Trans YouTube star Gigi Gorgeous talks about her new documentary 'This is Everything'

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Trans YouTube star Gigi Gorgeous talks about her new documentary 'This is Everything'

There are two transition stories in the new documentary, This is Everything: Gigi Gorgeous.

"I was transitioning my gender," explains YouTube star Gigi Gorgeous, originally called Gregory Lazzarato, in an interview on CBC Radio's Metro Morning.

"And my father was transitioning the way he fathered me to be supportive enough for me to transition my gender."

This is Everything, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival this year, is a collage of home videos and new footage that captures Gorgeous's life.

It looks at her early life in Mississauga, where she grew up, and covers not only her journey, but that of her family, through the transition. 

Growing up trans was "very hard," said Gorgeous, who began her YouTube channel — which now has more than two million subscribers — as a male teenager who did makeup tutorials.

"Being trans and not open about it is a struggle that I think very few people know," she said.

Gorgeous came out as transgender in 2013, motivated by the passing of her supportive mother two years earlier. 

"The most difficult part of being transgender is the beginning. Telling people you're trans, getting your name changed," she said.

"My father has been an amazing support for me but we had our struggles when I changed my name because you have that knee-jerk reaction to call your offspring what you usually call them, and that was really, really tough."

Gorgeous's father David Lazzarato, who was also interviewed on Metro Morning, said it was initially hard for him to "flip the switch" and call his child by her new name. 

"I try to go back to first principles of being a parent. What do you want for any of your kids: you want them to be healthy, you want them to be happy," he said.

"I'm not great at it. I'm good at it, I guess, but whenever I think before I talk, I'm probably a better parent."

Gorgeous hopes the documentary can be an inspiration to young people.

"I've never seen a movie made like this of a transgender person's journey from start to finish," she said. "I thought it was important to share my story."

This is Everything: Gigi Gorgeous plays at Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema on Friday, March 3 as part of the Curious Minds Weekend.