Saturday, July 10, 2010

New Blog!

It's time to change that name!  Moving up in the ranks and on to other blogs for my year as Miss New York!

Follow my appearances and events and what's new in equality in New York State at

And view photos at

Miss New York Organization Website  

Miss New York Organization Photos  

Thank you for reading and supporting me on this journey!

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Miss New York 2010!!

View the post HERE for Saturday afternoon: Fashion Show and Miss New York's Outstanding Teen...

And now on to Saturday night. As we sat at the teen pageant in the afternoon, Hannah and I talked about God's plan and how He has one for each and every one of us. What that plan is, we may find out now, in a month, in a year, never? I believe this to be true, and it allows a peace of mind to know that there is truth in the cliché Everything happens for a reason. Before the show Alyse, Miss NY 2009, gathered us together and encouraged us each to put up a fight and leave every bit of energy on that stage, evidence that no stone had been left unturned. As we squeezed the hand of each girl to the right in our circle (like I did before every musical) I prayed for peace - of mind, of my heart and with the results...and I actually believed it this year.

It's show time!!! With John wailing into the microphone, 20 girls in short jazzy orange dresses and Hannah making eye contact across the way, final night of Miss New York began. The opening number was a blast in front of an incredible [almost] sold out crowd! Right into Top Ten where I was chosen 6th of ..wait for it... 11!! The Miss NY class of 2010 was so strong we had to do a Top 11. Swimsuit production number to "Body Language" and straight into swimsuit where I felt like a million bucks, showing off the hard work with my trainer Ben Yosef of MiBoLife Fitness (and a great sustained tan from Beach Bum Tanning). Quick change to talent. I had been advised to think of Matthew Shepard for 1 minute before my talent and man did it bring out the emotion. As far as I knew, this could very well have been the last timethat I danced on stage. And what a beautiful way to go out: dancing Ashley Becker's choreography to "Imagine." I know I do not have the strongest talent, especially of that Top 11, but the joy I felt from dancing, and the emotional impact of the song "Imagine," was incredibly fulfilling. The next and last phase of the judged competition was evening gown. I bought this dress at the Miss America trade show from Red Carpet Pageant and Prom and knew from the second I put it on that it was THE dress. It just completed my brand--everything that was unique and true about me. Last year, I really believed that I had found ME, but more and more, this year I learned that Claire Buffie doesn't wear long curled hair and a pageant gown; she wears a cropped bob and chains on a dress from the red carpet (not the store, necessarily).

After intermission, the Top 5 was called, and what a relief. I did not take any step of the way for granted this year. For on stage question I was so ready, passionate and excited to talk about my platform. I was asked...about digital imaging and retouching. Now, I love photography, a lot, but geeeez!! That's all that was going through my head because I didn't feel like I got to share my true reason for being there. Back into evening gowns and out for awards; I was nervous but calm at the same time. As they called 4th RU Inga Schlingmann and 3rd RU Jennifer Scacco, I realized I was standing there left with my arms wrapped tightly around 2 of my favorite people from the whole week. 2nd RU Hannah Wright stepped forward for flowers and I turned to Mallory and we held hands so tightly without the ability to look each other in the eyes without tears. When they called 1st RU Mallory Hagan, I realized I was the only one left, and I honestly don’t remember any thoughts or feelings from the next 3.5 minutes.

Obviously from my photos, I look ridiculous, crying and throwing out peace signs to my family, but hey, that’s me. I was overtaken by emotion of disbelief that everything it was actually reality instead of a dream. The crowning happened so quickly and all I wanted to do was hug someone!!! One of my favorite pictures is Hannah and I hugging immediately after crowning because it’s not a polite, congratulate the winner hug, it was a HUG.

That reaction from the girls, with whom I had such an amazing week, was the most extraordinary feeling ever. Seeing, hugging and smiling with my family, my roommates and friends, the board of Miss NY, the judges was exhilarating to feel the immense support I have for this year.

Top 11-Faren Collins (Swimsuit), Amanda Mason, Keelie Sheridan, Jennifer Scacco (3RU - Talent), Mallory Hagan (1RU - Evening Gown), Claire Buffie (MissNY - Evening Gown-Swimsuit-Interview), Hannah Wright (2RU - Talent), Inga Schlingmann (4RU), Kimberly Cantoni, Katie Martin, Jackie Holmes

At the ball afterwards, where I was just so excited to have breakfast food, I was named the Overall Interview Winner as well. That’s where it’s at for me and I’m so grateful that a panel of 5 judges – strangers – were able to see my passion for my platform and for the Miss America Organization.

I believe in the power of these girls and myself to make a difference and I cannot wait for the roller coaster year to begin. Thanks to come as well as updates for what’s next and where to follow my year …
Til next time,
Miss New York 2010!!

Miss NY - Saturday

Well I left off on Saturday and have been in a whirlwind ever since!!!
I am MISS NEW YORK 2010!!!
Buy let's rewind a bit and see how I got there.

