Miss Congeniality title for Ayleesha

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Ayleesha Tryed gracing the stage during the Miss First Nation pageant.
Camera IconAyleesha Tryed gracing the stage during the Miss First Nation pageant. Credit: Ayleesha Tryed, Supplied

A local drag queen has walked away feeling like a winner after travelling to Melbourne to compete in a drag pageant dedicated to indigenous queens.

Broome-based queen Ayleesha Tryed competed in the 2019 Miss First Nation drag pageant in Melbourne and made “her-story” by becoming the first WA finalist since the competition’s inception three years ago.

While Ms Tryed did not snatch the Miss First Nation crown, she walked away with the title of Miss Congeniality.

She said winning Miss Congeniality was her personal goal going into the pageant and she was very happy to achieve it at the end of the four-day competition.

“I am still new to the drag scene so Miss Congeniality was the title I really wanted to walk away with and it happened,” she said.

”It was a full-on week so we were all pretty tired by the end of it.

“There was a point where we had to be up at 4am to get ourselves in full drag and walk the streets of Melbourne for the photography section of the competition.

“It was an amazing experience and I would definitely do it again in a heartbeat.”

Along with the photo shoot, Ms Tryed and the other finalists had to compete in several heats including Lipsync Superstar, which was the first heat.

“We all had to learn nine songs in the week leading up to the competition and then we drew them out of a hat and that’s the song we had to perform,” Ms Tryed said.

“We then had Drag Bingo, which was more of an opportunity to mingle and get to know one another.

“The second heat was our national costume, where I wore my Sturt Desert Pea-inspired dress, then Miss Talent followed where I did insult comedy.

“On the final night it was the Showstopper Lipsync and then it was time for crowning.”

At the end of the action-packed competition, it was Queensland-based queen Chocolatte Boxx who came out on top as Miss First Nation, while Queenslander Sarah Moany and Sydney’s Nana Miss Koori were the first and second runners-up respectively.

Ms Tryed said Chocolatte Boxx was “more than deserving” of the crown.

“We couldn’t be more proud of her,” she said.

When asked, Ms Tryed said she would definitely recommend the experience to other indigenous drag queens.

“You walk into it thinking it’s going to be nothing but a competition, but you walk away with a sisterhood,” she said.

“You get tips and tricks from queens that have been in the industry for years. They gave me tips about make-up, how to be comfortable in drag and how to address the public, particularly in times where it’s not the best situation.

“It’s one of the most uplifting experiences I have had in my life.”

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