On Monday morning, we can only assume your water cooler talk turned from hating your boss to Bruce Jenner. And with 16.9 million viewers and 972,000 tweets sent about the ABC program, there is no doubt of why. One person who can talk about it in a special way is YouTube star Gigi Gorgeous. Why? She has been in Jenner’s shoes.
You might know the beautiful blonde from her Instagram (with almost 1 million followers,) her appearances on shows like Project Runway or her incredibly popular YouTube channel. Or perhaps because she, like actress Lavern Cox or supermodel Ines Rau, she is a proud transgender woman.
But we wondered, sure she has a huge social media following, but will fans turn up to meet the maven herself? What we learned by our trip to Sephora for her Too Faced appearance is yes. They will not only wait in line for hours, but drive across the state just for a photo. Covered in glitter and not a hair out of place, Gigi Gorgeous let New Times into her glamroom where we spoke about everything from concealers to celebrities and of course, we asked her her thoughts on Diane Sawyer's two-hour interview with Jenner.
New Times: I saw on your YouTube channel that you have never been to Miami. Thoughts?
Gigi Gorgeous: I have been to Orlando and Fort Lauderdale, and Miami is definitely the turnt up version of both. I love it! I got in at 9 p.m., got dressed and went to LIV. In L.A., you’re in by 2 a.m., so Miami, I love you. I am a club connoisseur and I have heard nothing but good things about Story, House, Basement.
You can do all three – Miami closes at about 6 a.m.
6 a.m.! Oh my. Maybe I can see E11even too. The possibilities are endless!
You had a webcam and now you are hosting events for a major brand. I have to know: how has this ride been for you?
It’s been crazy. I feel like I have the O.G. Gigi fans (Original Gangster) then I have my new people. There are people knew me as my previous gender and people who know me know. It’s special when people know my history and think of me no different.
Is it strange when people speak of videos before your transition?
Not at all! Any and all videos you have ever seen of me are truly me.
At such a young age (22), you have been through a lot. Look at that line — so many different people relate to you.
Thank you, I love to hear that. I love to look at the people standing in line — young girls, young Boys, older women, men, husbands, gay, straight, white, black, everybody —truly, I am finding as I go along that my fans are more diverse. The more, the merrier.
What is it like to do an appearance like this? Four hours of nonstop fans — in five-inch Christian Louboutins, nonetheless.
Well, with the heels, I have had a lot of practice. [Laughs] Not to say my feet aren’t screaming. But when people take time to see me, it’s a feeling I can’t describe. One mom-and-daughter duo told me they drove seven hours. There is still that feeling, For me? I hope I make them feel as great as they make me feel.
Is there a moment of today that stands out to you?
I mean, anytime anyone gets me a gift, I get a really touched. Don’t take that as, ”Buy me a gift!” [Laughs] I just mean that it’s so personal. All of these are so personal. The notes that people write saying that I made them laugh in a dark time or that I am the only person they know in their lives that they can relate to, that’s big. It’s the reason I do what I do and put real time and effort into my career. I am nothing without every fan or follower. Literally. Nothing.
What is the common theme of all “Gigi Gangsters?”
They either love make up or they are just different. Different in anyway, really. Yes, I am transgender, but I have fans that just want to stand outside the pack. God, do I get that. I love them both.
Well it has to be fantastic to have your face on the door here at Sephora.
It is surreal. I used to shop here when I could only afford one item. I would create my make up collection piece by piece. Now that I am hosting, it’s surreal.
Your look is fierce. What should all ladies have in their purse right this second?
I am blonde, so mascara because I am washed out without. Concealer to hide all your secrets. A nice pink lipstick. I am obsessed with highlighting right now. And not to sound too cheesy, make sure you feel good within. That is the only thing that matters. All of the rest is bullshit.
Your give zero-shits attitude is inspiring.
I have always had it, really. Since birth. If you ask my family, they will tell you there has always been a part of me that said, “Here I am! Accept me or get out of my way.” Are there days that I feel like crap? Of course! Don’t we all? Fake it 'til you make it is what I say then. If you’re smiling through the pain that says you can survive anything.
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Because you too are transgender, what did you think of Bruce Jenner’s interview?
For people who don’t know anyone trans or even gay, they “met” someone last night. That is important. It’s easy to hate something you know nothing about. When you get someone explaining every detail of their life and their entire backstory, it is hard not to at least kind of accept it. If not accept, make an effort to understand. In the first 10 minutes of the interview, he came out and said, “ I am a woman.” That was powerful. There is no question of, “Is he sure?” He has never been more confident of anything in his life.
There was a montage of famous transgender celebrities and you were one of them!
I was watching it live and must of looked away. I get about ten texts 30 seconds later saying, “I can’t believe you’re a part of the show!” I was like, “I was?” I am excited to get back to my apartment in L.A. and check my DVR. I still can’t believe it.
That’s a moment.
I am honored. I am friends with a member of the Jenner family and not just me being feature but the entire thing, I just had to text her, “I am so proud of your father.” I wont tell you too much, but her response was just that she is so excited to spread awareness. This isn’t a secret anyone should keep anymore.
One thing that did make me sad about the 20/20 interview was his hesitation to date. You and your boyfriend seem incredibly happy. What’s your best piece of advice for anyone trans too afraid to get out and find love?
Dating is hard. For me, I have never been the dating type till I met my boyfriend. Really, ever. My favorite piece of advice is, “What you want, but aren’t looking for, will find you.” I would give that advice to any woman, but especially with trans because there can be that victim factor. Transitioning into your true self is a gift; own it. If you find someone to join you in that journey, even better.