Saturday was a great day, but a busy one for sure. In the morning we went to the Colonie Center Mall or a fashion show and meet and greet. The show was sponsored by Red Carpet Pageant and Prom and hosted by our favorite, Chris, Mr. Delaware 2008. We were in gowns and cocktail dresses and I loved my gown!! All the girls looked beautiful and it was wonderful to spend a few minutes (& photos of course) with our families. After the show we had a quick and delicious lunch at Cheesecake Factory, which left me with my only disappointment of the week--no cheesecake! We had to leave before dessert. Hmm maybe that was planned.

We threw on our sashes, grabbed our glow sticks and ran into the audience of Miss New York's Outstanding Teen. These girls (age 13-17) were fantastic and full of energy. Jackie and I were sitting together recruiting for Miss Manhattan 2013 for when we direct our local :). Some highlight performances for me were Alison Stromjng once again presenting a flawless pointe dance, Ashley McDuffee singing and original song and ---- jam skating! Yes, that's right, roller skating on stage-it was so unique.

They all did an amazing job and in the end the results were:

4th RU Shelley Jain, Staten Island
3rd RU Ashley McDuffee, Mohawk valley
2nd RU Shannon Ryan, Empire Rose
1st RU Joelle Bracco, Brooklyn

Miss New York's Outstanding Teen 2010
Alison Stroming!!!!

Congratulations to Kara Jae Kowalski on such a great year as MNYOT and noticeable growth as a performer and a young woman.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Miss NY - Friday

It's Friday which means it's showtime! Today we went to the Children's Miracle Network Hospital in Albany and were given a tour of their pediatric units. I wasn't able to go in the nicu or visit with the 17 year old boy we met because I'm sick, but even hearing the stories second-hand, they're very powerful. It is really important for us to see where the CMN money we are raising goes. We even made some nurses' days by letting them wear the crowns for pics :)

Dress rehearsal went so well, we don't even have to do another run through! Which means we got to have a 2 hour break before showtime. I'm trying to chill out and not think about the competition tonight but that's a tough thing to do! Updates later on the Preliminary Results!!

Prelim Swimsuit
• Claire Buffie, Southeast NY
• Faren Collins, Southern NYPrelim Evening Gown

Prelim Evening Gown
• Claire Buffie, Southeast NY
• Mallory Hagan, Brooklyn

Prelim Talent
• Hannah Wright, Metropolitan (Pointe Variation)
• Jennifer Scacco, Staten Island (Jazz Dance)

And a Happy Birthday to Hannah and Inga!!!

Tonight was unbelievable! As I put on my Facebook status, my head is in the clouds, but I'm keeping my feet on the ground. This entire week has been incredible and a memory that will be soooo very positive in my mind and heart forever. That's really all I can ask for.

Miss NY - Thursday

Thursday was basically just rehearsals all day - OH YEAH and that thing called Interview!! Interviews were great - mine wasn't until 10:05 so, I had plenty of time to get my head in the game in the morning. The panel was responsive and prepared. I felt like they really got to know my personality and most importantly, my passion for my platform and for this organization. And I didn't cough throughout the entire thing!! So at the end I said "And I'm takin' my water with me." as I grabbed my water bottle that I thankfully didn't have to use :)

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Miss NY - Wednesday

Wednesday is kind of a boring day write about/read about...LOTS of rehearsals! We basically started off the day with early rehearsals in tennis shoes and worked our way up to heels by the end of the night. We took a break in the middle to go bowling and have lunch while shooting another part of the Spotlight Show from Art's (our PR guy) television show. Bowling...ehhh I only got an 88. yikes. But I did get 1 strike!!

Opening number? done.
• "Girl's Got Rhythm"
Swimsuit and Evening gown production numbers AND walking patterns? done.
• "Body Language" (swim production)
• "Don't Be Jealous of My Boogie" (swim)
• "Empire State of Mind (gown)
On-Stage Question and Special Awards? done!

The stage looks beautiful and we have a serious runway! Love it!! This whole part may not be the main reason I do pageants, but I suuure do love walking on stage! We got out of rehearsal early so I'm off to get ready for interview!!!

CONGRATS to Ashley Casterline!! Miss Indiana Swimsuit winner!!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Miss NY - Tuesday

6:25 alarm for a 6:30 trip to the gym. Breakfast and it was off to Habitat for Humanity! I love that we are doing more appearances this year -- makes the week so much more fun, memorable, and allows us to really get to know each other better. I've worked on Habitat houses before, mainly when I was little, but man, it's just such a great org. We jumped right in and used those power tools - sawing and drilling to complete the stairway for the house. I did feel quite honored to receive the compliment from the head Habitat guy that I really knew what I was doing with a drill -- yay mom, hope I make you proud! Time Warner YNN did a short story on our day as well - VIEW HERE. Wrapped up at Habitat and headed back for lunch and to freshen up for the Capitol.

