From the closet to the catwalk, queer fashion is a form of self-expression

From pop-culture icons like singer-songwriters Janelle Monáe and Elton John and actress Laverne Cox, to trends debuted in the late 20th century at Harlem’s famous drag balls, the LGBTQ+ community has consistently and unabashedly shaped the fashion world.

The queer community has transformed fashion into a form of unapologetic self-expression and utilized it to signal their existence to others. They have created their own culture, both derived and adapted from the LGBTQ+ people who came before them.

Queer fashion can range from vibrant to desaturated colors, from sparkles and sequins to mesh and turtlenecks. It can be composed of looks straight off the catwalk or be as simple as jeans and a T-shirt.

Heather Milne, associate professor at the University of Winnipeg specializing in queer theory and literature, said the LGBTQ+ community has historically adopted different trends and styles to connect with others existing in the same spaces.

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