Thursday, October 12, 2017

THE MGAZINE INTERVIEW: Meet Your Newly Crowned Miss Gay America 2018, Deva Station!

Miss Gay America 2018 Deva Station. MGAZINE cover photo by Andrew Blackwell.

Though cut short by a day due to the rapidly approaching Hurricane Nate, the 45th annual Miss Gay America pageant held at the Hyatt Regency New Orleans from October 4 – 6 was, by all accounts, was a screaming success.

Forty-one contestants from across the U.S. traveled to the Big Easy to compete, many with dressers, make-up artists, back-up dancers, and trailers full of sets and props in tow.   For three days a panel of five judges in four categories judged the contestants: Male Interview, Presentation (in outfits to reflect this year’s “Le Cirque MGA” theme), Evening Gown and Talent (big production number).

By the final night, the competition was down to the top ten, out of which an elite group of five titleholders were chosen.  The top then each put on dynamite Las Vega’s style floorshow numbers–all to a thunderous, standing ovations from the audience–followed by the Evening Gown completion, after which the top five were announced. Following  On-Stage Interview and a final performance by Miss Gay America 2017 Suzy Wong, the winners were announced.

Herewith the Miss Gay America 2018 titleholders:
Miss Gay America 2018 Deva Station (Columbus, OH)
Miss Gay America 2018 First Alternate Brooke Lynn Hytes (Nashville, TN)
Miss Gay America 2018 Second Alternate Kelly Ray (Durham, NC)
Miss Gay America 2018 Third Alternate Dessie Love Blake (Houston, TX)
Miss Gay America 2018 Fourth Alternate Mary Nolan (Columbus, OH)

Now, meet your newly crowned Miss Gay America 2018 Deva Station, as she answer 7 quick questions:
Miss Gay America 2018 Deva Station. Photo by BjKj Illusions

1 How did you get started, when did you first do in female impersonation?  

I actually started female impersonation much later in life than most. I had always enjoyed watching, and had danced in pageants for many queens, but my work schedule was evenings and weekends with a lot of travel, so I didn’t have the proper time to commit to performing.
Miss Gay America 2018 Deva Station "Talent" category competition performance. 
Photo by Deejers Designs

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

MISS GAY AMERICA Photographer Scotty Kirby Picks His Top 10 Drag Photos, Chats with MGAZINE

Scotty Kirby & The Kirbygirls

In anticipation of Miss Gay America 2018, we wanted to feature two of the Miss Gay America pageant's favorite photographers. Here you'll meet Scotty Kirby. Click here to meet equally beloved, Kristofer Reynolds.

Miss Gay America 2018 happens this week (!) and with comes the return of a new Miss Gay America tradition, the Miss Photogenic competition. For it, contestants who wish to participate submit their best publicity photo to be judged by a panel of former Miss Gay America titleholders on beauty, creativity and expression. The winner will be announced during the pageant.

One man working overtime to make the deadline, is Phoenix based drag photographer, Scotty Kirby. Though he's tried the rest--weddings, men, women, editorial--for Kirby, drag's the best, and it shows in his superglam gagalicious drag queen photography.

Scotty Kirby

For MGAZINE, Scotty Kirby plucked 10 of his favorite drag queen photos and answered 5 quick questions. Herewith, the photos, in no particularly order (who can pick favorite?!), and a chat with Scotty.

Lady Gaga Crowned Honorary MISS GAY AMERICA


Photo credit: Courtesy of the Miss Gay America pageant.

Backstage before her recent September 10 concert in Philadelphia, married Miss Gay America pageant owners Michael Dutzer and Rob Mansman presented Lady Gaga with a Miss Gay America crown, making her the first ever honorary Miss Gay America in the pageant’s 45 year history.

“We love Gaga for all she’s done for the LGBTQ community,” they said, “Especially our youth, so we thought this would be a great way to honor her for championing self-acceptance, diversity and the beauty in everyone’s mirror."

When told that she was not only the first honorary Miss Gay America, but also the first without a penis, Gaga saucily quipped, “How do you know I don’t have a penis?”

Along with the crown, the Miss Gay America owners also presented Gaga with a $5000.00 donation to her Born This Way Foundation.

Established in Nashville in 1972–37 years before “RuPaul’s Drag Race”–The Miss Gay America Pageant is the world’s first, longest running and most prestigious female impersonator competition.

