Desmond for Issue 10

12 May 2016

At the end of the day, something we all want to achieve in life, is to say that we have made a mark on someone; imagine having done that by the age of 8. As a parent, the absolute responsibility is to protect your child as they forge their own path. There are certain things, like touching the stove or rolling around in mud, that a child will want to do through their curiosity. How will it feel? Will it make me happy? The parent will then analyse the situation and either allow or prevent them from doing that action. Now, what if a child picks up a toy that is not associated with their gender?

It’s Gay Pride and amongst the parade of people embracing who they are with absolute liberation and total peace, an eight year old boy twirls his skirt amongst the colourful atmosphere. Here, we meet Desmond. He commands the celebration in expressive movements that come from being who he is, not what he feels he should be. For Issue 10, amazing photographer Danielle Levitt captures Desmond with his fearless personality through bold styling and poses with all the sassy attitude you need to give you life. Boys By Girls look for people who are nothing but themselves and applaud them with all of our creative cheer.

As a child, I always played with Barbies and span around in my sisters dresses, because I wanted to be just like her. My mum let me do this, and would take pictures of me in my best Cinderella dress and blonde wig. I would put a Barbie in my Action Man car and take her on an adventure (all while being dressed as a princess), and my family let me do this, because it was what I wanted to do. It didn't cause me pain and it made me happy; for this, I thank my family.

Sometimes, doing what makes us happy places us on a path away from the norm of society. So many people hide away for years, forcing themselves to be someone else, just because they don’t want to be different. Why do people find such peace in destroying what they feel is unnatural? Through breaking the traditional standards, we bring about greater acceptance. Silence the voices that have been put into your head that stop you from doing what you want to do.

A day came where I put down the things that made me happy and picked up things that aligned with what I thought I had to be. I felt forced to be something that I wasn’t. 12 years later and I feel confident enough to bring back that inner princess. How? I stopped caring about what was and wasn’t 'natural'. Desmond has completely inspired me, and I am certain that he has inspired so many others too. For this, I thank you Desmond. Never stop being yourself. I also thank his mother, for never compromising his happiness. And thank you Danielle, for allowing Desmond to express himself. Desmond is a muse to a new generation of people of acceptance.

To view this absolutely stunning 10-page feature and embark on a journey that searches to define the term ‘Muse’, pick up Issue 10 which is available online and in selected stores now.

Make-up MARK EDIO at See Management

Words by Tim Sprague.

Follow us on Instagram @boysbygirls
View Clarity of vision, sweeter than a caged smile. The Book of Happiness brings together @_farhaannnn_ and @timgnk_ in this colourful... View What would a smile be if we caged it? Sour. Sweetness quickly rots when it can’t dance and a tooth’s... View ‘Try to hold it in your hands and watch it slip away like water from your palms - too fast... View In collaboration with @aceandtate, photographer and editor @cecilieharris presents you with the key to unlock joy: The Book of Happiness... View Close your eyes and breathe it in. Closer to ‘glede’ with every new frame. The Book of Happiness: an exclusive... View Senses delight in a purple explosion as we transport you across fields of endless lavender with an exclusive @aceandtate collaboration... View Growing up as a female, @krowwithak walked a fine line between self-love and self-hate. Now, he embraces himself wholly and... View ‘One of my favourite moments was the first time I was able to use the men’s washroom. I was always... View In a homely studio in London, we are taken down @krowwithak ’s road to ‘glede’, and learn that beauty can... View For model @krowwithak , Cosplay and music are the guiding lights during times of darkness. Discover the beauty in both... View It’s a name I chose for myself when I was 12 years old. It came to me one day when... View @krowwithak found the confidence to transition after immersing himself in the Cosplay community. @cecilieharris talks to the model about his... View Running free amongst the open fields, sheep and stunning views, memories of childhood flood the senses as we find cover... View ‘Having previously told me about how he loved to roam freely in nature as a kid, letting him run free... View Closer to the ocean, yet not quite there. A secret hideout - that kind of hideout we all need sometimes... View Cecilie Harris captures cover boy Louis Baines for BBG Issue 15. A boy that pulls at the human strings in... View Allowing ourselves to escape sometimes is key to our happiness. In our fashion cover story with @louis.baines , we rediscover... View ‘I didn’t see the Dylan I see now or really come into myself until I was 23. I hid everything... View ‘I think you should put some pressure on yourself in leaving behind a good legacy. I think you owe it...