Entertainment

A Model Who Worked For Rihanna’s Fenty Line Tried To Cover Up Her Transphobia By Saying She Was Trans

In a bizarre and confusing story, Carissa Pinkston, a model who previously with Savage x Fenty and Marc Jacobs, has finally admitted to lying about being transgender. The 20-year-old model, who rose to prominence modeling for high-profile brands now says she is taking “full responsibility” for what she said. 

The saga started earlier this year when a former high school classmate retweeted screenshots of transphobic comments Pinkston made on Facebook.

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@miumiu #resort2019 on @cisforcarissa #miumiu #carissapinkston

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On her personal Facebook page, Pinkston allegedly had posted statements such as “being Transgender does NOT make you a Woman. It makes you simply Transgender” and “In a biological context there are Males and Females. This is the world in 2019”. According to Buzzfeed, a former classmate shared the images after finding the statements “utterly disappointing”. 

After Pinkston’s comments went public, Pinkston was dropped from Elite Model Management, the modeling agency that represented her. She faced widespread criticism online as fans and internet-users grappled with her transphobic comments. 

Things got even more complicated when Pinkston took to Instagram to “come out” as transgender after being fired from her agency.

Her statement read:  “I wasn’t ready to come out about it yet but today I got fired and I’ve been receiving hate mail and death threats ever since so I’m being forced to tell the truth. I’m transgender. I transitioned at a very young age and I’ve lived my life as a female ever since. It’s been very hard to keep this secret but what I said about Trans-Women is a direct reflection of my inner insecurities and I have come to realize that I am a woman… WE ALL ARE!”. She captioned the statement with a heart emoji and hashtagged it #lgbt. 

But, people who had known Pinkston all her life came forward claiming that Pinkston was not, in fact, transgender. 

One former classmate said she was “appalled” that Pinkston lied about something “so sensitive” and that she did so to cover up her own history of transphobia. 

When the news broke that Pinkston was lying about being transgender, this time the backlash was sharper and more widespread than before. Fellow models took to Twitter to publicly criticize her for co-opting the identity of such a marginalized group in order to gain clout. Followers of her Instagram expressed their disappointment in her. 

After the controversy reached a fever pitch, Pinkston claimed in an interview with Buzzfeed that she initially lied about being transgender because she was receiving death threats.

“People don’t know the entire story,” Pinkston said. “Everyone was saying my original comment was transphobic, but you can’t expect everyone to know everything about a culture or movement if they never have taken the time to be fully educated on it”. She added that she was “not transphobic” and only lied because she “panicked”.

“The only reason I had lied was because of the death threats,” said Pinkston. “And I was scared, so I thought they would accept me only if I said I was trans”. 

But Pinkston doubled-down on her claim that she was part of the marginalized group, saying that she “felt like a trans person” because she was “really bullied” in high school.

“I know what it’s like to be bullied and picked on for being different. And I wanted to fit in a community,” she said.  “Just in that moment, I didn’t know what to do”.

Unsurprisingly, people online are not happy with Pinkston having appropriated a trans identity to avoid criticism for her transphobic comments.

It’s one thing to be bullied in high school and feel isolated because of it. It’s another thing to be the bully and then claim victimhood as a form of protection from (warranted) criticism. 

This person summed-up our thoughts towards this whole mess perfectly:

“Yikes” is right. We’d venture to say that Pinkston has a lot more learning to do–not just about the trans community, but about how to humble yourself and apologize without going into defense. 

The frustration is real. There are so many other ways to use your mistakes as a learning opportunity. Instead, Pinkston used it as an opportunity to lie and co-opt a movement. 

This Twitter user recognized the shaky defense of aligning yourself with a marginalized community because you were “bullied in high school”.

That’s not how this works…That’s not how any of this works!

This Twitter user made a really good point of how Pinkston took advantage of a community that faces discrimination from people like herself:

It really is offensive to all of the activists and organizers who have worked so hard to establish rights for themselves. 

Gender Is So Last Year And These Celebrities Know How To Expertly Play With Gender

Entertainment

Gender Is So Last Year And These Celebrities Know How To Expertly Play With Gender

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Non-binary individuals, also known as genderqueer, encompasses a spectrum of gender identities that escape the traditional definitions of masculine and feminine. In short, their gender identity falls outside the man/woman gender binary, outside cisgender paradigms (cisgender refers to a person whose personal identity and gender both correspond to their birth sex). For years, genderqueer folks were forced to live in the shadows, either due to conservative social norms or due to lack of awareness of this identity.

Recently, a group of celebs have come out as non-binary and we think that’s fabulous. We can think, for example, of Australian model Ruby Rose (remember their steamy affair with Piper in “Orange is the New Black”? Just this month “Queer Eye”hairstylist extraordinaire Jonathan Van Ness came out as non-binary. He told OUT magazine: “The older I get, the more I think that I’m nonbinary — I’m gender nonconforming. Like, some days I feel like a man, but then other days I feel like a woman. I don’t really — I think my energies are really all over the place. Any opportunity I have to break down stereotypes of the binary, I am down for it, I’m here for it. I think that a lot of times gender is used to separate and divide. It’s this social construct that I don’t really feel like I fit into the way I used to. I always used to think ‘Oh, I’m like a gay man,’ but I think any way I can let little boys and little girls know that they can express themselves and they can like be.” This pretty much sums up what genderqueer identity is all about.

Because we celebrate identities of all forms, here are some genderqueer POC stars that make us proud and happy! Some of them have identified as genderqueer while others have broken the paradigms of cisnormativity. Bien por ellos, muy bien!

