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Photo provided by Popular Publicity -- Miss Gay Louisiana Delanie Valentine

It will be reigning men at Splash Nightclub, starting Wednesday.

The Miss Gay Louisiana 2016 will host its statewide pageant at the Highland Road nightclub July 13-16. Tickets are $5 for Wednesday and Thursday, and $12 for the final nights.

More than a dozen contestants from around the state will compete in five rigorously judged categories. The winner will go to Memphis in October to compete in the Miss Gay America pageant, the world’s first and longest-running nationwide female impersonator/drag competition.

To get some info on the competition, Miss Gay Louisiana America 2015 Delanie Valentine answered some questions.

When and why did you start competing in Miss Gay America?

I have been involved with pageantry my entire life. Since a young age, my mother would enter me in local pageants. By the time I was 13 years old, I had a multitude of titles. At that time, it became difficult to find pageants that had an age category older than 13 for boys.

My experience with the Miss Gay America Organization began in 2010. An abusive relationship took over my life. From 2008 until 2010, I had no interaction with family and very little interaction with friends. When I escaped that situation, I was encouraged by a former Miss Gay Louisiana America that I should enter the upcoming city preliminary in Baton Rouge. Given my extensive background in pageantry, I knew this would begin a journey that would become very sentimental for me.

What has the experience meant to you personally?

It has given me the self-assurance that I lost. The Miss Gay America organization and the people I have met through it actually helped me and gave me the confidence to rebuild a bond with my mother; a bond that I cherish with every fiber of my being. Being Miss Gay Louisiana America has been and, for the next couple of weeks, is one of the absolute best experiences I have had in my life.

What’s your other life?

My given name is Deven Carriere. I am a 31-year-old casino operations manager for four gaming properties in south Louisiana. Currently, I am engaged to the love of my life. We are planning our wedding now. We purchased our first home together three months ago and are enjoying it. We have two dogs and a bunch of fish. In our spare time, we enjoy cruising and spending as much time as possible with our family and friends.

What does your family think? Are they supportive?

My mother is extremely supportive. She is my photographer and seamstress. When I told her about Delanie, she was upset that I waited a couple of years to inform her. She loves the art so much that she actually does promotional headshots for entertainers in south Louisiana. My father is a very southern country farmer. He does not have much to say about it. I know he loves me and supports me, and that is all I need from him.