Windy City Media Group Frontpage News

THE VOICE OF CHICAGO'S GAY, LESBIAN, BI, TRANS AND QUEER COMMUNITY SINCE 1985

home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2023-02-22
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
Donate

Sponsor
Sponsor

  WINDY CITY TIMES

Gigi Gorgeous Spills The T Guide at Chicago Humanities Festival
by Jerry Nunn
2023-05-12

This article shared 1190 times since Fri May 12, 2023
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email


Chicago Humanities Festival has created events that bring artists and audiences together for one-of-a-kind experiences in the Windy City for years—and 2023 will be no different. Programming slated for this year includes LGBTQ+ favorites such such as Bravo's Andy Cohen and Book of Mormon's Andrew Rannells, as well as the dynamic duo of YouTube star Gigi Gorgeous and RuPaul Drag Racer Gottmik.

Transgender activists Gorgeous and Gottmik have teamed up to create The T Guide: Our Trans Experiences and a Celebration of Gender Expression- Man, Woman, Nonbinary, and Beyond. From the very first pages, this helpful guide supports their trans siblings with a powerful statement: "You are seen, you are heard and you are loved."

Throughout the book, these two unique individuals express how much they care about each other and are determined to lift others up in the LGTQ+ community. Guest quotes conclude each section; readers will learn about singer Adam Lambert's coming out story, and can take away advice from Gorgeous and Gottmik's parents on fair treatment and creating safe spaces at home.

Named one of Time's 25 Most Influential People on the Internet in 2017, Gorgeous also dropped a documentary about her life that same year entitled This Is Everything: Gigi Gorgeous. She has appeared on television for Project Runway All Stars and Canada's Drag Race as well.

The GT Guide is Gorgeous' second book; the first was He Said, She Said: Lessons, Stories and Mistakes From My Transgender Journey, published in 2019.

Windy City Times: Hi, Gigi. Are you from Canada?

Gigi Gorgeous: Yes from Toronto, but I have been in LA for over 10 years.

WCT: How did this book, The T Guide, come together?

GG: I just organically met Gottmik one night out in West Hollywood. Our friendship grew and grew. We did a magazine cover together and then decided to combine all of our resources one night to make a book. We decided to not gate-keep anything, and be honest about our trans experiences. I had already been an author, so we started pitching it and it really quickly happened.

We began writing it and it has never been done before. We wanted the book to be both a guide and a best friend to people that can observe our conversations together.

This makes a fabulous audiobook, because it is us going back and forth with the banter. It was just meant to be and one of those things where it wasn't calculated. It just happened.

WCT: It's an easy read, with healthy conversations and questions along the way.

GG: It is just like they say in school, that no question is a stupid question. That is what we tried to cover.

WCT: Was it hard to write personal things in this book?

GG: Yes. It is always hard letting personal stuff out. I have been sharing my life for many years with the public, some of which are extremely uncomfortable. I know Gottmik is a little bit newer to it, but he dove right into sharing the craziest things.

We have read the book back, and can't believe some of the things we put in there. Now people know things about us and that can be tricky. We can't wait to hear the response and it is exciting. It is certainly freeing to get it all off your chest!

WCT: You wrote about coming out multiple times in the book.

GG: Yes, it is interesting because we have both come out in several ways. We originally thought our stories would be very different, but in the grand scheme of things we have so much in common. He is a drag queen and loves fashion like I do, but it was more about the life lessons with the trials and tribulations of trans people that were so similar.

That is why in the book we included what allies can do [as well as what parents can do]. We had people who are not trans write in the book, like Paris Hilton, to cover all the bases, because we felt that was important to do since we were writing a guide. We tried to leave no stone unturned.

WCT: Did you ask Kim Petras to be part of the book?

GG: I'm not sure if we did. Most of the people featured in the book are our friends. Some of them we just cold-called and Paris was one who said, "Hell yes!"

WCT: Talk about the photo shoots in the book.

GG: That was another one of my passions for this book. We knew we wanted to create a picture book and spent about three days at my house. We set up a backdrop and had so much fun.

I am thrilled with how the photos turned out. Every chapter has a concept and a meaning. There's a part about the washroom in The Abbey in West Hollywood, where so much has happened. This all reflects a memory of ours.

