Receive up-to-date content with added value at regular intervals by email.
Gigi Gorgeous Getty is a well-known YouTube personality, model, actress, LGBTQ activist, and philanthropist. She is known for her openness about her gender transition and her commitment to the LGBTQ community. We sat down with Gigi to talk about her career, her activism, and her future.
Why was it important to you to write this book with your co-author, Gottmik?
Both of us have been through so much with each of our transitions. I’ve been trans for over 10 years, and over that period of time I have helped him a lot just from talking him through what I’ve learned from my own experience and being there for him when needed. It’s funny, we thought our experiences would look very differently considering he’s a trans man and I’m a trans woman, but as we went through this journey we realized there were a lot of similarities. That’s what jumpstarted us wanting to put together all of our resources, secrets, what we’ve learned over the years into a book, a true guide, so other people could have a resource and a place to turn to for answers. We’ve never seen a book like this, so it was important for us to include as many perspectives as possible not just from us, but from our friends, influential people who have inspired us and who also guided us through our journeys. There are math textbooks, science textbooks, but there isn’t any kind of guide or even an educational website that incorporates real life stories and direction on how to navigate being trans so we knew it was important to include what we’ve learned and even the mistakes we have made into this book. And of course, we made it hardcover, with beautiful imagery… because, why not!
What do you hope people learn from The T Guide after reading it?
I hope people take away something they didn’t know before about the community, about me & Gottmik, about our wonderful contributors. This book is also written for allies, not just those who identify within the community, so it was important for us to write this with an educational lens so people knew how they could help. This is one of the biggest questions I’m always asked, “how can I be a good ally to the trans community? A newly trans person?”. We cover it all. Especially, when giving advice on how to be a good friend, parent, sibling, to someone who is trans. How do you stick us for trans people in public? This is a big topic, whether it’s gender specific restrooms, pronouns, new names. There’s no better people to give this advice than Gottmik and I since we lived it.
The T Guide has so many beautiful photos throughout the book, what was the inspiration behind the artistic direction and backstory behind the imagery?
As creative people, Gottmik and I are obsessed with aesthetics and design. Although we seem opposite at times; he does drag with incredible white and black contour, a very gothic-artistic look and I’m very much into the Barbie aesthetic with an emphasis on fashion and beauty. It was important to both of us to combine these two styles and incorporate beautiful imagery that carried meaning and deeper messages throughout. Once people get their hands on this book and read through the chapters, they will see how the imagery and words go hand in hand. I truly am so proud of what we created.
There are so many incredible contributors to The T Guide, from Jazz Jennings, Paris Hilton, Adam Lambert, Sarah McBride and more – why was it important to you to include their voices within the book?
All of the people we included in the book are people who we deeply respect and inspire us personally, first and foremost. There are people like Paris Hilton who are incredible allies to the community, and we knew we had the perfect chapter for her to contribute to. Taking a step back, both Gottmik and I acknowledge that we are both white, we are both privileged, so we knew it was important for us to include diversity to showcase different perspectives on these topics. This was incredibly intentional. Some of these people we didn’t know personally, but we loved their work and what they stood for. In terms of their actual participation, we wanted to leave it open so they could infuse their own creativity and truly feel gravitated to the content. We could not believe how many people were so open to writing these essays, and I feel so lucky to have this within our book.
How has your life changed since becoming a YouTube star?
Over the years, I have to say that after I have put so much of my life out there, my skin has gotten a lot thicker. I hear from people all the time, “how do you share so much? How are you so vulnerable?”. Especially recently, after choosing to share my fertility journey on my channel, which I know is not a mainstream topic for a transgender couple. It was important to be to break down the construct of what it means to have a family, and of course, that comes with its criticism. It was truly changed me over the years, just speaking to the camera from my heart, speaking my truth, and the flood of messages I receive from people who say they needed this, they say ‘I’m going through this too’, you’ve helped me in some way or even that I ‘saved’ them in some capacity. That’s what keeps me moving forward, and helps me block out the negativity.
You have been involved in LGBTQ activism in recent years. What motivated you to become an advocate for this community?
I was honestly thrust into this role. I started doing mostly fashion and beauty content because that’s what I really loved to do, and then I started sharing more and more of my life. I began meeting so many people within the community and I started attending more LGBTQ+ events and opportunities. I felt so passionate about learning more, and I still am learning; learning and growing every day forever inspired and in awe of people in the community.
