Loud and Clear
Imagine our surprise when the national office received a telephone call , from the Millenniun Hotel Security, at 5:00a.m. on October 12, 2014, Sunday morning (early morning of the day when a new Miss Gay America would soon be crowned) that there were two (2) separate situations that occurred whereby our attention was needed. Once we were briefed on the situation, we then informed the hotel security that they should have called law enforcement and had those involved arrested. The situations were 1)fighting/brawling on the hotel campus and inside the hotel 2)fighting/brawling/temper tantrums that caused damage to the hotel and 3)blatant and rude disrespect for hotel staff.
We made it quite clear that in the future, we expect them (hotel security) to handle the “Miss Gay America Pageant Affiliates” as they would any other customer and that is, ANY acts that violate law should be immediately referred to law enforcement, then we’d need to be informed so as to take further administrative actions. The hotel security informed us of the persons involved in the situations. After due diligence we discovered that the two rooms that were involved in the situations that caused damage to the hotel and embarrassment to our group, were directly involved with three contestants… one room involved a dancer relative to specific two contestants and another involved a dresser for a particular contestant.
After several hours of investigation, we were clear that the persons involved were directly affiliated with contestants of the Miss Gay America 2015 Pageant. Because of the amount of time we spent on such a behavioral issue, damage to the facility, embarrassment to the Miss Gay America organization and failure on the part of the contestants to “control” those who were in attendance to directly provide assistance/support to their efforts, as contestants, we opted to disqualify each of the three contestants. Our decision was clear in that the contestants and the like are clearly informed that they are to be responsible for the actions of those who directly provide support (dancers, dressers, make-up artists etc). Again, once our several hour investgative process concluded this national office levied administrative sanctions against the contestants who were in part represented by these individuals who caused such disturbance and reputation damage to this organization. Likewise, those directly involved are permanently suspended from ANY affiliation with the Miss Gay America pageant system. Promoters should refer to the Miss Gay America Handbook for a complete detail of those who are suspended as a result of reputation damaging actions in conjunction with the Miss Gay America pageant)
While some have questioned why we did not immediately inform the contestants of their disqualification rather than waiting until the end of the pageant, most will eventually admit, that because the contestants are CLEARLY informed that they are responsible for the actions of their dancers/dressers etc., our decision was in the best interest of this pageant system. Our thought was and is that if the persons involved in the situations had NO regard for the contestant whom they were there to assist, then they’d have no regard for any others and likewise, we felt that perhaps the safety of others could be compromised, especially since the situations that occurred were violent in nature. Again, we in no way wanted to compromise the safety of others especially since those involved behaved in such a violent way. Besides, our message to the world is accountability for those who cause greater than normal conflict to this national pageant system that many of us have given our best to preserve.
We want to be crystal clear that we will in no way tolerate such acts that negatively affect the Miss Gay America organization including but not limited to fighting/brawling, hotel property damage, other public acts that compromise the integrity of this organization and blatant/rude disrespect to hotel staff. Sadly, such behavior, while not directly that of the contestants, could have been better controlled if only the contestants would have made better choices as to whom they would use for their support system. To the contestants suspended, we trust that your future competition efforts will cause you to make a wiser decision as to whom you choose for your representation.
And, even more sad was that one of the three disqualified actually was selected to be a Top 10 finalist and had the highest overall score in the Evening Gown category, going into final night competition, prior to disqualification. Again, no matter the placement or the personality involved, this national office will not tolerate any such actions that tarnish the professional reputation that this pageant system is known for and quite frankly, we will retaliate in every way we can including suspension/disqualification. Simply said, to those who cannot comply with our standards, we do not want nor need you in this pageant system and welcome you to move your competition efforts to somewhere other than the Miss Gay America pageant system.
We are utterly embarrassed that such acts occurred. Our only regret is that the hotel staff would not have been so kind. In fact, we wished that that they would have ensured that those involved were arrested as EACH of the offenses warranted arrest. In hindsight, there is nothing that this national office would have done differently relative to this situation. We only hope that this will serve as reminder that we will not tolerate such unprofessional behavior and that this will serve as a lesson to all contestants that they (the contestant) are responsible for the behavior of those who directly support/assist their competition efforts, including dresser, dancers, make-up artist etc.
Besides the above and on a much more positive note, we congratulate Blair Williams on becoming the 43rd annual Miss Gay America. As Blair Williams can attest, pageantry is not easy, on any level, and this national office cannot produce such an event without the help of many. To Miss Gay America 2015 Blair Williams, we wish you nothing short of a spectacular reign and look forward to working with you during the Miss Gay America 2016 Pageant season.
The following are a few thank-you’s… without those named below (and those whom we may have inadvertently not named) the great success of the Miss Gay America 2015 pageant would not exist:
To the forever Miss Gay America’s who work with us all week, (Catia Lee Love, Charity Case, Raquel Chevallier, Kirby Kolby and Sally Sparkles)… thank you all for being a jewel to work with. From the quality both on-stage and off-stage, you certainly made our jobs easier.
