Welcome to 2017! Another year has gone by and we are ready for a fresh start. As I reflect on 2016, I have been truly blessed by winning my dream and cherishing all the memories that I’ve had with all my friends, family, and loved ones. Remember never take anything for granted, love one another, and be kind to each other. We only live once and we have to live it to the fullest. Make every day great with your choices and make it like it’s your last day. Let’s make 2017 a good one!
Looking forward to this year as I start booking preliminaries and talking to some of the contestants that will be competing this year. I’m very excited to work with promoters and contestants. I feel it in my spirit, it’s going to be a year leading up to the national contest. You will not want to miss out. Start getting ready guys for this year’s competition because it’s going to be awesome.
Remember be true to yourself and no matter what anyone tell you, you are special. I’m sorry I didn’t have much to say this time around, but I feel this is a lot to take in.
“It’s a new day, it’s a new a new dawn, it’s a new life for me, and I’m feelin’ good ” Happy New Year to you all! I hope everyone avoided the naughty list and had an enjoyable holiday break. I must have just evaded the list, because my holiday was indeed bountiful. Bountiful in time well spent. Playing cards with friends, catching up on movies my crew and I have missed, spending time with my husband and his mom, traveling to see my mother, hanging with the kids, and adoring friends. This really means the most to me. December was also very giving in the preliminary department. Here’s the scoop on what you may have missed.
December 2nd, our crew traveled to Louisiana and were graciously welcomed for the Miss Louisiana USofA Diva pageant. There, we celebrated the reign of Rayvn Noir Downe and crowned our new Miss Louisiana USofA Diva, Koko Valentine, and her 1st alternate, Black Widow. Congratula- tions to you two on your qualifications! Thank you to Daren Ables, Hunta Downe, and Corner bar for being so generous and kind to us. I really had a blast. Shortly after, we ventured on an excursion to Springfield for the Miss Missouri USofA Diva pageant held by Tawny and Missy Choate.
Excellent work, you guys on such a memorable night and your incredible hospitality. Congrats to Trixie Meow on a beautiful reign. Congratulations to Phoenix St James Monet on capturing the crown, her 1st alternate, Karma Marie, and Scarlette Paige on her 2nd alternate placement. All 3 qualify! Thank you, ClubTouche for taking care of us. Next, our journey led us to Nashville, Tennessee, where we honored the reign of Monroe Fitzgerald, and crowned our new Miss Tennessee USofA Diva, Jameson St James. I would also like to congratulate Trixie Meow on her 1st alternate placement, and Jazmine Sage on her 2nd alternate qualification. Great job, ladies! I’m so proud of you, and can’t wait to see what team Tennessee brings to the table in March. A special thanks, also goes out to Jessica Patterson and Play Night Club for everything you do for us. After spending some time with the Tennessee family, we continued to the last leg of our 2016 Diva preliminary adventure to Evansville, Indiana for the Miss Indiana USofA Diva pre show and pageant. It was so awesome to be welcomed in like family and we sure had a blast. Thank you to Jody Bockman and Tiffani Farley on an extravagant pageant, and being amazing hosts. The two of you and your exceptional administrative work definitely deserve to be recognized. Wonderful production and step down brought to you by Cherry Poppins, where we celebrated her reign. Congratulations to Tareal Davenport Phillips for attaining the title of Miss Indiana USofA Diva, Candie Cox on her 1st alternate placement, and Ivanna Gently on her 2nd alternate qualification. All 3 qualify! I’m so proud of you, team Funky Chicken! Thank you to Club Scandals for allowing us to hold our event and make everyone feel so at home. I can’t wait to come back and maybe play again! Continue reading Victoria’s Vignette – January Edition→
December has been an incredible, and incredibly busy, month! I honestly can’t believe that I fit all of this into December.
We started with a trip to Monroe, Louisiana for Mister Louisiana USofA MI and Miss Louisiana USofA Diva! Jax Hannigan and Rayvn Noir Downe invited us all to “be their guest” as they crowned the next. Their Beauty and the Beast themed opening was even complete with a broom that moved on it’s own! We had two young men show up to compete for Jax’s title – Oliver Hart and Roman Syder! Oliver won the title, and both he and Roman will be headed to Ohio in March. Two boys making their very first trip to nationals! It’s so exciting to see how many new kings are jumping in this year and joining the family. We are still growing!
The following weekend brought a trip to Springfield, Missouri, for a triple crowning (Mister USofA MI, Mister USofA MI Classic, and Miss USofA Diva), and FIVE in- credible contestants vying for the title of Mister Missouri USofA MI. The talent competition that night was just wonderful and full of variety, including stand-up comedy, mime, roller skates, and Damian Matrix doing jazz hands! At the end of the night, the hometown boy, Phoenixx LaFaye, took the crown. Shire Paige (1st Alternate) and Bastian Cox (2nd Alternate) also won their spots to compete in March.
Four days after Missouri, my partner and I loaded up the car again and headed to Nashville for Mister Tennessee USofA MI.
