Pittsburgh Shines with Glitter and Glamour at the Miss Continental Pageant

On Sunday, Pittsburgh transformed into a dazzling epicenter of queer excellence as the iconic Continental Pageant System sashayed into town. Thanks to the efforts of promoter Jim DeMundo, the Miss Metropolitan Continental Plus and Miss Metropolitan Continental Elite pageants added a splash of color to Kierra Darshell’s Sunday DRAG Brunch at The Bridge in East Liberty—proving once again that Pittsburgh is a haven for vibrant queer culture.

Since its groundbreaking debut in 1980, the Miss Continental Pageant has been a trailblazer, championing inclusivity and providing a platform for female impersonators from all walks of life. Celebrated for being the first to open its arms to trans women, offering them the spotlight without barriers, the pageant has proudly watched the community flourish through its unwavering support.

In a nod to diversity and body positivity, the Miss Continental Plus title was introduced in 1991, embracing competitors beyond the conventional pageantry weight limits. Fast forward to today, and the pageant continues to push boundaries, welcoming male entertainers to the stage with the introduction of the Mr. Continental title and celebrating seasoned talent with the Miss Continental Elite category for the over-forties. 2023 marked a new era with the exciting addition of the Mr. and Miss Continental Newcomer titles, ensuring that fresh faces have their moment to shine.

The brunch was lit with performances from pageant royalty—reigning Miss Continental Plus and Elite, the illustrious Lindsay Paige and Taylor St. James. They were joined by a constellation of former Miss Metropolitan Continentals, including the fabulous Terri Williams, Lisa Cartier, Miss V Van Cartier, and Georgia Bea Cummings, who captivated the audience with their show-stopping charisma and undeniable talent.

A standing ovation for the newly crowned queens, Miss Metropolitan Continental Plus 2024 Nakita Sin Monroe and Miss Metropolitan Continental Elite 2024 Sonya Ross, who are poised to take the Continental stage by storm. A special shoutout to the enchanting Fantasia Dior, our Miss Michigan Continental Elite 2024, whose next stop is the National Pageant in Chicago this Easter weekend. To these incredible performers, we send a cascade of glittering well-wishes—may your reign be as impactful as it is inspiring!

Jeff Freedman (he/him) is a Pittsburgh native and is in his fourth decade of volunteerism for the LGBTQ Community.  Jeff is one of the founding members of the Steel City Softball League in 1981 and has been an active member of the LGBTQ Community ever since.  Jeff is currently a member of the Pennsylvania Governor’s Advisory Commission for LGBTQ Affairs.  He is a past Chair of the Pittsburgh Pride celebrations (’05-’07) and current Pittsburgh Pride March & Parade Co-Chair.  You would recognize him by his voice.  He was the loud one on the megaphone lining up all the March & Parade participants.  Jeff has a lot of great stories to tell and looks forward to sharing the printable ones with the QBurgh Community.