Photography by: Jana Schuessler
Styling by: Kim Mesches
Exclusively wearing: Halston
Hair by: Denis Perani
Makeup by: Monica Wu
PRODUCTION: Great Social Club
“Let’s grab drinks!” I tell Linux with excitement.
Linux proceeded with inviting me to one of the weekly parties she throws at Paul’s Casablanca in Soho, which is known as Paul’s Dolls. This Manhattanite is a trans woman known as the New York Downtown IT Girl, as she brings the world together one dancefloor at a time. Her name, Linux, originated from the operating system, which is open-sourced. Unlike Apple or Microsoft, Linux has virtually no rules or limitations. Therefore, anything you want to create, can be created with Linux.
“The same goes for me and how I live my life,” said Linux, regarding the similarities between her name and the operating system. “To me, life knows no bounds and anything is possible. If you can imagine it, you can create it.”
Linux has experienced a life like no other. She was falsely imprisoned in Q2L, a private unit in Rikers Island’s men’s prison. It all began on September 7, 2018, when Linux received a voicemail from an NYPD Detective, who informed her that the Chanel bag she had reported stolen a while back had been found. The bag had been snatched from her during a mortifying assault on Christmas Eve in 2016 where Linux was raped and mugged, leaving her bloodsoaked and beaten. On that very night, she spoke to the detective and filed a report, but wasn’t optimistic that the person would be caught. Once she received the call from the NYPD Detective, she rapidly went to the station to speak with him. Upon her arrival, it was revealed to all be foul play, as Linux was immediately arrested.
She then was taken into custody based on a felony warrant out of Miami, Florida. Linux was stuck in jail with a $90,000 bond until the time came to be extradited back to Miami to plead her case, which took about 45 to 90 days. For her, this was an experience that was beyond traumatizing, as she had a difficult and eye opening experience of what many trans women go through in the United States.
“Fellow prisoners and wardens told me I was not a woman, yet in jail they sexualized me as if I was one and took advantage of me,” she said. “If we can’t abolish prisons, the least we could do is put people in the rooms they identify with.”
Through the pain, Linux connected with her higher self and realized how blessed she was to be supported by the New York Nightlife community. While she was in Rikers, the communities banded together to get her out. She then was able to tell her story through writing a column in Paper Magazine.
“I would never have found my passion for writing and uplifting my community if it weren’t for this traumatic experience,” said Linux.
Linux began writing while at Rikers. She wrote her story on a roll of toilet paper in that jail cell, with tears rolling down her cheeks. At first, she was writing because she wanted to document everything, in case the PTSD blacked her out and she wouldn’t be able to remember details. Years after her piece was published, countless people would approach Linux at the clubs and compliment her on how her writing moved them and that she should do more of it.
“I liked the sound of that, but I didn’t want to write about sad things anymore, I wanted to make people happy, and feel fabulous,” she said. “I then took it upon myself to pitch a column about New York Nightlife, which I live and breathe.”
Linux loves New York City and going out, and she wanted the world to see that passion through her rose-colored glasses. Therefore, she started writing about all the incredible things she saw and places she was going to, while also creative directing her own corresponding shoots with each month she wrote about.
“Thankfully, Scene-city never sleeps, so I never run out of things to write about,” she said.
Linux states that many don’t realize that Nightlife is therapy. Many people go out to release their demons, and the people who throw the parties are real life guardian angels, helping everyone to heal. She loves that nightlife enables people to become and celebrate their authentic selves, at a time when they can’t always do so in the real world.
“In the clubs, the fantasy becomes the reality, and that’s powerful,” said Linux. “‘NYC It-girl’ is a self-proclaimed title of mine. I think it just works.”
Linux is currently occupied with the PRIDE celebrations happening in Manhattan this year, as the city is back and ALIVE post pandemic. This has been her busiest pride month yet, as a lot of corporations are being extremely supportive of women like her. She’s done campaigns with COACH and other corporations for this year’s PRIDE.
“For the last two weeks of June, I have more than one event every single day,” said Linux. “I’m looking forward to vacationing on Fire Island in early July, which is New York’s gay backyard.”
Linux will continue hosting her Paul’s Dolls party every Wednesday until the end of time, and will continue writing her column and more as much as she can. To keep an eye out and to continue reading and partying, give Linux a follow on Instagram over at @im_linux.