Yes, everyone beeped through security. So many crowns. Last year we had a tour of the capitol building, but this year it was even cooler. After many photo ops with a few Senators on the grand staircase, we were introduced on the floor of the Assembly by Danny O'Donnell. <-- awesome. We met so many of our Assemblymen (Bob Barra, Dean Murray and David McDonough from Lon Island) and I think definitely developed some fans :) I also personally met Diane Savino, to whom I had listened at the NY Bar Association "What's Next? Marriage Equality in the state of New York" Really neat experience.

Then to Girls Inc where we hung out with the Miss New York class of 2025! These girls were very cool, especially Jordyn, Miss Southeast NY, who held up "rock on" fingers and said "yeahhhh, we look gooood" during our photo together. I don't know who enjoyed it more - the 6-12 year old girls, or their mentor, Gail!

Food > Rehearsal. We finished our entire opening number tonight! It's hot. It's Kent. 'nuf said. Well, and that Hannah Wright is some sort of weird and freaky, but as cool as they come. And Mallory can DANCE. SLEEP TIME!

Miss NY - Monday

We made it!! Cassie, her mom Shelley and I left the City at 8:00 this morning to head up to Albany. We’re staying in campus apartments, which are fantastic and the Empire Commons community center is the place for our meals, meetings, rehearsals and the gym. We took the tour of Albany in style on the Aquaducks, familiarizing us with all of those Albany fun facts. It’s so great to have more appearances this year because it allows you to actually hang out with the girls. We went on tour #2 of Albany, but this time on the open-air trolley in our cocktail dresses, crowns and sashes on the way to 677 Prime – the most amazing restaurant ever. I was really looking forward to that return trip – and boy was it worth it! We wrapped up the night with a meeting in which Kenny and Paul shared the highlights of the job description of Miss NY. So much of what I have planned/hoped to get across in my interview was covered tonight which made me confident that I am here for the right reasons and am ready to be Miss New York 2010.

In our meeting, Kenny and Paul took a few polls I think you might find interesting:

How many girls were born in NY State? 10 (of 20)
How many girls have competed in other states? 4
How many girls are aging out? 7
We went around and shared how many years we have competed and it ranged from newbie to 6 years, but 1st year to state, and up to 4 years in a state competition.

It’s an awesome group of girls and it’s anyone’s ball game. I know we all came to play!
To sleep on Tylenol PM and Cepacol! Yummmmm

Miss New York spot on the CBS News!!

Miss NY - Before I left

Sorry for the delay...our internet now works! yipeeeee!!!

Saturday/Sunday | Monday | Tuesday | Wednesday | Thursday | Friday | Saturday

I had the best weekend ever before leaving for Miss NY, and it's all thanks to my amazing roommates.. Friday, I did all of my last minute errands, rehearsed my talent and walked my wardrobe, finished my closing for interview, and came home for a nap. Friday night brought the second of many awesome roommie family dinners, boyfriends included. I really do live with the best people ever. It was so great to just relax and have fun in the midst of all of my crazy preparation. Saturday was a bit of the same! Great massage from Elizabeth Arden Red Door Salon…yessss. And then the roomies struck again! Leigh-Taylor and Colin Hunter threw a small soiree, if you will, with some close friends, wine and cheese, (cheese and wine are not my only close friends; a few people were there too) and I was able to again show my wardrobe, making me fall in love with it yet again. We raised a glass for them to toast to my luck at Miss NY, but I to them in gratitude for all of their support, individually and collectively. And wrapping up with Sunday, great last workout with Ben, an aaammmmazing airbrush tan from Dante, and back home where Paul fixed a wonderful and healthy stir fry to send me off. Leigh-Taylor, Matt, Carlie, Paul and Matt: Quite simply, thank you for being the best people to come home to every single night.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Favorite Contestant Voting!!

This year, we will be doing our favorite contestant voting online and at the pageant.

From now until 12 noon, Saturday, June 26th, 2010, YOUR VOTE COUNTS!

You can make the difference in awarding a Favorite Contestant scholarship award to a Miss NY Contestant and a cash scholarship to a Miss NY Outstanding Teen Contestant.

Each vote will be $1.00 via Google Checkout’s secure servers. You can vote as many times as you like, and you can vote for more than one contestant.

The Miss contestant and Teen contestant who receives the most internet votes by 12 noon, Saturday, June 26th, 2010, combined with voting held at the pageant during preliminary competition (through intermission on Friday Night), will win the 2010 Scholarship Award for Favorite Contestant for both the Miss and Teen Pageant.

Just go to our website:, and click on the link to VOTE.

Voting starts RIGHT NOW!!!!

Pageant Week Address & Schedule

Some people have asked for an address during pageant week, so I thought I'd share it on here!

