Miss Gay America

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Miss Gay America Pageant
Miss Gay America logo 2016
MottoWhere the boys are boys... and female impersonation is an art!
TypeBeauty pageant
HeadquartersFrederick, Maryland
Owner
Mad Angel Entertainment, Michael Dutzer, Rob Mansman
Current Titleholder
Andora Te’Tee
Websitewww.missgayamerica.com

Miss Gay America is a national pageant for female impersonators. Established in 1972, the pageant is based on the Miss America contest and follows a similar format.[1]

Each year, contestants compete at various city, state, and direct regional preliminaries for the opportunity to advance to the official Miss Gay America pageant. Titleholders are often seen as the best in the industry and are frequently hired to entertain in a variety of venues, such as Las Vegas shows, cruise ships, and LGBT events.[1]

The Miss Gay America pageant system is the longest running pageant system for female impersonators. It is one of the four major pageant systems for the art form, in addition to Continental Pageantry, Gay USofA Pageantry, and Entertainer of the Year. Miss Gay America is unique in that it is the only national pageant that prohibits contestants from using female hormones or having undergone any feminizing plastic surgery, such as breast implants or liquid-silicone injections below the neck.[1]

Lady Gaga on the 10th of September 2017, was crowned as the first Honorary Miss Gay America.

The current Miss Gay America titleholder is Andora Te’Tee, the 48th titleholder, crowned on October 6, 2018.

History[edit]

In 1971, Jerry Peek opened the Watch Your Hat & Coat Saloon in Nashville, Tennessee, the city's first gay dance and show bar. Having an understanding of the female illusionist state pageants occurring in various show bars in other states, Peek decided to establish a national level pageant to further recognize the best entertainers. On June 25, 1972, the first pageant was held at Peek's Nashville saloon.[2] Norman Jones, performing as Norma Kristie, competed representing Arkansas and was crowned the winner of the 1973 pageant and emeritus titleholder of the Miss Gay America Pageant system. In 1975, Jones assumed ownership of the pageant and later formed Norma Kristie, Inc., operating and directing the Miss Gay America pageant and the Mr. Gay All-America Contest systems. In 2005, Norman Jones retired from the pageant's regular operations and sold the Miss Gay America pageantry system to Larry Tyger and Terry Eason of L&T Entertainment.[3] On February 4, 2016 Michael Dutzer and Rob Mansman of Mad Angel Entertainment purchased the Miss Gay America pageant From L & T Entertainment.[4]

At the 2016 pageant in Memphis, Mad Angel Entertainment announced they will be retiring the solo talent category. Starting in 2017 Presentation will be judged for the top 10 contestants in its place. Also starting in 2017 contestants are able to change their talent numbers on the final night of the competition.

Mad Angel Entertainment announced in January 2017 that they will be bringing back Mr. Gay All-American as Mr. Gay America. The pageant was held on July 2, 2017 in Dallas, TX with the winner being Judas Elliott. [5]

Qualification[edit]

Contestants for the national Miss Gay America pageant qualify through franchised state and direct regional preliminaries. The winner and first alternate of the preliminary contests advance to the national pageant. Many states require contestants to first compete in franchised city preliminaries, where the winner and first alternate advance to the state pageant.[1]

Competition[edit]

Historically, pageant competition consisted of interview, evening gown and talent categories. Later a Contemporary Fashion category for sportswear was added. After about a decade it was changed to Creative Fashion, a category that was never fully understood by judges or contestants and was later changed to Creative Costume. It was eventually replaced with Solo Talent.[citation needed] While some of the contestants perform live vocal, dance or comedy skits, the vast majority showcase their talent of lip syncing to prerecorded music. Current categories are Male Interview, Solo Talent, Evening Gown, On-Stage Interview, and Talent.[6]

Currently, the national pageant consists of 3 nights of preliminary competition, where all contestants compete in male interview, solo talent, evening gown, and production talent. Awards for each night of these categories are presented on the 4th night of the pageant week during the official Miss Gay America Revue Show, where former titleholders return to entertain. The final competition night is held on the fifth night, typically at a larger and more formal venue, and the top 10 finalists are announced. These finalists then compete again in evening gown, stage interview, and production talent. At the end of the final pageant, the top four runners-up are announced and the winner is crowned.[7]

List of past winners[edit]

