Tiana Randall: The Break Through

Updated: Jan 17

Behind an exclusive veil, there lies an underground scene shrouded with the smell of poppers and weed, filled with riveting house beats, and young adults who play interns by day and partiers by night. These moments shape them and help propel Tiana into the culture of New York.

Based in Brooklyn, Randall solidifies themselves as a staff writer for Office Magazine, facilitating interviews for artists such as Christian Leave, River Moon, and Kari Faux. They writhe with a distinct and bubbly presence, fully assimilating into the long paced, hustle and bustle of the city.

“You get ready with your friends, head out, [and] one of your friends tries to find some poppers or ketamine,” Randall said. “You step in, see two of your exes [and] friends. We dance to some ballroom beats. One of your exes comes up to you and asks if everything’s fine. You rush over to your friends and go, ‘Bitch, guess who just came up to me.’ And then you go home. Going to those things, that’s when you realize the people there who are like you.”

These recollections stand as pillars of inspiration for Randall’s writing style. Before Randall became a full-time writer at Office Magazine, they began as an employee for Glossier, hoping for some sort of opportunity to manifest itself into fruition.

“There’s always a point when you’re knowing you have a talent, but for some reason, you can’t break through that door,” Randall said. “It wasn’t that I couldn’t break through that door, I was just lazy. I always assumed that I [was] going to be okay either way. Around Halloween time, my friend was like ‘I got an internship at the Office.’ She was like, ‘You should really try to work at the Office. You have a good voice and you know what’s going on with culture and media.’ I applied. So from there, I began writing on the first day.”

Just before college, Randall felt no desire to pursue a career in the editorial world. They skated gracefully through every English course, but even in the midst of their talent, there remained an inability to pin the exactness of their voice.

“I never wanted to be a writer,” Randall said. “I think writing is such a tedious task. I’ve been writing flowery my whole life and then one time, [in high school], my English teacher was like, ‘Just cut out all the bullshit.’ He was a man, so obviously I didn’t listen to him. Like, shut up. All my other English teachers loved my essays, so what could this nigga possibly be talking about? One: you’re white. Two: he’s a man.”

For Randall, school consisted of colorist girls and annoying white boys. They spent their time taking drama classes, kicking and cheering through pep rallies, and stumbling upon the truths of who they really are.

“High school was a little overwhelming,” Randall said. “It was always me fighting cis boys for saying ‘nigga’ and homophobic things. I didn’t know that I was gay until high school. I started realizing these feelings and I thought it was so horrible, but I also was such an ally. I didn’t think other gay people were gross, I just thought me being gay would be gross. I’d stay up all night feeling so guilty for being gay. It was just me doing ‘Am I Gay’ quizzes.”

They exited high school and entered college. Along the way, Randall acquired a new group of friends that helped them put the puzzle of their lives together. These friends ran with Randall, hip by hip, on this pursuit of happiness, knowing that their journey will never cease, and enduring the same strife as one another.

“Last year, I had a really good chosen family,” Randall said. “They were all black, all queer, mad tight and always helping me figure out my identity. It’s one thing to be queer and have friends who are queer, but it’s another thing to have friends who are queer and black [who] understand 100 percent of what you’re going through.”