Tuesday, December 31, 2019

HAPPY NEW YEAR! From the Miss Gay America 2020 Royal Court & Owners

Above: The Miss Gay America Royal Court by Scotty Kirby.

All of us at the Miss Gay America Pageant wish our Miss Gay America family, friends and drag fans everywhere a Happy New Year.

We thank you for turning out in droves across the country for the 2020 preliminary pageants and packing the house for the Miss Gay America 2020 nationals in St. Louis last October.

Heading into our 49th year, we're full of gratitude and excited about the future of the pageant and the fabulous drag stars that continue to rocket to superstardom from our the Miss Gay America stages.

Thank you!

Above, the Miss Gay America Royal Court as photographed by Scotty Kirby in Nashville. Miss Gay America owners Michael Dutzer and Rob Mansman say, "We had a great time in Nashville with the Miss Gay America Royal court. Thank you Miss Gay America 2016 Suzy Wong for hosting the weekend. Thank you to the film crew and photographer Scotty Kirby for capturing everything."  

From left to right: The Miss Gay America 2020 court L-R:  Second Alternate Ivy Dripp (Miss Gay Louisiana America 2019), Miss Gay America owner Michael Dutzer, Fourth Alternate Fifi DuBois (Miss Gay Midwest America 2019), Miss Gay America 2020 Pattaya Hart, First Alternate Dextaci (Miss Gay Mid-Atlantic America 2019), Third Alternate Truly Fabu (Miss Gay New York America 2019), Miss Gay America owner Rob Mansman.

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Thursday, November 21, 2019

Who and What is Mr. Gay America? Meet Mr. Gay America 2019, Simba R. Hall

Above: Mr. Gay America 2019 Simbar R. Hall. Photo by Tios Photography.

While many are familiar with the Miss Gay America pageant as the world’s first, longest running (since 1972) and most prestigious national female impersonator competition, for some, its counterpart, the Mr. Gay America pageant–and the myriad variations of LGBTQ talent competitions in general–remain a bit of a mystery.

Last year our Mr. Gay America 2018 Judas Elliot gave us a little 101 on what the Mr. Gay America pageant is and what the title meant to him personally. Here, we're back to introduce you to Mr. Gay America 2019, Simba R. Hall and share his take on what it means to wear the Mr. Gay America medal and sash.

First, a little history. The Mr. Gay America pageant, originally Mr. Gay All-American, was founded by Norma Kristie, Inc. in 1983 by the operators of Miss Gay America, Norman Jones and Carmel Santiago (Lady Baronessa, Miss Gay America 1974).

Though the pageant has changed ownership several times, and ceased from 2009 – 2017, it was revived by Michael Dutzer and Rob Mansman (Mad Angel Entertainment) the current owners of the Miss Gay America pageant as the Mr. Gay America pageant.    

Mr. Gay All-American was the first contest of its kind, and the current winner is considered to be the co-titleholder to Miss Gay America. Today many LGBTQ pageants such as Miss Continental (Mr. Continental), Entertainer of the Year (Mr. Entertainer of the Year),  Miss USofA (Mr. USofA), now also have a male co-titleholder.

Mr. Gay America 2017 was Kyle Ean followed by Mr. Gay America 2018 was Judas Elliot (read his MGAZINE interview here). Now, meet your 2019 Mr. Gay America, Simba R. Hall.


Above: Mr. Gay America 2019 Simba R. Hall wins Mr. Gay America 2019.

1. How would you describe the Mr. Gay America pageant in a sentence?   

A pageant that represents the epitome of excellence and shares it talents throughout the communities across the world.

2. What’s your elevator pitch for Mr. Gay America and why it is important in the gay community?    

Mr. Gay America represents the best of gay and gay friendly male entertainment by giving back our talents to the community.   We are intelligent, talented, well-groomed individuals that respect ourselves and the community we represent.  This is important because it allows those not a part of our community see we deserve to have our talents appreciated across all humanitarian lines.

Above: Mr. Gay America 2019 Simba R. Hall. with Miss Gay America 2020 Andora Te'tee. Photo by Deejers Design.

