It has been such a whirlwind! It feels like forever since I've had a moment to sit down and write a few words. So far I've overseen 5 prelims, (Miss Tucson, Miss Copper City, Miss Cosmopolitan, Miss Queen of the Desert, and Miss Phoenix) Wow! What a ride. The contestants have impressed me beyond words. There is one prelim left (Miss Metropolis) and I have mixed feelings about it. On one hand I am SUPER excited to see what will happen, on the other hand I know this is my last prelim as Miss Arizona. Aside from prelims, I have been keeping quite busy making appearances around town.
Although I call Tucson my home, I've been in Phoenix quite a bit! I wouldn't have it any other way. I have been really trying to connect the two cities and blur the lines between the communities. One thing that makes me proud is when I see friends from opposite cities at shows just to show support. I'm so lucky to represent Arizona. I never knew the amount of love a community has. They show it in their own special ways, it makes me feel so proud. While I was at a show in Phoenix I was able to talk to a former Miss Arizona America and discuss what it meant to hold this crown. I hope whoever takes over in July realizes the opportunities that await.
I've been really busy running VIVA LA DIVA and TAKING BACK MONDAY's at IBT's in Tucson. OMG, what a ride so far! I also was able to help choose Miss Gay Arizona USofA, Newcomer, and Classic as well as Miss Gay Western States America. One thing I've learned about America and USofA is, we are all one family. One family striving for a similar goal. Both systems have talent beyond words. But one thing is for sure....Nationals is going to be such a battle! Good luck to all my sisters going after their dreams.
Dreams....what a good subject. I've been thinking about my dream for quite a while now. During a conversation with a friend he asked me, "What's next?" This caught me a bit off guard. I sat back and thought to myself...."What is next?" I can remember the moment I realized I wanted to be Miss Tucson. It was watching Adrienne Alexander give up the crown to Tempest Dujour. There was such magic that whole day. I saw the details Adrienne had put into everything....even the water bottles had her face on it! I saw the formers gather with the crown in their hands and as it was announced, I had chills all over! At that point I knew I needed to be a part of this.
Seeing Miss Arizona for the first time was different. It seemed so far away....I saw Mya McKenzie get crowned and it was beyond words or feelings that I could describe. I thought, I don't want this....I need this. I'm not going to stop until I get it. So I did it over and over and over again. I was there every year from that point....Dreamgirls and Sache Van Cartier, Lucy in the Sky and TC Taylor, Fame and Celebrity Starr, Sunset Blvd and Celia Putty.....then it was Americano. We are all a product of what we see, hear, admire, and strive for. When something inspires us, we do what we can to satisfy that muse. I am a product of the past. I remember seeing Phaedra perform "Body Beautiful" at Charlie's even before I came out to my family. I can remember watching Bunny Fu Fu at IBT's every Saturday night and making this look easy....and it's not! Being at Tucson pride and sitting next to Barbra Seville and telling her, I think I want to do drag.....I was so nervous! But nerves are symbols of our passion. They let us know we are alive. That this means something. I never knew passion until I stepped into this world.
This is a world unlike any other. It can bring out the worst....yet it also brings out the best. It's our responsibility as performers to realize that. I look at those people in the audience....it could be any of you. Any one of you may be who I crown next. I was that person....watching every show I could. Taking it all in...being inspired by the faces. When I talk to new performers I remember that. I remember being that person watching Mya, TC, Angela, Tori, Lucinda...I remember wanting to see Mikayla Kay dance the house down. They all gave me what I needed. They made me feel alive.....they made me feel like I belonged. Something I had never felt before.....
We take ourselves too seriously sometimes. We forget that deep down, we are those lost children trying to "belong". Instead of shutting people out and "reading"....we should be welcoming and listening. Showing eachother that we all understand that fundamental feeling inside all of us in the LGBTQ community. We all know how it feels to be less than....to be looked down on....to made feel like we don't belong. We shouldn't practice this within our own walls. We get so much from the outside. I'm proud to represent Arizona, and hopefully be that person to break down some of those walls. There is so much work yet to be done.
Until next time Arizona, don't be scared of hair and paint, hit the stage and make em' faint! MUAH!
Add FilesAdd Photos
From the Journal of Miss Gay Arizona America 2015, Nevaeh McKenzie