A few weeks ago I got to hear Zora Phoenix's Creative Mornings talk. She is a self-categorized gender illusionist, dressing more understated and realistic as she performs drag and burlesque.
The theme for this month's talk was Sex. Zora's insight on this topic was that everyone, regardless of appearance or gender, is sexy.
As a leading member of the Portland burlesque scene, Zora has aided in creating a community open to all. She teaches burlesque classes that allow women who've suffered abuse and men who want to be more in touch with themselves, along with many others, find and refind their own form of confidence. She also produces and preforms in numerous burlesque and drag shows, all while keeping a typical corporate day job.
It was really interesting to hear how all the different aspects of her life and different facades she has, from a business man during the day to a gender illusionist at night, make up who she is. She doesn't want to be just one thing, each aspect of her life informs the others and allows her to be exactly who she wants to be.
It was a great message - the best you can be is yourself. No two people are the same, so no one can express themselves in the same way. We need to stop comparing ourselves to others, and be okay with being who each of us are, even if thats not the social norm or similar to what other people are. The best I can be is the best version of me. Thanks Zora.