All posts by Scott Burk

Scott has been involved with USofA Pageants LLC since the mid-1990s and took on the role of webmaster in 2009. As the webmaster, he is the primary point of contact for any issues, concerns, or questions about the USofA Pageants LLC website. In addition to his role as webmaster, Scott sits on the Board of Governors for USofA Pageants LLC and is a member of the National Pageant Staff. *Note About Authorship: If the name that appears in this author's box is not the same as the person who originally wrote the article, it is because the article was added to the website by Scott Burk, instead of the original author. Since January 2017, all titleholders and promoters have had the ability to submit their own articles. Unless otherwise stated, the views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Scott Burk, USofA Pageants LLC, or any of its divisions.

USofA Pageants Founder

It is with great sadness and sorrow that we have to announce that our Founder, Father, and visionary who created USofA Pageants, Jerry Bird, passed away an hour ago.More information will be forthcoming in the upcoming days, but in the mean time, the point of contact for USofA Pageants is Scott Burk who can be reached at sburk@USofA.org or 417-501-0000 or Jenna Skyy at jskyy@USofA.org.

Criminal convictions, parole, probation, and sex offender registry

USofA Pageants LLC has always focused on helping our people personally and professionally develop themselves and those around them. We pride ourselves on our people-first approach because without the people in our industry — promoters, contestants, entertainers, and fans — we would not be able to produce pageants and contests.

We firmly believe that it is not our responsibility to investigate, interrogate, or punish any individuals who have been convicted of a crime or placed on parole or probation. This responsibility rests with both the individuals and their local or state judiciary.

We understand that we are all human and mistakes happen; however, we also believe that when individuals make mistakes, they should be given every opportunity to correct their mistakes and show through their actions that they have learned from their mistakes. In past competitions, we have seen contestants utilize their experiences in the correctional system to demonstrate self-improvement in the interview category, educate and promote self-development in the community, and mentor others so they do not make the same mistakes as the contestant.

However, we have become aware of instances where individuals were convicted of a crime and incarcerated or placed on parole or probation either prior to their reign or during their reign, and their promoter was not made aware of the situation until the last minute. This causes an extreme hardship on our promoters because they must rush to find a representative to take the place of their reigning titleholder. This stress is in addition to the expenses a promoter has likely already incurred promoting the reigning titleholder for an event and securing travel and accommodations.
As a result of this continuing issue, effective immediately, we are adding the following to our existing rules and regulations that will apply to all nine national divisions and all levels (local/city, state, and regional).

1. Any titleholder, contestant, judge, or promoter who is currently on parole/probation (or is placed on parole/probation at any time):
     a. must notify the national office via email at office@usofa.org immediately.
     b. must provide written documentation regarding the details of their parole/probation in a timely manner and (at the discretion of the national office) :
          i. is found to be able to continue their responsibilities, no action will be taken against them.
          ii. is found NOT to be able to continue their responsibilities, they will be removed from their position immediately and prohibited from any and all participation within USofA Pageants, LLC until they have completed the terms of their parole/probation and repaid any prizes paid to them by their promoter.
     c. who fails to notify the national office that they are on parole/probation or provide written documentation regarding the details of their parole/probation will be immediately banned from USofA Pageants, LLC for a period of five (5) years and have to repay any prizes paid to them by their promoter.
2. Written documentation submitted to the national office will be maintained in the strictest confidence and will only be disclosed to the CEO and Executive Vice-President.

The one exception to the above rules is any criminal conviction which results in an individual being placed on a national or state sex offender registry list. Due to the unique restrictions on individuals placed on a sex offender registry list (which can vary by city and state), mandatory sex offender registration places an undue burden on promoters. For example, promoters would need to determine if a venue or hotel is within a specific geographic area of a school, child care facility, or park, depending on state and local laws. Therefore, the following rule applies, effective immediately:

1. Any titleholders, contestants, judges, entertainers, or promoters who are currently on a national or state sex offender registry list are permanently banned from any and all participation in USofA Pageants, LLC until such time as they can demonstrate that they are no longer on a sex offender registry list.
Although the above rules may seem intrusive to some, they are designed to ensure that we are in the best position to make decisions before a situation arises. This announcement should not be construed as a punitive measure, rather as a preventive measure to ensure that all titleholders, contestants, judges, entertainers, and promoters are able to complete their responsibilities without untimely delays or expenses.