WCT: Was the upside-down picture photoshopped?

GG: Yes, it was photoshopped. No, I was not holding him upside down! [laughs] That picture was actually in the running to be on the cover because it is such a strong image. I gagged when I saw it, then I saw the split of us and that had to be the cover.

We also thought it looked too much like V Magazine, so that was another reason to not make it the cover image. It is one of my favorites though.

WCT: The section about your dad saying transitioning is not just one moment but a journey showed how wise he is.

GG: My dad was a part of my documentary. He didn't know what he was in for when the director asked him to do a sit-down confessional. When he saw it on the big screen, he was in shock.

He has become a father figure for a lot of trans people. I know his colleagues have reached out to him about their own sons and daughters going through hard times. He gets stopped out in public and asked questions sometimes.

He said to me once, "It is not just Gigi who transitioned, we all transitioned with her." I thought that was super-profound. He's a stoic man, but when he says things, they really hit home.

WCT: Would you ever audition for RuPaul's Drag Race?

GG: I am more of a backyard performer, like at my house when I have a party. Let's just say I am no Sasha Colby!

WCT: Sasha was a hometown hero for us in Chicago because of her history with the Miss Continental competition.

GG: Girls like her and Kylie Sonique Love have such a passion for performing. I am not a performer like that yet, but the world is my oyster and I did get to judge on RuPaul's Drag Race All-Stars.

WCT: The writing in the book uses pink and blue to differentiate between you two. Did you know in the 18th century the color blue was for girls and pink was for boys?

GG: Well, now that I think about it, boys do look really nice in pink. Maybe it is my brain always wanting to go against the norm…

WCT: Speaking of brains, Gottmik mentioned in the book how his brain works when he is misgendered. Can't we just be kinder to ourselves and each other?

GG: Yes, it is a coping mechanism that trans people use and I am the exact same way. That is one of the main reasons that Gottmik and I connect so well. We just get each other.

WCT: What are you doing for Pride this year?

GG: It is going to be chaotic with the book coming out, and the tour right before Pride. It is going to be a whirlwind of a summer. I am so locked in and ready!

WCT: For the Chicago appearance is there a Q&A with you and Gottmik?

GG: There will be a step-and-repeat to take photos with us. We will answer questions and we just love talking to people. We would rather do that than talk at them and read parts of the book. This will be more memorable and fun this way.

The format may change but there will be a signing station and a backdrop for photos.

WCT: What would you like readers to take away from the book?

GG: I think everyone will take away different things from it, but after reading the entirety of it, I hope people will see aspects of their lives in it. That will depend on what they have been exposed to in the past.

I want readers of the book to realize that trans people are people too. Everyone's experience is different, but we are all in this together within the grand scheme of things as part of the human race.

We are very different than some people, but after reading this maybe they can relate to something or have experienced something similar to show that we are not that different. I hope they can look at us as whole human beings. Unfortunately, right now we are not being looked at like that…

WCT: Was there anything on the cutting room floor of the book that didn't make it in?

GG:À Countless things. There are so many things that we went back-and-forth with, because there was a page limit for the hardcover book. My first book was a paperback so this hardcover excites me.

We could write another book. We still have so much material, especially with the quotes from people in our community. We could go on and on with so many stories!

An Evening with Gigi Gorgeous and Gottmik takes place at the Chop Shop, 2033 West North Avenue on Sunday, May 21, 2023. Visit ChicagoHumanities.org for the complete schedule and ticket information.


This article shared 1190 times since Fri May 12, 2023
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email

  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Gay News

Iceland passes trans-inclusive conversion-therapy ban
2023-06-10
In a landslide majority, Iceland's parliament, on June 9, passed a law banning so-called conversion therapy practices on the bases of sexual orientation, gender expression and gender identity, PinkNews reported. The country joined Brazil, Canada, New ...


Gay News

Lambda Literary names winners of the Jim Duggins, PhD Outstanding Mid-Career Novelist Prize
2023-06-08
--From a Lambda Literary press release - Lambda Literary is pleased to announce Ryka Aoki and Aaron Hamburger as the winners of the 2023 Jim Duggins, PhD Outstanding Mid-Career Novelist Prize. Dedicated to the memory of author and journalist Jim Duggins, this prize ...


