Miss Gay America 2018 Deva Station. Photo by Scotty Kirby.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Andy Reynolds, Popular Publicity, email@example.com
Established in Nashville in 1972–37 years before "RuPaul's Drag Race"–The Miss Gay America Pageant is the world’s first, longest running and most prestigious female impersonator competition.
The pageant will feature special performances by Miss Gay America 2006 Nicole DuBois (below), of Gulfport, Mississippi and the reigning Miss Gay America 2018 Deva Station.
The evening's theme will be "Putting on the Glitz." For the Presentation category, contestants will be asked interpret the theme, in their gown, costume and look.
Miss Gay Alabama America is a "standard regional pageant," meaning there is no specific residency requirement, other than contestants must be a resident of the United States.
Contestants will compete in five categories: Male Interview (in suit and tie), Presentation (theme based costume), 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 others for the Miss Gay America 2019 crown St. Louis this October. The pageant will take place at the enormous new Hamburger Mary's St. Louis, which was recently opened by Miss Gay America pageant owners Michael Dutzer and Rob Mansman and partner David Pardue. It is one of the largest of in the drag-themed 19-restaurant franchise.
This is the first Miss Gay Alabama pageant since 2006, when Ashley Kruiz (below) won the crown. During the pageant, Kruiz, who died in 2013, will be posthumously honored with the Ashley Kruiz Talent Award.
About Ashely Kruiz from OurCommunityRoots.com: "Ashley Kruiz, known as the “Sweetheart of the South” or “automatic, Kruzamatic”, was an entertainer who had roots in Kentucky and Atlanta, Georgia. Originally from Frankfort, Kentucky, her first appearance in drag was about 30 miles southeast of her hometown at Café LMNOP in Lexington. She had performed all over the country and been a part of many top show casts including “LaBoy LaFemme” in Louisville, Kentucky and “Charlie Brown’s Cabaret” in Atlanta. In most recent years, Ashley had been seen at places like Stage Door in Tucker, Georgia and Burkharts in Atlanta."
About the Miss Gay America Pageant
To get glimpse into the world of female impersonator competition, check out the trailer (above) for the award-winning 2008 documentary "Pageant" on Vimeo.
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: Male Interview, Presentation (theme based costume), Evening Gown, Talent (fully produced stage production; sets, dancers, permitted), On Stage Interview.
With no body augmentation below the neck allowed, many contestants rely on breast pads, hip pads, flattering clothing, hairstyle and make-up to merge into a winning combination that will score high enough to become the nation’s next Miss Gay America.
The Male Interview category validates the male persona in the contestants whereby contestants are interviewed in male business suit attire. Male Interview is the category to truly allow judges the opportunity to know the contestants and hear answers on a wide variety of topics.
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. •