Gigi Gorgeous on writing a landmark new book with fellow trans icon Gottmik

Gigi Gorgeous is ready to answer all of your questions. Gibson Johns interviews the trailblazing trans YouTube star, model and author about co-writing her new book, "The T Guide," with "RuPaul's Drag Race" alum Gottmik. They discuss the aim of the landmark tome, which strives to answer any and all questions about the trans experience, her friendships with Gottmik and Paris Hilton, how people can be good allies to the trans community right now and much more.

Video Transcript


GIBSON JOHNS: Hi, guys. Welcome back to "We Should Talk," a pop culture interview series from "In the Know." I'm your host, Gibson Johns, and today on the podcast, we have Gigi Gorgeous, who is an actress, model, and YouTube star, trans activist. And she also recently coauthored her second book titled, "The T Guide: Our Trans Experiences and a Celebration of Gender Expression-- Man, Woman, Nonbinary, and Beyond."

And she wrote it with Gottmik, who is a "RuPaul's Drag Race" alum. He was the first trans man to compete on RuPaul's Drag Race a couple of years ago. He got to the finals. And they are really good friends. And so they wrote this book, which they really hope will serve as a guide, an all-encompassing guide for both people going through their own transition journeys, trans people, or also allies.

They have contributions from allies and other trans people. And it really is supposed to be sort of a way to answer any question that you might have about the trans experience, about what it's like to transition, whether, again, you're going through that yourself or you know somebody that is, or you just want to know more about it.

It really seems that it's going to be an incredible resource for so many people. And it comes out on Tuesday, May 16. So get your copy. And we had a really beautiful conversation about it. It's obviously a really poignant time for this book to be released. You know, the trans community is continuously under attack and targeted.

And for this book to come out as, again, not only a resource, but also a beacon of hope, I mean, it's written by two modern-day trans icons. And it's really, really important. And so we just had a really great conversation, Gigi and I, and I loved getting to chat with her. And again, this book really just seems like it's going to be such an important resource and tool for people.

And I'm just so excited for it to be out in the world. So keep listening for my interview with Gigi Gorgeous, and check out "The T Guide," which is released on Tuesday, May 16. And get your copy wherever you get your books. Thanks, guys.


All right, so we're here with Gigi Gorgeous, trailblazer, icon, actress, model, now two-time author. Gigi, thank you so much for being here. How are you?

GIGI GORGEOUS: I'm amazing. I'm so excited to be sitting down and talking with you. And it's a second book time. I'm so excited.

GIBSON JOHNS: So "The T Guide." We're talking the week before "The T Guide" is released. And the subtitle, I want to get it right, but it is "Our Trans Experiences and the Celebration of Gender Expression-- Man, Woman, Nonbinary, and Beyond." You coauthored with Gottmik from-- who is a "Drag Race" alum. Tell me about the book and maybe who it's for.

GIGI GORGEOUS: The book is for Gottmik and I's younger selves, honestly. But it's for anybody that needs guidance within their transition. Him and I both started our transitions at very different times in our lives. I did mine a lot-- many years before him.

But he-- him and I, you would think that a trans man and a trans woman would have so many differences within their transitions. And when we started getting really close, he transitioned, and we started becoming best friends and sharing things about our lives. And we were like, huh, there are so many similarities between our transitions.

And although there are many differences, of course, we were like, we should really get together, and we should join forces and create a first of its kind book slash guide, which is why we named it the guide, which was always-- it's funny. It was always the working title. We were like, I think it's going to be called "The T Guide."


GIGI GORGEOUS: Yeah, and a lot of the times, things like that get changed--

GIBSON JOHNS: Of course, yeah, all the time.

GIGI GORGEOUS: --because the publisher and stuff. But it just stuck. And it makes sense because it's all of our resources. It's all of our stories-- so many of which we've never shared before, and things that are really, really, really personal that I wish that I knew when I was transitioning because I really only had, like, one point of reference, which was this one person I knew, or things I saw online.

But if you have a book like this, you really have everything. And it's not even just him and I writing in this book. We have so many fabulous people from the community, a lot trans. Probably 90% of the contributors are trans.

