Today we’d like to introduce you to JJ Hawkins.
Every artist has a unique story. Can you briefly walk us through yours?
I’m a little gender non-conforming trans boy from the San Francisco Bay Area. I was raised in the biggest Mormon family and somehow ended up going to the Mormon mecca for college: Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah. I studied acting and linguistics there, moved to LA right after college, and started my professional acting career. My day job was teaching and tutoring Math to high school students as I was simultaneously always booking jobs as a teenaged role. One thing leads to another and here I am now in a major network television show airing in Spring 2019. In between all these large events were the day to day of a seemingly insurmountable task to like myself or find a place in this world as a transgender Mormon. That part is much more my reality than anything else, really, and much more the story I have to tell.
Please tell us about your art.
I’m an actor. My art is being seen in a way that makes other people feel they are seen. I use my acting as a form of activism so that people can spend time with a gender non-conforming person – whether that be in person with the cast and crew or through the homes I enter on television. The message is that of humanization; watch me be remarkably human, so that you don’t conflate gender non-conformity with anything else. I hope people watch me and my character and see someone they would want to be friends. I hope people watch me and my character and forget about gender. I hope people watch me and my character and feel inspired to live as authentically as possible. I use my voice and face in place for the all-too-many gender non-conforming people who can’t.
Do you have any advice for other artists? Any lessons you wished you learned earlier?
There is something so inherently powerful about authenticity. When you are living your life exactly as you want and with the self-respect you deserve, people and the universe respond. There is no better feeling than being exactly who you are, and consequently being loved, appreciated, and applauded for just that. There is room for everyone in art. In fact, we need everyone in art. We especially need minority and marginalized voices in art. My advice is to use your hurt to help others heal.
How or where can people see your work? How can people support your work?
I have different shows and series I’m a part of. A recent pilot I was in can be found on Play station’s website, titled Two Roads. Some films I’ve been in can be seen at film festivals around the world. The project I’m currently filming is not something I can share publicly yet, but it will be accessible to anyone with cable television. People can support my work and my community’s work by putting our faces and names in as many public places as possible. Start by visiting my website or Instagram profile and spread the good word!
- Website: jjhawkins.com
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: @thejjhawkins
- Twitter: @jjbrehbreh
Two Roads, Daddy Issues, T-H-R-E-A-D-S, I’m Just Here.