A new documentary focused on the life of “RuPaul’s Drag Race” contestant Peppermint will delve into the world of a transgender woman of color in New York City, a topic the performer says there are few accurate representations of in today’s media.
Dubbed a film “about gender identity and fame” by director Oriel Pe’er, “Project Peppermint” follows the drag star through crucial moments in her transition and journey to stardom.
“There’s so many people who just don’t have any type of accurate idea or view of a trans person’s life or existence or some of the things we go through,” Peppermint, 37, says, explaining why she decided to allow cameras into her life one year before becoming a “RuPaul’s” season 9 cast member. “I knew a few years ago my life was about to change and I was having a series of experiences that I would want to remember. Even before ‘Drag Race,’ including my transition and all this, I wanted to document it.”
Pe’er, 29, says he aims to show a deeply personal side of his friend of 10 years while exposing the more intimate moments of her transition in the doc, which needs a bit of a public boost to reach its expected 2018 completion. An IndieGoGo campaign for the project launched earlier this month to try to raise the $38,000 needed to finish telling Peppermint’s story.
“She’s always happy when she’s onstage and when she’s with fans. No one sees her at home in her private moments,” Pe’er explains.
He has already captured more than 100 hours of footage including gender reassignment surgery conversations with doctors and interviews with longtime friends Laverne Cox and Jay Knowles — but it’s not yet enough.
Peppermint’s unexpected success as a frontrunner on the VH1 series added a new element of depth to the project, now incomplete without seeing where her post-”Drag Race” life takes her.
“We’re still fundraising and shaping the film, but I imagine, based on the coverage we got, that you’ll see a story start in one way and then see, oh my gosh, my life just changed,” she says, swiftly avoiding finale spoilers.
Whether or not we see her reign as the season’s top diva come Friday’s finale, Pe’er teases that the film will help “define what drag means.” “The biggest thing here is my hope that it opens people’s minds to what it means to be a trans woman of color and brings people closer to the LGBT community,” he says.