If you’re familiar with surf history, then you’re familiar with Peter Drouyn. He’s credited with introducing surfing to China and changing the way modern surf competitions are run. In addition to professional surfing, he was an actor, a lawyer, a father and a ladies man who was always coming up with bigger and more boundary-pushing ideas. To explore his biggest idea yet, filmmakers Alan White and Jamie Brisick have been filming a documentary that they’re now raising funds through Kickstarter to support. The story: Peter’s gender reassignment and transformation into Westerly Windina. Cyrus spoke with Alan and Jamie for background on their film as well as a discussion of Peter’s personal history and decision to embark on this completely new life. You can read an excerpt of the interview below, or listen to the whole thing here:
Cyrus: I think a lot of people were surprised when Peter made this leap, but do you think it’s something that was always in there, hiding, or is this something that you think is just another thing for him to explore?
Alan: Peter’s transformation into Westerly is yet another part of the enigma that is Peter Drouyn and now Westerly Windina. It’s almost like all of Peter’s accomplishments are less about trying to poke holes in surfing’s sacred cows and more about true passion. It’s like he thinks of something and says ‘whoa, this would be a fantastic idea, I must do it,’ and in each case he’s pushing the idea to its edge. So, Drouyn’s sense of edge, his sense of what people would actually accept as a new idea or a new way of doing things always went beyond people’s ability to deal with the idea. But he kind of expected people to understand that Westerly’s going to be a great entertainer now, and felt people were going to embrace that and think was amazing.
The next chapter in her life is going to be really interesting. How will people truly respond to her as a fully fledged woman? It’s all part of the enigma…
Jamie: In talking to Peter in his 30s and 40s, there was never this sense that he felt he was in the wrong body, but it came out later. It’s almost as if all this stuff was buried. So it just makes me wonder what’s inside of all of use that we push to the side or bury under the carpet because we’re all trying to meet on this status quo, even level.
For more information on the documentary, and to support it if you wish, visit the Kickstarter page here: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/962524884/westerly-a-man-a-woman-an-enigma