Miss Gay Missouri America

mgm 75“I made the Top 10 four out of the five years I competed. Every year I tried to make my package better than the year before.”


Miss Sally Sparkles

This year marks the 40th anniversary of the Miss Gay Missouri America (MGMA) pageant. The MGMA is a direct preliminary to the Miss Gay America pageant. The top two finishers (Winner and 1st runner up) will advance to the national competition in hopes of bringing the crown back to Missouri.

For the past year, “ladies” from all over the state have been competing in preliminary competitions such as “Miss Gay St. Louis,” “Miss Gay Columbia,” and “Miss Heart of Missouri” to get their tickets to the state level pageant. I say “ladies” because lets be real – these are men creating the illusion of ladies. That’s right – drag queens – the best drag queens Missouri has to offer.

That is what makes the Miss Gay America system special. You must transform from all boy to all woman to compete for the title. No fake boobs, no booty implants, and they must have their Y-chromosome completely intact.

The Missouri pageant is the second oldest preliminary in the Miss Gay America (MGA) system. Missouri being rife with premium drag talent, has brought the title of Miss Gay America home three times. Vicki Vincent was the first, winning in 1989. Charity Case captured the title in 2001. Finally, Victoria DePaula realized her dream in 2009.

The ladies will be competing in four categories — Male Interview, Solo Talent, Talent, and Evening Gown. Let me break down each category for you:

Male Interview – Each contestant will be interviewed by a panel of five judges. The MGMA representative must be able to express themselves effectively, concisely, and confidently. The interview gives the judges an insight to the character of the competitor.

Solo Talent – MGMA will be traveling all over the Show Me State and she might not be able to take props and dancers with her on her travels. This category demonstrates the contestant’s ability to preform all by themselves.

Talent – The Talent category is where the contestants really get to shine. They can use sets, props, and dancers.

Evening Gown – In this category, the contestants are judges on their glamor. The judges scrutinize every inch of the queen from the hair, to the gown, to the makeup, to the jewels.

The top scorers advance to the final night of competition where they each compete in Talent and Evening Gown once again with a bonus category of On Stage Question. The On Stage Question could be the deciding factor in the completion – the girls have to be able to think quick on their feet. 

This years competition will be held April 11-13 at the Metropolitan Community Church of Greater St. Louis which is located at 1919 S. Broadway. Preliminary competition will happen on the April 11 and 12 and the final night competition will be held on the 13. Ticket prices for prelim nights are $10 at the door and final night tickets cost $20 in advance, $25 at the door.

I was able to spend some time with the reigning Miss Gay America, Miss Sally Sparkles, who is based out of Dallas, TX. Here are the highlights from our conversation:

Me: When was the first year you started doing drag?

Sally: I did a mock drag pageant when I used to work in Tokyo for Tokyo Disney. I wound up winning that and that was in 2005. But my first – like official debut for the America system was at Miss Gay Dallas which was in July 2006.

Me: Did you win?

Sally: Yes! It was my first pageant and I won.

Me: Do you have a drag mother?

Sally: No. The reason I started to do drag was really because I loved pageants and pageantry. I already had the performance background since I had already worked as a professional dancer. I just kept my eyes open and paid attention during the shows and pageants – and I learned.

Me: How many years did you make Top 10 at MGA?

Sally: I made the Top 10 four out of the five years I competed. Every year I tried to make my package better than the year before.

Me: What is your favorite category at Miss Gay America?

Sally: Well, I have not placed well in interview every year. My first year I rambled and rambled. I was so excited. I wanted the judges to know everything they could about me. One of my favorite categories is evening gown. That is the whole essence of pageantry.

Me: As MGA went on last year, did you get the sense that this could be your year?

Sally: There were a lot of things this past year that told me it was going to be my year, but I didn’t want to jinx it. You never know who is going to walk in off the street and come out with some amazing package.

Me: What made you go with the magic route in your Talent number?  (You can view her entire Talen number on YouTube.)

Sally: I took the idea from one of the shows I was in while I worked in Vegas. We had moving panels and people disappearing so I wanted to use that for sometime. After my third year I knew I wanted to do a magic routine. I used to spend hours and hours on YouTube to find stuff that I could use. It was definitely a talent I put some work into – more than any of my other years – but the final product turned out really well.

Me: Let’s go to the final night. You made Top 10 – you made it over that hurdle. You are standing there after everyone has performed and shown their gowns and you are standing with some titans in the system. Names like Jessica Jade, Kofi, and Chantel Reshae – were you intimated as all?

Sally: Jessica Jade was who I was really worried about. During the course of the pageant she was a crowd favorite. Huge uproars of applause – she was one to watch. But in the end what I realized was all you can do is what you do – and that’s the way the cards laid out for me.

Me: You have competed here in St. Louis before. Are you excited to be coming back to St. Louis for Miss Gay America?

Sally: I remember the facilities in St. Louis being so contestant friendly – we never had to stress about much. So yes, I am excited about returning to St. Louis.

You can catch Sally in all her glory as she presides over the MGMA pageant. St. Louis legend, Michelle McCausland, will be stepping down as the reigning MGMA. This year’s competition should be one of the ages – these girls are not playing around. Be sure to come out and support your local favorite queen(s) or get to know some of the other fabulous regional talents. | Jim Campbell

For more information about the Miss Gay Missouri America pageant please visit mgmpageantry.com

For more information about the Miss Gay America system please visit missgayamerica.com

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