It’s so incredibly hard to believe that for 7 years I consistently competed for the title of Miss Gay America. Unaware if the dream would ever be mine; but I was determined. Today I have four prelims left and only two months more to reign. To say this was the year of a lifetime is not even remotely accurate. In this year I have grown in every way possible. As a man I became more confident and strong, as an entertainer more polished and driven; as a human more compassionate and open.
As each of you prepare for the National stage with this crown in site, know that it is not an easy job. With each prelim comes a new challenge not outlined in the rule book. Your character and ability will be pushed to the limit; but the gains are monumental. Although it may be trying, your integrity will push you through. I wouldn’t change a thing about my reign, I know it was done with dignity and respect to those who came before me.
To the new Miss Gay America, shine brightly and be authentic. I will always be here for you, standing fiercely in your corner; but never in your spotlight. Make your year exactly what you want it to be, it’s YOURS! Remember how you felt as a competitor and be confident in your position. Remember how important a kind word and a smile can be to a hopeful contestant or a new promoter.
This system and its rich history means so much to so many; you’ll never know the support that will surround you until your reign begins. Leave it all on the stage with no regrets and no hesitations. Each one of you holds a special place in my heart; a memory of my reign that I share with nobody but you. All my love, support, and respect. PROUD!
Deva Stated- Volume 9
Hard to believe it’s already July and my reign is more than half way complete. Each contest you become stronger and more knowledgeable; also with each contest you become more inspired and attached to contestants. As I travel the United States I’m so humbled by the warmth and helpfulness of others. Each group of formers embraces you as one of their own, you build lifetime friendships. Each time you place the crown on your head, you realize the responsibility of what it stands for and how many want to wear it. To say I am honored is the ultimate understatement.
July is a crazy month as I am home 3 days; spending the rest of those days with each of you as we search for Miss Gay America 2019. I’d like to congratulate your new Miss Arizona America, the stunning Adriana Galliano and first alternate Claudia B. Arizona was an epic contest comparable to Final Night at MGA.
Congrats also to your newly crowned Miss Gay Louisiana America, the very beautiful Kenli Andrews and first alternate Aariyah Sinclaire! MGA 2019 is going to be packed with talent and beauty.
We also welcomed our new Mr Gay America this month! Congrats Judas Elliot, I do look forward to our reign together! Judas lights up a room and is beautiful inside & out!
I am now about to board my flight to Miss Gay Texas America at the Legendary Rose Room in Dallas. From Dallas to Miss PA, then Miss Northeast, and off to Miss Midwest in St Louis!
Future MGA’s know that this is a job and prepare diligently, its not easy; but it is the year of a lifetime.
Miss Gay America 2018
Deva Stated- Volume 8
It’s PRIDE month!!!!!!!! As I have my morning coffee and flip through all of your social media threads,I am so inspired by the celebration of our progress and determination. It takes a strong & brave human to do what we do, the first brick at Stonewall was thrown by a drag queen and we continue to rally our communities through activism, fund raising, laughter, celebration, and charity. I couldn’t be more proud to stand amongst you. Remember to honor the past while marching into the future; say thank you to the local drag queen who has been pushing your community for the last 30 years; she may not be on reality tv, but she has helped make your rights a reality.
Be mindful and safe as you march in volatile times; but be strong and proud. To each of our MGA titleholders who will be showcased in parades and celebration throughout the United States, remember the younger generation is watching; be kind, be humble, and be yourself. These are wonderful moments in life and lend to wonderful experiences to share in male interview. The little boy who shyly waves as you pass by, may one day be MGA. Leave a legacy of kindness and strength. Take the time to pose for a photo, share a smile; who knows.......your kindness could change someone forever.
I’d like to take this time to thank four incredible individuals who for me are the very definition of PRIDE:
Michael Dutzer - your heart of gold and soft approach lead me kindly through any situation. You are always a phone call away, even if it’s just to listen. You are someone I look up to and respect from the bottom of my heart. To the next MGA, a hug from Michael makes everything better.
Rob Mansman - I have a text message from you the night I won Miss Gay Heart Of America; anytime I doubt myself or struggle......I simply read that message. You are strong, passionate, and loyal. You helped me knock down a huge wall and held my hand as I walked over the rubble. Thank you.
Catia Lee Love - as a competitor I was always quite intimidated by you. You command a room and demand respect. I thank you for always listening before speaking. You have a genuine way of balancing both sides and separating what is fact and what is emotion. I learn from you in each and every situation. To call you sister and friend is one of my biggest honors.