3. Would you call what you do a form of male drag? Drag minus the female impersonation aspect?

Tuesday, October 22, 2019

New York City Entertainer Pattaya Hart Wins Nations Top Drag Queen Pageant


Miss Gay America 2020 Pattaya Hart by Tios Photography.

On the night of Saturday October 5 in St. Louis, New York City female impersonator entertainer Pattaya Hart was crowned Miss Gay America, considered the most coveted national title in drag pageantry.

Established in Nashville in 1972, The Miss Gay America Pageant is the world’s first, longest running and most prestigious nationwide female impersonator (aka drag) competition.

Known as the “Symbol of Excellence,” Miss Gay America winners represent the utmost in professionalism and entertainment in the art of female impersonation. Each October, dozens of contestants from over one hundred city, state and regional preliminaries across the country compete over four nights for the Miss Gay America crown.

Winning on her first attempt, Pattaya Hart is the second consecutive winner to be from New York City, following in the footsteps of Manhattan entertainer, Miss Gay America 2019, Andora Te’tee of Hell’s Kitchen. Also from New York City is the Miss Gay America 2020 Fourth Alternate, Fifi DuBois.

This is not Pattaya Hart’s first drag title. In 2017, she won Miss’D America, the campy but classy fundraising drag show that has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for LGBTQ causes. Fifi DuBois was Miss’D America 2015.


Above: Miss Gay America 2020 Pattaya Hart on Thailand TV!

Pattaya Hart is Methawee “Plu” Sayampol, a native of Thailand who moved from Bangkok to New York City in January 2009 to study dance at Steps on Broadway, where he is now a faculty member, teaching jazz dance classes. Plu lives in Washington Heights and can be seen performing as Pattaya Hart at Lucky Cheng’s at Stage 48, Voss Events Drag Brunch at The Iridium, QUEEN at Industry bar, BlackOut Friday’s at Suite bar, and various events around town.

Plu’s mother, sister and aunt flew all the way from Bangkok to St. Louis to cheer him on and watch him compete for the very first time. “Having family in the audience, supporting you, is such a wonderful feeling, he says. “I was so happy and grateful I got to share this incredible moment in my life with them and show them my hard work that I take so much pride in.”

Finally, when asked where she got her drag name, Pattaya says, “‘Pattaya’ came from a famous city in Thailand known as the land of the world’s most beautiful ladyboys.”

Below (7 photos): New Yorker Pattaya Hart wins Miss Gay America female impersonation pageant. Tap any image to view as a slideshow with captions, credits. Follow Pattaya Hart on Instagram.

At Miss Gay America 2020 moments before the winners were announced. Photo by BjKj Illusions.
The crowning of Miss Gay America 2020 Pattaya Hart. Photo by BjKj Illusions.
Miss Gay America 2020 Pattaya Hart. Photo by BjKj Illusions.

Miss Gay America 2020 Photos Featured on Advocate.com


The nation's top LGBT news magazine, The Advocate, recently posted 46 photos from Miss Gay America 2020, which happened between October 2 and 5 in St. Louis. Check them out in all their glory here.

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Wednesday, October 9, 2019

Miss Gay America 2020 Pattaya Hart on Thailand TV!


Above: Miss Gay America 2020 Pattaya Hart on Thailand TV!

When asked how this came about, she explained, "I have a bunch of fans and followers from Thailand, especially Drag Race Thailand fans. So they were all following the pageant through social media and went on and covered the whole story to the press themselves. The footage they used are probably from social media and some were from other events on my instagram.I believe it's from News18 (I don't live in Thailand anymore so i have no idea what channel that is lol). The information they were saying on the news aren't 100% accurate, especially on the awards that I won."

Drag fans do amazing things!

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Tuesday, October 8, 2019

Miss Gay America 2020 featured on the St. Louis Post-Dispatch Website


Great feature by Gabe Hartwig in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch on Miss Gay America 2020. Go to stltoday.com and tap on Entertainment, then Theater to see the story and slideshow. Thanks, Gabe! You did us proud for a second year in a row!!! 

