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 2023-12-13
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
Donate

Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor

  WINDY CITY TIMES

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

This article shared 3375 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:ˤ 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 3375 times since Fri May 12, 2023
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email

Out and Aging
Presented By

  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Gay News

NAIA votes to ban trans women from athletics, affecting Chicago conference
2024-04-16
The National Association of Intercollegiate College on April 8 released a new policy on transgender athletes, banning trans women from competing under its jurisdiction. The new policy, which is set to go into effect Aug. 1, ...


Gay News

LGBTQ+ film fest Queer Expression to feature Alexandra Billings in 'Queen Tut'
2024-04-12
--From a press release - CHICAGO — Pride Film Fest celebrates its second decade with a new name—QUEER EXPRESSION—and has announced its slate of LGBTQ+-themed feature, mid-length and short films for in-person and virtual events in April and May. QUEER EXPRESSI ...


Gay News

WORLD Ugandan law, Japan, Cass report, Tegan and Sara, Varadkar done
2024-04-12
Ugandan LGBTQ+-rights activists asked the international community to mount more pressure on Uganda's government to repeal an anti-gay law that the country's Constitutional Court refused to nullify, PBS reported. Activist ...


Gay News

NATIONAL Trans woman killed, Tenn. law, S. Carolina coach, Evan Low, Idaho schools
2024-04-12
Twenty-four-year-old Latina trans woman and makeup artist Meraxes Medina was fatally shot in Los Angeles, according to the website them, citing The Los Angeles Times. Authorities told the Times they found Medina's broken fingernail and a ...


Gay News

Women & Children First marks its 45th anniversary
2024-04-11
By Tatiana Walk-Morris - It has been about 45 years since Ann Christophersen and Linda Bubon co-founded the Women & Children First bookstore in 1979. In its early days, the two were earning their English degrees at the University of ...


Gay News

UK's NHS releases trans youth report; JK Rowling chimes in
2024-04-11
An independent report issued by the UK's National Health Service (NHS) declared that children seeking gender care are being let down, The Independent reported. The report—published on April 10 and led by pediatrician and former Royal ...


Gay News

Judith Butler focuses on perceptions of gender at Chicago Humanities Festival talk
2024-04-10
In an hour-long program filled with dry humor—not to mention lots of audience laughter—philosopher, scholar and activist Judith Butler (they/them) spoke in depth on their new book at Music Box Theatre, 3733 N. Southport Ave., on ...


Gay News

Black LGBTQIA leaders applaud U of South Carolina head coach Staley for standing up for trans athlete inclusion
2024-04-08
--From a press release - WASHINGTON — On Sunday, April 7, the University of South Carolina's women's basketball team won the NCAA National Championship. Ahead of the championship game, South Carolina's head coach Dawn Staley made comments in support of transgend ...


Gay News

NAIA bans trans athletes from women's sports
2024-04-08
The National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) announced on April 8 that athletes will only be allowed to compete in women's sports if they were assigned female at birth, CBS Sports reported. The NAIA's Council of ...


Gay News

HRC president responds to NAIA vote to ban transgender women from playing sports
2024-04-08
--From a press release - WASHINGTON —Today, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ+) civil rights organization, responded to the National Association of ...


Gay News

Lambda Legal: NAIA proposed transgender sports ban disappointing, harmful reversal
2024-04-08
Lambda Legal: NAIA Proposed Transgender Sports Ban a Disappointing and Harmful Reversal "The NAIA announcement sends a dangerous message, is inconsistent with the law and science, and undercuts the organization's ...


Gay News

NATIONAL mpox, Trans+ Day of Visibility, police items, Best Buy, Gentili's death
2024-04-05
The CDC has concluded that mpox cases are on the rise in the United States, increasing to almost double what they were at the same time last year, according to ABC News. There is a national year-to-date estimate of 511 cases ...


Gay News

DoJ accuses Utah of bias against incarcerated trans woman
2024-04-03
The U.S. Department of Justice (DoJ) filed a lawsuit against the State of Utah, including the Utah Department of Corrections (UDOC), alleging violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) ...


Gay News

Performers light up the stage at Windy City Trans Visibility Pageant
2024-04-01
Life is Work presented its 3rd Annual Windy City Trans Visibility Pageant on March 30, with a star-studded epic extravaganza featuring 11 contestants performing alongside personalities from RuPaul's Drag Race. The event, which was held at ...


Gay News

Late transgender activist Elise Malary receives street dedication in Andersonville
2024-03-30
Elise Malary, the late transgender activist who died in March 2022, was a born-and-raised Andersonville local who co-founded the neighborhood-based Chicago Therapy Collective (CTC). Now her memory is a permanent ...


 


Copyright © 2024 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives.

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 Transgender 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.