My names Charlie Craggs, and I’m officially your unofficial new editor…for a little while. I’m basically the transgender version of Ione gamble though, see photo, so hopefully the change won’t be too hard for you to adapt to. But yeah, I’m Polyester’s first ever guest editor, so hi.
For those of you who don’t have a clue who I am (rude), I’m a trans activist and author of To My Trans Sisters. I’m probably best known for my campaign Nail Transphobia which is turning 5 this month! To celebrate Ione asked me if I’d be interested in taking over Polyester for a week, which was the best birthday present ever. For the last half a decade I’ve been travelling around the UK with my pop up nail salon, offering the public free manicures for the chance to sit down and have a chat with a trans person in a bid to humanise the issue. Despite painting thousands and thousands of people’s nails over the last 5 years with my campaign, nails aren’t actually that important to me what I do is all about changing hearts and minds with conversation. I use nails as a catalyst for conversation, a way of engaging people in the conversation around trans rights who wouldn’t normally be engaged. I hope to use my takeover to engage those of you who aren’t engaged in trans issues, in the subject.
I’m super excited about this takeover, Polyester is one of my favourite magazines, and have supported me and my campaign from the start. Ione and I met at a feminist zine event at the Feminist Library back in 2015 and became friends immediately. I think with everything that’s going on in the feminist movement at the moment with the TERFs (trans exclusionary radical feminists) questioning the place of trans women in the community, the fact that Ione and I met at a feminist event at a feminist venue (that I was actually warned not to come to the night before because I was told I wouldn’t be welcome) is even more significant and special. With this in mind, it means even more to have a feminist platform like Polyester both stand up and say they stand in solidarity with trans people, but also go further than that in their allyship and lend their platform to the trans community to amplify our voices in a community, and world, that is constantly trying to silence us.
Im going to use my takeover to highlight the work of trans people I admire and highlight trans issues that I think are important. I’ve been working on some exciting shoots with trans people I’ve loved for forever and creatives I’ve respected for just as long like Chloe Sheppard and Scarlett Shaney and I’m so excited for you all to see everything we’ve been creating. I hope you love it.
I want to thank Ione and Polyester for the platform, especially as it comes notably after trans awareness week which I think is significant. So many brands jump on the trans band wagon during trans awareness week and pride season, but as soon as trans awareness week and pride season are over, they’re nowhere to be seen…until next year of course when its in their favour to jump back on the bandwagon again. This is because a lot of brand’s allyship to marginalised communities is often performative, tokenistic and self serving. So it means even more to be given this take over now, its so important that we’re all aware of trans issues, even after trans awareness week is over.
I hope you enjoy my take over babes,
Photography by Chloe Sheppard.