Photo above by Scotty Kirby.
Media contact: Andy Reynolds, Popular Publicity, firstname.lastname@example.org
Thanks to “RuPaul’s Drag Race,” drag, the art of female impersonation, is huge. If you love drag and live in the New Orleans area, you will want to attend Miss Gay Southern Elegance America 2019, a preliminary competition to the nationwide Miss Gay America pageant, to be held at the Mags 940 Guest House on June 9.
Established in Nashville in 1972, The Miss Gay America Pageant is the world’s first, longest running and most prestigious female impersonator (aka drag) competition.
Miss Gay Southern Elegance America is a regional preliminary–meaning contestants from across the U.S. can enter. It is one of over one hundred city, state and regional preliminary currently happening across the country leading up to the national 48th annual Miss Gay America Pageant in St. Louis this October.
Contestants will compete in four judged categories: Male Interview (in suit and tie), Evening Gown, On Stage Interview and Talent (big production number with costumes, sets and dancers). The winner will go on to compete with nearly 50 other female impersonators from across the U.S. for the Miss Gay America 2020 crown this Fall in St. Louis.
The prelim will honor the current Miss Gay Southern Elegance America 2016 Trixie LaRue of St. Louis (up top), feature an appearance by Miss Gay America 2019 Andora Te’tee of New York City (above), performances by a slew of former title holders and a special guest appearance by Miss Continental Elite 2016 Teryl Lynn Fox.
The pageant’s theme, chosen by Trixie LaRue, is “50 Shades of Pride” to commemorate the 50th Anniversary of the Stonewall riots, which were pivotal to the LGBTQIA+ movement and experience in the United States.
While Presentation–when we get a first look at the contestants– is a non-judged category, those competing for the Miss Gay Southern Elegance America crown are asked to wear a pride-inspired outfit that celebrates the history of the LBTQIA+ community.
Miss Gay Southern Elegance America 2019
an official preliminary pageant to Miss Gay America 2020
Mag’s 940 Guest House
940 Elysian Fields Avenue
New Orleans, LA 70117
$15 General Admission
Honoring Miss Gay Southern Elegance America 2016, Trixie LaRue
Featuring Miss Gay America 2019, Andora Te’Tee
Follow the Miss Gay Arizona America pageant on Instagram @missgayazamerica.
About the Miss Gay America Pageant
The Miss Gay America system is very similar in nature to the Miss America or Miss USA system, except that the contestants are men impersonating women. It is not easy to win this title as it takes much talent, creativity, glamour, elegance, sophistication and desire to entertain, to successfully create the illusion in which the judges will approve.
Currently, contestants are rigorously judged in five categories: Presentation (only judge at nationals), Male Interview, Evening Gown, Talent (fully produced stage production; sets, dancers, permitted), On Stage Interview.
With no surgical body augmentations below the neck directly related to promoting/enhancing a feminine image (female breasts, hips, etc.) allowed, contestants must rely on the skills and techniques of the art female impersonation–breast pads, hip pads, flattering clothing, wigs and make-up–to create a female impersonation that will score high enough with the judges to win the title of Miss Gay America. Read complete MGA Handbook via the About page at www.missgayamerica.com.
Contestants are in it to win it, easily spending thousands of dollars in preparation for this ultimate female impersonator competition. While some design their own gowns, others spend as much as $15,000 at houses from Vera Wang to Versace. Add in shoes and jewelry, plus fees for choreographers, props, dressers, wig stylists, make-up artists and travel and it quickly adds up.
During her reign, a newly crowned Miss Gay America can earn as much as $70,000 in cash, prizes, travel, and appearance fees. Regardless, the consensus among contestants is what matters most is not the money spent or won, but the title!
To date, over 10,000 men from over thirty states have competed for the Miss Gay America crown. •
• More and the history of the Miss Gay America on the About page of Miss Gay America website.
• To get glimpse into the world of female impersonator competition, check out the trailer for the award-winning 2008 documentary “Pageant” on Vimeo.
• Read the latest on the Miss Gay America blog, MGAZINE.
Related: The Big Heart of Miss Gay America: Pageant Owners Announce Creation Charitable Foundation to Mentor, Benefit LGBTQ Youth: Pageant owners crown Lady Gaga (photo) the first ever Honorary Miss Gay America, donate $5000 to her Born This Way Foundation, and launch the Miss Gay America Foundation to mentor, benefit LGBTQ youth.