Ashantee headed for Miss Gay USofA Classic after 10+ years of work

DAVID TAFFET | Senior Staff Writer

Ashantee de Foxx has been working to reach the Miss Gay USofA pageant since 2008. She said it’s a goal she’s never stopped working for: “My drag life will be complete.”

Locally, Ashantee is in the Area 111 cast, has performed at Caliente with Nikki Loren and at various local drag brunch events with Jenni P. She has also, she said, worked on cruise ships and appeared on America’s Got Talent. She’s performed at Midtown Moon in Atlanta, and she’s been to Miami to rehearse with dancers.

And she’s participated in pageants — lots of them.

In 2017 Ashantee won the Miss Black Continental Klassic, and in 2018 she won the Virginia-based Miss Gay United States Icon contest. Most recently she won the Miss Gay Oklahoma Classic USofA, which qualified her for the upcoming Miss Gay Classic USofA.

“I want to win for Mother, who knew I wanted to win,” she said, noting that her mother was always supportive of her drag career. When her mother passed away in 2016, Ashantee said she went into a depression, taking the only break from performing she has had in her career.

Ashantee said she has had lots of encouragement from others over the years, as well. Jerry Bird, founder of Miss Gay USofA, told her, “You have everything it takes to be Miss Gay USofA Classic. You have a lot of humility, longevity and drive.”

Tommie Ross, who she called the matriarch of Miss Gay USofA, “keeps me mentally focused,” Ashantee said.

But everything she’s accomplished, the performer noted, she’s accomplished on her own without the help of a promoter.

“I live my truths,” Ashantee said. “I’ve lived with HIV for 35 years, and I’m open about it.” She encourages others to get tested and get medical care if they test positive to continue to live a healthy life.

The Miss Gay USofA Classic takes place in the Rose Room on May 22. Ashantee will be performing at Cedar Springs Tap House on Mother’s Day, Sunday, May 8, at noon and 2 p.m. with Jenni P.