Get to know Miss Gay America pageant owner Michael Dutzer a bit better in this thoughtful article by Jéssica Alvarado Gámez for Cronkite News/PBS Arizona. A big thank you to Jéssica for the hard work!
In the article Michael talks about the first time he performed in drag:
One of his best friends encouraged him to try drag and showed him the ins and outs of painting his face and making costumes. As soon as Dutzer had his look together, he was asked to perform at a friend’s local shows in a bar in downtown Baltimore. “Everybody from work came to see me,” he said, “and it was kind of one of those nerve-wracking moments.” But the evening was empowering. “The first time you walk out and you’re like 7½ feet tall in a dress, all of a sudden you’re the big blond girl who’s bigger than life.” It was a surreal moment for Dutzer. He liked the idea that whether people were laughing at him or with him, he was able to take people away from their problems for a bit. As time went on, a friend asked Dutzer to sponsor them in Miss Gay America, which eventually led to Dutzer buying the whole pageant. Dutzer considers the pageant an opportunity to provide a sense of hope for people. It was never about gaining money for himself but to help people and become community driven.
And on giving back:
“I think it is important to have a network of people to support kids because it (coming out to their family) is a scary thing,” he said. “We are trying to make sure that people know that their lives are valuable, to make a difference in their eyes.”
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!