Claire Buffie, Southeast NY

c/o University Apartments

Empire Commons Community Building

1400 Washington Ave.

University at Albany

Albany, NY 12222

I'll have a computer with me and I'll try to blog some while I'm there. Here's a look at what we'll be doing all week:


11:00 Arrival

2:00 Ducks Tour of Albany

5:30 Dinner at 677 Prime - aammmaazing 4-star restaurant


8:00 Habitat for Humanity

2:00 Press Pictures at the Capitol

4:00 Girls Inc

7:00 Rehearsals


Rehearsals ALL DAY


8:00 Interviews (mine will be around 10:30 probably <-- appropriate time to send good vibes!)

2:00 Rehearsal til the end of day


9:30 Children's Miracle Network Hospital

3:00 Dress Rehearsal



11:00 Fashion Show at Colonie Center Mall (public event - come!)

2:00 Miss New York's Outstanding Teen Competition

5:00 Final show review


11:00 Miss NY Ball


Ashleigh Udalovas is your new Miss New Jersey 2010!!!!!

Ahhh! So excited to hear the news last night that my friend Ashleigh WON Miss New Jersey after 3 years in a row of 2nd and 1st Runner Up. She won swimsuit, evening gown and interview as well! Ashleigh embodies "Miss America" as she is integrates her platform into every day of her life. She is the Chairperson of First Book, her program that collects and distributes books to kids in schools, daycares, etc around NJ putting an emphasis on literacy and not just reading, but reading the right things.

Ashleigh and I met at National Sweetheart and were carmates with DE and DC. DC, Jen Corey, went on to win Miss DC last year and was Top 10 at Miss America. (Good luck to Jen as she gives up her title today!) CONGRATULATIONS!!!! To one of the most deserving people I have met in this organization!!! Love you Ash!

With Heather French Henry at Miss America 2010

Also another congrats to Becky Minger, your new Miss Ohio 2010! Also a Sweetheart '08 sister!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Mr. New York!!

It happened....and it was AMMAAZZINGG!!! Wow! These guys who competed for Mr. New York were the real deal! I don't know what I loved more, Matt's swimsuit, Jeoffrey's talent, so many of the men answering that "family is the most important thing" or "being a great father is my greatest goal" -- it was all just fantastic and I think everyone, contestants and audience alike had a wonderful time! We over-sold the Spoon Theatre with great thanks to Mr. and Miss Staten Island and all of the support they brought in. So many of the Miss New York contestants were represented, not only by title but also in attendance and we really appreciate that. I think Mr. New York has set itself as an annual tradition to be enjoyed by MANY more people next year!

Congratulations to Mr. New York 2010 Jeoffrey Watson!! (Mr. Staten Island)
1st RU Mr. Metropolitan, Marlon More
2nd RU Mr. Southeast NY, Matt Renskers
Welcome to the awesome 2nd RU club, Matt!!

HERE ARE THE PICS!! View HERE - files are downloadable.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Mr. New York!!!

It's here!!! The first Mr. New York competition is upon us! Come support the NYC Pageants Organization including Miss Greater NYC, Keelie Sheridan, and Miss Liberty, Cassie Franklin, and myself in our quest to find the first Mr. New York from 13 of NY's finest contestants!

Sunday, June 13, 2010 @ 8:00pm
The Spoon Theater - 38 West 38th Street, NYC
$18.00 General Admission
Arrive by 7:30 at the latest if you want a ticket!!!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

But you're a REAL girl!

Why yes, yes I am. Haha this was the response from more than one of the fabulous drag queens I met on Saturday night at Miss Gay New Jersey, a pageant and tradition of New Jersey PRIDE week in Asbury Park. This incredible tradition celebrates years of Miss Gay New Jersey queens, Miss Gay NJ at large and Mr. Gay NJ titleholders, all whom have competed for the prestigious title and as a result become ambassadors of the Beacon Light Fund. The Beacon Light Fund is a non-profit that provides financial (and therefore emotional) aid for people with HIV/AIDS to sustain their daily tasks.

I've seen my fair share of drag queens before, but this was my first drag pageant. And it was an experience never to be forgotten!! These girls WORKED IT OUT!! And I thought I worked hard to get ready for Miss New York!? It was such a fun evening of just pure celebration. The drag community is an incredibly tight-knit one, and I felt so welcomed by them all. The crown envy was hysterical as always...they LOVE my crown but I say, “Whyyy? It is about 1/16 the size of yours!” And the response every time is, "But yours is real. It's from the Miss America Organization/Pageant and that means sooo much more."

Due to a late start, I had to leave before the crowning - the moment I was looking forward to alllll night :( but congratulations to the winners!! I'm just sad I didn't get my photo with you!

So ask me again if I think Miss American should embrace my platform. Yes I do, because my platform representing this community of LGBT people, men especially, are your followers and devoted fans that keep the prestige alive. Where would you be without them?

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

This has nothing to do with pageantry or my platform.

But it's worth watching.

The Lost Generation

... or does it have something to do with pageantry?
"I can change the world and I refuse to believe that I am part of a lost generation."

