With every Pride week there will be pageants and competitions and this time we were invited into the deaf LGBT community. Pink In Our Lives went along with Belgian dragqueen Lola McQueen to the international deaf contest in Amsterdam organized by Gay Deaf Tours. They held a mister Gay Deaf and Miss Deaf Beauty 2017 this evening.
Six candidates from different countries entered the competition like Russia, Switzerland and the oldest one (64 years old and called herself the mother of the five other candidates ) was from The Netherlands. The candidates had to only walk 3 runways (normal wear, bathing suit and gala) and surprisingly didn’t have to do an act. Maybe for next time, because that would be a great addition to the contest. Lola is a perfect example that deaf people can still perform on stage, because she did it already last year on the Showqueen Awards and Closing Festival Antwerp Pride.
What amazed me the most as a hearing person this evening was first of all that the deaf community is already a tight community, but the deaf LGBT community even more. It is a totally different experience, because I learned already some sign language but still not enough to communicate when there are so many people are around together. Also sign language is on the other hand universal, but there also dialects within itself. It isn’t only different from country to country, but it can also be different from city to city.
Secondly is what I noticed that they all gave me a warm welcome in their community and that even though it was a competition the candidates all helped each other out to bring the best on stage. Helping to put each other’s eyelashes on, fixing wardrobe malfunctions, choosing the right wigs and just having fun. Many drag competition candidates can and should learn from this. It is all about having fun and putting out your best high heels 👠 forward for the audience.
There was between the three runways only two minutes to do a wardrobe change, so Lola McQueen needed a bit help and yours truly and her sidekicks Tom, Mircea and Lenz helped her. Especially for the gala because she had something special planned. Tom and Mircea came on stage with high heels and a black T-shirt on with the text “Team Lola McQueen” and then Lola came with a long bright red coat on stage. She came to the front and then the boys joined her on the side and pulled perfectly and simultaneously on time the coat of Lola. Underneath was a beautiful Gala rhinestoned dress and the audience got crazy. Many of the guests in the audience never saw something like this before. She rocked it.
Miss Thailand became the second runner-up and Miss Switzerland became first runner-up and Belgium became the winner this evening. Pink In Our Lives was very proud to be part of it and see an other side within our LGBT community. Because lots of people struggle to come out and we can imagine that if you have a disability this makes it not any easier for a person. But all these deaf gays, lesbians and transgenders were all out and proud and had a great night.
Big kudos to all the winners and also to all the candidates for standing proud on stage and especially also to handsome organizer Michel van Heese of Deaf Gay Tours. He sign languaged all evening together and judged with three other judges who would won eventually. Thank you for having me. Congratulations to Lola McQueen, you were outstanding and fun like always. A deserved winner for Miss Deaf Beauty 2017!!!
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Lesley Middleton, owner of PINK IN OUR LIVES