ASH- SLAY INA DI OBSERVER ……………..NO WORDS

Call me Ashley – part 1https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cxpKEFe6jOw

Call me Ashley – part 2

.25 years later Ashley Gordon is a fashion-obsessed woman, comfortable in her skin and looking ahead with cautious optimism. This was not always the case. Gordon — who in-between sips of wine and constant flicking of her hair smiled widely during our fashion shoot — was not always this blasé. For starters, Gordon’s birth certificate declared her male and the names chosen by her doting parents were Romaine-Jermaine. “I was born in St James and attended the Catherine Hall Primary School, and later Maldon High and answered to the name Romaine. If anybody had told me then that I’d become Jamaica’s first openly transgendered woman called Ashley, I would have laughed in their face.”

What’s that old adage about never saying never…

SO sits down with Ashley Gordon a few days shy of her birthday for a no-holds-barred interview…

Before Ashley I was…

… a very quiet and sneaky boy who would act very girly. I always felt like a girl’s soul was trapped in my boy’s body.

My primary school years were fun, actually…

I miss those dance classes right now as we speak … being myself, however, was very challenging. It was at high school that I faced bullying and constant humiliation. I never did graduate from school, as I just could not take the stress at school and at home, the result of acting how I truly felt and being me.

I knew in my early teens that I did not want to be a boy…

As a child growing up I used to always feel like a girl and do girl stuff; I was seen as weird by my family… but at that age no one really cared about all that. I was looked at as being girly.

Playing dress-up for me began at an early age…

I started wearing the clothes of my sisters, my mom and cousins and would play around in the house. I would be caught countless times… I can write a book about my childhood memories. I got caught because I sometimes forgot to return the clothes and as a result would be grounded.

I started to live my life as an open trans woman…

When I moved to Kingston and met new friends who were openly living as women.

I’ve had really bad experiences from abusive relationships to being held up… I have learned that with life comes ups and downs but no matter what circumstances may come your way stay prayed up and positive because it’s all part of my life’s journey.

That said, all of my past (negative) experiences have been lessons about life, myself and people.

The evolution of Ashley…
Today’s Ashley steps into fashion shows and occupies front-row seats, is fabulous and poses for the paparazzi. All those childhood memories of dressing up were young Ashley growing. I have always loved fashion and getting made up. It’s a feeling that still lives inside. I used to make my own outfits by myself and sometimes for my little sisters I would make cheerleader outfits and we would play cheerleader competitions together, so fashion was always something I loved. My move to Kingston and (subsequently) becoming my own person further flamed my passion.

On making the cover of SO…

… I am so thankful for this opportunity and for all the people who genuinely care and look beyond my gender identity to see the real and true me. This is something I will forever remember. I know God has amazing blessings in store for me. I trust my journey and know that everything will come together for me and right on time.

On being accepted…

I really don’t care at this point about being accepted by society…. This is how I was born and this is my life; I have no choice but to deal with it. I did not choose to feel the way I do. I have to make myself happy and do what’s best for me. Validation is for parking — not for me! So whether or not society has an issue with the way God has made me that would be their issue, not mine. I mind my own business at all times, I don’t go out and cause unnecessary drama. I am a good person at heart. All I ask for in return is respect. I will forever do me.

My relationship (today) with my parents…

I’m at a good place with my mom…not so with my father.

To my younger self, I would say…

Thanks for never giving up on me and for all the lessons. I am going to make you so proud.

And to the many Ashleys hiding in the shadows…

Please believe in and love yourself. Find a way to speak with someone whom you can trust. Express how you feel and do not allow people to make you feel guilty for doing what makes you truly happy.

My ‘enough already’ moment came…

… When I made the decision to stop going to school. It was very, very hard because I started high school with the intention of becoming an accountant. When I got to Grade 10, I decided I wanted to be an entrepreneur and I started doing business management and life took another turn for me, but that doesn’t mean I will not continue to pursue my goal. Doing what was best for me and making such a huge life-changing decision was my only escape. I was really getting a lot of bullying and name-calling and threats from both school and where I used to live. I was really over being scared. I stepped out and did not look back. I deserve a pat on the back for having made it thus far. I mean, leaving home at 16 to go out in this crazy world… I had no idea I would be still alive and still going strong.

On hormone replacement therapy…

I’ve had several conversations about starting hormone replacement therapy plus sex-reassignment surgery options in Thailand.

I feel like I am in a place where hopefully within the next two years — God willing — I can make a final decision on that. For now I’m receptive.

Ashley on love…

I date men and am in a steady relationship with a bi-sexual who lives overseas. My heart has been broken, so I take it one day one at a time.

On dating…

Everyone I’ve dated and have been in a relationship with knows who I am.

Ashley’s Glam Squad…

… I only use a glam squad when I’m going to a major event. A typical trans woman however, who does drag shows takes up to three hours.

I take like 10-15 minutes if I am late; if I am not rushing it’s like 15-20 minutes.

On style…

… I love classics. I like to look chic and elegant. I love my black, white, neutral and pastel colours. I try to stay away from bright colours.

My preferred designers are…

I have sooo many. Those I love, those I wear and those I dream about wearing but here are a few: Balmain, BCBG, Topshop, DVF, Cushnie et Ochs, River Island, and Betsey Johnson.

The person I most admire is…

Me! After all, I thought I wouldn’t get through and I’ve lived to overcome so many obstacles. I have to raise a glass of Moscato to the most high God for His mercy and grace.

I am most comfortable when…

… I like my own company and now that I’m grown and in a relationship, I realise how good it feels to be at home with my love in private, curled up and watching TV with a glass of wine, and in some cases, a little online shopping doesn’t hurt.

On AshSlay blog…

My blog is AshSlay (Ash + Slay = AshSlay). I wanted one with a stylish, unique twist and when AshSlay came to mind I loved it. I started blogging in late-October (2011) but I saw growth in my audience when I started a daily style blog on Instagram (ashslayblog) in 2014. We now have almost 15,000 followers and climbing. I love the support, hate and love because what I know for sure is that one day I will look back with no regrets and smile. I know that it’s coming and I hope I am alive for it. I want to pursue a career in fashion as a blogger/stylist. I won’t stop until I am successful. I can and I will.

SO plans to check back on Ashley five years from now on her 30th birthday.

0 thoughts on “ASH- SLAY INA DI OBSERVER ……………..NO WORDS

  1. oMGGGGGGGGGGGGGG a so Ashley sound Jesus Christttttttttt shim sounds awful and her mouth part looks better when it closed. NO SAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH NOOOOO is a Kerry Ann part two…she sound like she have a speech disorder!!!!!!!!

  2. for someone that wear expensive clothes bag and shoe honestly ash u need speech lesson and u need to get your teeth fix honestly….u can dress well i must say but just dont talk just dress and take pic nothing more

  3. It is very sad that Jamaica Observer did not do due diligence and there is no ethics behind the news paper…all I will say is they should have used a transgender that’s not a SCAMMER….if that’s the story they want to get out….how does Ash-Slay pay for her expensive things?? I guess 5 years from now they might just get the answers…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Back to top