Miss Gay Tennessee America Pageant, Part Three . Presenting Venus Knight, Miss Gay Nashville America.
As the evening of the Miss Gay Tennessee America Pageant continues the two categories of competition that remain are Evening Gown and Question and Answer. A contest can easily be won or lost with one of these two categories. Evening Gown is the part of the contest where glamour conquers all. The contestants will invest everything in the dress for this part of the competition. It needs to flatter their body, catch the eyes of the judges, and bring a sigh from the audience. They are judged not just for the dress, but on how they appear in it. Many times a more elaborate wig will be used in this part of the competition as minimalism and restraint are two words that do not exist in the vocabulary of pageant girls. More is more and too much is not enough. There are times when you might hope the stage is big enough for the dress and the ceiling high enough for the wig. Here is an interesting side note: there isn’t nearly as much focus on being super slim among female impersonator pageants as there is in the “real girl” pageants that they are inspired by. Some female impersonators are rather large women, and that doesn’t have to work against them. It is all attitude and style, and “werking” it!
It is important to realize that in the Miss Gay America system all the competitors are 100% male. No plastic surgery below the neck is allowed. It is all totally an illusion. It involves the highest level of makeup artistry, wigs, lots of foam rubber, duct tape and sometimes 5 pairs of Spanx control-top panty hose.
For Question and Answer the questions that need to be answered are much like the questions asked in the Miss America Pageant. They have a brief pause to think and then to come up with an intelligent, articulate response.
Next time I’ll tell you about what happens during intermissions at the pageants, but for now I’d like you to meet the reigning Miss Gay Nashville America, the girl with legs I would kill for, Venus Knight. (The first alternate to Miss Gay Nashville America is the queen with the greatest name of all time, Venus Ann Serena. She is a unique personality and a true one-of-a-kind entertainer.).
Venus has established herself in national pageant competition and went to Miss Gay America last year as first alternate to Miss Gay Tennessee America. She laughingly said she has participated in so many pageants she has lost count. She is a strong competitor, a powerful dancer, and an interesting personality. As is true with all four of the performers I interviewed, Venus remembers the first time she went on stage as a
female impersonator. She has performed frequently at Play, but found she wanted to stretch her wings a bit, and that desire was what led her to start competing in pageants. She feels that pageants are a way to get out into the world and open doors to opportunities.
Venus’s strongest supporters are her mother and grandmother, and her former boyfriend, Tony, who remains a close friend. When asked if there was a female impersonator she especially admired, Venus didn’t hesitate in naming Ivy White.
Venus makes a clear definition between her life as a female impersonator and her life as a guy. Venus is the first person in his family to graduate from college and earn a Master’s Degree, both from Western Kentucky University, His interest is family counseling, and in the future sees himself having his own practice. He also is planning to get a law degree. He sees Venus in the future as a national title holder. He is determined, focused, and ambitious, in and out of the wig.