Spring fever and a couple hours worth of cocktails had the crowd whipped into a frenzy at Duvet on Sunday April 22 at the first-annual Mz Hip and Fit NY contest. It was hard to separate contestants from audience members until host Bitchie Slambora, of the Gotham Girls Roller Derby, invited seven of the hippest and fittest lesbians in New York to take the stage.
Samantha Laurigo is Mz NikkisRemix, a model who had no trouble flaunting her glam-sexy vibe. Her high energy writhing to Nine Inch Nails and Marilyn Manson had the crowd screaming. (Or was it the electric orange dress barely wrapped around her?) She said she was proud to be a part of an event with the potential to expand the public’s idea of who lesbians are.
Giulia Clemente is Mz Henrietta Hudson, an athlete from New Jersey who admitted to having severe stage fright. She said she usually doesn’t like to show her body to everybody, but had a few drinks in her the night she won the semi-finals at Henrietta’s in her bra and panties. Despite the butterflies, she was committed to representing Henrietta Hudson and her friends Lisas G and C.
Cerita is Mz Lovergirl, a last minute addition to the line-up. That didn’t stop her from getting up on stage and steaming up the place, or the audience, and loving every minute of it.
Haviland Stillwell is Mz Girlnation, the Broadway starlet who came straight from her Sunday matinee curtain of Les Miserables. “The whole idea of pageants has always been to objectify women,” Haviland said. “But this event is about empowering women.”
Erin Mendez is Mz Cattyshack, a Brooklynite client services bank rep by day, video gamer and wannabe mechanic by night. She was celebrating a friend’s birthday at Cattyshack the day of the semi-finals when her fiancée, Amanda, convinced her to try out. Despite her claim of being shy and nervous, Mendez got up on stage rocking some fierce hip-hop moves.
Nanie Morton is Mz Chueca, a 22-year-old waitress from New Jersey who says she’s never performed on stage before. As she gyrated in a white suit and fedora to the tune of “You Can Take Your Hat Off,” she exuded the presence of a performer, and had everyone mesmerized. “I believe in confidence,” she said. “Not necessarily cockiness, but confidence.”
Veronica Heffron is Mz Rubyfruit, well known as one of the LGBT community’s hottest go-go dancers/actresses. She disagrees with the comments she’s heard about this type of event conforming to the straight world’s standard of beauty. “This isn’t about the most beautiful girl out there,” she said. “It’s to get more positive recognition for the gay and lesbian community. That’s what our focus should be on.”
Three of our favorite hip and fit lesbians, Lori Michaels and the Girls, also got up on stage to serve up some of their signature hotness. According to Michaels, “The hottest lesbians in the world are right here.”
The second half of the contest was the rivalry of the fittest, as the ladies came back out one by one, shaking their best assets, dressed in swimsuits and lingerie. The ten judges—including Denise Cohen (creator of Hip and Fit, and Equality Forum board member), GO publisher Amy Melinda, and five players from the Gotham Girl Roller Derby—were looking for a combination of personal style, stage presence, and crowd response. The Gotham Girls were looking for a little something extra in the winner. For Daizy Chainz, the bottom line was charisma, while for Stevie Kicks, it was sincerity. Cheapskate’s focus was on spunk, and Beyonslay’s was on confidence. League referee Unfarrah Faucet said, with a “straight” face, she’d be looking for “a piercing fire of gayness in the eyes.”
In the end, it was Nanie “Mz Chueca” Morse who came away with the title. of Mz Hip and Fit NY 2007. She is officially “the hottest lesbian in New York,” competing against the hottest lesbians in Pennsylvania, Texas, Maryland, Michigan, California, Massachusetts, and New Jersey in the national Hip and Fit finals. The Equality Forum presented the Mz Hip and Fit USA competition at Girl Fever, an event showcasing the diversity of the LGBT community. Who knows, this year’s Mz Hip and Fit USA could be next year’s Mz Lesbian of the Universe. Regardless, the world of pageants will (hopefully) never be the same again.