Regarding the photo caption above, we're pretty sure Pattaya was gesturing to her mother, who flew all the way in from Bangkok (with her aunt and sister) to come on stage. 

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Here are the Miss Gay America 2020 Winners!


We present The Miss Gay America 2020 court! L-R: Fourth Alternate Fifi DuBois (Miss Gay Midwest America 2019), First Alternate Dextaci (Miss Gay Mid-Atlantic America 2019), Miss Gay America 2020 Pattaya Hart, Miss Gay America 2019 Andora Te'tee, Second Alternate Ivy Dripp (Miss Gay Louisiana America 2019), and Third Alternate Truly Fabu (Miss Gay New York America 2019).

For photos of Miss Gay America 2020, check the photo albums on the Facebook page for BjKj Illusions, who we previously featured in this blog, as well as those from Boom Magazine in St. Louis on their Facebook page.

We'll be posting a curated collection of MGA2020 photos soon.

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Tuesday, October 1, 2019

Meet Your New Miss Gay Oklahoma America 2019: Erikka Shaye

Just in the nick of time, a final interview for the 2019 Miss Gay America year. This time with Miss Gay Oklahoma America 2019, Erikka Shaye.

As always, before we start, we want to know how she chose her drag name. "I have always been a fan of Rachael Erikks (the first queen I saw). Then my drag mother (Amber Shaye) got a hold of me and she actually gave me the idea of pay homage to Rachael by taking her last name as my first, and I would take Ambers last name, hence Erikka Shaye. :) "

Miss Gay America 2020 begins tomorrow in St. Louis.  We wish Miss Erikka Shaye the best of luck!

Above: Miss Gay Oklahoma America 2019 Erikka Shaye with the famous Miss Gay Oklahoma scepter. Photo by Carrie Strong.

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

I was 17 the first time I "attempted" female impersonation.  My mother encouraged me to do it once she had been to a show at Angles in OKC.

Above: Miss Gay Oklahoma America 2019 Erikka Shaye. Photo by Carrie Strong.

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

Miss Gay America 2020 October 4 Revue Show Stars


Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Meet Miss Gay America Photographer Daniel Rinehart


For nearly six years, photographer Daniel Rinehart has been photographing Miss and Mr. Gay America preliminary and national pageants. We thought it was time to get to know the man, so herewith is an interview with Mr. Rinehart. Throughout the Q&A Daniel shares ten of his favorite photos in a countdown from 10 to 1, captioned by Daniel.

1. How long have you been photographing Miss Gay America pageants?

I began following MGA pageants in 2013 in northwest Missouri. I watched a friend get crowned and 4 years later found myself snapping images for Michael & Rob at Asia (O’Hara)’s step down in Memphis and then at the return of Mr. Gay America in Dallas, TX.

Above: 10.  Deva in Reflection - MGA 2018 is left alone for a moment backstage.  Her dresser, partner and backstage team have left.  She wasn't aware that this moment was captured at the time

 2. How many days out of the year are you traveling to or from drag pageants? And to which pageants?

I don’t really keep track, I support all the promoters as a visual designer behind the scenes and then contestants leading up to the national contest. I try to get to most of the local city contests and support local talent and also serve as a city promoter. I recently was offered an opportunity to judge in St Louis. I can always be found at Missouri, Show-Me State and I try to get to at least one more during the season.

Above: 9: It's Andora - Andora completes her quick change talent on final night of MGA 2019

3. How did you get started photographing pageants?

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Manhattan's Andora Te'tee Steps Down as Nations #1 Drag Pageant Queen


Above: Miss Gay America 2019 Andora Te'tee by Kiet Thai.

On the evening of October 5 at the forthcoming 48th annual Miss Gay America pageant in St. Louis, New York City drag queen Adora Te'tee will relinquish her crown as she steps down from her 2019 reign as Miss Gay America, considered the most coveted national title in drag pageantry.

Established in Nashville in 1972, The Miss Gay America Pageant is the world’s first, longest running and most prestigious nationwide female impersonator (aka drag) competition. From October 2-5, nearly 50 contestants from over one hundred city, state and regional preliminaries across the country will compete for the Miss Gay America 2020 crown.


