Name: Arisce Wanzer
Pronouns: she/ her
Arisce Wanzer is a model, actress and influencer, who made history as the first trans covergirl to appear on the Spiegel Catalog
Wanzer has appeared on reality shows and in publications like Elle, Vogue and Vogue Italia.
Arisce. Hi. Let’s start light. What’s on your agenda for today?
Hi there! I had to make a birthday video for a friend and then get a new passport photo taken, so now I’m just feeding my dog and maybe I’ll watch some TV.
How did you get into modelling?
I started my career modelling at the nearly ripe age of 17. I entered myself into a model search competition and was discovered there. I then shot for catalogues and walked in local mall fashion shows in Washington D.C., Maryland, and Virginia. It all began there.
Trans women are, very slowly, becoming better represented and celebrated in the fashion and modelling worlds. What still needs to change?
The modelling industry is still very far from being inclusive. Every year designers are questioned and called out for a lack of color, size, and overall real-life representation on the runway.
When you can name 5 plus-size, 5 trans, and 5 disabled models in mainstream fashion, right off of the top of your head, then those worlds will be closer to being truly inclusive.
Until that point, we must ask ourselves why it is that we can so quickly name 5 white, cisgender supermodels – without even really thinking too hard about it. It’s the literal definition of white supremacy.
What was your reality TV experience like?
I’m not a huge fan of watching reality TV when it isn’t competition based, but I have a good enough time starring in it. I’m known in the reality world as “the one-line Queen”, due to my quick draw soundbites.
I never need to do another sleep away, camp-style show again though – that’s for certain. It’s just not my style.
There’s the transphobia we know and love😹 https://t.co/QtVhrGj72l
— Arisce (@Ariscestocrat) April 20, 2022
You always manage to navigate bigotry on social media with excellent sass and a clapback. When online networking becomes hostile, how do you keep it light for yourself?
I was raised to have and display proper manners, so online attacks will always throw me for a loop.
From death threats to the denial of my very trans existence, I’ve heard it all and then some. All from the trashiest and most ugly-on-the-inside people on the planet.
I keep my online spaces light by sharing memes and relevant news pieces to my Instagram stories. I love making people laugh, while keeping them informed about what’s going on in the world around us.
All my trans girls know this too well, but it’s NEVER a pretty girl spewing out the transphobic rhetoric. Shrek always the first one on to call the dolls a “man”. Girl, we’re laughing at you, you could NEVER 😹🏳️⚧️💅🏽 #TruthBeTold #exonthebeach
— Arisce (@Ariscestocrat) April 20, 2022
LGBTQ+ people have always been wildly underrepresented in media, but slowly that seems to be improving. Trans representation still feels ridiculously sparce. What needs to happen?
We have to get more trans people producing, directing, working the camera, posted in writers rooms – we have to be everywhere.
When there’s just one trans person in front of the camera, who is writing for them?
There are nuances to our experience that only add to good storytelling, which someone of the same experience could more aptly chime in on.
Who is shooting them in this transphobic lighting? Who’s styling them to flatter their body types? Is it people who don’t fully understand a trans persons lived experience?
All of this, when done right, can make for a great production.
Most jobs now only use us as a ‘diversity hire’ box to check – and it’s obvious as hell.
There’s a record amount of trans-hostile rhetoric and anti-trans legislation issues currently. How can LGB+ siblings best support the trans community?
The trans-hostile rhetoric is exactly what the far-right does when they don’t want to properly address inflation, gas prices, food costs, late-stage capitalism, destroying the planet, or any real problem we are all collectively having as humans.
They’d rather blame the most marginalized group for simply existing.
I’d respect them more if they’d just say that what they really want to do is get rid of us, rather than hiding behind bullshit legislation that limits our life choices and experiences.
Please speak up for us when you hear the lies and hate that they spread.
Vote in our favor when you’re at the polls. Please don’t forget about us in the fight for equality. LGBTQ+ people need each other, if we’re going to beat fascism and true evil.
If you had just a couple of sentences to send a message to queer kids around the world, what would you say?
Never apologize for who you are, you’re not alone and there is nothing wrong with you.
You belong to a large community that lives to make the world a more beautiful place – filling it with art, style, love, and merriment. The status quo is boring.
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