Before I ever even considered tucking my penis into places it shouldn’t be stuffed, I had heard a million times over about the pristine pageant that is LaFemme Magnifique. Created by the legendary Darcelle XV of Portland, OR, the pageant has a 33 year history of diamonds, jewels, and showgirls. Last summer, Darcelle shocked the shit out of everyone by announcing that the curtain was closing on the glamorous affair.
But, as you know, absence makes the heart grow fonder. People protested in the streets, knocked down monuments, and eventually camped out outside of Darcelle XV’s humble Vatican-esque abode to see if a glittery silver smoke would protrude from the pipes, signaling that the show MUST CERTAINLY go on.
None of that really happened, but she did announce that the Magnifiqueness of the Seattle, Portland, and International pageants would shantay and stay. The 33rd Annual La Femme Magnifique Washington Pageant is on Sunday, May 18 at Neighbours Nightclub (1509 Broadway). Admission is $20 with the doors opening at 6PM. 21+ with a valid ID.
And so, here are 7 reasons why you should go this year:
REASON #7: SEATTLE’S SUPER BOWL OF DRAG
This is perhaps the most important reason, but a reason all the same. Seattle has become an oversaturated sea of drag titles, but it’s nice to know that a whole slew of ladyboys are still running for Imperial Court titles and LaFemme. Honorable mentions to Miss Bacon Strip and Fierce Queen, because trashy is classy.
REASON #6: GAYSHA STARR EATING PIZZA
She may have moved to the mountains of Aspen where she gets ravished each night by a Brawny man, but Seattle’s darling Gaysha Starr will be gracing us with her ethereal presence and has promised me that we will be making a mad dash to Domino’s before Showgirls. She’ll probably only rip off a piece of the pepperoni slice. I’ll be scarfing down my fifth slice. Join us if you dare!
REASON #5: COCO VAUGHN IN THE FLESH
She is the Grand Ultimate Mother of all Fishy Queens in the Pacific Northwest and I’m not exactly sure why she hasn’t slit the throat of Gaysha Starr or Aleksa Manila to keep her Supremacy in the Seattle drag coven, but the fact is… she doesn’t need to. When she enters a room, it’s as if the Red Sea parts and everyone is simultaneously asking “What is air?” Coco Vaughn is a pioneer, a trail blazer, and one beautiful drag queen.
REASON #4: ONLY ONE GIRL RUNNING FOR LAFEMME-PLUS (OXYMORON?)
Listen, before you pick up your pitchforks at that title, trust and believe that I love my big girls. Celys St. James Black, drag mother to last year’s LaFemme Magnifique Amora Dior-Black, is the only gal running for LFM’s plus-sized category. She’s large, she’s lovely, and she’s a whole lotta woman! That being said, I’m not sure why Olivia LaGarce isn’t competing… (Editor’s Note: I thought the same thing…she seems a shoo-in!)
REASON #3: GAME OF GOWNS – A CLASH OF QUEENS
Five queens have thrown their lace fronts into the ring to become the Queen B of glamour and sophistication. I’ve never heard of Niikiita Chanel and Letigre Love, so I can’t comment on them. Though, the latter queen’s name makes me believe that Fraya Love has manhandled a lion, perhaps? One of the eight billion daughters of Drew Paradisco, Jessica Paradisco, will be competing. But, my money is on Bremerton girl Gabrielle Grimaldi or Diamond St. James Black (who had advanced to the Portland finals last year). However, if Diamond’s Showgirl head piece falls to the floor like it did in 2011, then all bets are off.
REASON #2: THE STEP DOWN OF AMORA & LATRINA
LaFemme Manifique, Amora Dior-Black, and LaFemme Magnifique-Plus, LaTrina Bidet, will step down from their titles and crown their successors. Amora has been doing drag a little over two years and is a cast member of R Place’s Lashes Cabaret, that is hosted by former LaFemme winner, Ladie Chablis. LaTrina Bidet on the other hand, aside from having an awesome name about toilets, is a former Imperial Princess and Empress of Seattle and has been an activist in the LGBT community for 20+ years.
REASON #1: DID I MENTION THE SUPER BOWL OF SEATTLE DRAG?
Quite honestly, a whole lot of people are going to be at Neighbours Nightclub this coming weekend. Not just queens, but like, a lot of people. It’s a bit overwhelming for first timers, but once you pop your cherry, you’ll be having a blast. It’s really, really awesome to see so many different drag queens in one place. Y’know, if you love drag, of course.