It's the end of an era uglies... XOXOETHAN is now officially XOXOEMIRA.
There comes a time in every transgender person's journey where their name becomes a question. Should I change my name? What about my online presence? Does my name really even matter? These are all questions I (and many other trans creators) have pondered.
For some, like Gigi Gorgeous, an online presence was part of the early stages of their transition as they graciously documented the harsh realities of being trans in America.
For others, like Hunter Schafer, most of the world only knows their trans-identity as a small part of their being: person first, gender identity second.
And for a lucky few like Elliot Page, once you have achieved a certain level of fame and respect, the internet (and a swift PR team) can wipe your deadname overnight.
As the next phase in my personal transition, a name/handle change was inevitable and as the beauty director here at PAPER it has been tricky finding the perfect time to announce my new name and update my handles while creating content and being in the public eye.
This past weekend I threw a literal BIRTH day for myself and my new name — debuting as Emira D'spain. There are few transgender women who have the platform I do (let alone trans women of color) and this birthday served as an opportunity to introduce myself but also to leverage my platform for the greater health and well-being of the LGBTQ+ community.
Of course, I started preparing all my looks months in advance to look perfect for this pivotal moment.
It started with a refresh of filler and botox from my friends at Velour Medical. It had been a few months since my last appointment and I needed to look snatched. Teeth are everything to me and I knew I'd be smiling all night long so I bopped over to DNTL to make sure my pearly whites were blinding!
For my hair, I wanted to switch it up and do something new, so I had my hair colored to a stunning bronde (blonde & brunette) balayage at Little Lion Salon in Brooklyn and then worked with @hairbycassadi to install the Rolls-Royce of hair extensions — Invisible Bead Extensions.
Our beauty director @xoxoemira spent some serious $$$ on #hairextensions for her birthday…what do you think? 🤔was it worth it? #fyp #beauty #hairtok
Of course, I also did my regular maintenance too: lash extensions, mani-pedi, brows etc. To quote the infamous Erika Jayne: "It's expensive to be me!"
With the help of my incredible friend Andrew Warren at Collxab, we threw a black-tie soiree on October 8 to celebrate my new name and rebirth. Although it felt like Ethan's 25th birthday — it was Emira's 1st.
Check out more from my celebration, below!
Penthouse 45 in NYC hosted the lavish party, complete with an Ice Luge by Okamoto Studio that featured my new name, custom XOXOEMIRA happy meals with my favorite burgers from STK, and two free-flowing bars with Lobos Tequilla, King St. Vodka and Hampton Water (the best rosé ever). The party was staffed by NYE Event Staffing and my closest friends and family all attended (including my parents who flew in from Texas).
Special thank you to Mac Cosmetics and BeautyBio for glam and skin-prep essentials that turned a stressed girl into a princess! The incredible Ro Morgan styled my hair for the party and gave me this barbie-doll sleek and voluminous pin-tuck.
It's a blessing to be able to share my new name announcement in such a fun way and on a special date in my life with the people I love. Don't forget to subscribe to our Snapchat show and follow PAPER on TikTok where I post beauty content weekly.
Photos via BFA/ Rupert Ramsay
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