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Who is the currently reigning Mr. Gay America?
Mr. Gay America 2018, Judas Elliot, shows us by dazzling examples -- with photographer and collaborator Erika Wagner, The Drag Photographer -- what it takes to snag the title.
Many in the gay community have long been familiar with the Miss Gay America pageant, whether from knowing a competitor, attending a preliminary, seeing a Miss Gay America titleholder perform at a local club, or as a contestant on RuPaul's Drag Race.
But there is a counterpart to the Miss Gay America pageant and title, and that is Mr. Gay America.
Originally known as the Mr. Gay All-American (MGAA) pageant, it was the first contest of its kind. It was founded in 1983 by Norman Jones, a.k.a. (the first) Miss Gay America 1973 Norma Kristie (owner of the Miss Gay America pageant system from 1975 - 2005) and Carmel Santiago (Lady Baronessa, Miss Gay America 1974).
Though the pageant has changed ownership several times, and ceased from 2009-2017, it was revived by the current owners of the Miss Gay America pageant (Michael Dutzer and Rob Mansman) as the Mr. Gay America pageant in 2017. (Read the full history on the Mr. Gay America website.)
Mr. Gay America is considered to be the co-titleholder to Miss Gay America. Today many LGBTQ pageants now also have a male co-titleholder, among them, Miss Continental (Mr. Continental), Entertainer of the Year (Mr. Entertainer of the Year), Miss USofA (Mr. USofA).
Mr. Gay America 2019 will be crowned this July. Watch for Mr. Gay America pageant preliminaries, often in conjunction with Miss Gay America preliminaries near you, especially in the Mid-West and South and Southwest, where pageants are wildly popular. Check the Mr. Gay America and Miss Gay America websites for the preliminary calendars.
For those unfamiliar with Mr. Gay America or curious to know what the pageant entails, and what it's like to be Mr. America, check out the interview (and loads of glitzy photos) with Mr. Gay America 2018, Judas Elliot, on the Miss Gay America blog, MGAZINE.