Trans model TJ Jans is set to take to the catwalk tonight at Western Canada Fashion Week.
The model, who uses gender-neutral pronouns said they did not think of themselves as a model before being offered the chance to walk in Stanley Carroll’s runwy show.
Jans came out in December 2014 that they would transition, and began taking hormones the following summer.
The new model will be wearing clothes from the menswear collection at the Edmonton design house.
They told the Edmonton Sun: “To be asked to model menswear is a surprising choice; [Carroll[ could face some backlash… Having a female-to-male trans person in his show doing menswear, that’s a possibility. I was surprised that he went there at all.”
The idea actually came from Carroll’ wife Marcie Whitecotton-Carroll, who works with Jans at the University of Alberta.
Jans told the paper that they do not think of themselves as a model.
“This past year is when I came out as trans, so it’s been kind of a crazy journey. I’ve encountered people who are really uncomfortable with that, as well as a lot of people who are awesome.”
“If people choose to express themselves on a gender that’s not what they’re assigned from birth, that’s being trans or gender variant,” Jans says.
“When I say trans, that’s also an umbrella word. But generally, when someone says they’re trans, I think they’re usually moving from one sort of gender presentation to another.”
Jans said they are excited to be able to use the opportunity to give representation to young trans people.
They praised Alberta for moves towards educating and informing young people about trans issues.
Meanwhile in Germany, trans male model Ben Melzer landed the esteemed cover of Men’s Health magazine.
Last year, model Aydian Dowling was the runner up for a competition to win a cover shoot for Men’s Health US – having found a huge amount of public support.