Miss Gay America winners
Year Titleholder Given name Crowning venue First Alternate Second Alternate Notes
1973 Norma Kristie Norman Jones Watch Your Hat & Coat Saloon, Nashville, Tennessee Charlie Brown Genie Dee As the first Miss Gay America titleholder, Norma Kristie holds the title of Miss Gay America Emeritus. In 1975, he assumed ownership of the pageant and ran it until his retirement in 2005.
1974 Lady Baronessa Carmel Santiago The Glass Menagerie Nightclub, Nashville, Tennessee Roski Fenandez Billie Eggs Lady Baronessa's full name was "The Lady Baroness Maria Andrea Del Santiago". Lady Baronessa assisted in the operations of Norma Kristie, Inc. until his passing in 1992.
1975 Shawn Luis Shawn Ocampo Atlanta Americana Hotel Ballroom, Atlanta, Georgia Roski Fernandez ?
1976-A Shan Covington Shan Covington The Depository Nightclub, Houston, Texas Michael Andrews Dani Daletto, Miss Gay Michigan America Title revoked for unbecoming conduct.
1976-B Dani Daletto Jose Mondelano Vapors Nightclub, Hot Springs, Arkansas Dani Daletto was crowned in a special ceremony at the 1976 Miss Gay South Pageant held at Vapors Nightclub in Hot Springs, Arkansas.
1977 Michael Andrews Michael Androlewicz The Old Plantation Nightclub, Houston, Texas Naomi Sims, Miss Gay Texas America Shannon Forrester Michael Andrews also held the 1986 emeritus title of Miss Gay USofA. Andrews has also appeared in a number of films.[8]
1978 Jimi Dee Jimmy Dillard Machinist's Hall, St. Louis, Missouri Hot Chocolate, Miss Gay Texas America Lady Shawn Jimi Dee was best known for his illusion of Diana Ross.
1979 Rachel Wells[9] John Greenwell Fox Theater, Atlanta, Georgia Hot Chocolate Lady Shawn
1980 Hot Chocolate Larry Edwards Atlanta Convention Center, Atlanta, Georgia Lady Shawn, Miss Gay Texas America Dana Manchester Hot Chocolate is known for his celebrity female impersonations of Tina Turner. He also appeared in the films What's Love Got to Do With It and Miss Congeniality 2.[10]
1981 Lady Shawn Shawn Marshall Masonic Temple, Detroit, Michigan Genevieve Ryder, Miss Gay Missouri America Jennifer Foxx
1982 Jennifer Foxx Bobby Bruno Dallas Convention Center, Dallas, Texas Francesca Wakeland Tasha Kohl
1983 Francesca Wakeland Jon Meadows Ovens Auditorium, Charlotte, North Carolina Naomi Sims, Miss Gay Southwest America Tasha Kohl, Miss Gay Texas
1984 Tasha Kohl Jerry Faulkner Oklahoma City Convention Center, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma Naomi Sims, Miss Gay South Regional America Stella Starr, Miss Gay North Carolina America Tasha Kohl is notable for his creative and eccentric costuming and performance choices. He has also held the title of Miss National Entertainer of the Year, 1991.
1985 Naomi Sims Newman S. Braud Dallas Convention Center, Dallas, Texas Fritz Capone, Miss Gay Kansas America Melinda Ryder, Miss Gay Missouri America Naomi Sims was known as the "eyes of Texas" and revered for his stellar dancing skills. Naomi also held the 1990 emeritus title to Miss National Entertainer of the Year, and 1985 National Female Impersonator of the Year.
1986 Lauren Colby Robb Robinson Indianapolis Convention Center, Indianapolis, Indiana Diana Black, Miss Gay Great Lakes America Toni Lenoir, Miss Gay North Carolina Lauren Colby has the unique distinction of having won Miss Gay America on his first attempt at the national crown.
1987 Blaze Starr Dallas Convention Center, Dallas, Texas Cherry Lane, Second Alternate to Miss Gay Arkansas Kelly Ray
1988 Cherry Lane Michael Smothers Fox Theater, Atlanta, Georgia Rachel Masters Valerie Lohr, Miss Gay Texas America
1989 Vicki Vincent Roger Piatt Dallas Convention Center, Dallas, Texas Brandi Alexander, Miss Gay North Regional America Sweet Savage, Miss Gay Texas America
1990 Brandi Alexander Randy Fenoli Dallas Convention Center, Dallas, Texas Valerie Lohr, Miss Gay Midwest America Tiffany Bonet Randy Fenoli used his prize money to enroll in the Fashion Institute of Technology. He is currently the television host of Say Yes to the Dress.
1991 Valerie Lohr Gary Lytle Dallas Convention Center, Dallas, Texas Coco, Miss Gay South Regional America Tiffany Bonet
1992 Tiffany Bonet Acey Hendricks Majestic Theater, Dallas, Texas Leslie Rage Blair Williams, Miss Gay North Carolina America
1993 Leslie Rage Leslie DeLaCruz Majestic Theater, Dallas, Texas Coco Dieta Pepsi, Miss Gay Heart of America Leslie Rage declined an opportunity to dance with Siegfried & Roy in Las Vegas in order to serve as Miss Gay America.
1994 Jacqulyn DeVaroe Darius Cordell Murphy Majestic Theater, Dallas, Texas Ramona LeGer' Coppa LeMay Jacqueline DeVaroe also held the title of Miss Gay USofA 1997.
