Peppermint’s stage presence was obvious and undeniable from the first time she had to lip sync for her life. Here is a girl who was made to be on the stage as you can’t stop looking at her. What we didn’t know was that Peppermint had already started transitioning and that her time on “Drag Race” would not only be entertaining, but informative to the world.
In addition to being great on stage, Peppermint is incredibly intelligent and a pleasure to interview.
Q: At what age did drag become an interest and how did you pick your name?
A: Drag became an interest when I was 5 or 6 years old. The first time I ever cross-dressed… that was the year my grandmother dressed me up as Boy George for Halloween, although I think I started it in my mind way before that. I saw myself as a woman at an early age. The first time I did drag I was 16 years old and I won the competition I entered. I was hooked after that!
I had a few drag names prior to settling on Peppermint. The truth is I was with a crush and he knew Peppermint was my favorite candy and suggested I name myself that.
Q: How many times did you apply to be on “RuPaul’s Drag Race?” How did it feel when you found out you got chosen?
A: I applied three times, and the third time was the charm. It felt fantastic. I was so excited when I got the call, and then I was instantly very fearful.
Q: Tell us about your “RuPaul’s Drag Race” experience…
A: It was exciting. There were moments I felt very confident and there were moments I was scared I was going to get kicked right off the show. I had a great time getting to know all the girls on the show. It was very sad that people were being sent home. As it was getting closer to the end, I started getting very excited. I never thought I would make it that far. Working with RuPaul was fantastic! She is insightful, sassy and sometimes inappropriate, which is great. She is surprisingly easy to connect with for a television star.
Q: How hard was it to hide the fact that you were already transitioning?
A: Everyone’s gender expression is their own choice. I didn’t want to feel that I belonged to the world and I wanted to make the choice that was best for me. I came out to the girls once I felt comfortable. I didn’t want to be the “trans girl” on the drag show. I wasn’t hiding it, I just didn’t mention it. I think the producers knew I was trans since I had been on TV (on the Daily Show) talking about being trans.
Q: Before and after the taping of the finale, what was your thought process of you winning?
A: My thoughts before the finale were I had no chance. I didn’t perform as well in many of the challenges as the others did. But after the finale I thought that maybe I had a chance. Well, I knew I had a 50/50 shot!
Q: If you couldn’t win, who would you have wanted to win from the Top 4 and why?
A: I would have wanted it to be Sasha all the way, because she and I were very close and we really have a lot of the same ideals.
Q: Who came up with the idea of the longer dress and hair change for the finale?
A: I came up with it as I knew I wanted to do a quick change reveal. I wanted to go from a shorter outfit to a full length outfit, and I loved the way it came out especially considering I was only able to rehearse it one time since I didn’t get the outfit until I got there.
Q: Tell us something people would be surprised to know about you.
A: I am a tech nerd. I can take apart and put back together a computer with the best of them.
Q: What’s ahead for Peppermint?
A: I am working on a documentary called “Project Peppermint.” They have been following me for two years, even before “Drag Race.” I am working on music with Sasha, Alexis and AJA. In addition, Sasha and I are going on a college speaking tour.
You can also download her new album “Black Pepper” on iTunes.