Gigi Gemini is a trans drag queen from Las Vegas! She refers to herself as equal parts look and body queen, is part of the Gemini drag family, and stresses that every single person should try drag at least once.
Interview with Gigi Gemini
To cite this particular interview, please use the following:
Baxter, Destiny. 2020. Interview with Gigi Gemini. Department of Sociology, Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, February 12. Available URL (http://www.ezratemko.com/drag/gigi-gemini/).
Interviewer: Hello, how are you doing today?
Gigi Gemini: I’m doing good, how about yourself?
Interviewer: I’m good, thank you. Did you get a chance to look at the consent form I just sent you about 20-30 minutes ago?
Gigi Gemini: Oh no, it’s not in here, let me open it now.
Interviewer: Okay, that’s fine yeah, it’s just explaining your rights as a participant and everything like that. And as you’re looking, feel free to ask any questions or anything like that.
Gigi Gemini: Okay- it’s downloading it now
Interviewer: Sorry again!
Gigi Gemini: That’s alright, I got caught up in a YouTube hole and my ringtone is on vibrate
Interviewer: I do the same thing – even just this morning – YouTube
Gigi Gemini: Yeah, I was watching those Trixie and Katya talk videos.
Interviewer: I don’t think I’ve seen those
Gigi Gemini: They just like – when they just sit there and just talk about stuff for like 10 minutes, but they never end up staying on topic… Reading it now
Interviewer: Oh yeah, you’re fine, I’m sorry again for not sending it earlier.
Gigi Gemini: Okay.
Interviewer: Do you have any questions or anything?
Gigi Gemini: No – it all looks good to me.
Interviewer: Awesome. I will go ahead and get started. My first question is when was the very first time that you heard or saw drag?
Gigi Gemini: The first time I ever heard or saw drag I was 18 years old. I grew up in Orlando, Florida, and I hadn’t left home yet. I lived down the street from the University of Florida and this was 2004 or 2005.
Interviewer: And then, like, what was your initial reaction to that? Do you remember that experience?
Gigi Gemini: I remember just being in awe cause I had, like, my mom, she was always supportive, I came out at 13 years old, first as gay and then when I was 19, I came out as trans, but this was prior to transitioning. But growing up my mom was always really supportive, and I always felt safer around her, talking about like gay stuff because, like, she was the one who introduced movies like Birdcage, To Wong Foo, Paris is Burning, stuff like that. So, the first time I saw it in person, I felt like I felt like I was watching celebrities because the only time I had ever seen drag was in movies. And then I saw one of the performers at that show at UCF that year, they would put it on once every year and it was called Diva Invasion and it was – they would do it to raise money for the Gay/Lesbian Student Union. But I saw one of the entertainers – her name was Danielle Hunter. She’s a trans woman who does drag and I saw her and I was like, wait – I can look like that? And then when I transitioned later on – I always thought about doing it but I was – But, I had too much stage fright to actually perform. So, I would just go to the club like in drag looking what I thought was cute at the time, I look at pictures now and was like “Oh god,” but I thought I was cute at the time. When I’d go out in drag, just in really bad drag. Then I’ve been in transition about 10 – I transitioned about 10 years, so I was like 28, 29 at the time when I started thinking about it.
Interviewer: When did you start performing as a drag artist?
Gigi Gemini: In 2017, I was 30 years old at that time and then I started performing, so this is like three years ago, and it was like once I started performing, it was just – I had to learn how to be on stage first and not be terrified. Like the first year I would be blitzed drunk before I got on stage, because I would just I would get really, I would get real drunk, like, three sheets to the wind and then I’d hear my song come on and then I would just like immediately go into a character and do the number, you know. And then I’d get off stage, then stumble back to the dressing room, I might go get another drink and wait for my next song to come on.
Interviewer: So, in that time period, what changed to make you start performing drag?
