As I sit here to write the last “La Marie Times”, there are so many things that come to my mind. It has been an amazing year and I thank God for all his blessing and for allowing me to be Arizona’s Symbol of Excellence.
There are so many people to Thank. Many people that have helped make this year a success. But this time I want to thank those individuals that have been my back bone all year long. First of all, my best friend Galilea Sodi. Thank you for everything. Thank you for always checking on me to make sure I personally doing ok and not going crazy. Thank you for the unconditional love. When I needed someone to just listen, you have always been there.
My hair stylist, my seamstress, my Tia Charles Horner aka La Guerra. Thank you for making sure I was looking good at every prelim. I will never forget my first prelim in Tucson when I walked off stage after my crown song. You held me in your arms while I cried and you made sure I looked good before I went out again. You took me in your arms all year and made sure I had everything I needed. You are amazing.
My sister Diva. You were with me at every prelim. You were always checking on me to make sure I was ready to go. Whenever I had a question or was frustrated over something, you were there to listen. You were my right hand and guided me to make sure I was doing what was best. I thank you for everything.
To my uncle Barbra Seville. Thank you for everything you have done this year. You have pulled every nerve in my body and I thank you for that. That means you cared for me. All the times you “schooled” me, I thank you for it. I thank you for all your advice because it has helped me in one way or another.
Finally, to my partner in crime, Daniel Eckstrom. I thank you for everything. For all the laughs, the tears and for all the joy you have brought to my life. I am so glad you are part of my life. I thank God for allowing me to share this year with you. We had an amazing year, and when times were hard, me made the best of it and always laughed ourselves out of it. I will treasure all those memories forever. #foreversucias
I also want to take this moment to thank all the show directors and special event directors throughout the valley and state that have had me in their shows. My sisters, Nevaeh McKenzie, Diamond Dallas, China Collins, Ruby Reynolds, Pussy Lehoot Lady Christian, Janee’ Starr, Lucinda Holiday, Savannah Stevens, Afeelya Bunz, Barbra Seville, Faleasha Savage, Celia Putty. I thank you all for the time and allowing me to be part of your shows.
To all the former Miss Arizona’s, I thank you all for the love and the support. Mya McKenzie and TC Taylor thank you for checking on me periodically. Angela Dodd, Devina Ross, Celia Putty, Amanda Burry, Lucinda Holiday, Bunny Fufu, Tori Steele, Phaedra, Thank you for all the advice throughout the year. I am so glad to be part of this sisterhood. I am glad I got to spend time with most of you. Thank you for the memories.
To the City Prelim Promoters: Todd, Gabriel, Judy, TC, Diva, Ricky, Thomas, Joey, Sherman and Joseph. Thank you so much for making my job easier. You were all amazing and allowed us to have a successful year. I love every single one of you!
Thank you to all of you that in one way or the other were part of my year. A mi gente Latina, Gracias por todo. Gracias por el Apoyo! Thank you to the Arizona LGBT community from Flagstaff to Sedona, from Phoenix to Tucson. I thank you all for the love. Words can never express my gratitude.
To the people I have met throughout the years while competing at Miss Gay America, I thank you for the emails and FB messages. It’s incredible to log in to Facebook and see messages from people on the East Coast or from up North that remember you from Miss Gay America. Miss Gay America is truly a family!
To my co-workers and friends. Thank you for all the support. Araceli, Janae, Ivy, Elba, Tamara, Thank you for coming out to the prelims and supporting me. Tamara thank you for making sure I didn’t fall of the car at Pride Parade. Thank you to all for making sure I was always okay at work. I love you all very much.
Finally, I leave the best for last. My family. I know in my heart that you are all proud of me. Even though I know you all don’t agree with my lifestyle or will probably never read this, I thank you all because you will always be my “life”. Thank you to my parents for teaching me to always do well to others. To always treat everyone fairly. To treat others the way I want to be treated. Thank you for loving me no matter the situation.
Once again, I thank you all for allowing me to represent you. If I have forgotten someone, please forgive me it was not my intention. It’s hard to remember everyone.
To all the new “drag queens” trying to find their way in this business I leave you with this: “Live in the moment and make it so beautiful that it will be worth remembering, Always live your dream!”
Miss Gay Arizona America 2013
From the Journal of Miss Gay Arizona America 2015, Nevaeh McKenzie