Miss Gay America 2018 happens this week, October 4 – 7, 2017 at the New Orleans Hyatt, where forty contestants from across the U.S. will compete for the Miss Gay America crown. www.missgayamerica.com •

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Thursday, September 28, 2017

MISS GAY AMERICA Photographer Kristofer Reynolds Picks His Top 10 Drag Photos, Chats with MGAZINE

Kristofer Reynolds with Miss Gay America 2016 Asia T. O'Hara

In anticipation of Miss Gay America 2018, we wanted to feature two of the Miss Gay America pageant's favorite photographers. First up is Kristofer Reynolds followed by equally beloved, Scotty Kirby.

With Miss Gay America 2018 kicking off a week from today, girls are checking off their prep lists with a vengeance. And what's at the top of that list? Photos, honey. You can have the best look in town, but if your photos are crap, you might as well leave the gown in the closet and the jewels in the box. One man who's been making Miss Gay America titleholders and contestants shine like the stars they are is San Diego based photographer, trainer, hunk and sweetie, Kristofer Reynolds.
Kristofer Reynolds
Kristofer took time out from his busy schedule to answer 5 quick questions and share his 10 favorite photos (in no particular order) with MGAZINE.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

SHE WORKS HARD FOR THE MONEY: The Cost of Drag – From Wig to Face to Heels, MISS GAY TEXAS AMERICA 2017 Violet S'Arbleu Breaks it Down


We originally put this post together pre-Hurricane Harvey, which as we all know, devastated Houston, home to our newly crowned Miss Gay Texas America 2017 Violet S'Arbleu. 

Though spared any personal or property damage due to Hurricane Harvey, in the immediate aftermath, she was deeply shaken, and said at the time, "I'm OK. My spot is blissfully dry for some unknown heavenly reason, but I've been so distraught trapped in my house watching the news. So many people and such suffering. It's put my life on hold too, but I'm dry and safe (knock wood) so that's all I can hope for right now."  

Holed up at home, Violet stayed in touch with friends and her MGA family via social media and posted videos of herself running up a cute new gown on Facebook.  

Violet recently donated $15 from the profits of each "Hearts With Houston" T-shirt sold to Hurricane Harvey relief efforts. She says, "I dedicated my first-ever merchandise item to raise funds for my struggling neighbors and friends. Thank you to everyone who bought a T-shirt!" 

Voilet is featured in this month's issue of Houston's OutSmart magazine, just did a hilarious interview about the cost drag on the drag-loving "Feast of Fun" podcast, and this very post was reposted on the World of Wonder (producers of RuPaul's Drag Race) blog, The WOW Report.

Now, from the Tumblr page of the recently crowned Miss Gay Texas America 2017 Violet S'Arbleu, this fascinating post on the costs of drag--financial, physical, temporal and a 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.

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

LIFE AFTER THE REIGN: A Chat with the Dazzling Miss Gay America 2016 ASIA O'HARA


As we approach Miss Gay America 2018 and we wanted to take a look back and check in with Miss Gay America 2016 Asia O'Hara to ask what life's been like, post reign. Herewith, a quick five questions with the inimitable Miss Asia O'Hara.

Photos of Miss Gay America 2016 Asia O'Hara by Kristofer Reynolds

1 It’s been nearly a year since your step-down from being Miss Gay America. Emotional night, tears, what was going through your mind that night, during your last performance as Miss Gay America?

You spend the entire year trying to sell preliminaries, inspire contestants, impress the audiences, and gain the respect of everyone you encounter.  But, in those final moments, you realize what truly matters.  You look out over the crowd at all the people whom you have met and grown to love, and you realize that is what really matters. The friendships you make and the relationships you build during your reign are second to none.



2 What was the first thing you did after you got home and unpacked?

I slept for about a week! After that, I went hiking with my dog (Chloe), caught up with friends that I had not had the chance to spend time with, and started planning the next chapter of my career.

Friday, August 4, 2017

5 Questions with MISS GAY ARKANSAS AMERICA Charmay M. Cassidine in Anticipation of the Annual Miss Gay Arkansas America Pageant August 11-12, 2017 at Triniti and Discovery Nightclubs in Little Rock


From August 11-12, 2017, Triniti and Discovery nightclubs in Little Rock will be the setting for Miss Gay Arkansas America, a state preliminary competition for the 45th annual Miss Gay America Pageant.

Miss Gay America was founded in 1972 in Nashville, 37 years before "RuPaul's Drag Race." Miss Gay Arkansas America was also established in 1972 and is in its 45th year of competition, making it the oldest and the most prestigious preliminary in the Miss Gay America pageant system.

