Harris Reed, one of the faces of the new universal scent Gucci Mémoire d’un Odeur tells his story of gender fluidity.
To be Genderless, or better yet, to embrace its essence, is to ride the waves and swiftly evolving current of Fluidity. To me, this means you are changing the world little by little, breaking down social barriers and giving freedom to a younger generation to have a safe space. What is this safe space? One in which individuals can build the lives they truly want without being bricked into anyone’s ideals or beliefs of what a person should be.
When we were young children, we were told what a boy and girl should look like, how they should act, how he or she should dress, how he or she should think and even how he or she should smell. We are taught to check a box and fit a norm and those of us who try to crack open or pry ourselves out of that pre-conceived ‘check box’ are looked at by society as ‘different’ or ‘weird.’ In this case, we can all be thankful that Alessandro Michele has made these ‘weirdos’ the being of the future, and chosen us to feature in the campaign for the new fragrance Gucci Mémoire d’une Odeur.
I feel very strongly about doing this campaign and this perfume, because it makes me hopeful and I hope it gets this positive reaction from others. Gucci is a historic brand and making a big statement by putting these people who are all so different and diverse and eclectic in a campaign for a universal fragrance not for one gender.
Memory, the inspiration of the campaign, also connects to who you are. Nothing is more beautiful or more pure than a memory, especially when it’s one involving the people you love. A memory can truly be the ultimate protection. When I think back to some of my earliest memories I always think of the memories that made me feel loved, safe and warm. I always think about the time my dad and I were driving on Mulholland as the fog started rolling over the hills and just the feeling of protection and warmth. Memories act as one’s protection it’s so incredible that if you’re at a point in your life where something isn’t working out the way you planned or you feel lost or out of control, you can sometimes just close your eyes and think back to that thought, that feeling, that memory and it brings everything back, putting a smile on your face and warmth in your heart. My memories transport me most my memories protect me and make me so much stronger.
When I was nine, I lived in a place that had such a hard time with embracing what it meant to be different. I was gay and I was proud of it, but the other kids’ parents found my being different a threat to their ‘pure’ children, resulting in parents actually asking for their kids to be pulled from my class. My teacher even called my parents in to say ‘Do you know being gay is a sin?’ WE HAVE A RESPONSIBILITY TO BREAK THE MOULD and NEVER let anyone feel ashamed for being unique, different, or universal.
Universality is true global inclusion of everyone at its finest, with no biases or discrimination for ones sexuality, gender, race or disability. The one thing that makes me wake up every morning to be exactly who am is finding the most comfort and confidence in being ‘different.’ I don’t dress for anyone but myself, I don’t act in any particular way for anyone but myself, and I truly don’t do anything except embrace who I am, 100%, for myself.
Being different, being unique and not fitting in surely is a must if we are to encourage change. More than ever, we need to strive for and make people understand that being different is beautiful, not strange. To blaze a new trail, we need those unique trailblazers. I live my life to show how much more beautiful and dynamic life can be if you don’t fit into a mould. When I die, I want the youth of tomorrow to whisper in my ear, ‘you helped make a difference in what it means to truly be different.’ Once you find what makes you different, embrace it and find the beauty in the fluidity of gender and of simply being. I think people will find themselves a new born person, a true being of tomorrow, and someone who can change this world! Because now, more than ever, the world needs people who think, act and express… differently!