Mr. Gay United States Overcomes Past and Present Failures to Capture the Title
Have you ever wanted something so bad that you’d do anything to reach your goal?
Colton Bacall, Mr. Gay United States 2012, started entering pageants in 2010 at the age of 19. The rules for most pageants require contestants be at least 21 years old because they are normally held in bars or nightclubs.
"I’ve never been carded to get in to a gay bar before," Bacall said. "I just decided that I was good enough to win it, so I got a fake ID and ran."
Now that Bacall is 21 and pageant legal, he doesn’t have to worry about qualifying for them anymore.
The Gay United States Pageantry System was originally founded in 2004. The creation of this pageant gave performers a chance to compete for a title outside of the three larger pageants in America: Continental, USofA and Miss Gay America. The pageantry system was modeled after The Miss Gay America rules and regulation with an all boy pageant, meaning contestants that ran for both Mr. and Miss must be biological males. In 2010, rules were changed and divisions added that allowed for biological females and transgender people the chance to compete.
Bacall’s hometown of Luray, Virginia is home to the Luray Caverns, considered to be one of the world’s most spectacular natural wonders. The Caverns, much like Bacall’s pageant life are full of twists, turns and dead ends.
"My first pageant was Mr. Holiday in 2010. It took place in North Carolina. I was completely overwhelmed and unprepared. It was horrible," Bacall said.
Bacall blamed his bad showing on horrible stage fright and even concedes that he still gets nervous even today. "I’m more nervous of failure if nothing else," he said.
The road to the title of Mr. Gay United States started in 2011. Bacall suffered two disappointing showings at two preliminaries, Mr. Roanoke and Mr. Virginia. He managed to rebound and win Mr. Capital City which allowed him to go on and compete for Mr. Gay United States in 2011. Bacall finished as second alternate that year, handily beating the winners of the two competitions he lost.
"From that moment I told myself that I had 365 days to get ready to try and win it all," Bacall said.
Bacall would go on to compete for and win the title of Mr. Virginia Commonwealth in 2012. The moment his name was announced, the ball was set in motion for him to be able to capture the title that eluded him the previous year.