The evening's theme will be "Dynasty: The Legacy Lives". For the Presentation category, contestants will be asked to interpret the theme, in their gown, costume and look.

Six contestants from regional preliminaries around the state will compete in five categories: Male Interview (in suit and tie), Presentation (theme based costume), Evening Gown, On Stage Interview and Talent (big production number with costumes, sets and dancers).

The pageant will honor the current Miss Gay Arkansas America 2016 Charnay M. Cassadine, of Little Rock, and feature Miss Gay America 2017 Suzy Wong, of Nashville and Palm Springs.

Meet your reigning Miss Gay Arkansas America 2016, Charnay M. Cassadine, as she answers five questions in anticipation of her step-down and the passing on of the crown to Miss Gay Arkansas 2017 on August 12:

1 How did you get started, when did you first do in female impersonation?  

My first venture into the art of female impersonation was in the summer of 1997 in a Turn About Show. It was at a club named City Lights in Jackson, Mississippi. I performed NOW THAT YOU'RE GONE by Martha Wash. 

Thursday, July 27, 2017

A Great Slideshow from the Miss Gay New York America Pageant, July 24 in New York City


Check out this great slideshow from Monday night's Miss Gay New York America pageant on the Edge Media Network by Gustavo Monroy. Above, Kelly Ray during her Talent number. Later that evening she was crowned Miss Gay New York America 2017. First Alternate is the fab Champagne Bubbles of New York City. We'll see you both at Miss Gay America in New Orleans! Check out the photo here.

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20 Years Later, Former MISS AMERICA Elizabeth Gracen Talks About “THE DAMN DEAL” Her Captivating Documentary on Drag and the MISS GAY AMERICA Pageant

Elizabeth Gracen. Photo: Emma Bogren

"My brother was a huge football star and now with me in competition in pageants, that’s my football –that’s me being a football star. I’m just a beautiful football star.”  –  Spencer May/Kelly Cruise, Miss Gay Arkansas America 1993, from “The Damn Deal” (1997) 

In 1997, filmmaker, writer and former Miss Arkansas and Miss America, Elizabeth Gracen, interviewed three young female impersonators who competed in the Miss Gay America Pageant system for her captivating, beautifully filmed black-and-white documentary “The Damn Deal” (Flapper Films). The recovered, original footage, now restored, explores gender, identity and what it was like to grow up gay in the South at the end of the 20th century.  

Crowned Miss Arkansas 1981 and Miss America 1982, Gracen (Elizabeth Ward at the time) went on to study acting, pose on the cover of Playboy, star (as Amanda) in the Nineties TV series “Highlander,” and established her own film production company (Flapper Films) and boutique publishing company (Flapper Press). She recently filmed actress Lee Meriweather for a documentary short and in March released her first Young Adult fantasy novel, “Shallily.” Below, Gracen talks about the making of “The Damn Deal.”

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

DALLAS MORNING NEWS feature on MISS GAY TEXAS AMERICA: "Inside the Miss Gay Texas America pageant in Dallas, land of sisterhood and sparkles"


Once again Guide Live, the entertainment website from The Dallas Morning News–the biggest newspaper in Texas–has done a great feature on the Miss Gay Texas America pageant. See the July 25th feature here and see last year's story here. Please enjoy, share and blab about it to your friends!

It’s an hour to showtime, and wigs, sequins and high heels are scattered around the dressing room. Men find their sparkling evening gowns and gather around mirrors propped against walls. "I need help getting a sister into a corset over here!" calls one assistant, while Gizelle, the backstage coordinator, reminds: "20 minutes til top 12!"...continue reading here.

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Tuesday, July 18, 2017

5 Questions with MISS GAY TEXAS AMERICA Sofia Anderson In Anticipation of the Annual Miss Gay Texas America Pageant July 18-21 at The Rose Room, Dallas

Miss Gay Texas America 2016 Sofia Anderson. Photo: Juan Salazar for Timeless Studios.

From July 18-21, 2017, The Rose Room in Dallas will be the setting for Miss Gay Texas America, a state preliminary competition for the 45th annual Miss Gay America Pageant.

Established in Nashville in 1972–37 years before "RuPaul's Drag Race"–The Miss Gay America Pageant is the world’s first, longest running and most prestigious female impersonator competition.

Miss Gay Texas America was established in 1974 and is in its 44th year of competition, making it one of the oldest and largest preliminary pageants in the country.

