In June, Miley Cyrus launched her #InstaPride campaign, which sought "to share stories of transgender and gender expansive people from around the country." One of the campaign's stars is Gigi Gorgeous, a YouTube sensation, whose "I Am Transgender" video has been watched almost 3 million times.
Following her #InstaPride shoot—and a teaser for ANOTHER collaboration with Miley!!!—we spoke with Gigi about how the duo connected, what the #InstaPride set was like, and more.
MTV: Hi Gigi! So, to kick things off, can you tell us about when you first started making YouTube videos?
Gigi: When I first started making YouTube videos, it was mostly like a video diary, a creative outlet for me. YouTube was definitely very different in the aspect of audience and reach so it was purely passion, and still is!
MTV: Your “I Am Transgender” video has been watched over two million times—how did you feel when you published it? What was the reaction from your fans and general public like—was it what you were expecting?
Gigi: I looked at that video as a clean slate—not a rebirth or death of my old name and gender—but with being honest with my viewers. I've come to learn that you can never exactly guess how people are going to take something, so I just put myself out there wholeheartedly. I am so lucky to have a great connection with my viewers and that they support me.
MTV: Can you tell us a little about how you first got in contact with Miley?
Gigi: Yeah, so last year I actually met her at Bootsy Bellows, which a friend owns, in West Hollywood. We met super briefly and we danced a little bit and talked, but nothing really ever came of it. And then I received an Instagram DM about Happy Hippie—I had heard about the charity and I'm thrilled that she reached out. I've been a fan for years and I'd grown up watching her on TV, so of course I was going to support her. I think what she's doing for the homeless LGBT community is amazing, and I'm so grateful that she chose me and respects my work like I respect her. I'm just very honored and humbled to be a part of Happy Hippie.
MTV: Your photos for the #InstaPride campaign were gorgeous—what was the shoot like?
Gigi: Thank you! Yeah, the shoot was amazing, it was at Milk Studios. I'd never been there before, it was an experience pulling up in the iconic setting, and I walk in and it just is like a party with music blasting, racks and racks of yellow clothing because the Happy Hippie color is yellow, which is gender-neutral, which I think is very powerful in itself—I think it's great that she chose that color. Miley was shooting a lot of the images, she jumped in on mine—obviously she didn't shoot those—but it was very relaxed and fun. I didn't feel like I was working—it felt like we were just having a great time.
MTV: Yeah, you could definitely tell—it looked like a great time. Do you have an ongoing relationship with Happy Hippie, or was your #InstaPride shoot one-and-done?
Gigi: No—I look at that photo shoot as kind of a partnership. I do my YouTube channel videos, which Miley has texted me that she watches, and things like that. I, of course, promote Happy Hippie because I am part of the LGBT community and I'm going to rep that 'til the day that I die. Anything that celebrities are using their voice for to get that out there—that it's not always the best situation that these kids find themselves in—I'm going to support.
MTV: Yeah, totally—it's so great. We saw that you and Miley have recently been teasing a secret project on Instagram—is there anything you can share with us about that?
Gigi: The only thing I can say about that is that we're so creative together. I think when Miley and I are in a room together, ideas fly off the wall and we're bouncing off each other and trying to expand on each other's ideas. It's just, you know, about having fun and not work or anything. Our secret project is definitely going to be amazing and it's going to be iconic, for sure.