Well here we are! So much has happened since we last spoke, but that is minimal in comparison to what is to come. This first preliminary is upon us! The mu ch anticipated return of Miss Heart of America, happening March 6th in St. Louis. Corey and David have pulled out all the stops to ensure an amazing night of pageantry. They have already put a lot of HEART into Miss Gay America and I am thrilled to work with them and meet the first 2 jewels in the 2017 Miss Gay America crown.
Getting ready for this first preliminary, I have really grown close with my Miss Gay America sisters. I am in love with the fact that the Miss Gay America crown never truly leaves your head. I want to thank Jessica Jade for being a guiding force for me, even before officially throwing my hat into the Miss Gay America arena. I want to also thank my Texas sisters Valerie Lohr, Charity Case, and Patti LaPlay Safe for seeing something in me long before I could see it myself. Thank you Sabrina White for encouraging me during your reign when I didn’t even have the strength to encourage myself. Thank you Jacqueline Devarough for being the first person ever to tell me I was Miss Gay America material and predicting my success almost perfectly. Thank you Norma Kristie for always treating me with love and respect and for giving me my first “grown lady” booking. Thank you Dominique Sanchez for inspiring me during your reign and teaching me to always pick myself up. Thank you Coti Collins and Nicole Dubois for pushing me during Miss Gay America 2016 and reminding me why I love this system so much. Thank you Blaze Star, Kerri Nichols, Tiffany Bonet, and Lauren Colby for humbling me with your kind words and reminding me that I am never to old to get star struck by someone I have admired from a far for so long. Thank you Coco Montrese and Catia Lee Love for always giving it to me straight and reminding me to stay true to myself. Thank you Blair Williams for leading by example and proving that being Miss Gay America never truly ends for someone that really believes in this system. And thank you Sally Sparkles for allowing me to build a new friendship with someone I feel like I have known my entire life. I love you all and I’m thankful for everything you have done for me and for Miss Gay America.
In the state spotlight, I would like to bring attention to some hard working state titleholders that I have witnessed first hand going above and beyond as a symbol of excellence. Miss Gay Arizona America, Nevaeh McKenzie, and Miss Gay Louisiana America Delanie Valentine. You guys are doing a spectacular job growing the America system in your states and we are all thankful for your hard work and your help preparing contestants for the state level competition.
I also have been fortunate enough this past month to spend some quality time with some of our state promoters. The world’s best Mac & Cheese with Daniel Eckstrom and Nick Ray of Arizona America. Late night phone calls with Chrystian and Kristian of Texas America. A cliff hanging near-death experience with James Carden of California America, and a backwoods swamp tour with David Green of Louisiana America. For the state promoters I have not yet had the chance to work with, and the state titleholders I have not yet seen in action, your time is coming. I am looking forward having me one-on-one time with all of you and excited to make some memories with you as well. For all the regional titleholders and promoters, don’t feel left out, I have some treats for you all next month.
Now on to other business. I receive countless emails, phone calls, and texts on a daily basis wanting my input on the new ownership of the Miss Gay America system. Perhaps we should all collectively take a moment to process that. The truth is, Miss Gay America is not under new ownership, it is under new leadership. Miss Gay America is much more than just an event that can be purchased. It is a being, that can never truly be owned by a single person or pair. Miss Gay America is owned by all of us. All of the hard working promoters, devoted contestants, skilled staff members, and loyal audience members that invest financially, emotionally, and spiritually in this marvelous pageantry system year after year. We are a whole and we must honor and pay tribute to the true reason that Miss Gay America is the longest running and most prestigious pageant for female impersonators on the planet, unity. It is our duties as individuals to take ownership of our parts in the vast art form. We each must do our “job” as efficiently and passionately as ever, to ensure the continued success of Miss Gay America. It is our duty once again to hold fast to the very ideals that brought us to Miss Gay America, some of us recently, some of us decades ago. Children would not learn if they keep the same teacher from kindergarten to twelfth grade. Nations would not grow if they never had a change in presidency, and I believe Miss Gay America would not be as great as it is today without the love and dedication of Jerry Peak, Norman Jones, Larry Tyger, Terry Eason, and now Rob Mansman and Michael Dutzer. All of these past leaders have added their own special touches to this empire just as each reigning Miss Gay America adds hers. I personally am thrilled to find what special touches Rob and Michael might have in store. With each shift in leadership, new life is breathed into this art form. But new life does not mean it is replacing something that is already there. New life is being added and intermingled into something that will always have room for advancement. Miss Gay America is a living, breathing entity the relies on all of us as her heart, her mind, and her soul to keep her alive. Let us all not only allow, but encourage her growth and evolvement. Let us all continue to do our parts to keep her alive and healthy for many more years to come. Let us all allow her to breath, to stretch her legs, and continue to run wholeheartedly and purposely forward, into the future.
All my love and respect
Asia T. O’Hara
Miss Gay America 2016