Category Archives: Policies

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

Permanent Suspension of Liyah Alize

 

Permanent Suspension - Liyah Alize

USofA Pageants LLC has certain expectations of anyone that desires to participate in its various pageants or contests.

Contestants are expected to conduct themselves in an adult and professional manner throughout the entire pageant or contest experience. This starts from the moment the doors open for registration and concludes once the dressing room is closed after the pageant or contest is over.

Titleholders, alternates, representatives, promoters, and staff are likewise expected to conduct themselves in an adult and professional manner from the moment they enter the venue until they leave the venue.

We realize that competing in a pageant or contest can be an emotional experience. Contestants put forth a lot of effort and resources into competition and there are times when the results are not what is anticipated or expected. Regardless of the outcome of a pageant or contest, USofA Pageants LLC expects everyone involved to conduct themselves in an adult and professional manner.

The actions of Liyah Alize at the Miss Gay Arkansas USofA pageant were in total disregard of these expectations. We are all adults in this industry and we should act accordingly. Throwing awards into a trash can, throwing items in the dressing room, insulting national titleholders, disrespecting the promoters, creating a scene in the dressing room, and demanding a refund on her entry fees are not actions that USofA Pageants LLC will tolerate from anyone.

It is therefore the decision of USofA Pageants LLC that Liyah Alize is permanently suspended from any and all activities associated with any of its pageants or contests. These include, but are not limited to, competition, judging, emceeing, entertaining, being a dresser, or being a dancer.

It has been many years since I have had to take an action like this and it is with a heavy heart that I do it now. If there are any questions about this decision, I am only a phone call away.

Sincerely,

Jerry Bird

Chairman

 

Use of Pasties and Nudity Policy

USofA Pageants has always and will always be a pageant system that promotes the talent, beauty, elegance, and the intelligence of all our contestants. In our talent competition, we encourage contestants to showcase their individual talents: whether it be dancing, singing, acting, monologue, or other talents. In the evening gown category, we encourage contestants to fully showcase their personality in their gown and accessory selections and embrace their creativity in their modeling poses. In the interview category, we encourage contestants to carefully listen to the questions asked and speak their mind articulately and freely in their responses.

We have recently seen some trends in some of the categories that have caused some concerns among the USofA Pageants staff, promoters, contestants, and fans. These concerns promoted a discussion on how best to address them.

USofA Pageants has never and will never discriminate against any contestant that has silicone work done or uses hormones. Neither have ever nor will ever be considered in any portion of the competition.

However, we do feel the need to clarify our position in regards to nudity and/or the use of pasties. At no time, is nudity ever allowed in any portion of competition, regardless if it is judged or non-judged. Additionally, former titleholders and other special entertainment may not perform nude during any of their entertainment numbers or at any time while they are on stage during the pageant.

The use of pasties is likewise not allowed during any portion of competition, by former titleholders, or other special entertainment.

To ensure that there is no confusion regarding this, we are modifying rule #9 to read:

The Official Miss Gay USofA Pageants does not discriminate against entertainers with silicone and/or hormones. The use of silicone and/or hormones will not be considered by any judge in the scoring of contestants. Nudity and pasties will not be allowed by anyone (contestant, dancer, former titleholder, special entertainment, etc.) in any portion of any preliminary.

If there are any questions about these changes, please contact the National Office at office@usofa.org or 832-425-1240. A downloadable copy of the policy can be found here.