The pageant will honor the current Miss Gay Texas America 2016 Sofia Anderson, of Brownsville, and feature Miss Gay America 2017 Suzy Wong, of Nashville and Palm Springs.

The evening's theme will be "Queens on Fire". For the Presentation category, contestants will be asked to interpret the theme, in their gown, costume and look.

Nearly 40 contestants from 22 regional preliminaries around the state will compete in five categories: Male Interview (in suit and tie), Presentation (theme based costume), Evening Gown, On Stage Interview and Talent (big production number with costumes, sets and dancers).

Miss Gay Texas America is Sofia Anderson, aka Alfonso "Poncho" Medina, is originally from Monterrey Mexico, now a citizen of the US, still learning English, owns his own salon in the Valley (southern tip of Texas), and supports his mother in Mexico. His drag esthetic evolved out of Mexican circuit party style and favors drama and wild, over-the-top illusions.

Meet your reigning Miss Gay Texas America 2016, Sofia Anderson, as she answers five questions in anticipation of her step-down and the passing on of the crown to Miss Gay Texas 2017 on July 21:  



1 How did you get started, when did you first do in female impersonation?

I have always had a passion for the stage, as a child I always wanted to be a star—a celebrity. And Sofia has that passion running in her veins. 17 years later, I still get goosebumps when I take the stage. It's a feeling that I can't put into words.

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

The New Miss Gay Arizona America OLIVIA GARDENS featured on Filipino-American News Website



Check out this great story about our new Miss Gay Arizona America Olivia Gardens as featured on the Filipino-American news website, Balitang America.

About winning, Olivia told ABS-CBN News reporter Gerald Bohulano, “It’s been a dream of mine since I’ve started seven years ago, and so to have been selected this year, having put in the work and the effort to prepare my competition package… it was really quite overwhelming.”

Read the full story here and see some great photos of Olivia on the night of her win here.

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Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Miss Gay America 2017 Suzy Wong and the Mr. Gay America Contestants


Miss Gay America 2017 Suzy Wong with the Mr. Gay America 2017 contestants. Read this great Dallas Voice interview with Miss Gay America owners Rob Mansman and Michael Dutzer on the return of Mr. Gay America.

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Monday, July 3, 2017

Your Mr. Gay America 2017 Kyle Ean!



More photos via the Mr. Gay America website here.

5 Questions with MISS GAY OHIO AMERICA Mary Nolan In Anticipation of the Annual Miss Gay Ohio America Pageant July 8-9, 2017 at Axis Nightclub in Columbus


From July 8-9, 2017, Axis Nightclub in Columbus will be the setting for Miss Gay Ohio America, a state preliminary competition for the 45th annual Miss Gay America Pageant.

Established in Nashville in 1972–37 years before "RuPaul's Drag Race"–The Miss Gay America Pageant is the world’s first, longest running and most prestigious female impersonator competition. The Miss Gay Ohio America pageant began in 1973 and is now in its 45th year.

The evening's theme will be "Ohio is Burning". For the Presentation category, contestants will be asked interpret the theme, in their gown, costume and look.

Nearly a dozen contestants from preliminaries in Akron, Canton, Cleveland, Cincinnati, Columbus, Dayton will compete in five categories: Male Interview (in suit and tie), Presentation (theme based costume), Evening Gown, On Stage Interview and Talent (big production number with costumes, sets and dancers).

The pageant will honor the current Miss Gay Ohio America 2016 Mary Nolan, of Columbus, and feature Miss Gay America 2017 Suzy Wong, of Nashville and Palm Springs.

If you live in the Columbus area, you can catch Mary Nolan every every Friday night at AWOL in "Mary Nolan's Commissary" and every Saturday and Sunday at Boscoe's.   Meet your reigning Miss Gay Ohio America 2016, Mary Nolan, as she answers five questions in anticipation of her step-down and the passing on of the crown to Miss Gay Ohio America 2017 on June 25:

1 How did you get started, when did you first do in female impersonation?  

I got started doing female impersonation in 2008. It wasn't pretty and it was rough! I had been around several extremely talented entertainers for some time and even danced at national pageants and large-scale production shows, but never taken the leap to be my own “brand.”

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Presenting the Miss Gay America 2017 Royal Court


Photo details after the jump.

As you can imagine, our Miss Gay America 2017 Suzy Wong is a very busy girl, but she took time out last weekend to hang with the Top 5 winners from Miss Gay America 2017, anticipate this year's Miss Gay America pageant in October, and put together an amazing photo shoot. From her pen...

