Gamer Collection was inspired by our fight on and off the field for progress through creativity and art. It’s dedicated to those leading the fight for gender and racial equity in ways that reimagine the status quo. Our definition of Gamer: anybody who uses their craft to boldly disrupt oppressive structures.
Meet Chico—DJ, Producer, Creative and Fashionistx, Co-founder of Tender Bois Club, a music and creative production house and ⅓ of the DJ collective Hunnies & Hot Sauce, which throws events and parties that center Queer and Trans BIPOC humans in the Bay Area.
We asked Chico a few questions...
Q: Our Spring 2021 collection, Gamer, stems from our fight for pay equity as members of the U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team. It’s about breaking norms and barriers—how do you defy norms in your life?
A: I defy norms by just being me and being completely and totally unapologetic about it. My queer ass can’t be boxed into any one thing. When it comes to the clothes I wear or the music I DJ or produce, I feel like it’s all over the place! My style and what I wear is generally based on how I’m feeling on a particular day, and that can be a range to say the least! Some days it’s an all black look while other days my outfit is bursting with bright ass colors or different patterns.
With my music, I love to DJ multi-genre sets, blend different genres together, mash up old songs with new ones--the possibilities are endless! When producing music, I don’t just produce one genre. And similarly to DJing, I love trying to take elements from different genres and mixing them together to create a song.
Q: One of the themes from the collection is "Smash Patriarchy." The game has changed, yet there's many outdated rules that need to be reinvented. What are you reinventing or believe needs to be reinvented to get beyond patriarchy?
A: As a non-binary transmasculine/ genderqueer person, and as someone who is mostly read as a cis-man in this world, I feel like I have an obligation to “smash patriarchy.” For me that means: unpacking my internalized patriarchy and looking at the ways I uphold it, just by merely existing in this body. No matter where I go, I always try to show up and model what healthy and connected masculinity can look like.
I try to have conversations with the men and masculine folks in my life and call them in when need be and vice versa. It’s interrogating what it means to be “a man” in this world and then interrogating that and asking “Why have we defined things as such?” I think it’s important to name that any one of us, regardless of gender/how you identify, can uphold the patriarchy and simultaneously be oppressed by it. I believe we can all do right by first unpacking how the patriarchy plays out in our individual lives and at large to really smash a system that hurts us all, so we can work to create a world where we all deserve to thrive.
"It’s interrogating what it means to be 'a man' in this world and then interrogating that and asking, 'Why have we defined things as such?'"
Q: Games can cultivate a creative and/or competitive spark—how do you keep your creative and/or competitive spark alive?
A: I keep my creative spark alive by collaborating with other trans and queer folks of color. My community is who inspires me and keeps me going at the end of the day. I don’t believe in competition. When it comes down to it, I think that idea of competition was born out of a scarcity mindset. I truly believe that there is enough space for all of us to create and share our magic with the world.
Q: Gamer Collection was inspired by the games of our childhood—what was your favorite game growing up? Is there a character, figure, or person from gaming (or any playing field) that you identify with?
A: I played ALL the games growing up! Board games were definitely a thing in my household. I remember playing a lot of “Guess Who”, “Candyland”, “Mousetrap” and my favorite of them all, “Clue.” I also grew up playing a lot of Nintendo games, everything from Duck Hunt to Mario Kart to Street Fighter, as well as the iterations of some of those games as newer Nintendo platforms came out. I studied martial arts throughout my childhood and teenage years and in school I played soccer and lacrosse.
The one video game character that comes to my head is Ryu from Street Fighter II. I always used to pick him as my fighter, probably because I saw myself in that Asian character.
Follow Chico’s journey on instagram @_chicochi, and check out Chico’s work at https://www.tenderboisclub.com/ and @hunniesandhotsauce. How are you using your craft to boldly disrupt?