Tuesday, August 14, 2018

MISS GAY AMERICA Photographer DJ Bonet Picks his Top 10 Drag Photos, Chats with MGAZINE

Miss Gay North Carolina America by After Six Photography Studios, DJ Bonet and Monte C.

Last month we introduced to you the work of photographer Carrie Strong. Now, we're back to introduce yet another favorite photographer of girls in the Miss Gay America system. DJ Bonet, together with his brother Monte C., are After Six Photography and based in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.

Not only did they take the absolutely gorgeous photos of our reigning Miss Gay North Carolina America Eden Pardue-Divine (above), but they've been the photographer of choice for numerous queens in the Miss Gay America and other drag pageant systems.

Without further ado, here's our Q&A with DJ along with his top 10 (OK, 11), photos, in no particular order.

Established to aspiring MGA queens looking to up their photo game will appreciate the great advice in DJ's answer to question number 5. Enjoy!

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

MISS GAY AMERICA Photographer Carrie Strong Picks Her Top 10 Drag Photos, Chats with MGAZINE

Above: Miss Gay Oklahoma America 2018 Alysha Brooks Davenport as photographed by Carrie Strong

Credit for all photos in this post: Carrie Strong.

In anticipation of Miss Gay Oklahoma America 2018, we wanted to feature one of the Miss Gay America pageant's favorite photographers, Oklahoma City based Carrie Strong.

On her website Carrie introduces herself:

"I'm a self-taught photographer and retoucher based in Oklahoma City.  I began photographing drag queens and female impersonators in 2009 and since that time I have worked with local, state, national and international LGBT entertainers. Recently, I have expanded my work into the fashion, beauty, and advertising worlds, while continuing my business in traditional personal photography."

Carrie's stunning and creative photos of female impersonators and drag queens are arguably some of the best in the business and well worth a professional queen's time and dime for a trip to OKC for a proper professional shoot. (A girl should never underestimate the importance of your photos!)

First, here are photos of the reigning Miss Gay Oklahoma America Alysha Brooks Davenport–solo, and with Mr. Gay Oklahoma America 2018 O'Dey Brooks Davenport (of the legendary Davenport drag family)–followed by Carrie's portraits of Miss Gay Oklahoma 2017 Carmen Devereaux.

Above: Miss Gay Oklahoma America 2018 Alysha Brooks Davenport and Mr. Gay Oklahoma America 2018 O'Dey Brooks Davenport

Friday, July 20, 2018

Philadelphia Gay News Interviewed Miss Gay Pennsylvania America 2017 AND 2018

The Philadelphia Gay News graciously and generously interviewed both Miss Gay Pennsylvania America 2017 Tatiana Clark (prior to her step-down) and the newly crowned (July 15) Miss Gay Pennsylvania 2018 Jaslene Dickson. A big thank you to both Managing Editor Kristin Demilio and writer A.D. Amorosi for these two great articles. Click the links above to read them both.


Wednesday, July 4, 2018

5 Questions with Your New MISS GAY ARIZONA AMERICA 2018 Adriana Galliano

Photo by Leaked Glass

Meet your new Miss Gay Arizona America, Adriana Galliano of Mesa, AZ. This is her first title and crown in the Miss Gay America system. Congratulations, Adriana! We hope to see much more of you and to get to know you better as we anticipate Miss Gay America in St. Louis this October. Good luck!

Now, without further ado, here is our little Q&A with Adriana:

1 How did you get started, when did you first do in female impersonation? 
I went to a local bar, Karamba Night Club, eight years ago and fell in love with the Latin Drag Show. I became friends with some of the girls and they gave me the opportunity to showcase my talents. I fell in love with the art and was being booked monthly. Moral of the story, I know have my own show there every Sunday Night.

Photo by Brian Munoz for The Arizona Republic/AXCentral.com

2 What has being in the Miss Gay America system mean to you personally? 
The Miss Gay Arizona America System is a family here in my hometown of Phoenix. Therefore, I’ve gotten the opportunity to bond with many of our local legends and entertainers. Many girls strive to become Miss Gay Arizona America and I am humbled and proud to now be one.

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

SHE WORKS HARD FOR THE MONEY: The Cost of Drag – From Wig to Face to Heels, the current MISS GAY TEXAS AMERICA Violet S'Arbleu Breaks it Down

With just a few more weeks left in her reign as Miss Gay Texas America 2017 Violet's S'Arbleu, reveals the costs of drag–financial, physical, temporal–along and shares few wise words on life as a drag queen. Violet, the stage is yours...

Miss Gay Texas America 2017 Violet S'Arbleu by Michael Andrew Voight

Drag is EXPENSIVE. Trying to do it on a dime, while admirable, is virtually impossible. Shaved legs,  a leotard, and a wig will still cost you a solid $50. You throw some makeup in there and a decent pair of shoes and you’ve passed $100.

And if you’re in an amateur contest, the only money you can expect to get is given to you one dollar at a time by a critical crowd who just saw the latest runway looks on RuPaul’s Drag Race. That’s a high bar to match, and it’s almost impossible to turn a profit on your first outings.

The easiest way to present this information is to break down what everything costs, and of course the only person whose budget I know to the dime is my own. So, perhaps it’s the wrong choice or too much information, but I’m going to be completely honest with you guys about exactly what it costs to create one Violet S’Arbleu.

However, I’m going to be a LITTLE reserved and only give you low estimates for how much things actually cost. 

One appearance costs $650 in supplies. My usual Friday show takes over $1000 to put on. And these are CHEAP estimates. Ready for the breakdown? Get out your grocery lists, because if you want to make your own Violet S’Arbleu at home, you’re going to need to pick up a few things.

Friday, June 22, 2018

A Pride Season Message from Miss Gay America Owners Michael Dutzer and Rob Mansman

Miss Gay America owners Michael Dutzer and Rob Mansman in Iceland last week where they completed the 26.2 mile Iceland Moonwalk for Walk the Walk, the UK-based charity raising money for vital breast cancer causes.

As we come into the pride season, I think it is important for everyone in our community to look INSIDE and be proud of who or what we are as individuals.  Too often, we compare ourselves with others which brings us down the road of not being thin enough, popular enough, not making enough, etc.  We have gotten to the point as a community to find it necessary to create labels which we must fit in (bears, otters, twinks, athletic, average, swimmer, and I could go on). Sadly we often divide ourselves more than being inclusive of all within our community.

When Michael and I purchased Miss Gay America, we made it our mission to unify everyone within the drag community, with the hope of setting an example for others to follow.  It was as a result of this, that #unity was born.  Last year seeing Suzy Wong performing with many other national title holders on one stage was one of our proudest moments.

As national promoters it really is such a gift to see individuals “come into their own”.  It is amazing to watch people within our own community celebrate who they are unapologetically.  As national promoters, we challenge you to live the life that YOU want to live, free of labels created by others and free of pressure to “fit” within boxes.  Our challenge to you when we purchased MGA, was for you to celebrate your individuality and to bring YOU to the stage.  With this, you will find a freedom that is incredibly liberating.  Your light will shine and inspire others to be true to themselves and challenge a community  so saturated with labels to celebrate along with you.

With Love,

Michael Dutzer & Rob Mansman
Proud owners of the Miss Gay America Pageant

Monday, June 11, 2018

5 Questions with Your First Ever MISS GAY BUCKEYE AMERICA 2018 MARY NOLAN

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?