Peppermint has tackled so many aspects of the entertainment industry since being a contestant on RuPaul’s Drag Race in 2017. She’s joined the music industry and released her own albums, gone on tours around the world, became a judge for the hit show Call Me Mother, and now she is gracing our screens as an incredible talk show host.
With a new episode releasing every Tuesday on OUTtv, one can watch Peppermint join Drag Race stars Jiggly Caliente, Carmen Carrera, and Kylie Sonique Love as they discuss important topics within the trans community. Sharing their own personal experiences and journeys with one another, Translation allows for something special to truly form. In contrast, with the immense lack of trans visibility within our current media, Translation is a talk show that finally allows trans people to be the ones that discuss their perspectives on trans topics.
Pop Crave spoke with Peppermint on her way to the airport and learned about her reasoning behind co-producing Translation, what she enjoys about being a judge on OUTtv’s Call Me Mother, and what her thoughts are on becoming a “meme queen” over the years. Keep reading for the full interview!
What does it mean to you to be part of a show like Translation, and what initially drew you to the concept of it?
I mean, honestly, I’ve always loved daytime TV. I’ve always loved Oprah, Maury, Sally Jessy Raphael. I might be dating myself a little bit, but that’s the place where you get to talk about the issues. I also remember specifically in a couple episodes of The View more recently, which I also love, and hearing them talk about some of the issues that affect the trans community… They spoke passionately, they spoke very fondly, but some of the things they were saying were either problematic or not quite accurate. I said to myself, “Gosh, it’d be great if only there was a trans person there to actually sort of set the record straight,” and I realized that’s really all we’ve been asking this whole time. Anytime there’s a decision made on our behalf, it would be great if there was someone there – not Caitlyn Jenner – to speak about these issues with experience. Instead of being a guest on someone else’s show, instead of waiting for The View to invite me on, I decided to co-produce it with a couple of fabulous trans women. So, it feels really good to have a seat at the table. We built our own table, and we were sitting at it. We get to talk about what we want to talk about.
For both Season 1 and Season 2 of Translation, which episode had your favorite topic you got to discuss?
I mean, I love talking about all the issues, but the one that was the spiciest or the most fiery was definitely talking about trans youth. All the different issues pertaining to trans youth: “Should we? Should we not? Can we? Can we not? Is it legal? Is it not? Is it this? Is it that?” And there was a lot of back and forth and some disagreements.
The panel of women on this show is so spectacular. How has Season 2 expanded upon your relationship with your co-hosts, and what has it been like being able to share and receive each other’s experiences with one another?
I mean, number one, it’s great to have a little bit of a reunion, because these are gals that I don’t really see that often. We live in different parts of the country until we come back to the table. That always feels good to see them again, and it reminds me of just how varied we are. Yes, we are all trans women. Yes, obviously, we have this wonderful experience and platform of having done RuPaul’s Drag Race, but then besides that, we’re all so different. Extremely different. You know, we don’t all like the same things, we obviously don’t all think the same, and we don’t contribute the exact same pieces to the conversation, which is what I love. I know that somebody at this table is gonna disagree and have a disagreement.
Either funny or serious, what is a favorite memory or moment from filming this new season of Translation that has stuck with you the most?
…Everything from a boob and a nip slip to talking about making sure that everything is in order is always a funny battle [laughs]!
What is one topic you haven’t covered yet that you would like to see covered for a potential third season?
One of the things I always wanted to do is have guests and bring them on to get their perspective, because of course, our community, like other communities, is so intersectional. We’re all trans, but some of us are people of color, some of us are not, some of us are very young, some of us maybe have more traditional views, some of us might have disabilities. You know, different things, right? Being able to get access to some of that information through conversation is really valuable, and there’s a limit to what we can bring to the table. It would be great to talk about someone in the military or an actual athlete. We talked about sports because that’s a hot topic right now. None of us are… I mean, I can’t say none of us are athletes, but none of us are professional athletes or joining a sports team at the table. Obviously, Kylie is a gymnast, but in terms of being in organized sports, we don’t have that experience right now as trans folks in this atmosphere where it’s become so volatile. Being able to talk to a trans Olympian, a trans soldier, or someone in the fire department who’s a trans person would be great, so maybe that’s the next thing I’d like to do.
Who is someone you’d maybe like to see join the Translation panel as a special guest in the future?
I mean, any of those people! Of course, we would love to have folks like Laverne Cox or, you know, I can go down a whole list of names. There’s not really many trans people that I wouldn’t consider bringing on. Well, there’s a handful… There’s a handful that I wouldn’t consider.
You, Sonique, and Jiggly also recently had a beautiful photoshoot for VH1’s LGBTQ+ History Month alongside some other trans Drag Race legends. What was that experience for the three of you like?
