In front of a massive Calvin Klein billboard in Manhattan, Black transgender model, actress and activist Jari Jones popped a bottle of champagne while her own likeness looked down over the city streets. The image of herself she was celebrating is part of Calvin Klein’s 2020 Pride campaign #PROUDINMYCALVINS, which features a cast of nine LGBTQ models including Jones, who identifies as a transqueer lesbian.
“It has been such an honor and pleasure to sit in my most authentic self and present imagery of a body that far to often has been demonized, harassed, made to feel ugly and unworthy and even killed,” she wrote on Instagram on June 23.
The other eight models include Brazilian drag queen Pabllo Vittar, trans genderqueer YouTube personality Chella Man, queer pop artist Gia Woods, and “13 Reasons Why” actor Tommy Dorfman, who is gay. The series of pictures and videos were shot by American photographer Ryan McGinley.
Jari Jones star in Calvin Klein’s Pride 2020 campaign Credit: Ryan McGinley/Calvin Klein
A statement from Calvin Klein said that each of the nine models featured in #PROUDINMYCALVINS were selected for their powerful yet relatable stories. Positive messaging about identity, allyship and self-appreciation surrounds many of the campaign images online. “Embrace yourself from an earlier stage because the person you grow into is incredible,” reads a quote by model Reece King, while Gia Woods says: “I think that’s the best feeling in the world. To know that you could be a voice for someone and help them.”
In a video on Calvin Klein’s YouTube channel Jones talks about how she supports other younger members of the LGBTQ community. “I’m a mom to a whole bunch of queer youth. Some of these kids have come to New York City without a dime in their pocket and just a big dream. But, you know, they have things against them — they’re of color, they’re queer, they’re trans, and I’m just there to be their support.”