Chella Man in particular is a rare combination: He is Chinese, Jewish, deaf, and trans, and he’s gained notoriety for his artwork and documentation of his transition on social media — an arena that has garnered him more than 200,000 followers collectively. He uses Instagram to post his artwork and has created resourceful videos on YouTube, such as “Being in a Relationship with Someone Transitioning” and a short film called Moments of Mom, which was inspired by the letter he wrote to his mother when he decided to transition.
He’s known for his mantra, “Be your own representation.” In May, Chella Man told Yahoo Lifestyle, “Representation permits you to know there are others in the world with similar experiences to you due to your common identity. It has [the] power to diminish the negative aspects of solitude.”
His latest appearance in Gap’s inclusive ad campaign has hit home for many of his followers, who are sharing their support on social media.
For Chella Man personally, this was a full circle moment, having worn Gap as a child and now being able to represent the brand in its newest campaign, which focuses on diversity and beauty in all shapes and forms.
The diverse casting was intentional by Gap, which was all about “choosing talent that strongly aligned with Gap’s core brand values and overall positive influence and impact in the world,” according to the brand’s press release. “The cast for the campaign includes multiple musicians, artists, performers, and activists who have existing reputations as advocates for positivity, are clearly dedicated to doing good, and are change agents across generations and gender.”
WE ARE THE FUTURE!
It was my honor to be a part of this beautiful casting with @gap!
I ALSO DISCOVERED this highly classified photo of me wearing my favorite Gap sweatshirt back in the day.
The new Gap campaign celebrates the launch of Gap’s new Soft Wear denim line and Vintage Wash T-shirt collection, which are available in stores now and online at gap.com.
Gap stores around the world
Gap around the world
Gap around the world
SCARSDALE, NY, UNITED STATES - 2018/07/31: Gap store in Scarsdale, New York. (Photo by Michael Brochstein/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)
Pedestrians and shoppers walk past a Gap Inc. retail store in Shanghai, China, on Friday, July 6, 2018. As a trade war looms, one of Chinese Presidentï¿½Xiï¿½Jinping's biggest weapons could be boycotts of American brands by his country's legion of consumers. Photographer: Qilai Shen/Bloomberg via Getty Images
LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 11: Shoppers walk past the GAP fashion retail shop entrance on Oxford Street on June 11, 2018 in London, England. (photo by John Keeble/Getty Images)
SAN FRANCISCO, CA - MAY 25: The Gap logo is displayed on a window at a Gap store on May 25, 2018 in San Francisco, California. Gap Inc. shares dropped close to 15% on Friday a day after the company reported first quarter earnings that fell short of analyst expectations and also advised of inventory issues that may take several months to rectify. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
A customer enters a Gap Inc. fashion store during Black Friday sales at the Vegas shopping mall in Moscow, Russia, on Friday, Nov. 24, 2017. For most of the last decade, Russia's Central Bank Governor Elvira Nabiullinaï¿½says Russians will get to enjoy some lower prices in time for New Yearsï¿½Eve parties, but her countrymen arent buying it. Photographer: Andrey Rudakov/Bloomberg via Getty Images
A bird flies over a Gap Inc. store in San Francisco, California, U.S., on Friday, May 13, 2016. Gap Inc. is scheduled to release earnings figures on May 19. Photographer: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg via Getty Images
NEW DELHI, INDIA - MAY 27: A Gap store's work in progress as it's going to open soon in Select Citywalk on May 27, 2015 in New Delhi, India. (Photo by Pradeep Gaur/Mint via Getty Images)
A pedestrian carries a Gap Inc. shopping bag on the Avenue des Champs-Elysee in Paris, France, on Tuesday, July 21, 2015. The French Competition Authority has acquired new powers to streamline merger control, dilute retail dominance, control the establishment of regulated legal professions and the fees they charge. Photographer: Christophe Morin/Bloomberg via Getty Images
TOKYO, JAPAN - MARCH 05 : GAP building is seen in the most famous high-end shopping district of Ginza in Tokyo, Japan, on March 05, 2015. (Photo by David Mareuil/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)