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.

3 You are now a Forever Miss Gay America. How have you remained involved as a Forever? Is this typical of all Forevers?

After relinquishing my title, Mad Angel entertainment appointed me the Titleholder Liaison.  So I have been very busy with all of our city, state, and regional titleholders guiding them through their individual reigns with a focus on matters that do not involve competing at the national level.  All the Forever's contribute in many different ways.  We emcee, judge, own preliminaries, direct pageants, and much more.  Each one of us end up in a very special spot based on our individual strengths.  If you are funny, you are on the microphone, if you are a math wiz, you are in the tabulation room, and so on.

4 Whats biggest take-away from your experience as Miss Gay America? Advice to others as they prepare to compete for a chance at the ultimate female impersonator entertainer crown?

When competing for Miss Gay America, you must focus on yourself.   Understand your strengths and your weaknesses and find out how to make them work in your favor.  It is so easy to get wrapped up in what everyone else is doing because you are competing against these people.  But, the more time and energy you focus on yourself, the more prepared you will be for both the win and the job of Miss Gay America.
5 In your Q&A as Miss Gay America, you’d mentioned you were a voracious reader. At the time you were reading “The Witches: Salem, 1692” by Stacy Schiff, “The Pillars of the Earth” by Ken Follett and “Hunger's Brides: A Novel of the Baroque” by Paul Anderson. What are you reading now?

Currently I am reading "You are a Badass" by Jen Sincero, a gift from my boyfriend.  I also am re-reading the ever-popular "Nineteen Eighty-Four" by George Orwell.  It came up in conversation a few weeks ago and my memory of it was fuzzy.  I don't  know what was going on the first time I read it but this definitely seems like reading it for the first time. •

Read the Q&A with your reigning Miss Gay America 2017 Suzy Wong, also on the MGAZINE blog here.