Above: Miss Gay America 2019 Andora Te'tee by Kiet Thai.

Andora Te'tee is Michael Collins, an event designer and resident of Hell's Kitchen.  In March of 2018 he won the Miss Gay New York America preliminary, which took him to the nationals in St. Louis where he was crowned Miss Gay America in October.

Andora Te'tee is the first ever Miss Gay America from New York City and known for her glitzy, choreographed, cast-of-thousands, Broadway-style production numbers.



Though the Miss Gay America pageant dates back nearly 50 years, the state of New York has only been represented since 2017.  This year New York state is being represented at nationals by Miss Gay New York America 2019 Truly Fabu (below, left) currently of Baltimore (the state pageant is open to anyone in the U.S.) and First Alternate to Miss Gay New York America2019, fellow Manhattan entertainer Pattaya Hart currently of New York City (below, right).

Pattaya Hart is a Manhattan girl and can be seen teaching dance at "Steps on Broadway," and performing at Lucky Cheng's at Stage 48 and Voss Events Drag Brunch at The Iridium.

Truly Fabu can be seen performing at the Horseshow Casino in Baltimore, at Freedom Bar and Scarlet Green in London, Hamburger Mary's Las Vegas and various cities across the U.S. representing Miss Gay New York America. •

Monday, September 9, 2019

Meet Your New Miss Gay Mississippi America 2019: Brooklyn Alexander


June 22 marked the return of the Miss Gay Mississippi America pageant to Jackson, the first since 2014. The pageant’s theme, chosen by the Miss Gay Mississippi America 2014 Gia Giavanni, was, appropriately, “Return to Royalty.”

Brooklyn Alexander, of Sandersville, who brough the house down with her sassy mix of "Mississippi Girl" and "Redneck Woman," was crowned Miss Gay Mississippi America 2019, and Fancy Rae,of Biloxi, won Miss Gay Mississippi America 2019 First Alternate.

Before dipping into our interview with Miss Alexander, we asked her how she chose her drag name.

Brooklyn explains, "Well, being I am a bigger gal, I wanted a bigger name. LOL! I’ve always loved the name 'Brooklyn.' My mother said If I had been born a girl, that would have been it. 'Alexander' was chosen after a good close friend who supports me in everything I choose. Her last name is Alexander. We were brainstorming ideas for a last name and she jokingly said, 'Alexander.' I smiled, and the rest is history. My name was chosen and hasn’t changed. :)" 


Above: Miss Gay Mississippi America 2019 Brooklyn Alexander

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

It was a dare. My good friend wanted to do a show so bad and dared me to do it with them at an amateur show in Meridian Mississippi at a bar named Different Seasons. I was 18 when I started female impersonation. I did not know one simple dare would lead me to where I am at today.


Above: (L-R) Miss Gay Mississippi America 2014 Gia GiaVanni, Miss Gay Mississippi America 2019 Brooklyn Alexander and Miss Gay America 2019 Andora TeTee.

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

Thursday, September 5, 2019

Miss Gay North Carolina 2019 Shelita Bonet Hoyle featured in Charlotte's Creative Loafing

“Anyone can be crowned, but what you do as queen is what speaks,” states our Miss Gay North Carolina America 2019 Shelita Boney Hoyle in her interview with Charlotte, NC's Creative Loafing weekly city guide, Charlotte Five.

Read the the full story at "Meet Matt Ramsey, the reigning Miss Gay NC America"

Thank you to DeAnna Taylor, Esq. at Creative Loafing for talking to our girl! Good luck at MGA2020 Miss Shelita!


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Tuesday, August 27, 2019

Check out "Fifi's Playhouse," the new podcast by Miss Gay Mid-West America 2019 Fifi DuBois

Check out the latest edition of Fifi’s Funhouse podcast hosted by Miss Gay Mid-West America 2019 Fifi DuBois. On the latest, she interviews fellow New York City girl and the reigning Miss Gay America 2019, Andora Tetee.  