To Aron Harvey, thank you for managing the pageant but on and sometimes off stage. As usual, a job well done!
To Kirby Kolby and Sally Sparkles, thank you for collection of the music all week… while seemingly a small task, in the grand scheme of things, this proved to be a gigantic help.
To Miss Gay America 2014 Jessica Jade, you were a gem to work with all week and just as we thought, you certainly did shine brightly all week! #soproud
To the Office Staff (Scott Peters a/k/a Miss Gay America 2005 Raquel Chevallier, Reba Lamkey and Coby Myers)… without you, we could not have possibly survived the week. Thank you for your dedication so that we all could realize a smooth contest!
To Paulette Harness, P.J. Newton, Sean Mauck and Coby Myers… thank you for you pre-pageant assistance to make sure that we were prepared to begin the week of competition. A life-saver indeed.
To Mark Martin and Las Vegas Costume Supply, thank you for your sponsorship as Official Jeweler. Your beautiful merchandise makes us proud that you choose this team, for your sponsorship efforts… your above and beyond call of duty to ensure that our leading lady shines, is second to none!
To Lucinda Holiday and Made For A Queen, thank you for your year after year return as “vendor”… you’ve certainly added to the level of diversity and vendor quality to this event.
To Brian Menegay, Joey Dodson, Tom Young, Nick Anthony, Lakara Funtenut, Ben Boudreaus and Robbie Patrick... thank you for your tireless effort to ensure that back stage runs smoothly. We rely on you more than you are acknowledged and we cannot say thank you enough. You commitment to a great pageant speaks volumes for you character. We are luck to call you team mates and we don’t know what we would have done without you.
To Chuck Guthrie… thank you for taking so many photos and videos during the week of the competition. Also to Chuck, thank you for your marketing that certainly led to our “sell-out” crowd. Additionally, thank you also for your piano talents that certainly set the mood for the Final Night Evening Gown competition.
To Coby Myers, who shared many of the photos and videos, via Facebook... thank you for allowing others who could not attend, to see first hand the incredible week of pageantry.
To Paulette Harness, P.J. Newton and Joey Dodson, thank you for your work at the admission desk and will-call counter. Your dedication to ensure the best in customer service is second to none.
To Bjkj Illusions, thank you for your dedication to capturing most every moment, on still camera, of the Miss Gay America 2015 pageant. Your efforts "froze" the incredible week and we appreciate your dedication and professionalism in what you do best.
To the sponsors of the Miss Gay America 2015 pageant… 1)Robert York and the Miss Gay D.C. America Pageant
2)Phat Bites Restaurant of Nashville
3)Ellendale’s Restaurant of Nashville
5)Curt Godier, Chad Johnson and the Miss Gay D.C. America pageant
6)Las Vegas Costume Supply
7)Stand For The Silent
8)Nashville Audio and Video 9)Versagarama Video Productions…
thank you, thank you, thank you… Without your sponsorship, our jobs would be much more challenging.
To the Panel of Judges (Sam Schisler, Stacey McKnight, David Lowman a/k/a Miss Gay America 2011 Coti Collins, Steve DeVore and Tommie Ross, thank you for being such a professional Panel of Judges. If the first two weeks of her reign is any indication of the coming year, you certainly made a wise choice in continuing the very legacy that each of us so jealously guard.
To the sound and audio staff, thank you for keeping the stage happenings in motion, during the week!
To the Promoters, dressers, hair stylist, make-up artists, dancers, prop designers, pageant coaches and whomever else we may have overlooked, please know that your involvement and support of this pageant system is what keeps this pageant going.
To the contestants, we know that your week was not easy but each of you shined in your own way. You once again stunned a city that this craft can be professional and meaningful. While there was only one person crowned, each of you are winners in your own special way.
To the Promoters, you are more than financial sponsors, you are role models, pageant coaches and support pillars for this craft. Thank you for choosing this pageant system. We hope that your year as promoters was worthwhile and meaningful. We look forward to working with each of you again next year.
What another amazing week of competition. In spite of a few minor set backs, we have yet again proven that the Miss Gay America pageant system is worthy of being called “The Best of the Best”.
To those that we did not mention but played a part in the success of the week, you are certainly appreciated. Please know that without you, this week would have been much more challenging!
So, we now look forward to grooming Miss Gay America 2015 Blair Williams, to be what the country expects...which is EXCELLENCE both on-stage and off-stage. While her reign won't be easy, she is certainly poised to have one of the best years of her journey... the way has already been paved by so many great entertainers and her loyalty to the crown she wears and the legacy that comes along with it, makes the perfect recipe for another incredible year in the Miss Gay America pageant system.
Until next time,
Larry and Terry