Miss Gay Uni­verse Pageant set for Saint Lucia

The Star (St. Lucia) - - LOCAL -

Saint Lucia is host­ing the first-ever gay beauty pageant, dubbed Miss Gay Uni­verse, on Fri­day, De­cem­ber 4 at the Golden Palm Con­fer­ence Cen­tre in Rod­ney Bay.

The Las Vegas-themed pageant is or­ga­nized by Shar­mark Leon and will speak to the is­sue of hu­man rights. Leon told The STAR that when he con­cep­tu­al­ized the event, he did not want to put on just an­other pageant but to stage some­thing with more depth and mean­ing.

Seven del­e­gates will par­tic­i­pate in the pageant, rep­re­sent­ing coun­tries from around the world. The con­tes­tants are Rubella Belle Jour – Miss Saint Lucia, Sa­hara West – Miss France, Aaliyah Fierce – Miss Brazil, Dae Ja Daven­port – Miss Canada, Anousqua Queer – Miss Ja­maica, Rox­anne Ed­wards – Miss USA and Sasha Amelia Fierce – Miss Egypt.

So far Leon says things are go­ing ac­cord­ing to plan al­though one of the big­gest chal­lenges has been get­ting the con­tes­tants to be more coura­geous and to raise their self-es­teem ahead of the big night. “We are fully aware of the anti-gay sen­ti­ments in our so­ci­ety, al­though I do not think it is as bad as it was be­fore,” he says. “But I still think it in­tim­i­dates some per­sons who want to come out,” Leon says. He be­lieves the show is an­other small step to­wards bring­ing to the fore the is­sues of hu­man rights. “You do not have to like me or to like what I do, but we live in a so­ci­ety where we sim­ply need to re­spect each other and re­spect and rec­og­nize our rights and free­doms,” Leon says.

Shar­mark Leon be­lieves that by stag­ing this event, more per­sons will be em­pow­ered to come out, ac­cept who they are and al­low oth­ers to ac­cept them as well. So far or­ga­niz­ers say the re­sponse for the event has been very good and they ex­pect a large turnout at the venue next Fri­day.

A num­ber of pop­u­lar and for­mi­da­ble dress-makers and de­sign­ers will be adorn­ing the con­tes­tants with their pieces on the night. The evening is ex­pected to start off with an open­ing num­ber and in­tro­duc­tion of con­tes­tants, a swim­suit seg­ment, a cos­tume seg­ment de­pict­ing a night in Las Vegas, tal­ent and poise and el­e­gance in evening wear, and in­ter­view seg­ment.

Tick­ets for the event are avail­able at Shar­mark De­signs on Cadet Street and at the United and Strong Head­quar­ters.

Con­tes­tants for the up­com­ing Miss Gay Uni­verse Pageant.

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