Gigi Gorgeous is proving that a trans girl from Toronto can have it all. Now the YouTube star, activist, actress, model, and LGBTQ icon has added two very different titles to her list of credentials -- the newly minted book author is also happily engaged.
He Said She Said: Lessons, Stories, and Mistakes From My Transgender Journey is a raw, unfiltered, touching, and funny new memoir penned by the 27-year-old star.
"I really hope that young people in the LGTBQ-plus community read this book, as it is the real-life story of my struggle. I feel that they will be able to relate to it and hopefully be inspired and have some laughs," says Gorgeous, adding that she hopes everyone "young and old" can pick it up because, ultimately, "it is a story about chasing your dreams and stopping at nothing to achieve them."
Between her many career commitments and planning a wedding with her fiancee -- designer, artist, philanthropist, and fellow activist Nats Getty -- Gorgeous talked with us about the big day.
[Click here to listen to Gigi talk on the podcast, LGBTQ&A, about how surprised she was to recently discover her lesbian identity.]
Do you have a vision of a dream wedding? Yes, the vision for my dream wedding is super simple: I want every single person that I love and find special to be there. That is without a doubt what is most important. And I also want to feel my most beautiful, and I want Nats to feel her most beautiful too. We met with just one wedding planner, and everything came together and the date made perfect sense. Everything about this special day feels like it was destined to be. As far as wanting a grand versus intimate affair, I want the best of both worlds. Together, Nats and I have a lot of friends and family, but I don't like it when functions are too big. So it will be both. Grand yet intimate.
How did you know Nats was the one? I have never felt before in my life, the way that I feel with Nats. She made me feel so secure every time we were together. It was this indescribable connection that we had, that we have, and I never want to be away from her.
Did you face any ignorance or misconceptions when you came out and went public with your relationship? I knew that I would have to explain myself when I came out as a lesbian. But I made this decision when I felt ready, and passionate about this choice, or else I wouldn't have announced it when I did. With any huge change, you need to expect and accept that people will have their own opinions and feel the need to express them. While some were ignorant, that doesn't go to say that there wasn't this huge outpouring of love and support.
What about marriage are you looking forward to the most? I'm excited for that moment of walking down the aisle. I'm excited for what marriage symbolizes. I'm excited to feel more secure with Nats because we both believe that marriage is forever and not a decision to be made lightly. I felt this way when I got engaged, it just felt so right and I felt so secure after saying yes.
Do you think your relationship could be inspiration for straight couples as well? I think at the end of the day, love is love. That's our main message as a couple. Yes I hope we are inspirational to everyone because we are a true testament that anyone can find love. We laugh all the time and say, "How did we end up in this situation?" I think we are just another example as to why it's so important to have true marriage equality, especially for those for whom it's still not legal in other parts of the world. When my transgender journey was told to the world, opening me up for criticism and also for support and love, I knew I had a calling to do what I could to stand up for the LGBTQ-plus community. Whether it was to be leading by example, or to stand up as an activist. I hope our relationship will do the same.
Was there any part of writing your memoir that surprised you? Reading the final copy of my book was like walking down memory lane all over again. Sure, the writing process was emotional, but when I had the final copy in my hands it was a completely different feeling. Even when recording the audio book, and having to actually narrate the personal stories and relive the memories, it's hard to put into words the kinds of emotions I was feeling. I've grown so much as a person and feel so proud of how far I've come. I talk about past relationships in my book, all of which I would never regret as they played huge parts in who I am today.
Do you think that this growth played a part in finding the one? I think that being open in general is really important. If you're not, you close yourself off to experiences. Love finds you especially when you are least looking for it, and I wasn't looking to find love at the time that I met Nats. But it's really true, all things happen for a reason and you need to take things for what they are.
Many of us tend to get caught up in the romance and excitement of planning the big day. Why is it important to have pre-wedding planning for the marriage that comes after? Marriage planning is so important because we are talking about planning for the rest of our lives, not just a day. My future mother-in-law gave us some really great advice: A wedding doesn't make a marriage, and that marriage will be hard work. Nats and I always keep that in the back of our minds. The most important thing is that we are committed to each other. Nothing can break that.
How important do you feel it is for LGBTQ youth to see happy couples like you and Nats? It is very important for young people and people of all ages to hear love stories, but specifically love stories of diversity. I know some people worry that finding love can be impossible and will never happen for them -- because I was one of them. When I was growing up and I would see happy couples, it gave me hope for my future. If I can find love, anyone doubting themselves can too. I also truly believe that love comes to those who are not looking for it, as that is how it happened for me personally. I want to tell anyone who is reading this and questioning it to never ever give up. This message goes out especially to my transgender brothers and sisters, who are some of the most beautiful people I have ever known, both on the inside and on the outside.
What advice do you have for other LGBTQ people, single or attached, who might still be struggling with figuring out their own identity? The advice that I would give, is to not feel forced to label yourself if you are unsure. There isn't a need to stay in one box. I can personally speak to this, as I've changed so much over the years and have realized so many things about myself; more than what I knew was possible. If I had tried to force this process, I don't think I would be where I'm at today. I feel truly happy and authentic, and am in a place where I am ready for the right relationship.
You again show your vulnerabilities and reflect on some of your past mistakes in He Said She Said. Why is that important to do? I feel that it is always important to reflect on the good, bad, and the ugly. Keeping it real has been something that has been important to me from the start. If one person can be inspired by my story or learn from one of my mistakes, then it was all worth it.