In the last few years the State of Florida has been KILLING IT on the National Pageantry scene. The latest to conquer is Tampa’s own Kenya M. Black, who recently won the title of Miss Gay USofA at Large and is also the current reigning Miss Tampa Pride. As we are celebrating pride this month, I thought it appropriate to sit down with Kenya and find out more about her!
What was the first drag show you saw and tell me about the experience?
The first drag show I was at was in Pulse in Orlando about nine years ago. It was Roxxxy Andrews, Blade Matthews, and Angelica Sanchez. I was in awe. The glitz, the glamour, and the beauty!
When did you decide you wanted to do drag and when did you realize it would be a profession?
I decided after that night at Pulse. After watching Angelica perform I knew this was something I wanted to do for my lifetime, as she was so inspiring and I saw so much of myself in her. I decided I wanted to make it a profession after going to USofA newcomer my first time. The love and respect that was shown to me was heartwarming. To know that I can touch people through dressing like a woman, it was I had to do forever.
Who is your drag mother and who is your favorite queen other than your drag mother and why?
My drag mothers are Aysia Black and Alicia Markstone. Those ladies saw so much potential in me and pushed me to be the queen I am today. And my favorite would be my sister and mentor Alexis Mateo. She is so passionate about the art form of drag. She keeps me on my toes and keeps me fresh.
What’s your favorite number to perform and why?
My favorite number would be “Fergilicious” by Fergie. It shows all sides of me as a performer and a person. It’s always a crowd pleasure and the energy from the song gets my blood flowing.
What’s the best thing that has happened to you in drag?
The best thing that has happened to me in drag is winning Miss Gay USofA at Large. I’ve had so many people believe in me but I always doubted myself. I’ve done a few national pageants and made the top five, but never thought I was good enough. Winning Miss Gay USofA at Large lit a fire under me. And the flame won’t be going out anytime soon.
Speaking of Gay USofA do you remember how exciting it felt be crowned and how has it changed your life?
It was beyond exciting. I have been wanting to be a part of the USofA system for a while now. I was always afraid to do an at large pageant because I didn’t want to be seen as “fat” but after talking with so many people the best thing was to be myself and be comfortable in my skin. So winning Miss Gay USofA at Large has opened so many doors for me career wise, but has also made me a mentor. I didn’t realize how many girls I would be helping once I won.
What differentiates you from other Queens (Makes you Unique)?
What makes me unique is that you never know what you might get from my performance. You will always get Kenya, but you never know which one. It’s the Gemini in me…LOL!
What does the future hold?
My future is limitless. I just want to do drag and make a name for myself until the wheels fall off!