It was a dream come true for Peyton Vivienne Ramos, when she was crowned Ms Gay Pioneer at a pageant held at the Joseph Stone Auditorium in Athlone, on Saturday May 28.
The event, which also saw the launch of an organisation called The Legacy, was hosted to generate funds for Nazareth House, which takes in abandoned and at-risk children, and Little Fighters Cancer Trust. More than R10 000 was raised and will be handed over to the recipients on Saturday June 4.
Jackie Hope, a social worker at the Nazareth House, said the funds would be used for the children’s medical supplies and their daily needs such baby formula, pedisure – a special kind of formula – as well as nappies for the babies and older children.
“It’s always such a blessing to be reminded that there are people out there that do care about our kids. We know that we can’t do it on our own and we need the support of others,” said Ms Hope.
According to Mandie Erasmus, project manager at the Little Fighters Cancer Trust, the funds will be used for the organisation’s Get Wrapped project which will provide 3 000 children with warm new blankets in the peadiatric and oncology ward.
“The blankets have to be new and not second hand because the kids have low immune systems so they can pick up infections quickly. We also have lots of grandparent families, and single-parent families that we would like to donate groceries to because a lot of them have had to stop working to look after the cancer patient. Children with cancer have specific diets which makes groceries quite expensive,” said Ms Erasmus.
Legacy was launched last year to celebrate the lesbian, gay, transgender, bisexual, and intersex (LGBTI) community.
Ms Ramos took first place as Ms Gay Pioneer 2016, followed Miah Paige, as first princess, and Penelopey Kay Boheim as second princess.
“I am overjoyed as this is my very first pageant. I plan to make pioneer not only a success here, but to make girls all over Cape Town aware of Ms Pioneer and the legacy that pioneer will leave behind,” said Ms Ramos.
Themed, “Every City Needs a Heroine”, the event started off with the nine contestants modelling in swimwear, followed by each contestant in their own heroic character outfit, and ended off with evening wear. In line with the theme, each contestant could choose a heroic character to model in, among the characters included, cat woman, and superman. “The idea behind this pageant is that we as gay people can also make a difference. We are trying to show people that we are still human, we are normal, we just prefer another man, or some women prefer another women.” said vice-chairman of The Legacy, Ashwin Trimble.
Zilin Ayoki, MC for the event and also Ms Gay Western Cape 2012, said gay pageants have for a long time been a platform for making a difference in the community.
“The winner will do a lot of charity work which will make a difference. The event is well known in the community so we get a lot of support. We are all the same and we should not be judged because we are deemed as not normal in the society. I would like to tell people to exercise mutual respect for another,” said Mr Ayoki.
Camille Von Zuush, Ms Gay Western Cape 2015, said pageantry is very popular in the gay community “It’s about individuality and uniqueness. Everybody likes to see the beauty of what they are. There is a common ground where we are trying to stand together to make a difference. We are trying to create a positive aura around us,” said Ms Von Zuush.