A kiki with Mac Huffington
Holy untucked, we are back and in full force!
This month we KIKI with the legendary Mac Huffington of Mac Productions. She is responsible for so many events that unite and highlight the LGBT community and has been a huge advocate here in Music City, even though she may not view her role that way. As the owner/promoter of many local pageants, for years she has crowned your favorite locals, from kings and queens to divas and toddlers. This lady is always working nonstop, and I think it's time we got to know her a little better. So, sit back: it's time to get untucked with the legend herself.
What sparked your interest with the drag pageant world?
Going to several Drag Queen pageants and not seeing many drag kings or drag king pageants. The creativity of a contestant is just awesome to watch. To see someone grow as a person while doing drag is a beautiful thing.
How long have you been the promoter/owner of pageants?
For over 20 years, starting with the Ms. & Mr. Nashville Pride Pageant in 1996; then I added Drag Kings the following year. Bianca Paige was the first Ms. Nashville Pride and Bushra Shabazz, now a member of MAC Productions, was the first Mr. Nashville Pride.
You also own/promote other pageants, can you tell us about those?
My 11th Ms. Tennessee Diamond Diva Pageant was on August 14, 2016, and my 20th Mr. Esquire Pageant for Drag Kings will be in October 2016. I also started the Lil Ms. Diamond Star Pageant for kids this year 2016. I also had a Pageant for males several years ago my winner is still out competing today…
Have you ever owned or promoted a prelim for a national competition?
Yes, I have owned two USofA pageants: Mr. TN USofA for Male Impersonators and Ms. TN Diva USofA. I have also participated in Unlimited & Renaissance Pageants which is also a National system.
Over the years your work has been recognized by a lot of groups. What are some of the highlights?
MAC is involved in the LBGT community, being part of but not limited to Nashville Pride. I was the winner of the Bianca Paige Community Service Award 2011. I have also been a member of Nashville Black Pride for 14 years. I was the winner of the Brothers’ United Community Service Award for community service, along with many other awards and achievements in the community. This year I was one of four finalists for the LGBT Chamber’s Mark Lee Taylor Community Service Award.
You have been a member of the Nashville Pride board: how long have you been doing that?
Well over 20 years. This year myself and other long term members of the Pride Board were termed out per a new policy. I love Pride. I still volunteer and I am the Coordinator for the Pride Drag Stage. I hope to be a board member again or part of the Executive Board if elected, and if not I will always volunteer and try to be a part.
You were sorely missed this year at the Nashville Pride Pageant. Can you explain to us why are you not heading the pageant after doing such a wonderful job all these years?
I was told by this year’s Pride Board I have done a wonderful job all these years—no problems, no complaints—but they decided I have been doing it too long. So the job was given to someone else.
I had already started working with the reigning King and Queen and some of the performers on the 2016 Pageant, so when the abrupt decision was told to me it was a hard pill to swallow. I still attended and supported the pageant. It was just very different for me this year, but I love the Pride Pageant—it’s another one of my babies. I would still love to work with the Pride Pageant if the opportunity ever arises again. I will continue to work with Mr. and Ms. Nashville Pride for any MAC Productions events. I wish the new head of the Pride Pageant good luck.
A lot of people in the community consider you a huge advocate for the LGBT community. Do you consider yourself an advocate?
Again I do not think of myself that way. I know a lot of people in the transgender community, many are my close friends and family. I just try to help any way I can. I do not want anyone to be discriminated against.
What is the most important thing you can do for your community as an advocate?
If people think I am popular or an advocate then I will continue to help and speak out, and do all I can and be their voice if they need me.
Do you feel at times that large parts of the LGBT community are more segregated than united?
I know there are many times the community seems segregated—black, white, king, diva, queen, trans, young, old, etc.. We are all trying to protect and preserve our personal rights. It was very apparent that when Pulse happened we as a community can come to together and show how truly united we can be.
What do you think is the most important thing we can do as a community to become more united?
We should continue to have events, rallies, festivals, shows, open discussion and more and keep them open to the public to continue to educate our community. Interviews like this also help educate the community about issues or people in the community.
What are some big events you have planned this year?
We are working on making the 20th Mr. Esquire Pageant a big event. There are not many Drag King Pageants that are twenty years old. We are proud to be one of the longest standing premier pageants in the southeastern region. We are working on a pre-party with cake and drink specials from 7–8 p.m., with the pageant following at 8 p.m. sharp, and concluding with an After Party. We also have our annual Toys for Tots Fundraiser in December.
What are you most excited about?
This year’s 20th Mr. Esquire Pageant for Drag Kings is very exciting and emotional. I still communicate with several of my former Kings, and many of them have obtained several titles and are doing well in their communities. It’s a great feeling to see so many doing so well… I’m happy to still be in the pageantry business. It still excites me, and I am still very passionate about it. There are so few systems that have made it this far. I am very fortunate.
Where can our reader's keep up with you and your events?
Everyone can like and follow my Facebook page for MAC Productions!