Give any entry-level YouTube personality a documentary film crew and they could probably fill a roll of tape in one breath. But no story would hold your attention like that of Gigi Gorgeous, who began her vlogging career as a Toronto teen called Gregory Gorgeous, and has since amassed a following of millions as the platform’s most directional beauty guru. With her eponymous documentary, This is Everything: Gigi Gorgeous, released this week on YouTube Red, we caught up with the newly-announced Revlon face as she wrapped up her action-packed week.
You spend a lot of time in front of a camera. Did you provide all the archival footage for the film?
I decided to tell the world that I was transgender when I was 19 years old, right after my mother passed away. That’s when I started filming my journey and my rise to becoming my authentic self. So I had years and years of footage and when YouTube Red and Barbara Kopple got involved, I said, “Have it all.” But it didn’t stop there. She really helped with the contact with my father, and getting all the baby footage. It was my first time seeing a lot of that footage, which was kind of crazy. So yeah, everything was handed over.
How did Barbara Kopple get involved in the film?
When I approached YouTube Red with all my found footage, I didn’t know if there was going to be a director or a producer or what. I had no idea of what the process would be. When they watched the footage, they were like, ‘We want a real award-winning director to work on this. We think that this is a film that deserves that.’ We met with a few directors, but Barbara just stuck out to me. I was instantly like “That’s the one. That’s her.”
Had she seen any of your videos or did you show her a couple just to give her an idea?
You know what, I never actually asked her that. I assume she hadn’t because the films she had done in the past are very different from my story. But she does always deal with people and people’s stories and lots of feelings and things like that. But I’m not sure if she’d watched any of my videos prior to meeting.
What was it like watching back some of the scenes with your dad, like the ones of him helping you recover from surgery?
It was really special. He hadn’t seen a lot of that footage, because I kept it from him, and pretty much the world. Barbara likes to say that my father and I “transitioned together,” which we totally did. He had to totally alter the way he thought about his child; the name, the pronouns, and all that, which you see in the film. I think the message got across and I was so happy about that.
That was a more recent event that happened to me, so chronologically it comes toward the end. and I’m so happy that they put the Dubai part toward the end because it really brought things back into perspective for our community that there is a lot more work to be done. And our fight is not over. I might have been on the top of the world, being my authentic self, but there is still so much fighting and acceptance that needs to happen in the world, especially in this time when a lot of people are scared, I think it was very important to show that.
What did you make of the Dubai government’s reaction after the backlash?
You know, I didn’t think really think anything of it. Anything to do with any kind of discrimination, I don’t want to associate myself with. I think for them give me a letter of apology and kind of expect to have everything swept under that rug was very silly and I will have nothing to do with that in the future at all.
What’s it like when fans pour their hearts out to you?
It absolutely energizes me. Are you kidding? There’s no doubt about that. Whenever you connect with someone on such a profound level, be it someone online, or maybe a celebrity, or someone on social media… And maybe they’re overwhelmed because you feel like you share so many of the same thoughts. And you do feel like you know them.
Have you ever been starstruck?
That happened to me recently with Lady Gaga. I met her at the American Music Awards, where I was lucky enough to be presenting. And she came up to me and I was completely speechless. I wasn’t a cryer and my makeup was all done, but I was speechless. She took words right out of my mouth and I couldn’t believe that she was talking to me.
I’ve been a fan Lady Gaga’s forever. She’s a legend and definitely a huge inspiration for me. I love how she brought back the rhinestone stickers on her eye at the Super Bowl. She did that in a performance in like 2009, so I loved that.
Are you still August Getty’s muse?
Absolutely, and I couldn’t be more grateful. That’s my best friend. I never thought in a million years I would be a professional model for a brand. It’s so crazy I could pinch myself.
You guys went to Paris together last year — What have been your favorite places to travel?
Paris definitely was a shining moment of last year. We’re coming up on the one-year anniversary of when August showed in Paris, and that’s actually where I met my girlfriend [Nats Getty]. Paris is such a beautiful, magical city, especially around that time of year. So it was incredible. I cannot wait to go back.
Any Valentine’s Day plans?
That’s so funny you ask that. I am literally working right now as we speak on a card for my girlfriend, which is one of the many gifts I’m getting her. I actually have never had a nice Valentine’s Day. It’s one of those things where I make a bunch of plans and put a lot of pressure on it. But this year I have some great surprises planned and I’m ready to have the best Valentine’s Day.
Main Image Courtesy: YouTube Red