Monday, June 7, 2010

Miss SENY in the Utica Daily News!


As the voting continues for A Thousand Moms in the Pepsi Challenge, we gain more momentum and media acknowledgment!

A Thousand Moms Holds Listening Party with Miss America Contender to Mark Pepsi Refresh Project Selection

Every day in June, supporters can vote for A Thousand Moms’ nomination at
To celebrate the selection, Claire Buffie, contestant in the Miss America 2010 selection, and A Thousand Moms will conduct a nationwide listening party on June 12.

To call In, please dial 219-509-8222, code 456040.


And don't forget to VOTE!

Friday, June 4, 2010

Topic of Conversation: The new commercial.

I don't think I really need to comment on this one. Just watch.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Scott Alan and Cheyenne Jackson's "Blessing"

Last year I did a multi-media post featuring different songs, videos, speeches, etc (View Here) that really influenced me. One of them was Scott Alan's song "Nothing More," just one of his many amazing songs. Well he's at it again - powerful song, incredible vocals and your download benefits two important projects.

Broadway star Cheyenne Jackson, currently starring on NBC's hit comedy "30 Rock," sings composer Scott Alan's song "Blessing," a brave plea for a family's acceptance. ALL PROCEEDS from the single will go to The Trevor Project and the Hetrick-Martin institute.


Blessing | Lyrics
I'm taken aback by allegations
I misdirected my life
I've changed, I'm a different man
How I love ain't right
But I only wish, you'd understand
How I love is exactly, what God has planned
Just try to remember...

That I'm still your baby, your blood, have your eyes, have your smile,
I'm sorry this hurts you, I'm sorry this numbs you
But I'm not ashamed of this fire I've inflamed
I was given this gift to love from heaven's hands
Don't abandon me now for loving another man
All I ask is in time, you'll give me your blessing

I know deep down you love me, I could use that love right now
I know time heals the hurting, I just hope you come around
Cause I'm finally proud to state who I am
Your close-minded thoughts won't leave me condemned
And I'm sorry this hurts you...

But I'm still your baby, your blood, have your eyes, have your smile,
And othing has changed here, I'm still the same
You taught me to love with my heart, I still do
I was given this gift to love from heaven's hands
And I know this is not the life you have planned
But I ask that in time, you'll give me your blessing

Cause I couldn't remain living inside this lie,
Every day that I did more and more of me died
I'm just here to remind you
That I'm still your baby, your blood, have your eyes, have your smile,
I didn't mean to hurt you, I'm sorry you're wounded
But I'm not ashamed of this fire I've inflamed
I was living this life for somebody else,
Now this is my chance to live it for myself
All I ask is in time, you give me your blessing
Give your blessing
Your blessing

About The Trevor Project: Established in 1998 to coincide with the HBO airing of the award winning short film, Trevor, hosted by Ellen DeGeneres, The Trevor Helpline is the only nationwide, around-the-clock crisis and suicide prevention helpline for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning youth. The Trevor Helpline is a free and confidential service that offers hope and someone to talk to, 24/7. The Trevor Helpline's trained counselors will listen and understand without judgment. If you or someone you know would like to talk to one of our highly trained counselors, dial 866-4-U-TREVOR.

About The Hetrick-Martin Institute: For thirty years The Hetrick-Martin Institute has put into action our core belief, that all young people - regardless of sexual orientation or identity - deserve a safe and supportive environment in which to thrive. In creating that safe haven, the cycle of neglect, abuse, and violence experienced by many at-risk lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning (LGBTQ) youth because of their sexual orientation, stops at our doors. Through a comprehensive package of innovative and creative after-school programs, supportive services, and referrals, Hetrick-Martin, with its experienced professional staff, is a leader in caring for our most vulnerable at-risk youth. The Hetrick-Martin Institute is also the host to the Harvey Milk High School, an inclusive voluntary New York City public high school focusing on the educational needs of children who are in crisis or at risk of physical violence and/or emotional harm in a traditional educational environment.

Monday, May 31, 2010

Happy Memorial Day!!

What's the true meaning of Memorial
Day? Is it just an excuse to grill out, lay in the sun and watch a parade on your day off? Nope. Memorial
Day is the day we set aside to remember those who have fought for our country and died or lived to tell their story. It's the day when we honor and thank every member of our military for putting their lives on the line in order to protect our rights and freedoms as Americans. 

Ironic that we would celebrate this national holiday in the midst of huge decisions being made about "Don't Ask, Don't Tell." Today we celebrate men and women who have taken an oath to protect our country: an oath that also keeps thousands of men and women in the closet, hiding their sexuality and therefore their true person. Presented in this context, how could one say that people should hide their sexual orientation in order to serve in our military? Eric Alva, the first wounded marine and purple heart recipient in the War in Iraq said, "When I was younger, I knew two things about myself: I was born to serve this country and I was born gay. Since 19 years old, I hid the latter because it would ruin my chance for the first." Which is a bigger sacrifice?  

