We’ve been taking some time to learn from people who are out there getting stuff done. Meet Diego Lucas, a non-binary immigrant from México City, first-generation DACA recipient, graduate of UC Berkeley, and makeup artist.
What change do you hope to see in the rest of 2020?
- I want there to be an active intervention for the lives of trans people; protective legislation, medical support, and spaces for us to thrive in.
- More relatable role models. It has been wonderful to see activists, organizers, and community members gaining platforms during the uprisings.
- I hope to see more people actively using gender-inclusive and gender-neutral pronouns.
- Beyond diversity on-screen, I would love to see the diversity within workspaces and in our personal lives.
What’s the most surprising thing you’ve learned on your journey with makeup?I have been most surprised by just how malleable this art form is. For me, it has been a liberating outlet for self-expression. For most women, however, it is not liberating. Instead, it is something women have to do in order to be seen as presentable and professional. Otherwise, women are categorized as “undone.” This is particularly so for Black and Brown women. For trans women, it becomes a tool for survival, whether or not you can blend into the seams of society and “pass.” Others might use it to cover up tattoos in professional work settings. Makeup, like most things in this world, is intersectional. While I never found this surprising, a lot of my hetero male friends are always surprised to find out that their favorite rappers, politicians, or sports hosts wear makeup. It’s silly to me because at the end of the day it all washes off, it’s not permanent.
What’s the biggest misconception about identifying as non-binary, and what would you say to correct this?One misconception is that people oftentimes people think that we’re “new.” Non-binary and gender non-conforming people have been around since the dawn of time. I’ve read beautiful myths from Mexico, poems by two-spirited people in Native American culture, and in Indian culture there are deities that transcend gender and are celebrated. Another common misconception is assuming that non-binary people all use the pronouns “they/them.” This would be incorrect, as some non-binary people don’t use these pronouns and are very much so non-binary. Language is powerful. For example, the wording of this question above invalidates and suggests that non-binary people “identify as” rather than “are” which would imply a state of being.
Can you tell us more about the posters you’ve made to raise money for Black trans women and trans women organizations?On June 4th, in the midst of the BLM uprisings, I launched a homegrown fundraising initiative with the aim of allocating money for transgender people, prioritizing Black trans women in need. After raising over $5,600—and continuing to raise more—I donated to organizations such as: “For The Gworls Medical Fund,” "National Queer and Trans Therapist of Color Network,” “Black Trans Protestors Emergency Fund,” and “Gender Justice LA.” The Black Transgender community has been hurting long before the uprisings, but I felt an immediate urge to mobilize and support in a way that was safe and accessible for me. I reached out to a local Risograph company in Chinatown who offered to print 200 individual posters for me. As of now I have no plan to re-print these posters. But make sure to follow me on Instagram for future posters I create.