Trans teen hits the screen with unconventional coming-of-age story he hopes will inspire, educate

Levi Nahirney, 19, has extensive straddled several identities growing up on Vancouver’s North Shore — being Canadian, Vietnamese, an adopted child and a twin.

But at age 13, he understood anything was diverse. Though he was in a girl’s human body, he felt like a boy.

“I was always unique from the other ladies but I didn’t really know what that was until I was about 10 or 11 when I experienced access to the Online and, you know, figuring things out for myself,” he reported.

“Since I was really youthful I constantly liked dressing more masculine than all the other ladies. My sister always preferred to engage in with Barbies even though I wanted to participate in with Hot Wheels.”

The realization sent Nahirney on a journey — to start with to notify his mom and dad and twin sister, Kailyn, that he was transgender, and then to make the final decision to commence his transition by taking hormones and puberty blockers.

That journey has now been documented in a film, Levi: Becoming Himself, set to air on CBC Gem on July 16. Nahirney said author and director Shannon Kaplun approached his mother a couple several years ago about the probable to share his tale in the form of a documentary, but they resolved to hold out right until he was 18 to begin filming.

Levi Nahirney and his twin sister, Kailyn, ended up adopted from Vietnam when they ended up seven months outdated. (Mina Lumina)

The movie parts Nahirney’s tale collectively by way of a blend of interviews, videos and footage shot by Nahirney himself, and home films of the twins increasing up in B.C.

The story touches on far more than Nahirney’s actual physical and emotional transformation, but also the effects it had on his twin sister, Kailyn.

In the film, Kailyn addresses the challenges of viewing her twin, beforehand similar, transform physically.

Nahirney said as he started dressing more masculine, his sister grew to become more female in her fashion, as she faced questions from perfectly-that means friends about whether she, as well, was transgender.

“We are finish opposites in identification and character as very well and I consider that just created us much better … we need to have to try to remember that we are the only blood we have correct now, so it just surely [made us] a good deal extra stronger than some persons would be in this circumstance.”

Nahirney said it was complex to clarify to his delivery dad and mom, who experienced specified up two small girls for adoption, to clarify his changeover. (Levi Nahirney)

The documentary also traces the twins’ trip back to Vietnam to fulfill their delivery mothers and fathers for the to start with time. Nahirney said it was intricate to clarify to his beginning parents, who experienced presented up two very little women for adoption, that he had willingly changed.

“There was no word in Vietnamese for becoming transgender, so it was incredibly challenging to tell them that I was transitioning into getting a boy,” he mentioned.

“They acquired it finally. I’m assuming that they are extremely accepting due to the fact they nonetheless do talk to me in excess of Facebook and stuff.”

Nahirney lives the lifetime of an regular 19-12 months-aged, living in his own apartment, functioning night time shifts at his portion-time position and for the duration of the day finishing programs in hairdressing. But he said he hopes the film’s release will have a beneficial impression on transgender youth who may possibly be having difficulties.

“I hope that persons just notice that it’s Alright to go by way of a number of identities while discovering you,” he said.

“It can be Ok to come to feel afraid during this transition. This changeover is not heading to be easy in any way, emotionally and physically. In some elements you might be heading to really feel disgusted with yourself and you have to don’t forget that these emotions that you have suitable now are just temporary.”

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