The month of February started off with a bang!
People say that the job starts when the crown is placed on your head but I feel the job starts the moment you sign up and step foot into your first Miss Gay America pageant at any level.
With that I feel that preparation and being ready to hit the ground running is one of the most crucial parts in being an effective Miss Gay America. The first order of business was to get a promotional photograph done and out as soon as possible and to make contact with as many promoters as possible. My win occurred on a Thursday night so me and my drag daughter Savannah found ourselves on that Sunday night shooting my first promotional photograph. Sitting in the mirror painting I just kept thinking to myself that this will be a photograph that will follow me and be etched into the history books forever. This will be on the website and Facebook page for all of the world to see. It is moments like this when the emotions really hit hard for me as I have been in love with the Miss Gay America pageant system from the moment I learned what it was and here I am finally getting to embark on my journey. I remember being a young, eager young man memorizing the names and year of each Miss Gay America on the website and here I am not FINALLY getting to have my picture added to the legacy. Thank you Ansell, Taylor and Gerard for assisting us with the photo session !!
One of my favorite parts about the Miss Gay America pageant is getting to learn the men behind the make-up. I got to do a good bit of interviews including one with my local newspaper and news channel which was really fun. One of my favorite interviews was with the RuPaul Drag Race superstar Ginger Minj! She is the real deal and was genuinely interested in what all Miss Gay America stands for. Thank you Ginger!
The night that I won Miss Gay America my mind was really racing with one thing. That one thing was where in the world am I going to have my first walk? I was asked by the pageant promoter for the Miss Gay Louisiana America system David Green if i would like to have my first walk there. I immediately took him up on this as being able to do my first walk here at home would be so special. What made this night so special was that this was the actual bar I started doing drag in 2009 previously named Rhythms. As David announced “Welcome to the stage our Miss Gay America 2022…..Dextaci” I got goosebumps. This was a full circle moment from when this journey in female impersonation started many years ago. Thank you Bo, David, Pink staff and everyone who attended. That dressing room was a blast with Eliza, Taylor, Angelica and Savannah. A huge thank you to my friend Rodney for dressing me.
That next week I wanted to get some more photos out of the way to have an assortment for the next few months. Savannah did an amazing job and I cannot wait to see these! Thank you Eliza and Ansell for being the dressing and light crew. Thank you Amanda Lyons, owner of Empire Media and Management for always supporting me.
The following weekend I made my way down to Lafayette, LA for some Mardi Gras fun. Since 2011 the Krewe of Apollo Lafayette has invited me to sing the national anthem at the bal. This is always an honor but even more so this time since I am now Miss Gay America. I cried after it was over. It just really hit home for me. Lafayette has always felt like home to me for many reasons. My drag mother is from there as well as the queen that told me what Miss Gay America even was and why I should compete. The year that lead up to my win as Miss Gay Louisiana America 2012 I won my city prelim Miss Gay Lafayette America here. So many of my MGLA sisters are from that area that I got to see: MGLA 2001 Victoria Valentine, 2014 Santana Savage, 2015 Delanie Valentine and 2018 Kenli Andrews. Thank you Lafayette for the best year yet!
The following weekend is always one of my favorite weekends of the year and that is Mardi Gras in Monroe, LA. People travel in from far and wide to attend the parade and it is always an amazing time. I got catch up with Miss Gay Arkansas America 2018 Chloe Jacobs and she is always a hoot! Miss Gay America 2015 Blair Williams was also in town for the festivites. My time with Blair was wonderful ! We celebrated, laughed and she even gave me alot of Miss Gay America travel tips. Lord knows the last thing I need to do is get to the airport and have to throw out a wig.
Well my friends that is about it. The month of March kicks off our Miss Gay America 2023 season. We ill crown a new Miss Gay Oklahoma America as well as Miss Gay Missouri !! Four lucky girls will get their tickets to the big dance.
****Each column I want to bring up discussions or topics I feel need addressing. This can be anything from category questions/uncertainty to things that may not necessarily be in a handbook but a “good to know”****
The beauty in competing for many years is that you become very observant in many ways. This truly allowed me to get to know contestants better, venues/bars better, supporters and promoters. Choosing your preliminary to qualify to the next level is one of the most critical parts of the competition process. There are many things as a contestant you need to consider.
1st-BUDGET-ensure that you budget your money properly to determine your best plan of execution as early as possible. I always started and planned my new budget the moment a new Miss Gay America. Proactive is always the way to be!
2nd-PHYSICAL LAYOUT-Make sure that when you are selecting gowns, talents etc. that you are taking into consideration ALL of the entire physical layout of your quest. For example if you are flying to a regional ask yourself these questions;
*how does this massive costume/prop get there?
*can the venue even accommodate such a wardrobe/prop?
*is the dressing room big enough for my items/things?
*is the ease of props moving and dancers set up easy?
*if you are a live singer does a bar atmosphere fit the caliber of your talent or would an event center/theater work better?
Ask yourself these questions each time you manifest a concept. These things may seem weird to ask but it will allow you to find unique ways to think outside of the box and know how to withstand any cards you are dealt.
3-PRIZE PACKAGE/PROMOTER-it is common knowledge that we spend way more out of our own pocket than a promoter gives us. DO NOT RELY ON PRIZE PACKAGE or a promoter to foot your bill. I have been in this boat a few times. Make sure that when you are brainstorming your package that you are NOT factoring in what a prize will or will not do. This way if the prize package/promoter falls through you are safe as you have your plan B in place. Think smarter not harder.
From the Desk of Dextaci, Miss Gay America 2022