Seasons of Queer: Autumn Dreaming

Seasons of Queer: Autumn Dreaming started as a project trying to capture the concept of longing. What did queer Asians long for? How did we define ourselves?

Longing in so many senses of the word, compounded by the various definitions we give to ourselves.

As the stylist of this story, I was well aware that a shoot featuring Asians might allude to imagery of fair, palatable East Asians. Perhaps it was my inner longing that led me to subconsciously cast (via Instagram/friends-of-friends) three queer Asians of Filipino origin.

The Filipino race from time immemorial has been blessed with the melanin of a mocha-coloured complexion. Hundreds of years of colonisation forced the darker of us to “whiten” ourselves and the fairer of us to be elevated, at the former’s expense. Today, it has a lasting impact on Filipino beauty standards.

It was therefore a dream realised to work with the varying complexions of JD, Marvic and Red, something that we have repeated in the other series including Spring Fling.

Kayumanggi is the Tagalog word for brown. Poetically, I’ve always defined it as meaning “sun-kissed” while in reality, it means brown for colour, brown for race and brown for complexion

After shooting with these three models, its meaning has been further enriched. Knowing that Filipinos are not only made of many ethnic and indigenous groups but that our many “browns” also make up what I affectionately long for – seeing myself and my fellow Filipinx reflected in that kayumanggi.

As a reaction to the shoot, where I had subconsciously cast three models (who I somewhat saw myself in),  I channeled my thoughts into the only true way I could express myself – a poem.

kayumanggi •
brown (race, complexion, colour)
Complexion, became complex.
Black is beautiful.
White, adored!
But what about brown?
How many crowns given to the morena?
Or how many stolen from her…
So many adjectives for the beauty that is white and silky.
Maitim (to be dark) is to cast yourself as shit-stained, dirty, muddy and poor.
Trying so hard to scrub white behind closed doors.
Trying so hard to look in the mirror and not be abhorred.
Trying so hard to just be a shade whiter,
As if that will make your future a lot brighter.
Exhausted not exotic.
Being called “chocolate” is not erotic.
Brown is now the crown you must bear.
For with it comes more than just tears,
Or fears and self inflicted spears.
Brown is the babe you learn to adore.
Brown is the beauty of the sun kissing your skin, absolving all the hatred from within.
Brown is the glory of your ancestors.

Words by Genesis Mansilongan

Model – JD, Marvic and Red
Photographer – Henry Ng
Stylist – Genesis Mansilongan

Street Style Poser
About me

Henry Ng is a writer, photographer, stylist and consultant. Henry found success owning his own menswear label, Orri Henrisson, before moving into digital marketing where his creative and strategy skills are highly sought after. Henry’s passion for menswear and travel saw him launching Street Style Poser. Henry loves all things bright and colourful, karoke, Kristen Wiig, and salted caramel anything!


Seasons of Queer: Summer Lingering
February 29, 2020
January 13, 2020
Seasons of Queer: Spring Fling
November 21, 2019
Seasons of Queer: Winter Cocooning
August 15, 2019
Sly Blue
May 02, 2019
March 24, 2019
Let’s Not Fall In Love
December 18, 2018
Delada sleeves, How to style Delada arm sleeve warmer, Acne mens stripe shirt
How To Style Delada Detachable Arm Sleeves
November 21, 2017
Raf Simons SS17 Robert Mapplethorpe white dungarees, North Bondi Ben Buckler, How To Wear Art And Fashion Collaborations
How To Wear Art And Fashion Collaborations
October 17, 2017

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Time limit is exhausted. Please reload CAPTCHA.