Monday, September 27, 2010

The moment I realized the power of what I'm doing.

That moment was not while I was eating pancakes with Miss Brooklyn, but that was fun.  Saturday morning started out with a fun morning at the Miss Brooklyn Applebee's pancake fundraiser with Miss Brooklyn (obvi) Mallory Hagan and Miss Brooklyn's OT Joelle Bracco.  On my way there, I picked up a straggler along Wall Street, Hannah Wright Miss Metropolitan, and we headed out to meet up with Kim Cantoni Miss Richmond County, and Miss NY's OT Alison Stroming.  After lots of photos, we took a trip to DSW to check out new shoes and take the infamous Miss America picture  -- in front of the DSW sign, in my Miss America Brand T-Shirt ( and I was even wearing Artistry Makeup - walking. sponsor. advertisement.  :)

Then it was back into the City for the Relay for Life with Hannah and Kim.  It was at the beautiful World Financial Center Atrium, but to our surprise, indoors, not outdoors.  Everyone was so excited to have us and my hat goes off to people like Robyn, Christina, and Myrna who worked very hard to put all of this together.  I did a few interviews, I'll post when they go up, and spoke on stage briefly about lung cancer and the even larger effects that smoking has on the LGBT community, leading to higher cancer and health risks. Then it was off to the gym at NY Health and Racquet Club and then straight to David Barton Gym for training with Ben Yosef, MiBoLife Fitness.  At MAOT, Sierra Minott did a whole segment on "You might be a pageant girl if..."  Well, you might be a pageant girl go to two different gyms in one day. haha

And now for the biggie. Sunday was the moment.  Sunday was the 7th Annual Wedding March across the Brooklyn Bridge - a huge statement for marriage equality.  I spoke at the rally at City Hall in Foley Square in front of hundreds of people.  Before I addressed the crowd, people were coming up right and left asking for pictures or sharing with me their stories or how they have followed my journey towards becoming Miss America.  I have never felt as supported and encouraged as I did this day. I want to bottle it all up and save it for later!  I spoke following Congressman Jerry Nadler and before City Council Speaker Christine Quinn and Senator Tom Duane.  As I approached the microphone with the energy of the crowd vibrantly applauding my introduction as a straight ally, I reviewed one more time what I wanted to say.  And I got there and was just in awe.  As I began to speak, I realized that nothing I could plan could be more perfect for this moment than just speaking from my heart.  Previous speakers had challenged us all to vote in November elections and to be in Albany, lobbying in February.  I accepted my challenge there on that podium and offered one more promise.

Yes, I just about cried, because I was overcome with emotion, realizing that this was it.  This was the moment when I realized the power of what I'm doing, the message I'm spreading, and the amazing opportunity and public platform the Miss America Organization has provided me. 

City Council Speaker Christine Quinn and Senator Tom Duane
Ronnie Kroell and his boyfriend Taylor, Ross Levi - Executive Director of Empire State Pride Agenda

 As for the celebrity fun, Sonja Morgan, one of the Real Housewives of NY, recognized me from the Empire State Pride Agenda and brought me over to meet all the ladies of RHNY, spend some time with them and then march with them in the very front - yes, on camera the entire time. At the end of the march, on the Brooklyn side of the bridge, I stood on a big rock and video taped the crowd as they came off the bridge in a sea of rainbow umbrellas. People chanted, "I love you Miss New York!!" What a cool, cool moment!

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