Levi, a young trans person, on why telling our stories is more important than ever
I always knew that I wanted to make a film about being trans, since I came out almost six years ago.
My love for documentaries started when I was 12 years old. I sat in front of my TV and turned on a short programme called I am Leo.
Unknowingly, this documentary about a trans boy seeking hormone blockers helped me realise that there was something beyond a “tomboy.” It was the first time that I related to somebody, and ever since viewing that show, I have pursued an ambition to create visual media content that trans people can relate to.
There isn’t enough transgender representation on screen, and I am actively challenging this with the content that I am making.
The stories explored in my documentary It’s Not That Simple are influential because, for once, trans people are defining their own narratives and not falling into the trap of only scratching the surface of trans identity. They are at the forefront of the film, talking openly about their insecurities surrounding love.
This story is incredibly important because trans identity is a hot topic in the news right now and is constantly being ridiculed by political debates. This documentary will counteract the negativity surrounding trans identity in the UK and humanise transgender people.
There aren’t enough conversations surrounding queer relationships and intimacy, so many LGBT+ people can feel incredibly alone when they are figuring out their sexual identity. This film will offer the representation trans people are craving right now and offer a sense of comfort, in knowing that you are not alone.
This project will help me explore why I am so uncomfortable about the thought of love. It will also help educate me about other trans people’s perceptions of finding love, as we are all unique. I will also uncover how the misrepresentation of trans people has created a culture war that I, like so many people, am stuck in the middle of.
By choosing a topic that is relatable to most people, the film will hopefully show cisgender people that we are not some form of “other”. We just require additional support and patience in ways that aren’t necessarily considered in relationships.
The most important advice I can give to a young trans person who is willing to share their story like I am is that anything you make will add to the conversation around trans identity. People will care about your opinions and experiences. They want to learn from you. Nothing is ever too much.
I’ve had many doubts about creating this documentary, but now more than ever, trans stories need to be portrayed by trans people and not by the media’s perception of what it means to be transgender.
Follow the progress of Levi’s documentary at instagram.com/itsnotthatsimple.doc.