Rico Dalasam, the Brazilian rap dynamo

This Brazilian rap artist and former hairdresser has taken his genderqueer identity to powerful lyrics of political resistance. He told Vice: “All the marginal communities I’m a part of—young, black, gay—all of these identities are forced to be ashamed by the oppressor. But I’m the potential of resistance.” With a career that started in 2014, Rico Dalasam has achieved success thanks to his high couture looks and remorseless combative attitude.

Bad Bunny, the boricua marvel

Bad Bunny wears long nails and jewelry that would commonly be associated with a feminine aesthetic. As we have reported, he is unbothered by those who criticize his non-binary moda. He identifies as a straight man but finds inspiration in the queer community. He has talked about his fashion choices in a GQ interview: “There’s people that appreciate what I do; there’s people that criticize it,. There’s people who say, ‘Thank you for sticking up [for us], thank you for defending [this].’ There’s others that say I’m an opportunist.” Be what it may, Bad Bunny is challenging the role of masculinity in urban culture and in a musical genre, reggaeton, that is often criticized for its often sexist lyrics.

Valentina, global drag phenomenon

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“I identify as nonbinary,” Valentina told Out in an interview. “I don’t completely feel like a man, I don’t completely feel like a woman. I feel like a goddess. I feel like I’m my own gender.”

The “RuPaul’s Drag Race” superstar is one of the most recognizable faces in the drag world. We are so proud of the Latino representation Valentina has been able to bring to the drag world.

Aja, bruja extravaganza

Aja’s experience coming to terms with her gender identity was a long one.

“When I was 18, I actually lived as a trans woman for almost a year,” Aja told Them. “I thought I was trans, and then I learned through the education of the queer community about being non-binary, genderqueer, and all these different [identities]. I realized that I do feel like a woman, but I feel comfortable in my body. I don’t feel the need to change anything. I don’t feel the need to appear more feminine to society’s standards.”

Amandla Stenberg, from “The Hunger Games” to queer advocate

This amazing African-American young actress openly uses they/them as pronouns. She came out as non-binary on Tumblr (before she came out to her family!), by writing: “I honestly don’t know… I mean they/them makes me feel comfortable but I know that the media and the general populace that follows me will critique it/not understand which makes me feel sad and almost more uncomfortable. So I guess she/her for now”. Not in the cisgender closet anymore, dear Amandla! 

Liniker Barros, the Brazilian soul star

Samba and Latin rhythms find a nice home in the tender voice of this musical prodigy. Liniker is the lead singer if the band Liniker and the Caramelows, and many of their lyrics focus on the joy and tribulations of those who are not cisgender. They told the Spanish newspaper El Pais: “Why should I wear jeans and a T-shirt and present myself as just a voice? My body is political. I need to show my audience what I’m living.” Liniker is well aware of the fact that they represent a wider community. They told Now: “[My] visibility as a singer helps me occupy spaces that aren’t the usual ones for trans women. That representation is so important. Brazil remains a very transphobic, chauvinist, racist country, with a lot of hate speech. When a trans woman takes the stage, that alone is political.”

Angel Haze, rapping for freedom

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on my way to drop the album

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Born Raykeea Raeen-Roes Wilson, this rap artist identifies as pansexual and agender. Angel Haza has said: “I sound like four people when I get written about as ‘they.’ It drives me crazy. If you call me ‘him’ or ‘her’ it doesn’t matter to me. I don’t consider myself of any sex. I consider myself an experience.” Quite an interesting and revolutionary approach! Angel Haze used to date Ireland Baldwin, the daughter of Kim Basinger and Alec Baldwin. 

READ: Marvel Is Bringing More LGBTQ Characters To The Universe

Ritchie Torres Is Poised To Become The First Out Gay Afro-Latino In Congress After Primary Win

Things That Matter

Ritchie Torres Is Poised To Become The First Out Gay Afro-Latino In Congress After Primary Win

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Primary elections in New York this week ushered in new politicians poised to make history. One of those people is Ritchie Torres, an out Afro-Latino gay man who won his primary for New York’s 15th District.

Ritchie Torres won his primary challenge for the 15th congressional district of New York.

New York City Council Member Torres defeated Rúben Diaz Sr. last night. People are celebrating the victory because Torres, who is openly gay, was running against a very problematic reverend. Diaz, who is also a New York City council member, has billed himself as the opposite of AOC and holds a very conservative view on various social issues.

Diaz has voted against same-sex marriage and routinely speaks out against abortion. One time, according to CBS News, Diaz claimed that the city council was being run by the “homosexual community.”

The fight is not over for Torres.

The council member still has to make it through the November election. He will be running against Republican Orlando Molina in November. However, people are celebrating the historic vote that could put the first-ever openly gay Afro-Latino person into Congress.

New York’s 15th District is called the bluest district in America. That is why someone who supports Trump, opposes abortion, and has a homophobic past leading the field was so shocking to many. The Pentecostal minister made headlines when he refused to resign from the city council after his comments about the “homosexual community.”

Praise and support for Torres came flooding in on social media from fellow Democrats across the country.

Torres’s victory over Diaz is a welcomes outcome for many in the Democratic party. Some feared what Diaz would do to the party when in office considering the clear opposition to Democratic causes, especially considering the hyper-partisan nature of the current Congress.

It was a truly historic night in politics thanks to the people running and the voters.

There were several seats last night that have started to better reflect communities in the district. African-American and Latino candidates won decisively in various districts leading to what could be a more diverse and progressive Congress.

Congratulations to all of the winners during yesterday’s primaries.

READ: AOC Wins Primary Election In New York In Run For A Second Term In Congress