Jordan Bradfield, Closets
Jordan Bradfield

"We are all guest stars in corporate America's world -- people fighting for betterment under a glass ceiling that suffocates them," Jordan claims, with biting accuracy. His unique perspective emanates from a youth spent in a town that is man-made and bears the saccharine name, Santa Claus (in Indiana), where he lived in Christmas Lake Village on Reindeer Circle. Set apart from the get-go, Jordan danced at a young age, which made him one of the few who ever left town. He recalls returning with the overwhelming feeling that there was more to life than "sports, drinking, and working yourself to the bone under a bureaucracy that offers nothing more than a false sense of happiness and hope." Exposing the facade of eternal bliss that surrounded him became his passion and Jordan expresses his searing views through dress and choreography.

On a crusade to break the iron chains of stereotypes, Jordan consciously embraces the white trash, I-don't-give-an-F attitude of his roots. His rebel with a cause, demeanor is most blatantly witnessed by the sayings he prints on his shirts when he's outraged, like "Second Class Citizen." And why not? His mom was originally from the South, and she dismantled static norms by being the masculine one of Jordan's parents. She was the first female welder in Indiana and earned her nurse's degree at fifty. Today, she's able to tout that she's the highest paid in her field in Indiana. His mother's defiance resonates deeply with Jordan. "She doesn't need to be anyone to anybody," he states, and he sees himself in her, imagining himself with a cigarette burning halfway, ashes flickering down, nonchalantly laughing, vintage fur coat and all.

Disdainful of fitting in, what Jordan wears is an amplification of who he is that day and what he seeks to illuminate, a range that includes Midwest women, grandmas, old 70s gay porn honcho men, and irreverent grunge punks. Note the myriad messages in his camouflage pants under a black leather skirt, and a sex harness over an Indiana sweatshirt (the down-to-earth midwesterner in Jordan has never left him, he is proud to say). Jordan defies corporate America's one-size-fits-all-of-anything, let alone "gay man." Questions of masculinity and femininity are strident in everything he does. "People may wanna call me a faggot but then they think twice because I might be able to kill them," he declares. Yet pegging him is impossible. In keeping with Jordan's war on attenuated thinking, underneath the combat boots, he's as enveloping and loving as they come.

Army coat over a Jeremy Scott cartoon of a teddy bear brandishing a machine gun, Jordan sees himself as an undercover agent, hoping to blow up the exhausted game of conformity from the inside with his creative charm. His choreography finds art in the environment that he grew up in by shedding light on the flip side of the story, like what happens when you don't make it and embark on a desperate quest to conceal your failure under superficial dinner parties and fast fashion. Jordan's upcoming performance art piece exposes the gritty and heartbreaking story of a person that has no life even though, as he says, "they put on a beautiful dress, they clean the house, and bake the cake." His show is dark, fatal, and beautiful, or, as he describes it, "an homage to Romeo and Juliet." Standard roles like businessmen, husband, father, wife, cook -- all the American archetypes that you might think you need to follow in order to be whole or fulfilled are interrogated. Like StyleLikeU, Jordan is fed up with the fact that people are being smothered and coerced to fit a corporate-made, oppressively inauthentic mold that inevitably makes them believe that there's something wrong with them. "A lot of the kids in our generation don’t want to run a race where they will never win the prize because they’re in a treadmill show like everyone else," Jordan remarks, inbetween claiming his fanaticism for jewelry.

Video Edited by Kelsey Cynthia Rowland.

Music by Roma.

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