Last week, the US House of Representatives passed the National Defense Authorization Act which removes DADT from federal statute. We are now depedent on the Senate to pass the bill through to Obama, who in his campaign spoke confidently about his plan to repeal DADT within his presidency.  On the opposite side, John McCain has threatened to issue a filibuster that completely overrides the entire Defense Act in order to prevent the repeal of DADT. It's a dangerous move that we, a country still fighting 2 wars, cannot afford. From the extreme right, we hear things like "Obama is trying to force homosexuality into the military." False. Passage of this bill and therefore the repeal of DADT will allow people to serve our country with the protection of equality and the freedom to be themselves -- one of the most important freedoms we are granted as human beings.  Be sure that your Senator is aware of your belief and support of all people serving equally in the United States military.

I am grateful for ALL of the military personnel who have served this country with honor and dedication. Thank you. Happy Memorial Day!   

Now go lay out.     

Friday, May 28, 2010


Normal day and I'm off to do two things in the morning here, so I thought I'd share as a way to recognize my sponsors!

1st stop: Build a base tan while doing skin rejuvenation at the same time at Beach Bum Tanning. Beach Bum has been my sponsor for the past 2 years and I'm really fortunate to have their support!

2nd stop: The gym. David Barton Gym in Chelsea has been my home since I moved into my new apartment last year after Miss NY. 25 minutes on the train is totally worth it to work out there with my trainer Ben Yosef, President of MiBoLife The Fitness Company. MiBoLife has developed a specific combination of exercise, weight training, diet and nutrition for me to maximize what my facility/body has to offer. I lift a lot more weights than I used to, building much more muscle definition and "flavor" than before and of course keep the cardio coming in a variety of exercises.

and stop 2.2 is the dance studio (at David Barton Gym) where I'll rehearse my talent, choreographed by Ashley Becker (remember the Ashley Becker is ammmaaazzzing! post?). And my mom gets to watch this time! She is landing in NYC in about 40 minutes and I'm really excited!

This is the ultimate swimsuit combination team! Thank you MiBoLife (Ben) and Beach Bum (Dante)!

Monday, May 24, 2010

ABC....It's as easy as 20-1-3!!

(to the tune of Jackson 5, obvi.)

2 pieces of news when I woke this morning.
  1. Personal training cancelled: bad news.
  2. Miss America signed a multi-year contract (through 2013) with ABC!!!: GREAT news!!

The Miss America Organization (MAO) is proud to announce it has reached a multi-year deal with the ABC Television Network to return as their network television partner for the 2011 Miss America Pageant that will be presented on January 15, 2011! The news was announced today by Sam Haskell, III, Board Chairman for the Miss America Organization and MAO President & CEO, Art McMaster. ABC aired the Miss America Pageant previously in 2004 and will once again retain the exclusive telecast rights through 2013.

"After thorough discussions and negotiations, we are confident that Miss America has reunited with the perfect network partner, ABC, which shares many of our same ideals and tradition," said Haskell. "Miss America's move back to network television is perfect timing as we celebrate our special 90th anniversary and look ahead to reach new heights and create a new path for the future of Miss America. Our brand is so rich in both philanthropy and history, and this new multi-year partnership will not only preserve this great institution, but it will also mark a new milestone in television with our friends at ABC."

View the entire press release HERE at

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Join the Elite 100-Club of Miss New York

The Elite 100-Club
Funding Miss New York’s $10,000 Scholarship Award
Through the Empire State Educational Scholarship Fund, Inc.
As a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, your $100 donation is tax-deductible!

Dear Friends,

The journey to selecting Miss New York 2010 has begun. We will have 20 incredible young women competing for the title of Miss New York 2010 in Albany on June 26, 2010. As volunteers of the Miss New York Scholarship Organization, we fully support our contestants’ educational pursuits knowing that higher education empowers them for success, both professionally and personally.

Our goal is to raise $10,000 to award our new Miss New York 2010. We need 100 people just like you to join the Elite 100-Club and help us reach our goal. We know economic times are tough; however, can you imagine the financial pressure our contestants and their families must face these days in order to pursue a degree?

The Miss New York Pageant is a state preliminary to Miss America that has a rich history in empowering young women to become leaders in their communities through higher education.We do not award cash prizes. Instead, we pay our scholarships directly to the contestants’ undergraduate or graduate institutions. Impressively, this year our Miss New York contestants are attending some exceptional New York schools including New York University, The Julliard School, Manhattan School of Music, as well as several SUNY campuses across the state. Alyse Zwick, Miss New York 2009, will utilize the scholarship she received from the Elite-100 Club to complete her undergraduate studies in Communications at the City University of New York.


1. Donate directly on our website, using the “make a donation” link.
2. Send your check for $100.00 via mail to:
Empire State Education Scholarship Fund
141 West 24th Street, #6
New York, NY 10011

We appreciate your support more than you know.