And last, David Pardue - you made me MGA, you saw it and you dug deep to pull it out. With you settling was never an option, growth was mandatory, and accountability was key. I’m not even sure I knew all that I am capable of until you came into my life. You make me laugh, think, dream, (sometimes cry, lol); but most of all .......you make me BETTER.
All my love and respect to the 4 horsemen who are the backbone of a successful reign. When ask “What have you done today to make you feel proud”, my answer is I accomplished a dream; I became and always will be a Miss Gay America.
Deva Stated Volume 7
It is pageant season and the America prelims are in full swing. I can’t believe how quickly this year is going by. Could not be more excited to announce some new prelims: Miss Gay Arch City Elegance in St. Louis. Miss Gay Georgia America in Savannah. Miss Gay Florida America, TBD. We have Forever Miss Gay America’s stepping into the role of promoters, congrats to Coco Montrese and Blair Williams in their new roles! All this excitement and Miss Gay America is growing!!!!
Huge congrats to our newest qualified contestants: Miss Gay Missouri America Janessa Highland and First Alternate Makena Knight. Miss Missouri was an incredible contest with 20 contestants and such an amazing sisterhood of formers. I was in awe of their bond and love for the system.
Next I headed to Baltimore for Miss Gay Maryland America. This contest was held in a casino, adding so much energy and appeal for the audience. Congrats to Miss MD the lovely Nicole James and First Alternate Jazmin Diamond.
I quickly ran home, traded out suitcases and headed to Phoenix for Miss
Gay Western States America! Another incredible contest in a beautiful theater, this night found Fifi DuBois as our new Miss Gay Western States and first alternate Dextaci (welcome home Dex)! A highlight of this trip was getting to meet and form a friendship with the incredibly talented, former Mr Gay America Jonathon George. What a wonderful person.
From AZ, I flew off to a week of rehearsals for Miss Gay Nevada America. I was so happy to spend a little time with three Forever MGA’s ; Coco Montrese, Tiffany Bonet, and Hot Chocolate. Seeing them work is always a learning and inspiring experience. Vegas did not disappoint! The very beautiful sofia Anderson walked away with the crown and Savannah Stevens was named First Alternate.
This weekend I will once again work with my big sisters Sabrina White and Tiffany Bonet as we spend a weekend entertaining at the new home for Miss Gay America, Hamburger Marys St Louis. I am truly having the year of a lifetime. As you prepare to compete, keep in mind that we want to know Who You Are. Ask yourself, what is my brand? What do I bring to this system? What do I want people to see or
think about me…….about MGA? Stand proud and leave your mark, be authentic and be AMAZING
Miss Gay America 2018
Deva Stated- Volume 6
SPRING is finally here and the Miss Gay America preliminary season has officially begun. I would like to offer a big congratulations to our most recent qualified contestants. On their way to MGA 2019 Miss Gay New York America, Andora Tetee and first alternate Dessie Love Blake & Miss Gay Buckeye America, Mary Nolan and first alternate Kelly Ray Shelton!!!!! These ladies came out on top of two very competitive contests. Incredible talent and beautiful gowns, this year is gearing up to be exceptional. Promoters Thomas John & Michael Bishop are setting the barre high with fantastic contestant turn out and packed venues; congratulations to both of you .
I’m looking forward to a very busy month as I head out next week for Miss Gay Missouri America, Tabbi Katt has done an incredible job with 20 contestants ! Cheers to our state title holders and all of the dedication they put into their year. This month along with Missouri, I will attend Miss Maryland, Miss Western States, & Miss Nevada! Lots of rhinestones, talent, travel, & suitcases.
It’s never too early to start thinking about your categories for the National stage. The theme for presentation this year will Be FANTASTICAL CREATURES! Dive deep into your imagination to create the most magical creature to ever work a runway! Draw your inspiration from Greek Mythology, Fairytales, and anything that takes us to a world of total fantasy. Don’t be afraid to think outside of the box. Study your sub categories and maximize your points.
Remember as you prepare to compete on any level, I am always a phone call away. Be amazing, be excellent, and most of all........be yourself.
Miss Gay America 2018
Deva Stated - Volume 5
All of the Forever MGA’s have told me to embrace every moment of my reign because it will pass so quickly; I cannot believe how fast time is moving! I have been fortunate to travel quite a bit prior to beginning prelims and now the marathon begins!
