“I think transitioning is extremely hard in general, but when you’re doing it in front of an audience, and basically the world, it turns out to be a lot more on your hands,” reveals Gigi Lazzarato, better known as Gigi Gorgeous, as we chat via webcam (watch the exclusive video above). Her film “This Is Everything: Gigi Gorgeous” is a YouTube Red production that documents Lazzarato’s transition from male to female, as she became an internet star and LGBTQ rights activist. The film was directed by two-time Oscar-winner Barbara Kopple (“Harlem County U.S.A.” in 1976 and “American Dream” in 1990).
Lazzarato, a champion diver headed for the Olympics, discusses when she first decided to undergo her transition: “I was filming the process, my emotions, kind of like keeping a little video diary.” Although she was already famous for a series of beauty tip videos on YouTube (in which she went by the name Gregory Gorgeous), “I kind of kept all of the footage secret.” Years later, she decided to do a film, and after choosing Kopple as director, handed over all her footage before filming more in her home town. “It really didn’t turn into a transitioning movie,” she adds. “It really turned into a life story.”
Putting everything out there may have been difficult, yet ultimately, it was an important decision. “It is kind of a time where we need these stories,” Lazzarato divulges. “I know from personal experience, sharing my story and creating that kind of human connection and relatability, it educates, and it really does speak speak to people in such a profound way.”
The MTV Movie and TV Awards nominated “This Is Everything” a few weeks ago for Best Documentary (losing out to “13th” by Ava DuVernay). It will compete on the just-released 2017 Emmy Awards ballot in the documentary categories.
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