I hope you all had an outstanding holiday season. Mine was filled with family, friends, and food. Lots of food way too many carbs, but I’m not complaining. They were delicious! As I look back on the past year, I am amazed at what an incredible year 2016 was for me and my family.
I am truly blessed. The places I’ve been. The memories I’ve made and all the wonderful people that I’ve met. It has been magical and more than I ever thought it could be.
Thank you all for making 2016 so spectacular!
Recapping December, I only had one prelim this past month. Mister Missouri USofA MI Classic was held in Springfield, MO on December 10th. Congratulations to Tawny Choate on a very well run triple crowning that day. Tawny is a master at time management and had that day scheduled down to the minute. Well, done Tawny! Congratulations to your newly crowned Mister Missouri USofA MI Classic, RC Mischief and his 1st Alternate, TomCat Quinn Akers. Both earned their ticket to Nationals in March. A final shout out to Logan Rider on a great reign and fantastic step down.
There are three Mister USofA MI Classic prelims still on the calendar. Mister California USofA MI Classic will be held on January 22nd in Long Beach, CA. The promoter for California is Robert VanBeveran. Looking ahead to February, Mister Southern States USofA MI Classic will be held in Little Rock on February 10th. Promoters for Southern States are Marco Del Gatto and Drew Samuelson. And, the final prelim will be Mister Indiana USofA MI Classic on February 18th in Evansville, IN. I’m extremely excited that Jody Bockman and Tiffany Farley have added Mister Indiana USofA MI Classic to their Indiana prelims. Any potential contestants that are interested in any of these prelims, please let me know. Continue reading Val’s Views – January Edition→
I hope that everyone had a wonderful Christmas and that you all received what you wished for. But more importantly, I hope that you gave just as much as you received. Because in reality, the holiday season is all about giving and spending time with the ones that you love. I am so grateful that I was able to spend this Christmas with my loved ones and enjoy quality time together. This year has been a huge wake-up call, we have lost so many incredible performers and it reminds me every day of how grateful I am to have my family and friends in my life. I was so saddened to hear that George Michael had passed away on Christmas Day. He was an icon to so many people and meant so much to our community. This year I plan to dedicate some of my performances to him, as he was a huge inspiration to me.
January is going to be very busy and super exciting! On January 12th ‘The Texas Tour’ will begin!
The 12th and 13th I will be hitting the city that made Desi M. Andrews, San Antonio TX at The Pegasus. I always have a blast performing and hanging out with all of the girls in the back and I will finally get to work with my brother, Mr. Gay USofA at Large, Dakota Whitney! Then I will be in “The Valley” McAllen, TX at The Recovery Room on January 14th. I always have the best time at Recovery Room, the hospitality that Kathryn York (former Miss Gay USofA at Large) and Daniel have shown me is amazing. Then on to Selena Quintanilla’s hometown: Corpus Christi, TX on January 15th. I will be attending Mr. Gay Corpus Christi USofA. Which is a preliminary to Mr. Gay Texas USofA. It will be my first year back as a former. I can’t wait to see all my Corpus Christi family and friends. January 20th and 21st, I will be in Old El Paso at Touch. Touch is a newly renovated nightclub in El Paso owned by the incredible Eric Andrews and his husband David. I am grateful for the invitation to perform there every month and I hope to see all of my El Paso people out and about! January 28th and 29th I will be in beautiful Amarillo, TX at Club 212. They always show so much love to their current Mr. Gay Top of Texas USofA. David and Kevin are the owners of the club and also promoters for Mr. And Miss Gay Texas USofA. I’m so blessed to have two home bars Touch in El Paso, TX and Club 212 in Amarillo TX. If you can’t make it out to see me in January, no worries; I’ll be back every month in 2017. Continue reading The Year of Purpose – January Edition→
I hope that everyone had a wonderful hol- iday season and I want to welcome everyone to 2017! December was a really easy and relaxing month for me. I was able to enjoy Christmas Eve and Day with my family.
Since this month was rather quiet let’s jump right into our next #RoadToNewcomer guide to nationals. In alignment with the season, I felt the necessary topic should be gratefulness. In the hustle and bustle of any pageant, our support team is often expected to fulfill their duties as assigned. Most times these duties are completed perfectly and payment is given. However, when was the last time you said thank you to them during the pageant? Did you even think of writing them a thank you note? Did it even cross your mind that, just saying thank you might make them work harder? Most of us probably didn’t think about those aspects because we were focusing on our goal of winning the pageant. Showing gratitude to those that are with you the entire ride is crucial. To this day, I still tell members of my team that I am thankful to them for helping me achieve my dream. My “Glinda” from preliminary night talent did not HAVE to come over every night and rehearse with me, but he did not want to fail me so he made sure we rehearsed every night. I see my “Glinda” almost every day and not a day goes by that I’m not grateful for his friendship and commitment to me. During this past year, a lot of lives were lost, from superstars to close friends. Did they know how much they meant to you? The moral of this article is to show the people that help you, love and appreciation because they DO NOT have to help you; they choose to help you. So, shoot them a text saying, “I love and appreciate you” or better yet take the time to write them a note. Keep this attitude all year and there isn’t anything you can’t accomplish.