This past weekend I traveled to Hamburger Mary's, St Louis to perform with their incredible cast and administrate my first preliminary; which also happened to be my step down: Miss Gay Heart Of America . Many tears and many smiles as we celebrated my year with David Pardue & Cory Wilson; but the goal was to crown a new queen and qualify two fantastic contestants for the National stage. A heartfelt congrats to your new Miss Gay Heart Of America, Adria Andrews and first alternate Selena T West, both on their way to Miss Gay America 2019. This was a close pageant with both girls bringing their A game! What a talented duo to start our competition season, I am so proud of you !!!!
This weekend I head to NYC for Miss and Mister Gay New York America! I can’t wait to see what the week holds on Broadway! Miss Kelly Ray Shelton will step down and Thomas John will have two new contestants to prepare and guide. As time flies, so will this week as I head back to my home in Columbus, Ohio for our newest regional preliminary Miss Gay Buckeye America with Magic To Do as new promoter Michael Bishop awaits the outcome to see who the first Miss Buckeye America will be. Very excited that both NY & Buckeye are attracting qualified contestants from across the United States!!!!!
As each of you prepare for your own time on the stage, I urge you to be yourself; and pay close attention to those sub categories. Attention to detail creates a winner! Best of luck to everyone and know that I am always just a phone call away.
Miss Gay America 2018
Deva Stated- Volume 4
Each and every time I look at the Miss Gay America website, I’m taken back to see myself there. For me becoming MGA was a consistent 7 year journey. Some take more and some take less; but regardless the journey is so worth it and the memories are abundant. My life has changed in every possible way since that incredible night in New Orleans. Each step of that journey makes you stronger and more self aware.
I kept a folder along the way with each and every judges score sheet , I carried those with me and went through them every time I competed. I urge each promoter to carefully consider your judges, they are the voices shaping our next Miss Gay America and their role is extremely important; do they know each category and sub category? Are they going to inspire the contestants? Do they have the required knowledge and communication skills to push your titleholder to the next level? As a contestant I ask that you carefully consider all of the advice and critiques given by your judges; they are there to help you grow. To see things that may have gone unnoticed. All pieces of the machine working in unison to create the perfect MGA candidate.
Contestants as you pick your prelims, consider your personal needs. Some contestants have the creativity, but lack the financial backing. A financially secure contestant may seek the promoter that provides moral support and offers creative directions. Carefully access what is right for you, finding the promoter that fits your individual needs is essential in creating the winning formula.
As we approach our first prelim of the season I’m sure you’re wondering about my theme! I hate to even think about stepping down; but I know it is inevitable. The theme for MGA 2019 and presentation will be : FANTASTICAL CREATURES!!!!!!!!!!!! I urge to look into fantasy, Greek mythology, sci-fi, etc. Be creative and have fun, take us and your judges in to a world of total fantasy. Think outside the box, while considering your sub categories. I cannot wait to see what you bring to the stage!!!!!!!!!!
I’ll be traveling quite a bit in the next month so please say hello if I’m in your city; the best part of this process is connecting with people across the United States. Let’s make America FABULOUS!!!!!!!!
Miss Gay America 2018
Deva Stated- Volume 3
Hello everyone and happy 2018! I hope the holidays brought each of you happiness and love. I can’t even begin to count the many ways that I am looking forward to 2018. As we head into the new year, I wanted to make sure you were all aware of our first three official preliminaries for Miss Gay America 2019. The search begins March 4th at Hamburger Mary’s in St Louis. Miss Gay Heart of America will kick off our competition season with the theme LET IT ROCK! Presentation should be representative of the days when big hair bands ruled the radio, leopard print & aqua net were wardrobe staples, and glittered guitars were smashed for your entertainment. Create your very own rock n roll fantasy! Contact promoter David Pardue or myself for additional information. From St Louis we travel on to The Big Apple, New York City for Miss Gay New York America where the theme is BROADWAY! MGNY will take place on March 13th; contact promoter Thomas John or your reigning Miss Gay New York, Kelly Ray Shelton for info and presentation description. Later that week we welcome our newest regional preliminary Miss Gay Buckeye America, here in my hometown of Columbus, Ohio on March 18th at Axis nightclub. The theme for MGBA is MAGIC TO DO! Presentation for contestants should be your own twist on magic, from card tricks to magic wands; show us all your tricks! For additional info on Miss Gay Buckeye America, contact promoter Michael Bishop.
