When I heard that Rain Dove was going to be one of the runway models for Queer Fashion Week 2015, I knew I had to meet them. Not for their charming good looks, lifestyle and beauty, but to able to pick the brain of one of the nation’s top androgynous models to see what’s under their skin.


Dove caught a ride with fashion designer Thúy  at an Oakland night club. I was on the second level of a white-walled brightly lit loft. My eyes rolled down and over the balcony wall. I could tell it was Rain immediately. They were the tallest one on the dance floor holding an iPad like a school book in a black weathered case.

[RELATED POST: My Love/Hate Relationship with QFW]

Rain was actually trying to call me. They had no idea we were in the same room. I walked right down stairs and tried to pull them aside. Trying to get Rain by themselves was like trying to play capture the flag with a jack rabbit. The heightened lovable energy that plays under and in-between the thoughts of this androgynous genius is enlightening. Before you know it, at the end of any conversation with Rain, you tend to learn a little more about yourself.


 Fans were stepping in front of me, grasping a hold of Rain for photos. Androgynous model, Rain Dove doesn’t choose to be the center of attention, they just are.

That night Dove invited me to brunch and you better believe that next morning I showed up. I was so excited I arrived probably thirty minutes early and managed to  meet Dustin Diolio, a gay gold medal cyclist, who had arranged the entire brunch at this lovely authentic Provençal restaurant with traditional brunch called La Note Restaurant in Berkeley. We ordered some breakfast, popped the cork to the champagne and talked the morning around with jokes, puns, and laughter.



At this brunch was Americas Next Top Model, Cory Wade, Play Out designer Abbey Sugar, Dana Schnittman creature of OUTLAW a photo project, Dustin Diolio, and the list goes on.

Brunch is where I first noticed how for real and sweet Cory and Rain’s friendship is. Their two energies and vibrations feed off each other’s charisma, and they are always pumped to help one another out.

This is when Rain proclaimed in mid conversation:

“All you need is Food, Shelter, Water. and let the rest take it’s course.”

Through out my entire weekend with Rain, I noticed they made a lot of proclamations, but they were always very true to the common shared moralities and values of humanism. Rain was always simplifying ideas, getting real, down to earth, and sometimes real gritty. “Food, Shelter, Water” that’s all you need.

As the bubbles flew up the flute we were done with brunch in moments and reconvening at the beach. That’s when CC Morgan came into the scene and stole Rain Dove and I away to swoop up musician Lila Rose before we all reconvened at the beach for more cocktails.

We went to a restaurant near the shorefront with large windows open to the ocean’s horizon and drank us some dark and stormy. Again, talk got real and ideas came out speaking about the perplexities of life debating on what holds the highest value and what is even considered the truth.


After shattering the glass ceilings of binary normals, there is no stopping Rain Dove from soaring proud or from modeling red undergarments for the Friday Queer Fashion Week.


Saturday was a work day. For Queer Fashion Week, Saturday was it’s biggest event. For staff, QFW pretty much lasted all day, thankfully I had a press pass, so I was able to get down into the belly of it! Queer Fashion Week was being held at American Steel in Oakland that Saturday, which is a warehouse style community of art, innovation and industry.

In this long well-lit, smooth cement floor, white dividing walled empty hanger, there was several vendor tables such as Stick & Poke featured here on Priceonomics.com, DapperBoi a new jean line, the first Oakland gay gym the Perfect Sidekick among others. At the opposite end of the long hanger was the cat walk streaming down the room. Behind the stage was hair and make-up where people were semi-frantically getting there hair teased and face powdered. The make-up was amazing.


Rain and Cory kept their cool, calm collected selves entertained whilst waiting for their walk. There was about fifteen groups and two intermissions ahead of them. Rain walked a piece in Topher Adam’s collection down the runway.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

If you don’t know who Topher Amam is you should, he’s the creator of Dark Beauty Magazine. “Dark Beauty is a magazine dedicated to artists, fashion designers, photographers, musicians, and actors who crave dark glamour.”

Adams’s collection was the most High-Fashion art scene I’ve been privileged to see in person. Adams hand crafts his apparel,  as if he uses the human model as a sculpture, presenting a dark and fierce scene of beautiful beings wearing cold mesh metal chains, leather straps, warrior helmets, long leather cloaks, and sexy as fuck corsets – showing off everyone’s better side. Adams collection made me want to run beneath the night sky in cold dark damp woods, eat white berries, hallucinate and howl. According to Tecchorazzi,

Topher is “the Tim Burton of Fashion.”

qfw_saturday_bts_0206 qfw_saturday_bts_0207 qfw_saturday_bts_0208 qfw_saturday_bts_0209 qfw_saturday_bts_0210 qfw_saturday_bts_0211 qfw_saturday_bts_0214 qfw_saturday_bts_0226

Everyone anticipated Rain to finally take the runway, walking hard strong and down the room. It was worth it. At the very end of everything – the very two fierce models Rain Dove and Cory Wade kissed! Dead center at the end of the stage and at the end of this show.

The androgynous models locked lips in what I would say is a symbolism of ultimate connection, love, anger, happiness and bliss. Never has this ever happened on a queer fashion walk before with two such people. What a symbolic venture for such an epic Queer Fashion Week in Oakland.



B&W Photos  and photos of Make-Up Credit: Pete F Hopkins
All Other Photos Credit: Natalie Coblentz