December 3, 2023

Cody Rigsby’s 10 Favorite Things


Fans of Cody Rigsby’s Peloton classes, and there are legions, know he’ll spin them ragged. But the spicy banter he dispenses from his cycle has the effect of numbing the pain.

Now, in his book “XOXO, Cody,” out Sept. 12 from Ballantine, Rigsby turns what he calls snackable nuggets — motivational morsels, dating advice, life hacks, pop-culture insight — into full-blown meals.

“I’m a really open book, pun intended,” he said. “I don’t have any sort of shame or guilt about the life I’ve led,” including having parents who were addicts, experiencing homelessness as a child and losing a friend to alcoholism.

“I share my messiness, I share my failures,” he added, “but I also allow it to be known that those failures and that messiness is what got me to a place of success and a place of loving myself.”

In a video call from his publisher’s office in Manhattan, Rigsby, 36, spoke about protecting drag queens, the magic of Fire Island Pines, and why, even if you aren’t a former “Dancing With the Stars” contestant like he was, you should dance more. These are edited excerpts from the conversation.


I’ve really started to enjoy the movie theaters where you can pick your seat ahead of time, you can order food, you can have a cocktail brought to you. My mom is almost 70, she’s diabetic, she’s got tons of health issues, and sometimes it’s hard to find things that she can do in the city. She absolutely loves going to movie theaters, and I feel connected with her. It’s like watching a little kid. She’s just so happy and in the zone.


People go to therapy and they’re like, “Oh, I’ve dealt with that problem, so I’m going to stop.” But I think it’s good to make it a regular practice, even when things are going right.


I am an original crunchy Cheetos person. I love them. Love them. I don’t care what they’re made of. I don’t care if the orange is fake. I don’t care if they’re bad for me. Give me the Cheetos.


I’m not a complete resource of science, but what I have read on the internet and seen in videos is that taking cold plunges is really good for your recovery. It tightens your muscles and releases some of the lactic acid that’s in your body. It’s also apparently good for your immune system, so it keeps you nice and healthy. But let’s say all of that was false. It’s a great practice because it reminds me that I can do hard things.


As a gay man, I think that a big part of our culture is having our favorite pop star. I love a healthy debate over who’s the best singer, who has the best concert, who has the best dress. Britney will always have my heart. But I am just so in awe of Beyoncé right now. I went to go see the Renaissance World Tour twice, and I think it is the greatest show that I’ve ever seen.


The saints of the L.G.B.T.Q. community. They bring us a lot of joy, a lot of laughter, a lot of camp, a lot of comedy. But I feel like drag right now is being used as a political thing to divide and distract people. Drag has been around forever. Drag was done by straight people in the 1950s as pro-military propaganda. So it’s [expletive] that people are trying to demonize drag queens as groomers and pedophiles and something that’s wrong. We need to protect drag queens at all costs.


I’m not the girl that can just have my chicken parm and pasta. I need a little sweetness at the end of the meal to really round things out and feel like I had a good time.


She started as an adult film star and has built this incredible brand within the queer community — someone who has a ton of heart and a ton of soul, but also is not afraid to clap back and say how it is. She’s an inspiration to myself, but most importantly to other Black trans people.


It’s always felt so magical, like a slice of heaven where there are no cars and you get to walk around and be a queer little person doing whatever you want to do with no judgment, no shame, no guilt. Last year I bought a house out there and it’s just a dream come true.


I really encourage people to go dancing — I don’t think we prioritize it enough. Going out to a club is such a great place to be social, to release, to express ourselves. And house music is what I listen to. It speaks to the soul and gives you permission to let go and have fun. So much of my love for New York City has been made through the nightlife here.

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