Seven men to compete in Beaufort Beauties drag pageant

emoody@beaufortgazette.comMarch 3, 2014 

Beaufort Beauties Pageant -- featuring men dressed as women -- held to raise money for local charities at The Shed in Port Royal, March 30, 2013.

JAY KARR — Staff photo

  • If you go:

    For more information about Beaufort Beauties, tickets or to donate to a contestant, go to downtownbeaufort.com.

When Greg Rawls agreed to be the president of DragonBoat Beaufort this year, he didn't realize he would be expected to wear high heels.

But he's up for it.

Rawls is one of seven men from the Beaufort area who have agreed to cross-dress and compete in a pageant to raise money for local nonprofit organizations, including his own.

"It's for a really good cause, and I really like the nonprofits that are being supported this year," he said. "But I've got no idea what size dress I wear. I have no idea what size shoes."

Beaufort Beauties will be March 29 at The Shed, 809 Paris Ave., Port Royal. Doors open at 6:30 p.m., and the show begins at 7:30 p.m.

Rawls will compete with six other men:

  • Jeff Feus, Moe's Southwest Grill
  • Kyle Warren, Rapid Refill
  • Danny Williams, Lady's Island/St. Helena Fire District
  • Joel Garrett, 94.5 The Coast
  • Christopher Geier, attorney
  • Justin Lane, Lady's Island/St. Helena Fire District.
Beaufort City Councilman Mike McFee will be the master of ceremonies.

The event, in its fifth year, is organized by Main Street Beaufort, USA, and will benefit Main Street, as well as DragonBoat Beaufort, Lowcountry Habitat for Humanity and Healing Heroes of the Lowcountry Fund.

Main Street executive director LaNelle Fabian said the unusual event is becoming a community favorite. All 250 tickets sold out last year. Recruiting contestants required cajoling in the beginning, but now men volunteer to participate.

"They either know someone who has done it, or they've seen it, and, being men, their competitiveness kicks in," she said.

Lane was talked into appearing by former contestant and fellow firefighter Lee Levesque.

"I probably have about six women who are very excited about this, who are going to be helping me with this," said Lane, who doesn't see himself as the "beauty pageant type." Facebook photos indicate he's more into camouflage than sequins and heels.

Contestants seek to raise at least $1,000 each. The one who raises the most will be crowned Miss Congeniality.

This year's judges are Nan Sutton, Holly Jahn, state Rep. Shannon Erickson, Kevin Cuppia and Scott Dadson.

Tickets ate $35, and the 300-plus seats are expected to sell out, as they did last year. On-stage seating, new to this year's event, costs $250 for five people and comes with drink tickets.

Geier, the attorney, heard about it from a friend whose husband was asked to participate. Geier's father, Dick, also was asked to compete, but can't because of a previous engagement.

"Nothing would have been better than to have father-son, mother-daughter Beaufort Beauties," Christopher Geier said, adding that his mom hasn't decided if she'll come.

That slight disappointment aside, Geier is excited about the show. He plans to sing and vows he can carry a tune.

He said two other important qualities make him an ideal contestant:

"I'm a trial lawyer. So, one, that means I like the sound of my own voice, and, two, I have very little shame."

Follow reporter Erin Moody at twitter.com/IPBG_Erin.

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