There’s one thing about Pittsburgh: we like to show off! Anything we develop in this city, we cannot wait to share it with the world. This is true of any movie or TV show that is filmed here, any invention that is created here, and any medical advance that is discovered here. And in recent years, we have also been proud to show off our drag! And why not? We have it all! We have dancing divas, queens who sing, comedy and pageant girls, digital dolls, sexy drag kings and bio-queens–and all of them can and will read you to FILTH! In the middle of all of that variety, we also have a true entrepreneurial queen, Lola LeCroix, whose many endeavors have led her to co-producing the Drag Queen of the Year Pageant Competition Awards Contest Competition on Sunday, March 7th. If that’s not enough, Dixie Surewood, one of Pittsburgh’s favorite girls, will be competing for that crown this year. Let’s take a closer look at these two queens.
Lola LeCroix grew up wanting to be a performer. “I was a theater kid, baby! Literally born to be onstage,” she says. “I was the only openly gay kid in my high school and I found my escape through music and the stage.”
Coming from “humble beginnings” in Erie, PA, LeCroix spent her teen years as an overachiever. “I was president of about half the clubs and organizations in my high school, on the State and National Collegiate Board of Youth for the American Cancer Society, PMEA District, Regional, All-State and MENC All-Eastern Choirs, Senior Class President, varsity cheerleading, musical theatre productions…Oh, and I guess I had to actually go to school and do all of that shit too!” Damn, girl!
But how did this road lead to the world of drag? Turns out another (former) Pittsburgh queen inspired Lola to give it a try.
“When I saw my first drag performance, it was Angelique Young on Halloween 2009 at Pegasus, just months before they closed their doors for good,” she says. “I knew from the moment she performed ‘She Wolf’ by Shakira that I wanted to be just like her. I wanted to do that. It was like a whole new world opened up before my eyes. It felt magical.”
After that, Miss LeCroix took that wonderful new feeling and let it light a fire under her ass. “I won Miss Teen Pittsburgh in 2011, moved to Pittsburgh that May and won Miss Teen Pittsburgh Pride two weeks later. I started hustling my tits off and my career blossomed!”
Yes, Lola has truly hustled her tits off. A decade later, she is known globally as an entertainer, producer, hostess and, surprisingly, a candle-maker! That’s right! She has recently launched Maison de LeCroix (shopmdlc.com), a line of handmade, small batch, seasonally scented candles.
“The hustle is real, alive and well,” boasts LeCroix. “I’ve never been one to sit still. I’ve always been someone who had multiple projects going on.”
Like most of us though, the pandemic told Lola to take a seat.
“Once all of my work came to a screeching halt, I had plenty of time to focus on another project that had been in the works for a bit already. I’ve always had an obsession with candles ever since I was a kid. I also realized that I spend SO much money on shitty candles. After plenty of research, I realized that not only could I become the ultimate crossdressing candle-maker, but also I could create a product that was way better than what the big stores were producing.”
This new endeavor not only helped Lola’s bank account, but her well-being.
“As someone who struggles with severe anxiety and depression, this pandemic hasn’t been easy, but thankfully I have MDLC. It’s made a world of difference in my life, and others seem to love the product that’s saving me from going insane, so I consider that a win-win!”
Lola not only creates a plethora of opportunities for herself but also she’s now creating them for her fellow drag queens. Along with another hometown hero queen, RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars 2 Champion Alaska, she is producing the second Drag Queen of the Year Pageant Competition Awards Contest Competition.
“Drag Queen of The Year was born in a hotel room after a gig in the UK,” LeCroix tells me. “It was kind of a joke at first, really. Alaska and I constantly watch old pageant YouTube videos. So as we’re in my tiny hotel room, we came up with this concept of having an all-inclusive pageant that included anyone and everyone who wanted to apply.”
Admitting that idea came about when the pair was “delirious” from touring the UK, Lola came home and thought nothing more of it. Alaska kept thinking of it, though.
“We got back to the states and maybe a week later, I got a text that said ‘We have a venue. We’re doing it.’ I shit my pants! And now we’re on year two!”
This year, there are eight lovely contestants from all over the U.S., including one from our own fair city!
About 6 years ago, a queen named Dixie Surewood hit the Pittsburgh scene running and she hasn’t stopped running since. If you are unfamiliar with this funny girl, Dixie describes herself as “very camp and comedy. She has a little bit of sass as well as some glamour. Dixie loves to make people laugh and smile!”
That is an understatement, to say the least. She has created numbers about the Magic School Bus’s Ms. Frizzle, Gypsy Rose Blanchard, Harambe the gorilla and Tiger King’s Carole Baskin that have left audiences in stitches. Dixie has also amassed an impressive number of crowns including Miss Pittsburgh Trash (2016), Miss Tri-States Comedy Queen (2017), Miss Great Lakes Comedy Queen (2018), Miss Blue Moon (2018) and the coveted Miss National Comedy Queen (2018), and she is poised and ready for Drag Queen of the Year.
“I am most excited to be on a platform for the WORLD to see me,” Surewood says. “I am excited to show people what I have been working on the past few months.” Trust me when I say that Dixie Surewood is one of the hardest working queens out there, so the world is in for a treat when they see her rock this pageant!
In case you lost count, that’s THREE reasons Pittsburgh should show up and show out for the Drag Queen of the Year Pageant Competition Awards Contest Competition! If you need more reasons, tune in to see Celebrity judges Nicole Byer, Peppermint, Bob The Drag Queen, Shea Coulee, Jiggly Caliente, Vinegar Strokes, Willam, and former DQOY contestant Aurora Sexton score the outstanding contestants. The competition will stream online and tickets start at $25 with a variety of options available to upgrade your viewing experience.
Lola, Alaska and Dixie are set to show the world why Pittsburgh is known as the City of Champions, and trust me, you do not want to miss it!
Drag Queen of the Year will be streamed live on March 7, 2021 at 5pm EST. Tickets are available at https://sessionslive.com/DQOY2021/tickets
Want to send Dixie well wishes for the pageant and/or advertise your company/product? Simply email firstname.lastname@example.org to find out how you can purchase a full page, half page or even a 2-page spread ad by February 15th!
Shop Maison de LeCroix candles at shopMDLC.com