Trans and queer narratives have long been told by people outside these communities. This reality has led to queer and trans stories being portrayed in ways that lose the nuance of the lived experiences. It’s more than just how the stories are told; it is also about how queer and trans people are portrayed in photos. Music star Villano Antillano recently experienced this from Glamour España, and she was not quiet about it.
Transitioning is one of the most personal and physically demanding things trans people can experience. It is a chance to finally live with a body that represents the gender they have always been internal. Visual portrayals can be heartbreaking and frustrating when they don’t align with that identity.
“Today, I want to talk about how cis people seek to control the narrative and image of the trans movement to perpetuate stereotypes and violence,” Antillano wrote on Twitter in Spanish regarding the publication. “The photos used in this post are NOT photos I’m comfortable with; I expressed it well in advance, and they decided to ignore me.”
The music artist was open about the pain she felt when she saw the photos selected. According to her tweets, several other images were flattering and made her happy, but, somehow, the photos used were not among those. “They opted for the most unfavorable ones where the angles make my jaw stand out more, make me look wider,” she tweeted. “They chose photos where I look like what it means to be trans from the cis-hetero lens.”
She added that the person who selected the photos is “someone who is not queer, is not trans, and surely does not understand all the intersections that my identity holds.”
Despite the frustration over the wrong photos being used, Villano Antillano didn’t want the entire experience to be soured and concluded her thread by thanking the journalist who interviewed her and applauding the space she gave her in telling her story.
“Having said this, I thank the great journalist who interviewed me with tact and affection; read that writing because, as usual, I spoke from the heart, and we had beautiful moments that deserve to be deepened by you,” she wrote in Spanish. “But one thing is one thing, and something else is something else.”