Kimberly V. Devin named First Miss Gay Diamond of the Desert Newcomer

By Laura Latzko - Jan. 15, 2015

It was her high-energy dance numbers, her gowns adorned with sparkling rhinestones and her professional demeanor that earned Kimberly V. Devin the title of first-ever Miss Gay Diamond of the Desert USofA Newcomer.

Devin, also known as Leopold Devin,  became the first drag queen to hold the new regional title when she took first place in the Tucson-based pageant in November.

“It’s a privilege, and it’s exciting, and it’s something I’m going to be able to hold on to for the rest of my life,” Devin said. “It’s a great feeling and it makes you want to represent the system and Arizona very well.”

For Devin, 24, the regional title has great meaning because this experience not only marked her return to drag after a year and a half hiatus, but also a chance to compete against his peers on a new level.

“Just watching and realizing the caliber of drag that you could be potentially going up against is a big eye opener,” she said. “It makes you kind of rethink what you think is quality drag, in my opinion. At least it did for me. “It put into perspective what they were looking for … and the quality of drag that they want at USofA, and that’s what I aspire to.” 

Previously, Devin won season two of Kendra Katoure’s Stars of Tomorrow and competed in both Barbara Seville’s Newcomer of the Year and Miss Phoenix Gay Pride as Miss BS West.

In the months leading up to the pageant, Devine worked on refining her talent number and working with a designer to create a gown that fit her vision.

“I’ve always been most comfortable when it comes to the evening gown category,” she said, adding that she received a perfect score in this category. “It’s all about knowing fabrics and knowing what’s going to look good in the light, and that comes from watching drag.”

Devin said she approaches all of the categories with the goal of showing her personality.

“They are also looking for someone who can entertain, who can be a good face and who has a good personality,” she said. They rank you after every category, so I thought that was kind of appealing.”

Devin said she expects Arizona drag queens will be watched closely this year at nationals because reigning Miss Gay USofA Newcomer, Kira Daniels, hails from Arizona, and added that she is ready for the challenge of her first national competition.

“Representing the system well means being friendly to the girls backstage because we are all in this together,” she said. “We’ve all had duct tape in between our legs. We’ve all been through all of these things. There’s no need to be catty.”

As a regional titleholder, she plans to try to be a good representative for the system and Arizona.

“I want USofA to think of me as somebody that they want representing them in their system,” she said. “I want to show that I’m not somebody that’s just doing this because I want the crown. I believe in the system. I believe in female impersonation, and I want to help make it better. I want to go across the country and learn about drag in other states and cities and do more with it.”

Devin said the USofA system has been of interest to her since she attended the national Miss Gay USfoA pageant in 2012, and watching the 2012 pageant gave her better understanding of what she needed to accomplish to compete at the national level.

Photo courtesy of The Dinah

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