If you ran into someone on the street, could you tell if they liked electronic dance music based on their day jobs? Of course not! A few weeks ago Binky the Kandi Kid started popping up on our newsfeed. Since then, we have watched him teach others not to judge a book by its cover. The idea for ‘We Are Who We Are’ came to Binky the Kandi Kid (Paul Hendrickson) when he submitted a photo to EDM Army on Instagram that contrasted his Army reserve uniform to his rave outfit. After receiving a ton of positive comments and a few negative ones, he took the opportunity to provide a forum for other ravers by requesting pictures from his followers and posting them in an album on his Facebook page. In the time span of less than a week, he received over 200 diptych photos from ravers across the nation showing the stark difference between their work selves and their party personas. During a short interview we dug deeper into his motivations and goals for the project which in his words allows people to be open and comfortable sharing who they really are. “Just because I am a kandi kid raver doesn’t mean I am immature and need to grow up. I have a job, a car, a house and I have accomplished a whole lot in my life so far.”-Binky The most interesting aspect of this project is its mission: encouraging people to be happy showing the world who they are. Binky’s quest to empower others in the scene stems from his own personal struggles persuading fellow military members to accept the culture and eventually join in. “During one of my room inspections in the barracks a sergeant found my glow sticks and pacifiers… After smoking [hazing] me for hours I assured him that raving was not a crime and I would pass any drug test that they could throw at me.” Shortly after proving himself in the platoon sergeant’s eyes, he convinced over half of his platoon to accompany him to the next event. Needless to say, their minds were blown! With the scene constantly changing, Binky is a big believer in rave culture and saw the need to impart a little bit of responsibility back into the community by showing new comers what it’s all about. As a former Marine, I can certainly remember looking down on the ravers in platoon until I finally went and experienced the magic for myself. Once I put my cards on the table and attended my first rave, I finally felt like I found a home. For the past week, people have sent hundreds of pictures showing the difference between their work and rave attire. By exposing their work selves to their rave friends and their rave selves to their work friends, Binky aims to close the gap between the two worlds. He hopes that his efforts will help people become more comfortable in their own skin and reduce the amount of awkward conversations that ensue after running into a workmate after hours. Show us who you are! If you would like to contribute to this project, message Binky the Kandi Kid your photos through Facebook. The only requirements are at least one picture has to be in your work clothes and the other in your rave attire. Then head on over to our team page to find out more about who we are! Cole Zuckerman I. Love. House Music!