Founder Of ‘For Them,’ A Black Transgender-Owned Company Fights Anti-LGBTQIA+ Legislation

Founder Of ‘For Them,’ A Black Transgender-Owned Company Fights Anti-LGBTQIA+ Legislation

A transgender-owned company is binding its community to fight anti-LGBTQIA+ legislation.

Kylo Freeman, pronouns they/them/theirs, opened up about binding their chest and overcoming funding and legal hurdles as a transgender business owner. The founder of For Them told ESSENCE in an interview how they empower the LGBTQIA+ and non-binary communities through activism and by providing non-traditional chest binders.

Freeman’s binders are created with 100% recyclable materials. They told ESSENCE their binder’s “unique patented design” compresses and moves “the chest tissue in a way that creates a flat look without compromising the musculoskeletal systems of the body.”

Binding people with opposing views can be much harder than Freeman’s work at For Them. Everyday realities like oppressive legislation, spreading misinformation, and promoting phobias can be exhausting for marginalized groups. Freeman said in their interview, “As a trans founder, I’m not only pitching my ideas to folks, but I’m also having to educate everyone along the way about my identity, my community, and this culture that I’m a part of. It can be exhausting at times, but it also feels like a privilege to be in a position to bridge this gap.”

True allyship can be a godsend when the load is too heavy to carry. U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris cemented her allyship for the LGBTQIA+ and non-binary communities this week when she surprised a crowd at New York City’s Stonewall Inn. Black Enterprise reported Harris said to the crowd, “We are all in this together.” The vice president also said, “We’re not going to be deterred. We are not going to tire. We’re not going to throw up our hands.”

Freeman is doing what they can to make changes in a heteronormative society. They discussed their Drag Is Divine campaign. “The campaign is us at For Them putting a middle finger up to the anti-LGBTQ+ lawmakers who are attempting to legislate gender non-conformity out of existence, to legally enforce binaries and criminalize queer freedom of expression,” Freeman said to ESSENCE.