Polytechnic design student will be iD’s first transgender model

A call-up to model at the iD International Emerging Designer Show next month is a first for trans-woman model Charlotte Goodyear, and a first for the show.

But the growing awareness of transgender issues is catching on in Dunedin, and demand for transgender and "gender-neutral" models is growing.

Ms Goodyear (22) is a former Logan Park High School pupil, and now a second-year student studying product design at  Otago Polytechnic.

Charlotte Goodyear is iD Dunedin’s first transgender model. Photo: Stephen Jaquiery
Charlotte Goodyear is iD Dunedin’s first transgender model. Photo: Stephen Jaquiery
She said that since she was a child, she had always felt different, and learned "early on to hide that".

"Acting feminine as a young boy is not a good way to go."

In her mid-teens, she discovered what transgender was.

"That changed everything.

"It set the ball rolling; I sought out medical care after that."

Her modelling began after she took a self-confidence course at Dunedin’s Aart Model Management.

Last year she did the Otago Polytechnic end-of-year fashion show, her first runway show.

Ms Goodyear said people had been "really great" and were accepting of her and her modelling.

"Especially in Dunedin, I really haven’t run into much trouble."

She pointed to the rise in transgender models internationally.

"Of course, transgender’s a hot topic right now, so it’s getting more attention."

That attention had helped, by opening people’s minds to the idea.

Ms Goodyear said she attended casting for iD Dunedin Fashion Week last year but was not picked.

This year she was, something she was "very overjoyed with".

"Totally, absolutely excited.

"It’s been my goal for a long time, so really feeling good."

Aart Model Management owner Darryl McNamara said there were more designers asking for "gender-neutral" and transgender models. Gender neutral, he said, meant "hard to distinguish between the two".

"They could do either/or.

"We definitely get a lot more designers asking for it. I think it’s become more accepted.

"Designers and people holding catwalk shows are looking for a slight difference, or a slight edge, and they offer that."

Ms Goodyear was the only transgender model on his books, and the agency had been lucky to find her, as "she really cuts the mustard" in terms of modelling.

"She’s easy to work with, and the work is definitely coming in for her."

david.loughrey@odt.co.nz

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