Andres Gomez

31 / Designer & DJ / San José, Costa Rica

What is your experience with the punk scene in San Jose?

My experience overall has been interesting. Considering the size of Costa Rica, San José’s scene is big and notoriously growing -- lots of weekly shows and plenty of venues / promoters showcasing new stuff. BUT what was terrible about it was the very toxic feeling of heteronormativity and an obvious lack of queer punks. They were there, but not really raising their voices because of the general reactions. It was awful.

This has started shifting with the help of allies / friends who have become more aware of the situation and started taking action with their bands. We are getting there slowly but there is still a lot of bullshit to tackle and make disappear.

You are considered very tall in your culture. How is it for you being a gentle giant?

Yeah, especially in the gay scene, being this tall just made me impossible to get lost in a crowd [laughs]. I can hardly hear conversations and I’ve noticed tiny people get very overwhelmed when I’m too close.

Earlier in my life, being tall helped me in standing up for people who were bullied, as well as avoid any type of threat from bullies myself. You know it can be awful growing up. But ladies love me, girls adore me. People always ask for hugs and at the end of the day it’s like I’m a teddy bear for me friends -- right, friends?

Do you feel represented in popular culture and/or in fashion at large?

Probably not until 2015. Mine is not the standard body and that’s a great thing, I think media and fashion brands have become more and more aware of sizes and shapes. TV shows have always been there but I think recently the inclusion and approval of all types / sizes has become a lot more present in the mainstream.

Brands doing plus size pieces and considering all types of heights definitely helped me to explore myself more visually -- despite wearing black 95% of the time [laughs].

How was it being in front of the camera for your photo shoot?

It was so good, everything just flowed, I felt comfortable and no pressure to pretend to be something I am not, the work Riot Bear does is impeccable.

The way you boost and pay attention to such a good part of us makes it incredible, exposing points of view and finally giving the spotlight to people who have been always there being fabulous.

What are you currently obsessed with?

Editorial illustration and design for the music industry for sure. Bands / venues have been paying more attention to details and getting even more interested in the work of new artists. It’s always interesting what illustrators and photographers have in mind when it comes to music, when it comes to translating an intangible thing.