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Gia Gunn is the stage name of Gia Keitaro Ichikawa,[1] a drag performer from Carpentersville, Illinois. She is best known for being a contestant on Season 6 of RuPaul's Drag Race, where she placed 10th, and on All Stars 4 where she placed 8th. Gia also competed on the second season of The Switch Drag Race, the Chilean spin-off of RuPaul's Drag Race, where she placed as Runner-Up. Additionally, Gia is the sixth contestant to come out as transgender.

Early Life

Gia Ichikawa was born on May 10, 1990 into a Japanese-American family. She grew up in a small diverse town in the Northwest Suburbs of Chicago in Carpentersville, Illinois, United States. At the age of five years old, Ichikawa had made her stage debut.

After completing her high school education, she enrolled in a cosmetology school, where Ichikawa had received her cosmetology license. Soon after moving to Chicago, United States, she had observed numerous drag shows. Possibly being influenced by the observation of the numerous drag shows, Ichikawa had decided to perform herself and became a headlining drag performer.

She auditioned for Logo TV's reality television series RuPaul's Drag Race whilst Ichikawa was working in the hair industry full-time and performed as Gia Gunn by evening.

She also appeared in Mega's second season of The Switch Drag Race, the Chilean version of RuPaul's Drag Race.

Track Record(s)

Gia Gunn
Season Competed Season 6 All Stars 4 The Switch 2
Ranking: 10th Place 8th Place Runner-Up
Maxi Challenges Won: 0 0 4 (Week 1, 2, 4, 9) +1 (Ep. 30)
Mini Challenges Won: 0 0 3 (Ep. 11, 20, 23)
Times as Team Captain: 0 0 4
Times in Bottom: 1 (Ep. 5) 1 (Ep. 3) 1 (Week 6)
Episode Eliminated: Episode 5 Episode 3 Episode 31

Entrance Quotes

Season 6

"Just got off the boat, you know, little trip from Asia. Just landed like fresh tilapia."

All Stars 4

"Step aside boys, 'cause the real queen is here."

RuPaul's Drag Race

On the sixth season of the reality television series, Gunn was quoted in her words of expressing her hatred for "messy queens, cheap queens, and manly queens". During an episode of Untucked, she criticized one of her rival competitors, Milk, when they portrayed a pregnant woman. After being called out as an "ignorant" by another one of her rival competitors, Joslyn Fox, Gunn had reacted very negatively and became involved in a confrontation against them. However, Milk had already criticized her for possessing an "elitist attitude" and nicknamed her "Kimora Lee" as well.

She was eliminated on the fifth episode, in which the Snatch Game was the main challenge. In the Snatch Game, Gunn impersonated Kim Kardashian. Gunn had originally planned on portraying the late American singer and songwriter, Selena, however, the plan was met with skepticism from RuPaul. Her impression of Kardashian was poor, landing her in the bottom two with Laganja Estranja and lip-synced against her to "Head to Toe" by Lisa Lisa & Cult Jam. After being eliminated, Gunn, with a wonky eyelash, had expressed her anger on the topic of her now-former rival competitors for getting away with "dressing up like a man" and that Gunn was at least glad to have her friend, Estranja, send her home.

Drag Name Origin

Gia came from the supermodel Gia Carangi and the movie Gia starring Angelina Jolie. Her last name originated from Project Runway's Tim Gunn.

