Humans of City High: Aidan Burdinie


Marina Escandell

Aidan Burdinie ’22 poses in City High’s Cafeteria.

Kaitlyn Brown and Marina Escandell

Can you state your name and grade?

I’m Aidan Burdinie, and I’m a senior. 

Who is your inspiration in life?

Actually this is going to sound so cultish. But I have a tattoo and the main person behind that project, Genesis P-Orridge, I really admired. They’re really themselves and they really didn’t let anything get in the way of that. And even when they faced a lot of backlash from the British government, they just kept pushing their vision. That’s inspiring to me.

Can you describe the importance of the tattoo? 

This was my 17th birthday gift for my parents. The symbol is for one of the projects, psychic TV and the whole idea of the logo is that if other people into that music or that art see it they know that that person is there to help them with what authority they need, just like a trust system.

So when you say this was your 17th birthday present, can you describe the day you got it? Or describe the emotions you were feeling?

We had to drive to Missouri to get it because they don’t do tattoos under 18 here, and I remember driving there, there’s this sense of build up.” Is this gonna hurt? Is the person doing this going to be a jerk?”. So there’s a lot of anxiety and build up. But once the needle hit my skin, it was like instant relief. “This isn’t that bad? He’s nice.” I was just working myself up. It was mostly anticipation. 

What was the process you went through in choosing the tattoo?

I actually went through a lot of different designs. My parents let me know a couple months ahead [of time] that I could pick a tattoo. And so I bounced off a couple and I settled on this because it’s really not that big, it’s easy to cover up if I ever want to get away from it. And I don’t like text on tattoos and this is a nitpick thing. This was a good compromise. So yeah,

How is fashion important to you? How do you present yourself?

My family really isn’t that wealthy so we can’t really buy that many clothes. So often, I’m working with what I have in my closet. And I like to have a sense of variety. So some days I wear the leather jacket and I have black nails, and other days I have my “drug rug” jacket thing. I like to have different aspects of my personality come through and not typecast myself. That’s the main goal.

Who are your fashion inspirations?

I can’t really think of any specific figure. I definitely pull from different places. If I could pick one person to look like… even that’s hard. I don’t know. 

Was there ever a turning point in your life where you decided you were going to start dressing the way you want to? Or a point where you stopped distancing yourself from who you are?

Absolutely. I think when we went online, all of my anxieties of dressing a certain way definitely started to fade. I was getting tired of hiding my own style, because I am gay. And I do like to sometimes be a little more feminine. And I was really suppressing that within myself in the earlier years, like freshman year. And once we were online, I realized that I was just wasting time.