Toronto drag performer Brooke Lynn Hytes took home the crown at the 34th annual Miss Continental competition in Chicago last weekend, knocking out 30 hopefuls from across the continent for the crown.
Miss Continental is one the drag circuit’s most coveted titles and one of the most popular events in Chicago’s queer nightlife scene.
It was a second attempt at the Miss Continental crown for Miss Hytes, who’s been working as a drag performer for nine years.
“The Miss Continental pageant has definitely made me a better, more polished entertainer. After competing last year for the first time, and doing so well, it really lit a fire under me and made me ask myself how I could become better,” she says.
Miss Hytes, who performed for four years with the world-famous drag comedy ballet company Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo in New York, leaned on her background in ballet for her competition routine: an Arabian Nights–themed number with dancers on pointe.
The next step for Miss Hytes is to secure an American work visa so she can tour and perform across the US to promote the Continental pageant circuit, she says.
“Being Miss Continental to me means having a platform to motivate and inspire a whole group of entertainers who don’t believe that Miss Continental is possible for them. I am here to say it is possible for anyone who puts in the hard work and dedication,” Hytes says. “Even if you try and you don’t win, if you are smart and have the right attitude, you learn so much about this art form and it is such an opportunity to grow as an entertainer.”