Her name is Leandra Medeiros Cerezo, but all know her as Lea T, model and a 37-year-old was born in Brazil, the first transgender to appear in campaigns of fashion brands and high fashion, such as Givenchy, Burberry and Benetton, the first transgender model to have achieved international success, she showed her naked body and turned, as she says, making it become a “political act”. Instagram? Lea says to use it but not for vanity, his posts are rather designed to launch messages (political) to sensitize the public on important issues. It is always in the front line to fight against homophobia and transphobia, or to defend his Country of origin, Brazil, where she was born February 19, 1983, in Belo Horizonte. “Brazil is a Country for which lot much,” says Fanpage.en – I’m pretty worried for my Country. We live in a political moment is truly tragic, we run the risk of losing the Amazon, the indigenous peoples are losing their lands, the Savanna is burned, the violence against trans women is the first place in the world”.
The hair does not have gender
Recently, it has been chosen as the new face of Pantene to launch in Italy and in the world the project Hair has no gender aimed at making inclusive beauty salons and hairdressers, places that you have to make places safe and welcoming for all, regardless of sex and gender. “Hair has no gender is a beautiful project of Pantene, which concerns the freedom of the body, the freedom of how to wear your hair. Is the desire to eliminate these paradigms that exist about how we should be or how we should look. I think it’s a beginning for decolonizzare certain systems that have been created by man, I see all the community, not just LGBT, that are imposing the legitimacy of their rights”.
The relationship with Riccardo Tisci and the first work as a model
For Fanpage.en Lea T has answered the questions of Google, that are the ones most clicked by users on the web, which include questions on age and height, about its origins and about its parents, until you get to curiosity about his career and his body. Lea speaks with a tone as calm and soft-spoken, tells the story of his life, the moment of transition, of what it was like to be small, focusing on what the mother has had a fundamental role in his life, especially in the most difficult and painful moments. Tells the story of the family, his first work in the world of fashion with the Givenchy campaign, built on the side of the brotherly friend Riccardo Tisci, at the time creative director of the historical French Maison, today, designer for Burberry. Brand, the latter of which Lea is wearing a beautiful beige suit at the time of our interview, complete with matching slingback and maxi down jacket the logo. Hair fall soft on the shoulders and in front of the cameras of the Fanpage.it says: “I have a whole cupboard on the hair because I have african traditions and indigenous, then the cutting of the hair is as if it were a liberation from the thoughts of the past. The hair I cut only my mother and with the full moon“.
The experience on “Dancing with the stars”
Lea T in 2013 she participated in the talent show of Rai, conducted by Milly Carlucci “Dancing with the stars” and still today in many on the web looking for his performances on the stage while he launches wild dances, wearing costumes covered in sequins and sequins. The television program has given her great notoriety in Italy, enlarging his audience, and making them transcend the boundaries of the fashion system where he was already very famous. To Fanpage.en Lea explains how that experience served to show to the public at large enabling the existence of other women of the trans as you:
Dancing with the stars was a very nice experience and very tiring. It was the first time that I have been able to show a Lea at all, however, show that a transsexual could be part of a group. Milly was an angel, there was always a lot of respect in my regard.
Passionate but never over-the-top, calm but very direct, Lea talks about politics and religion, with passion explains the Candomblé, the religion of the matrix african practice. “It’s very nice not being to look at if you’re gay, if you’re not gay or if you’re trans”. With the eyes that sparkle speaks of Italy, her Country of adoption: “two years are coming in Italy, I grew up in Italy. I feel like home. I care very much for this Country as for Brazil, I owe a lot to this country, has given me so much”.