Kenny Mack, Executive Director, Miss New York Organization (
Erin Kennedy, President, Empire State Educational Scholarship Fund (

Monday, May 17, 2010


Here's a new one for you: Just days ago, a Boston third-grader's admission to a Catholic school was rescinded – solely because his parents are lesbians.

The same as other stories I've shared with you, here's the worst part – this is no isolated incident. Just a few months ago, a Catholic elementary school in Colorado expelled two preschoolers (that's right, preschoolers) for the same reason. And these are just some of the cases we know about.

Now, we understand that our constitution protects the right of religious institutions to make decisions that may be inconsistent with state nondiscrimination laws. But that doesn't make it right. The Golden Rule – do unto others as you would have them do unto you – should apply to us all.

If a child's father murdered someone, do you expel that child from school? nope. And murder is illegal. It's not illegal to be gay, yet we are expelling children for something they REALLY can't control.

PS. I didn't even know preschoolers could be expelled, did you?

Exciting weekend!

I've been absent from blog world for a few days because I've been doing a handful of things: moving apartments and walking down the aisle. <--- haha obviously not as the bride. I moved (only up two floors) into a great new apartment with my same roommates, Matt and Carlie, and added a boyfriend <-- also funny, clearly not mine, and our crazy little friend Leigh-Taylor. We are pretty excited for the ridiculous fun we will all have together!!


The wedding! Thursday night I flew to Knoxville, TN to be greeted at the airport at a wonderful time of 2:30 am by the bride's twin sister, Brittany Waddell. Brooke Waddell is married. For those of you who have followed my blog from Miss Jubilee, you may recognize that name or by the end of this story put two and two together that Brooke was the crazy Miss Tennessee Sweetheart when I competed at National Sweetheart. (blog here...scroll down til you see Dolly Parton.) We became fast friends - it's weird, we've spent a total of about 16 days in each other's company, but we just get each other in a way that's inexplainable unless you've been in a pageant and formed those bonds. Last year I went to Miss TN to cheer her on the week before Miss NY. She did not walk away with the title, and as sad as we all were, I realized that everything had been put into perspective. That weekend, I met Mark Pancratz, the man whose name Brooke took this weekend. THAT's why I went to TN last year - to meet Mark who would take care of my friend for the rest of her life. THAT's why Brooke didn't win Miss TN - to marry Mark who she could start her life and family with. When I witnessed the happiness and perfect bond of two people on their wedding day, it really grounded me and reminded me that this pageant, although incredibly significant in my life right now, something I'm working very hard for, will become a tiny part of my life in the broad scheme of things. Congratulations, Brooke and Mark Pancratz and the entire Pancratz and Waddell families!!

Also more great news! My best friend Ashley - who again, I met in a pageant - got engaged this week as well! Ah, so exciting!! Congratulations Ashley and Mike!!!

Summary: Megan Meadors was right when she stood up at the finals day brunch my first year in a state pageant. She said, "You meet your best friends in this organization. Your bridesmaids, friends and the people who will be a part of your life forever." I didn't get it then, but it sure has happened to me. I'm well on my way towards fulfilling Katherine Heigl in 27 Dresses :)

Saturday, May 8, 2010

ahhh read fast!!

A friend sent me this request and unfortunately I didn't get it until now. So hurry, read, then run outside before the mailman gets to your door.

From Dana:
My platform is about ending hunger, and this Saturday nation wide there is going to be the 18th annual "Stamp Out Hunger" food drive. All people have to do is leave a bag of non-perishable food next to their mailbox and their mailman will pick it up. Last year they were able to collect 73.4 million pounds of food and this year their goal is 75 million pounds. The food is given to food pantries across the US.

Fast! Grab the creamed corn and couscous from your pantry and run it outside to the mailbox!

Don't Ask, Don't Tell

Big fan of Obama here. However, it's time to hold him to a promise.

Last year, my final on-stage question at Miss New York involved how President Obama could repair his relationship with the LGBT community. At that point, 10 months ago, I didn't feel as though he had too much to repair. However, he definitely has some things to work with now. We are handing him an opportunity with the repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" and this could be a major tipping point in his support from LGBT people and their allies.

President Obama's State of the Union address in January
"We find unity in our incredible diversity, drawing on the promise enshrined in our Constitution: the notion that we are all created equal, that no matter who you are or what you look like, if you abide by the law you should be protected by it..."

"This year, I will work with Congress and our military to finally repeal the law that denies gay Americans the right to serve the country they love because of who they are. It's the right thing to do."
Defense Secretary, Robert Gates, with orders from the Commander and Chief, has announced that more research needs to be done on the effect that the repeal will bring before moving forward in ending "Don't Ask, Don't Tell"

Yes, there is research to be done, because of utmost importance is the safety of every member of our military. However, a recent ABC News/Washington Post poll showed us that 75% support of Americans believe that gays and lesbians should be able to serve openly in the military. If you're willing to die for our country, you should have the freedom to - confidently and openly as YOURSELF.

