Miss Gay Tennessee America Pageant, Part One. Miss Gay East Tennessee America, Katie Love.
I have had the pleasure of photographing the four winners of the preliminary contests leading up to the Miss Gay Tennessee America Pageant, which will be held in Nashville at Play on Sunday, September 15. This has proven to be one of my favorite projects and I have enjoyed spending time with each one of these unique individuals. They will be competing not only against each other, but also against the first alternates from each of the preliminaries. This should prove to be a very entertaining event, heightened by performances and appearances from the reigning Miss Gay Tennessee, Suzy Wong (who will be competing at Miss Gay America as the current Miss Mid America), Sally Sparkles, the current Miss Gay America, and Kirby Kolby, Miss Gay America, 2012. I am sure the talent line up will include many other great performers in the wonderful world of female impersonation. I was happy to learn that the very witty Anita Ms Cocktail will be at the podium, serving up some of that diva-glamour-humor that she does so well. The promoter for this event, Jeffery Culbert, will be on hand, and it is always great to see the Miss Gay America guys, Terry Eason and Larry Tyger. And the one who started this whole thing, the grand guru himself, Jerry Peek, will also be in the house.
Since I have enjoyed getting to know these fascinating illusionists, I thought it would be fun to share a bit about them with you. If you are a Pageant novice, these posts will prepare you to get the most out of the pageant. Today I want you to meet a contestant who is as personable as she is pretty-Katie Love, Miss East Tennessee America. (The first alternate was PurrZsa Kyttyn-Azrael, and I look forward to meeting her at the pageant).
Katie is happy that her mother plans to attend this pageant and watch her perform for the very first time. She has enjoyed experiencing the sense of family that comes from working closely with others in the Miss Gay America pageant system. Winning the title of Miss Gay East Tennessee was a thrill to her, and this was the first time she had entered a pageant that was part of a national system. She had “practiced” a bit with some local contests, and saw each one as an opportunity to learn more. Her biggest cheerleaders are her ex-boyfriend, who is now her best friend, and her current boyfriend, who is her soul mate. This is just a snapshot of what great people skills Katie has. She makes this work beautifully. She exudes the kind of spirit that feels like she must get along with everyone who is fortunate enough to cross her path.
She has a very positive, upbeat attitude. I loved her answer when I asked her what she thought she’d be doing in five years. “In five years I see myself preparing for the Miss Gay Tennessee Pageant. This will either be to enter because I haven’t won yet, or because I have and I am here to entertain. I am a fighter and I don’t believe in giving up until you have achieved your goals.”