Victoria Rios Miss USofA Diva 2016
Victoria Rios
Miss USofA Diva 2016

Welcome in friends and family! It’s that time of year again. The leaves continue to change into the warmth of reds, oranges, and yellows. The evenings are getting a bit chillier, the events continue to multiply, and pageant season is in full swing!

Though I live my life, year round, with gratitude in my heart, this time of the year sparks an extra special time to remember to give thanks.

Give thanks to your friends, your family, your loving fans, and your nation. We have a cornucopia of pageants just underway, and I cannot wait to report to everyone as the year progresses. In the meantime, this is an election year, and we have duties as citizens to embark upon. I was brought up to keep politics private, and I will continue to do so, but please remember the pride and appreciation we had in our hearts on Marriage Equality Day. Please remember the lives we lost in Orlando, and the way our LGBT community worked together (and continue to do so) for our fallen. I implore you to think about our rights as a queer community when you go to place your vote. Ladies, it really hasn’t been that long since we’ve gained our right to vote. Vote for human decency. Vote because you can. Because you should. Because you’re an American, and it’s not only your right, but it’s your duty. Please remember Susan B. Anthony and the other women who have paved our way.

We can never know their torments for the opportunities we’ve been afforded.

Onto other business, I’d really like to congratulate Kane Connors and Michael LaMasters on their exceptional reigns as Mr. Gay USofA at Large and Mr. Gay USofA. You two have been amazing role models for not only your contestants, but your brothers and sisters, as well. These are incredible shoes to fill, but I’ve no doubt that Dakota Whitney, your newly crowned Mr. Gay USofA at Large and Desi Andrews, your newly crowned Mr. Gay USofA will withstand their administrative duties with ease. Congratulations to you two, and welcome to the court! Craig Henderson, I’d like to thank you again for inviting me to attend and perform during final night. It was such an honor, and my sincere pleasure. To all the contestants I got to speak with many of you, and I’m very confident in the plans you’ve all made for future endeavors with USofA next year. It’s always inspiring to attend a pageant with so many creative people working with one another to better themselves as humans through their art. To have art as a platform to tell your story is to live and breathe.

Speaking of living. I had my very first preliminary pageant! Oh, my goodness! So, let me start at the beginning of the eventful weekend. Friday, October 21 st I witnessed the passing of the titles of Mister Arkansas USofA from Beau Davis to D’Angelo, and the transition of Mister Arkansas USofA Classic from Hunta Downe to Luke Davis. Congratulations on your reigns and wins! The following night, at Discovery Night Club, we had three awesome contestants for the Miss Arkansas USofA Diva contest. Each contestant proved their competitiveness with each winning a category. Congratulations to Lynessa Leigh, Miss Arkansas USofA Diva, and your 1 st alternate representative, Lady Kakes Monroe. Kassaundra Cameron, congrats on your win in talent! To all three of you, you are all “out of this world”. Take your knowledge and push those boundaries. To our qualifiers, you two will carry on the tradition of hard work, I know. It’s been an exceptional year for Team Arkansas and I foresee another amazing year in the works. Thank you, Marco Del Gatto on another incredible weekend of pageantry, and I can’t wait to do it again November 4 th ! About that …

This month, I have three more prelims, followed by four more in December! Miss Southern States USofA Diva will be held November 4 th , at Triniti Night Club in Little Rock. Contact Marco Del Gatto. Miss Texas USofA Diva will be held November 11 th , at Sue Ellens in Dallas. Contact Amie Bland. Miss Oklahoma USofA Diva will be held November 13 th at Club Majestic in Tulsa. Contact David Dees. December lends itself to Miss Louisiana USofA Diva to be held December 2 nd at Corner Bar. Contact Daren Ables or Hunta Downe. Miss Missouri USofA Diva will be held December 10 th . Contact Tawney or Missy Choate. Miss Tennessee USofA Diva will be held December 15 th . Contact Jessica Patterson. Miss Indiana USofA Diva will be held December 17th. Contact Jody Bockman. Seven wonderful prelims with many amazing promoters! Who will be the next? There are so many options, and we’re just getting started! If you are a potential contestant, and would like more information on any of these upcoming pageants, feel free to contact me or the promoter. If you have considered promoting for Miss USofA

Diva, please feel free to contact Devin Dame, Gage Gatlyn, or myself for the many promoting opportunities we have available for you. The contestant base for the diva division is remarkable, and these ladies need more places to qualify. Don’t be afraid, reach out. We are all more than happy to help with any questions you may have.

Thanksgiving is right around the corner, and there is so much to be thankful. Every day I wake up, the first thing I do is say “thank you”. Thank you for allowing me to experience another day. I want to say thank you to all my sisters across this nation. I am fortunate enough to say that I’m friends with bio queens from so many walks of life. Some are attorneys, students, teachers, medical technicians, beauty consultants many are mothers, sisters, aunts, even grandmothers.

I’m very thankful I have bio queen friends who are national title holders in their own systems who believe in the importance of working together. Each woman I have the chance to visit with has affected me in some way. We have so many similarities, and yet, so many differences.

All in all, we are a sisterhood. I am incredibly thankful for each bio queen I get to meet. I’m appreciative for their stories they share. I’m thankful for each and every one of them. Bio queen drag is becoming quite the plethora of opportunities for the new age of drag. There are so many styles, and I’m happy to see the evolution of the “faux queen”. Sub genres are being created every day, and because of this, everyone belongs. Not unlike the USofA family of pageantry. Some people do hair. Some do choreography. There’s not only competing, but attire, embellishments, music edits, promotion, marketing, encouragement, and so many other factors. The point is this if you have a passion for the art of drag, there is a place to belong, in USofA, regardless of what your style of drag may be. Just be you, and be the best representative YOU can be, and you will always be successful. #vivaladiva

With much love,

Victoria Rios