Canadian model Humza would not consider himself a professional model, but he does have an interest in fashion and clicking photos. He started modeling in drag about four years ago when a local Tamil designer reached out to him to model some of their dresses. It was a lovely experience for him which made him hooked to this profession.
Outside of modeling and all his work as an RVT (Registered Veterinary Technician) for his day job, it is needless to say he has a big interest in animals and veterinary medicine. He also enjoys drawing, exploring nature and among them, hiking has become his lockdown thing. Lastly spending time with his friends is something he likes to do in his free time.
My greatest weakness is my imposter syndrome which is pretty bad at times. I overcame this by remembering that I did not come this far off of sheer luck. It took talent, hours of learning and practice, and a whole support system that always has my back. I believe my strength would include the makeup application. I have also been told I can be quite funny at times, although most of these moments are unplanned (laughter).
One professional goal Humza has for himself is that he would love to grace the cover of a magazine one day. That is something he is very much looking forward to. Besides that, he is extremely passionate about queer rights especially those of queer South Asian people. He is also into animals and veterinary medicine. Humza’s interest also lies in art which mostly includes drawing and makeup, and supporting other queer folks of color.
Talking about how Humza handles feedbacks, he mentioned that he tries his best to take everything as constructive criticism. It can be difficult at times, especially when there is always an eye on you. But he always tries to take that criticism and improve from it.
When it comes to my modeling experience I have been in the Jodhi magazine. I have modeled for several local designers, and I was the first drag queen to walk down a runway for South Asian Fashion Week. The biggest challenge faced is melting makeup in modeling (laughter). Drag makeup can be very heavy and doing shoots without proper cooling equipment can be a nightmare. That is one difficulty I face during modeling.
Being the first drag queen to walk down the South Asian Fashion Week runway was Humza’s biggest achievement till now. It was a last-minute plan. The host asked him to come backstage right before the second set of shows and asked him to walk down with her. It was exhilarating for him as it came unexpectedly to him.
I love modeling in drag, but I am hoping to do more gender-bending modeling. There are no types of modeling I wish to avoid, I would like to explore everything as I am comfortable with it. The longest shoot I have done was 12 hours for a TV show (coming out this fall!). It was a little tough as I felt drained towards the end because the shoot day was nearly 12 hours long. My favorite photo in my portfolio is the one that my friend Hamzah Amin took of me. It is a photo of me in a bridal lehenga holding a bunch of mangoes. It looks amazing.
Humza thinks there is a lot of misinformation about who a drag queen is. People have asked him if he is trans because they do not understand the difference between the art form of drag and gender identity. That is something that irritates him. It is also sad that during this 21st century people are so uneducated and misinformed. Humza believes in educating people and make them think critically about things.
Humza’s favorite model is Iman who is a Somali-American fashion model, actress, and entrepreneur. He loves her. She’s a classic beauty and her presence is powerful. He gets inspired by him and hopes to make an impact like her in the future as well.
Modeling has had a big impact on my life. It has helped me become more confident and comfortable with my femininity. I love it whenever I am modeling, it brings me a whole different kind of joy and satisfaction.
Interviewed and Written By Saishree Mohanty.