Gay News

Lambda Legal applauds Biden admin pledge to advance LGBTQ+ equality during Pride Month
2023-06-08
--From a Lambda Legal press release - (Washington, DC, June 8, 2023) — Today, President Biden announced a series of actions the Administration will take to fight for LGBTQ+ people's rights in America. Lambda Legal CEO Kevin Jennings released the following statement: "At ...


Gay News

HRC declares state of emergency for LGBTQs, issues report and guidebook
2023-06-06
--From a press release - WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) — the nation's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ+) civil rights organization — officially declared a state of emergency ...


Gay News

GLAAD and EveryLibrary announce Community Response Toolkit
2023-06-06
--From a press release - (New York, NY - June 6, 2023) GLAAD, the world's largest LGBTQ media advocacy organization, along with EveryLibrary, a national organization supporting campaigns against book bans, announce a new resource to help communities unite and engage ...


Gay News

THEATER Queer performer Yurel Echezarreta tells his 'Side' of the 'Story'
2023-06-06
The classic musical West Side Story (by Jerome Robbins, with music by Leonard Bernstein, lyrics by Stephen Sondheim and a book by Arthur Laurents) has gone through countless iterations from its 1957 origin, including the Oscar-winning ...


Gay News

District judge blocks Florida's ban on gender-affirming care for trans youth
2023-06-06
On June 6, U.S. District Court Judge Robert Hinkle partially struck down Florida's ban on gender-affirming healthcare for transgender minors, The Independent reported. The ruling granted a preliminary injunction that blocks enforcement of a law signed ...


Gay News

Travel consultants release best and worst countries for trans rights
2023-06-06
Asher & Lyric have released "The 203 Best (& Worst) Countries for Trans Rights in 2023." This new study is an accompaniment to its annual LGBTQ+ Travel Safety Index to specifically address trans issues. The countries ...


Gay News

Turner's book details a life-journey beginning 'When the World Didn't End'
2023-06-02
Screenwriter-actor Guinevere Turner has published a new memoir, When the World Didn't End. The book describes both her childhood spent within the Lyman Family cult, and the emotionally-wrought adjustments her family made when Turner's mother left ...


Gay News

New doc 'Mama Bears' follows Christian mothers who fiercely advocate for their LGBTQ+ children
2023-06-02
--From a press release. Video below - (San Francisco, CA) March 17, 2023 — Spread across the country and connected through private Facebook support groups, a network of women call themselves "mama bears," because of the ferocity with which they fight for the ...


Gay News

WORLD Global survey, Turkey, Russians in Argentina, trans-rights activist
2023-06-02
A new survey showed that nearly one in 10 adults across 30 countries identify as LGBTQ, according to NBC News. Age and geographic location played primary roles in the findings, with younger respondents and those in ...


Gay News

Writing Queer tour begins at American Writers Museum
2023-06-02
--From a press release - (CHICAGO - June 1, 2023) - The American Writers Museum (AWM) launches its new Writing Queer tour that will take visitors through the entire museum, using queer authors as a sort of map through the exhibits. ...


Gay News

As Pride Month begins, 2Bears Tavern Group issues statement on allyship and safe spaces
2023-06-01
--From a press release - [Chicago, IL — June 1, 2023] As we begin Pride Month, many in the LGBTQIA+ community, and in particular of late, transgender and non-binary people, drag performers, and parts of the leather, fetish, kink, and BDSM ...


Gay News

Alabama bans trans women, girls from sports at public colleges
2023-06-01
Alabama has prohibited transgender women and girls from female sports teams in public colleges and universities, The Advocate reported. Republican Gov. Kay Ivey signed House Bill 261 into law on May 30. The state has had ...


Gay News

British Cycling to ban trans competitors from female category
2023-05-26
After a nine-month investigation and review, British Cycling will ban transgender women from the female category in a change that will be implemented by the end of the year, the BBC reported. Under a new policy ...


 


Copyright © 2023 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 
 

TRENDINGBREAKINGPHOTOS







Sponsor
Sponsor


 



Donate


About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Advanced Search     
Windy City Queercast      Queercast Archives     
Press  Releases      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast      Blogs     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam     
Privacy Policy     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.