There are some allies as well. And I think that that's really important to note too because this book isn't strictly for trans people. It's just about the human experience.

GIBSON JOHNS: So there's also stuff in there that's like, maybe you're just an ally who wants to know more about what that experience is really like. There is information in there for those kinds of people as well.

GIGI GORGEOUS: Yes, including parents. I know that's a really, really big one. I always get comments and questions about like, from parents or for parents on how they can do better or what is my parent doing wrong. And we actually included our parents.

And we included other allies. And we just really wanted to leave no stone unturned because I feel like this is-- it would have been a huge drop the ball moment if we forgot about one aspect, which is why we really, really put our brains together.

And we didn't keep one secret. We're not here to gatekeep anything. And you'll see in the book-- you can open the table of contents, which is very long. If there's anything about the trans experience, it's in this book.

GIBSON JOHNS: So you mentioned sort of that, when you were going through your transition, you had one point of reference that was sort of a personal connection. But there really wasn't a central resource, I would say, for you to really consult and really kind of understand what this is like.

Why do you think that didn't exist before? Is it just-- does that just show sort of how far we've come, that you guys now have this space to do that, or is that-- I'm just curious what your thoughts on are sort of why wasn't that available back when you were transitioning?

GIGI GORGEOUS: I mean, it is very discouraging to know that it wasn't available while I was transitioning. But you know, it came shortly after. There's so many amazing stories within our community, most of which are in our book, the names of which are made very prominent moments within pop culture and just history in general.

But you know, I think it's something to be said about the time that we're in right now. I think a lot of people I've talked to are like, are you nervous about having this book out right now, with all of the bills being proposed and all of that mess? And I think that there's no better time than right now that we put this out, and we fight, and we go visit cities on our book tour that are controversial, and we stand up for this because it is what matters.

In the end, I wish I had a resource like this growing up. And another reason why-- another reason why we called it "The T Guide" is because we really wanted it to be almost like a textbook in school of just everything that you--

GIBSON JOHNS: Makes sense.

GIGI GORGEOUS: --you have your math textbook. You have your science textbook. Now you have your trans textbook. And I think now, it is, as far as I know, the first of its kind of book. I know there's tons of trans authors out there that shared their stories, but never a collection like this.

GIBSON JOHNS: And there's something subversive almost about you kind of presenting it as a textbook, considering, again, what is going on right now with what they're banning in schools and what they're-- and what they're talking about. For you to sort of present it as a textbook, there's something really kind of powerful about that. There truly is.

GIGI GORGEOUS: Thank you. Thank you. And it's crazy because you know books take a while, right? This took, like--

GIBSON JOHNS: Of course.

GIGI GORGEOUS: --a year and a half. So we had no idea, really, that this would all be going on, obviously. So it just is, like-- it's just the fate of life, I feel. And we are fighters, Gottmik and I. And we are not going to stop at anything.

And these bills being proposed and all of the negativity and the bigotry being thrown at our community is not going to faze us. We're going to show up and show out, and we're going to fight this battle together.

GIBSON JOHNS: Good. Good. And I'm also curious because you talked about maybe this is really good for fans who are, again, like, going through their own journeys. And perhaps, are those questions that you kind of get on the daily, either just in your DMs or in your comments, from fans or people that follow you as a super prominent figure in the trans community, trying to answer some of these questions that you are now going to answer in "The T Guide"?

GIGI GORGEOUS: Yes. I get so many questions every single day from people that are newly transitioning, that have begun their transition, and are years in, and people who have been trans for over a decade like myself. And I feel like we really never are fully done transitioning.

That's something that I really have had a come to Jesus moment about over the past few years. I thought that there would be a finish line. I thought that there would be-- that would be it. But just on a personal note, me and my husband now, who's also trans, we're trying to have biological children.

And I'm currently off hormones, which is something I never thought that I would be. And it just goes to show, you never know what life is going to throw at you. So it's one of those things where it's always a learning lesson. My dad once said to me, actually, he said, when you transitioned, I thought it was just you that was going to transition. But I learned that it was both of-- like, everyone around you, especially you and I, that really had to transition together.

