Sunday, July 5, 2009

Miss NY 2009 - Final Review.


I think at this point most of you know the news….3rd Runner Up…Claire Buffie, Jubilee!! ← bummer, not exactly what I was hoping for.

Flashback…hours before. (wooosh sound effect)

Sunday was the day. I felt nerves all day, but I don’t think it was nervous, I think it was excited. They were nerves about sustaining my performance and living up to my own high standards that I had set for myself. I feel as though I did. After the opening number and intros, we were immediately called into the Top 10 and I was called 5th. So exciting – I just stood up there and soaked it all in. Game on. Swimsuit, Talent, Evening Gown (which would not stick after a sweaty talent haha)

And then there were 5. Keelie, Marina, ME! yayy!, Alyse, Inga. Our scores were in and we just had the last impression of a Top 5 question, but it was ANYONE’S game even at that point.

My final questions were:

Regarding my platform: President Obama has publicly voiced his opinion against gay marriage. What can he do to repair his relationship with the LGBT community?
First it is important to educate people on Obama’s stance that he supports domestic partnership and civil unions and although does not endorse marriage equality on a federal level, he does support the freedom of the states to decide. As long as he continues to grant the states this individual freedom, and protect other gay rights under the law, he will be naturally repairing his relationship.

And my random question: What do you want to do before you die?
Travel. To every continent. Europe and Australia are checked off my list and Africa is the next one on the list to see my sister Sarah – who is watching now via live webcast! I want to travel everywhere and experience cultures from as much of the world as I can.

Change back into the gowns, hold hands with the girls and say a prayer, and take a really really deep breath. I’ll tell you what, Sweetheart sisters…you were all going through my head at this point. So many of them (now us) have won multiple prelims and felt amazing about what they brought to the stage, and have not won their state titles. The same thing then happened to me minutes later.

4th Runner Up…Keelie Sheridan, Brooklyn
3rd Runner Up…Claire Buffie, Jubilee
2nd Runner Up…Marina Montes, Suffolk County
1st Runner Up… Inga Schlingmann, Manhattan
Miss New York 2009 Alyse Zwick…Westchester County

Honestly, at this point, I was numb. But as people hugged me and I was able to see the people who came to support me in this quest, I let go and I realized that these friendships are worth more than any crown. Then I was announced as the Overall Interview Award Winner. To have worked so incredibly hard for something, and have been recognized in each area of competition, and then stand so far away from my goal, left me confused. Must I have been judged down in the final ballot (all scores are wiped out and judges just rank you) because they’re scared of my platform (??) If so, that saddens me. We obviously have a lot of work to do towards equality.

As I’ve said in emails to others, I was 180% proud of everything I did during the week on stage, in that interview room, and backstage. I was authentically ME throughout the entire competition and wouldn't change a thing. People say, "Everything happens for a reason." I'm looking for that reason, knowing it may not come for a while. I do believe in karma, and that all of the hard work I have put into this year will come back to me, just perhaps in a completely different form. Again, thank you all for your support and encouragement. I know I made myself and all of you proud by being true to who I am and what I stand for - equality, respect and justice - even if it cost me that sparkly head piece.

What I gained/maintained from Miss NY this year (thus far):

$2300 in Scholarship - going towards Continued Education classes at Parsons The New School for Design
$295 cash back from my program ad sales
$500 from my local = $3095 total in scholarships from Miss New York 2009.
Preliminary Swimsuit Award – validation for all the work I did at the gym with Chris
Preliminary Evening Gown – whew! A reward for THAT process, and major thanks owed to soooo many people
Overall Interview Award - I present an inarguable platform of respect.
Some true friends.
Tighter abs from laughing.
My integrity.


I’m still a local titleholder – so keep reading…
☺ Claire
Be yourself.


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