Call her Vivi Fierce, the Jumbo Bimbo, or just hot. The Arkansas native has come a long way since her days sleeping in her car in a McDonald's parking lot in downtown Los Angeles. Vivi's story is the classic American narrative. The underestimated icon pursues her dreams despite what everyone else told her. We talked to Vivi about her journey to unwavering self-love, being easy on yourself, and why the opinion of DL men doesn't matter. Read more below.
Kai: Let's start with who you are, how you identify, and what you do.
Vivi Fierce: I’m Vivi Fierce. You can call me Vivi. She/her pronouns and I am an entertainer around Los Angeles. I do drag, gogo, and stripping
Kai: Are you from LA?
Vivi Fierce: No, I'm originally from Fayetteville, Arkansas, Our shining point is Walmart came from that area in Arkansas.
Kai: Love that. Isn't Arkansas also where the House of Avalon is from?
Vivi Fierce: Symone in the House of Avalon came from the Little Rock-Conway area and Maddie Morphosis came from the Fayetteville area.
Kai: How was it seeing him on TV?
Vivi Fierce: It was kind of fun because I liked seeing Fayetteville be put on the map a little bit. But also at the same time, my little hometown is gonna be the first to be sending a whole straight man to drag race.
Kai: Right, haha. So how long have you been in LA?
Vivi Fierce: I've been in LA for almost four years, It was on and off at first because I came here with nothing but a dream. Not even much money in my account. I flew out and stayed with a friend. That was the start of my LA journey: broke and homeless.
Kai: Wow. You are like the rags to riches story in the making,
Vivi Fierce: In the making, because, baby, I'm still looking for them riches. It used to be no home, no car. Some family helped me get a car, and I lived out of that. Then my friend moved out from Arkansas and stayed with me in the car. We both got jobs, worked our way up, and seen some crazy stuff. But at the same time, we were both safe. We were both healthy.
We went from living in a car to South Central to Inglewood and now to east Hollywood.
Kai: The next stop is Beverly Hills?
Vivi Fierce: That's right. Moving on up.
Kai: Where does transitioning fit in your story?
Vivi Fierce: Transitioning happened a long time ago before I moved to LA. I transitioned in Arkansas back in 2016, and I got onto hormone. That's, as far as my transition got in Arkansas, because there's no health insurance that covers trans health and it's really hard to get it.
I moved to LA while I was homeless. I got health insurance. I got MediCal, and I got LA care, which helps cover a lot of trans surgeries. When I got that I wasn't in a stable housing situation so I wasn’t technically allowed to get surgeries. If you're gonna get surgeries, you have to have a place to stay and recover.
They're not just gonna turn you out to the streets with some new boobs. I finally got some housing, so I held onto MediCal for two years. And then I finally got situated and settled into a stable place in Inglewood. And that's when I finally got my face done and my boobs done.
But what was crazy was my housing situation before was only a year long. Luckily I healed up in time to move.
Kai: To move to Inglewood?
Vivi Fierce: To east Hollywood. In Inglewood, I got my face and my boobs done. I did it even though I was worried about the time constraints of my lease being up and not knowing if I was gonna be fully healed. I did it because, as I said, I never knew if I was going to be keeping my health insurance because anything could happen. I dived into it.
It's just been a whole year of surgery. Having patience especially helped me. I used all that time of me with health insurance, but not being able to fully get the surgeries yet, loving myself and retraining myself to love the body that I am in.
And I succeeded. It helped kick my depression and all that right before my facial surgery. I'm a lot happier because its confidence poured onto confidence.
Kai: Right. You did all the self-work before, so now the physical changes are the cherry on top.
Trans people deserve the right to look like toes or supermodels.
Vivi Fierce: Exactly. I wish I could have gotten my surgeries two years ago, whenever I first got my health insurance, but I honestly think it's a blessing that I waited. I'm in a much better mindset, a much better housing and financial situation, and I feel so much more supported.
Kai: That support is huge when you're going through surgery. And surgery is always a question that comes up when we start transitioning. Was there a certain inspiration you had in mind? How did you decide you wanted to get work done?
Vivi Fierce: The body type that I wanted was the most generic LA body that you can think of: the hips, the boobs, the tiny waist. The Fashion Nova type, but make her fat.
My body goal is to be visibly bigger. To have a little bit of a stomach and embrace that. I have big feet. I have a big frame. That's where my dream body formed. And right now, I love how I look.
The only thing that I would change is, and the doctor is going to, I would gladly move my fat that's in my stomach to my hips, my butt, and a little bit more to the boob area. Just to round out those areas. A lot of people misconstrue that as I’m insecure about my stomach.
When in fact, I love my belly. I don't care when people touch my stomach, especially in an intimate setting. But I do like tying my shoes, putting on heels, and wearing jeans without having my fat chunk up in the way. That's the sole reason why my goal is to have a flatter midsection and to keep everything similar because I got the body.
Kai: I love the confidence in knowing what you want and not caring about what other people think.
That's the other thing with transitioning. Everyone will have some sort of opinion on your transition, whether it's are you sure about it? Are you gonna get this done? Are you not gonna get this done? It’s especially important to like center in on what you want and what's true to yourself.
Vivi Fierce: I will tell you my take on transition and trans people. Real quick.
Trans people should be able to come in all shapes, sizes, colors, because cis women and cis men all come in different beauty standards from looking like a toe to looking like supermodels. Trans people deserve the right to look like toes or supermodels. Some people don’t care about looks and surgeries and hormones. Some people just want it to be purely mental where they identify but don’t want to change their bodies in any way.
Every trans person is different. That's so hard for people outside of our community to wrap their heads around it because they want us on a binary or something. It doesn't matter if you wanna keep your boobs as a trans man. If you want to keep your penis as a trans woman. Your transition is a hundred percent you.