Memorable Quotes

RuPaul's Drag Race Season 6

  • "Gia's a fishy girl, she's C.C.C.: Crazy, cuckoo, cunt!"
  • "Just got off the boat, you know, little trip from Asia. Just landed like fresh tilapia."
  • "I mean is there no budget this time around?"
  • "How is she though?"
  • "My name's Gia Gunn. I don't jump guns, I am the boom boom gun."
  • "I don't like messy queens, I don't like cheap queens and I don't like manly queens."
  • "Gag me with a Delorean!"
  • "Feelin' like pussy, feelin' like cunt!"
  • "I'm feeling my oats, let me feel my ooooooooats!"
  • "You guys are all still dudes."
  • "You ladyboy? You ladyboy?"
  • "Absolutelyyy!"
  • "What's a Tony?"
  • "Bitch, are you fucking kidding me right now? You look like a fucking dumpster."
  • "You should have been read for that hair, but you weren't, so..."
  • "Well you girls... look good."
  • "I didn't quite cough like a man."
  • "This is the moment that counts." (to Laganja Estranja in Untucked)
  • "YES. BITCH. WERK!"
  • "Oh, you know, I'm still, like, having some morning-after stuff...you know, like throwing up and stuff after the pregnancy, but everything should be okay." (as Kim Kardashian during the Snatch Game.)
  • "Honey, just because nobody's interested in your style because it looks like it came from the fucking Quinceañera store."
  • "My God, there's... room for everybody, let's just say that!" (about Darienne Lake)

The Switch Drag Race Season 2

RuPaul's Drag Race All Stars Season 4

  • "That little beautiful bitch was lucky today." (about Farrah Moan)
  • "Do your makeup and get ready, cause according to your team you're the weakest link." (to Farrah Moan)
  • "Honey, I'm here for an opportunity just like you are."
  • "Oh sweetie, I'm very secure, are you secure?"
  • "Well you're Caucasian... you got a fucked up nose like her." (to Trinity The Tuck)
  • "Well what you wanna do, isn't necessarily what you're gonna do." (to Trinity The Tuck)
  • "What privilege!"
  • "I don't think tucking is a talent." (to Trinity The Tuck)
  • "Girl, soak what up? I mean, maybe some of that sweat on that forehead." (referring to Monét X Change)
  • "This is a place for legends."
  • “For those of you who don't know me, I put the T in the LGB. Don't worry about what you call me, 'cause I know who I be. I'm a woman who does drag but don't confuse me with those hags. Be the best you and I'll be the best that I can be. Yes, gawd!” (verse in Don't Funk It Up)

Trivia

  • Gia Gunn came out as transgender on Trans Visibility Day 2017.
  • Gia's drag mother is Aly Gunn, a Chicago nightlife personality. She also considers Alyssa Edwards an adoptive drag mother, and has performed with the Haus of Edwards.
  • Gia has a drag daughter named Jake Warden.
  • Gia is the first queen to be booted on Fashion Photo Ruview.
  • On 20 April 2017, she announced via Twitter that she had legally changed her name to Gia.
  • Gia Gunn won a beauty pageant known as Miss Roscoe's back in 2013.
  • Gia lives with her drag sister and fellow Season 6 contestant Laganja Estranja. Together they form the drag duo, #TeamTooMuch.
  • Gia is a frequent guest on Kimora Blac's show Wait, What?.
  • Gia is the third member of the Haus of Edwards member to compete on All Stars, after Alyssa Edwards and Shangela.
  • Gia and Kandy Ho are the only queens in the Rupaul’s Drag Race franchise to appear in The Switch.
  • In All Stars 4...
    • Gia became the fourth queen to compete as a transgender woman after Sonique, Monica Beverly Hillz & Peppermint.
    • Gia is the first contestant to come back to an All Stars season as a trans woman, thus making her the first transgender All Star.
    • Gia became the first queen to be eliminated twice in Snatch Game.
    • Her All Stars 4 elimination got leaked due to it being added to WowPresents+ by accident. It was removed hours later.
  • Before she officially did Drag, she actually performed "Kabuki" at the age of 7.