Should you have any questions regarding this announcement, please contact us at office@usofa.org.

Sincerely,
USofA Pageants, LLC

Miss Gay USofA 2021 & MISS GAY USOFA CLASSIC 2021 Cancelled

USofA Pageants, LLC has always and will always place a priority on the well-being and safety of our entertainers, contestants, promoters, supporters, and fans. There is nothing more important to our company than the people involved in our pageants and contests.

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a devastating impact on the entertainment and pageant industry over the past year. There are few, if any, titleholders, contestants, promoters, or fans who have not been affected by the pandemic.

We have been monitoring the development and rollout of the various COVID-19 vaccinations. The latest U.S. Census reports that there are at least 330 million people living in the United States[1]. According to the latest CDC information, 1.3 million people have received two doses of the vaccination[2].

As our highest priority is to ensure that the people involved in our pageants and contests are both healthy and financially able to compete and attend our events, we have had a difficult decision to make.

After careful consideration and thought, we have determined that it is simply not possible for everyone to receive the vaccinations and be financially stable enough to compete and attend Miss Gay USofA and Miss Gay USofA Classic as it is regularly scheduled in May of each year. We are therefore cancelling the Miss Gay USofA 2021 and Miss Gay USofA Classic 2021 pageants.

Miss Gay USofA and Miss Gay USofA Classic will be held in May 2022. We will be starting with a fresh pageant year, beginning June 1, 2021. We would like to thank, from the bottom of our hearts, Kennedy Davenport and Stacey Holliday for their patience and endurance over the past two years. When they captured the title of Miss Gay USofA and Miss Gay USofA Classic, no one could have imagined that they would be the longest reigning national titleholders in our history.

Contestants that have qualified for Miss Gay USofA 2020 or Miss Gay USofA Classic 2020 will now be competing at Miss Gay USofA 2022 or Miss Gay USofA Classic 2022. We would also like to thank you for your patience and endurance as well. Please continue to coordinate with your teams and prepare for the national pageants. Should you feel that you are unable to compete at the national pageants in 2022, please contact your promoter no later than June 1, 2021 and let them know. If you have any questions, please contact either Kennedy Davenport, Stacey Holliday, or the national office.

As bars and venues open up later this year, promoters please be in contact with the national office to schedule your pageants for dates after June 1, 2021. Please also be in regular contact with your qualified contestants to ensure that they are aware of this announcement and assist them with any questions they may have.

Looking ahead, USofA Pageants, LLC, will always remain vigilant in our efforts to ensure the safety of the people involved with our pageants. Please continue to wear masks, keep at least 6 feet away from others, and avoid crowds to ensure your continued safety. Our thoughts are with all of you as together, we combat the COVID-19 pandemic.

Sincerely,

USofA Pageants, LLC


[1]                                               1. https://www.census.gov/popclock/

[2]                                               2. https://covid.cdc.gov/covid-data-tracker/#vaccinations

Miss Gay USofA Classic 2020 & Miss Gay USofA 2020 Cancelled!

USofA Pageants, LLC. extends its deepest regards to everyone in this time of global crisis. It is our hope that we all can actually avoid coming together physically, but instead, emotionally unite and make our way through this pandemic, healthy and safe…and together.

We look forward to coming out of this difficult and isolating time to resume a life, though likely changed somewhat, but nevertheless, a life that we recognize with renewed strength and conviction. As a nation, we have work to do and USofA Pageants, LLC. encourages you to continue your efforts to make your voice heard…and challenges you to motivate those around you to do the same. We must all vote. We must all be active. We must all demand excellence from each other and our nation. And in doing so, we hope you’ll come out of this experience with an even greater hunger to chase your ambitions. 

We’ve given considerable thought to the timeline for Miss Gay USofA Classic and Miss Gay USofA 2020 being mindful of the economic setbacks we all are facing currently and wanted to afford everyone time to recover and time to make arrangements. Miss Gay USofA Classic and Miss Gay USofA has been cancelled as a result of the pandemic. The dates for Miss Gay USofA Classic and Miss Gay USofA 2021 will be May 23-28, 2021.  The venues and schedule of the week remain the same as in the past. 

