Kit Steinkellner
September 23, 2015 12:53 pm

Tyler Ford burst onto the scene in a major way this summer when they (Tyler’s preferred pronoun) attended the amfAR gala this summer as Miley Cyrus’ date.

Tyler, a writer for Rookie, poet, LGBTQ consultant, model, speaker, and founder of “My Friend Tyler” designs, identifies as agender, which means Tyler chooses not to identify as male or female.

Tyler recently participated in StyleLikeU’s video series “The What’s Underneath” project, that celebrates stylish individuals that expand the definition of what it means to be beautiful.

Tyler was assigned a female gender at birth, but was uncomfortable with their body and wanted a “boy’s body.” In college, Tyler came out as a trans man, and started taking testosterone, but this also didn’t feel right for them.

“This is not it,” Ford explains in the video. “I was not comfortable looking like a man, I was not comfortable being perceived as a man… [I was] not who I used to be, I miss the person that I used to be…”

At this point, Tyler knew they weren’t cis or trans, but it took some time for Tyler to find the a term that worked for them.

“It took like a year to solidify my identity and to find a label that fit me, which is agender,” they explain. “For me, being agender means not being confined by expectations or by labels. I had a lot of space to just be myself.”

After two years on testosterone, Ford quit hormones, and began identifying as agender. They sometimes dress to be “invisible” (re: lots of black), and other times dress to be very “visible” (re: “a hot vinyl pink mini-skirt, and a crop top, and maybe bright purple lipstick.”)

It’s a beautiful thing to listen to Tyler talk about who they are now, at this point in their journey.

“I’ve learned that people are socialized to think certain things about my body, because of my race or because of the way that they perceive my gender,” they say. “And so I’ve learned that the problem is not with me or my body, but the problem is with people’s assumptions. I don’t ever wish I had a different body anymore.”

Check out the whole video below:

(Images via Instagram)

Related:

Miley Cyrus’ new project shares LGBTQA+ stories we all need to hear

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