lude met up with aspiring model Iman Noor at Fhive Studios for a chat. Unapologetic and self assured, the young model shared her story of growth and self discovery.

Lude: What was it like growing up as a queer woman of Somali heritage ?

Iman: It was difficult. Growing up as a second-generation queer Somali woman, I had to compartmentalised facets of my identity, as a survival mechanism.

Lude: How did you navigate two very different identities ?

Iman: In a sense, I had to break up with parts of my identity, to make myself more palatable.

Lude: That must have been hard.

Iman: Yeah, being closeted and so inauthentic for that many years led to depression. You lose sight of yourself, you know.

"I needed to accept myself, every part of me"

Lude: What changed for you ?

Iman: I realised that in order to rise above the experience, I needed to accept myself, every part of me. Since then I’ve journeyed back to myself, making a home in my body. Understanding the richness of both identities and the space I command within both communities.

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