November as a titleholder was a light month but personally very impactful. As a national titleholder, it is sometimes annoying when “life” gets in the way.
The beginning of the month I had the honor of participating in our first official state preliminary Mr. Gay Oklahoma America. As the competition was held at “Angles Show Complex”, it was my return to this location. In 1994, I competed in my first regional preliminary competition, Mr. Mid America. I was 2nd runner-up as this being my first attempt to qualify for Mr. Gay America 1994. When I walked into the showroom and dressing rooms, I realized not much has changed. I had fond memories of scoping out the competition, setting up my makeup, and dealing with that slick floor. Another highlight was reconnecting with the head judge John Martin BeBe. John was Mr. Gay America 1996 and it was wonderful rehashing and remembering previous competitions and those we competed with. I was very nervous during judges briefing as John was a stellar titleholder and I wanted to make a good impression. I pride myself on always being prepared and I was so fearful I would miss an important detail. Happy to say all went well. At the end of the evening, your new Mr. Gay Oklahoma was O’Dey Davenport, he is the first gentleman to earn his spot to compete at Mr. Gay America 2018.
Moving into mid-month, I had to put my crown on the shelf and deal with some personal life challenges. During that time, I had the chance to reflect on my accomplishments, ambitions, and life after competing; as I will retire from the stage after I step down as Mr. Gay America. This personal time also allotted me the opportunity to make some decisions and plans for the success of my reign.
Other than the growth of the system and traveling the country promoting, performing and looking pretty; I look forward to starting my community service initiative. The Empowerment and Education of Gay Youth are very important to me. As a teenager, I felt alone and scared to be who I am. My father being a football player from Texas was extremely homophobic. I remember as a kid him saying: “I will kick the ass of a faggot that talks to me” “I would never have a friend that was a sissy”. My mother (who is my heart) is from Central America obliviously did not view gay individuals favorable when I was a young teenager based on her cultural heritage. When my family would make those comments I would think, “They are talking about me?” At the age of 28 I was outed due to a failed dating relationship. Through the ups and downs, challenges, tough words, and my uncompromising strength to fight through and educate my mother, brother, and family, I am happy to say I now have a very loving relationship with them.
Most of you may not know that I was born with a horrible speech defect. At 12 years of age, I started speech therapy all the way through college. During my junior high/senior high years, my speech therapist was Dr. Hallerman. The work I did with him changed my life. Not only is he responsible for the way I speak today; he has mentored me. I learned that I must always be respectful, I must always be on time, I must always be a man of my word, and I must do the best I can in school and work hard. He helped me with my college applications and guided me to get into my first-choice school, Drake University. During my college years he continued to mentor me, and due to this, he was the first adult I told I was gay. He said, “Okay, I knew that since you were 12 years old”. As time went on based on our numerous conversations it hit me, “He is gay too”. As I did not have a positive relationship with my father, the man that was a father figure was gay as well. As I became an adult I realized that mentorship to empower the youth of our community is so important. I would not be the person I am today if it was not for Mr. Hallerman. I have spent many years (with & without a title) visiting LBGTQ youth groups teaching workshops and seminars. These events were not just about saying being gay is okay, it was about being a productive member of our society. A few features are:
1. College application preparation
2. How to write a resume
3. Interview technique for your first job
4. Scholarship applications preparation
5. Dress for success
6. Your sexuality does not define you.
7. Determine and control your own coming out process
8. Realistic goal setting.
I am looking forward to traveling the country visiting LBGTQ youth groups spreading this knowledge.
Thanksgiving was wonderful. As I have family around the world; I made the decision to not travel and share this holiday with my extended family of friends here in Virginia. After eating too much, I spent the holidays deciding and organizing costumes, appearance clothing and selecting music for the many preliminary competitions that I will preside over. This was not an easy process. As I went to high school & college in the eighties my go too would be Luther Vandross, Michael Jackson, Peabo Bryson, Boy George and Barry Manilow. As my goal is the push myself and expand my box that I tend to like to stay in, I spent hours on YouTube, MTV, VHI, and reviewing Billboard’s Top 40. I am very excited to present current materials and challenging myself to be a more well-rounded performer.
As we end this month I have my upcoming travel schedule on my mind. Within the next 2 months, I will be in Baltimore, Key West, Dallas, District of Columbia, Chicago, Raleigh, and Atlanta. Being Mr. Gay America is a job and I promise to continue to not only represent this system but our community to the fullest. Thank you for your continued support and looking forward to meeting all of you in between flights.
Much Love & Respect
Your Mr. Gay America 2017
Geo Johnson - 5th Alternate Mr Gay America 2017
Contestant Profile: Geo Johnson
Top Ten: Mr. Gay America 2017
Geo, you and I are on the show “Gay Big Brother”. You and I have made an alliance. We get to the end and you have one of two choices. The first: You double cross me and you win $25,000 and go home or second, your stick with our alliance and you become the next Mr. Gay America. Which would you choose and why?
Answer: The answer is simple. I would most definitely stick with our alliance, not because I would become the next Mr. Gay America, but for the principal of being there for you as I know, you would be there for me. Honor cannot be bought, that's what an alliance means to me.
I will be coming to Arizona in February for Mr. Gay West Coast America. You are tasked with the job to make sure I have a good time during my stay. How are you going to amuse me and keep my attention??
Answer: Arizona is full of beauty. I have lived here for over 20 years, and I enjoy helping others discover that beauty, especially friends like yourself. From food to sightseeing my pleasure would be to leave you memorized, and anxious to come back in April for Mr. Gay Arizona America, to discover more of those unique, and amazing places Arizona has to offer.
“Gold” was the presentation category MGA 2017. You presented a beautifully done “King in Gold”. We, the gay community are your subjects. How will you maintain peace and order in our Kingdom?
Answer: 3. I believe that we are entering a time, where our community needs more than peace and order. I believe that what is greatly needed is someone who can rally our community to make sure that we don't sit back and let others make our decisions. We need a strong vocal community leader, that can say, we will not tolerate any of the rights that our community leaders have fought for be jeopardize by anyone.
What advise would you give me to be the best Mr. Gay America Possible?
Answer: Just to continue to be the best you, you can be. Everyone should be allowed to pave their own road.