Local drag performers crowned with ‘Virginia Pride’ titles

Free Press staff report | 7/4/2024, 6 p.m.
Drag royalty was celebrated at the annual Virginia Pride Pageant last Sunday.
Local drag artists Keante Armon Black, Celestia Cox and Javon Love. James Millner

Drag royalty was celebrated at the annual Virginia Pride Pageant last Sunday. 

Celestia Cox was named Miss Virginia Pride, Keante Armon Black took the title of Mr. Virginia Pride and Javon Love was crowned Mx. Virginia Pride, a category for nonbinary persons.

The event, held at Godfrey’s in downtown Richmond, drew a packed crowd to witness the 25-year-old pageant tradition. Contestants were evaluated on presentation, evening wear, talent and community service commitment.

“Virginia’s drag community is incredibly talented, creative and generous,” James Millner, Virginia Pride director, said. “These exceptional entertainers use their artistry to support numerous causes and raise thousands of dollars for local nonprofits each year.”

The newly crowned winners will represent Virginia Pride at various events throughout the year, including the upcoming PrideFest on Sept. 14. Alvion Arnell Davenport, dubbed “Richmond’s LGBTQ mayor” and the current Miss Continental Plus winner, emceed the event.

“Drag has a deep and rich history in the Richmond region,” Davenport said. “This art is the embodiment of activism, empowerment and philanthropy.”

The pageant, hosted by Godfrey’s, also raised over $2,000 for Virginia Pride.