My name is Christian and I'm the new director of All Is Fair in Love and Wear.

I've been directing–or redirecting–the brand since early February. We initially had cis-gendered leadership and I was brought on to provide my insight and prioritize the concerns of the LGBTQIA+ community.

You may have noticed some of our cosmetic changes but I'm helping to change things below the surface too. We're now focused on binder safety and education, as I've been giving binder safety talks to transgender support groups around our native Kansas City and the greater KC metropolitan area! Not to mention we're in the process of localizing our manufacturing and redesigning our binders.

AIFWL is moving through it's second year. We were founded in an effort to celebrate the transgender community. 2017 continues, however, & more of us are feeling the mounting pressure of defending our community instead. Defending our rights, our lives and livelihoods... Personally, my anxiety spikes with every headline, social media is a minefield, and protests look more like battles nowadays. It's like we're in the trenches.

I went to the local Pride Fest this year–just last week, actually–and it was such an experience. In the dark of the night, as everyone sang Katy Perry's "Firework" in unison (a scenario that I'd normally not be down for, frankly), I realized something:

I feel so entrenched sometimes that I forget that my greatest defense isn't a picket sign, intellectual argument, or even my vote. My greatest defense is remembering to celebrate myself, because celebration is unstoppable as long as someone is doing it.

I want All Is Fair in Love and Wear to become what seventeen-year-old me needed most, with his newly discovered gender dysphoria... because I have the feeling that there's probably someone in that position now who needs the same:

A reminder that despite everything else, there's a reason to celebrate. So,

Celebrate yourself,

Celebrate your identity,

Celebrate our community,

And don't stop.