“Find the thing in you that is different,
My friend, and constant source of inspiration, Mallory Hagan, recently shared this quote on her Instagram and as we begin our preliminary season, I thought that some of you might find value in this as well. More to come on this topic a bit later in the newsletter. First, let’s take a look at some of the wonderful experiences May 2017 had to offer.
I’ve always found great joy in working with organizations that fight for social justice, which is why I was elated when I was invited to be a part of the HRC’s Extreme Makeover Drag Takeover 3.0 at Rehab Bar & Grill in St. Louis. Five lovely ladies competed in this afternoon outdoor pageant, which in my opinion makes them ALL winners, especially since together they were able to raise over $3,000 for the Human Rights Campaign to help continue their work toward LGBTQ+ equality. There’s such power in a community coming together and working passionately toward a common goal. It’s such an important reminder that we are stronger together and we must allow our humanity to unite us.
I also had the opportunity to travel with #TeamAdria to Dallas, Texas as forever MGMA, and reigning MGMUSofA, Adria Andrews competed for Miss Gay USofA. One of the greatest gifts that pageantry provides us is a group of friends, and chosen family, spread across the country. National pageantry allows us that time to reunite, reminisce, and celebrate our individual growth. Social media has given us an enhanced ability to stay connected over long distances but nothing compares to a hug and conversation with those friends. I was able to connect with a few forever Miss Gay Americas while in Dallas, Texas, including the newly crowned Miss Gay USofA Classic, Dominique Sanchez, who just happens to be the very first MGA I saw perform.
Adria did such a fantastic job representing Missouri USofA the entire week in Dallas. She is the first Miss Gay Missouri UsofA to place in the Top Twelve in over ten years! She tied for the highest score in overall Personal Interview, which is a huge accomplishment! During her interview she received a question to the effect of “How did you prepare differently to compete for Miss Gay UsofA than for previous systems?”. Adria told the panel, “I didn’t prepare differently than I’ve done for any other national pageant. I listened to advice but knew that I had to do what works for me and what makes me most comfortable.” Cheers to Adria on a fantastic showing at Miss Gay UsofA and congratulations to the new Miss Gay UsofA, Roxie Hart!
In Dallas, I was chatting with MGA2001, Charity Case, about the stigma of being systemically labeled and she profoundly stated, “Girl, good drag is good drag.” It seems like such a simple statement but there’s so much truth in those few words. Think back to the quote I shared from Mallory’s Instagram earlier.
Pageantry in May closed out with Mr. and Miss Missouri Continental on May 28. Forever MGMA, Jade Sinclair, passed on her title to Moltyn Decadence, who looked stunning all evening and ended up winning every category! Tyler R. Hall was crowned the new Mr. Missouri Continental that same evening. Moltyn and Tyler, alongside MaKena Knight and William Benion will be representing Missouri in September at the national contest. Congratulations to Devie Fay on a fantastic prelim and a great night of entertainment!
Too many days are wasted comparing ourselves to others and wishing to be something we aren’t.
In my professional career I work with individuals with disabilities and recently heard from a high school sophomore named Tyler who is an Eagle Scout, thespian, martial arts enthusiast, and marching band member who also happens to have cerebral palsy, anxiety disorder, and use a wheel chair. As he talked about the people in his life who challenged him to try new things, he said that he couldn’t imagine what his life would be like without them. It might seem simple but Tyler has achieved success because he , and those who support him, have chosen to focus on his abilities rather than his disabilities.
“What would I be doing? More importantly, what wouldn’t I be doing?”
When we relate Tyler’s story to our lives as competitors and performers, it reminds us to focus on what we can do expertly, instead of becoming hyper-focused on what we can’t do so well. As you’re searching for the perfect gown or talent concept, take a moment to identify what your strengths are and work to highlight those. It’s so common for us to say “I’m not a dancer” or “I can’t wear that silhouette”, when in actuality we should be saying “I have great facial expressions”, “I can connect with an audience”, “I feel and look gorgeous in blue”, or “I am an amazing lipsync artist”. If it feels strange to you to talk about yourself in a positive manner, it’s because we just don’t do it enough. Reach out to your support group and ask them to identify one thing that makes you stand out in a show or something that they admire about you. Find a video of you onstage and watch it with no one else around. Focus solely on finding things that you really like about your performance and ignore anything that you don’t love. The goal is to put all of your best qualities and abilities into the spotlight. It may feel uncomfortable at first but in the end you’ll learn so much.
“Until you cross the bridge of your insecurities, you can’t begin to explore your possibilities”
Beginning in June, I’ll be hosting Tabbi Chat on the last Friday of each month at 6pm. Tune in on Facebook for updates and discussion regarding pageant categories and other topics. I’ve heard that we may even have a special guest over for tea now and then. If there’s a topic you’d like to discuss, send it my way via text or email and I’ll get it added to the agenda!
I am so eager to get the 2017/2018 competition season underway. Our webmaster, Luis Acevedo, has done a stellar job updating our website with all the important preliminary information, so stay tuned for all updates at www.MGMPageantry.com.
Miss Gay River City America
July 1, 2017
Promoter: Jade Sinclair
Miss Gay Show Me Pride America
“A Gatsby Affair”
July 22, 2017
Promoters: Kyla Breeze and Mulan
Miss Gay Art of the Illusion America
“Paint Your Destiny”
August 19, 2017
Promoters: Regina La-Rae, Kevin Austin, Korey Childs, and Courtney Cave-Perry
May your June be filed with love and pride for yourself and for your community! I hope to be seeing you very soon!