• UO Pride: Torraine Futurum

    To celebrate Pride this month, we’re sharing the stories of young creatives showing their pride and proving that love is love. We’ve partnered with GLSEN to introduce an exclusive collection of graphic tees and hats, with all profits donated to GLSEN in support of LGBTQ youth. Read more about #UOPride here.

    An artist and model, Torraine Futurum is already taking the fashion world by storm. We caught up with her in her NYC home to chat about her blossoming career and why queer and trans youth are the future.
    Photos by Anna Ottum

    Tell us a little bit about yourself and what you do/where you live.
    My name is Torraine Futurum. I am an artist and a model. I use different forms of art to make me feel alive. To give myself purpose. And to ultimately to express myself in a way that feels productive. I live in New York City, and a place called Ridgewood. It's cute, it's quiet, it's uneventful.

    You’ve been in a ton of fashion campaigns lately! What’s it like being involved in something like that?
    Yeah, I've had a really good year. I'm really thankful for the opportunities that I've had. It's kind of a surreal experience and an interesting dichotomy. I've been in an Adidas campaign, got to work with the incredible talent Edward Enniful for W Mag, a Candy Magazine cover and sooo many other great things. 

    But I am a working model and I have ambitious goals so in the moment while I am being booked for things or when I'm shooting things I'm very much always thinking about what's next or what the current opportunity will do for my career long term. So it's not until the story actually drops that I get excited. And even then it takes me about a month or two after that to really let the accomplishment sink in and fully appreciate what has transpired. I'm working on being in the moment.

    Where do you hope to see yourself in 5 years? What about the fashion industry?
    I honestly imagine myself with a kid or a dog at that point. And I want to be financially stable and have a lucrative modeling career where it's not always a hustle to figure out when my next job will roll in. My big dream is to have a home music studio where I can create anytime I want and to also be a better, more classically trained and self-sufficient musician. I just hope that in the span of this next five years I will have released my magnum opus. My life-defining piece of work. In whatever form of art it ends up coming through as.

    As for fashion, I just hope that in five years all of the trendy tokenism will be over. I would love to be a successful, consistently working model without being used as a symbol or a press release.

    What’s a project you’re working on currently that you’re proud of?
    Well, my new album is the kind of all-consuming project that I'm working on right now. I'm very proud of the direction that it's taken and how far pushed myself already and where I can see it going. I'm very excited for that.

    What big ideas have been most important to you lately?
    Answering the call to greatness. The idea of saying yes to your greatness and not running away when it becomes difficult. Not running away when you are opposed or challenged or stifled. In 2017 I'm working on being large and powering through to do the work that I know I am capable of. 

    Why are you proud to be who you are?
    I'm a bad bitch.

    Say something to empower others to be who they are.
    Say yes.

    Why is it important to love yourself?
    Because somebody has to do it. It's nice when others love you, but no one can save you.

    What is one thing that you wish everyone would remind themselves every day?
    Life continues to happen. 

    What is it about GLSEN that you think makes them an important non-profit to represent?
    Because queer and trans youth are the future. And they need to feel powerful, dangerous, radical. Queer and trans youth need to feel more confident in weaponizing their queerness and transness. To take up space. To make people uncomfortable.

    Finish the sentence: “Love is ______________.”