November may have wrapped up prelims but the job never slows down! What a whirlwind this year has been!!!
December started off with a bang ! Back in October our new Mr. Gay America was crowned. KC and I hit it off last year when he stole my heart with his Michael illusion. I was so starstruck by it. I take pageants, facts, history and numbers very seriously! When he was crowned the actual 2022 King I immediately requested that we have time together before I relinquish my title and he gets a new queen * insert eye roll*
We planned a weekend-long pow wow in Vegas along with many of my favorite people. Simba, Danny, Nina, David and Derick. We kicked the weekend off at this amazing food truck convention they call “1st Friday”. There were food vendors and local artists everywhere ! It was super cool! The next day came fast and here we are painting. Simba put everything together for KC and me to do an official “2022” photoshoot. What a surreal moment. As Miss Gay America, I had not been in a promo shot with anyone else. He helped me zip and pin the crown and I helped him with his medallion and all. It is the moments like these that I look at the clock and go wow….it's truly coming to an end. The photoshoot was fun, emotional and got the best sides of us.
After the photoshoot we got out of drag and had a late lunch with the legendary Lawanda Jackson. We talked about old times, good times and shared stories of our beloved Coti. Lawanda and Coti had been friends for a lifetime so it was nice to be around Lawanda. It made us all feel good. KC and myself both took the interview seminar with Lawanda and it fine-tuned our interviews for both Mr and Miss Gay America. We truly enjoyed our time with her.
That night David got us tickets to Barry Manilow! What a treat! My mother wanted to kill me because she couldn't go LOL. It was a fabulous night of all of his classics and Christmas favorites. The cherry on top was Barry was joined with a Children's Chorus at the end of the night and boy that took me back. When children sing or perform musically it moves my soul. That night ended with us all pigging out on David's homemade goodies! Boy oh boy it was good.
Thank you David for a fabulous time and thank you for believing in me.
I can never thank Simba enough for all he does not only for his system but America as a whole. I am so blessed to be able to work with him in years to come as one of his official hosts for Mr. Gay America. Thank you Simba for an amazing weekend. I love you more than you will ever know.
The next weekend is one that I had waited for my entire life. Me and the owners of Miss Gay America got to spend a weekend at Disney! We also knocked out 2 birds with one stone and did the contestants’ number drawing. Disney was so magical and brought back so many memories of my childhood. MY favorite part was being able to take my crown photo in front of the iconic Cinderella castle. My feet died! Probably the most emotional part of the trip was when we watched the fireworks at night. I looked across the crowd and saw so many children with their families and just remembered my dad all of sudden. It is times like these when we miss our loved ones that left us too soon. It was so dang beautiful. What a night!
Me, Michael and Rob spent so much time talking about Miss Gay America, my love for it and what I wanted my legacy to be. It really is hard to put into words how much something means to you when you love it so much. Miss Gay America was always part of me. She(MGA) has been one of the only pillars in my life that kept me grounded and focused when life could have spiraled out of control. To me words can never explain what a true legacy is BUT your actions and how you impacted people and made them feel is the legacy.
I received an invitation back to the White House. Yes, another invite! That makes 2 times as Miss Gay America. What a dream ! I got invited to witness the signing of the Marriage Act by President Biden. Our country is in a true battle. Our communities are being targeted daily. So to be here was not just a “me” being there but an “us” witnessing history being made. I can never explain that moment seeing the actual President of the United States in person…as Miss Gay America …at the White House. Another cherished memory that I will always hold on to.
The next weekend was back to lots of drag! We kicked off the weekend with our show here at Club Pink and it was a fabulous time with Miss Gay Southern Elegance America2022 Aubrey Sinclair and Miss Gay Louisiana America 2022 Josalyn Royale ! Thank you David, Bo and the Pink staff for an amazing time.
The next day came fast. No sleep and painting for the brunch show with Josalyn and the gang. It was a blast getting to be with her, Sasha, Mattie, Brittani and Paula. And as always a blast with the girls at brunch! I was worn slap out !
After a quick nap and a re-pack I was on my way to Jackson,MS to perform at the new bar called Shade. It was a blast with Fendi, Tara and Leigh! Thank you to John Corey, Andrew and their staff for a wonderful night. That bar is beautiful!
The drag hustle can’t stop and won’t stop! I was then on my red eye flight to Charlotte, NC for the Buff Faye ‘Twas the Drag Show before Christmas. I have never been part of an event like that ever. That crowd was massive! Over 400 seats sold and was a magical night of holiday music and drag. I got to close the event with a sing-a-long with Buff Faye to Love can build a bridge. An amazing night with so many of my favorite NC entertainers!
Thank you Buff Faye for all you do to make the world a better place!
And here it was Christmas week! Finally some much needed downtime at home. While traveling and being Miss Gay America is nice, being able to be in one place for awhile is nice. too.
Christmas week started with a wonderful visit with my lifelong friends Haley and Anna. We have been pals since childhood. My stomach was hurting from laughing so much.
Right before Christmas I found myself at a wedding for two of my dearest friends, Donnie and Brad. I got to do a song of my choosing and what a beautiful moment it was. Donnie aka Sarina has been a sister since I started drag and Brad and myself have always connected on a musical level. What a wedding ! Thank you both for allowing me to be not only part of your big day but your lives. I love you both.
That week was an amazing week of rest and time with family. We did our annual shenanigans and what fun that always is! Our family has grown to be large. It is so crazy. My nieces and nephews are so damn grown. Having jobs and boyfriends and girlfriends really throws me off since they are to always remain children to me LOL It was an amazing holiday with all of them.
Here comes the end of 2022. I did take lots of time to rest and reflect on my year as Miss Gay America. Words can never truly describe how 2022 changed my life.
We celebrated in Shreveport, LA at one of my home bars called Central Station. Shreveport is very close to home so it's always nice to be there with all of the ladies. That crowd eats up drag! Time and time again they always show me the most amazing hospitality. Thank you Sarina and Central Station for a wonderful end to 2022 as Miss Gay America. A night I will always remember.
With that my friends I only have one more column to write as Miss Gay America. When it comes out though I will be a Forever and a new lucky lady will represent the amazing legacy that is Miss Gay America.
And remember, while only 1 person wears the crown, it is a group/family effort that makes MGA what it is today from contestants, promoters and people that love the system and support it.
“WE” are “Miss Gay America” not “I”