Hampshire Student Levi Ebnit F22 on Trans Studies, Inclusive Weightlifting, and His Band

We talked to him about what he’s been doing in and out of the classroom.

What attracted you to Hampshire?

I was drawn to the wide selection of courses through the Five College Consortium and the location. I knew I didn’t want to study in a city, so what really attracted me to Hampshire was the rural scenery and the downtown scenes of Amherst and Northampton, something I never really saw in my home state, Michigan.
Hampshire also offered generous financial support to help me study here. The kindness and magnanimity set the College apart from other institutions.
What did you plan to study? Has that changed?

Originally, I planned to go into pre-med, as I studied a lot of art and music performance at Interlochen Arts Academy in Michigan and wanted to try something else I was passionate about — science. I switched back and forth between arts and science for a couple of semesters, but ultimately decided on studying exercise science and nutrition.
My Div II special project was completed last year in Professor Loza’s class, Monster Research. I created a podcast called “These Monsters Inside Me: An Analysis of Transsexuality as Monstrosity in Essay and Film,” which analyzed the intersections between transsexuality seen as monstrous in classic and B-movie horror films.
What else have you been doing on campus and beyond?

I formed the screamo band I Have No Mouth with one of my friends, Jay Sugden S23. We recruited some of our other friends from Hampshire, Brie Percy and Ben Becker F22. We actually played our first show in Prescott Tavern, which is on campus. From there, we’ve played a bunch of shows across New England and opened for Hampshire alum band Orchid at the Drake, in downtown Amherst. It was really a dream come true and I’m so thankful for it. Support your local music scene!
I founded the Hampshire College Lifting Club along with my friend Kelly Malone-Wolfsun F22. Our mission is to cultivate a supportive and inclusive community where students of all backgrounds and fitness levels can come together to pursue their strengths and fitness goals. Whether this be through bodybuilding, powerlifting, or just casual weightlifting, we want students to feel supported in a judgment-free zone, whether they’re seasoned lifters or complete beginners.
To expand on the inclusivity, Kelly coaches students through something called “Ladies Lifts,” which is a safe place for femme people to work out in an encouraging space, while also respecting comfort and privacy. I specialize in body masculinization for female-to-male transgender and non-binary students, helping them feel more confident in themselves through body empowerment.
The Residence Life staff at Hampshire have supported me a lot this year, and I was honored to receive an ingenuity award for working as a first-year resident adviser.


Photo: Cam Parnoff

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