Gigi Gemini: Well, I had known my drag mother at that point for about 10 years. That was like – she’s a drag performer, she’s a transwoman who does drag. And she had, in 2016 – she was the winner of the Miss Gay United States Pageant. Seeing that as a transwoman doing drag, you can still get really far in the art of drag, without having to go on something – without having to go on a TV show. You know, which is, unfortunately today, that’s like where a lot of girl’s minds are when they start doing drag. They’re like, oh, well, I want to get on Drag Race. So, they start doing it, thinking that that’s how local drag works and is ran and, like, as far as the attitudes and competitiveness that the girls have on the show.
Interviewer: So, you spoke about having a drag mom, are you part of a drag family then?
Gigi Gemini: Yes, so my full drag name is Gigi Gemini. So Gemini is my drag family’s name.
Interviewer: Did you want to speak a little bit more about your drag family and maybe like the benefits to having a drag family versus not?
Gigi Gemini: I mean I could talk about the benefits of having a drag family. My drag family is uh – Raja Gemini is my – she’s the mother of the house, like the matriarch. She was this, the Season Three winner of Drag Race. And, and then my mother is Bionka Simone, her drag name was Simone Gemini, and then at one point, she was on a show called Transcendent on the Fuse Network and they credited her with the name “Bionka” so she’s changed her drag name to Bionka Simone and that’s my mother.
Interviewer: How, you spoke a little bit about your mom, how did your family and friends and other loved ones receive you becoming a drag artist?
Gigi Gemini: I mean, for the most part, the family that I still talk to, just because, not because, I’m really lucky in the sense that majority of my family is very supportive of me as a trans person. So, it was like more so when I started doing drag, they were just kind of like okay, but can you not like, be slutty? And I was like, “Sorry! Bold of you to assume I wouldn’t take my clothes off.”
Interviewer: So, there are a lot of terms and types and styles of drag there’s you know, glamour queens and impersonators, comedy queens etc. What kind of dog do you do? How would you characterize your drag?
Gigi Gemini: I would say like equal parts body queen and look queen. I used to dance a lot more, but on New Year’s Eve, I got very, very, drunk before I even left my house. So drunk that I don’t remember leaving to go to the bar that I was working at for the New Year’s Eve Party and never ended up making it, because, I walked out of my apartment and I was in like full drag. Usually, when I leave my apartment to go do a show, my makeups fully done and my lashes and my hair is on, but I mean in like flats and UGG boots. So, I’m not used to going down the stairs from the first floor to the second floor in my complex in heels, and bright idea – I was wearing six-inch heels with platforms on the front. And I fell down the stairs and sprained my ankle.
Interviewer: Oh no, I’m so sorry.
Gigi Gemini: I had to take two months off to be fully healed to be able to perform again. So, I like just started performing at the beginning of March.
Interviewer: Are you facing any restrictions on performing because of everything that’s going on right now?
Gigi Gemini: Yeah, currently Vegas is on a 30-day lockdown, all non-essential businesses are shut down. I believe schools are closed and stuff like that. So, it’s like, only essential businesses are open right now. Like medical, government, restaurants that have takeaway or delivery and stuff like that. Markets, stuff like that, that’s all that’s opening. Gas stations. Everything else is shut down. So, all my gigs for the next 30 days have been postponed or canceled.
Interviewer: So sorry to hear that.
Gigi Gemini: But like, the performance side of it being postponed and everything is upsetting, but I also understand why it has to be done and what I’m doing now, honestly no different from a normal day when I’m not doing a show because, since I don’t work out or anything, if I do two shows in a row, I am like wiped for like three days because I don’t have the endurance that I would have if I worked out and didn’t smoke cigarettes. So, it’s like, I just started coming back performing, and I’m having to relearn my body while I’m on stage. And then now all of this happens. I’m like, okay, I guess it’s time for me to just start doing – practicing at home.
Interviewer: Yeah, definitely kind of viewed as a month to practice.
