Friday, September 14, 2018

5 Questions with Your New MISS GAY FLORIDA AMERICA 2018 Alexis Mateo

Photo by Erika Wagner "The Drag Photographer"

Recently crowned Miss Gay Florida America 2018 Alexis Mateo is the first to take that title since 2013.  Many are already familiar with–and fierce fans of–Alexis, due to his appearance on "RuPaul's Drag Race (Season 3)," and his presence on the catwalks numerous pageants as well as Hamburger Mary's in Brandon, Florida (Tampa Bay area).

Get to know Alexis as he prepares to compete at Miss Gay America 2019 this October 3-6 in St Louis, but first. we wanted to ask, as we do of most of the queens we talk to here, how did he chose his drag name?

"Alexis Mateo is my real name," he says. "My mom named me Alexis because I was born the day that Puerto Rican Boxer Alexis Arguayo won the national championship in 1979, and Mateo is my Mom's last name. So is easy for me to respond by Alexis cause is my real name."

Below Alexis answers 5 quick questions, but for more, check out the recent feature in hip weekly paper, Creative Loafing Tampa and visit his YouTube channel for tutorials, behind the scenes, and this great little video (above), live from DragCon, encouraging everyone to get out and vote, "Don't let other bitches choose for you!"

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

I first did drag in 2001 at the Parliament House in Orlando, when I was a dancer at Disney World. I heard Darcel Stevens was having a talent search night search with a $100 cash prize. So, me and some friends decided that we were going to enter. To my surprise, I won, and that was the moment when I started to do drag.

Photo courtesy of Alexis Mateo

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

Miss Gay America was my school. I grow more each year with the MGA system. I can safely say that MGA is my family. It has always felt like home. Through all my years doing drag, the Miss Gay America family has been my biggest supporters and fans.

Photo by Erika Wagner "The Drag Photographer"
Photo by Erika Wagner "The Drag Photographer"

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

MGA has taught me how to be incredible administrator, a great entertainer, and has even taught me English–because my first language is Spanish! So many doors have been opened because of MGA. I would be thrilled to represent the system.

Photo courtesy of Alexis Mateo

4 Is your family supportive? 

My dad left us when I was six years old, but my mom and my sisters have been my best cheerleaders. My mom was very supportive with me being gay since I was a little boy, and I am very lucky to be part of a small family that embraces the great drag queen that I have become.

Photo by Erika Wagner "The Drag Photographer"

5 What is your life out of drag? Anything else you want to add or say?

In my life out of drag I love working with One Pulse foundation in Orlando to honor all 49 friends I lost two years ago. Also, working with helping Puerto Rico after the storm has been at the top of my list, organising fundraisers and events through Florida. And when I have time off,  I love visiting theme parks. I'm very lucky that I live in Florida because we got plenty of theme parks!

Photo courtesy of Alexis Mateo

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