Meet 31-year-old Tshepiso Leeyola, a transgender make-up artist, mannequin, and now a Youtuber.
She talks about all issues magnificence, her profession, LGBTIQ+ activism, her model new YouTube channel, and a little bit bit about her love life to rejoice the final days of the “month of affection”.
Leeyola on the sweetness trade and activism
Leeyola you’re a girl of many skills however would you say that make-up artistry is the one occupation that’s closest to your coronary heart?
Doing what I really like for a residing and getting paid for it’s a true blessing. Makeup artistry is a type of and it’ll ceaselessly be near my coronary heart as a result of it launched who Leeyola is within the artistic area. It has landed me in areas I by no means thought I might and I’m really grateful.
Do you take into account your self an LGBTQIA+ activist?
Positively. Activism is sort of broad. I’m pro-queer rights and I do my activism by sharing my experiences as a trans girl on my social platform every so often. So many queer folks all the time come to me after I’m out or in my DMs telling me how a lot I’ve impressed them to come back out to their households by simply being my true self or how they love the work that I do. I’m so grateful that we reside in a technological period. We by no means had that privilege rising up, however younger queer folks right this moment do.
How necessary do you suppose it’s for individuals who have a platform like yours to be queer activists? And why do you suppose so?
Social media is a really highly effective device to get messages throughout and we use our platforms for various causes. I exploit my platforms primarily to advertise the work that I do and to make an impression in queer folks’s lives as a result of life is a journey of discovery for our group. I have to encourage our fellow queer folks to take their time in studying, accepting, and embracing their true selves.
The long run is transgender
How has the sweetness trade handled you as a black transgender girl?
In my 7 years within the magnificence trade, I’ve by no means skilled a state of affairs the place I didn’t get a job due to my id. Within the industrial modeling area, being trans was the explanation why I acquired the gigs that I’ve completed to date. I’m really blessed to have crossed paths with professionals which have trusted and given me alternatives for the work I can do and revered me as a human being no matter who/what I determine as.
Do you are feeling that you’re held to a special normal within the magnificence trade due to your gender id versus your heterosexual counterparts?
No. Within the magnificence trade, your work speaks for you. It’s about what you may produce. It’s by no means actually about your gender or sexuality.
Turning into a Youtube sensation
You latterly launched your YouTube channel, inform me what’s it about. And what do you hope to attain with it?
Sure. I’m 3 uploads into it. It’s nonetheless new however I’m studying and having a lot enjoyable. I’m artistic at my core and my YouTube channel is simply an extension of what I’ve all the time been doing on Instagram.
I get to share extra of a few of the issues I stand up to in my private life by my vlogs. I additionally share make-up and style ideas. Going ahead I’ll be having a sit-down with just a few trans ladies having “The Trans Speak” as a result of I purpose to make the channel academic too. And yeah I hope to finally become profitable out of it too in the way forward for course (laughs).
I’m positive like most individuals you get impressed by different unimaginable folks. Who would you say evokes Leeyola within the magnificence, and the YouTube vlogging area?
Within the magnificence area, I might say Stephy Kwenaite as a result of I’ve labored along with her. I name her my trade mom (giggles). She does her work with a lot ease and he or she’s all the time sort sufficient to share her information with folks round her. Within the YouTube area, I watch Seithati Letsipa and Xoli Gcabashe’s channels religiously and I can confidently let you know that their degree of authenticity impressed me to begin my channel.
Leeyola on the important thing to success
Your unimaginable work as a make-up artist has seen your work with a few of the greatest artists in our nation. What would you say has been the driving pressure to your success?
My ardour for it. I’m a self-taught make-up artist and it took me so lengthy to simply accept or be comfy with that title as a result of I really feel like titles must be earned. I’m typically such a perfectionist so I invested a lot time, effort, and cash in perfecting my craft and it’s solely then that I might be assured with the “make-up artist” title and I’m nonetheless studying, on daily basis!
Give me 3 ideas you’d give to somebody who desires to get into make-up artistry and modeling.
Doing it for the love of it must be primarily why you need to do it. At all times do no matter it takes to be higher and better at no matter it’s that you just do. Don’t be afraid to ask folks you look as much as, they is perhaps prepared to do extra than simply give a bit of recommendation.
Who’s your favorite queer icon and why?
I can’t consider anybody proper now however I do know a really shut pal of mine Tumi Powerhouse is doing wonderful issues for the queer tradition. She’s not only a pal however a sister to me. She’s an icon to the LGBTIAQ+ group.
Just a little bit about love and the longer term
It’s the month of affection Leeyola so it wouldn’t be honest if I didn’t ask this query. What’s your relationship standing, and what did your valentine’s day appear to be?
I’ve been single for nearly 4 months now and Valentine’s Day was only a regular day for me. Sadly (laughs).
What different initiatives are you engaged on?
Nonetheless targeted on rising my make-up enterprise Blaq Pout Faces. I’m planning to launch one thing quickly (crossing my fingers). I’m additionally creating extra content material for my YouTube channel, attempting to get extra influencer gigs, and doing industrial castings. You possibly can simply observe me on Instagram or YouTube to search out out if there’s something new coming. My deal with is @iamleeyola
Leeyola what recommendation would you give to a younger transgender woman who’s scuffling with their gender id in a world that’s nonetheless scuffling with the acceptance of queer our bodies?
Take your time and be affected person with your self. You’re the solely individual that owns the facility to outline who you’re. Concentrate on turning into a greater, better model of your self. Every time you’re prepared, introduce YOU to the world.