BY: SWIKAR OLI
Tschan Andrews doesn’t want you to see her as a vanguard for black trans models. “It’s not a trend. It was always here,” Andrews tells Dazed. Indeed, since Paris is Burning thrust the struggle and celebration of the LGBT cause to the resistant public fore, the push for social acceptance of sexual minorities has been apparent.
Andrews knows the struggle first-hand. She moved to New York City to be a model after her family destroyed all of her stuff. She’d gone home to collect a supposed letter from her mom that turned out to be a tax bill, and when she went up to her room, she saw that everything was gone. “Every single last trace of my existence had been absolutely removed, fumigated from the property,” she told Dazed. Among her lost property was her high school qualifications, medical documents and her published material.
Andrews says the life of a model is not as people assume. For “five months this year,” she says she was homeless. After her stuff was destroyed, someone started a Gofundme for her, which reached its $5,000 goal just recently. Their biggest donor was singer Dev Hynes, who’s worked with Beyonce and has his own project, Blood Orange.
Her struggle now is not fame. She doesn’t care about that. She wants money for her work. Too often she struggles financially. Her other focus is to tell her story. She’s “felt like an absolute alien and a freak.” But being open and sharing her struggle may help someone else in her position. She adds, “to share my experience and help others is my absolute life goal.”