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Inspiring Black Artists Who Champion Mental Health: Peppermint’s Story

As we celebrate Black artists, we want to highlight Peppermint for her openness about her mental health journey.

We want to spotlight outstanding Black figures who’ve made their mark with their talents and shown us the power of being real about their lives and mental health journeys.

These Black artists, dancers, and actors are open about who they are, flaws and all, and they teach us valuable lessons.

They remind us that it’s totally okay and normal to face tough times and challenges no matter who you are. Life isn’t always smooth sailing, and that’s alright.

They highlight the importance of seeking help when it comes to mental health. Reaching out for support is a sign of strength, not weakness.

They remind us that speaking up and standing for your beliefs can positively change the world.

We hope these stories inspire you from these artists’ actions and the words they want you to hear.

You’re not alone in your journey; just like them, you can overcome anything with determination and resilience.

Why we’re celebrating Peppermint

Peppermint has broken major boundaries as an actress and pioneering trans entertainer. She found liberation early on by expressing her feminine identity through drag performance, before later coming out publicly as a trans woman. In 2017, she made history as the first openly trans contestant on RuPaul’s Drag Race.

Since then, Peppermint has toured the world doing drag, acted on multiple TV shows including Originating a lead role on Broadway, and released empowering music as a trans artist. She continues to break new ground, recently appearing on the show “Survival of the Thickest” and “The Traitors.”

Peppermint has also been an outspoken activist for trans rights and racial justice. She uses her platform to advocate for greater awareness, justice, and joy for Black queer communities. In 2020, Peppermint hosted a Black Queer Town Hall addressing issues of police brutality and celebrating Black queer artistry.

“We were really fed up with the videos that we were seeing, the tragic stories, and we really wanted a way to be able to celebrate Black queer joy.”

Peppermint speaking to Out

Peppermint has also worked to support today’s trans youth, releasing an album she hoped could give them comfort.

“I really wanted to be able to have an album that I would’ve wanted to hear growing up as a young trans girl. It’s about love. It’s so important to be able to destigmatize the relationships between trans people and their partners.”

Peppermint talks trans love

Their Mental Health Journey

Growing up Black, queer and different, Peppermint shared that she experienced self-hatred amidst frequent targeting and shaming. But as she found her community, she found ways to express her true self.

“Drag can be really liberating. But for this New Yorker, getting in a pair of heels and a sequined dress wasn’t about lip-syncing. It was to express myself in the only gender that worked for me,” she said.

Connecting to gratitude and self-confidence was key for Peppermint in finding self-acceptance.

“I have been blessed with the ability to connect to my gratitude, self-confidence, and who I am. [It’s a certain] amount of self-satisfaction that it appears that some people around me aren’t always keyed into for themselves,” she shared.

Peppermint draws resilience from the wisdom that there is no finish line in transitioning or personal growth, something she hopes younger people struggling with when to transition can also draw strength from.

“There’s no finish line. We’re never done transitioning. If you can connect yourself with those [going through similar challenges], then you can hopefully find a little bit of respite in your mental health journey.”

Peppermint shares with NBC News

Peppermint stresses the importance of remembering you are not alone, finding self-care, and making time for joy. She says these basics can truly help provide a lifeline for one’s mental health.

She says she knows some of these statements sound like platitudes, but these basics really can help be a lifeline for your mental health.

“Just know that you’re definitely not alone, that there are people who are going through the same exact challenges as you may be facing and are looking to answer the same questions that you’re asking,” she says.

“If you can connect yourself with those people then you can hopefully find a little bit of respite in your mental health journey.”


We hope these stories inspire you, just like these athletes inspire us. Remember, you’re not alone in your journey. With determination and resilience, you can overcome anything.

‘Head in the Game’ is here to help support young peoples mental health. To learn more about the ‘Head in the Game’ program click here. Young people can also explore resources to support their mental wellbeing by clicking here.