How can brands support the LGBT community beyond Pride Month? ‘Pay them,’ says RuPaul’s Drag Race star Miss Fame, praising Viktor & Rolf as a fashion house that ‘really got it’ – interview
They need to invest in long-term relationships with members of the LGBTQ+ community, Dam-Mikkelsen, who uses they/them pronouns, continued.
“People want to work with talent during Pride Month, but it’s like, let’s keep that conversation alive beyond these time frames, because your identity really embodies this month, but what about the rest of my body existing for the rest of the year, the rest of life?” Dam-Mikkelsen said.
“I really want people to always feel that their worth is continuous, not compartmentalised.”
When asked what businesses can do to better support the community, Dam-Mikkelsen said: “Money, pay them.”
Dam-Mikkelsen is taking part in a Pride Month campaign with Dutch fashion house Viktor & Rolf and global LGBTQ+ non-profit GLAAD.
There are a lot of queer individuals behind the scenes in the fashion industry, but fewer in positions with visibility to the public, Dam-Mikkelsen said.
But “Viktor & Rolf really got it,” they added.
“They had always leaned in, allowed me to be celebrated as they put me right in that front row and dressed me,” they said. “And it just felt like a match made in fashion heaven.”
“When fashion partners with actual people or individuals that are identifying within the spectrum [of LGBTQ+ identities], it allows us to really celebrate and shine in our individuality,” Dam-Mikkelsen added.
The digital campaign, called “Free to Love, Free to Be Me,” consists of a series of films created by international LGBTQ+ influencers and activists, shot on GoPro cameras and their mobile phones. The videos will all be centred around their personal interpretation of freedom, and shared across Viktor & Rolf’s social media.
“I don’t think I’m fully free,” Dam-Mikkelsen said. “I think I am freer than I’ve ever been, but I have some journeying and some work to do inside to really allow myself to set myself completely free.”
Dam-Mikkelsen explained that they felt freer and more authentic than their younger self. They said that they grew up in a rural farmland area with their grandparents where there was little awareness of the LGBTQ+ community.
“I’ve always been feminine,” they said. “[But] the way I was raised was like: ‘stay humble, stay small, don’t be too shiny. Don’t let people see you too much. Because you’ll be targeted.’”
“I’m still figuring out my contribution and existence within the non-binary realm,” Dam-Mikkelsen added. They said they first started talking about gender fluidity around three years ago, but had been living fluidly for about a decade before that.
“Whether you’re fluid or you’re gender neutral, whatever your title may be, these have always existed, but unless you had an example, you’re kind of discovering it maybe a little bit later,” Dam-Mikkelsen said.
- Model, drag queen and reality TV star Kurtis Dam-Mikkelsen, aka Miss Fame, calls for companies to form ‘long-term relationships’
- Viktor & Rolf and non-profit GLAAD’s campaign involves films by LGBT influencers and activists created on phones and GoPros, then shared on social media