The fabulous new Miss Gay Australia and Miss Trans Australia International have been crowned in Melbourne.
This year’s winners were announced on Saturday at the pageant final at Williamstown Town Hall as part of the Midsumma Festival.
Miss Gay Australia went to drag queen Ellectra Kute, while Victoria Rivera took out the coveted Miss Trans Australia title.
Ellectra said that winning the crown reflected the culmination of months of hard work and preparation.
“But more than that, the crown represents community and equality,” she told Pink Advocate.
“It’s a beacon, a platform, a voice.
“To quote a good friend of mine: You’re not given a megaphone many times in your life, so when it’s in your hands, use it!”
An advocate for mental health, Ellectra is using her platform to promote suicide prevention charity R U OK?
“As someone that does suffer from depression and anxiety, it’s important to know you’re not alone,” she said.
“It’s funny in these days of social media that people are feeling more isolated than ever.
“Asking someone ‘R U OK?’ sounds like something so trivial but it can save lives – it has saved mine many times.
“I know that one person cannot change the world, but it all starts with one simple act of kindness, a simple act that could save a life.”
Performer Aurora Arsenic, who was awarded Best in Costume and Best in Talent, said the experience was “absolutely amazing”.
“It has inspired me, made me determined, and shown that I am worth my name and platform,” she said.
“I pride myself in how I perform. I put every ounce of my heart and soul into every performance.
“I love designing, sewing, and creating costumes and outfits, but all my costumes are thanks to my absolutely god’s blessings, most supporting mother of all, Mama Arsenic (Marianne Bowler).
“Winning this award was for her.”
Aurora told Pink Advocate the pageant process was “exhausting” but “worth every second”.
“It was hard, but the friends I made among the other candidates made it so much easier,” she said.
“Even though it was a competition, we all wanted the best for each other.
“This is more than just a pageant – it is a family.”
Melbourne woman Taylor Cougle took out three awards – Miss Congeniality, Miss Charity, and Best in Interview.
“The pageant has taught me so many things about myself,” she said.
“All the candidates were amazing and I can see them doing bigger and greater things over the next 12 months.
“I was surprised with getting the three awards, and I could not have asked for a better three as they showcase who I am and what I already do for the trans, gay, and drag communities.
“You are never too old to follow your dreams and not to give up.
“Everyone should be able to live true to themselves without fear of being bullied or discriminated against.”
Miss Gay Australia International 2019 MisTy DelRay, who passed on the crown on Saturday, congratulated the winners.
“It has been an absolute whirlwind of a year, with many highs in my career and some lows, but a year that I will cherish for a lifetime,” she later wrote on Facebook.
“I have definitely accomplished so much with this opportunity and I’m very proud of who I have become and what I’ve put forward.
“It’s been an amazing journey and I would like to say a massive thankyou to everyone who has been there and helped me through it.
“Congratulations to your reigning 2020 queen Ellectra Kute.
“Welcome to the family, you deserve it girl, the amount of effort and passion you put into your art really shows and paid off.”