The Queer Black Italian Experience

Thoé Eze 19 , Singer / Model, Reggio Emilia
Thoé Eze 19 , Singer / Model, Reggio Emilia
Thoé Eze 19 , Singer / Model, Reggio Emilia
Thoé Eze 19 , Singer / Model, Reggio Emilia

Thoé Eze

19 , Singer / Model, Reggio Emilia

He/Him

« My name is Timothy, but I go by Thoé. I’m someone who’s always considered himself a lover of art in all its various forms. I like to think of myself as a part of it and it as a part of me which has really helped me on my journey through everyday life in Italy. Being black and queer in Italy is like waking up everyday with two stamps on your forehead, which oftentimes makes you a target, but ultimately I think of it as a fortune, especially when I acknowledge that those stamps are only put on you by society through the fears of ignorant people. 

My coming to terms with this is a personal journey that I've been on from childhood until now that I get through by acknowledging that the “me” of yesterday will never be the “me” of today nor the “me” of tomorrow because I am constantly on the quest to evolve. 

 I remember when I was little I used to often dress up as the character Zorro who carries a cape. I thought of the scarf that I would wrap around my head as the cape of a knight but I also imagined it as the long hair of a woman. I remember not being afraid to be seen in such a feminine light, but somewhere along the way I lost this part of myself to teen hood, and began to suppress anything that would allow me to be associated with the opposite gender out of fear of judgement. As I grew I became more aware of the person I am, and came to the understanding of how important it is to allow myself to be myself.  

Just a week ago an old lady stopped me pleasantly intrigued by my long dreadlocks, complimenting me she said “you’re a really beautiful girl.” The “me” of 5 years ago would have been offended and died of embarrassment, but the “me” of a week ago smiled and thanked her while informing her I was a boy to which she responded saying “well either ways you are beautiful.”  

The case of discrimination in Italy is always driven by a widespread fear , but if for once instead of being frightened by what seems new to their eyes, they would observe in a less superficial manner like this woman, they would come to develop a more sincere appreciation. This is how I think of it, not as a me problem but rather as a them problem, which I have to be aware of. It is a bit like having two precious stones in my hands and having to somehow protect them from those who want to deprive me or diminish their value. » - @theomusic 

 

Creative Direction by Jordan Anderson
Photography by Silvia Rosi
Photo Assistant Gabriele Cialdella
Styling by Thais Montessori Brandao
Hair by Latoya Amsdorf
Makeup by Manuel Montanari 
Set Design by Davide Ladini
Movement Direction by Macia Del Prete
Production by nss factory 

 

 

Nnamdi Nwagwu

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