1995-A Ramona LeGer' Louis Marcello Majestic Theater, Dallas, Texas Patti Le Plae Safe, First Alternate to Miss Gulf States America Nicole Dubois, Miss Gay Southern Elegance America Ramona LeGer' died five months into his reign due to complications from AIDS.
1995-B Patti Le Plae Safe Rodd Grey Robinson Center Music Auditorium, Little Rock, Arkansas Patti Le Plae Safe was crowned Miss Gay America 1995 in a special ceremony prior to the 1996 pageant in Little Rock, Arkansas.
1996 Kerri Nichols Jeff Capell Robinson Center Music Auditorium, Little Rock, Arkansas Lauren Taylor, Miss Gay Texas America Linda Carrero
1997 Lauren Taylor Darrell Cantu Ovens Auditorium, Charlotte, North Carolina Laken Edwards Lana Eastman Lauren Taylor also held the title of Miss Gay USofA 1998.
1998 Maya Montana Ovens Auditorium, Charlotte, North Carolina Linda Carrero, Miss Gay Mid-America Lana Eastman
1999 Linda Carrero Omar Reyes Athena Theater, Little Rock, Arkansas Kirby Colby, Miss Gay West Virginia America Catia Lee Love
2000 Catia Lee Love Aron Harvey Lincoln Theater, Washington D.C. Charity Case, Miss Gay Southern Elegance America Kirby Kolby Catia is also former Miss Gay Oklahoma America 1998, and Miss Gay USofA Classic 2011.
2001 Charity Case Marc Coleman Athena Theater, Little Rock, Arkansas Sabrina White Dominique Sanchez Charity Case is the longest competing Miss Gay America winner. He competed 14 times in various state and regional pageants between 1984 and 2001 before winning the Miss Gay America 2001 title.
2002 Sabrina White Russell Marcum Dallas Convention Center-Dallas, Texas Kitty Bob Aimes, Miss Gay Oklahoma America Angela Dodd
2003 Dominique Sanchez Chris Williams Athena Theater-Little Rock, Arkansas Jayda Alexander, Miss Gay Louisiana America Angela Dodd Dominique has also held the titles of Miss Gay Arkansas America 1998 and Miss Gay USofA 2010.
2004 Rachael Erikks Athena Theater, Little Rock, Arkansas Alana Steele, Miss Gay Indiana America Truly Fabu
2005 Raquel Chevallier Athena Theater, Little Rock, Arkansas Alina Meletti, Miss Gay Florida America Alyssa Edwards
2006 Nicole DuBois Tommy Davis Cannon Center, Memphis, Tennessee Coti Collins, Miss Gay East Coast America Victoria Parker
2007 Luscious Cannon Center, Memphis, Tennessee Coti Collins, Miss Gay North Carolina Chantel Reshae Luscious has also held the title of Miss Gay USofA 2011.
2008 Mikayla Kay Josh Bolin Holiday Inn Select Airport Grand Ballroom, Memphis, Tennessee Layla Larue, Miss Gay Southern Elegance America Victoria DePaula, Miss Gay Midwest America
2009 Victoria DePaula Carl Glorioso Millennium Hotel Grand Ballroom, St. Louis, Missouri Chantel Reshae, Miss Gay East Coast America Coti Collins, Miss Gay Mideast America
2010-A Alyssa Edwards[11] Justin Johnson Millennium Hotel Ballroom, St. Louis, Missouri Coco Montrese, Miss Gay Heart of America Jessica Jade, Miss Gay D.C. America Title revoked due to unprofessionalism.
2010-B Coco Montrese Martin Cooper The Grey Fox Nightclub, St. Louis, Missouri
2011 Coti Collins David Lowman Lifestyles Pavilion Auditorium, Columbus, Ohio Jessica Jade, Miss Gay Mid-East America Chantel Reshae, Miss Gay Gulf States America Coti Collins is the second longest competing Miss Gay America winner.
2012 Kirby Kolby Capitol Theatre at the Riffe Center, Columbus, Ohio Jessica Jade, Miss Gay Atlantic States Jenna Skyy, Miss Gay Texas America
2013 Sally Sparkles Michael Sharp Sheraton Hotel Ballroom, Columbus, Ohio Blair Williams, First Alternate to Miss Gay Mid-America Jessica Jade, Miss Gay Southern Elegance America Sally Sparkles was the first contestant to win the title Miss Gay America and Miss Congeniality the same year.
2014 Jessica Jade Billy Wilson Millennium Hotel Ball Room, St. Louis, Missouri Blair Williams, Miss Gay D.C. America Krista Collins, Miss Gay Missouri America
2015 Blair Williams Todd Mauldin Millennium Hotel Ball Room, St. Louis, Missouri Truly Fabu, Miss Gay Eastern States America, 1st Alternate Kelly Ray, Miss Gay North Carolina America
2016 Asia O'Hara Antwan Lee Memphis, Tennessee Kelli Ray Shelton, Miss Gay Southeast America Dextaci, Miss Gay Southern States America Asia was the first to be crowned Miss Gay America on her first try since Lauren Colby. Asia is also a former Miss Gay USofA (2007) and All-American Goddess (2012).
2017 Suzy Wong Arnold Myint Memphis, Tennessee Kelly Ray Shelton, Miss Gay Heart of America 2016 Sofia Anderson, Miss Gay Texas America 2016
2018 Deva Station New Orleans, Louisiana Brook Lynn Hytes, 1st Alternate Miss Gay Heart of America 2017 Kelly Ray Shelton, Miss Gay New York America 2017
2019 Andora Te’Tee Michael Collins St. Louis, Missouri Dessie Love Blake, 1st Alternate, Miss Gay New York America 2018 Sofia Anderson, Miss Gay Nevada America 2018

