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Traditional beauty pageants come with all sorts of strange entrance requirements. In order to compete in the Miss America pageant, for example, a constestant must be an unmarried woman who has always been female, has never been pregnant, and has never engaged in any “immoral” or “indecent” activities.
D.C.’s annual LGBT pageant, Mr. and Miss Capital Pride, welcomes married, transgender, and pregnant contestants. The sexual history of entrants is unimportant; the entrance requirements don’t even specify that contestants be part of the LGBT community. But the Pride pageant has got a few strange rules of its own. From the 2010 application [PDF]:
1. Do not get high and steal from other pageant contestants.
Any contestant, or person affiliated with a contestant, who misappropriates the property of another contestant, violates any law regarding the abuse of alcohol or drugs, or is caught in the act of stealing will be disqualified and removed from the location of the contest. Unsportsmanlike conduct by a contestant or contestant’s entourage (dresser, dancer) before, during or after the pageant will not be tolerated and is subject to immediate dismissal from the venue and pageant.
2. Entourage is responsible for any damage inflicted by entourage.
It is further understood by signature of this application and submission of this application, contestants and the contestant’s entourage (dresser, dancers) will take responsibility for any and all damage (should it occur) to Town before, during or after the pageant.
3. Only one dresser at a time:
Each contestant will be allowed ONLY one (1) dresser at any given time. Contestants must remain in the assigned area at all times. Administrative points will be deducted from contestants who do not remain in the designated area. Dressers and Dancers as well as any other helpers with a contestant must pay at the front door before being allowed access to the dressing room.
4. No tips.
At no time during the contests shall a contestant or their helper(s) receive a gratuity of any kind during their time on stage.
5. All colors of rainbow must be represented. Rules for the “Pride Attire” category:
Pride attire may be presented by the contestant in the form of his/her most imaginative and creative style. Pride attire is not limited to any one color, but should encompass the full scale of the rainbow. Make your own statement and get as creative as you like.
6. No strings attached. Rules for the ladies’ “Evening Gown” category:
Evening gown will be the most elegant outfit you wear during the pageant (i.e. full length not a cocktail dress). It should complement your figure and make a statement of your personal style and taste. The dress accessories should be in perfect condition. No strings should be anywhere on the dress unless the style warrants it. There should be no tears in any part of the fabric and the gown should be stain and wrinkle free. It is your responsibility to take care of the gown and keep it in perfect condition during the pageant.
7. Black jeans are not formal wear. Rules for the men’s “Formal Wear” category [Gender nerd noted: Observe how the women’s gowns must “complement your figure” while the men’s formal wear must simply “complement you”]:
Formal wear should be the most distinguished outfit you wear during the contest (i.e. black tie, tails, regular or modern tuxedo, no black jeans). It should complement you and make a statement of your personal style and taste. No strings should be anywhere on the formal attire. There should be no tears in any part of the fabric and the garment should be stain and wrinkle free. It is your responsibility to take care of your formal wear and keep it in perfect condition during the pageant.
8. Lip-syncing will be judged on proper phrasing. I love that there are three possible talent categories here: “lip-sync,” “live vocal,” and “other.” Hey, beats the swimsuit competition:
Talent is the highest point category in the Mr. & Miss Capital Pride 2010 contests. Contestants will be judged on the quality of lip-sync, live vocal or other entertainment. Judges will be looking for lip sync or live singing ability. This will include but not limited to words to his/her song and proper phrasing within the song. If it is a live performance, is the talent of good quality? If there is choreography, the dancers should know the steps and steps should flow. If a member of your troupe does not know his/her part, points will be deducted from you score. Quality of set design and construction are not judged (note: allowed height 8 feet). All contestants are responsible for their sets. Judges are instructed to deduct points if a set does not complement or enhance the talent and if the set falls or is broken during the talent phase of competition. All costuming and set design should fit the style and mood of the talent being presented. Is your talent appropriate for competition? Does your talent move, excite or educate the judges panel and the audience. It is important to know that you are being judged by a panel of judges and not by the audience. Keep in mind that subcategories make up the total score in each category of competition.
In other words: This is going to be awesome. The Mr. and Miss Capital Pride 2010 pageant will begin promptly at 7 p.m. Friday, June 4th at Town Danceboutique.