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Champions of Pride 2023: Multi-talented creative Vonté Abrams

Champions of Pride 2023: Multi-talented creative Vonté Abrams


<p>Champions of Pride 2023: Multi-talented creative Vonté Abrams</p>

courtesy Vonté Abrams

As an artist, brand ambassador, spiritualist, singer, and more, Vonté Abrams is breaking all the rules — and having a great time doing it.

Champions of Pride 2023: It’s our annual celebration of some of the fierce, fearless change-makers and creatives who continue to make the world a better place for LGBTQ+ people — and this year, we’re focusing on the beautiful diversity of our community.

Vonté Abrams is an Atlanta-based writer, visual concept artist, classical singer, spiritualist, and “LGBTQ+ philosophe.” They recently added the role of brand ambassador for Louis Vuitton to this impressive list, and even got to sing in the choir for Sam Smith’s stunning debut of “Gloria” on Saturday Night Live.

Abrams confesses that “every time I heard [Smith sing], I practically melted. It was so hard to concentrate.... I get chills just remembering it. It was magical and hit in all the right places, especially when you dissect the lyrics. ‘Be yourself so loud tonight they’ll hear you from the stars.’”

As an ordained interfaith spiritualist, Abrams says, “Art to me is sacred, and essential to the human experience. If money were no object, I would spend my days practicing art that heals, and crafting stories that both entertain and pass down ancestral wisdom.”

“Like a lot of people, I took the mandated pause during the pandemic to re-calibrate and restructure my life,” recalls Abrams of shifting gears in their work. “I left my career in visual merchandising for luxury home brands to focus a lot more on things that mattered to me, like social justice and progressive politics.... Plus, at the same time, I really wanted to get back to the world of fashion after moving back to the Southeast after living in Los Angeles. Fashion is the first language we use to express our identities to the world, the first means in which we narrate who we are to the universe. I was always fascinated by this power.”

Abrams adds that they were was happy to learn that Louis Vuitton is committed to diversity and sustainability, “and yes, real work is being done to create a more sustainable, equitable world.”

For them, identifying as queer “is how I own my rebellion against the binary social construct. And to be clear, leaving the house every day, living authentically, being seen, and unapologetically expressing my truth are acts of rebellion — as they are for anyone existing outside of the binary status quo.”

Abrams says they have also begun to embrace the idea of being Two Spirit. “I actually hesitate to use the term, because I am not Native American and don’t want to misappropriate it, but the Native American concept of Two Spirit as a kind of ‘third gender’ identity is where I naturally fall — in physical, emotional, and spiritual senses.” They add that as a “naturally androgynous person” they also love the term “enby,” an abbreviated term for nonbinary, and “wish that such a term had existed for me when I was growing up.” “I am such a nerd,” says Abrams, adding that they also dealt with undiagnosed neurodivergence during childhood. “I’ve always been an artist, and any quiet, solo, preferably creative activity was my outlet for when I had trouble regulating. I used to watch that old cartoon Inspector Gadget and longed for Penny’s ‘computer book.’ And of course, I lived for Jem and the Holograms — that was my jam! ‘Glamour and glitter, fashion and fame.’ It was destiny.”

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