Well, 2014 is behind us, and we must now prepare ourselves to see whatever 2015 has in store. I hope you all had a wonderful holiday season full of your favorite things and favorite people. I love Christmas, but I have to admit, this year was a little stressful. There was so much to do in such a short period of time, complicated by the added travel that comes with being Miss Gay America. I am not complaining mind you. I just need to be more cognizant of my time management going forward.
Bob and I hosted our traditional Christmas Eve open house. We have done this almost every year for over a decade. Our friends, family, and really anyone looking for a place to hang out for an evening, always show up to share food, drinks, and merriment. This year was no exception. I would imagine that we had 40 or 45 people in and out over the course of the evening. After everyone left, Bob and I upheld our favorite Christmas tradition. We took turns opening all of our Christmas cards and reading them aloud to each other. We did this early on in our relationship when money was very tight and presents were out of the question. These thoughtful cards were our presents. Although we have missed a party or two over the years by not opening the envelops, the tradition has continued, and it is what I look forward to most (well that and my favorite ornament: a large and lovely mermaid perched atop a clear bubble). Our tree is quite eclectic with ornaments we have collected or been gifted over the years. But that mermaid is special to me, and it reminds me a little of Forever MGA, Charity Case.
December was a watermark month in many ways for me as Miss Gay America as well. Although I perform at my home bar every weekend, I had my first out-of-town bookings since being crowned in October. I traveled to Phoenix, AZ; Jacksonville, FL; and Charlotte, NC. Phoenix was truly an amazing trip, and a learning experience as well. I was delighted to be invited to perform at 3 different venues by Barbra Seville. Barbra, a former Miss Gay Arizona America, is a gracious host and one heck of an emcee and entertainer to boot. I was honored to be the special guest at "The Golden Wighead Awards," a fundraiser for the Phoenix Pride Scholarship Fund held at Karamba Nightclub, as well as a featured guest in both "The Girlie Show" at Cruizin' 7th and "The Barbra Seville Show" at The Rock. I was very excited to stay with Miss Gay Arizona America, Grecia Montes D'Occa, and her super sweet husband Josh. I should thank them not only for opening their home to me, but also for feeding me every night after the shows and treating me like family. I also got to spend some quality time with Miss Gay Arizona Promoters Daniel Eckstrom and Nick Ray, as well as Savannah Stevens, Tyra Marie Jimenez, Luna Love St. James, and Bianca Solei. I want you all to know how much your kindness and hospitality meant to me. I also got to see Forever Miss Gay America Catia Lee Love and former Miss Arizona America, Celia Putty. Moreover, I got to meet several of the city prelim owners in the Miss Gay Arizona America family, and I received a great gift from the kind owners of Boom Boom LaRue's. The food was great, the shows were fun, and the memories will remain with me forever (if you ever have a chance to see The Botanical Garden in Phoenix, you definitely don't want to miss it). I am deeply grateful for the warm reception and new friendships.
After a few days at home, I traveled to Jacksonville, FL for a wonderful night at The Metro. Thank you Austin for the booking. It was great fun working with Diva Cliche, Tatiana, and Josephine Longstroke. These ladies put on one hot show, and they made me feel right at home. I was also invited by Brittney Moore (former Miss All American Goddess) to stop by Hamburger Mary's for a drink and a show. Bob and I were excited to take her up on the invite since I had never actually been to a Hamburger Mary's. What fun!!! There was a packed house and an awesome show. Brittney also recognized me publically and said some very kind things about me and the Miss Gay America organization. I was honored to be there to represent Miss Gay America.
On December 26 and 27, I got to travel to Blair's birthplace of Charlotte, NC. I performed at the legendary Scorpio Lounge with Charlotte favorites Amber Rochelle and Skylar Michele-Monet. I had met both of these entertainers several times in past travels, so it was great to spend some backstage time with them. Thank you Tiffany Storm and Donald O'Shields for having me as your guest and for your continued commitment to Miss Gay America. While in Charlotte, I also got to perform at Chaser's Charlotte with the beautiful Angela Lopez. I am grateful to Brian and Jimmie for having me at Chaser's as well.
Here are some important things I have learned in my December travels:
· I pack entirely too many pairs of shoes. I don't need to take 3 pairs of black boots anywhere LOL.
· I need a new crown case.
· I should not drive when I am tired (some would argue I should not drive period).
· I should not procrastinate in unpacking when I get home.
· And most importantly, people across this country have a deep respect for the Miss Gay America organization.
I am looking forward to a busy January. I will be spending a weekend with none other than Larry and Terry to be sure that I am well versed in the duties, responsibilities, and potential challenges I may face this year during competition season. I will have the honor of performing at The Spectrum Memphis while there. I will also be traveling to Winston Salem, NC; Raleigh, NC (where I'll get to see Forever MGA's Coti Collins and Kirby Kolby); and Baton Rouge, LA and Lafayette, LA as well.
I am also working to set up a meeting with Abbe Land, the Executive Director and CEO of The Trevor Project. I/we have been approved as an "official" 3rd Party fundraiser for Trevor, and I am truly excited to lay the ground work to partner with this organization in a meaningful and profitable way this year.
This month, I wanted to extend a big thank you to some special MGA friends and family who always go out of their way to say hello and offer a kind word (or several). So Thank You:
· Ambrosia Bordeaux: You represent your state and your title with respect and dignity. I appreciate your friendship.
· Diva Coppafeel: You always extend a genuine hand of friendship, and I am thankful for your kindness.
· Chad Johnson: Thank you for checking in on me and for your love!
· Patrick Mgtnra Jacquard: You have been such a great cheerleader and supporter and friend. Thank you!
· Dessie Love-Blake: Thank you for including me in your efforts, and for making your reign about the contestants.
2015 is going to be a truly memorable year for me, and I hope for all of you as well. I know many of you will be making resolutions, and I wish you all the best in making your year the most it can be. I challenge you to do something you have always wanted to do, but for one reason or another, it always gets put on the back burner.
"The purpose of life is to live it, to taste experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for newer and richer experience.” ― Eleanor Roosevelt
Miss Gay America 2015