Gigi Gemini: Yeah cause it’s like I understand why it’s all on lockdown, and I’m like in full agreement like “Yeah, we need this lockdown.”
Interviewer: Yeah, definitely stay safe. So, the type of drag, you said body queen and look queen, that you do affect your life as a drag artist and if so, how so?
Gigi Gemini: Um kind of because they’re – specifically living in Vegas because the first few years as a performer, I was living in San Francisco. And then I moved to Vegas about a year ago. So like, drag queens, I’ve learned, can be drastically different from city to city, and therefore that affects how your drag is perceived and I mean, I’m received and how often you will or will not get booked. What I’ve learned here in Vegas is while they like a body queen who can serve a good luck and be entertaining during the number. What they really liked out here is like stunt queens. So, the girls who do like splits and dips which are incJLoorrectly referred to as death drops. But so the girls that do splits and dips and flips, and cartwheels and somersaults and stuff, those girls tend to get booked more often. Whereas, like, if you just if you don’t do all that, then you’ll get booked because like, I’ll dance during my numbers, I’ll do some light choreography but it’s – I basically – because I would do J.Lo all the time, because people will tell me I resembled her. And then after my ankle got sprained, I was like, “Hey girl, tend to start doing Mariah Carey since all of your wigs are the same hair color,” and just stand there and look cute.
Interviewer: Would you say there’s anything unique to the drag scene in Las Vegas compared to other places like San Francisco or the other country?
Gigi Gemini: What I would say is unique is that there is, because what they appreciate out here is so niche, because it’s either the stunt queens which get booked a lot, or the other big thing out here is also celebrity impersonation. And if you can do both, then you hit a sweet spot. So, it’s a like, I have a friend who is a Britney Spears impersonator. And she does all the stunts and stuff like that. But she also – she resembles her very much so and does all the choreography perfectly and executes the look perfectly. She gets booked constantly. You know, I have another friend that does Beyoncé and she’s constantly booked too because she learned – my friend who does Beyoncé, she gets it down so perfectly, so like, if you hear a breath on the audio she makes – she breathes. You know, she has the fan and everything. So, it’s like that definitely out here is much more appreciated. But because it is, I have seen some of the best artists in the in that niche fields out here, which in San Francisco impressions was kind of regarded as lazy. You know, they look for something, they look for more artistic takes on things and stuff like that.
Interviewer: So, who or what has influenced your drag?
Gigi Gemini: When it comes to like the look in drag, definitely my drag mom, but also 90’s supermodels. Especially Naomi Campbell, like the power that she would have with her walk and her confidence and stuff like that I would draw from a lot. I would draw from J.Lo’s looks a lot. To the point that once I saw her makeup artist in that video breaking down how he does her makeup. I started doing my drag makeup like that just slightly heavier. You know it’s like, so definitely, so Scott Barnes makeup. The way he does makeup has definitely influenced my drag. J.Lo also influenced the way that I wear my hair a lot, even regardless of color, like, styles that I use and my style choices with looks. When it comes to like the humor I have when I’m in drag, I’ve been influenced by like Kristen Wiig. by other drag queens too like Coco Peru who is a drag legend – I’ve been influenced by her humor a lot. I think with my humor, though the biggest influence would be my mom because a lot of the stuff that I say that apparently people think is the funniest shit that I say is stuff that I learned talking to my mom, you know, and I’m like, “If you think I’m if you think I’m bad, my mom is worse.” Because everybody’s like, “Oh my God, we gotta meet your mom.” And I’m like, “Oh, shit, y’all are not prepared. Y’all will all have an asthma attack. And how many of you actually have asthma?” like oh my god.
Interviewer: Do you consider your drag to be political?
