“I think it’s wonderful to have the opportunity to free yourself from given social structures and ideas and live your life the way it makes sense to you.”
More visibility can be fantastic, but recently queer people, institutions and communities have seen that with more visibility comes more harassment and more censorship. Henri relates: “A shitstorm is always just a CLICK away. We live in a world where opinion is more important than facts. I have never been censored, but misrepresented or reduced. Dumbed down to anything that generates attention.”
In terms of being trans* in the industry, Henri discusses being overly labeled as such – “I’m not a big fan of the term trans* actor or trans* musician. I am an artist who happens to be trans, but primarily makes art. The industry, of course, pounces on being trans* first and foremost,” he says. “It may be surprising to some but trans* people are first and foremost human beings. If you focus on that, everything else is actually very simple. Treat us the way you treat everyone else, which hopefully means with respect, kindness and love. ”
With a lot of ignorance around transgender people spreading in today’s media and society, Jakobs also dives into how to be a better ally to the community: “Being an ally means supporting us even when it’s exhausting or you don’t personally benefit from it. Try to listen and ask how you can help someone.” This, of course, includes taking the time to learn people’s pronouns, respecting them and learning more where and when you can, without putting the strain on trans people to educate.
Last year (2021), Jakobs released his heartfelt track Was Will Die Welt (What does the world want) and we are looking forward to seeing what he puts forward next: “New music of my band Tubbe is going to be released this year. In 2023 two books that I wrote will come out. A lot of good things are happening and I’m very much looking forward to them.”
Thank you for talking with us Henri! Find out more on Henri Jakobs’ website and Instagram below. Don’t forget to check out his Spotify either!
Check out #ActOut and their manifesto.