Peppermint or Miss Peppermint, is an American actress, singer, television personality, drag queen, and activist from New York City. She is best known from the nightlife scene and, in 2017, as the runner-up on the ninth season of RuPaul's Drag Race. In 2018 Peppermint made her debut in The Go-Go's-inspired musical Head Over Heels as Pythio, becoming Broadway’s first out trans woman to originate a lead role.
Peppermint started performing at the New York City nightclub Tunnel's Kurfew parties, ultimately becoming a fixture in New York City nightlife. She started recording music in 2005 for Jonny McGovern's mixtape Jonny McGovern Presents: This is NYC, Bitch! The East Village Mixtape. She contributed the song "Servin' It Up", which was produced by Adam Joseph. The song was later released as Peppermint's debut single in 2006.
Peppermint was featured in the web series Queens of Drag: NYC by gay.com in 2010. The series featured fellow New York drag queens Bianca Del Rio, Dallas DuBois, Hedda Lettuce, Lady Bunny, Mimi Imfurst, and Sherry Vine. She also appeared as a drag-version of Tyra Banks on America's Next Top Model Cycle 14, Episode 5: "Smile and Pose" introducing a drag-theme runway challenge at Lucky Chengs in New York City.
In 2011, Sherry Vine and Peppermint released a parody of the Lady Gaga and Beyoncé song "Telephone," titled "Make Me Moan". Following the viral success of the music video, Peppermint later released other parody songs, including a parody of Azealia Banks' song "212", titled "21/12". Her song "If I Steal Your Boyfriend" was used in the 2011 film Eating Out 5: The Open Weekend.
RuPaul's Drag Race
On February 2, 2017, Peppermint was announced as one of the fourteen contestants on the ninth season of RuPaul's Drag Race. Though other transgender women have competed on RuPaul's Drag Race, she was the first to be out prior to the show airing, having come out in 2012. She won the Roast Challenge in episode 8. She placed in the bottom two in two challenges, lip-synching to Madonna's "Music" and the Village People's "Macho Man", winning both. Her performances earned her the favorable nickname "Lip Sync Assassin".
Head Over Heels
Peppermint made her Broadway debut in The Go-Go's-inspired musical Head Over Heels using the songs of The Go-Go's. The plot of the show is somewhat based on The Countess of Pembroke's Arcadia written by Sir Philip Sidney in the 16th century. The show began previews in June 2018 and officially opened July 2018, at the Hudson Theatre; playing the role of Pythio, Peppermint became the first trans woman to originate a principal role on Broadway.
Writing for Deadline Hollywood, Greg Evans summed up his impression of the musical as "occasionally amusing, occasionally cloying", expressing disappointment that many popular Go-Go's songs appeared to have been flattened over the years the musical spent in development. In Entertainment Weekly, Kelly Connolly viewed the show more favorably, praising "the charismatic cast" and Michael Mayer's "joyful production"; she gave the A- score overall. The New York Times's critic Ben Brantley's review drew criticism as transphobic and misgendering of Peppermint's character. The Times subsequently edited the review and Brantley apologized for it, writing that he had tried to "reflect the light tone of the show". The show closed in January 2019.
Peppermint has had appearances on Pose and Saturday Night Live, and in October 2019 played the role of Pastor Olivia, "the [transgender] leader of an LGBTQ-friendly congregation", in a two-episode arc of God Friended Me.
Peppermint is a trans woman who was raised in Hershey, Pennsylvania, and Wilmington, Delaware. She felt her non-gender conformity was policed so she tried to fit in with others' expectations. She transitioned after moving to New York City and came out in 2012, before she appeared on RuPaul’s Drag Race. Though other transgender women have competed on the show, she was the first to come out prior to the show airing. She does not use her birth name, and asks that publications not deadname her. For several years, she went by the name "Angel", which derived from her portraying Angel in a one-act of Rent. While a contestant on Drag Race, Peppermint revealed that when she had been a high-school cheerleader, she had been beaten up by a male member of her high school's basketball team.
|A Girl Like Me: Letters to My Lovers||
|Sugar & Spiked||
As lead artist
|"Servin' It Up"||2006||Hardcore Glamour|
|"Thought Ya Knew"||2007|
|"Dolla in My Titty (Part 1)"||2013||Non-album singles|
|"Civil War"||Black Pepper|
|"What You're Looking For"||2020||A Girl Like Me: Letters to My Lovers|
As featured artist
|Song||Year||Peak chart positions||Album|
|"I Call Shade"
|"We Three Queens"||2017||Manila Luzon and Alaska Thunderfuck||Christmas Queens 3|
|"What Child Is This"||Thorgy Thor|
|"R U Mad"||2018||Michael Blume & Shea Coulee||Cynicism & Sincerity|
|"Pretty Girl Anthem"||Jiggly Caliente||T.H.O.T. Process|
|"Vision of Nowness"||Original Broadway Cast of Head Over Heels||Head Over Heels (Original Broadway Cast Recording)|
|"Heaven Is a Place on Earth"||Jeremy Kushnier, Rachel York, & Original Broadway Cast of Head Over Heels|
|"Whoever You Might Be"||2020||Jackson Teeley||Within Earshot: Anthems for the In-Between|
|"Servin' It Up"
|"Thought Ya' Knew"||2008|
|"Excuse My Beauty"||2010||Brendan Kyle Cochrane|
|"Let You Have It"||Karl Giant|
|"Dolla in My Titty"||2014|
|"Civil War"||Mikhail Torich|
||2018||Brenden T. R. Gregory|
|"Black Pepper"||Assaad Yacoub|
|"Vision of Nowness"||2019||Tyler Stone|
Parody music videos
|"Make Me Moan"||2010||Blake Martin|
|"JLo Papi"||2012||Francis Von Legge|
|"3D End of Time"||N/A|
|"21/12"||Francis Von Legge|
|"Epic Broadway Medley Parody" (Sherry Vine and Peppermint)||2017||N/A|
Awards and nominations
|Year||Award Giving Body||Category||Work||Results||Ref.|
|2018||WOWIE Awards||Break A Leg Award||Peppermint in Head over Heels||Won|
|2019||WOWIE Awards||Best TV Moment||Herself and Jiggly Caliente||Nominated|