SLUG Style: Charlie
Every month, SLUG Style features a distinct and unique member of the community and asks them why they do what they do. Exploring more than just clothing, SLUG Style is an attempt to feature the people who give Salt Lake City flavor through personality and panache.
SLUG: What are your stylistic influences? This could be a band, decade, fictional character—anything.
Charlie: I have always loved art, in all mediums. Whether it’s music, painting, digital art, dance or theater, I love it. I gather a lot of my style inspiration from music. I love listening to artists such as Phoebe Bridgers, Julien Baker, Mitski, Big Thief, Frankie Cosmos and Lucy Dacus. I love how they tell stories through their lyrics and incorporate incredible imagery into their songs. All of them have incredible style, as well. I also gather a lot of inspiration from art. My parents collect art books, and I grew up looking through them as a child. My mom is definitely a huge style inspiration for me. We are both avid thrifters, and she always encouraged me to develop my own style on a budget.
I grew up in Savannah, GA, and I loved the style of many of the college students that went to [The Savannah College of Art and Design]. My family used to walk around downtown Savannah and I always loved watching the different ways people dressed. Style is a form of self expression, and I feel that each outfit I wear carries a bit of my soul.
SLUG: What are your interests or hobbies? What is the hobby or interest that you have that no one would realize to ask you about?
Charlie: My interests and hobbies are skiing, singing, roller skating, thrifting and creating art. I love to listen to music and drive around Salt Lake. I really love painting. It was a passion I developed in high school and I am endlessly grateful for my art teacher who encouraged me to develop my own unique art style.
A hobby or interest I have that many people would not think to ask me about is … psychology. I love learning about abnormal psychology and new developments within the field. I used to—actually, I still—read the DSM (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders). I find that psychology is fascinating, and I hope to become a therapist one day to help others find their voice and develop a set of skills to have a better quality of life.
SLUG: Are you always “on” or would someone see you at the grocery store, for example, with less elements of your style?
Charlie: I love to go out looking as eccentric and “campy” as possible. One of my favorite hobbies is to put on a silly little outfit, get an iced coffee and search for my life partner at Trader Joe’s. I find a lot of enjoyment in creating a unique outfit everyday, and I rarely can be seen without a full outfit put together.
SLUG: If you had to describe yourself in three words, what would those be?
Charlie: Quirky, creative, passionate.
SLUG: How has your personal style evolved over time?
Charlie: My personal style has evolved greatly. After coming to terms with my queer identity, I felt much more comfortable dressing how I wanted to. I used to have a “preppy” style in high school—in fact, I had a blog where I wore these outfits. I always felt a great disconnect between my style and who I was until I came out. Coming out was so difficult, but it gave me the freedom and ability to be my true self. I have always loved fashion—my first word was “shoes”—but only in the past couple years have I come to dress the way I do now.
SLUG: Tell us about Queermunity. What is it and why did you start it?
Charlie: Queermunity is a free, monthly event for young adults who identify as members of the LGBTQIA+ community. My friends Syd and Rocio co-founded it with me. We realized that making friends at this age, especially as a queer, person can be incredibly difficult. We wanted to create a fun, easy going, accessible event where all LGBTQIA+ young adults can feel free to be themselves and make friends. We typically run our events at Sugarhouse Park once a month on a Sunday.
SLUG: What sorts of events have you put on through Queermunity? What were they like, and what have you learned from putting them on?
Charlie: We have put on three events so far. Typically, these events are just social gatherings where people are invited to bring friends, snacks and arts-and-crafts supplies. They have been so fun. The community is amazing, and I have made so many incredible friends. I am so grateful for the kindness and openness of the queer community here. There are so many lovely people here—you just have to find them. Finding community as a young, queer adult in SLC can be super hard, and I wanted to make it easier for others.
The only struggles we’ve had so far are issues … finding a place to hold events over winter. Due to it being super cold, we don’t want to hold the events outside anymore. Finding a place that’s willing to hold us for cheap is difficult, as well. We want to keep these events free, and renting out a place is expensive. Accessibility is important and for me and Syd, [but] it’s not financially possible to pay for a space at this time. We are still brainstorming event ideas for this winter time. You can follow us at @queermunityslc if you’d like to learn more!