71° Good Afternoon
71° Good Afternoon

'RuPaul’s Drag Race’ star from NYC hopes to be first openly transgender winner

Peppermint, a New York City-based contestant on

Peppermint, a New York City-based contestant on "RuPaul's Drag Race," hopes to become the show's first openly transgender winner. Photo Credit: Logo TV

Hail to the New York City queens.

Peppermint, 37, is one of four contestants representing NYC during the upcoming ninth season of "RuPaul's Drag Race." She's also aiming to become the first openly transgender contestant to ever be crowned top queen.

Dubbed an "NYC legend" by Logo, she's a prominent force among the city-based drag scene. She's owned the stages at Barracuda Lounge in Chelsea and Ritz Bar and Lounge in Hell's Kitchen. Plus, she's the star of her own weekly gig, "The Peppermint Show," at Rise Bar in midtown.

Being a star in the city gives Peppermint a competitive edge, she told amNewYork. It also helped define and shape her style.

Peppermint filled us in on performing in the city and what to expect from this season when it premieres VH1 on Friday, March 24.

What’s the inspiration behind your drag aesthetic?

My drag name comes from my favorite candies ... which are 3 Musketeers ... just kidding. My look really started just as a fantasy female envisioning of myself. For many people, myself [included], medically transitioning was more difficult than getting in drag.

How do you incorporate NYC in your look?

The elements of New York are inescapable. If you don't have enough money for rent and you live really far away and had a long rough ride on the subway, it's going to be evident in your appearance. Drag styles vary from region to region ... New York flavor, I think it's pretty eclectic. When I wanted to give off a more urban vibe, I just added some bamboo earrings.

Describe a typical day on the show for you.

It involves getting up really early, eating breakfast, taking a shower, and arriving on the set without even waking up. Then, walking into the workroom and it's off to the races. The days are extremely long and the challenges are extremely challenging, but altogether, it was a pretty rewarding experience.

You might be the first openly transgender winner of RuPaul’s. Can you explain the importance behind what that might mean for you and the trans community?

Oh my gosh. I totally love the way that sounds! I think it would be important for the trans community, but even a bigger change is possible for the rest of the population who isn't trans.

It's very clear that most of the people who seem to be doing all the talking and making all the decisions regarding transgender people are actually not in fact trans themselves. I think once people hear the different experiences from trans people, the conversation will shift from whether or not trans people should be allowed to do certain things or be certain places to simply recognizing the contributions we make.

Can you spill any workroom drama that you’re looking forward to seeing fold out on the show?

Lady Gaga is going to be on the show! Couldn't you just die!

Best makeup and style tip for those of us who are striving to be fabulous?

I'd say don't be afraid of wigs and lashes -- they are a girl's best friend or even a boy's best friend!

Best/funniest/favorite NYC experience? Go:

That time I walked three city blocks with this lady gabbing about her dog and hair dye before I realized it was Bernadette Peters! 


We're revamping our Comments section. Learn more and share your input.

Entertainment photos & videos