Miss Gay Cleveland

I have a distinct memory of reading and rereading an article in a newspaper about this competition. I cannot remember exactly when this occurred, but it was either pre-internet or if it was when the internet existed, it would have been during the days of dial-up. As many can relate (again before the internet), we hung on anything circulating in the general public that showed someone dressing, CD or TG. I remember almost every aspect of that story, detailing one participant and what she did to prepare for the pageant. I lived vicariously though this person.

One day it just came back into my memory, so I Googled it and saw that there would be a pageant near me, on Pride weekend. So I made plans to attend. I read the rules and was looking forward to a pageant. Now as a friend of mine reminded me, I generally dislike drag. I simply am not a fan.

June 5, 2022 I got dressed and went on my way to enjoy this pageant! I was pleased with my presentation and even more pleased when my wife told me I looked cute!

On the way, I stopped at Panera Bread and enjoyed my dinner, a salad and then headed across town. I arrived there about an hour early and enjoyed a cocktail.

I waited and waited and waited for the 8:00 show to start, near 9:00. Now, remember what I was there for, a gay/Pride event. The entire time I felt so out of place. I did not fit in at all. No one even smiled at me or said hello as I sat alone at my table. I can and have walked into countless establishments and almost always get some type of human interaction, generally having a nice conversation with someone. Here, nothing.

In a side note, the place was freezing! Thank goodness I wore a sweater and even then, I was shivering for much of the time I was there.

Once they got started, it was by no means a pageant and the rules of how the competition was to be run (it is a part of the Miss Gay America competition) did not seem to apply. It was simply a drag lip syncing show. There were the competitors and then a bunch of other performers. I continued to feel like the odd (wo)man out. After 45 minutes of lip syncing, I left, very disappointed.

I texted my friend to reaffirm my great dislike of drag performances (not the performers, the performances). She was right.

Not one to waste a cute outfit, I stopped at a bar/restaurant on the way home. I sat at the bar, watched the NBA Finals game and felt right at home. I had a lovely conversation with the bartender and enjoyed this portion of the evening.

I felt like the square peg also at the Pride event the day before. There was all the over-the-top flamboyance at both events, and I completely understand why. But that is so not me. I have somehow found a niche to be a woman in mainstream society with little blowback or issues. We’ll discuss this in a future post.

A disappointing evening overall, based upon my expectations and the costs of having a few cocktails. Live and learn.

2 thoughts on “Miss Gay Cleveland”

  1. Like you I’m not a fan of drag and the flamboyant part of it.
    I understand it’s place in the the LGBTQ community but as you say in many ways trans folks do seem left out when it comes to the gay community I’ve felt that as well.
    Not all gay folks for sure but we do seem misunderstood by gay people.
    Drag is kinda a sub culture and like you early in my discovery of who I was I did look to that because of the clothes and such but now I know Im just and average trans women just being me

    1. I just found it odd that I can walk into almost any mainstream establishment and get some human interaction and here, I was invisible. Oh well!

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