Harley Dunolly-Lee is hoping to become Australia’s first Indigenous gay beauty queen.
Dunolly-Lee, a female impersonator, burlesque artist and academic, is one of nine contestants who will compete for the Miss Gay Australia International crown at the Miss Gay & Miss Transsexual Australia International beauty pageant.
The pageant will be held in Melbourne on January 27 as part of the city’s Midsumma gay festival.
“Being gay, a drag princess and having a heritage that is one of the oldest in the world is a big part of who I am,” Dunolly-Lee said.
“At Miss Gay & Miss Transsexual Australia International 2018, I will be bringing a bit of burlesque and cabaret to my performance and promoting awareness for violence against Aboriginal women and the idea that drag is about creating an illusion that is an extension of yourself, but bigger, brighter and bolder.”
The pageant is promoted as the country’s biggest and most prestigious beauty pageant for female impersonators and transgender women.
The 27-year-old, who was born in Bendigo, is the second Aboriginal contestant to compete for the beauty queen title after Krista Herrington, a deaf disability worker from Sydney, scooped First Runner-Up and Best Mardi Gras Costume in 2015.
Miss Gay & Miss Transsexual Australia International was launched in 2010 to help drag queens and transgender women feel more accepted by society.