So what now? Obama MUST stand to repeal "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" even if the implementation timeline is delayed based on the necessary "research" that must be done. Sign this petition with the Courage Campaign to President Obama, to guide him in the right direction:

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Straight for Equality 2010 Gala

You read about the bomb scare in Times Square, right? Well it looks like I got lucky. Keelie, Cassie and I did our photoshoot together with Bianca Thomas down on the water by the Brooklyn Bridge and then headed up to Times Square for part two of our photoshoot. (That post will come separately when I have time to actually edit the pics!) We wrapped up at about 5:15 after which I headed straight into the Marriot Marquis for the PFLAG National Straight for Equality Gala. My handsome date Matt showed up in his bow tie promptly at 6:00. So we were right there in the action the entire time with no idea what was happening!

Although interesting and dramatic, let's move on to the point of this blog: the Straight for Equality Gala. Straight for Equality is more than just the name of my platform; it is a daughter organization of PFLAG National that focuses on straight ally support specifically for equality in the workplace. I attended with the board of PFLAG NYC accompanied by my roommate Matt. Hosted by Caroline Rhea (Sabrina the Teenage Witch anyone? Yeah, I watched it.), the night was filled with great stories and presentations to/by the honorees: Straight for Equality in Business - Sodexo, SfE in Sports - Scott Fujita, and the crowd favorite, SfE in Entertainment - Liza Minnelli. For most, being in the same room as Liza was the highlight, and it was glorious, especially when she started impromptu singing. However, the words that resonated with me were from Scott Fujita, NFL player for the Superbowl's New Orleans Saints. When asked why he is so vocal about his support for gay rights he said that in 5 years when he retires, no one will care about his opinion or what he says. But NOW, he has a platform to speak his mind and have people at least hear if not listen to him and he is taking full advantage of this opportunity. Dear Scott, stop copying my platform essay. And then marry me; just an aside. As an adopted person himself, he has a huge passion for adoption right for gay couples. He said, if you have a problem with gay rights then call it human rights, or equal rights - because that's what they truly are. Couldn't have said it better myself.

And for those who wanted to see the legend, herself... She really does make a point: It just seemed so much like the right thing to do.

As the evening came to a close, I was able to meet Caroline Rhea who told Matt he was adorable and me that I was beautiful and it is so neat to hear that I'm supporting this issue through the Miss America Organization. Jody Huckaby, executive director of PFLAG National, was a pleasure to meet on Teri Galvez' referral and I look forward to working with him as I take my platform to a national level beyond New York.


Monday, May 3, 2010


Here is a teaser from our photoshoot with Bianca Thomas!


I feel like every time I leave a school I say, THAT was the coolest experience I’ve had at a school. How can that be? You have to remember that although you are telling the same story over and over, or a variation of it, it is still someone’s first time hearing your story. That influence and fresh response is what motivates me to keep speaking and sharing my story.

Friday at Accion Academy in the Bronx, I spoke to a group of 80 6th-8th-grade girls in the Women’s Leadership Club. It’s a large group to keep quiet, attentive and engaged, but they were amazing. When we walked in and introduced ourselves, they clapped. When Raymund stood up and said, I’m a gay man, they clapped. I think they may have clapped as much as the audience did during Obama’s inaugural speech. I told my story a little differently to relate more directly to their ages and at the end set out a challenge on the table. This is a class of leaders, right? So use your voice to stand up for something. [I talked about using my voice in the Miss America Organization to stand for something unexpected.] Whether it’s about being gay or supportive of gay rights, being a woman, African American or Latina, be PROUD of who you are and what you believe, and use your platform of leadership to speak clearly about those issues.

We always open up for questions, stories and sharing at the end of a presentation – sometimes it’s a flop, other times we get incredible stories. Ummm, B. The first young woman to stand up, state her name and speak, came out of the closet for the first time. In tears, she said I think I may be gay, but at home all I hear is my mom talking about how disgusting and wrong it is for other people, so I could never talk to her about it. I don’t have anyone to turn to or talk to about that, especially not even my own mother. Again, the audience erupted clapping. What confidence!? In response, I thanked her for the confidence and self-love and respect it took to stand up and say that, and I said Look around? THESE are the people who you have. Your friend from the row in front of you reached back and held your hand the minute you started speaking. The Vice Principal and Guidance Counselor raised their hands and said, Here we are! I’m a mother; I’m a mother day in and day out, to my own kids and to every one of these kids at this school! She can talk to me! Incredible. Similar stories continued, girls speaking about themselves, their friends, and even the guidance counselor sharing her story about her lesbian mother.

Schools provide a much needed safe-haven that too many of today’s youth lack. These are the teachers and counselors who are raising our children. And these 80 girls are the current leaders of their school, and thankfully the future leaders of our communities.