Jade in America -- Miss Gay America 2014 Jessica Jade
On October 13, 2013 my dream was realized. Being crowned Miss Gay America 2014 will always be one of the greatest highlights of my life and I am still in shock that it finally happened!!! I have chosen to name my newsletter “Jade in America”. Special thanks to my sister and one of my inspirations, MGA 2012 Kirby Kolby for the idea. Over the year I will use this newsletter as a tool for you, the readers to get to know me better. I plan to share personal thoughts, memories, and experiences as I travel the country. I am beyond ecstatic to roll up my sleeves and get to work to keep Miss Gay America in the forefront of pageantry!! Although I feel that I am a seasoned and experienced entertainer and know a wealth about the Miss Gay America system, I know there is still a lot to learn. I have waited for this moment for over 10 years and I am so ready!!!
I would like to share a bit about myself this month. My given name is Billy Wilson and I am 32 years old. I live in Roanoke, VA where I work full time as radiologic technologist, specializing in cat scan tomography. I have been in the field of radiology now for 14 years and I absolutely love what I do! I have worked for the same health care company since graduating college. I have also been doing female impersonation for 14 years. In fact the art form help pay for my college education. I first took to the stage at The Park in Roanoke for a talent night show competition, after being dared. I did not win that night but a seed was planted and I was addicted. I worked tirelessly practicing make up techniques, performing, watching other entertainers, asking tons of questions and for advice to become the entertainer I am today. Till this day I consider myself a work in progress, always open minded and willing to learn. We are never too old to learn new tricks or different ways!
Over the course of my career in the art form I have had the opportunity to represent many titles all over the country but my dream and passion was always to be a Miss Gay America. I first learned about MGA after performing with Miss Gay America 1998 Maya Montana. The way she carried herself, the way she interacted with fans, the way she performed, dressed, and communicated with others intrigued me. After learning she was a former Miss Gay America, I started studying the system. I quickly realized I too, wanted to be a Miss Gay America. I first came to MGA in 2003 as Miss VA Regional. It was the first time I had ever competed in a national pageant and needless to say I was not ready, even though I thought I was. My first year competing was a horrible experience. Anything that could go wrong did. We had a car in our fleet break down 100 miles outside of Little Rock, back up dancers cancel at the last moment, and I lost administration point deduction during the competition. I even spilled $86.13 cents worth of gas on the pavement as I pulled the gas pump hose out the gas pump wall, leaving the pageant. I vowed I would never return to MGA or pageantry. Needless to say that thought didn’t last long.
I came back to Miss Gay America in 2007, after winning Miss Gay United States and competing at Miss Gay USofA twice. During my hiatus from MGA I felt like something was missing and I was heart- broken that I missed the crowning of Raquel, Nicole, and Luscious. Upon returning I felt like I was “home”. I had a fire in me like never before. The first year back as Miss Gay Smokey Mountain America, I placed 14th. I remember leaving Memphis that year more inspired and hungrier than ever. The next year back I came representing Miss Gay DC America 1st alternate and I placed in the top 10. You would have thought I had won Miss Gay America when they called my name into the top 10 that night! I would come back to Miss America the next 5 years consecutively, each year placing higher than the previous year. I never allowed myself to get down or bitter by my not winning. Instead, I would always continue to grow, listen, learn, and try harder. I always knew I would be a Miss Gay America, I just didn’t know when God was going to bless me with the honor. Thankfully the blessing came just in time, on time!
Competing for MGA has taught me so much about myself, it has allowed me the opportunity to travel the country, meet some amazing people, and has honestly kept me focused on a positive direction in life. The things we want most in life usually come with the most sacrifices and even though they have been plentiful and the journey was long….. It was worth it!!! Just 2 weeks into my reign, the love I have been shown has been unbelievable. I am truly honored to be a part of this organization, the history, the legacy, the family, the fans, contestants, and promoters…that is MISS GAY AMERICA!!!!! I will certainly do my best to make you all proud.
I’ve always heard that winning MGA would change my life. I agree, but definitely for the better. I have been in a whirlwind of emails, text, phone calls, interviews, and Facebook messages. I have booked several long distance trips for the next few months and can’t wait to get out there and spread the word on how great MGA is!!!! I had the pleasure of being interviewed by the local news station here in Roanoke and by the local newspaper since my winning. I was somewhat nervous opening my home and my heart to the public, as you never know how people outside the world of what we do, will perceive us. However, I feel it may be my calling to shed light on why and what we really do and show the world all the hard work, dedication, creativity, and the truth behind the art form.
I wanted to add a personal touch to the Excellence newsletter each month by including a “Dear Jessica” section. In this section I will answer or give advice to your questions. This will give you the readers a chance to pick Miss Americas mind and better know me and my thought process. I am no expert in anything, but your questions can range from anything related to pageantry, love, or just plain life! Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org by the 10th of each month and I will choose several inquiries to feature on that months “Jade in America”. Please keep it classy and serious!! =) I had announced this on my Facebook right after winning and I would like to share one “Dear Jessica” questions with you all this month…