San Diego-based personal trainer Jesse Diamond has become the first trans man to feature in an underwear campaign for well-known underwear brand, Andrew Christian.
Diamond, 27, was born in Tacoma, Washington, and raised in Northern Virginia, just outside of Washington DC.
‘A dream come true’
In an exclusive chat with Gay Star News, he describes landing the modelling job for Andrew Christian as a dream come true.
‘When I started working out about five years ago, my dream was basically to become Marky Mark. I wanted to be an underwear model, a buff guy, and I’ve been buying Andrew Christians for years. So it was definitely like a dream come true for me.’
Diamond says he began his transition process four years ago when he started taking testosterone. He says he’s not that close to his family but they weren’t wholly surprised (I’ve been presenting as male since I was about three years old!’) and have ‘no big issues’ about his transition.
He says he was able to ‘pass’ as a man pretty quickly, and ‘I got white male privilege as soon as I started passing.’ He knows not all trans people are so fortunate.
He says the hardest part of his transition has been finding work as a personal trainer.
‘Most of the other people I’ve worked with have been trans people. Cis males don’t seem to want to work with me because of my stature. I’m too small. And then women don’t want to work with me because I’m too muscular.’
To supplement his income, Diamond has also embraced go-go dancing. He says he tends to do this at gay bars and gets a good reaction from gay guys.
However, his planned debut at a well-known gay strip club in LA did not go as planned last week.
‘It was not really my thing because I’m not used to dancing around so many other dancers. I don’t wear a packer [a prosthetic penis], so being around 15 other guys with huge cocks … and they announced on the speakers that I was trans, and I felt a bit on display. I just felt a little self-conscious.
‘Whereas with go-go dancing there are fewer dancers and they’re not making announcements about you. And because I’m so short, the cocks were almost eye-level on me, so it was like cock, cock, cock, no cock!’ he laughs. For the time being, he’ll forsake stripping and stick to go-go gigs.
‘I enjoy go-go dancing. There are usually a couple of dancers or 5-6 at most. And I just want to dance. I don’t want to compete with other people.’
Diamond defines his own sexuality as ‘demi-sexual, queer.’ He is single at the moment.
‘My ex girlfriend, she called me a faggot all the time and wouldn’t let me go-go dance. Most women seem to think I’m really gay, but I’m like, “No, I’m queer, so it’s like I’m not totally gay,” so I don’t know. Most people seem to think I’m only interested in men.’
‘Important that we all stick together and support each other’
Diamond features in Andrew Christian’s annual Proud campaign, produced each year to promote the brand around Pride season. It’s his first modelling job and he’s super excited about it.
‘We are so proud to have Jessie Diamond, our first FTM trans model, as one of our brand ambassadors, designer Christian told GSN.
‘The political environment in the United States has become very dark and divisive toward the LGBTQ community so it is extremely important that we all stick together and support each other in every way possible especially being inclusive and celebrating the amazing diversity in our community.
‘Andrew Christian was one of the first, out, loud and proud LGBTQ companies, we are so happy that we now have Jessie as part of our team. We also have several other shoots scheduled with trans models that we are very excited about.’