Skills & Education Presenter
In New York City in 1992, at a time when AIDS was still taking down our brothers, I came out of the closet a terrified man. Five months later I met my first boyfriend Fred Kearney and he took me to my first gay pride parade. I was stunned that in the face of overwhelming tragedy my newly found community could celebrate with such joy. I decided on that very day I would devote my life to inspiring queer people. As a child of the NYC hip hop and streetwear scene I wanted to start a culture brand that would speak honestly to my people. I wanted to reflect back the good, the bad and the ugly through clothing, music and art. One thing that disturbed me at the time was the "sanitized" version of gay sexuality all around me. Everyone was shaved and polished and the idea of promiscuity was frowned upon. I thought this was absurd. Fortunately I was deeply immersed in the dynamic early 90's nightlife scene where I saw a melting pot of what I felt was a more honest expression of queer culture. On the floor of the legendary afterhours club Sound Factory I met two young guys who were bald, hairy and covered in tattoos. We began to hang out and they introduced me to what was left of the leather s/m scene. There I found a handful of other young gay men who, like me, were unwilling to give up their sexual identity. These were the people I would speak to with my brand. We were fearlessly gay. With zero business experience, Fred and I invested $50 into a dream and we named it Nasty Pig.