"Last weekend we had an MGA 2017 Top Five retreat weekend. We rented a house, did shows, watched movies, cooked (well, I did), attended Miss Gay Arizona 2017 and squeezed in a little photo shoot. It was very special, definitely a highlight of my year. I'm glad we had this moment to celebrate each other. The theme for AZ was "Bond" in different context, we did just that. 

Monday, June 26, 2017

Take a Peek Inside the Gorgeous Mr. Gay America (July 2) Program

Click here to view the program.

Meet the Mr. Gay America 2017 Contestants


The evolution of a new era continues in 2017 as the men from Mr. Gay All-American join the Miss Gay America family–as Mr Gay America–on July 2nd at The Rose Room in Dallas, TX.

Ten contestants from across the country will compete for the title of Mr Gay America 2017. (The Rose Room is home to Miss Gay America 2016 Asia O'Hara.) For more ticket information, please visit MGATickets.com

July 2, 2017
10 PM
The Rose Room at S4
3911 Cedar Springs Road, Dallas, TX 75219
Tickets at MGATickets.com

A Little Mr. Gay All-American History 
Mr. Gay America is the welcome reincarnation of the Mr. Gay All-American pageant, which originally ran from 1983 - 2009 and was created in 1983 by Norman Jones aka (the first) Miss Gay America 1973 Norma Kristie, who owned the Miss Gay America pageant system from 1975 - 2005. See the Mr. Gay America poster and photo of Mr. Gay All-American 1985 Keith Mitchell, after the jump.

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Miss Gay Arizona 2017 Pageant Slideshow featured on Arizona Republic Newspaper Website


Once again Phoenix's newspaper of record The Arizona Republic featured a great slideshow of on-stage and behind-the-scenes images from the June 25 Miss Gay Arizona America pageant. See the full slideshow of photos by Lauren Townsley here. And see last year's slideshow here.

Above, that's Savannah Stevens as she cries during her last performance as Miss Gay Arizona America.

Saturday, May 20, 2017

5 Questions with MISS GAY ARIZONA AMERICA 2016 SAVANNAH STEVENS in Anticipation of the Annual Miss Gay Arizona America 2017 Pageant June 25 in Phoenix

Miss Gay Arizona America 2015 Nevaeh McKenzie with the freshly crowned Miss Gay Arizona America 2016 Savannah Stevens at last year's Miss Gay Arizona America pageant. Photo by Alexandra Gaspar. From the Phoenix New Times slideshow, "Inside the 2016 Miss Gay Arizona America Pageant".

On Sunday, June 25, 2017, the Tempe Center for the Arts will be the setting for Miss Gay Arizona America, a state preliminary competition for the 45th annual Miss Gay America Pageant.  

Established in Nashville in 1972–37 years before "RuPaul's Drag Race"–The Miss Gay America Pageant is the world’s first, longest running and most prestigious female impersonator competition. 

The Miss Gay Arizona America pageant began in 1986, is now in its 31st year, and last year claimed its third Miss Gay America “Best Overall Preliminary” Award.  

The pageant will honor the current Miss Gay Arizona America 2016 Savannah Stevens, of Phoenix, and feature Miss Gay America 2017 Suzy Wong, of Nashville and Palm Springs.  

Ten contestants from cities across the state including Phoenix, Tucson, Casa Grande and Flagstaff will compete in five categories: Male Interview (in suit and tie), Presentation (theme based costume), Evening Gown, On Stage Interview and Talent (big production number with costumes, sets and dancers).  

The evening's theme will be "Bond: Excellence is Forever". For the Presentation category, contestants will be asked to impersonate their favorite Bond spy/villan. The Forever Miss Gay Americas (former national title holders) are encouraged to dress as "Bond Girls".  

The Miss Gay Arizona America pageant will set the 2017 state winner and alternate on a path to compete for the title of Miss Gay America 2018 in New Orleans this October.   

If you live in the Phoenix/Scottsdale area, you can catch Savannah Stevens every Friday at BS West performing in the “Elements” drag show, hosting Drag Bingo night at Desoto Central Market, and performing throughout the valley in both Phoenix and Tucson.  

