From April 6-8, 2017, the Metropolitan Community Church of Greater St. Louis will be the setting for Miss Gay Missouri America, a regional 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 regional 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.