Getting to Know Gottmik, The First Trans Male Contestant on RuPaul’s Drag Race
Kade Gottlieb, better known as Gottmik, is an American drag performer and make-up artist. He became the first trans man to compete on RuPaul’s Drag Race, placing as second/third runner-up on the thirteenth season. Here at Galore we aim to support and honor people of all differing and intersectional backgrounds.
We had the opportunity to interview Gottmik on all things related to him the first trans male contestant on RuPaul’s Drag Race, his love of fashion, the identity of Gottmik, his podcast with Violet Chachi (“No Gorge”) and advice for those who are considering joining the Drag community.
Hi Gottmik, it’s a pleasure to feature you on Galore! For those of us who don’t know you, can you provide a brief description of yourself?
hi galore! im gottmik I am a 25 year old artist based in los angeles california that specializes in DRAG! I started out as a celebrity makeup artist and now have found my true love of being in front of the camera with all things beauty and fashion!
Can you clue us in on the significance of your name Gottmik, how did it originate?
Gottmik is a mix of my dead name (my name pre transition) and my last name!
Describe Gottmik, what is their identity, how is Gottmik different?
Gottmik loves to push societal boundaries whether its fashion, beauty, or GENDER! I love taking things and turning them upside down to show off a different perspective. I love making things that are usually perceived as horrific, or ugly, and making it beautiful!
If Gottmik could be a flavor, what would it be?
Gottmik would definitely be a chaotic flavor like sour or spicy. I thrive in chaotic energy and I love that!
Can you tell us about your background in Drag, when did you discover it? How do you aim to honor Drag culture?
Drag has pulled me in for as long as I can remember. From discovering Divine through John Waters films in highschool, to watching Marco Marcos runways featuring many of my favorite queens I knew I wanted to be a part of that world. Being assigned female at birth, I didnt know I was “allowed” to enter that space, but after moving to Los Angeles and learning about the history of drag and where drag came from I realized that drag is and always has been rebellious. Drag queens are always the vanguard of every LGBTQ+ political movement and aren’t afraid to share their beliefs and who they are through their art. How could such a politically charged unique art form exclude ANYONE. I remember coming to this realization and beginning the process of practicing the art of drag! I aim to honor the art of drag by constantly pushing society’s boundaries of what I can and can not do as well as being as loud and proud of who I am as possible.
You have an evident love for fashion, how would you describe your style?
I would describe my style as edgy, referential, and classic. I love taking very classic silhouettes and designs and adding a rebellious edge/ or campy element to bring my personality into the mix.
What does it mean to you to be the first trans male contestant on RuPaul’s Drag Race?
It means the world to me to be the first trans male contestant on Rupauls drag race! I have been watching and being inspired by the show for as long as I can remember, so being able to come on and be the person that I was hoping to see on my screen year after year still feels unreal. I cant wait to keep watching the show open doors and bring other queer stories a platform so we can continue to open doors for the community!
What was your podcast with Violet Chachi (“No Gorge”) like? What were some of your favorite talking points?
My podcast with Violet is so fun. We just have such an amazing friendship and bond, so sitting down and recording what we usually rant about on our own time just flows so naturally. We think its so fun to take our opinions and make them 100x more dramatic and laugh endlessly about how crazy we sound. We both share a very deep love of fashion and have different styles and opinions so I think my favorite thing to talk about with her is definitely FASHION!
Do you have any advice for any of our readers who would like to do Drag and find a Drag community?
My advice is definitely find what you LOVE, find what makes you UNIQUE and run with it! the community is so big now and there are so many queens out there waiting to meet new artists and work together! Just remember to respect the art form and good luck with all the scars and blisters that come with the territory!
Interviewed and Edited by SHIRLEY REYNOZO @moyamusic_
Concept, Photo, Creative Direction: @polkurucz
Wardrobe: @michaelschmidtstudios + @koichisonoda
Nail artist: @krista_la_creme
3D environment: @olipoli82
Digital Art: @eliansanchezz
Styling support: @stefdenims
Sketch Artist: @koichisonoda
Creative agency: @earlymorningriot