Fifi DuBois welcomes the current running Miss Gay America to her Funhouse. Andora TeTee is a character illusionist, costume designer, decorator, and event planner who FiFi sits down with and discusses all things pageants, costumes, and beyond.    

Tap this link to listen.  

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Tuesday, August 20, 2019

DRAG QUEENS IN SPACE! Nation's Ultimate Drag Competition Returns to St. Louis October 2-5 for Miss Gay America Pageant


Above: Miss Gay America 2019 Andora Te'tee by Kiet Thai

DRAG QUEENS IN SPACE! Nation's Ultimate Drag Competition Returns to St. Louis October 2-5 for Miss Gay America Pageant  

Nearly 50 contestants from across the country to compete in spectacular "Beyond the Stars" themed 48th annual Miss Gay America pageant.    




Above: Promo video for Miss Gay America 2020  

Thanks to "RuPaul’s Drag Race," drag, the art of female impersonation, is huge. Whether you are an entertainment reporter or drag fanatic, you won't want to miss the 48th annual Miss Gay America pageant taking place October 2-5 in St. Louis.  

Established in Nashville in 1972, The Miss Gay America Pageant is the world’s first, longest running and most prestigious nationwide female impersonator (aka drag) competition.  

Nearly 50 contestants from over one hundred city, state and regional preliminaries currently happening across the country will compete for the Miss Gay America 2020 crown.  

Contestants will compete in five judged categories: Presentation (themed costume), Male Interview (in suit and tie), Talent (big production number with costumes, sets and dancers), Evening Gown, and On Stage Interview.       


Above: The crowning of Miss Gay America 2019 Andora Te'tee of New York City.  

The pageant will honor the reigning Miss Gay America 2019, Andora Te'tee of New York City, and feature performances by a dozen former Miss Gay Americas, known as "Forevers."  

The pageant's theme, chosen by the Andora Te'tee, is “Beyond the Stars.” "We are taking Miss Gay America into the future," she says about the theme. "Miss Gay America 2020 contestants will dress in futuristic space couture, creative costumes for the Presentation category on the final night. Former MGAs will dress as space goddesses. I chose a space theme because the future is unknown, so the contestants can be extremely creative. I can’t wait to see the future of drag come to life right before our eyes!"  

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Meet Miss Gay America Photographer Duo BjKj Illusions, a.k.a. Barb & Kathy Wilt-McCrickerd


Above: Asia O' Hara MGA 2016 opening for 2017. "Asia was the first queen when Mike [Dutzer] And Rob [Mansman] became the new owners of MGA."

Anyone who's been to the Miss Gay America pageant has seen two of the system's most ardent fans busily photographing every second, sequin and sashay.

Shooting under the collective name of BjKj Illusions, Barb and Kathy Wilt-McCrickerd have been meticulously documenting the nation's longest running and most prestigious drag pageant for over ten years. We thought it was time to meet the this devoted couple, surely to be counted as two of the Miss Gay America's system's biggest cheerleaders.

So, herewith, the MGAZINE interview with BjKj Illusions along with ten of their favorite photos, which they've captioned.

1 How long have you been going to Miss Gay America pageants?    

Barb: Ten years. Our first year was 2009, when I sponsored my first queen, Elektra Fearce St. James, Miss Pennsylvania America 2009.

2 In addition to Miss Gay America, you also attend and photograph other pageants. Which ones and why?

Kathy: Miss Gay Mid-Atlantic America, Miss Gay Pennsylvania America, as well as Miss and Mr. Lehigh Valley Pride, just to list a few. There are way more. We go where are friends are performing. We like to capture their special moments on stage.

Barb: We have also been to Miss All American Goddess, Miss USofA and  Miss Wessland. I want to go to Miss Continental, but it is over Labor Day weekend, and with working in retail that is always hard to get off.


Above: Andora TeTee MGA 2019.  "When a contestant uses one of our pictures as their profile picture or cover picture, that lets us know they liked our picture, and we did a good job capturing their special moment."

3 How many days out of the year are you traveling to and from drag pageants?  

Kathy: Too many, lol, but if it was up to Barb, it would be every day out of the year.

