Q: When did you start performing?
I started about 14 years ago. I just decided to do it one day, and I was hooked. When I took my makeup off that first night, I knew I wanted to do it again.
Q: You won the first alternate (second to the winner) in 2007. What was that experience like?
That was in 2007. It’s kind of frustrating to get that close and not win. But I went on to Dallas and learned a lot from it all. I was able to meet a lot of people and do a lot of networking, so I was able to learn what works and what doesn’t by watching what the other girls did.
Q: How long have you been competing in Miss Gay Iowa pageants?
I’ve consistently done Miss Gay Iowa since I was 21. I am determined to become Miss Gay Iowa — it would mean so much to me.
Q: What have your missteps been that have prevented you from winning?
It depends on what year it was. I’ve had a gown mishap here and there. That’s the toughest part for me — having a strong gown. But I work on perfecting it every year, and will continue to show up and be who I am. I really want the judges to see how determined I am, to see that I won’t give up until I win the title. I may be using a walker some day, but I still want to do this until I win Miss (Gay) Iowa.
Q: What’s it like backstage at a show?
All the girls are supportive, and I like it that way. I may not be the fiercest one back there, but I am willing to help anyone that needs it. If a queen needs matching jewelry for her gown or wants an honest opinion, I’m happy to help.
Q: What is the role of Miss Gay Iowa?
She needs to be an honest and open person who will help the girls get to where they want to go. She should also help them at shows — getting into their gowns or helping them with jewelry or helping getting the event set up. At prelims, she should be there, going around to check on contestants and making sure they are doing OK. When you win the title, you can’t just sit at home and wait for things to come to you, you have to go to them.
Q: What do you look for in a supportive crowd?
Support. If you don’t have a lot of money to tip the contestants, the best thing you can do is clap and be supportive. Have high energy and get into the show — they’re doing it for you.
Q: Anything you’d like to say to the judges?
I hope you see my consistency and dedication. I hope you see how hard I work and how much this would mean to me, and crown me Miss Gay Iowa.