You may know Gigi Gorgeous as a successful vlogger, but she also happens to be thisclose to superstar Miley Cyrus—something she never saw coming. But such is the life of an outspoken trans advocate who's chosen to star in Cyrus' #InstaPride campaign, which debuted earlier this summer and featured profiles and shots of transgender and gender non-conforming individuals to raise awareness for the Happy Hippie Foundation.
The now-tight duo teamed up again on the set of Cyrus' Marie Claire cover shoot, where Gigi got in front of the camera and Miley behind the lens. We caught up with the up-and-comer to talk about the transgender community of today, who she considers her own role model, and what it was like on set with Miley Cyrus.
Marie Claire: This feels like such a huge moment in history as it relates
to trans and identity. What do you think of all the attention being paid to the community?
Gigi Gorgeous: I think it's amazing—honestly bottom line *amazing.* I do think it's long overdue; we've been out here for a while and kind of creating our own things, but it's so great to see the spotlight that's being shone on this community. And Miley Cyrus is just...what an incredible woman, to take her time and show just how passionate she is about everyone being accepted and finding their place. She's shedding a light, and it's inspiring to see how the moment is really now.
MC: You've talked a bit about the #InstaPride campaign, but is that where you met Miley for the first time?
GG: Yes! Everyone, I think, was a little nervous in the beginning, but after a while it was fun and exciting.
MC: Was there anyone's story you were particularly drawn to?
GG: I think Brendon's story really was special to me. He's so young and it was just really special to see him there with his family.
MC: What was it like being on set with Miley for our September cover shoot?
GG: That was insane—I was not expecting that at all, but she hit me up and was like, "We're going to take some pictures." I didn't know what to expect, but it ended up being just so creative and super fun. I think the images Miley ended up taking of me turned out artsy and cool and I'm honored to be a part of it all. She's so carefree, but so professional. Just totally in her element. I admire her so much.
MC: You're such a role model for so many, especially as part of this campaign. Is there anyone you look up to?
GG: Caitlyn Jenner is someone I look up to a lot—I think she is a powerful force and really such a huge part of history now. What she's done and what she's achieved—she's such a strong force.
Samantha Leal is the Deputy Editor at Well+Good, where she spends most of her day thinking of new ideas across platforms, bringing on new writers, overseeing the day-to-day of the website, and working with the awesome team to produce the best stories and packages. Before W+G, she was the Senior Web Editor for Marie Claire and the Deputy Editor for Latina.com, with bylines all over the internet. Graduating from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University with a minor in African history, she’s written everything from travel guides to political op-eds to wine explainers (currently enrolled in the WSET program) to celebrity profiles. Find her online pretty much everywhere @samanthajoleal.
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