September 10, 2018 at 12:19 pm EST | by Mariah Cooper
Aaron Philip becomes first black, disabled, trans model to sign with Elite Model

Aaron Philip (Photo via Instagram)

Aaron Philip has become the first black, disabled, transgender model to sign with Elite Model Management.

Philip identifies as a gender-nonconforming transgender woman. She has cerebral palsy and uses a motorized wheelchair.

The 17-year-old was scouted from her social media accounts where she boasts more than 32,000 Instagram followers and more than 20,000 Twitter followers.

“i’m signed to @elitenyc! thank you so much for supporting me thru my journey to make the fashion world more inclusive. this hasn’t been easy, but we did it! i’m so excited & grateful to work hard and share this new chapter of my life with you all,” Philip announced on Twitter.

Philip also published an op-ed with LGBTQ+ publication them., where she speculated on what her career holds in store for both her and other black, disabled and transgender models.

“Now that I’m signed and ready to hit the runway this season, I have lots of questions running through my mind. Who will be daring enough to cast me in their shows? Will I book any shows this season? Which casting directors are interested or uninterested?” Philip writes.

“As excited as I am, this is all new to me. I know that because of my appearance, my disability, and my identities, I may be boxed into a position where I’m either seen as unique and fascinating, or straight up not what a casting director or designer may be looking for. More than anything, I can only pray for success and happiness within my career and the goals I intend to achieve. I don’t want signings like mine to be a trend or a fad. I want careers for Black, disabled, and trans models to be attainable and sustainable,” she adds.

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