Roughly 200 queer women (and only a handful of men, gay or otherwise) gathered at Brooklyn’s Knitting Factory last night for Miss LEZ, the ninth annual assault on the beauty pageant industry by contestants from a variety of sexualities and gender presentations. Murray Hill hosted the raucous event, which asked the five contestants — representing plus-size vintage shop Re/Dress NYC, parties That’s My Jam and Choice Cunts, theater troupe Butch Mamas, and This is Burlesque — to compete in the categories of Platform, Swimsuit, Q&A, Talent, and Evening Gown.
Miss Butch Mamas, playwright KS Stevens, took the top prize of the evening, which included a Hitachi Magic Wand and $100. Her platform was the most serious of the evening — butch representation, as opposed to, say, Miss Re/Dress’s killer “No bacon left behind.” But Stevens continually delivered, taking on not only butch visibility but race and gender in her talent, a lipsynch of “Kung Fu Fighting.”
Miss Choice Cunts, Sarah Jenny, gave the audience plenty of ideas with her BDSM-inspired talent of tying up and spanking two assistants. She was awarded Miss Congeniality, though Miss That’s My Jam, Becca Blackwell, was more deserved of the prize. In the Q&A portion of the evening, our own Michael Musto asked Blackwell if, like Mackenzie Phillips, she’d ever had consensual incest with a loved one, and if so, who had made the first move.
Boos, “Fuck you”s, and claims of white male privilege were voiced in the room, but Blackwell’s Mad Hatter conceded that she, too, was daddy’s little girl. That’s grace under fire. Musto said that wasn’t the answer he was expecting, but we’re not sure what he was going for.