On Sunday, August 29, 2021, another Pride tradition returned to Nashville, as drag queens and kings descended on PLAY Dance Bar for the Nashville Pride Pageant 2021. This year's theme was "Sex, Drag, and Rock and Roll!" In the announcement of the event, it was proclaimed: "Bring your Best Alternative & Edgy wear! Leather, chains, denim and bondage gear allowed, accepted and encouraged!"
- 2021 Nashville Pride Pageant
- Mr & Miss Upper Cumberland 2021 Pride Pageant
- Ron Sanford talks 30 years of Pride in the South
Contestants were judged on the following categories:
- Creative Presentation (400 points)
- Evening Gown/Formal Wear (400 points)
- Talent (600 points)
Judging was based on a total accumulated point system. In the event of a tie, the person with the highest talent score would be the winner. In terms of eligibility, Nashville Pride does not discriminate against entertainers based on surgery or hormone treatment status. For more detailed information on the judging, visit the Nashville Pride Pageant's homepage.
In addition to the pageant competition, there were guest performers and celebrations of the Nashville Pride Pageant tradition. "The Pride Pageant is a Pride Fundraiser and has been a tradition for several years. Obsinity, who is a Reba impersonator, made a special guest appearance," said event organizer Mac Huffington.
Huffington also pointed to the anniversaries celebrated. "We had Taylor St. James celebrating 20 years, DeShay Campbell celebrating 15 years, Suzy Wong and Eazy Love celebrating 10 years, and Tyrah Hunter and Trey Alize celebrating 5 years. Suzy Wong won the Bianca Paige Legacy Award."
At the end of the event, Nykema Chiles was named Miss Nashville Pride 2021, and Graysin Hale was named Mister Nashville Pride 2021.
Nykema Chiles wins Miss at Nashville Pride Pageant 2021
Last night, Nykema provided the following statement to OUTvoices Nashville:
Where do I start? I am so blessed to be crowned Miss Nashville Pride 2021. This has been a dream of mine since I moved here in 2006 from Memphis, Tennessee, to attend Tennessee State University, from which I graduated in 2016 with a degree in Family Consumer Science. After college, I took a job working in the community in the HIV/AIDS field as a case manager, while still making a name for myself in the art form.
Dreaming of the day I could win Miss Nashville Pride was always in my heart. To be a symbol of Nashville is my dream and my dream has come true! The road was not easy or without its heartaches.
In 2018 I entered the pageant for the first time, and I wanted to win so bad—it was my dream. My dream did not come true that night and my heart broke, but I was so happy for my sister Vivica Versace for reaching her dream. But I knew in my heart I had to be a part of this Miss Nashville Pride family.
So I took time to grow in my faith, my personal life, my brand, and my craft. And on Sunday, August 29, 2021, my dream came true after a lot of hard work. I am so thankful for this opportunity, and I am going to be the best queen I can. I would like to thank everyone for this chance. I love you all.Your Miss Nashville Pride, Nykema Chiles
Graysin Hale wins Mister at Nashville Pride Pageant 2021
Mister Nashville Pride 2021 Graysin Hale is a relative newcomer asa drag king. "I began photographing drag years ago in Paducah, Kentucky, but I have only been performing drag for a little less than two years," he said. "I began performing in Murfreesboro and have expanded into Cookville, Clarksville, and of course Nashville. My drag name is a play on the phrase 'Grace In Hell.' My drag mom is Trinity Monroe. I am the current Mr. Americana 2021, as well as the now Mr. Nashville Pride 2021."
On winning Mister Nashville Pride 2021, Graysin Hale added, "I am honored and humbled to be Mr. Nashville Pride. I am thankful to those who have opened doors for me to be where I am now. I am proud of and love my chosen family and look forward to anything I can do as their Mr. Nashville Pride 2021!"