Michael Dutzer and Rob Mansman of the Miss Gay America pageant awarded Lady Gaga with an honorary crown and title last week — a gesture of gratitude for the pop star’s support of the LGBT community over the years.
Beginning in 1972 in Nashville, Tennessee under the patronage of Jerry Peak, the Miss Gay America pageant aspired to elevate the practice female impersonation to an artform.
And when Norman Jones, the first competitor to take the crown, purchased the organization from Peak in 1975, he did so “in hopes of one day growing the pageant system to be the most prestigious and most respected pageant for female impersonators in the world,” as the MGA website notes.
In a post to Instagram, the current pageant owners Michael Dutzer and Rob Mansman thanked Gaga for her campaigns on behalf of the LGBTQ community and gave their best wishes to the convalescent singer whose tour had to be postponed last week after she was hospitalized for a chronic illness:
“On Sept 10 we presented Lady Gaga with a Miss Gay America crown, making her the first honorary Miss Gay America,” Dutzer wrote. “We love Gaga for all she’s done for the LGBTQ community, especially our youth, so we thought this would be a great way to honor her for championing self-acceptance, diversity and the beauty in everyone’s mirror.”
First we would like to wish @ladygaga the best as she recovers from an injury. On Sept 10 we presented Lady Gaga with a Miss Gay America crown, making her the first honorary Miss Gay America. We love Gaga for all she’s done for the LGBTQ community, especially our youth, so we thought this would be a great way to honor her for championing self-acceptance, diversity and the beauty in everyone’s mirror. Along with the crown, we made a donation to the @btwfoundation on behalf of the Miss Gay America organization. #ladygaga #joannetour #missgayamerica #excellence #bornthiswayfoundation #loveislove #lgbtq
A post shared by Michael Dutzer (@mdutzer) on
The pair additionally awarded a donation of $5,000 to the Born This Way Foundation, whose aim is to counter bullying and other forms of emotional violence by working with educators to foster safe social communities in school and online.
“Creating a positive climate has the power to directly improve student outcomes,” reads the foundation’s website. “That’s why we work with students to advocate for improved climates in their own schools and to connect educators with the resources, tactics, and programs needed to support those changes.”