Leo Baker was headed to the Olympics last year, to compete in the female category in skateboarding.
Yet the legendary skateboarder surprised many when he announced he was going to forgo the Olympics and instead transition genders.
Now his journey to manhood and what led to that choice will be featured in a new documentary to premier on Netflix, Stay On Board: The Leo Baker Story.
The trailer for the film offers a glimpse into the triumphs and struggles of an athlete who was at the top of his sport, yet who was hiding a piece of himself from the world.
“Being trans, I feel really out of place,” Baker says.
The film promises to offer a glimpse into the decision so many trans athletes face in their lives: Continue to wait on a medical transition and continue to compete in your current sex category, or dive all the way into a physical transition and risk losing your career.
“Everyone’s like, ‘It’s the Olympics, it’s just one year,’” Baker says of the external push he felt to focus on the Olympics. “If I wait one more year, there might not be anymore Leo.”
One of the people behind the film is Alex Schmider, director of transgender representation at GLAAD. Schmider previously executive produced the award-winning documentary, Changing The Game, also about trans athletes.
“I am really proud of this documentary because it centers Leo and his story in a way that is not trying to speak or represent other trans people’s experiences,” Schmider said. “It is very much about his own personal journey and what that’s meant to him.
“And I hope that people getting to know him and his real struggles as an athlete, that they get more insight into this world of sport and trans inclusion. It’s really an exhibition of the courage it takes to be yourself and choose yourself against the pressures to conform and pursue paths of how other people define success.”
You can find Stay On Board: The Leo Baker Story on Netflix starting Aug. 11.