Fight for the tiara

Posted on 24 May 2007 at 7:06pm
By Daniel A. Kusner Life+Style Editor

Big D’s Memorial Day weekend Drag-a-palooza. Miss Gay US of A pageant is anything but ladylike



Layla LaRue captured the Gay Miss USofA title in 2004. (Daniel A. Kusner)

Throughout the week, the Round-Up Saloon has been awash in body glitter, backup dancers and wig extensions that have been tweezed and tormented into coiffed perfection. The Miss Gay USofA pageant is in town. And while the preliminaries at the Round-Up are fierce, it all comes down to Finals Night, which will be held on Friday at the Adams Mark Convention Center.

That’s when the top 12 make the cut for talent and evening gown competition.

Tickets are not cheap. They start at $40, and the $75 seats on the front row are already sold out.

The talent portions can be amazing. It’s interesting to notice how trends have emerged over the years. The stage productions get bigger, bolder, and have more bells and whistles than a marching band. It’s not unusual to see more than 20 backup dancers busting military-precise pop ‘n’ lock moves and then lifting and twirling the drag contestant in the air like cheerleaders on speed.

Probably no other contestant sparked a riot more than Dallas’ own Layla LaRue, who delivered ghetto-diva fierceness a la Missy Elliot, but didn’t capture the crown until 2004, her third try.

Celebrating 20 years of pageantry, organizers are now selling DVDs: There’s even a “Best of Layla” ($29.95) disc with all of LaRue’s talent numbers.

Final night at Adam’s Mark Convention Center, 400 Olive St. May 25 at 8 p.m. $40-$75. For information visit www.usofacomputers.com.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition, May 25, 2007.

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