Ms Gay Vancouver XIX’s
Step-Down Address
Supports Illustrated Cover. Model: Organza; Design: Will Pritchard. October 1999. Photo: Timothy B. Chisolm.

Organza’s Year in Review

October 3, 1999

Ladies and gentlemen, dignitaries and distinguished guests, and everyone here, from in-town and out-of-town both:

If you had told me two years ago that on October 3, 1999, I would be stepping down as Ms Gay Vancouver XIX, I wouldn't have hesitated telling you, "You're NUTS!" I'm not sure how I got here, really. When I moved to Vancouver in June, 1997, I didn't know a soul. I thought Ru Paul was the only drag queen in the world — which is why he's so famous.

My introduction to the drag scene happened when Larry Cleaves asked me to model a tank top and boxers which were later auctioned off. (Thanks!) The charity event was Ride for Reason, and the evening's emcees were none other than the infamous Myria LeNoir and then-reigning Mr. B.C. Leather, Dave.

I was quickly exposed to the numerous weekly drag shows, in all the bars, and I remember thinking, "God, there's more of them!" Since then, a lot has happened to get me here, on stage in front of you all, tonight.

It all started out quite innocent. At Hallowe'en 1997, with a little help from a friend, I made my first attempt at the art of female impersonation. I had big plans that night. I would look just like supermodel Yasmeen Ghauri. (I didn't even come close!) I had squeezed my feet into a pair of borrowed boots three sizes too small, and by the end of the night I swore I would never repeat the experience.

On September 28, 1998 (11 months after proclaiming: "it's only a costume"), I began my term as a goodwill ambassador — Ms Gay Vancouver XIX — along with Mr. Gay Vancouver, Rob Wolvin. Together, we were to spend the next year raising money for charities of our choice. The organizations to receive the fruits of our year's fudn-raising efforts are: YouthCo, Youthquest!, Dr. Peter Centre, and Vancouver Pride Society. Over those next 12 months, thousands of dollars got deposited in the Rhinestone Pheonix bank account. People often don't realize that a lot of this money accumulated from donations of loonies and toonies, here and there (maybe five bucks on payday).

My reign as Ms Gay Vancouver would never have been such a success without the tremendous help and support from so many great people:

In Calgary – Ms Carly York-Jones, Eric, Erica, Mr. and Ms Gay Calgary, Shane & Dion, Randy D., Brandy, Mercedes and Electra, Eartha, Devon Mills, Zach, Mz. Toni, Dean, Scotti Rene, Empress Roxy & Emperor Sean Boink, Kim W. & Jim, Flora, as well as all the other new friends I met while visiting there. While Vancouver celebrated Mondo Pride!, I flew to Calgary for Ms Carly York-Jones' step-down. The day was crazy. After fufilling my obligations, I just barely made the flight. You know, I've travelled only by plane since I was very young but I have never before been invited to view the cockpit. Flying in drag got me introduced to some very accommodating pilots — as well as something called the Mile High Club! It was Ms Carly, at the Edmonton Coronation, August 1998, who encouraged me to run for office. (She threatened to break my legs if I didn't!) Thank you, Calgary, for all your hospitality.

In Edmonton – Toots, Ed and Vera, Brian and Jackie Two-Step, Toni L. Best wishes to everyone in Edmonton.

In Bellingham – Peter Storm (Please accept my apologies, I didn't realize your tits were real!), Empress Veronica, and the hunky male patrons at Rumors — and their girlfriends (What's wrong with a little innocent flirting?) Thank you, Bellingham.

From Toronto – I first met Scarlett at Wanda & Marty's Ball. Looking like a porcelain doll, she left an unforgettable impression. At least two young men that have been counting the number of "sleeps" waiting for Scarlett to arrive. One of them was English. Tonight, Scarlett and English will take their 5th Year Anniversary Walk tonight, together again as Mr. & Ms Gay Vancouver XIV.

It is with great sorrow, that I offer my sincerest condolences to the Imperial Court of Toronto for your loss of Emperor Chaz Parkway. Rob and I took the opportunity to talk with him extensively while he visited here last March. Sadly, we miss him here tonight.

From Seattle – Diana Starr (Don't you know that PVC and thigh-high boots are not always appropriate? Thanks for showing me an awesome time on my birthday last year. Although, I'm not sure I really like posing on a car in front of a porno theatre, talking to perverted, horny men!), Kalhua Ice, Gaysha Starr... Thank you, Seattle.

In Portland – Chuck (You're a gentleman, 100 per cent!), Mr. Bill (with the irresistible big smiles), Champagne... Thanks to everyone in Portland.

In Regina – Thanks to Bruce & Avaughna.

In Kelowna – Kim Williams (Thanks for having me perform!), Kory and Dom (Two very fine young men who look HOT! — whether they're wearing Kelowna Suns football uniforms, or collars and G-strings, playing submissives. Kelowna, next time I'm spending time in that 25-man jacuzzi of yours!) Thanks.

