Humberto Leon pens heartfelt op-ed detailing issues affecting American gay community
Humberto Leon has opened up about what it’s like to be a gay man in modern day America.
The Kenzo head, who acts as the joint creative director with business partner Carol Lim, was born in the U.S. to Asian parents.
Leon came out to his family as gay over 20 years ago and while they at first blamed themselves, they soon came to accept his sexuality, with the celebrated designer explaining his mother has become “a loud and proud LGBTQ advocate in her own community”.
However since President Donald Trump and his administration came into power at the start of the year (17), gay rights, along with lots of other issues, seem to be taking a step backwards.
“Now, we have a new President, a new administration, and - for me, as a gay, first-generation Asian-American - what seems like a new country. As a gay man, my rights are being challenged from all sides,” Leon explained in an op-ed for Teen Vogue.
“Only a few years ago, we were celebrating our right to marriage regardless of sexual orientation, but that progress we fought so hard for is not secure anymore. It’s crazy how quickly things have shifted. We are losing protections for our transgender students. The Executive Office is drafting orders to allow for federal discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identification. They are coming for us and yes, for me. We aren't asking for special treatment, just equal treatment.”
Leon also slammed the U.S. government’s stance on women’s rights, a hot topic across the pond which culminated in a worldwide protest, the 2017 Women’s March, in January.
Sharing his advice on what he thinks can be done, Opening Ceremony co-founder Leon urged people to continue to be outspoken on the matters.
“My identity and life experiences drive me to continue using Opening Ceremony and Kenzo as an outspoken platform to express and create culture. My goal is to provide a space, an outlet, and a forum to showcase the outsiders, shape shifters, and boundary pushers, loudly and proudly,” he stated.