Gigi Gemini: I mean I think in some baseline all drag is inherently political, simply because at its core drag is like a middle finger to gender period. You know? So I do think that’s inherent in it, also as a trans woman doing drag, and the kind of drag that I’m doing, cause I know a lot of transwomen who tend to like go for like dramatic makeup that doesn’t look anything like them when they’re out of drag. There’s like the exaggerated eyes and extreme arched eyebrows and extremely overdrawn lips and stuff like that the big hair and they go straight for like the comedy queen route. Whereas like, I go for the I like – like I typically, like to give my drag a very short description, I call myself a lip-synching stripper. I go out there in a lot of like bikinis or bra and panties, lingerie, stuff like that. Or body suits that have a nude illusion to them, so it looks like I’m naked but, but, I am fully covered up and then rhinestones everywhere. Kind of like what Britney wore in the toxic video or a lot of J.Lo’s tour costumes, um like that kind of look. And the way I worked the audience and everything is very much like a stripper just going up and being sexy and like “Yeah, you know, I’m going to get your money so just hand it over,” you know.
Interviewer: How often would you say that you preform?
Gigi Gemini: In Vegas I perform a lot more often. All last year up until I sprained my ankle, I was doing anywhere from two to four shows a week. Especially when I first moved here and started performing at FreeZone I had auditions and they had me once a week for a while and then twice a week and then four times a week. And then the four times a week was for like, three, four months. And then it went down to twice a week, and it was like that until December. And then I sprained my ankle, and then now as I’m getting back at kind of – I was kind of like getting bookings where I could where my friends would have space to put me in either for a pay spot or a tip spot. And then I had like, just last week started a gig co-hosting a Drag Race viewing party. So, it was like that was gonna be a weekly thing. So – but I was performing considerably more often in Vegas than I was in San Francisco.
Interviewer: So, what all goes into getting ready for a performance for you?
Gigi Gemini: For me first I have to – When I get booked for a show, the first thing I ask is if there’s a specific theme like is it a Latin night? Or is it, do you want me to do only country, or hip-hop, R&B? Like, what kind of, is there a specific kind of music that’s required or preferred for the show? And then I pick my songs based off that answer. For me, it’s like I have to find songs within the genre that I’m like, “Okay, I actually like this.” But if there is no specific request for songs, then I typically do like pop music. So, I have some like go-tos when it comes to just whatever I want to do. Yeah, so then it’s picking the music, if it’s songs I’ve never done before, and then learning the lyrics. So that usually I start doing that about a week before the show, but then the day of, based off my call time, I want to wake up anywhere from six to eight hours beforehand. Cause when I wake up it takes me about an hour or two to like really wake up, wake up. And then I shower, shave whatever I need to shave from, brush my teeth and then I start flirting with the makeup. If I’m in a rush I could do my face in 45 minutes to an hour and it’ll look good. You know it’s possible for a show. But if I -that’s typically like if I wake up late and I have three hours to get ready, which I don’t like. I like to take six to eight hours to get ready because I can just take my time, play some music, maybe brush up on my songs if it’s songs that I haven’t – that I am still learning. Then I like to pick out my costume. But on the days when I can do that, when I can take the 6-8 hours, I’ll spend about three to four hours on my makeup alone just because I just get really into the details of it and that’s usually when I really love my makeup the most. But like, yeah. Make up and then I gotta, I especially need the six to eight hours if I have to restyle the wig and I’ve procrastinated all week and not done it when I’ve had ample time. So, if I am going to be doing that night, then you need two hours for the hair minimum. Just because I refused to go on stage with a thirsty, fried, dry, matted wig. And I always want it to look fresh and new and I prefer using synthetic wigs for drag because the way I perform, wigs take a lot of abuse, the way I style them and perform. They do move my hair around a lot and stuff like that and with synthetic hair, that can come with a lot of wear and tear. So it would be very easy for my wig to suddenly look disgusting. But I tend to prefer them older because then when I restyle them and stuff like that, people tend to assume that it’s human hair. Because of the way that I because the way I style it, and the way I cut them allows them to move in a certain way. But yeah, so that’s two hours minimum for the hair. And then I never eat before a show. Because if I do that, I end up with a little potbelly. And I don’t have a cincher, so you see it through all my costumes. So that’s why I’m like “Oh no ma’am,” so yeah so then – after that, I usually time it like this way so right after my hair I have enough time to smoke a bowl, smoke a cigarette, get to the front of my apartment complex and call a car to take me to the gig.
