WHILE back home in Worcester this summer, student Evel Knoxville has been photographing and interviewing city residents, with a focus on questions they may not normally be asked. For the final interview, 19-year-old Evel answered his own questions.

Tell me about your favourite piece of art? I love David Hoyle’s video art works from the late 90s. They are such an astute and amusing commentary on aspects of popular culture that still remain fairly relevant today. And also at the moment I’m really into Ralph Bakshi’s 1973 film ‘Heavy Traffic’. Its gritty and has a sort of self-aware nasty brutalistic sense of humour about it.

What’s something small that makes you happy that other people might not notice? When someone assumes nothing about you based on your appearance or the way you talk. I think people spend too much time on that.

What’s the first thing you hope people notice about you? Hopefully that I dress androgynously. I know that realistically when people look at another person they are seeing what they look like first of all, so I can hope that within this people are at least seeing something intentional.

Do you have a favourite memory? I used to sneak out of the house in the middle of the night to go on walks with my friends. It was so lovely because there was no one else around and it was quiet and peaceful. I guess I’m kind of a nervous person so I really valued being able to do this.

What do you want the rest of 2018 to be like? I want it to be exciting, and busy, and filled with lots of wonderful diverse people and travel and new experiences and bizarre new fashions and music and stuff like that. I’m always excited to see where people will take creative arts.

What is something you wish you could say more often? I wish I could say that I’m transgender more often, and be greeted with less hostility. And in a similar vein, that anyone can wear make up, have short or long hair, that your body does not dictate who you are or how you dress or what colours you can like or the things you do with your life. Even if you’re not trans, if you don’t adhere to societies expectations of gender, that’s okay!

All that matters is that you are comfortable. I’ve heard lots of people say recently that people who are transgender and trans rights are getting too much press coverage, but I can only revel in the rising level of exposure that such a downtrodden and under-represented group of people are at last receiving.

What would you change about the world right now? I would improve the mental health services available and the quality of what’s being offered, as well as more teams for the specialised treatment of a wider range of mental illnesses. Also, the acceptance towards LGBTQ people can always increase. Whether that’s in big increments or smaller ones, any progress is good progress.

I wish no one should ever, ever be made to feel ashamed for being visible again. It’s not acceptable that queer people still can’t be casually open and be guaranteed safety, or be considered as deserving the same respect as everyone else.

What is something you wish people would ask you more often? I’m about to completely evade answering this question, but it would be really nice if people asked each other if they were okay more. And I mean, strangers just checking up on people. If someone looks like they’re struggling just ask them if they’re alright. It’ll make their day. And it’ll make them feel heard. Everyone really could be kinder to each other, it pays off.

Support relating to the issues above can be found here:

  • Transfigurations trans support group: 07527 524034

  • The LGBT Foundation: 0345 3303030 

  • National Trans 24-hour helpline: 07527 524034