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Drag Race star Gia Gunn says she postponed surgery so she could compete on All Stars

Nick Duffy October 23, 2019
Gia Gunn attends The X Change Rate at Build Studio on July 18, 2019 in New York City.

Gia Gunn attends The X Change Rate at Build Studio on July 18, 2019 in New York City. (Manny Carabel/Getty Images)

RuPaul’s Drag Race star Gia Gunn has revealed she postponed surgery in order to compete on All Stars 4.

Gunn, who came out as trans after her initial appearance on Drag Race season six, revealed in an interview with the Lemon pop culture podcast that her invite to come on All Stars materialised shortly after RuPaul came under fire for comparing transgender drag queens to athletes on performance-enhancing drugs.

She said: “When that article came out, I wasn’t on All Stars yet. It wasn’t until after that, that people had decided, ‘OK, we better support trans [queens].'”

Of RuPaul’s divisive comments,  she explained: “It was very clear what she was saying and many people were hurt.”

Gunn described RuPaul’s words as “unfortunate”, but added: “It’s like, OK, this is how you feel, thanks for letting us know. Because now it’s not this big myth, now it’s actually being said by mother herself, in her own words.”

Gia Gunn postponed her surgery for All Stars 4.

After getting the invite to go on All Stars, Gunn decided to put her surgery on hold to take part.

She said: “My surgery was postponed, because I knew that had I gotten surgery, I probably wouldn’t have been able to have gone on the show.

“[But] I said, you know what, this is a game, I’ve made it this far. I’m being given the opportunity to be the first trans woman on Drag Race.”

Gunn cashed in to pay for her outfits, adding: “A lot of people don’t know that the money that I had saved for my surgery was actually used to go to All Stars.

“Good drag is expensive, and anything that you’re going to show on HD television, you’ve got to pay for it. It is very expensive to be sickening.”

She underwent surgery in December 2018 when filming had completed, after the internet helped her raise funds.

All Stars 4 cut Gia Gunn’s confrontation with RuPaul.

Although Gunn confronted RuPaul about her views on trans issues while filming All Stars, the moment never made it to air.

She explained: “I was not having the best day that day and I was kind of looking for her to be more supportive in the moment and I just didn’t feel that from her.

“I felt a very cold sense of being shut down, and not really any compassion. That made me feel sad unheard and unseen.

“I thought I was brought on for my visibility, I guess not being acknowledged for simply being trans and now a beautiful woman, was hurtful. She can comment on Valentina’s pants and how far Trinity’s come with her acting, but, like, what about me, mother?

“I’ve done so much self-discovering and I’m a brand new person! B**ch what? I spent all this money to come on your show, and you can’t even look me in the eyes and say something genuine? That sucks.”

Gia Gunn of RuPaul's Drag Race poses for a picture at DragCon LA 2019 in Los Angeles, California
Gia Gunn of RuPaul’s Drag Race poses for a picture at DragCon LA 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (*(Ronen Tivony/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty)

She added: “I know there are members of the [production] team that are very pro-trans, but I guess I just don’t know that she is. To me, that was the most important.”

Gunn continued: “In a way, I feel like I got used by the show. Drag Race used me… but I guess the lesson is to not to do things expecting anything in return, not even a pat on the back or a, ‘You look good, girl!'”

RuPaul has ‘sold out’.

Gia Gunn firmly ruled out a return to Drag Race in future.

Of her relationship with RuPaul, she said: “I don’t have one, to be completely honest. I’m not really sure there is one queen that could say, ‘we have a relationship’… by now, it doesn’t takes a rocket scientist to say that she is sold out.

“She doesn’t really care much anymore, other than her pay cheque, and where she’s got to stand, and what she’s got to say.

That’s why the show has lost so much creativity and abundance and all these things that it lacks, that people once saw.”

Gunn cited RuPaul’s strange defence of the show’s white-dominated creative team at the Emmys, adding: “The response she gave was absolutely just crazy to me.”

Drag helped Gia Gunn discover her gender identity.

Although she might be done with Drag Race, Gunn said that drag was valuable in helping explore her gender identity.

She said: “I didn’t really understand what being transgender meant, so drag was easier for me to process.

“Once we start talking about modifying our bodies or changing our chemical make-up, it’s much more intense than doing drag.

“That’s why I think, for a lot of people, when they are confused about their gender or contemplating a transition, I always recommend drag, because it’s a very broad thing now.

“I am the woman I am today because of drag. I will forever hold drag, and Drag Race, sacred to my heart.”

 

More: Drag Race, Gia Gunn, RuPaul's Drag Race, Transgender

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