When Gigi Gorgeous arrived at The Advocate cover shoot, there was a shift of energy in the room. Gorgeous possesses that rare but unmistakable star power, which separates the vivacious 24-year-old from the rest of us. She's compelling. You just can’t look away — something her over 2.4 million YouTube subscribers can affirm. An “It Girl” of the YouTube generation, she’s skyrocketed to fame simply by being herself and documenting her life.
Despite Gorgeous having this larger-than-life persona — not to mention contracts with Revlon, Too Faced cosmetics, Crest Canada, and a new critically acclaimed documentary about her life — she’s anything but a diva. Gorgeous is humble, approachable, funny, and kind. She’s every bit the girl we’ve gotten to know via her honest, endearing, and often outrageous YouTube videos.
Gorgeous often turns the conversation to others, like when she says. “I’ve always kind of gotten my personality from my mom, and whether that’s ‘star quality’ or whatever ... a lot of her is in me.”
Sadly, as we learn in This Is Everything: Gigi Gorgeous, a documentary that premiered at the Sundance Film Festival earlier this year, her mother, Judith Lazzarato, lost her battle with cancer when Gorgeous was 19 and still struggling with her gender identity. When Gorgeous did come out, her father, David Lazzarato, had a hard time accepting it. In an especially powerful moment in the film, Lazzarato tearfully talks about “losing Gregory.”
In the film as well as in her diary-style YouTube videos, we also witness Gorgeous struggle through the physical and emotional pain of her feminization surgeries. We see her fall in love and break up. It's almost impossible not to put yourself in her shoes — which is why someone like Gorgeous is so important for the transgender rights movement.
And it's a role she embraces, saying, “I am a woman, and that’s enough for me. I don’t need to have the transgender label out of the sentence.”
Gorgeous started making her YouTube videos when she was in high school and still going by her birth name. “I [didn’t] think about the repercussions,” she admits now. “I was just really living in the moment.”
“I’m even blown away by how much more courage today’s youth has," she says. "I spoke at a school in Malibu recently, and it was just insane. They were asking me questions in front of their entire school about their sexual orientation and their gender identity. I’m inspired by them!”
Gorgeous produces the kind of media that’s particularly popular with LGBT youth. No matter if they have friends at school, they can find thousands of people like them on YouTube. But Gorgeous draws fans from all walks of life, something she's thrilled about. “Given the time that we’re in, I think having allies and having their support is amazing. I think it’s super cool that dads can come out and be like, ‘Oh, my God, your dad in the documentary—!’”
These days, life is pretty good for the young YouTube star, model, and actress. Gorgeous continues to make her way into mainstream culture and change people’s perceptions of what it means to trans. She identifies as a lesbian and is in a happy relationship with artist, designer, and gender-fluid model Nats Getty (founder of the lifestyle brand Strike Oil and heir to the Getty fortune).
Excited about the future and open to whatever direction life may take her, Gorgeous says, “I would love to open up my horizons. I love trying new things. I’m really excited for the future and I’m a very extremely creative person. Anything that I can try that’s different that I can put my heart into? I’m so down.”
Gigi Gorgeous was photographed by Tony Donaldson; Grooming by Blondie for Exclusive Artists using Skyn Iceland and MAC Cosmetics; Wardrobe stylist: Aisha Rae; Assistant stylist: Angel Cross; Photo assistant: Corey Kirk