Bust-A-Fit: Moisés Lopez Talks Queer Spaces, Representation and ICE


Byron: We’re here with Moisés. Always noticed you had a dope style. Very cool dude. Very stylish guy. Tell me about your outfit today.

Moisés: Turtlenecks – it’s the season. I always feel like I have it together when I got a turtleneck going on. And then the jacket in part is just [because] it’s cold, but also denim’s making a comeback. Denim goes through weird phases. Sometimes it’s a move, sometimes it’s not. I think one of the controversies with denim [is that] some people [say] they have to match, but I don’t believe in that.

It’s turtleneck season, baby / BYRON MASON II

To bring it [back] to identity at DePauw, prior to [me] coming, I was used to wearing [a] uniform. It’s tricky because I think that a lot of a queer idenity can be expressed through clothing. But at the same time, I think of how I can perpetuate stereotypes too.

Byron: What do you mean?

Moisés: For me, I’ve always struggled with being in queer spaces because they’re very white-centered and within that comes a lot with socioeconomic class. So, a big thing for me lately has been how can I create a sense of a queer identity that doesn’t fall so much into the standards of how I should represent myself.

Byron: How do you think you should represent yourself?

Moisés: Well, I always struggle with this. But at the same time, I don’t think anyone can best represent what it means to be like self-identifying as queer and Latinx but me. And I think for me and thinking of fashion, this gets complicated for me real quick ‘cause I almost feel like I have two sets of wardrobes – one in the states and one in Mexico. 

Byron: What’s the difference between them?

Moisés: I question if I should I be placing so much emphasis on what I wear. But it’s complicated because sometimes I do think it kind of projects the energy or the vibe I’m feeling for the day. 

I was volunteering in Greencastle once and this customer walked in and he was telling me the clothes that I was wearing were too feminine or that I shouldn’t be wearing what I was. And really all I was wearing was a long flannel. But I had a crop top on. To me–it’s nothing new. I’ve come across that on the daily. 

At first, I think I did police myself for awhile in terms of what to wear, because I was like, why deal with it? But then I realized it was much deeper in terms of discovering identity or a form of expression. To me, it was a form of rebellion.

Truthfully, depending upon the spaces I come across highly influences what I will wear. Once, when I had experienced an immigration ICE raid, I thought a lot about fashion. At that point, you’re wearing whatever you got on. And [I] remember being told how feminine my clothes appeared and how much risk that would run me. I would catch myself uncuffing my pants at the bottom or tucking in the sock or if my shirt was tucked in–bring it out. Situations like that kind of push you. 

Byron: Does that discourage you from trying to be yourself or dress how you want?

Moisés:  I still subconsciously think about [what I’m going to wear]. And the [ICE Raid] experience taught me you really don’t know what spaces you’ll be in with whatever clothes you’re wearing. And it’s a tricky situation because here at DePauw, maybe we do have a culture or we do believe it’s a form of expression. But one thing I quickly learned was that you run a lot of risks with whatever you got on.