By Laura Latzko, Feb. 12, 2015.

Jeffrey Smit was named Mr. AGRA during the royalty pageant Feb. 11, 2015.

He isn’t a cowboy and didn’t grow up on a farm, but Jeffrey Smit plans to get more involved in the Arizona Gay Rodeo Association by becoming one of the faces of the organization.

Smit was named Mr. AGRA during the royalty pageant Feb. 11. He was the only contestant competing for the title, which was held in 2014 by repeat titleholder Dan Oldenburg.

AGRA’s annual royalty competition is comprised of Miss AGRA, which is open to drag queens; MsTer AGRA, which is open to drag kings; Ms. AGRA, which is open to females; and Mr AGRA, which is open to males.

Marcos Sandoval, AGRA vice president and former 2011 and 2012 Miss AGRA Trixxie Deluxx, said AGRA looks for titleholders committed to raising money for AGRA and other local charities.

“It is not just another pageant,” Sandoval said, “it’s about the community.”

Ahead of the pageant, Smit worked to raise money for AGRA and his chosen charity, Aunt Rita’s Foundation. He also performed in a charity show with reigning MsTer and Ms. AGRA, Luke and Roxi Ateraz, the proceeds of which went toward the crowns and belt buckles for the rodeo contestants.

Although Smit belonged to the Chicago Gay Men’s Chorus for three years and was part of his father and uncle’s 120-man barbershop chorus, he said he doesn’t feel comfortable singing live on his own … yet.

However, he is no stranger to performing to country music – including his signature song, Randy Houser’s “Like a Cowboy” – and lipsynched in drag in a number with Savannah Stevens two years ago during a Diva Night.

To prepare for the pageant, he worked on a country music lip-sync number, which involved a costume change. Smit also competed in western wear, talent and interview categories.

Smit, who came out to his mom and two sisters last year, said he took an interest in AGRA after joining the Men of Charlie’s in April 2013 and volunteering at the rodeo right a few months before that.

“Now there’s no holding me back. That’s why I want to run from Mr. AGRA and get involved,” Smit said. “I feel like a part of the family.”

Being involved in Men of Charlie’s has allowed Smit to expand his social circle, providing him with opportunities for new experiences, including taking part in a flag ceremony at Gay Games 9 in 2014.

Winners of the pageant can go on to compete at the national level at the IGRA royalty pageant. A number of past Arizona titleholders, including drag queens Pussy LeHoot, Ionna Doublewide and Victoria London, went on to become IGRA titleholders.

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