Safe to say, the modeling industry has changed. Gone are the days where one standard of beauty represented the whole, and we can’t get enough of diverse beauties like Winnie Harlow, Philomena Kwao, and Adut Akech. So it makes sense that transgender beauties are also having their day. Gone are the days where trans models have to hide out of fear or because no one will book them. One trans model who is carving out a name for herself is Dominican Republic-born, San Diego-bred Dominique Silver who has been in the modeling game long enough to chat about how the industry has evolved and what it’s like to be a trans model today.
|Dominique in Barcelona, Spain|
What does it mean to be a transgender model today?
It means a lot to me. I have been modeling stealth (as cis gender appearance) without people knowing I was trans for years in the USA and all over Europe, but it’s such a breath of fresh air to finally be able to be myself on set and not be ashamed of being different because it’s more embraced. Being a transgender model today is like being any other model because we are all canvases of creativity for designers to showcase their art.
How did you get started modeling?
Well, I am with the first All Transgender modeling agency called Slay Model Management and through them I get most of my jobs. Also, being a model and moving in the right social circles I’ve acquired jobs, and surprisingly, off of Instagram too! The clients that book through the agency of course know that I’m transgender because they are searching for that specific talent.
At what point did you ‘come out’ in the industry, so to speak?
I’ve been modeling on-and-off for the past 15 years, and I guess my “coming out” was when I signed with the transgender agency and filmed for the TV show. So let’s say the past 2 1/2 years.
Is the industry more accepting of trans models now?
TOTALLY. I remember back when my best friend and I went to agencies and they wanted to sign us, but when they found out we were trans they said in order to sign you have to have genital reassignment surgery…we’ve come a LONG way since then, thank God!!! Now androgyny is a fore-runner in this industry and we got that on LOCK, hehehe!What’s been your favorite modeling job so far?
Do you have regular clients and how often do you travel?
I am blessed because the clients I work with are happy with my work ethic and frequent me! And I travel too damn much! This year alone I’ve been coast-to-coast like 4 times, and now I’m in Europe for a couple weeks.
Do you have any favorite models, trans or otherwise?
YES. Victoria Secret Supermodel Jasmine Tookes is my IDOL and I really adore Lea T for being a ground-breaker in our community and making the fashion industry accept transgender models more! Obrigada.
|Dominique modeling with her niece|
Does your family accept you?
At what age did you know you were a woman?
I always felt like I was trapped in the wrong body. I guess it was about 5 years old when I was old enough to try to understand what it was.
What’s next for you?
Are you living your dream?