Studio photos by Laura Dark Photography.
We've had a first ever Miss Gay Nevada America, Sofia Anderson, and now first ever Miss Gay Buckeye America, Mary Nolan.
So how did this brand new Columbus-based pageant on the MGA circuit come to be? Miss Gay Buckeye America owner and promoter Michael Bishop. (He is also the owner and co-promoter of Miss Gay Ohio America.)
"I really wanted to branch out this year and do something on a regional level," says Michael. "After a few conversations with Miss Gay America, whom I have know for over 15 years, we thought it would be a wonderful opportunity to bring national level competitors to Columbus! We had 4 amazing contestants: Aida Stratton from Pennsylvania, Mystical Divine from Cleveland, our Miss Buckeye America 2018 Mary Nolan from Columbus and First Alternate Kelly Ray Shelton.
Above: Miss Gay Buckeye America 2018 Mary Nolan, Miss Gay Buckeye America 2018 First Alternate Kelly Ray Shelton, Miss Gay Buckeye America co-owner and co-promoter Michael Bishop.
An energetic competitor since 2016, Mary Nolan's previous titles are: 4th Alternate to Miss Gay America 2018, Miss Gay Northeast America 2017, 1st Alternate - Top 10 Finalist at Miss Gay America 2017, and Miss Gay Ohio America 2016.
Girl gives good chat, but before we jump into the Q&A below, Mary explains how she chose her drag name. Or it chose her, as it turns out.
"My drag name came from a place of bullying. When I first moved to Columbus, I fell in with a group of people who thought anything effeminate was something to be ridiculed and looked down upon. It always struck me as strange that grown adult gay men would behave that way but I didn't know any better at the time. Because I was small and sometimes effeminate, they started calling me Mary Nolan. Mary comes from a slang term for gay men and Nolan is my last name. It kind of stuck. I wanted to take back my identity from bullies so I kept the name."
Now, our Q&A with your first ever Miss Gay Buckeye America, Mary Nolan.
1 How did you get started, when did you first do in female impersonation?