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Mokha Montrese

Growing up in the South, there were four cornerstones that helped pave my path in this life; those were God, family, football and last, but not least, beauty pageants.  Each of those pillars were important to me and helped shape me into the woman I am today. Mokha Montrese made her stage debut in late 1989 and began her quest to become the accomplished entertainer and professional you see today. A few years later in 1993, I began to live my true self as Michelle Franklin. I had my first encounter with the Miss Gay America system in 1987, while I was working at the Opryland USA entertainment theme park and on the General Jackson showboat in Nashville, TN.  Blaze Starr was the reigning MGA, who was presiding over the Miss Gay Tennessee America preliminary that evening. I was in complete awe of Blaze, and how she carried herself throughout the evening. That was my first exposure to female impersonation pageantry. In fact, there was an altercation that broke out

at the event that evening, and Blaze’s professionalism, grace and beauty have remained with me after all of these years.


When I moved to Montgomery, Alabama, and began competing in pageantry, many of my friends encouraged me to compete in the MGA system. However, my integrity and love for the art form wouldn’t allow me to be dishonest. I was never able to compete in the system because of my body augmentations

below the neck. I have had a rewarding career competing in multiple systems and capturing the titles of Miss National 2009, Miss Continental 2010, Entertainer of the Year 2012, Miss Gay USofA 2015 and Miss

Black America 2019. Being on stage and performing as Mokha Montrese in front of an audience has always been a forum for me to decompress during difficult times and a way to invigorate me when I need it the most.


I recently shifted my focus from full-time performer to full-time student so that I could pursue another passion of mine, being able to show empathy to those who have lost those they love. I have completed my Associate in Applied Science degree in Mortuary Science from Malcom X College in Chicago, and I am currently in the process of taking my national board exams and completing my internship at Taylor Funeral Home. In addition, I plan on completing the 25 hours needed for my bachelors online from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale . When I first heard that Miss Gay America was opening up a

new division, I knew deep down this something I needed to do without reservation.   I want to be the first Miss Gay America Femme titleholder because I never thought I would get the opportunity to say that I am

Miss Gay America, and it will be such an honor to travel the nation, building this brand and using this platform to show how to lead and serve others with empathy, compassion and unconditional love. I am blessed to have found my true purpose in life. In closing, I truly believe in the Golden rule "To always treat

others as you want to be treated".

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