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. 

2 What has being in the Miss Gay America system mean to you personally?  

 It has been a rewarding experience that I have learned and gained a lot of insight from more than any other pageant system I have competed and reigned in. I can say I truly learned the truth in many ways that I never realized before by being Miss Gay Arkansas America. 

3 How have you benefited from competing in the Miss Gay America system?  

I believe I completed something I began seven years prior. In between that time I had held both state and national titles in other pageant systems. However, I went from being Miss Gay Little Rock America on my first try to Miss Gay Central Arkansas America and then subsequently Miss Gay Arkansas America on my very second try.

4 Is your family supportive?  

Yes my family is very supportive. I draw inspiration and love daily from my parents.

5 What is your life out of drag? 

An everyday, hard working male, trying to make it from day to day. I guess you could say I look like the average male, but appearances can be deceiving. Throughout my reign, I have done charity events and the one that stands out is for Saint Jude Hospital. I was proud to represent at the Ft. Smith, Conway, and Little Rock PRIDE events as the reigning Miss Gay Arkansas America.

In addition, I have performed in-state shattering the proverbial glass ceilings in venues that do not usually have drag performances, or  what would be considered straight bars, as well as out of state. Where ever I travel, I try to shine like a diamond, to remind those that see me perform that I come from Arkansas, where we look beautiful, but are tough enough to cut glass.•

More about the Miss Gay Arkansas America 2017 pageant at: https://www.missgayarkansas.com

Photo of Charnay M. Cassidine by Carrie Strong.

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