By Laura Latzko, May 2018 Issue.
On the heels of “The Year of Eva,” during which Stratton reigned simultaneously as Miss Phoenix Pride and Miss Gay Arizona USofA Newcomer, she earned her shot at the state title at the Scottsdale EOY prelim Jan. 7. Read more about the 2018 Arizona Entertainer of the Year pageant here.
Echo caught up with Stratton as she embarked on her reign as Arizona EOY F.I. 2018 and here’s what she had to say.
Echo: When and where did you start your journey in drag/as a female illusionist?
Stratton: I started in 2006 in Michigan.
Echo: Tell us an interesting fact about yourself.
Stratton: I grew up doing choir, 4-H and theater.
Echo: Which drag families are you a part of?
Stratton: The Strattons and Lamours.
Echo: Who are your biggest sources of inspiration?
Stratton: Sasha Colby and Erica Andrews.
Echo: Who are your favorite artists to perform to?
Stratton: Whitney Houston and Anastacia.
Echo: Will you recap your EOY talent number for us?
Stratton: I did a production number featuring Juliet Simms’ version of “It’s a Man’s Man’s Man’s World” and scenes from Dolores Claiborne.
Echo: Do you have any personal goals that performing in this EOY pageant helped you achieve?
Stratton: I gave up school to have a career in drag and pageantry. I made a commitment and a promise to myself that if I have a dream, I’m going to push myself to go for it. I’m a trans woman. It’s a compliment for people to tell me that I’m beautiful, but I don’t want to be known for that. I want to be able to push myself. I feel like that just comes with the profession. It’s not that I’m going in a different direction. It’s that I’m exploring something that’s a part of me.
Echo: In what ways did your reign as Miss Phoenix Pride help establish you as a local performer?
Stratton: I think that being Miss Phoenix Pride has given me an opportunity for people to get to know me and me to get to know people … It didn’t matter if I was new. It didn’t matter if I knew anybody. I had a job to do. I had a responsibility to fulfill. Everyone was super kind, very helpful and very welcoming. I never once in this past year have felt like I’m the new girl … The community has made me feel this way. Arizona’s community is the safest community I’ve ever been in.
Echo: What made you decide to compete for EOY this year?
Stratton: I’ve wanted to compete for EOY ever since 2007, when I was introduced to it through a friend … I knew I wanted to go to [Miss USofA] Newcomer first, so I waited, and I feel like now I’m ready for EOY.
Echo: What are your goals as an EOY titleholder?
Stratton: My goal is to try to bring a little bit more visibility to EOY. I feel like there’s a huge community that supports EOY, knows about EOY, has been educated on EOY, but there’s a much larger number who doesn’t. EOY was the first national pageant I was ever backstage for [and] was ever in front row for. I learned a lot about the system … a goal of mine [is] to spread that education.
Echo: How would you describe your drag persona?
Stratton: I’m not the type of person who loves to hear myself talk. I only talk when I feel it is important … I want to look good so people will hear me and listen to what I have to say.