I mean, it felt like we were being etched into marble, you know, because our feet hurt so much… No, I’m just kidding! It felt like a commemoration of sorts… Having been included in a previous photoshoot with a lot of the Drag Race queens at the time, it was a pride photoshoot, and so we were each a different color of the rainbow – of the pride colors. That was a couple of years ago. This one, which is kind of in the same series of a Drag Race alum photoshoot, it just felt so good to be included in the group. I know that there were some people who were not at the photoshoot that I know that they asked, but they couldn’t have all of us. The picture would have to be, like, on a baseball field. It would have been 72 hours long… Everybody was there, and there were many more asked who weren’t able to make it. For those who were able to make it, it was a really special feeling. Being asked about my thoughts on other different things, and each of us having a moment to sort of be celebrated, it was great!
You are the QUEEN of OUTtv! You’re not only doing Translation, but you’re also part of Call Me Mother. It’s such a fabulous series, and I think you’re so incredible in it. What has been the most rewarding part of doing that show for you?
Honestly, it’s really great to have a network that is, first of all, queer focused, but then also wants so much to uplift all these individual, unique stories. It feels good to be included in that, and so I’m really grateful to the network to take a chance on it and actually invest in a transgender talk show and, you know, a drag reality competition show that’s a little different than the things that we’ve seen. That feels excellent. I’m really glad that I have a place that I can show off my talents, not only as a drag entertainer and in drag doing different things, but also as someone who thinks, and to show that I have a mind and that I can speak passionately about certain issues and things like that. That feels good to be able to exercise that. Although I was only on Drag Race a few years ago, I feel like it was 20 years ago. I know that I’m certainly not considered one of the new girls on Drag Race, and that’s rightly so. I’ve been working in drag for more than 20 years and have a lot of experiences, and so I think I am qualified to be a judge and a mother on the show, you know what I mean?
Back in April, you released your new album, Moment Of Weakness: Letters To My Lovers. Looking back at the project, is there a song that sticks out to you as being a personal favorite?
I have to say, probably “Broken Home” on this album. Obviously, the album, it’s a trilogy. It’s one part of a trilogy which follows the course of a relationship from beginning, middle, to end. Moment Of Weakness: Letters To My Lovers is the middle of the relationship where things go from great to not so good. It’s that moment in the relationship, and so it really kind of sums all that up – and in a beautiful way, not to mention. Having the opportunity to sing with a very talented singer – his name is Jerome Bell-Bastien – who’s one part of the group, OneUpDuo, who’s opening for me at my concert in Chicago this month.
These final few questions are all from fans. How does it feel to have such rising stars in the House of Dulcet, including icons like Makayla Couture?
I mean, honestly, every single one of my house members/children/drag artists are so talented. I’m so happy with who I chose. There’s certainly other people that I would have liked to have had had I been able to have a bigger house, but it feels great. I feel like our chances of going to the finale are really, really high. I would love to take my entire house, and I think they all have a great shot at winning the crown!
How hard was the transition from being a contestant on Drag Race to then becoming more of a full-on judge on Call Me Mother?
I mean, it wasn’t that hard at all because it wasn’t immediate. Luckily, I had a few years between the two. Again, I’m able to rely on my experience. I’ve had a few years. It was easy.
What has it been like touring all across the country with Jujubee on the Letters Live x Good Juju Tour?
It’s been amazing! It’s been great. It’s been a really fantastic time. I love Jujubee. She’s great energy! I love hearing her music and hearing her perform with the band. It’s just so great. It’s great to perform with the band. It’s been top notch, and I can’t wait to hit the rest of the road for the second leg of the tour.
You’re an absolute meme queen. You have so many iconic, memorable moments. Do you personally have a favorite meme or gif of yourself?
No, I don’t. I don’t even watch memes or look at them. I just live my life, and then the next thing I see is people coming up to me and repeating something that I might have said. I’m like, “What is happening?!”
You’re not here for any of them [laughs]?
I’m not saying I don’t like them. I’m unaware of them! If I was like, “Let me think of a slogan that I want everyone to repeat, and then let me create a clip and send an email out to everybody,” then I might be tracking it. I’m just saying, you know, those memes that seem to pop up are always when I’m not looking at the camera. Does that make sense [laughs]?
I asked Jiggly to give me a good question to ask you, and this is what her question is: If you do another Janet Jackson tribute, can we do “You Want This” and I can be MC Lyte?
Unequivocally, 100%, hands down, yes [laughs]! We are doing another Janet Jackson tribute, but it’s already set in motion, so we’ll probably have to do that for the next one. We are doing another Janet Jackson tribute, and it’s pretty much already set, so that’ll have to be the next one!
New episodes of Translation Season 2 release Tuesdays on OUTtv.
Peppermint’s new album, Moment Of Weakness: Letters To My Lovers, is out now.
Article cover taken by Robert Frashure.