Barb: This is funny you ask this. If I had it my way, it would be all the time!  Lol. Kathy always says that I plan our vacations around drag, and she might be right!

4 What’s behind your photographer credit name BjKj Illusions?  

Barb: BjKj stands for  Barbara Jean and Kathy Jean. The “Illusions” part comes from the art of female "illusion."


Above: Kathy (left) and Barb (right) Wilt-McCrickerd.

Monday, July 29, 2019

Meet Your New Miss Gay Mid-Atlantic America 2019: Dextaci


Miss Gay Mid-Atlantic America 2019 Dextaci is a familiar face to MGA fans who've been following the career of one of the system's most beloved queens. Who can forget her live, show-stopping performance of "This is the Moment" as 1st Alternate to Miss Gay Western States America 2018 at Miss Gay America 2019? (Can't wait to see what Dextaci wow's us with at MGA2020!)

MGAZINE caught up with the West Monroe, Louisiana entertainer for a quick 5 question Q&A, but first we asked...

How did you choose your drag name? 
I wanted to have some way to incorporate my big name Dex into my girl name. Nothing female had Dex in it so I had to creative. So Dextaci was born!
Above: The newly crowned Miss Gay Mid-Atlantic America 2019 Dextaci at Miss Gay Mid-Atlantic America. L-R: Promoter Heath Barnes, First Alternate to Miss Gay Mid-Atlantic America 2019 Patti Lovelace, Miss Gay America 2019 Andora Te'tee, Dextaci, Miss Gay Mid-Atlantic America 2015 Monica Moore, and Promoter J.R. Delauter. Photo by BjKj Illusions.

Now to the Q&A:

1 How did you get started, when did you first do in female impersonation?
The way I got started was very different. In 2007 when I was in high school I was dared to participate in a gag version of homecoming for our school. Dextaci was born when I was a senior in high school.

Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Dallas Morning News Photos: Miss Gay Texas America 2019 Top 10 contestants compete in the Talent portion of the pageant



Just in, The Dallas Morning News has posted a gallery of terrific photos from the Talent portion of the final night of Miss Gay Texas America 2019, which happened last Saturday, July 19 at the Rose Room in Dallas.

Above is just one of the great photos of the Top 10 contestants during Talent, by photographer Brian Elledge. That's Hu'Nee B of Houston. See the entire gallery on the Dallas Morning News Guid Live page.

Thanks to Brian Elledge and Shannon Sutlief for the coverage!

Congratulation to our new Miss Gay Texas America 2019 Edna Anderson of Brownsville and First Alternate Chloe Knox of Houston!

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Monday, July 8, 2019

Watch "Transformation" Documentary featuring MGA Stars



Now available to view online!

TRANSFORMATIONS Documentary (Fluid Film)

Every year in Lawrence, Kansas, Brandon Eisman, aka “Deja Brooks”, teams up with other area drag queens to turn local women into divas for a night as part of “Transformations”, a pageant-style charity gala.

But this year, Deja is only accepting local men who are not only “man enough” to go full drag for charity, but also learn a thing or two about their drag mentors.


The competition includes real pageant components such as evening gown, talent and on-stage question as well as performances by the "consultant" female impersonators.

The film was shown at five independent film festivals, debuting in Lawrence, KS at the Free State Festival, then off to New York City for DOC NYC, before traveling to California for the San Luis Obispo International Film Festival and the Irvine International Film Festival. Last stop was the Kansas City LGBT Film Festival, where "Transformations" won for Best Short Documentary.

Watch "Transformations" on Vimeo and YouTube.

From the filmmakers, "We are still trying to reach a greater on-line presence, so if you enjoy the short documentary, please consider sharing it with your family and friends. You just never know who might see it or share it (Ellen Degeneres)!"

