It wasn’t your usual night (or any other night) crowd at Eagle. There were some bears and leathermen, but instead of dancing to deep beats on a dark dance floor, they were mixing with the area’s top drag entertainers and their fans.
The 19th Mr. & Miss Stonewall Pageant was held at Eagle on June 6. JaCee Lewinsky and Oscar Novva Mendoza competed in the Mr. category, while Brittidsh Jay Fox, Khloe’ Damore, Suzie Toot, Rianna Petrone, and Celine competed for the title of Miss Stonewall.
There were four rounds of competition which included evening wear, talent, Pride, and question and answer. Misty Eyez hosted the evening. Before things got started, she told OutSFL the Q&A portion can make or break you. “I do love a good question and answer. It really changes the game. Some people can be dumb as a box of dirt. Some people can be beautiful as the day is long. And sometimes you can be both!”
In the end, Rianna Petrone was named Miss Stonewall and Oscar Novva Mendoza was crowned Mr. Stonewall.
The Beauty Of Pride
“This is for South Florida, to unify our community,” Misty said.
While the pageant is apolitical in word, the virulent political attacks over the past two years are being felt even at events like this.
“This is an extra special year for the mere fact that we have never been under attack like this in our human lives.”
Misty says that adds extra significance to events like this.
“Our current laws in Florida are trying to eradicate trans people and put them back in the closet. You can’t use the bathroom, you can’t use hormones, you can’t be who you are. That’s a very scary time.”
Kelly Anderson was Miss Stonewall 2019 and was backstage before the show. She’s lived through the struggles from pre-Stonewall through “Don’t Say Gay,” and says people must champion their heritage, or it will be taken from them.
“Reflecting on history. For me to know what the history was, because I lived it, to see that history is maintained and that people are paying attention, I think is phenomenal.”
As for advice on how to win, Anderson says it all comes down to authenticity.
“Be honest. That’s what this is about. Be honest about you. Be your authentic self. Once you are, you can’t fail.”