Meet your reigning Miss Gay Arizona America 2016, Savannah Stevens, as she answers five questions in anticipation of her step-down and the passing on of the crown to Miss Gay Arizona America 2017 on June 25:  

 All photos of  Miss Gay Arizona America 2016 Savannah Stevens by Scotty Kirby Photography

1 How did you get started, when did you first do in female impersonation?  

Having been involved in theater in high school and being cast in three separate roles in one musical, my passion for the performing arts was ignited. At 20 I went to my first drag show at Pookie’s in Phoenix (one of the best show places here in Phoenix, It wasn’t just a bar, but a dinner theater). The very first drag queens I ever saw were Barbra Seville, who was a former Miss Gay Arizona and Phaedra, who was the reigning Miss Gay Arizona at the time. You get to put on some makeup, a wig, a dress and heels and parade around acting out the words to other people’s music? Absolutely! Oh my goodness! I need to do this!

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

5 Questions with MISS GAY MARYLAND AMERICA 2016 REBECCA BLAQUEOUT in Anticipation of the Annual Miss Gay Maryland America 2017 Pageant April 22 in Baltimore





On April 22, 2017, the Horseshoe Casino Baltimore will be the setting for Miss Gay Maryland America, a state preliminary competition for the 45th Miss Gay America Pageant.  

Established in Nashville in 1972–37 years before "RuPaul's Drag Race"–The Miss Gay America Pageant is the world’s first, longest running and most prestigious female impersonator competition. The Miss Gay Maryland America began in 1985 and is now in its 32nd year. (See the Baltimore Sun slideshow from Miss Gay Baltimore 2016 here.)

The pageant will honor the current Miss Gay Maryland America 2016 Rebecca Blaqueout, from Baltimore, and feature Miss Gay America 2017 Suzy Wong, of Nashville. 

The evening's theme will be the "Alice in Wonderland" Tea Party scene, as seen in the 1951 “Alice in Wonderland” movie by Walt Disney. The catch: costumes are not to be a main character from the movie or story, but a Tea Party guest! See the rules at www.missgaymarylandamerica.com. 

Nearly a dozen contestants from across the state will compete in five categories: Male Interview, Presentation (theme based costume), Evening Gown, Talent (fully produced stage production; sets, dancers, permitted), On Stage Interview. 

The Miss Maryland America pageant will set the 2017 state winner and alternate on a path to compete for the title of Miss Gay America 2018 in New Orleans this October. 



Meet your reigning Miss Gay Maryland America 2016, Rebecca Blaqeout, as she answers five questions in anticipation of her step-down and the passing on of the crown to Miss Gay Maryland 2017 on April 22: 

1 How did you get started, when did you first do in female impersonation?

I got started as a backup dancer for a contestant for Miss Gay Maryland, who then went on to Miss Gay America. I loved backup dancing, but I had an inkling that I wanted to be in the spotlight, and not in the chorus line. Well, one night (actually, it was the Black Party on Black Friday in November of 2013) I had two friends, Lola Mein and Kelly Kox, who were getting ready to go out in drag. I had always wanted to see what it was like to be in drag (and wondered if I was even pretty), so my friends did my hair, makeup, and borrowed some outfits. 

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

5 Questions with MISS GAY MISSOURI AMERICA 2016 REGINA LA-RAE in Anticipation of the Annual Miss Gay Missouri America 2017 Pageant April 6-8 in St. Louis


From April 6-8, 2017, the Metropolitan Community Church of Greater St. Louis will be the setting for Miss Gay Missouri America, a state preliminary competition for the 45th Miss Gay America Pageant.

Established in Nashville in 1972–37 years before "RuPaul's Drag Race"–The Miss Gay America Pageant is the world’s first, longest running and most prestigious female impersonator competition. The Miss Gay Missouri America began in 1974 and now in its 43rd year, remains one of the oldest preliminaries in the Miss Gay America pageant system. 

The pageant will honor the current Miss Gay Missouri America 2016 Regina La-Rae, from Kansas City, and feature Miss Gay America 2017 Suzy Wong, of Nashville.

The evening's theme will be "Comic-Con", a reflection of Regina La-Rae (Kory Burch) and her partner's passion and business (Saint's Customs) creating high quality costumes for fans participating in Comic Con events across the country.

Twenty-two contestants from across the state will compete in four rigorously judged categories for the Miss Gay Heart of America crown: Male Interview, Evening Gown, On-Stage Interview, and Talent (big production number).

The Miss Missouri America pageant will set the 2017 state winner and alternate on a path to compete for the title of Miss Gay America 2018 in New Orleans this October.

