Hello! I hope you're doing well today!
I have a question for you:
How do you learn to love yourself when you’ve never been taught how?
I'm Atlas O Phoenix, formerly Ayesha Adu. My pronouns are They/Them. I'm 50+. As a multi-award-winning auteur; I write, produce, and direct my own films.
I am fundraising to produce my film, Beautiful Boi. The film is partially grant-funded through The Jerome Foundation, MRAC, and multiple grants from the MN State Arts Board. I've made 4 short films, including 2 multi-award-winning short films in 23 years. You can find my resume here.
Additional funding is needed over the next 3 years as I write, shoot, and edit this visual personal essay. Shot in digital 4K and black and white, Beautiful Boi intertwines fiction, nonfiction, and dream states with ethereal music, creating an experience that can be considered an inspiring survival guide for others who dream of living on their own terms, outside the box.
I'm like many in the LGBPTNQIA2S+ and BIPOC communities who struggle with mental health conditions and disorders stemming from childhood and adult trauma.
Typically, stories of trans-identified people are focused on younger folx, and less on folx of color. Not able to find stories that took my age and other elements into consideration, I decided to create Beautiful Boi.
While documenting my top and bottom surgeries and my journey on HRT, Beautiful Boi also focuses on my mental health journey of nearly 40 years after losing my most significant relationship with my dear, best friend just a few years ago. After this event took place, I began a deep dive into my mental health and have completed DBT, AIR Network Therapy, and I'm beginning EMDR Therapy.
What started as a gift to my dear friend, has become a documentary about love, loss, and transfiguration. This film isn’t just about the surgeries, the hormone replacement therapy, nor is it trans trauma porn.
It's about Joy. Beautiful Boi is about the work it takes learning to be yourself from moment to moment and falling in love with yourself in those moments, good and not so good. It's about breaking out of self-imposed and society-imposed boxes that do not clearly identify me. At this point in my life, I am concerned with the legacy I have built and what I intend to leave behind.
Would you like to see this movie? If you want to support this art, please donate.
Additionally, please consider becoming a monthly patron at Beautiful Boi.
Thank you so much,
“Undoubtedly, we become what we envision” - Claude M. Bristol
Director, Writer, Editor & 1st DP:
Atlas O Phoenix
Atlas O Phoenix & Senay Matewos
Deidre Hamlar, Celeste Grant, Emma Muelbauer & Roxanne Anderson
David Finch of Picture This Productions.
Simon M. Sperl
2nd DP and Assistant Editor:
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