We've followed Candis Cayne from a New York drag performer in the early 1990s (you might have seen her in To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything! Julie Newmar) to the bombshell lady she is today. After her transition in the mid-'90s, Cayne became a TV guest star and later the first trans woman to become a main cast member on prime-time TV, on Dirty Sexy Money. Since becoming Caitlyn Jenner's bestie on I Am Cait, she's gained even more fame -- and fans across all gender spectrums. Now her new book, Hi Gorgeous!: Transforming Inner Power Into Radiant Beauty is a style guide that is going to be a hit with a lot of women.
The Advocate: You made history as the first transgender actress to play a recurring transgender character in prime-time TV.
Cayne: It's an amazing feeling to have lived my authentic self the way I wanted to and have been appreciated for it. It hasn't always been easy. Sometimes it felt like I was running up a hill in a snowstorm wearing five-inch heels, but it only made me stronger and more determined.
Did you ever imagine when you were young and misunderstood that someday you'd write a beauty book for women -- including cisgender women?
I don't think I could have ever imagined that. I spent so much of my life wanting to be and emulate the female experience that it wasn't until the last few years that I thought it would be incredible to speak to everyone about loving themselves completely, transforming their inner selves into strength, and understanding how beautiful you can be. This book is for every woman, no matter how you define that.
Unlike many trans celebs you seem really open about sharing childhood photos.
I've been pretty open about my entire experience. I'm the same person now as I was then, my mind has always been the same, and it's important that I don't erase half of my life.
Caitlyn Jenner wrote your intro. Did you become as fast friends as the media portrays?
Yes! We talk often and about everything -- except politics [laughing].