Interviewer: What would you say are the biggest challenges to doing drag and being a drag artist?
Gigi Gemini: Honestly, I would say, at least here in Vegas, you have to have a really thick skin. Because, if for whatever reason, another queen feels threatened by you or jealous of you or anything negative about you, they will go out of their way to prevent you from getting booked anywhere in the city. They are extremely competitive, and they will come at you and say a lot of really messed up stuff to your face to try to break you down and make you quit, because that way you’re no longer like an element, you know.
Interviewer: Would you say that that is different in like Las Vegas compared to San Francisco, or is that the same everywhere you’d say?
Gigi Gemini: I’ve noticed that more here in Vegas than in San Francisco – in San Francisco the drag scene is extremely supportive. Because they’re always like, “We’re not going to try to criticize your specific kind of drag.” If we do have any critiques, it’ll typically be about like, helping you boost your confidence before a number or, “Hey, if you if you’re starting out, you need help with makeup or hair, I can teach you stuff” you know, it’s like in San Francisco feels like much more of a sisterhood. Whereas in Vegas, you don’t really have that feeling of sisterhood. It’s more like every girl for themselves, you know?
Interviewer: Yeah. So how do you identify in terms of your sex, gender identity and gender expression outside of drag?
Gigi Gemini: I’m a transgender woman.
Interviewer: And then what pronouns do you use? Do you use the same pronouns inside drag then?
Gigi Gemini: Yes, always she/her.
Interviewer: Okay, has drag influenced how you think about gender at all?
Gigi Gemini: I think it was kind of the other way around, for me, because by the time I started doing drag I had already – it was already after the whole social justice movement had kind of become really prevalent online. So, because of that I had kind of learned a lot about gender that I hadn’t previously thought to consider anything. I was just kind of like what was best and got that and then just moved on with my life and then when all this new information about gender and stuff like that it started to really hit the internet in a big way. I started like reading up on it and meeting people who were all these different identities and then real like that really expanded my worldview of gender. So, by the time I started doing drag, I was just kind of like, hey, it is what it is, you know?
Interviewer: Has your gender identity influenced your style of drag at all? If so, how?
Gigi Gemini: Oh definitely, I know it’s a term that is controversial because the perceived intention of it or root of it, versus like the actual root of it, as far as my understanding, because I went there in my everyday life, walking around and existing in society. My goal is to be as feminine as possible, just because I like feeling pretty and you know, feminine and stuff like that. So, it’s like because of that my style of drag, especially my makeup is much closer to like a glamour beauty face with a lot more glitter or brighter color and a slightly more arched brow and a slightly bigger eyelid, and way more highlighter, and a lot more glitter. But it’s like – I would say that my gender has definitely influenced the way I perform drag because even when I’m performing drag, I don’t have it in my head about people being like oh, like they if they have a small understanding of drag, “Oh it’s a man dressed as a woman,” I perform life as a woman.
Interviewer: Definitely and then has drag impacted your confidence as a person when you’re out of drag?