Notable events[edit]

Shan Covington's title revocation[edit]

In 1976, Shan Covington's title was revoked 7 months into her reign for conduct unbecoming of a Miss Gay America titleholder. The title was offered to the 1976 First Alternate, Michael Andrews, who declined because she wanted to win the title. The title was then passed to the 1976 Second Alternate, Dani Daletto. This incident sparked the development of the current mandatory first alternate succession rules.[citation needed]

Showtime's Dream Boy's Revue[edit]

In 1985, titleholder Naomi Sims was also the crowned winner of the 1985 National Female Impersonator of the Year contest. That contest was organized by Norma Kristie, Inc., owner of the Miss Gay America pageant, but was created, produced and televised by the Showtime network in a television special called Dream Boy's Revue. The audience believed the pageant was real, but according to "finalist" Rachel Wells, the pageant was staged and each of the contestants were paid substantially to "compete." Additionally, the televised special faced issues with copyright infringement associated with certain lip syncing performances, which required much of the talent portion of the show to be dubbed when it was aired.[citation needed]

Death of titleholder Ramona LeGer'[edit]

In 1995, titleholder Ramona LeGer' died 5 months into her reign due to complications from AIDS. First Alternate Patti Le Plae Safe requested not to be crowned or wear the crown during the pageant year, instead serving as the official Miss Gay America Representative to honor Ramona LeGer's memory. Patti Le Plae Safe was crowned Miss Gay America 1995 in a special ceremony prior to the 1996 pageant in Little Rock, Arkansas. Patti donated large portions of her performance fees to AIDS charities while representing Miss Gay America 1995.[citation needed]

Alyssa Edwards' title revocation[edit]

In 2010, winner Alyssa Edwards had her title revoked due to scheduling conflicts with previous engagements and her Miss Gay America duties. The title was passed to the 2010 first alternate, Coco Montrese, who was crowned in a special ceremony at The Grey Fox Nightclub in St. Louis, MO. Alyssa Edwards and Coco Montrese appeared as contestants in season five of RuPaul's Drag Race, where the 2010 Miss Gay America pageant issues and animosity between Alyssa and Coco played a central theme throughout the season. L&T Productions later released a statement about the dramatized events, explaining their reasons for revoking Alyssa's title and their lack of knowledge about how this issue would be portrayed in the television series. They had been approached by the producers to provide copyright clearance for both Alyssa's and Coco's official Miss Gay America photos.[citation needed]