GIBSON JOHNS: So beautiful.

GIGI GORGEOUS: And I thought that was so profound and beautiful. And it didn't really hit me until a lot later. But it's so true. And I think that this book is just so needed for just moments like that.

GIBSON JOHNS: 100%. And I think to your point about always transition never being fully over is because you are-- you're going through new life events and really uncovering new things that, honestly, maybe this book will need a sequel, you know what I mean? Maybe you'll have to do an expansion of the book because, again, you're still living your life and uncovering some of these moments that require kind of more nuance and more explanation. And I think that the fact that you're aware of that and wanting to share this information with people that are coming after you is really profound.

GIGI GORGEOUS: Thank you. And yeah. I do get comments every day, do get a lot of the same comments from people from the same walks of life. But we have put in every single aspect in this book, you know? Like I said, I feel like Kate and I really-- or Gottmik and I, rather, people sometimes are like, wait, who's Kade?

I'm like, oh, that's my best friend, but also goes by Gottmik. We get the same questions a lot of the time, and it's like, we really put all of those in there and then some. So I think people are just, they're in for it, I think.

GIBSON JOHNS: I love it. I love it. And I would love to like just go back a little bit because you talk about your friendship with Gottmik. And you called him your best friend. But I would love to know how you guys first got connected. How did you first cross paths? And just speak to me a little bit more about your friendship because I love both of you. And it's so fun.

GIGI GORGEOUS: I love you too. We actually met at a club in West Hollywood, The Abbey.


GIGI GORGEOUS: Yeah. Hello. I mean, iconic for many reasons. But we really-- it was such an organic meeting. One of our friends was like, oh my god because Cade was working as a full-time makeup artist at the time. And my friend, my brother-in-law, was like, oh my god, you should do Gigi's makeup.

And then one day, he just came over to the house, and we did it. We hit it off. And he wasn't trans then. But I always kind of knew, like, I think I have kind of this trans radar. I've always kind of felt passionate about that.

GIBSON JOHNS: Almost like-- almost like a sixth sense for-- sort of the intuition. Yeah.

GIGI GORGEOUS: Kind of, yeah. So I remember one day I asked him, I was like, what's your name? And he was like, well, you know my name. I was like, no, no, no, but like really. Like the real name. And it took him a minute.

And then it really just opened up this whole can of worms where we became extremely close, extremely able to share very intimate parts of our lives. And it just really furthered our relationship in, like, a really organic way. It wasn't being pushed.

It was just life events. And then, obviously, my husband being trans and a man made them super close. So we just became super-- like this really tight little threesome group of these trans individuals sharing each other's experiences and learning things off each other.

So it was just so organic. And then I don't even know how many years ago that was. Like, it was one of the-- it's one of the friendships that you're like, wait, when was that? It just feels like you were always in each other's lives.

GIBSON JOHNS: 100%. Yeah. And so when Gottmik became the first trans man to compete on "RuPaul's Drag Race," which is such a moment, and that was such a great-- such a great season. What was that like for you to see that? Because that really was-- that pushed things forward a lot, I think, in that world.

GIGI GORGEOUS: Yes. And it was something that was so needed on that franchise for so long, I feel, because there had been trans women, a few. But I think him being the first, there was just-- I mean, let's talk about the pressure of that. That is so much pressure for him to be-- like the whole community on his shoulders.

It's just, I can't even imagine, you know? But he was so-- he was so eloquent in the way he spoke, and he really just did, for lack of a better term, kill it. Like, I was so just proud of him every single episode that came out.

Of course, it's all a secret, so like, he barely even told us anything. He couldn't. But we were just so thrilled. And his parents were so thrilled. And like, the community was just so amazed by him.

And I just-- it's something to be said about, like, you see someone's superpower on TV. But to know them behind the scenes and just to let them know that they've had that moment and, like, all the love that's coming to them is just such a-- it's such a surreal moment. And I was just so happy that everyone saw him in the light that I do.

