Tag Archives: December 2016 Integrity

Victoria’s Vignette – December Edition

Victoria Rios
Victoria Rios

How can you tell Santa is in the room? You can sense his presents, LOL! He might not be here yet, but it definitely won’t be long! I hope everyone had a fantastic Thanksgiving holiday with their friends and family. Mine was excellent in the company of loved ones with great stories, jokes, and plenty of tasty treats.

Though the break has been lovely, we are in full swing with the preliminary season. So far, we’ve had four very impressive prelims, and I look forward to forward to many more successes to come. Here’s the November recap for all of you to enjoy.

On the 4th, I had the pleasure of crowning Vicious Divine Valentine, our 1st Miss Southern States USofA Diva. Congratulations to you, Rayvn Noir Downe, and Vivica Slick on your placements! I’m proud to announce that all three will be representing the Southern States regional during nationals in Dayton, Ohio. Excellent job to Marco and Drew on a great prelim! It was also special because we had a visit from our national promoters, Gage Gatlyn and Devin Dame.

Thank you for making the long drive to come and support us it really meant a lot. I love you two! The following day, I ventured to Hot Springs, Arkansas, where I was given the honor of judging the Miss and Mr. Another Rumor pageant. This is a contest that participants compete in for their own monthly show. I had the opportunity to meet so many new and young drag artists. Congrats to Maci Lyn Meridian on capturing the Miss title and Beau Davis on attaining the Mr. title. The following weekend, I attended the Miss Texas USofA Diva pageant at Sue Ellen’s in Dallas. Congratulations to Ruby Scott on her win and Lana Del Gay on her 1st alternate placement. Welcome to the qualified list! Dirty Blonde, it was great working with you. Great work to you! Later on that weekend, I got to witness Tareal Davenport Phillips step down and crown the next Miss Oklahoma USofA Diva, Maci Lyn Meridian. Congrats to you on your two wins, with the 2nd one being on your 1 year drag birthday! Congratulations also goes to Luna Raven Tripp Davenport Phillips on her 1st alternate qualification. Stellar work, David and Tami on an exceptional prelim, and I might add, the largest prelim so far with 6 stunning contestants!

Continue reading Victoria’s Vignette – December Edition

Abs-olutely! – December Edition

Abs Hart
Abs Hart

Happy Holidays Everyone!

I hope that this season of love and thankfulness brings some joy to each of you. Personally, I have a love/hate relationship with this season. I LOVE all the food! But it also means I have to spend some extra time at the gym. In case you were curious, food is definitely the way to my heart.

November has been another busy month. We kicked it off with Southern States held in Arkansas. I was the last title holder for it, so with picking the theme of Gotham, I planned a fun Batman villain opening number with Valentino and Victoria. We had a blast! Lucas Prescott came out as the winner, with Jack Rabid as his 1st Alternate.

The next stop was Texas, and what a great pageant it was! Bastian Cox worked his butt off over the last year, and they had 4 incredible competitors vying for the MI title. It was also the first triple crowning for MI, Classic, and Diva in one night! Their hometown boy, Benja- min Dover, was crowned the winner, and Tucker Downtown traveled all the way from Oklahoma to earn his 1st Alternate spot and a ticket to nationals.

My final November trip was to Evansville, Indiana. I was so excited to finally work with Jody and Tiffani! Xander Havoc also had 4 boys jump in to compete for Mister Indiana, and let me tell you, the evening wears that night were all gorgeous! It was a stiff competition for sure. At the end of the night, Alik Muf emerged victorious with his home state title. Shane Anigans placed 1st Alternate.

The list of qualified contestants is growing quickly, and time is slipping away faster and faster. December will bring me to Louisiana, Missouri, and Tennessee, to add 6 more people to the list. For those who have qualified now is the time to make a list and start checking it twice! Continue reading Abs-olutely! – December Edition

Val’s Views – December Edition

Valentino Rios
Valentino Rios

Hello Everybody!

I hope you all had a fabulous Thanksgiving! I think I’m still recov- ering from my food coma. My Thanksgiving was terrific. I spent the day with family, friends, food, and football. I can’t believe it is already December. This year is flying by so fast. The days are turning into weeks and months in what seems like the blink of an eye.

I’m sure December will be no different with the excitement of the holidays upon us. The holiday season is a special time of year for many of us. It is in many ways a magical time of year. My favorite part of the season is how it tends to bring out the best in people. The charity and unselfishness that people display is a yearly renewal in my faith in humanity! I anxiously await what the holiday season will bring this year.