Kai: It's important in media to have different representations of trans women, because it's always the bombshell or the passing girl, but like there's so many different versions out there.
Have there been tips or advice you’ve picked up from the girls along the way?
It’s way better to try to impress your community than to impress a bunch of DL men that really don't care much about you after the bedroom.
Vivi Fierce: The dolls gave me a good tip a few days ago. Whenever you’re feeling a little bit down ride out your feelings. Ride out your emotions and let yourself feel. Because guess what? You can always pick yourself up the next day and continue being a bad bitch.
All that matters is focusing on you. The dolls taught me not to compare yourself to others. When you compare yourself to others, your flaws start to show, and you don't want that. Focus on yourself, focus on all of the gigs and all of the friendships that you've got and you'll be happy.
Kai: That comparison mindset gets so toxic and then you realize you're trying to be someone else and you're like, “oh wait, I should be the best version of me.” That's what it's always been about.
Vivi Fierce: Exactly. That's why I don't see anybody in this community as competition. I've never had that mindset. I have a couple of very talented trans friends who are also entertainers and performers. They get a lot of gigs and a lot of praise and I love it. It inspires me.
I'm not jealous. I'm more so inspired to go work hard and get my praise. That's my biggest thing. I find inspiration in my dolls.
Kai: That's important to view the dolls as inspiration.
I feel like now I'm also at a point, and maybe it's because I'm nearing my year of being on hormones, where I’m more appreciative of the dolls seeing me versus guys seeing me.
Vivi Fierce: Yes. At the end of the day, it really shouldn't matter what anyone like thinks of you. But let me tell you something. It’s way better to try to impress your community than to impress a bunch of DL men that really don't care much about you after the bedroom.
Kai: Yeah, for sure. Dating is so hard as a trans woman because only so many people are into you. And then within that, weeding out all the chasers and the fetish people. And it keeps getting smaller and smaller. I'm just like, wait, “where are y'all who actually wanna be out in public with me?”
Vivi Fierce: My best advice to anyone in the dating scene is to just stick to your guns. If you want to be seen out in public and treated right don't budge. Don't let people sweet-talk you. I've had people sit there and be like, “how are you so picky?
You're fat. You're just a man. You're this, you’re that.” At the end of the day, I really don't care if you're talking to me or not. My whole mindset is I just focus on myself. I let people to talk to me, and if I feel their vibe and everything's good, then I'll open up. But if they're not down, they're not down. And I do not beat myself up over it.
Kai: Fill your own cup.
Vivi Fierce: Exactly. I'm hot regardless of if they like me or not.
Do you have any self-love routines or rituals that you do?
Vivi Fierce: One thing that I tell people to do is stare at yourself in the mirror and start like finding things that you like.
I run into a lot of people that don't like looking at themselves in the mirror, and that's what you gotta do. Point out all the things that you like and keep on complimenting yourself every day. Go to that mirror. Find a compliment. Just do it.
That's helped me a lot. I had to sit there and quit crapping on myself. I had to stop looking down on myself for all the things that made me different. The reality of the situation is that those differences are what make me beautiful and a really great person.
That's why it's so easy for me not to let down low men or any type of man convince me any other way.
Be proud. Take a moment and celebrate.
Kai: I'm definitely going to take that tip. That is a whole journey on its own as you're transitioning. Your body's changing. Your mentality's changing. It’s all this relearning that you have to do. And being present with yourself and looking at yourself in the mirror and reminding yourself of why you're doing this.
Vivi Fierce: And that reason should be yourself.
Kai: What is bringing you trans joy lately?
Vivi Fierce: Honestly, the thing bringing me trans joy is my girls, my community. I'm seeing the dolls fall in love. I'm seeing the dolls get gigs. I'm seeing the dolls booked and busy. Even this and knowing that you gave trans girls a space to talk and share our stories and to help others. That in itself brings me trans joy.
Kai: It's all for the community. It's all for the girls. And being at Jolene the other night was just so amazing. The dolls are literally dolling.
Vivi Fierce: I'm so happy with Jolene and spaces like that. Daphne allowed me to showcase myself. I have not seen many girls who are trans, especially that are my weight class, out there doing it.
To know that I do have stage presence is eye-opening. The word tells you you’re fat and trans and can’t do this. You’re Black, you can’t do that. Then suddenly, you get on stage, and everyone adores you.
And that's my biggest thing about Jolene is the conversations I have with the other girls. The group chats are so heartfelt and open.
Kai: And now you’re an inspiration for the other girls who want to move to LA or New York and live their lives. It’s gonna be rough and not pretty at times, but you can do it.
Vivi Fierce: And I never look back at those times as embarrassing. Yes, I lived out in the McDonald's at Figueroa over in downtown LA. I would sit there and I would go right to sleep in that parking lot every night.
And every day I would wake up thinking maybe today is the day. Today is the day something happens. I find a better job or I find a place, and it never came. And then all of a sudden, it all came at once. That’s when we found ourselves moving into Inglewood.
You gain so many skills from being homeless. And I'm not saying go out there and be homeless. Definitely not. Especially if you're trans because it's dangerous out there. Find what's important to you and go after it. Period.
Kai: You literally had to survive to see the next day and look where you are now. That's huge.
Vivi Fierce: Thank you. I'm very proud of that and it took me quite a long moment because I have had a very bad case of imposter syndrome. It's easy to criticize myself. That's another thing I would like to share to the dolls is1: be easy on yourself.
Transitioning is not easy. Estrogen being pumped through your body is not easy. I'm going through surgeries, not easy. The social adjustment and changing how you are viewed out in the world is not easy. Right? So take it with a grain of salt. Realize that you're doing really well.
Be proud. Take a moment and celebrate.