V127: The Thought Leaders Issue With Jari Jones

The model speaks on the need for protection of the trans community, family units, and systemic racism in the fashion industry.

V127’s Thought Leaders Issue is available for pre-order now.

“I’m a Black trans woman. Right now, under the administration of he-who-will-not- be-named, protections for trans people are being rolled back and affecting my community in ways that can mean either life or death. You know, financial scarcity in the Black community is a result of America in general but especially of this administration. Voting, for me, is important because it’s going to allow us to vote in a candidate that we’re going to be able to hold accountable. As we’ve shown over the last couple of months, we have that power. And if that accountability is not held, then we tear that shit down.

Jari wears top Celine by Hedi Slimane, necklace and rings Cartier

“My community gives me life and energy. We’ve had to come together in trying times, whether we’re talking about pre-Jim Crow or the gay civil rights movement. If we didn’t have each other then who was gonna watch out for us? We have to be everything for each other. So Jari Jones is a model, a mother, and a sister. I’m playing all those roles, because that’s the only way we’re going to be able to survive and stick together.

“Family units are so important. I think it’s why we fight so hard to keep them together. I think sometimes the message gets screwed when we’re talking about [families] outside of a binary family system…But we are what America is supposed to be about. It’s supposed to be about this melting pot. It is supposed to be a place where opportunity is actually meant for all.

“I am everything that society tells me is wrong. I’m a darker-skinned Black woman. I’m plus-size or fat, whatever you want to call it. I’m trans. So on paper it’s like, ‘She’ll never be a Calvin Klein model.’ She’ll never be in high-fashion magazines. I see [my Calvin Klein] billboard as a kind of vision of what we’re fighting toward. We need that, especially in the time of Black Lives Matter. When you’re talking about systemic racism, you can’t see the end goal. But when you have a visual of a marginalized woman, the most marginalized woman, let’s say, being celebrated on a billboard on the most expensive piece of real estate in New York…That can happen. The future can happen in the present.”


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