The news that Christina Grimmie -- the 22-year-old singer who, as a New Jersey teen, made a name for herself on YouTube before broadening her fame in 2014 on Season 6 of "The Voice" – was shot and killed Friday while signing autographs for fans after a concert in Orlando, Fla., is tragic. But for fans of "The Voice" who watched Grimmie show off, during her time on the show, not only her impressive vocal chops and stage presence, but also her musical creativity, willingness to experiment and upbeat resilience, the loss must be heartbreaking. Those who watched Grimmie turn four chairs during her blind audition and then stick around to finish third on the show, behind only sweet, shy, country-singing runner-up Jake Worthington (of Team Blake Shelton) and silky-soulful winner Josh Kaufman (of Team Usher), knew she was an unusual talent. Grimmie's coach, Adam Levine, believed in her so fiercely that, at one point, he promised the audience she would end up winning the show. Then, when she didn't, he announced that he planned to sign her to his own label.
Seeing the frequency of such language inspired Lewis years later to create a feature-length documentary to interrogate and explore race, desire and body image, and the ways in which they're informed by media, pop culture and capitalism. The Times spoke with Lewis, who's known online as Fat Femme, following his-her recent West Coast visit about the documentary -- which is slated for a 2017 completion date -- how people "fail gender" and how gender deviant and trans people fit into the Black Lives Matter movement. The "no fats, no femmes" ideology is often used by gay men [on dating sites] situating their desires within a framework that excludes particular kinds of bodies, mostly those fat, feminine, disabled, HIV positive and the list goes on. How do the topics you're raising in "No Fats, No Femmes" intersect with the Black Lives Matter movement, and what seems like the exclusion of black trans and gender nonconforming people in that movement?