Controversies

After the airing of All Stars 4's Snatch Game, Gia's performance as Jenny Bui was crticized by not only the judges but by Bui herself. Gia's biggest critique by the judges, especially Michelle Visage, was portraying a survivor of Cambodian persecution as Japanese and playing into Japanese stereotypes. Jenny Bui commented on it, saying on Instagram, "I'm honored to be featured on last nights episode of @Rupaulofficial ❤️. Unfortunately that's not my accent, and the only thing off the boat is the "fresh" tilapia that you are allegedly serving. 💅🏾"[4][5]

On June 26 2020, after the beginning of the Coronavirus Pandemic caused by Sars-CoV2 (commonly known as Covid-19 or coronavirus), Gia caused major controversy online saying “I think the whole mask thing is f–king ridiculous, I honestly think this whole COVID-19 thing is a hoax. I think everybody who is, you know, taking precautions is cute and it’s definitely the thing to do, but I also think a lot of people are brainwashed. I think the more and more that we look around and see each other with masks on, the more influenced we are going to be to also put our masks on, which then to me, insinuates that everything is not ok. I’m here to tell you guys that I think things are more okay than the government is allowing you to think." Gia recieved major backlash from fans with one person saying "The 120,000+ dead Americans don’t agree with Gia. But okay girl. Act a fool.” This response has since been deleted.[6][7]

In July 2021, Gia confirmed she tested positive for Covid-19, tweeting "I just tested positive for Covid. Put on your fucking masks!!" This tweet recieved major backlash and a majority negative responses. Drag Race alum Mrs. Kasha Davis responded "Is this tweet a hoax? Is covid a hoax like you’ve previously said??? OR is it just NOW important because it’s affecting you? I truly hope you feel better both with covid symptoms and your ego adjustment. 🙏🏻💋" Other responses included "Queen of getting Covid yassss !!!!" and "Sounds like you haven’t been putting yours on! 💁🏾‍♀️" Gia since recovered from Covid.[8][9][10][11]

On January 8, 2022, the day after the Season 14 premiere, Gia tweeted, "So happy to see a trans person on an actual season of drag race 🏳️‍⚧️ The doors that I’ve opened…" in reference to Kerri Colby. This tweet sparked mild controversy but largely became the subject of trolling from fans and contestants alike. Notably, Season 13 contestant Gottmik tweeted, "I love my fake season" and All Stars 6 Winner Kylie Sonique Love tweeted a GIF of her in the confessionals of All Stars 6 pointing to herself. Gia responded to Gottmik's tweet saying "let me clarify…trans WOMEN" but did not respond to Kylie. Since then, "The doors Gia's opened" has become a meme in the Drag Race Fandom.[12][13][14]

On May 16, 2022, after DragCon 2022, Gia tweeted "Say what you want but I saw 0 beauty at this year’s dragcon…what happened to the glamour? 🤷🏻‍♀️" The tweet received major backlash from Drag Race queens. Canada's Drag Race Season 2 contestant Océane Aqua-Black responded "I think this tweet is a little bit hurtful and i say that with respect towards, you without attacking you. I put a lot of effort in my drag for my first DragCon like many people. I even waved at you and you passed me by and ignored me totally." Eve 6000 responded to Océane with "Babe gia is one of “those” girls like the other one you told me about lol… they don’t see it for ppl like us. Their loss." Queen of the Universe Season 1's Ada Vox responded to Gia "Damn… you saw everyone not serving beauty or glamour & I didn’t even know you were there… guess it’s better to be noticed and “unglamorous” than beautiful and invisible." Some queens took an ironic response to the tweet. Season 7 and All Stars 3's Trixie Mattel responded "Gia please never change lol," while Season 5 and All Stars 2's Alaska responded "BRING BACK THE ERA OF GLAMOUR" with the infamous Vulture photoshoot. Nicky Doll responded "Oh girl please" to which Gia responded "You were one of the beauties my love!" The next day, Gia tweeted "Just a friendly reminder what glamour actually looks like 🥰 Your welcome. Have a nice day Twitter!" with a photo of herself. The tweet received some backlash.[15][16][17][18][19][20][21][22]

Gallery

Season 6 Looks

All Stars 4 Looks

The Switch 2 Looks

Videos

RuPaul's Drag Race

The Switch 2

Social Media

References

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