On September 29th 2012, the annual Miss Gay Caribbean USA pageant will be held at Restoration Plaza in Brooklyn, New York.
Now in its fourth year, the pageant is the brain child of Mr Hemish Marlon Gervis. Having organized and executed several Caribbean events, Gervis saw the need for a pageant which brings together Caribbean nationals within the gay diaspora, thereby providing a forum for the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgendered to be heard in the form of a pageant.
The aim of the pageant is to one day be integrated into the mainstream annual events within the Caribbean social circles.
Gervis, hails from St Lucia and has worked extensively within the LGBT community. Over the years, the pageant has grown from the humble beginnings of 20 people in someone’s basement to a filled courtyard at Restoration Plaza; all solely planned and executed by Gervis and a handful of friends, well-wishers, and supporters.
Gevis, owner of Heatwave Production Company, specializes in producing major events and has even been instrumental in the production of St Lucia Carnival. However, despite his extensive resume, his pride is the Miss Gay Caribbean USA pageant. This pageant is his baby which he has nurtured from inception and brought to the high standards of today.
Getting support from the mainstream community is quite daunting, in addition to, undertaking such a huge task with little or no financial support can prove to be physically and financially exhausting. The planning of this event begins in late winter and takes a lot of begging and pleading to fund, yet despite the lack of corporate support, Gervis persists.
When questioned about the hard work and not reaping any benefits, this young man’s claim is that hard work does bring rewards and if not in his lifetime, then at some point in time, his work within the Caribbean community will be recognized.
As the visionary of this annual pageant, Gervis is determined to continue despite the difficulties that arise.
Each year the pageant is launched with an exclusive boat ride (scoring a ticket for such an event is a prime), where that year’s delegates are formerly introduced to the public for the first time.
At present the contestants are undergoing intense training, not only in deportment, speech and poise. They are also given instructions in makeup artistry as well as hairstyling and talent. On a larger scale, they are also being educated on issues that affect the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered community within the Caribbean and in their own respective Caribbean countries. These issues ranges from homophobia, acceptance, bigotry, health related issues including STDs, HIV and AIDS.
Past winners of the pageant include Miss St Lucia, Miss Jamaica, Miss Trinidad and Tobago and last year’s winner, Miss Barbados.
The delegates are judged by a distinguished panel of judges in, swimwear, National costume, talent, evening gown and intelligence. Competition is fierce, as are the delegates, who are all well poised to win the coveted crown.
Check out a past video of Gervis speaking with 2011 contestants below:
This year’s pageant will be no different, as the competition continues to be fierce with each delegate bringing her own slew of supporters.
This weeks article seeks to introduce you to the pageant and its coordinator, Marlon Hemish Gervis, a distinguished Caribbean national who continues to work assiduously to bring the talents of our Caribbean gay men and women to the public. Readers are invited to attend the Miss Gay Caribbean USA pageant, carded to be a fun, educational and enlightening evening.
In the next coming few weeks I will introduce you to the delegates.
To see the delegates visit, www.gaycaribbeanpageant.com.
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