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?