As I sit down to write my monthly installment, I’m feeling so very grateful and humbled. The past few weeks have been quite an emotional roller coaster filled with experiences I wouldn’t trade for the world. I was reflecting last night on my reign thus far and I have had quite a few challenges to overcome, but I can honestly say I have grown from them and that the rewarding experiences have been greater.
Last week, I was informed of a young lady named Kyla, who was at Duke Hospital awaiting a heart transplant. She posted on Facebook that all she wanted was some drag queens in her life to help cheer her up from her daily battles with health. I worked with other interested female impersonators and with the hospital to arrange a group visit. Once I met her, I was sure that the gift was given from her to me and certainly not the other way around.
She was a joy to get to know and she inspired me to focus on the things that really matter in life and to move past the distractions that we all have a tendency to hone in on. To see someone of her age survive a fight for her life is something I hold close to my heart. I feel so fortunate to have this time with her and I look forward to hearing of more milestones reached as she works her way toward the life she wants for herself. I left the hospital and enjoyed a meal with my friends Shelita Hoyle Bonet, Lily Diva’Ine, Evon Michelle, Emily Scott, and James Graebner. Then, I went home to finish my packing for Charlotte the next morning.
I got to Charlotte early enough to visit the first Miss Gay NC America, Brandy Alexander in hospice care as she prepares to take her final bow from this stage we call life. This was a very personal and private visit so I would just like to say that I am so very grateful for the precious moments we shared. This has to be one of the most valuable experiences I have had during my reign thus far. I look forward to giving my prelim winners a little something as a shared gift from this moment.
Brandy has been a pioneer in female impersonation in our great state for most of her life. She was the first to be crowned Miss Gay NC America and also Miss Gay NC USofA. She has dedicated her life to this art form and to those who share her passion for it. She has also been a leader in the LGBT community in many other ways. Just ask anyone who has had the joy of knowing her and you will hear story upon story about Brandy.
I have tears in my eyes as I write this, knowing that Brandy is going to pass at any time now. I think of the ways in which she inspired me, the life she has led in times when being your true self was much more difficult than it is now, and I think of all of my NC sisters who have so many more years of memories with her than I do. My heart hurts for the loss they are experiencing. If you know Brandy, you know… she did it HER way. I take that as a lesson in life to be my own true self at any cost. We all love you so much, Brandy! Light up the heavens with the glitter, beads, and sequins you dazzled us with for so many years.
I had to leave my visit with Brandy and head directly to Chasers Bar, where I had the distinct honor of judging the Miss Gay NC USofA pageant. This was such a great experience. The contestants wanted this title deep in their hearts and it shined through all evening. They sure made it difficult to judge. I want to congratulate Shana Nicole and Anna Hairfield for organizing a successful state pageant with professionalism and lots of love. I also want to congratulate the winner, Breyannah Allure and 1st alternate Aiesha Paris. They also crowned Miss Gay SC USofA that night and I want to congratulate the winner, Reina Parque LaReese and 1st alternate, Hillary Matthews. Our state will be well represented at Miss Gay USofA this year.
The following Sunday, I was cast in the Crape Myrtle Festival’s monthly Drag Brunch fundraiser for HIV/AIDS, alongside Kelly Ray, Lindsay Starr, Ebony Summers, and Sasha Everhart. We had such a great time entertaining the crowd of over 100 people and raising money for those in need. This is always one of my favorite gigs to work.
Whew! All of this leads me back to today, where Iam planning the last few minor details for my first city prelim as Miss NC America. Miss Charlotte will be held at the Scorpio on Sunday, March 27. I cannot wait to work with Tiffany Storm, Von Entertainment, and Amanda Gee for a wonderful contest. I encourage all contestants in the Charlotte area to come for this title. There is more information about this and other prelims on our Facebook page and in the “2016 Preliminaries” section of this website.
As always, I am here for any contestant, promoter, or interested party regarding these prelims and our state pageant this year. Please feel free to reach out to me for anything you need. With all that’s been going on, I would like to close by saying be kind to yourselves and to others. Remember what matters most in life and work to cultivate those things... and always… reach for the stars.
With all of my love and respect,
Miss Gay NC America 2015
I'm busy working on my blog posts. Watch this space!