Indya Moore Wears Earrings Honoring Murdered Trans Women

"Existence that requires bravery is not freedom."

Indya Moore wore it best.

Moore, who stars as trans model Angel in the groundbreaking Emmy-nominated series Pose, is also a style icon who knows that accessories are everything.

Having already appeared in major Calvin Klein and Louis Vuitton campaigns, Moore made history earlier this year as the first trans and nonbinary person to appear on the cover of Elle magazine.

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Thank you for this special award. I'm thankful for your reciprocity and hopeful for a sustainable impact. repost • @dailyfrontrow “I feel so honored to share this space with you people. It’s a very expensive venue. It’s populated by very expensive people. All of our lives are so expensive, including mine and people like me…As you all know — or not — I am black and I am trans. Some of you may be uncomfortable with the politics of my speech, and I won’t apologize for that, because my life is politics.” Thus began Indya Moore’s powerful, heartfelt, and deeply moving speech as they accepted the Award for Cover of the Year for their history-making appearance on June 2019 cover of @elleusa at the 2019 Fashion Media Awards. . “I accept this award in honor of the truth that the best award, and the award we all deserve, is to be able to get home safe. I accept this award in good faith that my recognition doesn’t lead to the erasure of other trans and GNC folks who also deserve healthcare, housing, safety, and visibility. Magazine covers, runways, leading film and TV roles. Doctorate degrees, high school diplomas, college educations. And families, lovers, and representation everywhere and every space. Each and every one of us, and everyone that we know, our families, friends. Trans people deserve safety, acknowledgement, and respect. Not just when we’re on the cover of magazines, but when we are in the streets, when we are poor, when we are sex workers. When our hair ‘aint laid. When we can’t afford Louis Vuitton. Or when we can’t get access to a hormone shot. And especially when we are dying.” . The Daily would like to thank @indyamoore for her generosity and strength and encourage all of you reading here to click the link in our bio to read their speech in its entirety.

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The Daily Front Row kicked off New York Fashion Week earlier this week with its annual Fashion Media Awards at the Rainbow Room, where Moore was invited to accept the honor of Cover of the Year for Elle’s trailblazing June 2019 issue.

“As you all know—or not—I am black and I am trans,” Moore told the crowd. “Some of you may be uncomfortable with the politics of my speech. And I won’t apologize for that, because my life is politics. Right now in the Supreme Court, they’re voting on whether or not trans people can access employment, shelter, and healthcare in the same ways that you all have access. It’s hard to celebrate being celebrated for being myself during a time when people like me are being murdered for being themselves.”

The outspoken activist stunned in an Oscar de la Renta gown but also made a powerful statement by paying tribute to their slain sisters. Moore’s long keepsake earrings, created in collaboration with stylist Ian Bradley and jewelry designer Areeayl Yoseefaw of Beads Byaree, featured tiny framed photos honoring the first 16 black trans women murdered in 2019.

“On this day that I’m celebrated and awarded for being visible, I decided to bring them with me. I’m wearing them on my ears as earrings,” she said, noting that trans women have a life expectancy of 35. “Just like me these women dare to exhaust their freedom to exist by being visible; however, instead of being celebrated, they were punished for it.”

Explaining that they had been rightly worried another trans woman would be killed after the keepsake earrings were completed, Moore also honored 17-year-old Bailey Reeves, who was shot and killed on Labor Day, in a larger picture frame.

“Existence that requires bravery is not freedom. A life that requires bravery is not free. I accept this award in honor of the truth that the best award, and the award we all deserve, is to be able to get home safe,” Moore continued. “Trans people deserve safety, acknowledgement, and respect. Not just when we’re on the cover of magazines, but when we are in the streets, when we are poor, when we are sex workers. When our hair ain’t laid. When we can’t afford Louis Vuitton. Or when we can’t get access to a hormone shot. And especially when we are dying.”

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The first “Keepsake” earring was created to honor my Iya (godmother) who passed this April. Not knowing what to do in the darkest times of my life, I held on to love. I was inspired by love and representation of it. In each frame I inserted images of my sisters who my Iya has raised. They carry her in their faces and are a reminder of her presence to me simply by being themselves. We’re all entangled. We may look like one person but we show up as many. @iancogneato contacted me with a mission for the earrings. He was prepping @indyamoore to receive the honor of Cover of the Year for ELLE at @dailyfrontrow. They wanted to pay tribute to and also build awareness for the 16 (now 17) trans women who were murdered this year in the USA. The issue is so pressing that after creating the earring and three days before the event, Bailey Reeves, a 17 year old girl from Baltimore was killed. For her, Indya carried a frame around with her face. @indyamoore’s jewelry served as an altar and their speech was both a prayer for the future and a call to action. In their hour of celebration they put their trans sisters in the forefront. They spoke for those who cannot and became a light for everyone. I am both honored charged by this to continue creating, speaking up, standing up and breaking the boundaries of invisible divides between us. I am super grateful @indyamoore @iancogneato

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Aree, the jewelry designer, wrote on social media that Moore’s earrings “served as an altar and their speech was both a prayer for the future and a call to action.”

Focusing on gay and trans performers in New York City’s 1980s and 1990s ballroom scene, Pose has made history with the most trans series regulars ever in an American scripted TV series. Created by Ryan Murphy in collaboration with producers Brad Falchuk and Steven Canals, the show has also employed more than 100 trans actors, crew members, and consultants.

Pose was renewed for a third season earlier this summer, with FX Networks and FX Productions chairman John Landgraf saying it has “elevated our culture and the TV landscape like few shows before it.”

Pose is expected to return next summer.

Celebrity interviewer. Foodie and Broadway buff in Manhattan. Hates writing bios.
@brandonvoss