Lea T: my mother has given blood to see his daughter happy
Associated with the name of Lea T, there is always the one of Antonio Carlos Cerezo, better known as Toninho Cerezo, who is famous for his long career in the world of football, first as a midfielder, then as a coach in Italy, he has played in teams like Roma and Sampdoria. When asked about his father and how he has taken his choice to change his gender, Lea responds, “My dad is a famous football player, has never been transphobically bullied, from his part towards me, there never was any kind of discrimination”. But then his gaze is easy to catch a feeling of disappointment, it seems that something just does not go down and continues:
We always talk about the father because we live in a patriarchal society, but I have to say that all the merit of my existence, I give it to my mother, it was 24 hours on 24 to pray, in thought, she was afraid that I something to happen. My dad has spoken so much, my mother a little. She is instead a woman who has sweated so much to see the happiness of her daughter.
The emotion is clear in his gaze, above all, it is clear the immense gratitude towards a woman, his mother that, as Lea says, “he gave the blood to see his daughter finally happy”, that has been next from the beginning to the end in the time of transition, which he has supported in the past, as today, and never make her feel alone. Lea starts to get upset, then, when the question reads “Lea T before and after” and responding back to talk about his mother with words that show you all his love and respect for the woman who gave you life, but that is intrusive to the request to reveal too much on his change:
I was born in 19 February 1982 in Belo Horizonte, the daughter of Rosa Helena Medeiros, who made me as I was, so my birth was that, to say that I have been reborn it would be as denying the birth of my mother, the pregnancy, the whole period that I grew up with her, then it would be like disrespect to this woman who has given me so much. Sometimes it is a lot of emphasis on the genital organ, if you operated or not. I find it unjust this vivisection of the body of trans woman, and the permission that people believe they are able to have to speak of certain things in a manner so cruel. We are in constant motion, we are in constant transition.
For his family, then, has only positive words: “I have three brothers, an older brother and two twin sisters, are aunt, almost 4 grandchildren, we are very connected and we love each other. I don’t know how to thank you for the family I have.” Continues, repeating what has been fortunate to have been close to his family, fortunate compared to so many other women in the trans that are to be found the sun in the time of their choice, the sun in the face for a moment so hard, the sun in the time they have been rejected by the parents or by the family.
I don’t have a boyfriend and I have no problems being naked
Many are wondering whether it is girlfriend, and she answers direct and concise: “I have a boyfriend”, as he says with serenity the relationship with her body, explaining “today, I cover it, I live in a more relaxed manner and I do not have any inhibition, I have no problems to be naked – he continues – I like to make the model”, specifying that her work is like especially when behind a photo shoot or a fashion campaign, there is a message that is well clear of the rest, as she says, “My body is a political act”. Then it tells of his early career, the first campaign taken 10 years ago for the brand Givenchy, the help received from Riccardo Tisci in the most difficult moment of his life, the time of transition, one in which he decided to change sex.
Riccardo has helped me in very difficult moments, when hope was little and I thought I was really not going to make it. He was a man who got in the game just to be able to help a person. Said, “I sore that I go to work I find it”, you maybe not. At the social level, I am the victim, are at the base of the pyramid, a trans woman what rights she has?
Lea T: small has not been easy but I was a little girl strong
To the question: how you were small? Lea responds with a decision: “I Was quiet”, and then falters slightly, behind his eyes is perceptible in a mixture of pain, but also a great strength, the strength of a young girl among a thousand doubts and misunderstandings, is able to overcome the difficulties, has managed to affirm its real nature: “it has Not been easy, but I made it. I think I was a little girl very strong”. Lea concludes by showing his sweet side yet so combative, that of a woman who has fought to be herself, a woman who today fights for the rights of other transgender women. When he speaks he appears gentle, yet so firm: “I Try to be positive, things can begin to change, we only take back what has been taken from us”. And then the question of how it is or how you feel Lea T today, responds:
Today I see myself as a person very complex, very complicated, not easy, which is ageing, and that it is maturing, that does not accept compromises. I’m a little pissed let’s face it, when ripe, is much more clear the quesitone around you. I’m very worried for my grandchildren and for future generations, because today I want to go back to oppress or crush of the groups, then I’m worried but if there are still is why it does not collapse.