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Eddie Jarel Jonesx on tearing up gender norms and elevating conversation around LGBTQ+ people of colour

If you attended New York City’s Gay Pride earlier this year, chances are that you encountered the rising star that is Eddie Jarel Jonesx.

Dressed to the nines in a glamorous pink leotard and cape, social media influencer and LGBTQ+ advocate Jonesx was seen dancing on-board a 12-foot penis cannon (we’ve all been there), living his best life as part of Xtube’s float.

Aside from catching attention from crowds, Eddie Jarel Jonesx boasts over 14k followers on Instagram and is also a model and entertainment reporter. We caught up with Eddie to talk all things New York City, tearing the gender rulebook up, being a non-binary model and officially SLAYING the competition.

Hey Eddie! How are you doing?

Hi! I believe good days are a choice so I’m doing GREAT!

For those who are new to you, can you tell us a bit about your backstory?

Well, for starters my name is Eddie Jarel Jonesx. I’m 24 years old and I now live in NYC after growing up in Cleveland, OH. I’m a producer and media correspondent for SlayTV, the premier destination for queer and trans television. I am also a social media influencer, YouTube personality and nonbinary model.

What is it about keeping busy that you enjoy so much?

Being a busy bee runs in my blood! Growing up in a single parent home raised by my mother, I witnessed her work her ass off to make life as comfortable as possible for the both of us. My mom is the true definition of a female boss!

I chose to turn my passion into a career for myself and stay busy because I truly love what I do! Although, I sometimes force myself to maintain a super busy schedule to drown out the not-so-great things going on in my personal life.

Is there any moment in your career so far that stands out as a personal highlight for you?

2018 has been great for me, so I have a number of highlights I can’t ignore! The first is when I hosted the NYC red carpet premiere of ‘Pose’ on FX for SlayTV. The next is when I was given the opportunity to walk in NYFW for Chromat’s SS19 SATURATION collection and was featured in some incredible fashion and lifestyle magazines, including PAPER, Elle and Vogue!

You’ve been very open about your love for New York City and how it has impacted your life. What makes NYC so special to you?

When I first arrived in the Big Apple, I felt an energy like never before. I was able to witness a hustle that was completely unfamiliar to my own… Don’t get me wrong, since college I’ve always been busy, balancing a busy schedule as a full-time student, full-time pizza delivery driver and production intern, but NYC’s hustle and atmosphere were different.

Since moving to Brooklyn, I’ve been able to take my network to a whole new level which has opened up so many doors for me in the entertainment industry.

How was it being part of NYC Pride this year too?

Being a part of NYC Pride and seeing so many different people unapologetically living their best lives was absolutely amazing. I’d only been to one NYC Pride march before and I got there too late to really enjoy it. This year I got the full effect, front and center on Xtube’s float (which was great since I decided to be cute and wear 5-inch stilettoes).

You were part of Xtube’s campaign to help normalise gay porn and safe sex. Can you tell us a bit more about the campaign and how it’s essential to have that conversation?

I feel it’s very important to normalize these types of conversations around LGBTQ+ sex. Too often the sexual relationships between members of the LGBTQ+ community are looked at as lacking sexual responsibility and human normalcy, which simply isn’t true. Gays, lesbians, bisexuals and people of trans-experience have sex just like heterosexuals (well not exactly but you get what I’m saying). The way heteronormative media outlets portray LGBTQ+ sexual relations is unfair and I’m here to elevate that conversation.

You’re a producer for SlayTV. How important is it to you to be part of a voice for the black LGBTQ community?

Again, I am here to elevate the conversations around LGBTQ people of colour (POC). Taking control of our narratives the same way non-POC have been able to is the only way to change it.

Creating a dialogue about the issues facing the LGBTQ+ community, as well as narrating my own stories, is the only way we can truly humanize our experiences. We do this by creating three-dimensional characters that have families, careers and romance instead of being the stereotyped gay-ass hairdresser. We are a much more complex group, I can assure you.

We’ve gotta talk about hosting the ‘Pose’ red carpet event. How was that for you?

Hanging out with the cast of ‘Pose’ was so much fun! It was my first major red-carpet event and I have to say I was super prepared and slayed it! I was able to get a sense of who the characters really were and how I could expect them to function throughout the series.

I also had a tear-jerking moment with Indya Moore who plays Angel, a young trans woman on the show. When she opened up about how important it was to be a part of such a historical moment in television, with POSE having the largest LGBTQ+ cast in the history of television, she and I just let the tears roll. We knew the impact this would have on the world, it’ll force doors open for people like us.

What were your thoughts on the show?

Season one of ‘Pose’ was the motha fn shit! It was the emotional rollercoaster I want out of a television series.

My friends and I watched and literally laughed and cried at some point during each episode. I found myself relating to so many topics the show tackled which acted as emotional triggers for myself and many others. The show was very blunt about the issues the LGBTQ+ community faced in the 80s, and still face today, and that’s what I loved the most.

You have a very flamboyant personality and aren’t afraid to play with gender identity. Was there ever a moment for you where you just thought “fuck it with conventions”?

I like to think of my personality as complex, I have many traits that make up my character. Sometimes I feel more feminine than masculine and vice versa. I think the moment I said f the gender norms was in college, when I took a class called ‘Gender in the Media’ and learned the history of gender norms and how its main purpose is to socialise humans and classify them. It’s all a bunch of bullshit!

And to anyone who is maybe afraid to express themselves, what advice do you have for them?

My advice to anyone who is afraid to be themselves is to remember that life is practical; the things you practice will become permanent aspects in your life. The way you see yourself, dress yourself, be yourself is an evolution that shouldn’t be rushed or judged by anyone.

It’s ok to not have the answer, that’s how you find it. It’s ok to not fit in, that’s how you become a strong individual and find your true purpose. Most importantly, it’s ok to not always be ok! Remember, good days are a choice and that goes for your mindset too.

Lastly, what’s next for Eddie Jarel Jonesx? Where can we see you?

Omg, I have some great things coming up! This fall, I’ll be on an episode of MTV’s ‘Tattoo Too Far’ getting a crazy surprise tattoo, you’ll have to watch and see how that all went down. Also, I’m going to be a part of a few upcoming NYC festivals as a guest speaker, panel moderator and guest. My 2019 goal is to advocate for the LGBTQ+ community and other disenfranchised youth.

Follow Eddie Jarel Jonesx: Instagram | Twitter

Written by QWEERIST editor

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