Gigi Gemini: Oh definitely. Definitely just because I think it’s ever since I moved out here with performing a lot more often, after the show I would go out to like the nearby bars and stuff like that so I was meeting a lot more people a lot more often. So a lot of them because they knew I performed, what I will say out here is that like, people who don’t perform better out at like of the gay clubs and stuff like that, if they find out you’re drag queen, they automatically like, the way they treat you is like, amazing, I live for it. It’s like you’re a celebrity. So, it’s like, because of that, it has definitely boosted my confidence cause now when I go out, even if I’m not all made up, and I’m like in bummy clothes and stuff like that. Now, I’m realizing I have to still be like, somewhat presentable, at least like comb your hair, draw your eyebrows, and make sure you don’t have hair on your face because now because people know my voice, I’ll be somewhere and I’ll be talking to somebody and they’re like, “Oh my god, are you Gigi Gemini?” And I’m like, “Yeah?” which is weird for me because it only started happening like within the past two months, and I’ve never dealt with that before, so it’s like a little creepy sometimes. But other than that, like, when I do like it is when I go to the bar, then people recognize me because most of the time they’re like, “Oh let me buy you a drink,” and I’m like, “Oh, okay sure I’ll take a drink. Thanks.” I’m not gonna say no to a free drink as long as I am there when it is ordered and straight to me.
Interviewer: Very smart. So, can you share a little bit about how one or more of your social identities such as your gender, your race, your class, age, etc., or the interaction of these social identities have experienced your drag or have like shape your experience of drag or like vice versa, how drag has shaped those experiences?
Gigi Gemini: For me it’s more so because the identity that I predominantly identify with like ethnically is Puerto Rican, because of the culture I was raised with. My racial identity though, is I’m very mixed. My dad is Afro-Latino, and Italian. And my mom is Puerto Rican and based on what I see in the family, they’re also mixed, like my mom and her three sisters are three different colors, they look like Neapolitan ice cream. So, it’s like I can see in that family tree it’s mixed, and then my dad looks like Carlton from the Fresh Prince and base just off what I see in the mirror, when I look in the mirror. I think looking at myself, I’m just a very light skinned black person, but because of the way I speak, and I was raised with, like the Latino folk, like I’m Afro-Latino, I’m just really light skinned. But because I’m so light skinned when I put on my wigs and stuff like that, people tend to assume that I’m not black. Which then translates to I can’t do certain music, because then the perception is why is this Latina girl doing a black girl song? You know and I’ve seen it happen to other performers too, like I’ve seen – I’ve seen black friends of mine like, doing drag and they’ll use Spanish music and then they’ll get racist messages on their social media telling them not to do it. You know it’s like I’ve gotten messages when after – there was one time I had a show and I did Beyoncé, I did Sweet Dreams by Beyoncé and I didn’t have enough time to style my wig that night so I just wore my natural hair because my natural hair goes down to like my mid chest but the texture is – if I take a shower and wash it and condition it and let it air dry, I have an afro like a big ass afro, so I wore my natural hair for the show and I got messages the next day on my social media calling me everything but a child of god. And that because I am not black, I can’t do Beyoncé. And I’m just thinking to myself, but I am you know, but because I know that’s the perception now, I just don’t do the music because I’m like, it’s not worth that. It’s not worth me getting those kinds of messages.
Interviewer: How would you, yourself define drag?
Gigi Gemini: For me, it’s like everybody’s chance to be a rock star. Because it’s, to me it’s similar to stand-up comedy like I remember hearing a comic back in the day, I can’t remember their name and he had said that stand-up comics are failed rock stars because they couldn’t sing or play an instrument. And to me, drag is very much the same way. Because it’s very rare that you’ll find a drag queen who actually can sing or do something other than lip sync and dance, you know, so it is very rare to find that so we’re kind of a family, we’re like all failed popstars because we weren’t hot enough to get a record deal and none of us actually sing, although the same can be said for a lot of actual popstars today
Interviewer: What do you think is the purpose of drag?
