Happy new year to you!
I have to admit, this year, I went through holiday stress like I never have before. First, there was the family stress that I endure from not being able to be present in my full self around my extended family. Instead of being fully in the moment, I have a “hold it back, Michael” routine that I put on. I'd love to shout “FABULOUS!” at the sight of a beautifully set table or the perfectly decorated tree but instead I refrain from being too loud in front of the aunts, uncles, and cousins that would be put on-edge at my gregarious extremes. It weighed on me more this year because I have little toleration for holding myself back at this point in my life. I feel proud of who I am and what I have accomplished and my full extremes are a part of that.
Second, I was trapped in the airport-disaster-hell having to wait STANDING UP in a line for 15 hours at an airport only for the airline to tell me and hundreds of other passengers that there was absolutely nothing to be done for us. UGH! So much for patience and so much for the two free bags that Southwest allows. I could just cry!
But through it all, I know that I have more than the average. I know that I have a chosen family at my home in Missouri--my Miss Gay Missouri America family--that regards my extremes as endearing. That family is YOU and I could not be more thankful for your contribution to my life and my happiness. Each time I get to come to another city on my MGMA journey, you wrap me in laughs, stories, hugs, kisses, drinks, shows, pageants, and LOVE. You show me love with or without my crown and that is the "holiday" that I deserve, no matter what day of the year it is. So again, I say THANK YOU!
Kicking off December, however, was one of my "holidays" getting to serve at Miss Gay Gateway America. A real highlight was that I got to travel to St. Louis road-trip-style with the reigning Mr. Gay Missouri America, Felix. We spent the night before the pageant with Trixie, Tabbi, Tumara, Kara, and the ever wonderful, free-pouring staff at BarPM. As for the pageant day, I was back at Jade Sinclair's fabulous show bar, Prism with MGMA 2021's Prelim-of-the-Year and Promoters-of-the-Year award recipients. Their promoters include Luis, Karma, Jessica, and Adria and they put much planning into my time with them as well as honoring the gorgeous Kara Lagerfeld.
Miss Gay Gateway was extra special this season because not only was it a fight to the finish for our two contestants, Venus DM and Kendra Crush who put on quite a beautiful contest, but it was a farewell to a sister who has so much sweetness, light, confidence, and a true sense of style unlike anyone I know. Miss Kara headed "across the pond" to her new home in the UK just days after the pageant and her family, the gathered audience, as well as her MGGA sisters (Jade Sinclair, Roxxy Malone, and Veronica Leigh Taylor from Texas) were there to celebrate her time in St. Louis.
The lesson that I received this month is appreciating family. We might get on each other's nerves like Uncle Arnie, we might miss those that are far away, and we might not ever want to leave Grams's kitchen full of recipes and stories, but we're fortunate to be able to turn to them and say THANK YOU.
Happy and grateful,