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Gottmik at ‘24 Trans Pride LA: ‘Trans People Are the Most Magical People in the World’

Gottmik at Trans Pride LA

Trans Pride LA returned to The Village at Ed Gould Plaza for its 25th anniversary celebration this year, drawing more than 1,500 Angelenos across two days of programming. This year’s event included the second annual Trans Town Hall, featuring RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars (Season 9) contestant Gottmik.

“This feels so amazing. I feel like I have been in this very room watching panels very similar to this for as long as I can remember,” Gottmik said during the evening’s keynote conversation with journalist and podcaster Tre’Vell Anderson. Other guests throughout the evening included artist and activist Love Bailey, celebrated trans photographer Texas Isaiah, and former Youth Services client of the Center, Max Figgy.

The Trans Town Hall was hosted by Sydney Rogers, a.k.a Miss Barbie-Q, program manager of the Center’s Transgender Economic Empowerment Project (TEEP).

Trans Town Hall - Trans Pride 2024
Photo by Jordan Doyel

Gottmik, a drag performer and makeup artist, broke boundaries as the first trans man to perform on RuPaul’s Drag Race in Season 13. He returned to the franchise for the ninth installment of All Stars, which saw the queens competing for charity for the first time. Gottmik chose to compete on behalf of Trans Lifeline, which provides peer support and crisis counseling for trans and gender nonconforming people in the U.S. and Canada.

“I think trans people are the most magical people in the world,” he said. I think we literally, from day one, fight just to be us—just to start from ground zero, basically. … So we end up being the dopest people in the room. Trans people should be the leaders of everything, if you ask me.”

His goal for his appearance on Drag Race this time around was to tell his story via drag, Gottmik said, which included a high-fashion top surgery look that made waves online and in right-wing media.

Trans Town Hall - Trans Pride 2024
Photo by Jordan Doyel

“I think I just did it in a really beautiful and refined way, so it freaks conservatives out because it’s so gorgeous,” he said. “You can’t deny that. They’re freaking out like, What are you doing to our children?! It’s too beautiful! And, baby, it is beautiful, and your children are just fine knowing that they can do whatever the fuck they want to do with their bodies.”

It’s worth it to incite the wrath of far-right figures and internet trolls because trans kids “are looking to us to be strong and to fight this fight … to pave the way for them,” Gottmik said. “I find strength in that.”

He hopes that people who encounter his art—trans people specifically—feel empowered to live unapologetically and find strength in their authentic selves: “It’s really powerful to just walk into a room and be like, ‘Hey, I’m trans and I am not going anywhere. Get into it or get lost.’”

Trans Town Hall - Trans Pride 2024
Photo by Jordan Doyel

In addition to the Trans Town Hall, this year’s TPLA celebrations included a welcome mixer; a line-dancing lesson by Stud Country instructors; and the Saturday’s Trans Pride Festival, featuring 40+ market vendors, portrait studio by photographer Devyn Galindo, a Trans Pride Talent Showcase, and more.

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