What experiences have you had in the past that led you to become an activist?
You are also a well-known model and actress. How have you pursued these careers and what is your next challenge?
This sounds odd to say, but I’m just a ‘yes’ girl. When I see it, I go after it. I learned that life is always doing things that scare you. I love modeling and acting, but both are incredibly challenging so I’ve learned to just say ‘yes’ ‘yes’ ‘yes’ when I get the gist of inspiration.
You are also a philanthropist and support various non-profit organizations. What are some of the projects that are close to your heart?
There are so many that are close to my heart. I’m very active with GLAAD, and in my support of the LGBTQ Center. The Trevor Project is also an incredible organization and I will never forget going to one of their call centers and seeing the hotlines in action with all of the calls from people who needed help and had no one else to talk to. The incoming calls were constant, and there was something magical about it because here is this organization who was there to help these desperate people who had nowhere else to turn, offer support, resources and guidance.
What advice would you give to someone who is not fully accepted in the LGBTQ community?
There is a lot of competition within the community, and the only way to really combat this is to find a good group of people who support you. I know this sounds a little daunting and idealistic, but at the end of the day you have to really make sure you surround yourself with good people because it’s no way to live if you don’t feel welcomed within the community. The more you grow, the more you realize how this ‘competition’ is truly a waste of time. I have a full chapter on this in my book. The first friend you meet, may not be your friend for a lifetime, and that’s ok! You have to be easy on yourself and don’t put so much pressure on yourself if it doesn’t feel right.
You have been open about your gender transition in the past. How has this experience influenced your perception of gender and identity?
First and most important, I have realized that gender is just a societal construct. We always want to put labels on everything; as a gay man, or as a female trans woman, even I was obsessed with having a label to identify my own gender. After meeting so many people from different walks of life, I learned that gender is truly open for interpretation. I have met so many nonbinary people and I had never met anyone before who truly challenged the female and male binary. There was a sense of freedom to it, to not have to assign a label and to live freely of judgement of one’s own identity. To live with that constant judgement and constraint is not fair; it’s binding and you feel trapped. It’s something that I’ve related to my entire life because I’ve lived it.
In a world that is often marked by prejudice and intolerance, how do you stay motivated and inspired?
I truly feel motivated and gain inspiration from my friends, my chosen family, and also from within. You have to ignite your own fire. I always remind myself, “It’s mind over matter and you can truly change whatever situation you are in if you apply your mind to it.” It’s important to surround yourself with your chosen family; the people who are always in your corner and supportive of you and your decisions, whether it’s your friends or even your community online. We all have our inner demons and battles within ourselves but when it boils down to it, you have to be your biggest cheerleader. You go to bed everything with yourself, so it’s important that you truly like who you are.
What is the most important piece of advice you have ever received, and how has it influenced you?
I used to always say that the most important advice I ever received was, “live every day as if it’s your last”. I received this advice from my mom and it was something I always had in the back of my head when I made decisions. Now that I’m a little bit older, I think about the bigger picture. “Life is not a sprint, but a marathon.” It’s important to live each day authentically, and focus on leaving a bigger and better footprint on this world and leaving a legacy. The main thing; leaving the world better than when you entered it.
What are your goals and dreams for the future? What do you want to achieve and how do you want to be remembered?
My goals and dreams for the future, are that the younger generation behind me have a better time as they navigate this world due to the work we are doing within the community. I hope they don’t ever have to feel how we did growing up. There are so many role models now, and good books, personalities in media, that hopefully help the younger generation feel seen and feel like they have someone to relate to. In terms of what I want to achieve, I want to achieve it all! I see opportunities in everything and I just want to live a fruitful, successful and most of all, happy, life. I want to be remembered as a good friend, a good wife, daughter, sibling…and most of all, a fierce trailblazer who took on the world and won. And KEEPS on winning, even when people didn’t want to see her win.
In our interview with Gigi, we gained insight into the life of the successful YouTuber, actress, and LGBTQ+ activist. Her openness and honesty impressed us and showed us the importance of standing up for oneself and for others. Gigi Gorgeous Getty has not only built an impressive career in the entertainment industry but also passionately advocates for the LGBTQ+ community. Her commitment to this cause has made her an important voice in the community and she has used her reach to raise awareness and create change.
Thank you for your time.