Euro Pride month is almost over, but that doesn’t mean we can’t continue to raise awareness of the minorities within our bearded community. For our second in the series of Queer Beard Questions we’ve tracked down another beardy drag artist, Andy Beard down in London, UK. Check out the flawless artistry…
Here’s what they had to say about beards, drag and gender identity.
-What does drag mean to you?
Isn’t everything drag, some aesthetic choices are less “interesting” than others, but we’re all dressing up to fit some ideal regardless of how understated that is. To me everything is drag- from leather clad Muscle bears to queens with the highest hair and drowning in sequins. It’s all dress up.
-What do beards mean to you?
After 10 years of having a beard it’s pretty ingrained in my sense of identity- facial topiary isn’t a prerequisite when it comes to attractiveness but you’ve gotta love a nice hairy dude.
-What statement are you trying to make by mixing drag and beards?
Just because I’ve embraced my genetic predominance to being hirsute I don’t feel I should neglect my ability to embrace and radiate femininity, it’s powerful and courageous to explore all facets of yourself – I don’t feel I’m making a statement about a clash of gender so much as how a balance can be struck. These things shouldn’t be mutually exclusive. #mascandmascara
-How do you feel about recent acknowledgements of different gender identities?
It’s too little too late, humanity’s obsession with classification is so overwhelmingly stifling. Who we are is much more than the corporeal form we inhabit, you should never limit yourself to such a small definition.
-What would you say to someone that sees beards as a “men only” zone and would force us in to little gender boxes?
I think it’s a real pity, but at the end of the day small mindedness only clips it’s own wings. Beards are for anyone who can grow them, masc or femme, male or female and the vast spectrum between.
-What words of wisdom and inspiration would you impart to anyone struggling with their idea of gender and how to present themselves?
Self hatred and despair are very easy to give in to. In a world where even our own small subculture is so cannibalistic, in terms of how we compartmentalise what is acceptable and what isn’t. I urge you sincerely to resist the temptation to become more generic and risk not fully realising your own identity. You are so much more than the body you own, start taking care of your mental well-being and the rest will follow.
You hear that? Beards are for anyone, so don’t let people put you in a box. Even if you don’t want a beard of your own, don’t let the small mindedness of other’s restrict your from being the person you want to be.
Thanks so much to the wonderful Andy Beard for these words of wisdom!