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2014 San Diego Pride Pageant crowns 6 new titleholders

SAN DIEGO, California -- The Imperial Court de San Diego crowned the 2014 San Diego Pride titleholders at the annual Gay Pride pageant Sunday night, including the first-ever categories for transgender and youth participants.

This year’s winner are

Mr. Gay Pride 2014: Jake London Sawa

Ms. Gay Pride 2014: Tiara Gollaher

Miss Gay Pride 2014: Landa Plenty

Mr. Trans Pride 2014: Zarious Rashad Hughes

Ms. Trans Pride 2014: Mayson Lee

Mr. Gay Youth Pride 2014: Hakeem Jojo Peyton-Ortiz

Ms. Gay Youth Pride 2014: Arianna Segla

Over 30 contestants competed for the titles, with 13 men in the Mr. Gay Pride category. Contestants were asked to answer the question: “What does Pride mean to you?”

Responses were varied, with some participants reading prepared speeches, while others spoke off the cuff. Some spoke of personal challenges, while others recalled memories of attending Pride events and more.

Contestants came from a very diverse range of backgrounds, including some straight allies. This year was the first time in the history of the pageant that the transgender and youth categories were included, which received applause from the audience when announced.

The contest was moderated by local drag entertainer LaLa Too, and the winners were selected through a scoring system by a panel of community leader judges, including Steven Blocker of San Diego Pride; Benny Cartwright of The Center; Sister Ida Knows of the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence; Aaron Borovoy of Bears San Diego; and Drina Lickert of the San Diego Kings Club.

The event, held at The Center, included performances by past Pride titleholders, and a presentation by the outgoing 2013 Pride titleholders Jim James, Terry Nunez, and Diamond Sinsation.

Following the crowning of this year’s winners, Lala Too announced that $895 had been raised throughout the night to benefit the programs of the Imperial Court de San Diego, and its newly established Pride Fund. She immediately challenged the new titleholders to make the total at least $1,000 before leaving, and within minutes the group of 6 worked the crowd and ending up exceeding the challenge.

The 2014 Pride titleholders will participate in Saturday’s San Diego LGBT Pride Parade and spend the year raising awareness and raising funds for various charitable causes.