GIBSON JOHNS: 100%. And I think it's really cool also that Gottmik is one of-- I mean, a ton of queens from that show over the years have continued on and made these huge platforms for themselves and just really continued on that trajectory. But I feel like Gottmik is kind of the top of that heap in recent memory for me, like I feel like I see him in so many places.

And he's so prominent, and he's still so celebrated, even though it's been a couple of years since he was on the show. And I think that's-- that's also a really cool thing that he's been able to do, which is, again, continue the momentum, which is really-- I mean, not everybody can do that.

GIGI GORGEOUS: Right, it's a testament on, like, his talent and his character and, like, his work ethic, all of the [INAUDIBLE].


GIGI GORGEOUS: It's allowed after that show. But I think that it was impossible for him to do so because he had such-- he had so much work to do still, you know?

GIBSON JOHNS: For sure. So also in the book, you have some-- I think you mentioned this. But you have some contributors. You have some people who are allies, also part of the trans community.

You have Senator Sarah McBride. You have Adam Lambert. You have one of your good friends Paris Hilton. What do they share in the book? What do their contributions look like? What can people expect from that?

GIGI GORGEOUS: So Kade and I are only two people. And we thought that it would be so, so ignorant for us, you know, especially writing such an educational book with so many different facets to just have it be our voices. So we reached out to a lot of our friends.

And three of those that you named are close friends. But we also reached out to some people. And we were like, we really respect their work. We really want them involved. Let's just ask them, like, you know? We just wanted every single walk of life. I know-- like, I don't want to give too much away.

But there's just so many juicy chapters. And we just kind of left it up to them. We said, the book really does touch on everything in the trans experience, like what do you feel comfortable sharing? Or is there a story you've never told? Or is there something that changed your life?

And we hopped on the phone with them or met with them in person. And then quickly, it really did not take long for anybody, really. It was like, OK, I'm going to write about this. And we're like, OK, we have a concept. And then we just work them in.

And then it would be something that would be lost in the chapter if they weren't involved. So it ended up really working out. And I think people also might get misconstrued that this is just a book for trans people. Like I said before, our parents, whatever, wrote in it. But there are so many tips for allies too, like Paris Hilton being one of them.

Of course she's not a trans woman, but she was one of my biggest inspirations growing up-- her aesthetic, her vibe, her positivity, her personality. So that's something to be said about the book as well. It's just about the human experience. But it's a lot to do with being trans. Yeah.

GIBSON JOHNS: Right. And I mean, Paris is also one of the people that for me, I mean, just growing up, was just such a figure of like-- and I just-- I did glom onto her as well. And you becoming such great friends with her and striking up such an incredible relationship with her, and she's such a great ally to you, ally and friend, an just figure in your life, I would just love to hear a little bit more about that because again, like, I listened to your podcast episode on her podcast. And it's so clear that you two have connected on a really deep level. And I would just love to hear you speak a bit more to that and how she's been there for you over the years.

GIGI GORGEOUS: She is like the sweetest person ever. She's always been so sweet. I think the way to both of our hearts is through our humor. And I think there's tons of aspects within our life that we take very seriously. But I think when it comes to our humor, we're just like goofballs and super fun. And I think that we're just like, we're just always laughing and cracking jokes together, some of which may be at inappropriate times, which is my favorite time.

GIBSON JOHNS: Some of the best humor is that way, you know?

GIGI GORGEOUS: Yeah. So I think it was just something that was just drawn, I mean, immediately when I met her. I was like, oh my god, Paris Hilton. Like, I've loved her forever. But she just breaks down that wall.

She's super, super sweet. And I think that that's just a testament to her longevity in this industry and just to her character in general, like if you-- I mean, I've met so many of my heroes, and they've just been assholes [BLEEP] and cold. And she's just not like that at all.

And anybody that you talk to that knows her will tell you that, that she's exactly like that because that's just how she is. But yeah, I'm very, very blessed to call her a friend. And she's a really, really good one. And I'm so excited for also all the good that she's doing because I think for a lot of the time in her career, people were like, oh, she's that famous for being famous thing.

