Gigi Goode came aboard RuPaul’s Drag Race Season 12 in pirate couture ready to swashbuckle her way to victory. She soared through the competition, complete with a picture-perfect Material Girl recreation in the Madonna challenge. While she didn’t snag the crown during the unparalleled finale, Goode has spent time creating new looks and killing it on the Werq The World live stream. I sat down to talk with Gigi at the conclusion of the season, and whether she was paying homage to her “guncle” or speaking lovingly about her amazing partnership with her mom, Gigi Goode is about to show the world why the Drag Race fan.
Michael Cook: Being in the Top Three of RuPaul’s Drag Race Season 12 must be an absolutely surreal feeling; how does it feel?
Gigi Goode: It feels right. It is something that I never could have imagined would have happened. Two years ago, if you had told me that I was in this situation, I would have no idea what to say. It is such a dream come true. It is strange to be living your dream.
MC: So right off the bat, you appeared on Watch What Happens Live recently and Dua Lipa was the guest. You seemed absolutely over the moon when she mentioned how much she loved your performance of “Levitating” on the Werq The World live stream. What was that like?
GG: Oh My God I died! It was such a dream…
MC: Are you looking back on the Drag Race experience now and seeing how quickly the experience has flown by and trying to savor every last moment?
GG: A little bit, yes. I think that in a sense, it is a chapter that is coming to a close but really it’s just the beginning. Obviously the show is something that we can watch back, it’s not happening live as it is airing. To be able to now have spent some months between has definitely shown how much growth I have had. I am excited to continue to grow and move forward.
MC: Looking back, what do you think you enjoyed the most about the RuPaul’s Drag Race experience?
GG: An overarching part of the experience that I will cherish with me forever is the friendships that I have made. It is so rare, especially for a show like this, for every single girl to get along. There is just no ill will towards anyone and we are all friends. The group chat blows up every day. It’s really amazing that I am just so happy that I got to be a part of this. Specifically, now I know that I can take choreography, which I did not know that I could do before.
MC: Every few years there are girls that can completely murder the runway. From people like Raja and Violet Chachki and now you, your fashion sense and ability to sell the garment is unmatched. You work with your mother on your fashion choices, which is a very unique relationship.
GG: She has never designed anything for me, I design every single look. I draw everything out to proportion and to scale. On that hand, she is the puzzle piecer. She can look at the drawing that I have done and completely turn around; those roles really wouldn’t be able to reverse. She has tried to design things for me in the past and I've said: “that’s nice, that’s cute” (laughs). Then again, I have tried to make things in the past from scratch that definitely don’t look very good up close. Our partnership could not be any more perfect.
MC: Between speaking about your partnership with your mother to talking about how your uncle had so much of an impact on you by teaching you gay culture, you really gave us a peek on how Gigi Goode was shaped. What do you think is the biggest lesson that your uncle imparted on you?
GG: RuPaul. He is the first one who showed me who RuPaul was. At the time, I didn’t know who RuPaul was, I just thought she was a stunning woman. I have carried that moment of learning who she was with me throughout this whole process. I cannot thank him enough.
MC: You also spoke about your gender fluidity on the show. Was it hard to decide to go public with that fact about yourself?
GG: A little bit, because it was not something that I was really expecting to do. My fluidity and my gender experience and my journey have never been something that has been important to me. I know how that might sound, but to me, gender has always felt like something that I don’t have to think about. Gender is just something that has been instilled in all of us. You are entitled to however you want to identify as, but I have never felt like either/or, but I have always felt like both. Talking about it on the show seemed very strange because I had never spoken about it before, and the response has been amazing.
MC: This season has been one of the most unpredictable seasons ever for Drag Race. Very soon, we will all be released from the suspended animation we are in and you will start seeing the impact you made and start to meet the fans. Are you ready?
GG: I am really curious to see how this will affect things going forward. Our careers, our drag, the views, all of that. I have been interested to see how people have been using this time wisely in regard to doing projects and things of that nature. I am just so excited to get back out and perform, because that is ultimately what I love to do most; to entertain.
MC: Post Drag Race finale, what is next for Gigi Goode?
GG: I am about to dip my foot in every puddle that there is. I want to go everywhere and I want to do everything. I really don’t want to hold back, I want to use this platform for “good”. It is something that I am so excited to see how it unfolds. Obviously, there are going to be things that pop up that I don’t even know about right now that I just can’t wait to find out about. It’s going to be such a continuous dream come true.
MC: How are you using this time to stay creative and inventive during this time?
GG: Everyone is entitled to spend their quarantine on how they want to spend it. For me, I thought that rather than doing a live drag show every single night, which I have been loving watching, I have been preferring to use my time to cultivate skills. It has been kind of fun to get into makeup and not take pictures of it. I am in drag all the time furthering my abilities and skills and it has been really rewarding that I have not felt the need to photograph and put it out there. I am just waiting until I am able to use it in person again.