Lately, there has been a ton of needed coverage on trans issues and visibility. Thanks to high profile trans people like Caitlyn Jenner and Laverne Cox, awareness of trans men and women's struggles is on the rise. However, on the video streaming service YouTube, members of the LGBTQ community have been able to achieve more visibility prior to such high profile stars. One such member of the social media site is wildly popular trans beauty vlogger Gigi Gorgeous who spoke with Cosmopolitan about her coming out process, transitioning, and her YouTube fame.
In case you missed who GiGi is, she's not exactly a newcomer to the YouTube world. The gorgeous star has amassed a following of 1.5 million people— mayself included— and that number only seems to be rising. GiGi's YouTube channel originally began prior to her coming out as transgender. In fact, she began making videos in high school. She explains to Cosmo, "I was just a very creative kid. I went to a Catholic high school so I wanted to use this to break out of my shell. YouTube was just beginning to take off when I started, but I built a strong following within the first year. It's been almost seven years now."
Since that time, Gorgeous has come out as transgender and talks about her transition and coming out process with Cosmo. Talking about coming out to her family, Gorgeous says she never really did so in the more traditional sense. "I am so close with my family so you would think it would be so easy to talk about this with them," she explains, "but it wasn't — it's like dropping a bombshell on them. Once I was decided, I was decided, and everyone else had to follow suit. That was when I was 19, in 2012. The thing was, most people already just sort of knew I was gay."
While Gorgeous came out at 19, it wasn't until later that she came out as transgender. In an emotional video posted to her YouTube channel, Gorgeous came out to her followers. Of the process, she explains:
"The beginning was definitely the hardest part. There were so many new experiences for me that I was taking on and I felt I had the pressure from everyone to be perfect. It was also quite funny because I had gotten many calls from friends I hadn't spoken to in a few months and they would ask me how I was recovering. They found out where I was in my transition from my YouTube videos! It was a great feeling to have that support."
Gigi seems to be paying forward the support she received in her unwavering support of Caitlyn Jenner. Gorgeous talks candidly about how many may have felt like the media coverage of Jenner's coming out to Diane Sawyer was a "circus," but she didn't buy into that mindset. She tells Cosmo, "I don't usually talk about pop culture on my channel. It's more about me and makeup and beauty. I never do like, 'What's Kim Kardashian wearing today?' But also I think I turned some people around [about Caitlyn], because a lot of people feel like the whole Bruce Jenner thing is a circus. I didn't feel like that at all. I saw him as a generous person opening up."
GiGi Gorgeous is definitely a YouTuber to know, not only because she gives killer fashion and beauty advice but also because she's a fantastic human being. While the scope of her channel has expanded a bit since the beginning, the social media darling plans to keep content fresh by listening to her fans. Whether she's supporting the trans community in her videos or making us laugh in them, she's definitely a star who's fame is only set to rise.
Videos: GiGi Gorgeous/YouTube (2)