If you're in need of an inspiring documentary, This Is Everything: Gigi Gorgeous is the perfect choice. The film showcases Gigi Lazzarato's journey from her former life as Gregory Lazzarato to her coming out as a transgender woman, who is now known all over YouTube as Gigi Gorgeous. Before the film's release on YouTube Red on Wednesday, Feb. 8, Gigi opened up to Bustle about the documentary and how it shows that love trumps hate.
"I definitely would love for people to watch it with an open mind," Gigi says of the documentary directed by Oscar-winner Barbara Kopple. "I really see it as an educational tool for people to become more understanding and walk away with more acceptance, which I think is really, really important."
Gigi was inspired to create the film and let others in on her journey by her mom. Five years ago, her mother died, which pushed Gigi to embrace her true self. "I was very, very inspired to really find the real me and do a lot of soul searching around that time," she says. "I just came to the decision that life was too short, so I decided to go through with making the journey and the steps to becoming a woman."
Soon after, Gigi found herself documenting her life "very, very organically." What the 24-year-old did not expect was that the footage would later be turned it into a documentary that would end up at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival. "I ended up with so much footage I decided why not make this a movie, because this has never really been done in this capacity before, and I thought that it would be really powerful," she says. "I think it really gives people that extra behind-the-scenes vulnerable look and that's what this film is all about, dropping all the walls and having it be a real real story."
Thanks to This Is Everything, Gigi is able to show others, especially those who aren't accepting or don't understand the transgender community, why support and love is so important for anyone who identifies as LGBTQ. As Gigi says, transgender individuals are "just like everybody else." She continues,
As much as she preaches this belief and as many other people there are out there who agree with her, Gigi continues to face her fair share of hate. "It's so frustrating to me that negative people have the ability to write whatever they want online or, you know, everything I post someone has something to say," she says. "I think that just comes with the territory of being online and sharing my life so openly."
That said, Gigi chooses to focus on the positive and the love surrounding her. "Just the fact that I have a group and community who love me for me and I know accepts me is really truly amazing," she says. "It outweighs the hate."
There's been much more exposure of the transgender community as of late, with Amazon's Transparent, starring Jeffrey Tambor, and with Caitlyn Jenner becoming a famous face of the community, and this is something Gigi sees as a positive:
That's one of the many reasons This Is Everything is needed in the world today, especially in our current political climate in which many fear the rights of the LGBTQ community could be impeded upon.
"It's really important that we stick together, especially groups that really want change, like the LGBTQ community, that we stick together and we fight for what we want," she says about Donald Trump's current reign as president. "At the end of the day, love will always trump hate."
Gigi is someone who has pushed past the hate to create a powerful documentary that not only is inspiring others, but has also pushed her to do more to make the world a safer, more accepting, and more loving place: "This documentary has lit something in me and to inspire more than I am."
She recognizes just how transforming her doc can be for others, and it's something she wished was around during her time of need. "If I had somebody to look up to, like a Caitlyn Jenner or if I saw a movie like my movie when I was young, I think that it would've made my life way easier," Gigi says. "But I'm happy that this generation does have that and anything I do from this point forward I would just love to inspire youth."
Gigi wants everyone to embrace their true self and live a happy life, because staying true to who you are is of utmost importance:
And look at Gigi now. There's no doubt she's impacting lives and inspiring others to be themselves, too.