Gigi Gemini: I think that changes based on the performer. For me the purpose is twofold, because it has a selfish purpose for me of letting me live my Hollywood fantasies and feeling like I’m a celebrity. Because, with the way the internet is these days, I’m glad I never decided to pursue getting famous like I wanted to when I was younger. Uh-uh I would not be able to handle the way social media deals with these celebrities today. So it allows me to live that celebrity fantasy but I think another purpose of drag for me is also to give the people in the show watching let them have an escape similar to like if they’re going to the movies or a concert or something, just give them something to let them really make them really feel good for the hour or two hours of the show, you know. And then when you’re out there, you’re interacting with people and stuff like that. To me the whole purpose of drag in that capacity when you’re just out in a look, or if you’re out after the show at the bar, you’re just hanging out and stuff like that, the purpose of that is to continue to help keep everybody in the club in a good mood feeling good. You know if they have a problem, try to figure out who can solve it and like try to direct them that way. You know, it’s like, it’s kind of like, guest service at a park you know? And I’m like, simultaneously a character and guest service.
Interviewer: Do you think that drag is sexual?
Gigi Gemini: I think it can be. I think like any form of entertainment, drag can be very sexual. It can be very explicitly sexual in many instances, but I think it can also be very, very innocent. You know, it all depends on the specific performer and performance.
Interviewer: And then how do you personally feel about RuPaul’s Drag Race?
Gigi Gemini: I think overall, it’s given drag a great platform, you know, and it’s done a lot for the art of drag in the sense of really educating – like teaching a lot of people that drag is not this scary thing that people try to make you think it is. It’s honestly good entertainment, you know, drag is good entertainment the people who create it are, in many instances, great people. So, I think Drag Race is- the thing I think that’s really good about Drag Race is that it’s brought a lot of this to the mainstream. I think on the flip side, unfortunately, due to the fact that they won’t cast people who are assigned female at birth, or trans women or trans men onto the show I think really hinders mainstream understanding the whole breadth of drag and everything there is to it. And all the artists that contribute to it and all the different styles of drag, you know, I think, unfortunately, because of drag race a lot of people who that’s their understanding of it, think that’s the only kind of drag that’s real.
Interviewer: If you could change one thing about drag or the drag scene or the drag community, what would that be?
Gigi Gemini: More sisterhood. Just across the board, it shouldn’t be that you have to find the right city to find that energy. I think no matter what city you’re in, that should just be a thing with drag, you know, like that it is a sisterhood, and there’s room for all of us to shine. We all just kind of you know, lift each other up, you know? So basically, more Lizzo energy.
Interviewer: True. What do you think are some misconceptions that people have about drag?
Gigi Gemini: That it’s perverted or inherently sexual or that it’s mental illness and stuff like that, like I, because I’ve seen, I’ve seen those hot takes on the conservative side, you know, or that I really wish people didn’t automatically assume that like the Drag Queen Story Time where the drag queens are reading like, children’s books to children, they just happen to be in drag, I really wish people would stop thinking that that was like some kind of indoctrination or proselytizing or anything like that. It’s literally just a drag queen sitting there, no different than if it was frickin’ Big Bird reading stories to kids, you know. Yeah, like I really wish people didn’t automatically assume It was just yeah like something perverted or sexual or anything like that it really just like I said it’s just, just, like movies or TV shows or music or anything, it can be very, very, innocent all the way to triple-x rated depending on what show you’re going to or where you’re at. Because apparently I recently found out that they do that there’s a thing called the naked drag show that they have at what are called play parties, where basically it’s a sex party. And I’m just like, that is something I would never do, but it’s fun to find out that it happens.
Interviewer: What do you think can help address and change these misconceptions about drag?
