Aaron Philip doesn’t want to be known as the disabled, black, trans model. She’s a model, period.
“Being trans and disabled… I don’t want to claim it because I have to claim it. I claim it because it is me, objectively,” she tells GAY TIMES. “Why should that make me an entirely different entity of model, when I’m just Aaron Philip?”
Earlier this year, the 18-year-old made her runway debut at Willie Norris’ fashion show with the words ‘Queer Capital’ on the back of her wheelchair; since then, she’s landed her own campaign with Sephora and has a genuine fan in – and we’re going to capitalise this – NAOMI CAMPBELL.
She’s also become a beacon of light for those in minority communities who want to follow in her footsteps and ‘feel their fish’.
“I love the fact that people who are just like me can relate to me and feel represented,” she continues. “That’s what I want, I want people to look at me and feel like they have someone who is advocating for them.”
We asked Aaron’s close friend, actress and singer-songwriter Amandla Stenberg to interview the star about representing the black, trans and disabled communities, and how the fashion industry is slowly catching up with diverse representation.
Aaron Philip’s cover of Gay Times Magazine Issue 500 is available worldwide, and you can buy it here.
Photographer Ryan Pfluger
Fashion Willyum Beck
Hair Nathan Juergensen
Makeup Remi Odunsi
Assistants Nicol Biesek and Travis Chantar