But she is, like, passing laws in DC right now. She's making change. And I think that this is such a new era for her. And I'm so proud of her for it. And I stand behind everything that she has to do. Even though I can't relate, I completely understand it, and I'm there for it. 100%. Although she can't relate with being trans, she's there for me as well. And I think that also just speaks to her character and her heart.

GIBSON JOHNS: And you're both releasing books this year, which is-- you know what I mean? I read her memoir earlier this year. And I'll be reading "The T Guide." So you guys are both sharing your stories, continuing to do so.

GIGI GORGEOUS: Yay. I know her memoir is so good.

GIBSON JOHNS: So good. I, like, want more. I want, like-- I want a sequel to that.


GIBSON JOHNS: So Gigi, I mean, you mentioned-- you've been in the public eye for over 10 years now. And your transition has happened over the course of that time. And you know, I think so much progress has been made over the past decade, just in terms of representation and what even brands, like who brands are even willing to work with. And just I think that a lot of that has come a long way.

But I'm curious for you if you've seen, either from firsthand experience or just from observing, when people are sort of in that partnership for the right reasons or just doing it to provide lip services-- s think we're coming up on Pride Month. I think there's a lot of talk around sort of like the corporatization of pride and then some of those kind of subjects that can come off of that. I wonder if you have any thoughts on that because it's something that I'm definitely thinking about just, again, as we go into Pride Month.

GIGI GORGEOUS: I mean, I've always said it's so easy for brands or storefronts to just throw up a rainbow flag during the month of June. But it's something to be said if their support is there year round. And I think that a lot of brands and people and companies are really coming around to the thought of working with trans people.

And I think that that's really what the book is all about. It's that we are people. We are equal. And we should be seen just as much as a quote, unquote, whatever they think is a "regular person." And with Pride Month coming up, I'm really excited, actually, as well to see the campaigns and who brands are working with because I've seen in the past few months brands really openly working with trans people. And it's beautiful because it's before Pride, which is like, OK, it's a step forward.

GIBSON JOHNS: It's not June.

GIGI GORGEOUS: It's so easy just to throw up a rainbow in your window, you know? It really does-- it speaks volumes. And people within the community know. But I think now it's kind of almost becoming on everybody else's radar because it's like, oh, you know? I think it's just, we're more out and loud and proud than ever. So [INAUDIBLE].

GIBSON JOHNS: 100%. And we love to see it, 100%. And we alluded to sort of just how this book is coming out at such a divisive time, especially as it pertains to the trans community and how just so many, again, bills are being put up there and books are being banned.

It's just, it's honestly-- it's hard to even keep track of everything, all those conversations. And so I'm wondering, just from your perspective, if there are things that you can suggest for people watching or listening to this that what can they do to help or be a good ally. What are some things that you kind of are top of mind for you when I ask that question?

GIGI GORGEOUS: I'm a huge fan of podcasts right now. And one of my favorite ones is called "Out and About." It's with Joey and Pat on Barstool Sports. And they are kind of the gay podcast. And that just is at the top of my mind.

I feel like-- and they're also really dirty and raunchy, which I love. I think that's fun. But supporting queer art has always been number one to me. Even as a trans woman, I feel like it's very important just to incorporate queer art into my life and make sure that it's being supported and seen and all of that good stuff.

But I think for allies in general, it's just so important to show up and show out and be there for the queer community, especially with Pride coming up. And I know we just said it's so easy to throw a rainbow flag in a store front wall. But it's like, you have this time. You have this month. Be loud and proud.

Everyone's on social media. Really just share and celebrate for your people. It's so easy. It feels good when you do, and especially if you truly, truly are behind someone, don't be scared to repost their content or talk about them to your family members or bring them up in conversation at dinner. Like, it's only spreading the word, and it's only spreading awareness and positivity. And at the end of the day, like, less violence.

GIBSON JOHNS: Yeah. I think sometimes people think that even just something so small as a repost or engaging in that conversation is not enough. But I think you're right. It's something. It's doing something, even if it's-- even if you think it's small, you know?