Gigi Gemini: Honestly I feel like just – I really, I honestly think it would be beneficial if we had more diversity amongst the queens that really go big mainstream to the level of like Trixie Mattel and stuff like that or RuPaul, Shangela you know that get to that level. I think we need more variety amongst who those queens are and what it is they do so that this way, there’s more chances for people to encounter drag. You know, like Nina West is she’s from Season 11 her drag is very much of like Disney Channel kind of variety of like it has that innocence to it and that playfulness and you know she the way she puts herself together is a look that is very much based on like looks from children’s programming, just very non-threatening, very innocent, you know to the point that at DragCon, and stuff like that, the way she had her booth set up and everything a bunch of parents who had brought their kids there loved it because they were like, “This was like taking the kids to like Disney or something. It was very innocent. I didn’t have I wasn’t I didn’t have to be worried while my kid was there that something too racy was gonna be said or anything like that,” it was a very safe thing, you know, I think if we had more, more queens that were doing that, or, you know whatever, you know different capacities throughout the entertainment industry and also, throughout even politics, like Honey Mahogany in San Francisco was just elected to city council I believe in San Francisco. You know, it’s like even having them get into politics and stuff like that so people can really get to see like, just because drag is our main passion and our main form of performance art or like where we get to really express ourselves, we’re not one dimensional, that’s not all we do. And there’s more to us, I think once people start to realize that it’ll help to break down those misconceptions.
Interviewer: If you could go back in time to your younger self, what advice would you give yourself?
Gigi Gemini: To stop giving so much of a shit, I’d be like, “Just calm down.” I really think about it this way -if it doesn’t matter in five years, it doesn’t matter and say “fuck it” like move on, and stop procrastinating on so much shit.
Interviewer: I feel like you’re talking to me. And then, if you could choose one thing you want people to know or learn about drag from this, what would it be?
Gigi Gemini: To give it a try! You know, just even if it’s just for Halloween or whatever, give it a try, you know, like, I don’t mean like, bad Party City wig and very, very badly applied makeup and some basic little like, sexy nurse costume or whatever. No, I mean like really give it an honest to goodness try. And it’s like I guarantee you no matter who you are, if you do it the minute you’re in full costume, there’s this sense of like power that you feel it’s almost like just some of my costumes but like a lot of the body suits when I put them on as soon as it’s on, I’m like “I feel like a superhero.” So it’s like there’s – so yeah, try it, the confidence you’ll get is just insane.
Interviewer: And then did you have any other experiences or anything else you’d like to share today?
Gigi Gemini: I will say that the experiences I’ve had doing group numbers with other queens have been some of my favorite memories of drag so far. Because the creative process behind like, coming up with like, “Alright, how are we – what song are we doing and how are we going to do it? Is it going to be-are we just – going to be like a full dance number? Are we going to be more slapstick with this or, you know what – how are we doing this?” and then everybody’s input all the way from like the choreography to the makeup to the hair, costuming, everything is like – I love doing that because to me, it feels similar to like doing what I imagined it’s like to be in the theater, you know, and see all these different creative forces all come together to create something really wonderful and really entertaining and something that the crowds always love because the- like I did a Hocus Pocus production numbers And I was the Sarah Jessica Parker’s character. And then during December, we were doing Mariah Carey’s All I Want for Christmas and I was a sexy elf in the background. But like, what I loved most about doing those was the creative practice with the other girls and the audience’s reaction.
Interviewer: And then, if you didn’t have anything else to share, I’ll let you go. If you’d like to send like some of your favorite pictures that I can include on the upload, you could definitely email or text those to me or anything like that.
Gigi Gemini: Sure, yeah, I have some actually promo photos that I can send you. A friend of mine, she’s a drag queen photographer in the Bay Area called Tragic Glamour, so I could send you that and then also, if you guys had any information that I can pass on to other queens if they wanted to contact you about doing this, would that be okay?
Interviewer: Yeah definitely! I’m doing this throughout when I graduate in May. So yeah, anybody who you think would like to do this, definitely just send them my email and have them contact me, I’d be happy to do that.
Gigi Gemini: Sure yeah, cause, I know some queens that I could probably shoot the information towards and be like hey listen – there’s this going on if you would like to, you know, contribute to it or whatever, you know.
Interviewer: Yeah that would be awesome.
Gigi Gemini: Alright cool.
Interviewer: Thank you so much for participating.
Gigi Gemini: Of course, thank you so much for asking.
Interviewer: Okay, you have a great day and stay safe.
Gigi Gemini: You too.
Interviewer: Thank you, bye.
Gigi Gemini: Bye.