As the days, weeks, and months fly by, I continue to experience and learn so much. Let’s start with our two recent prelims. We had our 30th annual Miss Greenville America pageant in early June. After having lived in Greenville for some years and experiencing such personal growth and love for this system, I felt a full circle being completed to return as Miss NC America for this pageant. I was prepared to handle everything as usual, but little was required of me. These folks showed me that they’ve been doing this for years and they know just how to run a pageant. I’d like to thank the promoters for matching the money we raised in my platform 50/50 raffle. I also want to thank my newfound drag mother Felicia Powers, for sharing the stage with me in a fun duet of "Two Little Girls From Little Rock". That was awesome!
We saw three amazing contestants and it was a strong contest between them all. Congrats to my sister Chloe Cassidy for being crowned Miss Greenville America 2016, and to first alternate Satine Allure. I was very impressed by the 2nd alternate as well, Christina Cozette. If this newcomer proceeds in our system (and I sure hope she will), the girls better look out! I also want to congratulate Geena Davis on an amazing year as Miss Greenville and a lovely give up.
The following weekend brought me to Fayetteville, NC for the 2nd Annual Miss Carolina Sugar America pageant. These promoters put so much hard work into their contest, and it showed. They gave so much love and respect to me and everyone involved in the pageant. Thanks to Alan Prevatt for donating his winning half of the 50/50 raffle back to my platform, the Crape Myrtle Festival. Congrats to the newly crowned Miss Carolina Sugar America 2016, Paris Brooks and first alternate, Kristiana Elite. Congrats also to Kimora Lee Matthews for a beautiful year as Sugar Emeritus and a lovely give up.
We had a new contestant on the scene at this pageant and Aria Russo is turning a lot of heads! One year into drag and she is doing amazing things. I hope she will find a home at America as I have. Amazing Grace has also been active in our prelims this year and she has shown so much growth and determination. The work she is putting into herself is well worth some strong recognition.
In the meantime, I have been fortunate to continue to perform in regular shows and take part in some wonderful events. I’ve seen so many sisters across the country raising money for the Pulse Nightclub relief efforts in Orlando. I’ve been blessed to perform at our CMF Drag Brunch, where we not only raised money for our community in NC, but also an additional $1,000 to send to Orlando.
In closing but not brevity, I feel that as a representative for our beautiful state and community, I must address recent events that have directly affected us. We gained National equal marriage rights just a year ago and as beautiful as it was, it did not signify FULL EQUAL RIGHTS for LGBT Americans. We’ve been used as political pawns in ‘bathroom bills’ that have spread an image of us as being repulsive and predatory. We have seen and felt the Pulse Orlando LGBT massacre. Meanwhile, politicians have used this tragedy to push their views on terrorism while ignoring and downplaying the effects on our people. We are continuing to be physically and verbally attacked across the country without provoking others.
I look at all that’s going on today, during my year to represent our state, and I think of how we cry, fear, celebrate, and stand to fight beside each other. We are a strong and resilient people and despite the magnitude of backlash we are receiving, we have never stood down and we never will.
We have seen a major shift in our movement, and with it has come major backlash from those who simply do not understand us. A part of me feels like these occurrances are signs that we are well on our way. Haters and bigots are angrier than ever, and it’s because we are winning the big fight. We are not quiet and we are very visible to the rest of the world. Let us not forget how we were silenced altogether not so long ago. Our rise is rapid and will continue to be until we are treated with the respect and dignity we deserve. One by one, people are realizing that we don’t seek to take anything away from others in demanding full equality for ourselves. This is a time for us to band together to see this through to the end. In the meantime however, please make good decisions and help those you love to do the same.
I hear many people saying that we should be more kind and loving to each other as a community, instead of tearing each other down all the time. I have toiled with this thought and I realize something. Any group of people is going to have arguments, differences, and more within that group. We are human and these are human traits. But human traits also include love, friendship, and support for others. I have seen all of these qualities everywhere I look during my journey. Let us be cognizant and proud of our strengths, and we will only grow stronger.
So, with deep love and respect for fellow drag performers, trans friends, victims of violence, and those who know the feeling of being silenced and intimidated due only to the hatred of others… I send you my offerings of love, support, and strength. I am proud to be a small part of the fabric of this beautiful community. Together, we rise!
My Love and Respect,
Miss Gay NC America 2015
I'm busy working on my blog posts. Watch this space!