Written by: Alexandria Gamlin
Feeling isolated for simply choosing to be yourself is rough. What's with getting a side-eye for dressing in too many patterns? If you've taken a snicker for too many pierced holes in your face, and grandma won't return your calls because you got anothertattoo, you know what it's like to be an Other.
Brooklyn film student and downtown culture mave, Nef (@NefPrezz) is a walking ball of light. She's loving, expressive and wonderfully loud in her dress and conversation. I chatted with her about being twitter friends with Pharell, The Flatbush Zombies and her acclaimed film project I AM OTHER. When I asked her to explain what it means to be an Other, she took a heavy sigh and said "Man, being an Other is hard..but it's fun". She went on and explained her personal philosphy of otherness: for Nef, it's the need to stand out, be different and be comfortable in however one chooses to express their humaness. But it's a luxury to be so carefree.
"I dress and look a certain way so that I stand out. But when I'm sitting on the train wearing green lipstick getting stared at, I always want to say "what the f*ck are you looking at!" Nef, explains. It's a stance that seems to be an internal contradiction, but all to real as young adults trying to find direction and a name in a world that doesn't seem interested in getting to know you.
It's a life's work. We're all trying to understand ourselves and give ourselves the freedom to be free. It's clear our culture doesn't appreciate individuality, free thought and unabashed expression-- not really. It takes true bravery to stand tall in queer communities, tattooed cultures and even sometimes wear green lipstick. But hey, the ones who fight to be weird stand out as outliers-- others. And we're having way more fun with other weird kids than with Johnny Mainstream, amirite?!
Now there's a film about it. Peep the trailer below and watch the full length documentary this FRIDAY premiering exclusively on afropunk.com. Peace to the weirds of the world!
tell us your thoughts in the comments and hit @NefPrezz on twitter