Photo above by Alexander John Photography.
Thanks to “RuPaul’s Drag Race,” drag, the art of female impersonation, is huge. If you love drag and live in the Harrisburg area, you will want to attend Miss Gay Pennsylvania America 2019, a preliminary competition to the nationwide Miss Gay America pageant, to be held at Club XL on July 13.
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 Pennsylvania America is a “closed state” preliminary–meaning contestants must meet the 90 day residency requirement and must qualify, as winner or first alternate, through an official city/metropolitan preliminary.
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 Pennsylvania America 2018 Jaslene Dickson of Harrisburg (above and up top) and feature an appearance by the reigning Miss Gay America 2019 and former Miss Gay Maryland America 2006, Andora Te’tee of New York City (below) and a slew of previous Miss Gay Pennsylvania America titleholders.
The pageant’s theme, chosen by Jaslene Dickson, is “Queens of the Nile.” While Presentation–when we get a first look at the contestants– is a non-judged category, those competing for the Miss Gay Pennsylvania America crown are asked to wear an ancient Egypt inspired costume.
Miss Gay Pennsylvania America 2019
July 13th, 2019
801 South 10th Street Harrisburg, PA 17104
Doors open at 6 pm Pageant starts at 7 pm
Honoring Miss Gay Pennsylvania America 2018, Jaslene Dickson
Featuring Miss Gay America 2019, Andora Te’Tee
Details at www.missgaypennsylvaniaamerica.net
Follow Miss Gay Pennsylvania America 2018 Jaslene Dickson on Instagram @jaslenedickson
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.