With each newsletter, I want to continue thanking those who have played a part in my journey to MGA. This month I would like to thank Michael Dutzer and Rob Mansman, these two gentlemen have made such a large impact in the short time I’ve had the pleasure of working with them. When competing at Heart of America, I found it somewhat intimidating to have Rob judging and Michael sitting in on my male interview; little did I know this would be the opportunity to show them my true self and prove I was a strong candidate for the job. Something that changed my mindset as a competitor was a text message I received from Rob a few days after the pageant. He told me that once you conquer your past, you stop standing in your own way. His words resonated as I prepared for the national stage, I actually saved the message and reread it several times in New Orleans. Since crowning I’ve been in constant contact and each day gain more respect for what they do and how professionally they do it. During my orientation in Key West, I was made to feel like family. I recall a conversation where they told me “you will make mistakes, but we will always stand behind you; you are our Miss Gay America”. Their thoughtfulness and attention to detail are the definition of class and integrity. I’m so very thankful for this fantastic adventure.
In the past few months Miss Gay America has taken me to Missouri, New Mexico, Florida, West Virginia, & Phoenix; with upcoming appearances in Louisiana and Texas. It is such an incredible honor to travel our country and be called to the stage as Miss Gay America. Meeting entertainers across the US and hearing their excitement as they begin preparing their own competition packages is such a wonderful experience. Remember, if I can help you in any way; please don’t hesitate to reach out.
Happy New Year, may all your goals and dreams come to life in 2018; I am living mine!
Miss Gay America 2018
Deva Stated - Volume 2
As the holidays approach we have many reasons to be thankful; for me it’s been an incredible year and I have many people to thank for it. Last year on Thanksgiving evening, I sat down with Heart Of America promoter David Pardue to discuss competing in his prelim. I learned in our conversation that David was passionate and driven. I could tell by his enthusiasm that he believes in MGA as much as I do, and knew immediately he was the right choice. Throughout my year as Miss Heart Of America he and Cory pushed me outside of my comfort zone and urged me to live this year as if I were MGA. Spending an entire year focused on every detail and really putting myself out there changed everything about my experience at Nationals. Walking on the stage confident and knowing you are surrounded by people who believe in you is a game changer. Thank you, for EVERYTHING!
Thank you to all of our promoters who go above and beyond to support this system and to support your contestants. I urge everyone who plans to compete this year to take some time to get to know our promoters, find out who will push you; learn about their prelims and their leadership skills. Your promoters are your right hand and can make the journey so much easier. Always remember to say Thank You, as they give their time and financial aid to help you succeed. Listen and grow.
To all of our Miss Gay America promoters, I want to salute you and your efforts. You make us better. You continue to grow our system. I’m so excited to build relationships with each of you throughout my reign! Contestants start doing your research and find your match!
Deva Stated- Volume 1
Hello everyone! I can’t believe it has been almost one month since crowning; I am so humbled and thankful. To be writing this letter as Miss Gay America is truly a dream come true. What an honor to share the stage with 40 world class entertainers all wanting to be the next MGA.
I wanted to take this opportunity to recognize a few people who made my week in New Orleans a little more magical, and a little less stressful. As we all know, not everything happens as planned; that’s when the unsung heroes step in and save the day:
Samantha Rollins, a legendary entertainer from Columbus, Ohio happened to be at this years pageant just to watch and help as needed. As we approached role call for night one, my team was diligently steaming my gown when they noticed a water stain on the train. As a great team does, they tried to fix it without my noticing. Long story short, the water stain was actually a grease stain from the iron or the steamer. Samantha was called to access the situation, with about 10 minutes to role call she ,(calm as a cucumber) told me to go check in and everything would be ok. As I watched all of the ladies stepping into their gowns, I had to trust Samantha’s words and not react or panic. In this very short time, she removed the train from the gown, flipped it inside out, reattached, and sewed the ends together to create a beautiful new train. She and my dresser (the fantastic Selena T West) slipped me into my gown, never showing a moment of distress, and led me to the stage. I won gown in my group!
Thank you to my dancers, you are the best of the best; you competed fearlessly alongside me with complete devotion. Morgan Foster, Jessica McGinnis, Taylor Eckerman, Danielle Perry, Tyler Stegner, Matt (Rex Matthews), Cody Stone, and Amir Kinera! I love you all!
As you prepare to compete this year, pay careful attention to your team. They are your backbone and a chain is only as strong as its weakest link. Assemble the strongest chain possible, one that makes you feel strong and secure. I am so thankful for the strength and cohesion of my team.
If I can be any small part of your team, I am happy to do so. This dream takes planning and support. I am here if and when you need me. Please bare with me as I try to respond personally to each and every message, thank you to everyone who has taken the time to reach out. You have changed my world❤️
Miss Gay America 2018