Glasses by The Home Depot
bra by Urban Outfitters, choker, septum and ear rings by Aelita Mars
Jacket and jewelry by Aelita Mars, bra by urban outfitters, cap by Bargain Hunters, boxers by Bargain Hunters, shoes by Nike
Shirt by Carrera, leggings by Victoria’s Secret, choker and jewelry by Aelita Mars, cap by Forever 21
left: choker and jewelry by Aelita Mars
right: choker, tee and jewelry by Aelita Mars
left: top vintage, pants by Bargain Hunters, cap, choker and jewelry by Aelita Mars
right: underwear by Victoria’s Secrets
t-shirt vintage, choker and jewelry by Aelita Mars
jacket by Aelita Mars, bra and pants by Urban Outfitters, tights by Bargain Hunters, leather panties by Aslan Leather, heels Current Mood, choker and jewelry by Aelita Mars
Bra by Urban Outfitters, skirt by american Apparel, ear ring by Aelita Mars
Jacket by Aelita Mars
Heels by Current Moods, top by Bargain Hunters, hair clip by 99¢ Store, jewelry by Aelita Mars
dress vintage


I must tell you this:
I am Aelita from Mars, and my pronouns are they, them, and theirs.
Language is a tricky thing, for it is an illusion. Many think it is an objective form of thinking,
perceiving, describing, or knowing. But it is fabricated by the human animal, and entirely
subjective, varying radically by its spatial and temporal location. In English, I use They as a
singular pronoun, a form which is approaching universal recognition by contemporary academia,
but more importantly, by communities. Marginalized queer communities, especially queer-ofcolor
communities, have always been a powerful site of cultural production in the United States.
To be queer is to find pockets of safety in a culture which considers us abject; it is worldbuilding,
the engendering of new families separate from the nuclear, it is the explosion of
As transgender people are given more visibility in politics and popular culture, two
problems surface: that of visual representation and that of language. High-femme trans women
and masculine, “passing” trans men, trans people who sit on either end of the male/female
gender binary, dominate the conversation and visual culture. There is little room for those of us
who occupy space in between this binary, or separate from it completely. Heterosexual and
cisgender people attempt to quash these identities through a rejection of language; they argue
that “they” is grammatically incorrect as a singular pronoun, and that the word “cisgender” is an
unnecessary identification or even a slur (while it exists simply to describe the opposite of
transness). And then, when images of non-binary humans are created and distributed to a cishetero
public, there is no way to control how one reads the image without explicit visual
references to queerness. Those who view these photographs of me do not see the detachment I
feel from traditional girlhood, or the dysphoria I feel when men call me beautiful on the street, or
the testosterone I have begun to inject into my thigh once a week. I am telling you there is an
urgency for new forms of understanding, and I believe it will only be achieved with the union of
written and visual language.
Do not read these images of me as a representation for all non-binary individuals; I am
thin and androgynous, my whiteness gives me the option for a false cultural mobility that
people-of-color are not granted in the U.S., my body is “abled” and I can navigate unaccessible
spaces. I am a tiny fragment of the collective queer identity, but still I implore you to read into
these images a possibility of further fragmentation of gender. In the day I dress as a transmasculine
femme, in the night I dress in drag. Both are my truth, my essential embodiment, both
are Aelita. If you see my image, I ask you not to assume my language. If you hear my language,
I ask you to remain open to a visual embodiment you might not expect. And finally, do not read
this manifesto as a universal truth. Queerness is subjectivity, it is constellations scattered
through space, it is strange voices rising from the ether.
Photographer: Lennart Sydney Kofi @lennartsydneykofi 
Model: Aelita Mars @aelita.mars
Stylist: Lennart Sydney Kofi & Aelita Mars
HMU: Aelita Mars