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7 Australian creatives show us their gender euphoria outfits 

Words by Ruby Staley

“I strive to always be bright and visible, and this dress allows me to do just that.”

Hot off the heels of the International Day Against LGBTQIA+ Discrimination, it’s the ideal time to shed some light on the euphoric parts of being queer. Although community and celebration are happiness-inducing elements of queer culture, experiencing gender euphoria is arguably the most joyous experience for queer folks. 

If you haven’t heard of it before, the term gender euphoria refers to a positive experience surrounding you, your body and your gender identity. Although inherently referring to gender-diverse bodies, the feeling of gender euphoria is universal. You may experience it while wearing a full face of makeup, a mini dress, a pair of pants, or even a well-loved oversized sweatshirt. 


For more fashion news, shoots, articles and features, head to our Fashion section. 


As is true for gender identities, gender euphoria is felt differently by everyone – there’s no set way to enjoy who you are, that’s up to you. Personally, I’m still exploring my relationship with my gender, and it’s something I’m not sure I’ll ever figure out (and maybe that’s okay). 

I tend to enjoy both ends of the spectrum depending on the day and so, have experienced both euphoria and its evil twin dysphoria when getting dressed in the mornings. 

Although I absolutely adore dressing up in a mini dress and feeling feminine, the most gender-affirming item in my closet currently is my baggy, oversized low-waisted Neuw Denim jeans. I’ve already worn them to death and I’ve only had them for a month or so. 

@rubystaleyMasc and femme fighting it out hard today♬ fade into you mazzy star – bella💌

I feel powerful and most like me in a great pair of jeans, and since I started shopping for comfort and outside of outdated sizing parameters, embracing oversized pieces isn’t just comfortable, it’s also gender-affirming for me.

And because a party without friends is no fun, I invited some of my favourite gender-diverse creatives to fill me in on the wardrobe pieces they gravitate towards – the outfits they feel affirm their gender identity – to celebrate feeling euphoric in our own skin.

Sandy McIntyre (they/them), actor, producer and writer

Dresses have always been something my baby non-binary self wanted to wear, however, never truly felt able to. Although encouraged, deep inside I felt like it was a hurdle that was far too high to jump over. Slowly but surely, that hurdle became smaller and smaller as I became more confident in my gender identity. I found this dress at Goodbyes in Brunswick. It immediately stood out for obvious reasons and as I slipped it on, it moulded onto my body as if it were my armour.

This also happened to be the first dress I wore in public and baby, it felt magical. Garments that are both bright and revealing are ones that I tend to gravitate towards. Growing up queer in society, we’re all too often placed in the ‘other’ box where we get lost in the words that are muttered at us instead of listening to our truth. Now, I strive to always be bright and visible, and this dress allows me to do just that. 

@sandymcintyre_ 

Daya Czepanski (they/them), actor and advocate

Comfort and euphoria go hand in hand when styling my outfits. Striking a balance between function and fashion is vital. I focus on how I feel as I get dressed: can I breathe? Can I lift my arms above my head? Can I stretch and bend and climb without obstruction?

If the answer is no, I usually start again, swapping and switching out pieces until I feel myself appear, unconfined and delighted. My gender is expansive, and my expression is too. There isn’t always rhyme or reason, but I know when it’s right because euphoria radiates from the inside out.  

@theeczepanski 

Brendon Mayanja (they/them), model

This outfit in particular gives me gender euphoria for a collection of reasons. First, the combination of hyper-femme pieces that are also bright, eye-catching colours gives me a sense of strength. There’s a certain confidence one has when being so visible! I remember walking down the street in this look and multiple cars honking.

It felt as if they didn’t see me as a woman or a man in beautiful clothes, they just saw the beautiful clothes and were appreciative of that. In its essence, that’s what an outfit that gives gender euphoria feels like to me. Something that’s so beautiful it transcends the person who wears it and all you do is appreciate the garment.

@brendonmayanja

Jonti Ridley (they/them/he), writer and creator 

Skorts. Rain, hail or shine, skorts are my euphoria piece de resistance. Mini skirts are great, I love a good mini skirt, but I want the freedom of skin without having to worry about it riding up or blowing in the breeze. Skorts are a gender-neutral dream in a world where ‘skirts are for girls and shorts are for boys’. I wear them with everything, from crop tops to heavy hoodies. 

Especially now we’re entering winter, tights and knee-highs are easy to dress up or down without having to face the frost. Whenever I wear a skort, I feel like a Boy Scout who’s off to sell cookies for my troupe, and if my outfit doesn’t look like I could sell baked goods in it – I don’t want it.

@_toughboy

Anja Brown (she/her), model

Outfits like this help me actualise gender euphoria and body confidence in my identity. Style is a tool of communication, speaking through colour and personal flair. I dress for child me, giving her the person she wished she saw walking down the street.

My wardrobe is a reflection of self-discovery, a reflection of my journey so far. I think we try to dress in a way that makes us happy and expressing gender euphoria through style is no different. My clothes pick me up on days when I otherwise couldn’t open the front door.

@slimejive

Daila Melkis (she/they), model and florist

What makes me feel gender euphoria is being super authentically comfortable and expressive with my outfit and accessories while embodying the true genderless essences of the clothing I own. 

I love to be simple but campy and I enjoy wearing all black or blue to match my hair and aura, playing around with my large jewellery collection, having fun and also being comfortable is my aim all the time. I’m both and neither femme nor masculine, I’m just hot.

@herb.baby

Jonty Knight (she/they), artist and creator 

This outfit is extremely exciting to me. It was designed by London-based designers at @xtended_identity, and it is completely digital. The rise of digital fashion, and the endless opportunities it brings, is so refreshing to me. I have always loved fashion and using it as a medium of expression, and I love that nothing is ‘too much’ in the digital realm. 

It brings a newfound sense of euphoria because I can put on digital garments that are too expensive or hard to find in the physical world and see how I could stunt them in the metaverse. I can play dress-up and exist however I want in the metaverse, and that’s very on-brand for me. To me, this dress makes me feel so connected to who I am – a euphoric moment for sure. It looks so good; I really wish I could touch it! I’ve got some exciting things coming in the digital fashion space, where I can euphorically exist as the digital doll that I am. Keep an eye out!

@jontyknight

Find out more about gender euphoria here

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