In November, Amie Bland and Alissa Ledeboer hosted the triple crowning of Mister Texas USofA MI, Mister Texas USofA MI Classic and Miss Texas USofA Diva! Congratulations to Oliver Percy on an outstanding reign! Congratulations to your new Mister Texas USofA MI Classic, Seth B. Sexxon and his 1 st Alternate, Randy D’Hardness! Outstanding job guys! I will see you both at Nationals in March. Amie and Alissa, thank you both for a wonderful night of pageantry! Also in November, I was honored to judge Miss Oklahoma USofA Diva. David Dees and Tamia St. James hosted another very successful prelim. Thank you both for inviting me to judge! I love spending time with my Oklahoma USofA family!

December 10th, Tawny and Missy Choate will be hosting the triple crowning of Mister Missouri USofA MI, Mister Missouri USofA MI Classic, and Miss Missouri USofA Diva in Springfield, MO. Any potential contestants that are interested in competing please contact me, Abs Hart, Victoria Rios, Tawny or Missy as soon as possible. Deadline to register to compete is December 7 th !

To all the contestants that have already qualified for Nationals, I hope that you are all busy working on your national packages! I assure you the more work you put in now, the more prepared you will be in March. From personal experience, the more organized you are, the smoother things will go for you on March 12th. I caution you all not to procrastinate. March will creep up on you if you don’t use your time wisely. This same advice applies to those of you that are planning on qualifying at a late prelim. You all should be working on your national packages as well. Speaking of preparing for nationals, let’s talk about “Creative Evening Wear”. The category is intended to show off your “creativity and individuality”. According to the contestant handbook, the only requirement is that “a jacket is required”. This opens up all sorts of options to help yourself stand out. Remember, the scoring is comparative, so what will make you stand out among the group of your fellow contestants. Keep in mind the judges panel will be scoring on “creativity, originality, presentation, poise, fit, coordination, hair & make-up, and general appearance”. My advice is to start with “fit”. If your CEW does not fit properly it will not score well. Think about your overall look, each component listed is important and should all contribute to the creative look you are displaying. Another important detail is your song selection. Since each contestant picks their own modelling music, your song selection should also make sense and go with your look. This is a really fun category. So, have fun with it. It will show on stage! These are all just general requirements and suggestions. If you have any specific questions or concerns, please let me know. I am here for you!

Happy holidays to you all! For all that may be traveling, be safe out there. Until next month…

Much love,

Valentino “Val” Rios

Mister USofA MI Classic

The Large Lucky #7 – December Edition

Dakota Whitney
Dakota Whitney

Greetings Everyone,

Hope all is well and I hope this finds everyone in great health. The month of November was the month to be thankful. I was very thankful in a lot of ways.

Although it’s only been about a month and a half since I was named Mr. Gay USofA at Large, I have been very busy with work (I bartend 5 nights a week), doing shows with my fellow cast members at the Pegasus Nightclub, and sewing for other entertainer’s, I am very thankful for these opportunities in my life. A lot of things in life are taken for granted but as for myself, I’m very blessed with what has been placed in front of me. For that I’m thankful.

Thanksgiving is one of my favorite times of the year. I spend time with my family, friends, and love ones. But if you really know me, you know I really love to eat! What can I say, I am Mr. Gay USofA at Large! I have a reputation to up hold. If I am ever in your city or if you are in San An- tonio, TX, hit me up for break- fast, lunch, or dinner. I like snacks too! I am always up for it. You know big boys like to eat.

There are a lot of great things that are going to happen with the Mr. Gay USofA at Large division and I am extremely excited that I get to be a part of it! We have new preliminaries as well as some new faces (along with the old faces) joining us which I am very happy with. I am always looking for new ideas or ways to improve or that we can add to our division so if you have any ideas, information or even questions about the Mr. Gay USofA at Large, you are welcome to e-mail me (dwhitney@usofa.org), Facebook me, or contact me through Instagram and let me know what you think or what you would like to see. If you want to come to compete but you are scared, I am here and I am all ears! It is not just about me, it’s about US! That is what makes USofA such a great system! Continue reading The Large Lucky #7 – December Edition

A Limitless Skyy – December Edition

Jenna Skyy
Jenna Skyy

2017 is soon upon us. I was hoping to be more excited about this next chapter in our history, but alas, I’m left feeling more contemplative and analytical. Not just about the state of our nation, but also about the state of pageantry. The next President of the United States spent more time in 2016 on Twitter than he did on the campaign trail. And he spent much of that time on Twitter and in front of the media proclaiming the system was rigged against him and that he would not accept any result other than his election. He also went to extra length to disqualify his opponents through technicalities and legalities. Following his election, that very sentiment he was so eager to callout, that the system was rigged, disappeared.

I can’t help but find similarities in pageantry. When the results aren’t what a contestant or their team may want, or expect, the public response is not in celebration of the process, the efforts of those involved or the person crowned, it’s scrutiny over their qualification as the winner, the judge’s qualification, and ultimately an implication or direct accusation that the process and the system is rigged against them.

