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Back to Section One | Back to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, May 25, 2012 - Volume 40 Issue 21
La Femme Magnifique winners crowned at Neighbours
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La Femme Magnifique winners crowned at Neighbours

by Shaun Knittel - SGN Associate Editor

On May 20, La Femme Magnifique International Lady Chablis, and La Femme Magnifique International Plus Athena Kiss, crowned Diamond St. James Black and Beyonce Blaque as La Femme Magnifique Washington 2012 and La Femme Magnifique Washington Plus 2012, respectively, at Neighbours Seattle (1509 Broadway).

Fraya Love took first runner-up behind Diamond and is guaranteed a spot at the upcoming La Femme Magnifique International and International Plus pageant in Portland on September 2.

Diamond St. James Black told SGN that she feels great to have 'achieved this honor' and is looking forward to 'representing my community.'

Diamond says she got her inspiration from God, but also from her godfather, Isaac Payne, and godmother, Ebony La Face, 'for pushing me to succeed.'

For Diamond, it is all about community. 'There were so many people that supported me on this amazing journey,' she said.

It was obvious to anyone at the pageant on Sunday that Diamond St. James Black came to win. She threw down in each category, standing out from all the rest. She told SGN it took many months of preparation to compete and ultimately win.

There was something else evident Sunday night, too. Diamond has a large fan base. 'Most of them have followed me from the start, when I performed at R Place.'

Diamond says she performs in drag because she considers it an art and has been entertaining audiences for eight years. 'I enjoy it to the fullest,' she said.

Diamond St. James Black is more than a pretty face and a sick lip-sync - she throws her support behind marriage equality and finding a cure for HIV/AIDS.

She told SGN she is 'thankful for the fans' who support her and that she plans to bring the title of La Femme Magnifique International 2012 home with her in September.

For drag entertainer Beyonce Blaque, being crowned La Femme Magnifique Washington Plus 2012 is a 'dream come true.'

'I waited a long time to accomplish this, and I feel like the sky is the limit from here,' she told SGN in a phone interview from Spokane.

Beyonce Blaque wants everyone to know that 'big is most definitely beautiful.'

'I love the fact that La Femme added the Plus title,' she said. 'I want to win so I can represent not only Washington State, but the plus-sized queens who might feel ashamed or embarrassed about their size. I am here to tell them it is OK. We can do what the skinny queens do and believe in yourself.'

Aside from supporting marriage and full equality for the LGBT community, Beyonce Blaque says that due to two tragedies in her family from HIV/AIDS and cancer, she supports raising money to find a cure for those diseases.

Her biggest influence has been her mom, Paula Nieves. 'She has always been there for me,' Beyonce Blaque told SGN. 'She's stood by my side and is my hero. She is everything to me.'

The preparation for and cost of pageants like La Femme Magnifique Washington and Washington Plus are large. As Beyonce Blaque jokingly said, 'I can't even count how many hours and how much money I put into this.'

But, in the end, she says, it will all pay off if she is crowned this year's La Femme Magnifique International Plus 2012.

First runner-up for La Femme Magnifique Washington 2012, Fraya Love, told SGN, 'I entered the contest on a whim, actually. The first La Femme I saw was last year when Lady Chablis won and I thought, 'I can do that.' So I entered.'

Fraya has entertained audiences at R Place's Lashes Cabaret - hosted by Lady Chablis - for nearly a year. When Fraya heard she won first runner-up she said she was 'honestly surprised mainly because all of the girls were so fantastic.'

'Having the support from R Place and Lady Chablis made me feel blessed,' said Fraya. 'I have only lived in Seattle for a year, and to have that much support from that many people is amazing. There is really no words for it but 'blessed' is the closest I could think of.'

Echoing to other contestants, Fraya says 'tons of work goes into this.'

'You have three looks to accomplish: Evening, Theme Wear (this year's theme happened to be Hats, Hats, Hats), and Las Vegas Showgirl,' she said. 'Plus, your talent and hair and accessories for your looks. Oh, and & SMILE!'

Fraya Love says she fully supports the right of same-sex couples to get married. Being from Southern California, she saw the negative effects that ballot measures like Prop 8 can have on a community.

'I just want to thank everyone for all of their support,' she said.

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