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Chella Man talks art and activism in NYC

The model, artist and activist takes us through his favorite things to do in New York City

Chella
Portrait by Ryan Duffin
By David Goldberg |
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Instragram isn't always kind to the vulnerable. Yet, among its thirst traps and conspicuous consumption, a genuine activist has emerged. Since 2017, 20-year-old Chella Man has used the platform to document his gender confirmation, with poetic musings on the medical treatments, scars and surprises experienced along the way. Candidly embracing the thorny intersections of his Jewish, Asian, trans and deaf identities, Man imbues genuine soul into his selfies. Between snaps, we asked him to share some of his favorite spots in the city.

Chella Man

Portrait by Ryan Duffin

Queer cut: You & Sundry Barbershop
"It's a safe space to get your haircut in Williamsburg, and it's run by queer people of color! They recently invited me there to get my hair cut and were incredibly sweet. I felt respected and taken care of."

Chella Man

Portrait by Ryan Duffin

Fashion inspo: L Train Vintage
"Whenever I would visit New York in high school, I used to stop by and buy a stack of jean jackets. Once I was back in my small town, I would paint them all and sell them for profit! Starting this tiny business as a teenager granted me important knowledge for later navigating the fashion world."

Chella Man

Portrait by Ryan Duffin

Veggie treat: Sweet Chick
"My sister and I will sometimes stop by, on special occasions, to savor its vegetarian chicken-and-waffles. My favorite time to go is during the warmer months when they have outdoor seating; it's heaven to soak up the rays when the sun is shining."

 

Chella Man

Portrait by Ryan Duffin

Deaf community throwdown: ASL SLAM
"It's a space for Deaf performing artists to share poetry and storytelling in American Sign Language. Growing up, mainstreamed, I never had the privilege of connecting with other D/deaf or hard of hearing individuals. My hometown lacked young, Deaf culture; I did not know anyone else who was Deaf. Today, I am making up for lost time and forming my own Deaf chosen family. I could not be more grateful to have met Lauren and Douglass Ridloff. Both welcomed me into the Deaf community, have changed my life, and enabled me to watch communication barriers shatter. Douglass happens to be the owner and executive director of ASL SLAM." 

Chella Man

Portrait by Ryan Duffin

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