Prelim season is in full effect and I’m loving every minute of it. I’m so excited for the promoters and contestants as they prepare and execute their goals for 2016. We’ve already seen two prelims and there are more to come in June. I want to congratulate our most recent additions to the MGNCA 2016 pageant, your newly crowned Miss Capital City America, Kimora Lee Matthews and first alternate, Malaya Chanel Iman. Also, I want to congratulate the promoter Jeni’a Rochelle for a wonderful contest. This pageant has a rich history and many of those who hold this title have gone on to win our state pageant and even the coveted title of Miss Gay America.
I want to be a bit more personal that I have been in previous editions of my excellence. I’ve had the privilege of continuing to travel our beautiful state in the past month to judge pageants in other systems and to perform in various venues. It’s been quite a rollercoaster ride. Many folks have asked me what it’s been like for me now that I have ‘made it’ in our state. I often say that I’ve been lucky enough to earn this learning experience. For me, I never think I have made it because I always focus on my next goals. This year has given me many opportunities to help others, learn from and about others, and to learn more about myself. I’ve had many opportunities for growth and regardless of some negative outsider perspectives of a small number of folks who happen not to know me, I have seized each opportunity.
If I had to give advice to anyone regarding this journey or any other, it would be to define your own experience and never allow others to do it for you. This is your journey and your story. If the last page was written today, would you be satisfied with the role you played? Take every chance to cultivate your own soul and ignore those who seek to stand in your way. If you know you use your conscience, you work hard, and you try to be your very best self in all that you do, nobody else’s opinion of you can sway a thing.
For me, I was homeless at sixteen. I experienced a lot of tragedy and abuse, more than anyone will ever know about. I was a high school dropout. I was lost. I later started working on myself and I continue to do so today. I earned a GED and an Associate’s degree while working three jobs and rarely sleeping. I got accepted to UNC and became the first in my family to have a college degree, making me a very proud Tarheel. I became the co-chair and soon, the chair of the Crape Myrtle Festival, working hard to give back to my community. I am now Miss NC America. I share all of this for two reasons. One… I did not do all of this to be conceited or to hurt anyone… quite the opposite. My success is not at the cost of anyone else. I did it all myself because I once believed I was worthless and one day chose not to settle for that. I chose to be my best self. Two… anybody who reads this can know that they can do anything they set their minds to. You can and you will if you give it your all!
I recently had a chance to share my art form with family. I’ve been involved with the art of female illusion for over 18 years and I’ve never had family support. It was a huge void for me. This is partly due to a lot of tragedy in my direct family, causing me to grow up virtually alone. I have been reconnecting with cousins that I was separated from and they wanted to see what I do. I packed some bags and my crown, booked a gig in their area of Florida, and said ‘here goes nothing… or everything’. They all came out to see me and they showed me all of the love and support I have yearned for all of these years. To have unconditional love like this is so empowering and freeing. I give thanks to this system for shaping me to be the entertainer I am today and for leading me to a place where I could have such a moment.
As this year has transpired, I have had all of the feelings. There have been good and bad experiences but I now feel transformed. I own my actions, my experiences, and my life. As we head into these last couple of months, I will continue to be… the true and real me. Do with it what you will, but I know that I dreamed for years of what I would do and who I would be if ever given this chance. I may have fallen short at times this year, but nothing will stop me from being real to the dreams that have become my reality. I am still writing my story and I am loving the opportunity to witness so many of you doing the very same thing. Remember that humility and confidence can live in the same heart. They actually can’t live well without each other.
Thank you for oh so much, and especially for allowing me to be a bit personal in my excellence this month. I do hope that something I have done with this title has affected someone in a positive way. I’m feeling pretty sure it has.
All of my love and respect,
Miss Gay NC America 2015
I'm busy working on my blog posts. Watch this space!