4 September 2014

Brighton-based musician Oliva Spleen challenges gender norms

“I realised I could have an impact on those around me by challenging notions of masculinity and what it is to be male, rather than changing physical gender. I might have transitioned if I had confronted these things before puberty and grew up in more enlightened times.”

Meet Oliva Spleen, a Brighton-based musician who challenges gender norms and rejects the notion of the ‘opposite sex’. Oli can remember dressing up in women’s clothes since they were young, and in childhood always identified more with women than men. In this film, we hear how alternative music led them to realise that there were subcultures that embraced androgyny, and that they didn’t have to present themselves the way society expected.

The film is part of the Patchwork Stories series that looks at the lives of transgender people of all ages and backgrounds around the UK. The series was commissioned by All About Trans and produced by Lucky Tooth Films in collaboration with Channel 4.

Fox Fisher and Lewis Hancox of Lucky Tooth have been making films together since meeting on the Channel 4 series My Transsexual Summer in 2011. To hear them talking about the making of the Patchwork series and see clips, click here.

Other films in the series introduce models, soldiers, artists, musicians, activists and psychics, who just happen to be trans – as well as their friends, partners and families.

In 2015, Channel 4 host a selection of the short films on ‘Shorts’, available to watch on All4 at www.all4.com. Shorts are Channel 4’s original short form videos on 4oD.


All About Trans