It feels like I was just crowned MGAA16 yesterday when in reality it's actually been closer to 5 months! To say that I am having the time of my life would be an understatement . I am so humbled and internally grateful for all the gifts in my life, my partner Wes and all of our friends that have touched my life!
With the sweetness in life also comes the sour. In the month of August we all, as a community, lost a dear friend Gabriel Medellin. Gabe was not only a son, brother and friend but a kind and generous soul who truly touched the lives of everybody he knew. Gabriel was coordinator for the Men of Charlies in 2010, as well as a co-promoter to Miss Gay Phoenix America along with Todd Wyckoff. Gabriel always encouraged me to follow my dreams to become Miss Gay Arizona America and Miss Gay America and never give up! Thank you Gabriel for all of your love, friendship and the honor of getting to share your life with each of us! The Miss Gay Arizona America family will not be the same without Gabriel but will keep him in our hearts and memory. I, as MGAA16, hear by rename the "Promoter of the Year " award to The Gabriel Medellin Promoter of the Year Award!
Since winning the title of MGAA16 I have been very busy preparing, along with my Savvy Squad, to travel to Memphis, Tennessee to compete for the 46th annual Miss Gay America contest! There is truly a village of friends and family that have helped me and still continue to believe in me and my dreams! The time quickly came to drive the 1400 miles to go and try to capture my next dream of becoming Miss Gay America! When we arrived in Memphis after 25 hours on the road, I felt a calm come over me that I haven't felt before! I was still a little nervous of course but I was finally there as MGAA and eager to compete and show the judges why I was there! After some much needed sleep for Wes and me I was ready to compete! I was part of such an incredible team "Team Arizona " (Suzy Wong, Bianca Solei, Barbra Seville and myself ), the Savvy Squad (Wes Eichsteadt Chris Brady-Wakimoto Jeremiah Huerta Brooke Anderson Leah Stumpf Todd Wyckoff Mark Boyd Bryan Parks and many more that have helped so much! ) along with 2 of the best pageant promoters in the business Daniel Eckstrom and Nick Ray ! Thank you so much to both of you for all of your love support and friendship and for helping and welcoming me and always being there for me with whatever I have ever needed!
I am so extremely proud of my sisters on Team AZ and so proud of everything they accomplished! I felt beautiful and confident in each category wearing a new solo talent costume and beautiful gown both made by Wes Eichsteadt and Lynn of divinesyncdesigns.com My gown was beautifully beaded by former Miss Arizona USOFA Newcomer and Elements cast mate Adriana Galliano !
October 8th was the MGA Review Show! Asia Ohara, MGA 16, along with the new owners of MGA Rob Mansman and Michael Dutzer gave out preliminary awards for best interview, Solo talent, evening gown and long talent for each group of contestants. I am proud and thrilled to announce that I won talent in my group and received an award, "Asia's Favorites of 2016" for the category of talent!
Congratulations to Daniel Eckstrom for winning the Preliminary Of the Year Award and to Barbra Seville for winning the Asia's Accolades Best Interview and to Suzy Wong for winning best gown and interview in her group!
October 9th was my birthday and also final night of MGA. When all of the contestants were on stage I felt so proud not only for myself but for all of my sisters. We all share one dream and one goal and we all came and left it on the stage! As they started calling the top 10 I remembered I kept looking to my left into Barbra Seville's eyes and squeezing her hand tighter and tighter, she probably has bruises on her hand from me! Lol they were getting ready to call the last finalist into the Top 10. .. "Contestant # ... 15!" I remember just screaming and crying uncontrollably while Barbra wiped my tears and held me up as she smiled and helped me to go upfront and join the other 9 finalists!
From there I was whisked backstage where my partner and best friend Wes was there to help dress and assist me with anything I needed just as he's always done! We were also told that the top 10 was allowed to have an additional dresser so I had one of my drag daughters Olivia Gardens who is also very meticulous and looks for the fine details! After re-competing in my new beautiful purple gown and Reba talent, with my fabulous Savvy Squad dancers, I was over the moon and on cloud 9! The time had come for the top 10 to come back out so they can announce the top 5! OMG! they called me into the top 5! This was the moment when it became the clearest that I have a chance, that I could be bringing the crown and title of Miss Gay America back home to Arizona!
After confidentially answering my on stage question I walked back into the top 5 and held hands with Suzy Wong who kept reminding me to breathe! She is another one who may have bruises on her hand from me lol. After answering my question I felt like a weight was lifted off my shoulders and I remember telling myself "you did all you could do and gave it your all and your best. It might be you this year, but it also may not, but if it's not, it doesn't mean no it just means not now" 2nd Alternate was called as Sofia Anderson , 1st Alternate Kelly Ray Shelton, That only left Dextaci, Suzy Wong and Myself. As the 3 of us were standing onstage holding hands the energy and electricity in the room was truly overwhelming ! "Your new Miss Gay America is...Suzy Wong! The energy in the room erupted into cheer screams and tears of joy!
I am so proud of Suzy and all of her accomplishments and am so excited for her year as our reigning Symbol of Excellence Miss Gay America 2017 and for the evolution of the MGA organization! I am also so proud and overjoyed to announce that I was named 3rd Alternate to Miss Gay America 2017! Coming back home I have been surrounded by so many well wishes and Congratulations! I am deeply moved by all of the continued love and support from all of you!
Coming back home and getting back to work is so exciting with Preliminaries starting very soon. The one kicking it off will be my preliminary step-down, Miss Gay Scottsdale America! This is the newest preliminary pageant to the Miss Gay Arizona America family and successfully promoted by forever MGAAs Mya McKenzie, Tyra Marie, and Diva! Miss Gay Scottsdale America 2017 "Red & Wild " will be held December 3, 2016 at 4pm at BS WEST in Scottsdale Arizona!
The winner and 1st Alternate to this pageant will be qualified to compete for Miss Gay Arizona America 2017 which will be held June 25th 2017 at the beautiful Tempe Center for the Arts!
With new owners and leadership of the Miss Gay America Pageant System and it's affiliates there will no longer be a " Solo Talent " category but instead replaced by a ""Presentation " category. This category will not count into a contestants final score on a city preliminary level but will count into a final score at the state, regional and national level of competition. The scoring for this category is as follows...
Presentation 0-100 points
Originality & Creativeness 0-50
Costume Portability 0-25
Relativity to theme 0-25
The theme for Miss Gay Scottsdale America 2017 is "Red and Wild " Contestants are encouraged to wear any suitable garment of their choosing in the color red that shows off their style and creativity! Anyone interested in becoming a contestant for Miss Gay Scottsdale America or any other preliminary are encouraged to contact Daniel Eckstrom or myself! For more information regarding the Miss Gay Arizona America Pageant or Miss Gay America organization please visit www.missgayarizonaamerica.com www.missgayamerica.com
Thank you all again so much for all of your unwavering love, support guidance and friendship
All my love and respect
Miss Gay Arizona America 2016