When these contestants return, and in instances win, what makes the system different? Integrity, which is the title of the USofA newsletter, and symbol by which we reign, is needed when choosing to compete. The merits of competing should outweigh “winning” and more effort toward improving ourselves in this craft and the packages we present should take precedent. Being the crowned winner does not mean that those not crowned have lost. Participation alone brings value to the individual. Effort, discipline, ambition…the pursuit…these are qualities of success. Not just a crown. By competing, you have proven successful. Yet, the technicalities or presumptions that many feel, contribute to undesirable results seem to overshadow the very sentiment that IS pageantry, which is to inspire us to continue to pursue excellence and to challenge ourselves in this craft. Participating in the mindset that fairness is nonexistent or lacks integrity proves a lack of understanding of what it means to participate, and a lack of qualification should that top spot be achieved. Continue reading A Limitless Skyy – December Edition

The Year of Purpose – December Edition

Desi Andrews
Desi Andrews

Hello Integrity readers,

I hope that everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving and that you were able to indulge in delicious foods like turkey, stuffing, and pumpkin pie. But more importantly, I hope that you all were able to enjoy spending it with the people that you love and are thankful for. I am thankful for many things in my life and though there have been some changes recently, I couldn’t be happier about where I am today. This last month Manny, Alyssa, and I moved back home to Albuquerque, New Mexico so that we could be closer to our family. I will miss Texas so much, after all, that is where everything started for Desi M. Andrews. I developed so many amazing friendships in Texas and consider so many of you all my family.

I’m very excited for December, it’s going to be very busy and exciting. I will be performing all over the great southwest in this month. I will be in my hometown of Albuquerque for New Mexico All American Gent. This will be the first time back on stage in the city where it all started for me and it’s going to be a wonderful night. December 4 th , I will be in Dallas, TX for Miss Gay Fire & Ice USofA. I’ve heard so many great things about this pageant and I’m excited to be a part of it. On December 9 th , I will be in Scottsdale, Arizona at BSWest. I haven’t been to Arizona in quite a while and I can’t wait to see some familiar faces and have the opportunity to meet new people. December 16 th , I will be in old El Paso at Touch. Touch is a newly renovated nightclub in El Paso owned by the incredible Eric Andrews and his husband David. I am grateful for the invitation to perform there and I hope to see all my El Paso people out and about! December 17 th and 18 th , I will be in beautiful Amarillo, Texas at Club 212 for their anniversary show! They always show so much love to their current Mr. Gay Top of Texas USofA. David and Kevin are the owners of the club and also promoters for Mr. and Miss Gay Texas USofA. They understand all the hard work that goes into getting a package ready for any contest and I couldn’t have to asked for better hosts! They both have helped me so much through my entire journey of becoming Mr. Gay USofA this year and I am forever in debt to their kindness. Continue reading The Year of Purpose – December Edition

Vanity’s Fair – December Edition

Vanity St. James
Vanity St. James

Hello beautiful people of the USofA!

All I can say is…WOW! The #RoadToNewcomer is well on the way! November played host to our first two preliminaries of the year. On November 5, 2016, we had three extremely talented contest- ants running for the title of Miss Gay Illinois USofA Newcomer. At the end of the night our victor was first year, Mimi Van Cartier from Springfield, IL. Mimi will be joined by both of her competitors, first alternate, Ryan Royale, and second alternate, Jaymee Sexton, at Miss Gay USofA Newcomer 2017. Miss Gay Wisconsin USofA Newcomer was held on November 20, 2016. This pageant also had three contestants and was hosting the Classic and at Large divisions as well. Needless to say, this was a heck of a pageant, as well. At the end of the night we crowned second year, Domita Sanchez as the new Miss Gay Wisconsin USofA Newcomer along with first alternate, Regina Taylor, and second alternate, Alexandrea Diamond. These first six contestants truly embody the spirit of the Newcomer division and have so much talent. December will be a month off from the preliminary season but we will be resuming on January 8th with Miss Gay Lonestar USofA Newcomer.

I am also so excited for January be- cause we start the Miss Gay USofA Newcomer 2017 Top 5 Tour. We will be making 7 stops on our tour, starting January 13 th in Houston and ending on January 20 th in Oklahoma City.

This month I want to focus on the people we bring to nationals as a contestant. Our team is an essential part of our success at any pageant. My Team consisted of my loving husband, my parents, my “dancer”, a close friend of mine, and my dresser. I only brought those with me because they all had a job to do and I knew that they could execute their job perfectly. My husband is my rock and the person I rely on when things may be getting stressful. For example, as many of you know, I was late for interview check-in. I was extremely upset that I had made this mistake but my husband told me to focus that energy into my two remaining categories because “you cannot change the past”. This really helped me channel my energy and hone in on my skills for both categories. Continue reading Vanity’s Fair – December Edition

Beading with Ms. Lauren – December Edition

Sasha Lauren
Sasha Lauren

WOW, November is gone!