Meet your reigning Miss Gay Missouri America 2016, Regina La-Rae, as she answers five questions in anticipation of her step-down and the passing on of the crown to Miss Gay Missouri 2017 on April 8:

1 When and why did you start competing in Miss Gay America? 
I was a regular at Missie B's here in Kansas City and would make it to every Monday show. The glamour drew me in. When I met Tajma Stetson, I told her I had an interest in getting started. She helped me by making my first set of hip-pads and spending days at my house watching make-up tutorials on YouTube. The host at the time saw me and would not put me on stage until I had a name, and that was when Regina La-Rae was born.

Monday, March 13, 2017

The Miss Gay America Pageant presents The 5 Best Documentaries About The Art of Female Impersonation

Above: Still of former Miss Gay Arkansas 1993 Kelly Cruise (Spencer May) as he appears in  "The Damn Deal," the documentary by former Miss America, Elizabeth Gracen.

Established in Nashville in 1972–37 years before "RuPaul's Drag Race"–The Miss Gay America Pageant is the world’s first, longest running and most prestigious female impersonator competition. The 45th Miss Gay America Pageant season kicked off in March with the Miss Gay Heart of America pageant in Columbus, OH. It was the first of nearly two-dozen preliminaries happening across the country, each of which will send a winner and alternate to the Miss Gay America nationals in New Orleans this October.  (Click here to find a Miss Gay America preliminary near you.)

In celebration of its 45th year, the Miss Gay America Pageant invites you to get your Drag History 101 on with 5 of the best documentary films ever made on female impersonation pageants.Many of the films are now available on gay-centric streaming service Dekkoo.com.
"The Queen," featuring the legendary Flawless Sabrina, is about a New York City pageant in 1968 and is beloved by fans for its fiercely quotable moments. "Paris Is Burning" should need no introduction. "The Damn Deal" and "Pageant" are about the Miss Gay America competition (the first of which, interestingly, was made by a former Miss America). The forthcoming "The Queens," not only goes inside the Miss Continental pageant–the other major drag pageant–but also delves into the history one of the worlds' most famous female impersonation nightclubs, Chicago's Baton.

The bonus, sixth film, "The Unforgettable Danny La Rue," is not about drag pageantry per se, but about what these pageants celebrate–and reward: the ability to get up on a stage, reliably entertain a live audience, and build a successful, sustainable career as a star entertainer. La Rue, arguably the most successful female impersonator of the mid-20th century, did this in spectacular fashion.


In order of the date release. Scroll, watch, and learn:

Friday, February 24, 2017

5 Questions with MISS GAY HEART OF AMERICA 2016 KELLY RAY SHELTON in Anticipation of the Annual Miss Gay Heart of America Pageant March 5, 2017 at Axis Nightclub in Columbus, OH

On March 5, 2017, Axis nightclub in Columbus will be the setting for Miss Gay Heart of America "A Night in Oz".

Established in Nashville in 1972–37 years before "RuPaul's Drag Race"–The Miss Gay America Pageant is the world’s first, longest running and most prestigious female impersonator competition.

The pageant will honor the current Miss Gay Heart of America 2016 Kelly Ray Shelton, from Durham, NC, and feature Miss Gay America 2017 Suzy Wong of Nashville. The evening's theme will be "A Night in Oz."
The night will feature the talents of (above, top row, L-R) Miss Gay America 2017 Suzy Wong, Miss Gay America 2016 Asia T Ohara, Miss Gay America 2011 Coti Collins, Miss Gay America 2000 Catia Lee Love and (botton row, L-R) former Miss Gay Heart of America 2008 Jade Sinclair, Columbus’s own Nina West and Virginia West and Miss Heart of America 2016 Kelly Ray Shelton.

Meet your reigning Miss Gay Heart of America 2016, Kelly Ray Shelton (or Kelly Ray as she is known), as she answers five questions in anticipation of her step-down and the passing on of the crown to the new Miss Gay Heart of America on March 5:

Friday, February 3, 2017

THE MGAZINE INTERVIEW: Miss Gay America 2017 Suzy Wong on Reigning and Loving It!

Photo: Scotty Kirby

Though the Miss Gay America blog, MGAZINE, made its debut about a month ago, we’d like to make it official with our first interview–appropriately–with the reigning Miss Gay America 2017 Suzy Wong. Look for forthcoming interviews with Miss Gay America 2016–now a Forever Miss Gay America–Asia O’Hara, a selection of this year’s regional and state title holders, our official MGA photographer Kristofer Reynolds and even a former Miss America. Yes, girls, we are serving! Here now, Miss Gay America 2017, Suzy Wong. 