Read: 386: Transformation – Building Acceptance One Community At A Time – Brandon Eismand


The next Transformations Charity Gala happens on January 25, 2020.
www.transformationslawrence.com

Follow Transformations on social media for the latest info.
Facebook @TransformationsCharityGala
Twitter @LawTrans
Instagram @transformationscharitygala 

Directed, Shot & Edited by Alonso Mayo of Fluid.tv
Produced by Nina Leidersdorff of Fluid.tv

Featuring:
Brandon Eisman aka "Deja Brooks"
Gabby Bucuti aka "Mulan"
John Koop aka "Flo"
Ryan Webster aka "Moltyn Decadence"
Corey Fugitt aka "Raven Waye"
Reid Bork
Tyson Combs
Bill Gollier
Matt Llewellyn

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Tuesday, July 2, 2019

Miss Gay Maryland America Throws First Pitch at Frederick Keys Game, June 2



Female impersonator/drag queen Miss Gay Maryland America 2019 Chasity Vain threw out the first pitch at the Frederick Keys vs Wilmington, DE game this past Thursday, June 27 at NYMEO Field At Harry Grove Stadium.

Chasity Vain was crowned Miss Gay Maryland America on April 13 at the Horseshoe Casino. She will go on to compete with nearly 50 contestants from across the country for the coveted Miss Gay America crown in St. Louis this October.

Established in Nashville in 1972, The Miss Gay America Pageant is the world’s first, longest running and most prestigious female impersonator (aka drag) competition.

Below are photos from the game. Pictured are Miss Gay Maryland America 2019 Chasity Vain, Miss Gay America pageant co-owner Michael Dutzer, Frederick Keys mascot Keyote, pitcher Matthias Dietz #31, Skye and Christopher Hashemzadeh representing GLSEN Maryland (Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network) and Jason.




Wednesday, June 5, 2019

Stunning photos from Miss Gay Arizona America 2019

From photographer McCloud Bastidas, a few more stunning photos from Miss Gay Arizona America 2019. How GORGEOUS are our girls? Click any image to view as a slideshow.
Miss Gay America 2019 Andora Tetee
Miss Gay Tucson America 2019 Venus Moon Starr
Miss Gay America 2017 Suzy Wong

Thursday, May 30, 2019

Meet Your New Miss Gay Arizona America 2019: Espressa Grande

MGAZINE cover photo by Scotty Kirby.

On May 11, Phoenix queen Espressa Grande was crowned Miss Gay Arizona America 2019 at one of the Miss Gay America system's most prestigious preliminary pageants.

A spirited gal with a love of drag, family and showing us all how to be an #ElevatedYou, Espressa took a minute to answer the five questions we like to ask newly crowned MGA title-holders.

But first, as sort of an upfront bonus question, we asked Espressa Grande how she came up with her fun drag name. "Working at Starbucks was a pivotal part of my life when i was 16," she says.  "I was just coming out as a gay man and navigating a life as an adult at such a young age. Grande, well, she’s definitely a large and in charge woman, henny!"

And now, a little sip and stir with Espressa Grande:

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

My heart forever belongs to the stage of theatre. Theatre inspired me to take the leap into female impersonation three years ago. Also our social climate. I want to inspire new generations because after we are gone, that is who takes the reins. My drag is full of comedy and camp, but at the core ALWAYS has a message to empower and inspire.

Photo by Patrick Breen from a feature by Garrett Mitchell for AZcentral.com. See more photos of MGAA 2019 here.

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

It means that what I am doing, being my own authentic self, is enough to show true power and excellence.

Royal Sisters: 4 Reigning Queens, One Fierce Photo


More gorgeousness for the MGAZINE blog.

Four royal sisters came together minutes before Miss Gay New York America 2019 began this past March for this fiece photo by New York City photographer Kiet Thai @studiokiet.

L-R: Miss USofA 2018 Janet-Fierce Andrews @janetfierceandrews of Texas, Entertainer of the Year 2018 Danielle Hunter @msdaniellehunter of St. Louis, Miss Gay America 2019 Andora Te’tee @andora_official of New York City, Miss Continental 2018 Stasha Sanchez @stashasanchez of Atlanta.

See more of each on their respective Instagram pages.

