The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

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Morgan Shiver, Contributor • June 20, 2024

Meadows student is more than what meets the eye

By day Joe Hoselton is your average SMU graduate student. By night he transforms into Jenna Skyy, a sassy blonde bombshell and one of 37 contestants competing for the title of Miss Gay Texas.

An array of makeup covers the counter in the bathroom of Hoselton’s Dallas apartment as he brushes on layers of foundation and blush to make his face look like that of a young female. He covers his body with padding, enlarging his hips and adding a bust line before slipping on a black and red dress and a blonde highlighted wig. In less than two hours, Hoselton finishes a ritual most men have never attempted.

At the age of 21, while in a relationship with a woman, Hoselton realized he was homosexual.

“When I was younger I always wanted a pink Care Bear. Looking back over my life I wonder how the hell I didn’t know I was gay,” he said.

Hoselton, also a recruiter for the Meadows School of the Arts, spends his days recruiting musicians. He is also earning his master’s degree in music performance. Although he loves his day job he always felt like there was something missing in his life.

“If you’re single and the government doesn’t let you get married you have to find other things to do,” he said.

While helping a friend prepare for a drag show in Dallas, Hoselton who grew up in Arlington discovered a new hobby, the art of female impersonation.

He liked the entertainment aspect of the performance and the way the audience would scream in acknowledgement of all the preparation it takes for a man to get into drag. A close friend of his predicted he would become a participant in drag shows within six months of his first experience. Hoselton, however, was skeptical.

He believed that female impersonation wasn’t his thing. But before long he found himself ordering wigs and thinking about costumes.

“It’s funny, when I first came out to my mom, I told her it’s not like I’m going to be dressing up like a woman. Woops,” he says.

Eventually, he perfected his skill at facial makeup and debuted his new look while attending a drag pageant in Dallas last year.

One month later he was encouraged to participate in a drag show amateur night. Performing to Kelly Clarkson’s “Since You’ve Been Gone,” Jenna Skyy graced the stage for the first time.

The road to drag queen stardom however, was anything but easy.

“I was invisible on stage,” he said.

Nerves and inexperience made Jenna unnoticeable among the other performers, said Hoselton. During the next few months he overcame his nervousness and perfected Jenna’s stage presence.

Months of hard work paid off in June of 2006 when Jenna Skyy won the title of Ms. Gay Round-Up in Dallas, and qualified to compete in the Miss Gay Texas pageant this week in San Antonio.

With Texas being the most competitive state in the Miss Gay America system Jenna must have a flawless “pageant package,” consisting of a solo talent, group talent, evening gown, on stage question and male interview to win the crown.

Co-owners of Miss Gay Texas Manny Anzaldua and his sister, Esther know that it takes more than a pretty dress to win the title.

Being in the top 10 at Miss Texas is better than being in the top 10 at the national competition, Manny Anzaldua said. Miss Gay Texas showcases the best in the state, it’s a professional system, Esther noted. Like pageants for women it takes months to prepare for the competition.

In April, Hoselton began the preparation process for Miss Gay Texas, designing his costumes and evening gown.

The months following were filled with ordering wigs, buying matching jewelry, choreographing routines for his talent, and creating an overall concept for his performance that will be competitive at Miss Gay Texas.

Although Hoselton enjoys the art of female impersonation a lot of a performer’s success is built on reputation

“To be famous in drag is like winning an Oscar,” he said.

Hoselton describes earning titles similarly to a system of degrees. Winning Miss Gay Roundup earned him a bachelor’s degree while winning the crown at Miss Gay Texas will promote his reputation to the master’s level. In addition to attending drag shows and other events, Hoselton uses the popularity of Jenna Skyy as an opportunity to do community service.

“I’m all about charity,” he said.

He regularly volunteers as Jenna at the Resource Center of Dallas a non-profit organization that provides health services and education to the gay, lesbian, bi, and transgendered community. The resource center has events such as gay bingo, which Jenna Skyy hosts once a month.

“Jenna is a crowd pleaser. She brings the best out of people,” said gay bingo coordinator Henry Ramirez.

With spending close to $15,000 preparing for Miss Gay Texas, the costly price of female impersonation makes it unfeasible to do full time. Regardless of the money Hoselton would never quit his day job. He finds the students he works with in the Division of Music very inspirational.

“I have the fortune of working in Meadows. The most talented kids in the world come into my office regularly,” he said.

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