I hope that all of you had an amazing time with all your family and loved ones. As we welcome 2017, we get an opportunity for new beginnings, fresh starts, reaffirmations of love, and promises for a brighter future all come to mind as we ring in a New Year. Let’s make our New Year’s resolution to be there for each other and help fellow human beings in need even if we don’t know them personally, so come lets spread some kindness and cheer!
I want to take the time to send congratulations to David Armijo and Bruce Ragsdale (Dragon Lady) for an amazing pageant, Miss Gay Fire and Ice USofA. These two promoters are one of a kind. They invited some of the court to be a part of their wonderful night. Thank you for all you do. Congratulations to Porsche Paris on an amazing year as Miss Gay Fire and Ice USofA. Congratulations to your new Miss Gay Fire and Ice USofA Nina DiAngelo and 1st runner up Josephine O’hara Andrews. Both presented amazing packages.
Congratulations once again.
Don’t forget that on January 28th the Miss Gay California USofA at Large Pageant will be held in Long Beach, California. I am very excited to visit the State of California for the very 1st time. The 2017 preliminary schedule is filling up fast. I hope to get an opportunity to travel and be in a city near you soon!
As I sit here and reflect on this past year, I realize that it has been 8 months since I was crowned Miss Gay USofA Classic! Time flew by and I still cannot believe that I am living my dream.
This year has not been an easy one! December in particular was a hard one for me. I lost my dear sister and I’ve been experiencing health problems myself. I’ve had 4 surgeries so far and will have another one soon. I wanted to postpone it until after my give up but the doctor says that this is possibly not an option. That choices were: do it now or possibly be in a wheelchair within a few months. Hopefully this is my last surgery!
Enough about me, let’s talk but Classic preliminaries. My next stop will be Miss Gay California USofA Classic on January 27th. The pageant will be held at a beautiful venue, so I am super excited. Mr. Randee Stewart-Clark is the promoter and he or I will be happy to give you more information. I’m excited to work with such a professional individual.
January 28th is the Miss Gay Arkansas USofA Classic pageant. This will be held at Triniti Night Club and the promoter is Marco Del Gatto. We have all the details so feel free to contact either of us with any questions.
I am definitely looking forward to the new year. I’m excited about traveling across the country, catching up with old friends and making new ones. I’m also very excited to see what the contestants will bring to Classic in 2017!
Please don’t forget to visit my Facebook page, where I will be posting more preliminary details, especially about the Classic division. If you have any questions or need help or advice, please message me. Good luck and remember, if you don’t fight for your dreams, no one will! Much love and respect.
To say 2016 was rough is an understatement. Pulse, Aleppo, Trump, the barrage of celebrity deaths and the loss of our very own Natasha Richards has made this an emotionally trying year for us all.
From Clearwater, FL, Natasha was the 11th lucky lady to
be crowned Miss Gay USofA in 1996 and at 24 yrs old one of the youngest. She was thrown into her first bar pageant by her biological mother in 1991 at the Miss Suncoast Pageant placing dead last but winning talent and anyone that had ever met her could tell you why. Natasha was insanely talented, devilishly funny with a quick wit and wild personality. Of the people I spoke with to write about Natasha there wasn’t much info I could publicly put in print!
Although I didn’t have the good fortune of knowing her very well it was more then apparent from those that knew her best that she was hysterically funny, fiercely loyal and lived her life on her own terms. We should all be so lucky to live the life we dream of.
Many people have asked about doing something for Natasha or a remembrance fund. We will of course have an in memorium for her at this year’s Miss Gay USofA
contest and other things are in the works. I will keep everyone updated on future plans regarding.
Yes, 2016 sent us some hard blows. But a lot of good things have happened too. I watched my baby sister walk down the isle and get married. She watched me perform for the first time ever as I was crowned Miss Gay USofA in Dallas.
I’ve toured this country for 6 months watching peoples dreams come true. It’s the life changing moments like these we have to hold onto and cherish in the darkest times of our life. It’s those that are still with us that we have to take the time to appreciate while we still can.
Tickets go on sale starting Jan 1st for Final Night of Miss Gay USofA which you can purchase on www.usofa.org. I will release
the theme for this years contest next month on my web series, US of Aurora. New episodes are out next week so subscribe today!
In closing, every very year we make our personal resolutions to better ourselves. This year I’m about making results that last past spring.
Every month this year I’m going to focus on and finish one life changing thing that I’ve never accomplished but always wanted to.
This month I’m starting with something simple- my name. Although I transitioned a long time ago, circumstances in my personal life didn’t allow me to accomplish a lot of things early on. I never understood or took the time to educate myself on the complex web of laws regarding my transition when it came to social security, a 1st time passport, birth certificate, gov id’s and programs, stocks,
ira’s, tax brackets, healthcare and more. I can’t think of a better time then the present. Adulting can be fun if you look at it as an exciting new adventure 🙂
As we look forward to 2017 lets do it together with renewed strength and resilience.
Best wishes to you all for love, health and happiness in the New Year!