Thursday, May 16, 2019

Meet Your New Miss Gay Missouri America 2019: Vega Markstone Hunter

Photo by Andreu Wade Blackwell aka Gingersnap Photography

From March 28-30 at Hamburger Mary's St. Louis, eighteen contestants competed for the 46th annual Miss Gay Missouri America crown. After three days of love and cheers, St. Louis resident Vega Markstone Hunter was crowned Miss Gay Missouri America 2019, with Loreal of Kansas City being crowned First Alternate. Both will compete for the national title at Miss Gay America 2019, also in St. Louis, this October.



Below, your new Miss Gay Missouri America Vega Markstone Hunter answers the same five questions we like to ask all title-winners interviewed here, but first, by way of introduction, we like to ask...

How did you get your drag name?

This is one of my favorite stories to tell! My full drag name is Vega Markstone Hunter although I typically go by only Vega. When I started, I wanted to have a name that was powerful and celestial. I wanted to have a singular name like Madonna or Cher, something that carried power and said that I was the only one I needed. After some research and a lot of other names, I came up with Vega.

There is a star called Vega and it is the brightest star in the constellation Lyra. While it is the brightest star in Lyra it isn’t the brightest in the night sky, and that was important to me. I don’t want to be the brightest star in the sky because I always want there to be room to improve and grow. To me, I want to be that bright light in the dark that people can look up to and come to when they need but it is important for me to have that same light to turn to myself.

It wasn’t until I moved to Missouri that I added the Markstone Hunter. This pays homage to Alicia Markstone and Danielle Hunter. I never understood what drag families were as they weren’t common where I am from. What I found was this loving, supportive and creative group of individuals that combined to form this pack of unrelenting motivation. I know that I have grown more in the past year than I have in the previous nine. I am fortunate to come from a family that supports me unconditionally and I am equally as fortunate to have a found family that I can say the same of.

And now Vega's interview with MGAZINE:

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

Throughout my life up into my early twenties I danced professionally. I taught and performed all over and made my career as a ballroom dance instructor and competitor. Unfortunately, life had other plans and I was injured to the point where I could not dance for almost two years. During that time, I missed performing so my friends and I would host theme parties just about every month. It was at these parties that I began dressing up in drag. Then there was this one day in January, almost ten years ago, the 17th to be exact. A local bar was hosting a talent show and my friends convinced me to do it. So I did…and tied with another performer for the win! That night the show director asked me to be on their cast and I have been performing ever since. Actually, the video from that talent show is still online!


Photo by Andreu Wade Blackwell aka Gingersnap Photography

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

Monday, May 13, 2019

More Love for MGAA from The Arizona Republic: Miss Gay Arizona America Espressa Grande on pageants, drag and how to be an #ElevatedYou


More MGAA love from Garrett Mitchell @rettmitch at The Arizona Republic, back with an interview with Miss Gay Arizona 2019 Espressa Grand.

Q: What's one thing you've learned from this experience in Miss Gay Arizona America?

A: I think the biggest thing I've learned through this whole process is to elevate myself.  I've come up with a hashtag —  #ElevatedYou. And the reason why is because when I'm Espressa, I'm an elevated version of myself. I once thought they were looking for a certain type of cookie-cutter drag queen, but all they're looking for is an authentic, elevated you. I want to show those who don't fit the mold that they can do this, too.

Read the full  interview on AZcentral.com.

Related: Fab photos by The Arizona Republic from Miss Gay Arizona America 2019

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Fab photos by The Arizona Republic from Miss Gay Arizona America 2019


Congratulations to Espressa Grande our new Miss Gay Arizona America and 1st Alternate Sicarya, 2nd Alternate Kadee Christian Starr, 3rd Alternate Patricia Mason and 4th Alternate Franzie McKenzie!

A big thank you to Patrick Breen at the Arizona Republic newspaper for the fab photos! πŸ‘‘❤️πŸŽ‰ See all 63 photos at AZcentral.com

Check out The Arizona Republic's pre-pageant feature, "Don't be a drag, just be a queen: Miss Gay Arizona America pageant is May 11" and The Phoenix New Times pre-pageant slideshow feature on photographer Scotty Kirby, "Photographing These Beauty Queen Competitors Is Never a Drag for Phoenix Lensman."

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Thursday, May 2, 2019