“My name is Shyann Cooks and I am a sophomore at John Jay. What seems obvious to everyone is my sexuality – I identify as a lesbian- however, when it comes to my gender, I end up saying female (to save myself from complicated questions). When I was in high school, I started to be interested in legal studies. This was around the time the supreme court decision legalized gay marriage. Even though the government finally gave us some liberty back, I never felt comfortable telling people I felt like a boy sometimes.
It’s one thing to be gay, but another to identify as non-conforming. There weren’t many black androgynous idols in my vicinity growing up, so I was a skateboarding tomboy up until college. My girlfriends would like the idea of being with an “AG”, however I never called myself one. I’m not aggressive, I’m a pacifist. Anyhow, being gay and non-conforming is freeing, when there aren’t any stereotypes attached. Now I am a gender justice advocate on campus, fighting for those who hate being seen as a flag and more as human.” Shyann Cooks, John Jay ‘21
Interviewer: Haresh Mohabir, City College '21
Photographer: Haresh Mohabir, City College ‘21
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