Hello beautiful people of the USofA!
Mr. Gay USofA At Large and Mr. Gay USofA marked the last two national pageants to complete the 2016 National Court. So, congratulations to the newly sashed Mr. Gay USofA at Large, Dakota Whitney, and Mr. Gay USofA, Desi M. Andrews; welcome to the family. I cannot wait to work with both of you this year!
Unfortunately, I was unable to attend Miss Gay America this year, as I had a mini family emergency (all is well, now). Congratulations Asia on such a fantastic reign. I want to congratulate Suzy Wong on capturing her dream. I also want to congratulate Rob and Michael on such a smooth transition of ownership. I wish you three the best this year and cannot wait to see you all again, soon.
This month marks the start of the #RoadToNewcomer Preliminary Season.
November 5 th we are having Miss Gay Illinois USofA Newcomer honoring Makenna Michaels at Club Station House in Springfield, Illinois. The contest starts at 10PM and I hope to see you there. The next prelim this month will be Miss Gay Wisconsin USofA Newcomer on November 20th . This prelim is a triple crowning for Classic, at Large, and Newcomer, so you will not want to miss it. This prelim will be held at LaCage Niteclub in Milwaukee, Wisconsin at 8PM. I urge everyone that attends to take a lot of photographs and hashtag them #RoadToNewcomer.
I am sure that we have gotten the hang of what I’m doing with my Integrity articles but for those just joining us, I am providing my readers will tips for success. Last month we covered learning from every opportunity, good or bad. Snowballing off of that topic, this month is about respect. My upbringing in the drag world was not a very uplifting and “Woo Rah” experience. There was a complete lack of respect for me as a new queen. Even though I was always respectful and cordial to my fellow queens, they did not reciprocate. In addition to respecting the person we should also always be respectful of their property. Simply because I may not have 5 years of experience in drag does not mean that my drag is any less valuable or respectable. Therefore, as a drag community we need to start respecting each other for who we are and the drag that we do. Often times we forget that reading and disrespecting each other makes our entire community look bad. Unfortunately, this is not something that will change overnight. All I am asking is that we put as much effort into respecting each other as we do into reading each other.
Although you may not see it, respect can go a long way. It can determine whether you will be booked in that show again. It can form a promoter’s opinion of you. It can really make or break your BRAND. Many of you know that I am a huge fan of pneumonics and so it is no surprise I have one regarding one’s BRAND.
B: Be You
R: Respect everyone
A: Be Ambitious
N: Never Give Up
D: Develop Yourself
The B stands for Be You. Individuality is often very difficult to find in the pageant circuit because we are often trying to emulate an idol or successful role model. However, we must remember that the panel of judges is looking at what YOU can do, not what can you recreate. The R stands for Respect Everyone. Kind of a no-brainer but just be respectful and kill the haters with kindness. A represents being Ambitious. If you want to grow and be successful in this business you must be ambitious in some form. I am not saying you HAVE to compete for pageants but strive to be the best you while embracing your drag. If you want to be the queen that lipsyncs in a handstand, work on your handstands so that they’re perfect! The N is probably one of the most important. Never give up. This does mean to continue fighting for your dream even when you may not have made the cut. This also means never give up on those around you. This goes out to the seasoned queens that cannot be bothered to help a new girl out. You can read a girl all day, but you could also help that same girl with those things you’re reading her for.
Lastly, the big D (HAHAHA). As entertainers we must always develop ourselves. We should never remain stagnant for then our brand becomes old.
This message on branding also goes out to promoters, as well show directors. When you book a girl, you are expecting them to show up on time, be respectful to your other performers and give their performance(s) their all. So promoters and show directors remember that when you pay a sloppy, late performer, you are encouraging them to remain as they are. Stayed tuned for next month as we recap Miss Gay Illinois USofA Newcomer and Miss Gay Wisconsin USofA Newcomer!!
Vanity St. James
Miss Gay USofA Newcomer