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Touched by an Angel

Non-binary Instagram icon Lulo is turning a party dedicated to cuteness into a force for nightlife and community

She’s got parrot-green siren locks, Sailor Pluto proportions and hoards of lascivious fanboys trying to slide into her inbox. Meet Lulo, aka @itslulo: Instagram heartbreaker, Snapchat ballbuster, Tumblr bricoleur, and Twitter —well, if there were one social media platform she could do without, that would be it.

Age: 25. Gender: Non-binary. Origins: A ranch 90 minutes south of L.A., where she grew up tending to “chickens and goats and sheep and all that.” What’s more to know? Oh, she’s an angel. Truly. And not just for her winged eyeliner, cumulus cloud lips and glowing skin. She’s got grace, peace and a lotta love to share. Lulo is a divine being whom you could meet in corporeal form at the Heav3n on earth she hosts monthly. It’s a party, one she fashioned to be inclusive and wild, not unlike her wardrobe. Or the music Heav3n plays.

“It’s all over the place,” Lulo says. “A little bit of everything.” Sometimes it’s even live. Last party, she got Candy Ken, the beefcake she’s photographed with below, to rap. (His hit is “Basic Bitches.”) And next week, “We have a performer called QT coming, so — ” says Lulo, “it’s gonna be really cute.”

Heav3n itself is a “self-proclaimed ‘cute party’,” according to LA Weekly, and “all about escaping to your happy, dreamy place.” Lulo welcomes this praise. “That’s what’s great about Heav3n,” she explains. “It’s where we can all just have our own little cloud to play on and express who we are while being praised, rather than looked down upon or judged.” Lulo encourages everybody to bless Heav3n with their presence — you are welcome. Such kindness feels very now, necessary after a summer of hate in the media. Which is why MEL had to meet the angel spreading the word IRL.

Hi Lulo. Could you tell me a little bit about Heav3n?
Heav3n is a party I started a little over a year ago. Basically it’s just all of our friends on one big cloud listening to good music and looking good doing it. It’s like many scenes of L.A. all meeting together. I started it with what we call our “angel hosts.” There’s Layla (@toopoor), Nikki (@nikkilipstick), and Luna (@lunamiu). We like to bring in new guest angels to host with us and join our family. We also sometimes have live performances and always try to bring in new DJs. One of my favorites is Ava, aka @cherrybomb866. She’s one of our usual DJs; she’s so so talented for being so young.

Heav3n. Where did that name come from? Are you a spiritual person?
I did grow up having to take Catholic classes but that’s not the reason. I really just wanted to have a Heaven that’s open to everyone and accepts everyone for who they are; a Heaven that wouldn’t turn you away for being different.

Your Insta identifies you as a “nonbinary angel.” What does nonbinary mean to you?
It basically just means you don’t fit into a specific gender, you don’t have to be male or female, you’re in between, or you’re not even around it at all. For me, I identify with both male and female in many different ways.

Do you feel you have a consistent balance of masculine and feminine or does it shift? (You might not even use this language!)
I think it’s this constant of both. At first, I went back and forth from being more male one day then more female other days, but lately, it’s just kind of been this both merged together thing. I don’t really notice it anymore. It just became how I am.

Equilibrium.
Yeah. It just kind of worked together somehow.

What’s it like moving around the city with your bright beautiful shocking hair and style, do you find people look a lot?
Yeah, definitely. The green hair has been completely different. When I had blonde hair, or even different colors, it was easier to blend in, but I think the green is shocking to people. I don’t really get too much negative attention, though: Mostly people either compliment or stare, which is fine. The kids are the funniest though. I’m like some big cartoon character to them, I think.

Rumor has it you are something of a icon for straight men — an object of desire.
[Laughs.] That’s funny. I didn’t know people could get that from just my photos. Not gonna lie, I like the sound of that, but not sure if that’s the case. I guess if I were to go off of who hits on me the most, then yes, it might be a little true.

Would that be in your Instagram DMs?
Insta DMs, Snapchat, IRL. All of the above, really. I’m debating if I should make [my Snapchat] private though, because of what I get [in my DMs]. But I probably won’t since I like to interact with people on there too.

Like what?
Just a lot of inappropriate snaps from guys. Things I wouldn’t show to my worst enemies, aka dick pics. I swear I’m not a total prude I just hate dick pics for some reason.

I’m trying to figure out what the impulse of a dick snap would be. Is it kind of like a catcall? Like this kind of anonymous demonstration of masculinity? What do they expect?
Yeah, I guess so. Maybe they just feel more confident online. And they wouldn’t dare to just whip out their stuff in front of someone in person, but I guess in their little pea brains they think it’s okay online. I mean, it’s one thing if you’re into it, I guess, but when it’s out of the blue from a stranger… No, no, no, too spooky for me.

What advice would you give dude admirers if they wanted to approach you in a welcome way?
Just be confident, really. Don’t just stare—I’m not going to come up to you, especially because you never know what people are attracted to. I feel like a lot of guys are just intimidated when trying to talk to me. When a guy just comes up to you and is really forward, that’s what I really like.

Is there a healthy way to hit on someone online? I’m a fan of the subtle deep-thread like.
Online is a little hard for me to open up to guys. Being a trans/nonbinary person you attract a lot of guys that just try to sexualize you and fetishize you, so I’ve built myself such a huge wall online, it takes a while to get past that unfortunately. I would rather meet people IRL definitely.

Are you into straight men? I’m trying to test this theory that people often attract what we desire…
Honestly, I don’t have a specific orientation that I go for. My last boyfriend was bi, the one before that was gay. It doesn’t really matter. Just lately, I attract more straight guys.

What’s attractive to you?
Guys that are really funny are super attractive to me. I’m so sarcastic and annoying, I need someone just like that.

Nice and funny. Ideal. You’d think it would be simple, but it’s hard to find.
It is. Especially in L.A.!

Can we talk about the nipple? Your pics often get banned from Instagram for your nipples, right?
Yeah, Instagram is so annoying with their guidelines. In general, I think men and women should be able to both show their nipples. But for me, technically I was born a boy, so it totally meets their guidelines, right? Every time I post a picture with a nipple, it instantly gets deleted. Even friends or photographers who post topless pictures of me, those get deleted. I just don’t really understand why. I guess they’re just targeting me. It’s happened so many times now that I feel like if I don’t cover them they will just delete my account. I’ve sent them many many emails about it and never have gotten a single reply so I don’t know.

Would you consider yourself a night person?
Totally. I’m basically nocturnal. Even if I get up early, I still like staying up late. I’d rather do things at night. I feel like I come awake at like 10 p.m. Sometimes I wish it was always dark.

What are you plotting now? What’s next?
I want to take Heav3n to different cities. We’re going to Mexico City this month with Crom magazine. And then I wanna take it to New York in September.

Does that mean traveling with the angels?
Yes. Every Heav3n I do I would love to bring the angels with me.