That year we saw a first time contestant win the title of MGAA. TC Taylor was crowned that night and started a reign that would defy a lot of boundaries and skeptics. TC was one of the few that won the title of Miss Gay Arizona America on their first try and one of only a couple that won Miss Gay Arizona America as a first alternate to their city preliminary. TC never won a city crown but quickly showed why she would later be one of the most successful Miss Gay Arizonas. Now from the beginning TC had some hurdles to maneuver. I am not sure if people felt she wasn’t ready for the title, or if she had not paid her dues yet but there were a lot of who felt like the judges got this one wrong. I personally feel like this only empowered TC to make her reign a success because if she failed, her critics would win.
Going to Miss Gay America that year was my kind of escape from reality. My mom was really sick throughout 2009 and during the fall/winter her doctors had scheduled a blood morrow transplant for her. It was something that was supposed to suppress her entire immune system but then give her more power to fight the cancer that was living inside of her. The one thing I always knew is that I didn’t have to worry about much when it came to TC. There were not ulterior motives, there was no ego, TC was real and real upfront about everything. That year our first preliminary was Miss Gay Tucson America, held at the Hotel Arizona. I had been down to Tucson that weekend spending time with my mom who was in hospital and had timing planned when I could leave visiting hours, head to my parents’ house, shower and go to the pageant. We had a wonderful male interview session and when I headed home that afternoon to get ready for the pageant I was confident everything would fall into place. Life always throws little wrenches into plans because that afternoon I went home, put the key in the door and SNAP, the key broke inside of the door! WTF is all I thought. Luckily my dad was on his way home and we called a locksmith, but like life would have it, that locksmith took FOREVER! I was stressed because this was TC’s first preliminary. I remember calling TC and explaining the situation and with no stress or hesitation in her voice she said, “Handle what you have to and I will see you soon.” This was the first of many times that TC would reassure me. Of course I called Mya who was there as well and asked her to be there for TC and that I would be there as soon as I could. I think I showered, dressed and got to the venue in less than 10 minutes (a feat for anyone that knows me)! They had already completed Solo Talent and I was told where TC and Mya were tabulating. Mind you, I had all the stuff for the preliminary in my car. I walk back to this dark area of the ballroom and see Mya and TC tabulating…on Mya’s flip phone!!!! My heart dropped but laughed at the same time. Never once did Mya or TC get mad at me, except I remember Mya giving me one of her infamous looks. They did their job and at that moment I felt lucky to have those two in my life because that is what family does, helps when they are most needed.
After solo talent mishaps from the previous year, Diva was crowned Miss Gay Tucson America that night! That night really showed me that Diva really wanted to leave her mark in the system and the next few years would solidify her position as one of Arizona’s best (more to come in Chapter 2012).
I don’t think I would have been able to keep Miss Gay Arizona floating if it were not for TC Taylor. During this whole ordeal I never once had to think about what Miss Gay Arizona was doing or not doing. Miss Gay Phoenix America was scheduled for the week of my mom’s funeral and I remember TC telling me not to worry that everything was under control, and it really was. I never doubted TC’s words and I knew if anything, Miss Gay Arizona was in great hands because TC was cool under pressure and had nothing but the best intentions when it came to the pageant system. I remember walking into the church, during my mom’s funeral and seeing TC, Mya, Mike Jacobs and Bryon Wiley. Seeing them there made me happy and smile at a time that was not really easy for me. I will never forget this and will always thank them for being there for me and my family.
In missing Miss Gay Phoenix America, I also missed the debut of Nevaeh McKenzie into the Miss Gay America scene. Nevaeh brought a youthfulness into our system that started in 2010, as Miss Gay Phoenix America. She would be another person that will later be featured in Chapter 2015, The Redemption!
In all the sadness and confusion of my life, I was able to have some hope and joy. Around that time, I met someone really important to me, Nick Ray. He really helped me cope with my feelings and with understanding how to deal with the loss of my mom. He never judged me when I was sad or when I needed to cry, he just let me. I will also be grateful to Nick for never giving up on me and for letting my feelings be real and valid.
Chapter 2010 will pick up during the Miss Gay Arizona America 2010 pageant and will chronical the 2010/2011 pageant season!