Those that have purchased tickets for Miss Gay USofA 2020 Final Night, your seats will be reserved for Miss Gay USofA 2021 Final Night and the tickets will be available for pick-up at the front door of Station 4, May 23-27, 2021 and at the front door at the Southside Ballroom on My 28, 2021. Should you have any questions, please email office@usofa.org

Contestants that have qualified for Miss Gay USofA Classic 2020 or Miss Gay USofA 2020 will now be competing at Miss Gay USofA Classic 2021 or Miss Gay USofA 2021, please begin looking at these dates and coordinating with your teams, and adjusting your travel plans. Our intention is to allow sufficient time for you to prepare for the national pageant. 

Promoters needing to reschedule your prelims, please stay in touch with the national office. We hope with this extension that you may be able to reschedule your contests that have recently been pulled from the calendar.  

We will support your efforts as well during this transition. Looking ahead, USofA Pageants, LLC. will remain vigilant in our efforts to create a competitive and diverse platform for entertainers, artists, and promoters to elevate pageantry, and we will continue doing so with all of you in mind. Our thoughts are with all of you during these difficult times.

Miss Gay USofA 2020 & Miss Gay UsofA Classic 2020 Postponed

Miss Gay USofA 2020 & Miss Gay USofA Classic 2020 has been postponed.

Since the first Miss Gay USofA pageant in the late 1980s, USofA Pageants, LLC has always placed a priority on the well-being of our entertainers, contestants, promoters, supporters, and fans by making allowances when their well-being prevents them from attending the national pageant.

We have been monitoring the COVID-19 pandemic closely. After extensive and careful deliberations, we have decided to postpone both the Miss Gay USofA 2020 and Miss Gay USofA Classic 2020 national pageants that were scheduled to be held in May 2020. We do not make this decision lightly and are aware that it may cause some hardships on our entertainers, contestants, promoters, supporters, and fans.
However, in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, we have chosen to put the well-being of everyone involved before the selection of our new titleholders.

We are consulting with our host hotel, Station 4, and the Southside Ballroom to determine options for when we can reschedule the national pageant(s). Numerous events have been postponed and all are trying to reschedule, so we are asking for everyone’s patience while we determine when we can hold our events.

We wish that the postponement of our national pageants was not necessary, however, the well-being of everyone involved in our pageants is of our highest concern.

Sincerely,
Jerry Bird
CEO/Chairman

What does this mean to you?

I am an entertainer who was supposed to perform this year.
If you are an entertainer who was scheduled to perform at the pageant(s), we will be in contact
with you to discuss rescheduling when the national pageant(s) have been rescheduled.


I qualified for the national pageant, what do I do now?
If you are a contestant who has qualified to attend the pageant(s), please continue to prepare for
the national pageant when it is scheduled.

I already purchased my tickets for final night of Miss Gay USofA 2020.
The USofA Pageants, LLC national office will be contacting you by phone as soon as the
pageant is rescheduled to discuss your ticket purchase with you.

I am a promoter who has not held my pageant or my pageant has been postponed.
Please work with your venue to determine if your pageant can be held at a later time. As long as
your pageant is held prior to the national pageant(s), your contestants will be able to attend the
national pageant(s).

I am a promoter who has already held my pageant.
Please make sure your qualified contestants are aware of the postponement and work with them
to ensure they are ready for the national competition when it is rescheduled.

I have purchased my airline tickets already.
Please contact the airline directly to see about rescheduling your flight. Many airlines are
allowing rescheduling options. For example, Southwest Airlines will allow you to use the funds
used to pay for the ticket for another flight for up to 12 months from the date of original
purchase.

Miss Gay USofA 2021 & Miss Gay USofA Classic 2021 Applications

Applications are due no later than May 4, 2021, any applications submitted late may result in the deduction of administrative points.

All applications must be submitted electronically. Qualified contestants may submit their application online at https://www.usofa.org/application. Applications can be filled out using a home computer, laptop, mobile device, or tablet.

Once you have opened the online application page, the first step is to chose the pageant that you are submitting the application for. It is crucial that you select the proper pageant because if you chose the wrong one, you will be marked as not having submitted an application prior to the deadline. You should chose either Miss Gay USofA or Miss Gay USofA Classic as your pageant choice.

After selecting the pageant you have qualified for, the online application page will open. The first field is the “Representing” field. Please enter the title that you are representing and if you are the winner or alternate. The remainder of the application is self-explanatory, however, feel free to reach out to your promoter or Scott Burk if you have any questions.

Applications are due no later than May 4, 2021, any applications submitted late may result in the deduction of administrative points.