis has largely been considered open-minded due to his comparatively laid-back stances on controversial topics like divorce, climate change, and LGBT issues.

On Thursday, the Jesuit publication American Magazine reported that Pope Francis recently told the parents of LGBT children that “God loves your children as they are.”

via Getty Images

According to the publication, the Pope was having a dialogue with the parent of a lapsed-Catholic gay child who had left the church because “he did not feel accepted in his diversity”. The woman, whose name is Mara Grassi, is the Vice President of an association called “Jonathan’s Tent,” which “welcomes and provides information and formation to L.G.B.T. Christians, their families and pastoral workers.”

Before describing her interaction with the Pope, Grassi explained her journey as a Catholic parent of a gay child to American Magazine. “For many years I was like a blind person,” she said.

“After I came to know that my son was homosexual, I suffered a lot because the rules of the church made me think that he was excluded from the love of God. Nobody helped me,” Grassi added.

via Getty Images

It was only when Grassi attended a Catholic vigil against homophobia and connected with other parents of gay children that she realized that “faith and homosexuality are not in opposition” and that “God loves my son as he is.” And according to this most recent report, the Pope’s opinion seems to be in accordance with Grassi’s beliefs.

Grassi told American Magazine that she told the Pope she wanted to “create a bridge to the church so that the church too can change its way of looking at our children, no longer excluding them but fully welcoming them.” It was in response to this statement that the Pope told her: “The church loves your children as they are because they are children of God.”

According to the same report, before he left, Jonathan’s Tent gifted the Pope a rainbow-colored T-shirt with the words “In love there is no fear” written across the front.

Considering the Catholic Church’s traditionally conservative stances on gay issues, the Pope’s statement was surprising to many. In the past, the Catholic Church’s stance has been that homosexuality is “intrinsically disordered” and “contrary to natural law.”

The Pope himself also has a complicated track record on gay rights, implying that gay marriage “threatens” the “very institution of marriage”. However, he has also previously expressed sympathy and modest support for people in the queer community as well as their loved ones, saying “If they accept the Lord and have goodwill, who am I to judge them?”.

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