Ezra Miller for British GQ Style Covers Spring 2020 comments: “We’re not fighting for equality. We are fighting for regard of our supremacy”
GQ Style’s SS20 issue celebrates gender and sexuality in all its forms. Titled “This Modern Love”
Released today, the biannual magazine’s spring edition is covered by four trailblazing stars who bring their uncompromising identities to their creative disciplines. First up is the enigmatic actor Ezra Miller – scroll down to read the full GQ Style feature with them, and stay tuned as we unveil the other three cover stars in the coming days.
Ezra Miller’s head is bowed as they roll up the breakfast spliff. When the actor – who uses they/them pronouns in a pointed refusal to be gendered or identified in any category – turns, their long strands of hair whirl away to reveal three dots under their eye, drawn on in deep wine-coloured eyeliner. ‘Weird times,’ they say as a salutation, and rise to hug me.
‘Three dots could mean so many things,’ Miller says of their make-up, sitting down on a stool at the kitchen counter of a suite at West Hollywood’s Palihouse hotel. ‘Any three on a plane, the agency, The Third Man, the third polka dancer akin to the third polka dot.’
I’m not sure exactly what everything means, but it sounds cool, so I nod my head along to the rhythm of Miller’s riff. Miller’s quarters at the Palihouse are bare, almost cold. Their publicist slinks off, somewhere off-screen, but in acoustic vicinity. It’s unclear why – Miller is one of the most outspoken celebrities in recent times, and it doesn’t seem as though a publicist is going to muzzle them. It’s as quiet as a spa, with a nice view out over West Hollywood from the top floor, away from the bustle of the street.
Photographer Jeff Bark and stylist Gary Armstrong, Jeff comments about the shooting, “Ezra Miller gives their all to the camera. I have never had a subject who was so relentless at trying to make an image. Uncontrollable in the best way, they would blast the perfect song and perform till they got to express themselves The empty hotel we shot in must still smell of weed.”
‘Straightness and cis-ness and whiteness and racism, as in the belief in race, physical appearance as a determining factor for fucking anything, including ethnicity, ethnography – these are all like the circus, the carnival, the Hollywood instead of all the different storytelling practices,’ Miller continues, on a slowly building roll. ‘All these things are relatively recent colonial inventions.’
‘The idea of the LGBTQIA plus plus plus ad infinitum community are not new,’ Miller says, growing animated as they speak. ‘These conceptions of gender roles – that’s what’s new.’ It’s an interesting theory, the idea that queerness in historical terms precluded the oppression of it. Miller presses on: ‘In Hawaii, there is a word, Mā hū , which almost [translates as] “that which is becoming”. Like an idol not quite formed. In Hawaiian native understanding, everyone has kū[male spirit] and hina [female spirit]. Everyone is trans.’
I’ve read similar things about genderless beings in other Native American cultures, like the Chumash people of the Southwestern US. When I bring their culture up, Miller emphatically punches the table as if too excited to contain that I’m following what they’re saying.
‘We’re not fighting for equality,’ Miller says. ‘None of these conflicts against systems of oppression are fights for equality. They are fights for accurate regard of supremacy. We’re better at sex than y’all. We’re better at art. We’re better at warfare. These are things carried in the old understandings of so-called, whatever-you-want-to-call-it: non-binary, queer, genderqueer, trans, gay, lesbian. Just like the neurodiverse peoples, these people are all sacred beings, superior to other beings.’ Miller whispers towards the end of this spiel for dramatic effect, before launching into another treatise on how, just as martial arts tradition teaches that the only enemy is yourself, those same oppressors are really only oppressing themselves. They conclude with an exasperated tone. ‘Get it together, people.’Ezra Miller
Miller is a part of a new wave of entertainers
Billy Porter, Cody Fern and Queer Eye’s Jonathan Van Ness among them – that sends gender-binary tabloids into paroxysms of confusion with lavish dresses and expressive make-up. It’s hard to imagine the previous generation – the Matt Damonsand Leonardo DiCaprios – making similar style choices. For Miller, it seems to be not just a provocation, but a function of their mysticism.
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