LGBTQ&A: Rashad Corey
Tell us a little about yourself.
I’m a Baltimore native who moved to Philly in 2008 to study fashion at the Art Institute of Philadelphia. I was the president of the Fashion Organization at the Art Institute. I began my fashion career by working for BET’s 106 & Park as an assistant stylist. While interning in NYC, I landed a second internship for Oscar de la Renta, their bridal collection, as a team member of the backstage staff. This all culminated in my love to bring fashion and awareness for a greater purpose, to inspire others through the arts. This allowed me to work with multiple local celebrities as a stylist and make numerous television appearances to promote my brand, the “I Survived” T-shirt campaign.
What’s the inspiration behind Stomp the Runway?
Stomp the Runway is an awareness-raising fashion show that spotlights a cause every year through a unique blend of high fashion and entertainment, with provocative visual statements designed to invoke change. I created the event following the tragic death of Philadelphia supermodel Vanessa “Ms. Banks” Watson, who was murdered in a senseless act of domestic violence. The inaugural Stomp the Runway Against Domestic Abuse in 2012 brought together more than 400 guests and local celebrities, with proceeds benefiting the Watson family and Women Against Abuse.
You are a survivor of sexual abuse and have spoken publicly about overcoming it. Why do you think it is difficult for members of the LGBTQ community to speak out about sexual assault?
The LGBTQ community is known for being a very outspoken community of individuals, although this topic seems to silence people who are victims. Being sexually abused is never an easy topic to discuss, especially when full healing hasn’t taken place. Many people within the LGBTQ community who are victims of sexual abuse may feel as though their sexuality is a result of being assaulted. So with that being said, it can cause issues with speaking out about sexual abuse, because of the thought pattern that many have toward the “reason they are homosexual.” Secondly, it’s difficult to speak out about sexual for members of the LGBTQ community because of the negative stigma that is attached to being sexually abused.
What more do you think the community can do to raise awareness?
Survivors helping victims will definitely help this process of raising awareness. The moment that survivors take the zipper off of their mouths, they will be able to reach the masses and help heal the hurting victims. Mentorship programs in the city that will pair survivors with victims will not only increase awareness, but will cause victims to relate to a person or persons that identify with them. Overall, this will help stop sweeping under the rug the fact that people are being sexually assaulted.
What are you looking forward to the most with the outcome your event?
For people from all walks of life to come out together for one purpose in mind: to #stompoutsexualabuse, with the idea that sexual abuse statics will decrease by their attendance and help to raise money for the charity.
Stomp the Runway is this Saturday, August 20, at 2300 Arena. Tickets are available online.