GIGI GORGEOUS: Exactly. Doing something, even as small as that, is doing something way better than nothing, at the end of the day. And I think we write a lot about allies, and we write a lot with allies in this book. And there's so many great tips, and there's so many great things that you would just take away with you.

I've given the book to a lot of my close friends, and they have written back none of the same things that they've taken away. But they've written back, oh my god, this really stuck with me. Or like, this will just stay with me forever, like this is something that was a really strong moment.

And it's interesting to hear everybody's perspectives because I know them. They're my friends. I let them read it before it came out. And I'm like, really? That's what you took from it? So it just goes to show how much information we've packed into one book.

GIBSON JOHNS: That's exactly what I was going to say. Yeah, it just shows you that you guys really did-- you mined the entire experience. And I love that people are going to be able to-- again, they'll take what they take from it, you know? And that's, again, that's doing something.

So obviously right now, we're focused on "The T Guide," and we're so excited for that to come out next week. What else is on the horizon for Gigi Gorgeous? What else is-- can you teach to me in terms of what's to come? Because I know you have your hand in a lot of different-- lot of different pots.

GIGI GORGEOUS: Yes, definitely. I mean, nothing I could talk about right now, which is really annoying. But to piggyback off of "The T Guide" coming out, we will be doing a book tour.


GIGI GORGEOUS: Very exciting because we're working on it right now. And just, with everything going on, I think that it's really important we visit certain cities, if you know what I mean. So we're working on that. And we're just really excited about that and getting that together and getting our book out there and seeing people. It's been a few years since my last book. And I know how exciting It is. So I'm excited to do it with somebody else.

GIBSON JOHNS: Yeah. That'll be so fun. You're on this journey together. Are you guys going to come to New York?

GIGI GORGEOUS: Yes, we are. Yes.

GIBSON JOHNS: I'm going to try to be there. Good. Good.

GIGI GORGEOUS: You have to come.

GIBSON JOHNS: Yes, I'd love to. Well, Gigi, this was so much fun to get some time with you. I loved our conversation. And I can't wait to read "The T Guide." I know it's going to be a resource, a valuable resource for so many people, both within the trans community and allies of the trans community because I think there's so much for people to learn.

And I'm so grateful that you are sharing it with the world. I think we're really lucky to have you doing that.

GIGI GORGEOUS: Oh, thank you.


GIGI GORGEOUS: Oh my god, I can't wait for you to read it also. Also, another thing in the book is the photos. Him and I are such, like, aesthetic people. There's so many fashion photos every-- there's so many photos.

GIBSON JOHNS: OK, we're serving looks. OK.

GIGI GORGEOUS: Yeah, oh my god. Beyond. So I'm excited to see which everyone's favorites are because I know I have mine. But that's another thing. I want to see which people bring to us to, like, sign at book signings and stuff, their favorite picture. I'm just-- that's another thing I'm really excited.

GIBSON JOHNS: I mean, the cover alone is, like, breathtaking. Like, it's so striking. It's such a great cover. It really is.


GIBSON JOHNS: Oh my god.

GIGI GORGEOUS: I'm in love with it. I'm in love with it. I think it's so powerful, just down the middle. And like, us sharing a necklace too, so cute.

GIBSON JOHNS: So cute. It's the best. Uh, well, Gigi, this is so fun. Thank you so much. And everyone, pick up "The T Guide" this coming Tuesday. It's out wherever you get your books. And again, it's going to be-- it's going to be a resource that's there forever now, so how special is that?

GIGI GORGEOUS: Yes. Yes. Thank you so much.

GIBSON JOHNS: Of course. Thank you so much for your time.


GIBSON JOHNS: Yay. Oh my god. Thank you.

GIGI GORGEOUS: All right, see you in New York.


GIBSON JOHNS: Thanks for tuning in to "We Should Talk." I hope you enjoyed the interview. You can find out more about "In the Know" at You can follow me, Gibson John, @gibsonoma on Twitter and Instagram. And you can listen to all of our interviews, past and future, by searching "We Should Talk" wherever you get your podcasts. Hope to see you next time.