Time goes by so fast. I hope the holidays brings happiness with all your loved ones. This is the time of joy and laughter. As the holidays begin, remember we are blessed in so many ways. There are many things we take for granted but we should stop and be thankful each and every day. Most of all we need to be thank- ful to be alive.

I want to start off by thanking Eric Graham and Sam Wunschel for an amazing Miss Gay Wis- consin USofA at Large Pageant! These two are amazing promoters and I am so happy they are part of the USofA family. Congratulations to Symphony Alexander Love, your Miss Gay Wisconsin USofA at Large and her 1 st runner up Chey’enne Valentino. Both have qualified for Miss Gay USofA at Large 2017. While in Wisconsin I had the opportunity to work with the ladies of La Cage. What an amaz- ing experience and venue. It is full of energy and love. What a great place to have Miss Gay Wisconsin USofA at Large. If you ever make it to Milwaukee don’t miss a chance to visit this amazing venue.

Remember to always stay focused, learn from this journey, stay humble and most of all believe in dreams.

Sasha Lauren

Miss Gay USofA at Large

Love, Kindness and Tolerance – December Edition

Nancy Taylor
Nancy Taylor

Greetings everyone,

I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving. We are in the holi- day season and I’m so excited. As you know pageants are slow this time of the year for pageants. I hope everyone has a blessed Christmas and Prosperous New Year.

To my classic ladies – may one of your New Year’s resolutions be to be Miss Gay USofA Classic 2017!

We had our first preliminary in Milwaukee, WI at La Cage night- club which was a beautiful venue. With a fabulous contestant and amazing line up of entertainers, at the end of the night we celebrated the winner Dee Richards – Miss Gay Wisconsin USofA Classic. I am sure she would be a great contestant for Miss Gay USofA Clas- sic with her fabulous promoters behind her 100%.

In our culture, we too often hear that big names are planning to compete. I don’t think this should stop anyone from competing. Ladies, PLEASE don’t listen to this because to be the best you must compete against the best.

Remember that as an artist we must INVEST and to invest we must plan and to plan we must dream and to dream we must be in inspired. We need to remember a value in our lives and it’s from there that you can inspire and that’s the ultimate return to be Miss Gay USofA Classic.

I was able to put a Fundraiser together for children living with HIV. We had a great line up of entertainers who came together to make a difference. And we did just that! We raised $950.00. It was donated to the House of Hope, which is an organization in Houston, TX for children living with HIV. I was so happy that we did it together! Continue reading Love, Kindness and Tolerance – December Edition

USofAurora – December Edition

Aurora Sexton
Aurora Sexton

It’s hard to believe that it’s been 6 months since I was crowned Miss Gay USofA. A dream that was forged in the fires of my youth, almost lost to the ravages of time, and now here I am half way through the year of something I always dreamed I would achieve.

Time is so fleeting, with our busy schedule’s, it’s rare that we get to sit and take in each moment, to enjoy each accomplishment before the next challenge arises.

So, what have we accomplished so far?

Since May, we have added 6 new preliminaries to the Miss Gay USofA division. We have welcomed new royalty to our USofA family legacy with the crowning of Victoria St James, Sasha Lauren, Dakota Whitney and Desi M. Andrews strengthening the 9 divisions under USofA Pageants LLC. I have traveled to so many amazing places and in that time, we have updated with modern advances in technology via social media, final night stage video capabilities, a groundbreaking video documentary series about my win and national tour as Miss Gay USofA…and we haven’t even gotten to the App yet! Yes, we have made some amazing advances and updates…but we have also gotten back to our roots by diving back into the communities in which we serve.

We are entertainers first and foremost. We love what we do, the rush and the joy of being on stage, the showgirl, the rock star, it’s your canvas to paint. We bring emotion to the masses with our art to forget their troubles and woes, if only for 5 minutes. But with that ability, and spotlight…comes responsibility. Your passion, your dreams, your drag, your art is needed now more than ever. Your voice, influence and leadership is needed now more than ever. We moved mountains advancing LGBTQ rights over the past 8 years but that is all about to come to an abrupt end. The new administration taking shape under Trump has a terrifying track record of anti LGBTQ policies and positions including support of conversion therapy, defunding AIDS research, repealing hate crimes protections and gay marriage, instating gay adoption bans and vilifying the transgender community as bathroom boogeymen just to name a few. A lot of people are scared right now about their future and what America will become under this new establishment. This is not something you can hide from. Things are about to change in a dramatic way and we need to be informed and prepared to face whatever challenges may come.

So, what can you do to prepare and protect you and your loved ones? Continue reading USofAurora – December Edition