Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Who and What is Mr. Gay America? Meet Mr. Gay America 2018 Judas Elliot

All studio photos by Erika Wagner a.k.a. The Drag Photographer

For those unfamiliar with Mr. Gay America or curious to know what the pageant entails and what it's like to be Mr. America, here is Mr. Gay America 2018 Judas Elliot to explain and enlighten. 

Many in the gay community have long been familiar with the Miss Gay America pageant, whether from knowing a competitor,  attending a preliminary, seeing a Miss Gay America titleholder perform at a local club or as a contestant on RuPaul's Drag Race.

But there is a counterpart to the Miss Gay America pageant and title, and that is Mr. Gay America.

Originally known as the Mr. Gay All-American (MGAA) pageant, it was the first contest of its kind. It was founded in 1983 by Norman Jones, a.k.a. (the first) Miss Gay America 1973 Norma Kristie (owner of the Miss Gay America pageant system from 1975 - 2005) 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 the current owners of the Miss Gay America pageant (Michael Dutzer and Rob Mansman) as the Mr. Gay America pageant in 2017. (Read the full history on the Mr. Gay America website.)

Mr. Gay America is considered to be the co-titleholder to Miss Gay America. Today many LGBTQ pageants now also have a male co-titleholder, among them, Miss Continental (Mr. Continental), Entertainer of the Year (Mr. Entertainer of the Year),  Miss USofA (Mr. USofA).

Below our interview with Mr. Gay America 2018 Judas Elliot and loads of glitzy showbiz photos.

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

Mr. Gay America is like Miss Gay America, a symbol of excellence, which male leads and performers who have a love for drag and individual expression strive to achieve as professional entertainers.

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

The Gay America system is family of entertainers who are known as symbols of excellence within the community, who have the opportunity to express themselves in front of a wide variety of audiences, lead and participate in community service projects that give back to our community, while doing what it is that we as performers love to do.