Hellvetika is a Brooklyn-based drag queen who is known for her creative and unique aesthetic, which features a beard and quite a lot of body hair.
“I’ve never really thought of my drag as challenging gender boundaries, it’s never been my goal or even a factor when deciding my style,” she tells us. “I just dress up the way I think looks best and use elements I like regardless of what gender it’s associated with. I think a beard can totally look fierce and beautiful if done in the right way, same with a hairy chest or muscles. To me, it’s all about the silhouette it makes and the overall feeling you get from the visual.”
“I like a lot of drag that exists almost totally outside gender, like Hungry, Ryan Burke, or Chris of Hur from Brooklyn. It just feels like artful aesthetic decisions based on instinct and taste.”
With the caption titled “Why I don’t identify as genderfluid even though I fit the description,” she responded, “I also do not feel ‘male’ nor ‘female,’ but I don’t bother to mention this because since on a daily basis I present how I was assigned at birth, and I don’t experience body dysphoria, I essentially only have things to GAIN from identifying as trans and would get NONE of the bad aspects and I am not morally okay with that.”
She continues: “I wouldn’t be harassed or unsafe in public, I wouldn’t be judged or stereotyped in the way transgender appearing people are, I wouldn’t have to deal with hormones and surgeries and a shit ton more stuff. The whole thing feels like coopting the trans experience for personal gain, the gain being that social justice people disregard the opinions of cis people when it comes to online discussions in 2017, social clout and separating yourself from cis people and cis guilt even though you benefit from ALL the social structures they do.”
We asked Hellvetika what her initial reaction to Smith’s post was. “It was a bit of an eye roll since he’s not the first to come out with this sort of thing in recent years,” she admits. “Miley Cyrus did it a few years ago as well. I understand the feeling of not wanting to be limited by gender and expressing yourself but my final thought is its actually supporting the gender binary by saying you essentially can’t have heels without being at least partially a woman.”
Hellvetika feels that when these celebrities come out with these type of omissions, it distracts from the transgender community who are really experiencing challenges when it comes to their perceived gender.
“I feel it takes away from the experience of trans people who have dysphoria. I know a lot of people are now saying you don’t need dysphoria to be trans but I just don’t agree. Without dysphoria, what is even wrong? Everything that’s not body dysphoria is just societally learned.”
Hellvetika ended her post on social media saying that Smith and others are giving too much power to the clothes we wear on our backs.
“Furthermore, being comfortable in men and women’s clothes is not a sign of being transgender, liking heels is not a sign of being transgender, not liking makeup doesn’t make you a man.”
“These are gender stereotypes that actually uphold a binary and instead of saying that being able to wear a dress without being uncomfortable means you must be genderfluid, we should realize that it’s not normal for anyone to feel uncomfortable based on the shape of a piece of fabric on your body and it’s all LEARNED from society and can be dismantled.”
Why I don't identify as genderfluid even though I fit the description. pic.twitter.com/ojAyfyFa2I
— Hellvetika ヘルベチカー (@HellvetikaQueen) October 23, 2017