Mr. Gay All-American[edit]

The Mr. Gay All-American Contest was founded by Norma Kristie, Inc. in 1983 by the operators of Miss Gay America, Norman Jones and Carmel Santiago (Lady Baronessa, Miss Gay America 1974). The MGAA Contest was started to provide a venue for gay men to showcase their intellect, community service, and talent. It launched careers in professional entertainment for many young gay men. MGAA was the first contest of its kind, and its winner was considered to be the co-titleholder to Miss Gay America.

In 1995, Jones sold the Mr. Gay All-American Contest to Gib Hauersperger, who had been the contest director since the death of Carmel Santiago. Hauersperger operated the pageant until his retirement in 1999. Paul Lopez (Mr. Gay All-American 2000) operated the contest from 1999 to 2003, when Richard Greer (Mr. Gay All-American 1999) assumed the directorial role. John Beebe (Mr. Gay All-American 1996) succeeded Greer as director. In 2009, Beebe and Hauersperger announced that the Mr. Gay All-American Contest system would cease operations indefinitely.[12]

Mr. Gay All-American Titleholders
Year Titleholder
1983, 1984 Ron East
1985 Keith Mitchell
1986 Ered Matthew
1987 Medwin Johnson
1988 Brad Bemis
1989 Patrick Boyd
1990 Milo Masters
1991 TJ McKay
1992 John Michael Gordon
1993 EJ White
1994 David Pace
1995 John Reny
1996 John Martin Beebe
1997 Jonathan George
1998 Antonio Edwards
1999 Richard Greer
2000 Kristian Martinez
2001 Paul Lopez
2002 Ryan Davis
2003 Enrique Perez
2004 Dave Morgan
2005 Lucas Lander
2006 John Lucas
2007 Taz Bailey
2008 Sebastian Armonte
2009 Rasean Montrese

Mr. Gay America[edit]

In January 2017, Mad Angel Entertainment announced the return of Mr. Gay All-American as Mr. Gay America.[5][13]

Mr. Gay America Titleholders
Year Titleholder
2017 Kyle Ean
2018 Judas Elliot

In film[edit]

The 2008 documentary film Pageant presents a behind-the-scenes look at the 34th Miss Gay America pageant and some of the competitors, many of whom have since won the title of Miss Gay America.[14]

In 1982, Elizabeth Gracen, Miss America 1982, made her directorial debut with a documentary feature called The Damn Deal. The film is an intimate portrait of three female impersonators participating in the events surrounding the Miss Gay Little Rock Arkansas America pageant.[15]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d L&T Entertainment. "What is Miss Gay America?". Archived from the original on May 18, 2014. Retrieved May 18, 2014.
  2. ^ Margaret Ellis. "Miss Gay America Pageant: Battle for the Crown". Out and About Nashville.
  3. ^ L&T Entertainment. "Miss Gay America: Pageant History". Archived from the original on May 19, 2014. Retrieved May 16, 2014.
  4. ^ "Miss Gay America Pageant Sold to Mad Angel Entertainment".
  5. ^ a b "MGAZINE".
  6. ^ L&T Productions. "Miss Gay America Categories". Archived from the original on 2014-05-19.
  7. ^ L&T Productions. "Miss Gay America 2015 Schedule". Archived from the original on 2014-05-19.
  8. ^ "Internet Movie Database: Michael A. Andrews". Retrieved May 17, 2014.
  9. ^ Greenwell, John. "Teased Hair & the Quest for Tiaras: The Story of Rachel Wells, Miss Gay America 1979". Retrieved December 12, 2012.
  10. ^ "Internet Movie Database".
  11. ^ Hartwig, Gabe (2009-11-02). "50 contestants, 4 days, 1 Miss Gay America". St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Retrieved 2013-02-01.
  12. ^ CarrieFairfield.com Forums. "Mr. Gay All-American 1983-2009".
  13. ^ "The boys are back in town - Dallas Voice". 30 June 2017.
  14. ^ Lee, Nathan (2008-12-25). "There She Is, Miss ... Well, Actually, It's Mr". The New York Times. Retrieved 2013-02-01.
  15. ^ thesmokingpen.co.uk. "The Smoking Pen: Elizabeth Gracen".

External links[edit]