For many, participating in the MGA system is a life changing event, a welcome source of confidence, structure and family. Several queens have even claimed they were “raised” by the MGA and that the MGA saved their lives by giving them the support they needed to get off alcohol or drugs. For you, has the MGA been more of a goal, a challenge vs. a life-altering or life-saving experience? What does being in the Miss Gay America system mean to you personally? What impact has participating in the MGA had on your life? 

Regardless of personal background, to me, the MGA system is just as much life changing, a source of confidence, structure and family.  I am a work-horse and have been supported to seek success in all that I do.  Through my experiences and opportunities, I have been challenged to push hard in my daily life and have an opportunity to share and celebrate my successes.  MGA has provided an emotional growth for me.  I am in wonder of the dedication and love that is rooted with in the system.  Participation in the MGA  system is a choice I made based on nothing but passion. As far as MGA being a goal, honestly, MGA has to be a goal in order to win. But the goal of the physical crown isn’t the reason why I competed.  I found something that I believe in, that resonates within me, and I feel that I can share my gifts to elevate it. 

Friday, January 20, 2017

Our MGA2017 Suzy Wong Last Night on "Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen"

Our Miss Gay America 2017 Suzy Wong made a dazzling appearance on the January 19 broadcast of "Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen." She was guest bartender in Andy's Clubhouse and wore a gorgeous emerald greed gown (complimented by her MGA crown and scepter, natch) a nod to guest Idina Menzel role as Elphaba in the smash Broadway show, "Wicked."

Suzy Wong, as many of you know is the alter ego of Nashville restauranteur Arnold Myint, and as such he has competed on "Top Chef" as well as "Food Network Star Season 11." Here, Suzy tells how the guest appearance came about:

"In my last phase of auditions for my third attempt at being on 'Top Chef,' I remember being interviewed in a room full of notables. As I walked in, Andy Cohen was grabbing a coffee, and I bumped into him and immediately gave him a hug.  At the season's finale, he casually asked me, 'So, what's next?'  I told him I would be competing for Miss Gay Tennessee America.'If I go to MGA and win, can I be on your show?' 

The following year as Miss Gay Mid America, I reached out again, and Andy responded wishing me luck.

Five years later, after winning the crown, we were back in contact.  Being on Top Chef was monumental for me professionally.  Being Miss Gay America is a milestone for me personally.  I'm beyond proud, honored, and grateful that my two worlds, in some weird way, have morphed into one amazing platform of opportunity." 

Video clip (Suzy's at the end) and more photos in the Life After Bravo blog post Life After Bravo post "You Won't Recognize Top Chef Alum Arnold Myint These Days" Photos with Andy Cohen, Rachel Bloom, Idina Menzel and Miss Gay Arizona America and Miss Gay Western States promoter, Daniel Eckstrom, after the jump. Watch the entire episode here.

Friday, January 13, 2017

Upcoming MGA2017 Suzy Wong Events include "Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen", More...

 
Jan 19: Tune January 19, 11PM EST in to see Miss Gay America 2017 Suzy Wong all up in Andy’s new clubhouse as she checks in with him on “Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen” (Bravo) for a little “where are they now” chat.  Suzy will be catching Andy up on what she’s been up to since her male persona, Arnold Myint, competed on Bravo’s “Top Chef DC”. You don’t wanna miss this!

Feb 12:  Suzy will be appearing at “Sin City All American Goddess" in Las Vegas, a preliminary to the sister National pageant All American Goddess. Coco Montrese (former Miss Gay America 2010 and of “Drag Race” fame) is the owner and promoter of this prelim. Alexis Mateo is the reigning All American Goddess. 

Feb 24 - 26:  “Royalty Stands United,” Jacksonville, FL, February 26th, Hamburger Mary’s, Daytona Beach. “Royalty Stands United” is a continuation of this generation’s national titleholder efforts to support unity with in our community. 

Brittney Moore, Miss Renaissance organized this weekend of fellowship which will include National EOY (Entertainer of the Year), Miss Continental, Miss Renaissance, Miss Black Universe, Miss Black America, Miss Florida, Miss 50 States, Miss US of A at Large, Universal Show Queen, Former Mr. Continental, Miss Universe Latina, Miss Heart of America. This three-day event will include performances in Jacksonville and a final evening in Daytona Beach (the 26th).