Being the sibling of one of the country's most popular and denounced politicians can't be easy. "Life is definitely different. How can it not be?" he told me when, to my surprise, he consented to take me with him to the rave. Which isn't to say he's not a bit nervous. Anything he does can have unwanted media consequences, thanks to the power of the attention focused on his sister. "It's almost like the concept of time travel," which as any sci-fi fan knows, can be deadly. "Don't breathe. Don't touch a fly. Don't kick a cup."
Gabriel Ocasio-Cortez, 28, is a musician, artist, and former real-estate agent who turned to a career of progressive advocacy work after his sister's 2018 election. He said he did not do this not out of Kennedy-esque nobility force — they are still "normal people" from the Bronx, he says, and they very nearly lost their family home after their father died when GOC was just 15 — but because, as he told Interview late last year, "I could not post open houses … People would wait outside, and it got to a point where it was genuinely overwhelming." These days, he's working for a homeless shelter and helping families find housing. He also recently founded the Deaf Collective, a nonprofit focusing on Deaf queer talent. (Apparently, he has had partial hearing loss since he was a teenager.)
On Instagram, he's sort of an influencer, though he does not like to be called like that. He constantly stans his sister, occasionally posts a thirst trap and invites people to share "questions and confessions," which he responds to with advice about everything from antidepressants to sex ("Have you considered introducing adult films into your in-person flings?" he recently hinted to an anonymous follower who's "having trouble coming in real-life sex").
Ultimately, though, he's not shy at all; It was obvious that if he is wearing little more than a wrestling singlet at sksksks (a new rave series founded by the DJ THE LIMIT DOESN'T EXIST that caters to hyperpopA highly opposed genre, but one that Spencer Kornhaber reported earlier this year as "the countercultural sound of the 2020s" in the Atlantic.-loving queers.)
In-person, he possesses the same charm as his sister. However, he's a bit goofier and occasionally braggadocious, if not downright cocky, as little brothers tend to be. "Sometimes you have to throw yourself to the wolves," he joked when we arrived at the party.