“There is virtue in work and there is virtue in rest. Use both and overlook neither.”
Wowzers! I can’t believe that we are heading into August! I hope that you’ve had an opportunity to slow down a little bit and enjoy your summer. If not, schedule some time for yourself and make it happen. I’m really speaking to myself regarding that as well. There are so many summer activities that can recharge and renew us that I don’t want to look back in a couple of months and realize that I’ve missed the opportunity to do those things and to share memories with the important people in my life.
“Your excuse to use a sick day, when the forecast calls for sun”
If/Then: The Musical
On July 1st, we inducted the first two members into the Miss Gay Missouri America Class of 2018. Roxxy Malone captured the title of Miss Gay River City America 2018, and Bella Rose was named 1st Alternate. I’m excited to see these two returning to the MGMA stage. As early qualifiers, they now have quite a few months to focus on preparations for the state competition. MGMA 2007, Jade Sinclair, did a lovely job organizing this day and things ran so smoothly. MGRCA 2017, Kyra Banks, invited the former titleholders and myself to participate in her opening production where we took the audience to Las Vegas, Nevada for a celebrity illusion show. Promoting, competing, performing, or judging a pageant can often be an exhausting experience, however, the joy and laughter that’s shared in the dressing room is a reminder of the long-term friendships that are born from those moments of stress and competition.
The second week of July sent Tiffany Hunter and I on a northern trek to Chicago, Illinois where we got to judge the Mr. and Miss Club Krave pageant. As if a circus theme, complete with popcorn and crackerjacks wasn’t enough, I got the chance to meet forever Miss Continental Plus, Natasha Douglas, while we were there. It was so inspiring to hear each of the contestants speak of how and why they considered Club Krave their “home”. I love listen to passion in their voices as they talked about feeling accepted and welcomed and the joy that they get when they get to bring their biological families to meet their chosen family. Our community is extremely unique and unfortunately for many, out local LGBT bars are the first, and sometimes only, places that they feel accepted and at home. Congratulations to the new Mr. and Miss Club Krave, Aron Arellano and Brandi Wyne. This month, your challenge is to shake the hand of your local bar owner and thank them for giving us a place to be ourselves. I’m sure they don’t hear it enough.
Mid-July brings about one of my favorite events of the year! As many of you know, I volunteer as an advisor for Growing American Youth a few times per month. I first met Scott Emmanuel and GrAmYo in 2008 while I was Miss Gay St. Louis America. At the time, Veronica Leigh Taylor and I were co-hosting a fundraising show, Jukebox Jamboree, and GrAmYo was one of the organizations we were blessed to work with. Scott and his entire team have always been so welcoming to me and have helped create memories that I’ll never forget. Each summer, GrAmYo organizes a prom at City Museum that welcomes all youth to attend with the person of their choosing and in the manner in which they feel most comfortable. I’ve had the pleasure of chaperoning this event multiple times now, and there really are no words to describe the experience of walking into this room filled with over 200 youth being themselves confidently and wholly. For more information, check out www.GrowingAmericanYouth.org.
“To the youth of today, I also have a wish to make: be the scriptwriters of your destiny and feature yourselves as stars that showed the way toward a brighter future.”
Our second preliminary of this season also happened this month. We welcomed the new Miss Gay Show Me Pride America 2018, Diva Coppafeel, and 1st Alternate, Veronika Versace to the Class of 2018. I was so excited to see both of you step outside of your box and try something new. Your willingness to challenge yourselves paid off. Continue to push yourselves every day as you prepare for MGMA. The lessons you learn on your journey will pay off when you reach your destination.
I was truly looking forward to attending MGSMPA this year, as its promoters, Mulan and MGMA 2015, Kyla Breeze, were honored with awards for Best Preliminary and Best Promoters at MGMA last year. After the opportunity to be a part of this year’s competition, I completely understand why they were selected as those recipients. There is no other way to describe this pageant than to say that it was beautifully orchestrated and it was my absolute honor to be involved.
I’d be remiss to not issue a giant thank you to Tony and Mulan for organizing not only a stellar pageant, but also for working with the Kansas City venues to schedule the #KCTabbiTour. I’m truly blessed to be able to travel around playing dress up and meeting some of the most interesting and amazing people. To the cast and staff of Hamburger Mary’s Kansas City, Missie B’s, and Sidekicks Saloon, thank you for opening your doors to me and making me feel welcome.
“I get by with a little help from my friends.”
Closing out July was a special show with a couple more ladies from RuPaul’s Drag Race, Naomi Smalls and Laila McQueen. These two were showstoppers onstage and filled the dressing room with a quiet and pleasant energy that made this night divine. There are times that the pressures of balancing a day job and performance gigs can start to wear on us or drain the fun out of what we do. I’m thankful for the wonderful people I get to work with onstage every week that reinspire and reignite my passion constantly. I’m appreciative of those of you in the audience that give us a reason to do what we do. Your smiles, your laughter, and your applause put a smile on our faces. When I was a little boy, all I ever wanted to be was a performer and I’m grateful that dream came true.
With two city preliminaries completed that leaves us with nine more scheduled for this competition season. Here’s the agenda for the next couple of months. We’d love to have you join us.
Miss Gay Art of the Illusion America
“Paint Your Destiny”
August 19, 2017 The Arts Asylum
Promoters: Regina La-Rae, Kevin Austin, Courtney Cave-Perry, and Korey Childs
Miss Gay Kansas City America
“Welcome to Neverland”
September 16, 2017 The Arts Asylum
Promoters: L’Oreal, Grover Vermillion, and Matt De Freece
Miss Gay Metropolitan America
“Back to School”
September 30, 2017 Grey Fox Pub
Promoter: Adria Andrews