By Laura Latzko, May 2017 Issue. Meet the other 2017 titleholders here.

The opportunity to serve the community is what sparked Romeo White’s entrance into the drag world, back in 2010, and kept him pursuing new heights. Don’t let his shy personality fool you, White has earned the title of Mister Tucson Pride and Mister King of the Desert Mister USofA MI 2010, and has competed at the national Mister USofA MI pageant twice as first alternate representing Arizona.

Echo: What made you decide to run for EOY this year?

White: The system really interested me because it really allows the entertainer to be who they are. They don’t have to try to fit into a certain demographic or a certain stereotype. They definitely want you to embrace who you are. To me, that was really intriguing – especially being transgender, because that’s not always something that’s very accepted. Entertainer of the Year is very accepting.

Echo: What does it feel like to be one of four performers from Tucson to win a title at Arizona EOY?

White: I just think that it speaks volumes on the talent that Tucson is producing, that we’re coming, and we’re not going away.

Echo: What was it like performing against your brother/drag son, Jaden White, at the pageant?

White: Going into state, I told him, “No matter the outcome, whether you win or I win, I’m proud of you because you stepped up …” It was a really great experience just to be part of his first pageant and to be there for him, as his brother, his mentor and technically competitor too.

Echo: What made you decide to compete again on the state level after taking a few years off?

White: In my time that I was running for regional stuff and [Tucson Pride], I wanted to really commit that time to myself and the community … Now, everything fell back into place for me to try it at the state level and see what I could do for the community as a state representative.

Echo: Did you feel more prepared this time around for a state-level pageant?

White: That was my goal was to be way more prepared, but so many hurdles got in the way to where on Sunday, I was scrambling to get some stuff done…Because of all of those hurdles, it was definitely still just as rewarding, if not more, because even overcoming all of that stuff, I was enough.

Echo: Even though you scaled back on performing for a while, what keeps drawing you back in to drag?

White: It’s my passion for helping people. You can help somebody without or without a title, but when you are a titleholder, your face is out there is a different way. You are just out there way more as a resource for younger people or anyone who has questions or needs any type of help.

Echo: As an entertainer, how have you been able to evolve without changing who Romeo is?

White: I don’t think that will really ever change. No matter how much older I get, it works for me and people like the goofy, sexy thing because it is different from what some of the other male entertainers and kings do.

Echo: What are your goals for your reign?

White: One of my biggest goals is doing a lot of publicity and raising funds for Positively Beautiful, which is a non-profit organization in Tucson that is really near-and-dear to me. One of my friends who passed away was one of the founders of the foundation. His life was taken from HIV, so I really want to focus this year on bringing attention to the good that that organization does.

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