In 2019, I came out and started transitioning, and I figured that if I'm going to finally be the person I want to be, I might as well start writing again. And so I did. Shorts, feature-length, and page counts in between, I wrote. It wasn't very good, but it was something that I can look back on and say, "I made this. I expressed myself."
Middle of 2020, I write a 21-page script called Guardian Angel that got me recognition in some film festivals. I was elated and it encouraged me to keep writing until I got a recommendation from so-called industry professionals to make my trans woman lead a school shooter because it would be exciting and original. I didn't write for several months after that.
In January 2021, I started writing about something I thought was super cool: Formula 1 racing. Over the next two months, I wrote, redrafted, and redrafted some more on what would eventually become Burn Rubber. I sent it to quite a few film festivals and happened to get accepted into many of them. Saturday, I went to the first film festival it was selected in, the Austin Spotlight Film Festival. I was one of 23 finalists in the Best Narrative Feature Screenplay category, and I somehow beat all of them to win. I don't think I've ever been as shocked and elated as I was in that moment. I figured I was decent at writing, but I didn't realize that I would get that much success. I still can't believe it, and it got me thinking about why I even started writing in the first place.
Mainstream film has such an awful problem with how transgender people are portrayed and I wanted to fix that. I wanted to succeed in writing for the community, so that people like me can be shown to succeed and see positive depictions of themselves in film. I give that reason to most people because, while true, it is a much more straightforward response than the ultimate, underlying reason.
Austin musician Daniel Johnston (rest in peace) has my most favorite lyric in all of music, featured in his 1985 song Go: "To understand and be understood is to be free". I've struggled my entire life with trying to express myself to people, and I ultimately found that in writing. When I write, I put everything I am into it. All of my hopes, my dreams, my desires, my love, my joy, my peace, my sorrow, my pain, my anger, my fury, everything that makes me human. I hope that people can look at my writing and understand me as much as one human can possibly understand another, while I write my characters in my best attempt to understand them better and thus people like them.
I really hope that I can succeed beyond my wildest dreams. I want to get a movie made. I want to win awards. I want to inspire more trans screenwriters to write film. And I know I'm going to do everything I possibly can to make it happen.