How old are you & where are you located?
I'm 28 years old and live in Pasadena, CA
Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I actually struggled with this question a bit, and have started over maybe ten times! I guess that goes to show how careful I am with words, which is the most pronounced part of me -- I'm a communicator. This identity has gone through many iterations: teacher, pastor, film critic, comics scholar, and now a librarian. The common denominator in all of those things has been a love for the story. From discovering a new part of myself in a good graphic memoir to empowering young college students with the resources they need to tell their community's story, everything I'm about is a story. Currently, I'm caught up in the fiery witness and provocative prose of James Baldwin, a guide in my now six-year journey in learning to embrace my Brown ancestry and resist the myth of white supremacy.
What is important for you when choosing underwear?
Hands down comfort. I'm a very active, borderline fidgety, person. A pair of comfy briefs can make all the difference.
How does Badami’s underwear compare/standout to other brands you’ve worn?
They are slick and comfortable -- a rare and not always affordable combo. Badami's underwear is the whole "package" if you will
How has toxic masculinity affected you personally? How have you worked to grow from it?
It has forced me to compartmentalize myself in ways that were never natural to me. Whether in my aesthetic preferences or my social expressions, I've always felt slightly policed by the men in my life. Along with my academic work in deconstructing gender norms, my Queer friends have helped me see that my range of expressions and interests can coexist, that my manhood if there is such a thing, can look in whatever way is truly me.
You were one of the first men chosen to represent Badami & Co Underwear. What does that mean for you and for others that look like you?
Honored. I never looked too often at the models of underwear packaging, but I remember thinking to myself on the occasion that they don't look like me or my dad. I'm sure there are Latinx underwear models out there, but it was exciting to feel like I was bringing in more representation.
What would you like to see evolve in your manhood or manhood as a whole?
I often don't think in terms of"manhood." It carries such a gross connotation for me. Wherever manhood was emphasized, I always had work to do in order to achieve it. Whenever I hear others talk about it, it was something that oppressed them. If "manhood" is salvageable, then I hope manhood can evolve into something more flexible and diverse. In short, if you identify as a man, however, you express yourself is, in my opinion, one of the many tiles that make up the mosaic. Isn't that the goal: TO BE MORE YOU?