And, from our home town Vancouver – Rob Wolvin (You'll always be my Mr. Gay); Crema (our President); Willie Taylor (Our Vice President — You know you're hot when all you have to do is snap your fingers and the crowd goes nuts!); Imelda Mae Santos; Bruce; Mona Lee; Larry; From Odyssey: Ron (Thanks for making me Wife No. 9!), Billy & Michael, Mitch (Thank you all for your hard work during our Charity Fashion Party); Justine Tyme (More like Entertainer of the Decade!); Joanie; Diana Rose (a most classy and glamorous vision of beauty and talent); Robyn Graves; Vivian (Miss Odyssey, Coffee?); Carey Grant (a fine man with never a bad thing to say) and all the staff of The Dufferin Hotel (Thanks for helping us raise a substantial amount of cash!); Terry (Miss you!); Mz. Adrien; Jessica (May all your wishes come true); Lucille Balz; Carl (a "hands-on" manager who understands every aspect of running a club), Mama Karen (A special person who has seen and done it all. Let's write history together!), Judy Jive (Impeccable taste always. Thank you for the Jubilee Bible), Luca and Cotton (You Venus Girls rock! You've shown this city how to have fun), Symone and all of Celebrities; Angus (A man of true class and distinction. Thanks for the vote of confidence, I look forward to working with you more!), Mandy Kamp (You love drag and have too much fun to ever quit!), Carlotta (Save me a seat in Vegas, front row centre, Girlahee!), Neil (Are you still single?), Mike (We all want you!), Darren and all The Royal Hotel; Jamie, Coco (If there's any queen I'd like to be mistaken for...), Greg, Gord and all of Numbers; Greg & Iris (reigning Chief & Princess), Al Houston, Byron, Holly, Kayla and everone one at the Greater Vancouver Native Cultural Society (My deepest sympathy for your unexpected loss of Stella Starlight Princess XIX, she is with us in our hearts tonight); Brad, Kevin, Jim (Thanks for the video) and all the Knights of Malta (You should all be teaching courses in chilvalry); Western Canada Leather Pride and Rob Pont (A man with a heart of gold. What's for breakfast?), Don Kopeck (truly a man of his word), Jim Heaton (Mr. B.C. Leather 1998), David (Mr. B.C. Leather 1997, thanks for all the hugs and kisses), John Leight (Mr. B.C. Leather 1999, if you were the officer on duty I would purposely break the law!), Doug Gault (Thank you for being Emcee tonight!), Heidi (Ms B.C. Leather) and Jane (Congratulations to you all for being our first-prize winners on Family Feud!); Empress XXVIII Joanie, Emperor XXVII English, Robyn Graves, Devanna & Philippe and everyone at the Dogwood Monarchist Society; Amber, Chris, Barb, Nathan and Eugene of Denny's on Davie (Thanks for the VIP treatment! When are you gonna add the Claudia Schiffer breakfast to the menu?); Jeffery and Joe Clothing; Gary Penny, Brian, Darren Lafleur (Where's my red dress?!), D.J. Jason, Dana and all the staff and patrons who supported Club 19 at the Denman Station; Frank, Derek, Kerry, Grampa (I owe you a million back scratches), Polly and everyone at The Edge (the only place in town a girl can get her all and rice boobs pinched!); Ted Northe and the Imperial Court of Canada (Your thoughtfulness has really inspired this "pushy little queen"); Martin Rooney and everyone involved with Out in Surrey; Andy Cook (King of Hearts XX), Kevin, Peter (Yum!), Ruby Stone, Mark, Erica Live (Ricky), Electra, Paige Turner (you are a gem!), The Baron Ms M, Michael, Brad, Rob A. (You're an angel!) and all of Chelsea Square; David King, Gio (Pose with me sometime?), Hugh & David (I still have two outstanding rain cheques: a motorcycle ride to Abbotsford, and a date to paint the town RED with two hunky escorts!), thanks to everyone from Top Drawers (who were there for us from our very first fund-raiser); Frank (Thanks for all the money we made auctioning off G-strings!); Simon and Aaron (You fit my body well!) of LeatherwerX; Wanda Fuca (my confidente); Marty (My lips don't fall under the category, "a brand of lube"); Darshun (Your turn!); Mark Aylotte (Richard Richards, Book me, I can really work a pole) and all the boys at Male Stripper; Wanda Wacko (You're the bomb); Sugar Cane (Let's go looking for Barbies!); Vel Veeta (Make sure you always have face powder!); Seymour Illusion (Your coaching helped create Organza, you're beautiful and I love you); Jeff (Be happy whereever you may be. Keep in touch!); Randy Newberg; Rosamond Norbury (A.K.A. Rod Bush. OK, I'll pose nude, but don't sell them cheap!); Benoit (The world's most amazing designer. Merci!); Tara Nova (Staying tuned!); Malcolm Parry (Work it, babe!); Helen, Rachael, Jana, Mani and all the girls at MAC; Gordon Newman (a very sweet man); Vicki & Darcy; Michelle (How come all long dresses turn into minis?); Mark and Jonathan (Heritage Hotel & Mark James Group); Ivona Booking (Entertainer of the Year); Abantu Wigs; Alexis of California. Special thanks as well to both Bill Powers and Steven LeDoux — without their unwavering support and generous contributions my term would have never been such a success. Finally, I must express my warmest gratitude to Alex, Anna, Nadine, Andy and Peter who make up the incredibly talented group, 540. Thanks for all the dance steps, patience and good times!

Phew! Thanks also to anyone else may have been missed in this exhausting list.

The incredible generosity and support our community gave this year is truly commendable. It's a terrific cause to celebrate! A hearty thanks to each and every entertainer that came out tonight to help. It's going to be a HUGE PARTY! So, sit back and have fun — it's all for you! It has been a great honour and a pleasure to have served as Ms Gay Vancouver XIX.

 Ms Gay Vancouver XIX

Supports Illustrated Cover. Model: Organza; Design: Will Pritchard. October 1999. Photo: Timothy B. Chisolm.

Supports Illustrated Cover
Model: Organza; Design: Will Pritchard
October 1999. Photo: Timothy B. Chisolm.

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Created: NOV. 29, 1999
Last Modified: DEC. 29, 2001

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