Elishaly D'witshes — the Puerto Rican drag queen known for performing outrageous stunts, such as jumping off a double-decker bus and landing in a split — has been crowned the new Miss Miami Beach Gay Pride 2018.
D'witshes swept most of the categories at the sixth annual Miss Miami Beach Gay Pride pageant Monday night at the Faena Hotel, 3201 Collins Ave., before being crowned the ultimate winner. Pageant contestants competed in such categories as Presentation (Show Your Pride), Swimwear, Evening Gown, Questions and Answers and Talent.
D'witshes bested fellow drag entertainers Nelly Norell, Angie Ovahness Pryce and Mhi’ya Iman LePaige, who was the first runner-up. The winner received the title of Miss Miami Beach Gay Pride 2018; the Pride crown designed by Joey Rolon from Funky Sexy Couture; a matching jewelry set of ring and earrings designed by Michael Egnor from Beauty & Elegance Designs & Tittle; $1,000 in cash and $1,000 in prizes.
On hand to congratulate and crown the new queen was Miss Miami Beach Gay Pride 2017 Joanna James, along with former title holders Tiffany Fantasia (2013), TP Lords (2014), Athena Dion (2015) and Kalah Mendoza (2016).
In the Question and Answer portion, D'witshes delivered a moving speech about overcoming her biggest downfall — her mother’s death — and finding her purpose in life. Earlier in the evening, she said “Pride has no language. For years, we fought for respect. For years, we fought for equality. For years, we have fought for our rights. When you push me, I am free. I am freedom. I am happy with myself.”
As one of her first duties as Miss Miami Beach Gay Pride, D'witshes will join Fantasia and Ally Grand Marshal Roxanne Vargas Wednesday morning on the set of “NBC6 in the Mix.” She will also participate in other events throughout Pride week, walk in Sunday’s parade and be introduced from the Grand Stand Stage and perform at the Main Stage.