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Interview With Dina Jacobs


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#1 Carrie Fairfield

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Posted 13 March 2009 - 03:22 PM

March 2009 Hello members and guests - Welcome back for another exciting interview on CarrieFairfield.com. This month we are celebrating a legendary entertainer: Dina Jacobs. Very special thanks to Khori Ross for putting this interview together. I hope you love it! Until next time – take care and best wishes! Carrie Fairfield
What have you been up too? It’s been a while since we’ve heard any Dina Jacobs news. First of all thank you for still remembering this old queen. Drag is in my blood; in fact, I often say that when I die, I want to fall doing a pageant. As you may or may not know, I moved back to Hawaii 10 years ago. I had been diagnosed with HIV and needed to take care of myself. There was no better place to do that than home. I am happy to say that I am currently undetectable and my T-cell count is 600+. As much as I needed to come home, being back has made me realize how much I really miss Atlanta, GA. It’s funny but I really feel like it’s home. As soon as the economy is better I plan on making a triumphant return to GA. As far as what I’ve been doing with my time, I’ve been keeping busy. I do show here and there, but mostly I’ve been emceeing pageants. Now for the gory details: I’ve had a total knee replacement and my left knee, breast reduction, gall bladder operation, and on December 10, I had gastric bypass surgery. It was funny that doctor told me that he’s never heard of a HIV patient having weight loss surgery. I still laugh about that, I guess it means I’m healthy. Wow, that’s a lot to deal with. What got you through it all?
That’s easy. I would have to say it’s my AMAZING support system: most of all my family, both biological and by choice. Also, I have a strong believe in the heavenly father and of course the Lady Guadalupe and St. Jude. Could you tell us a little bit about yourself and how you got started in the business?  It all started in 1964 (whew I’m old...) Anyway, a few female friends of mine were having a Valentine’s Day party. But because of a dare, I could only come if they were dressed in drag. So like any good homosexual that LOVES a party, I got in drag and the rest is history. Of course the party would be in the worst projects in Hawaii. It was no secret that my cousin and I were drag queens. We started in the 11th grade. We actually didn’t care that people knew. Actually, I just did the math, and that means I’ve been in drag and doing shows for 45 years. I got my first job at a bar named the Clouds when I was a senior in high school. I was the emcee. That was in 1964. Most of you guys probably weren’t even born yet. I truly believe that we are only as good as the legacy we leave. What do you think your legacy will be and why should you be remember among the greats? As far as my legacy goes, I have ALWAYS been honorable, and truthful. I am who I am, and have been all of my life. As a child Dina Jacobs hid from Clifford Montalbo: a little Puerto Rican, Italian, Black, French and Indian boy who wanted to look like a girl, so I made a decision early on to never hide from anything. Why should I be considered one of the greats? I don’t have an answer to that. Only the audience can decide that. Sometimes your greatness is measured by the amount of good friends that still surround your life. Who or what was your biggest inspiration in deciding to enter the field of female impersonation and pageantry? My first inspiration was a queen by the name of Brandy Lee. Back in the 60’s there was a show bar by the name of The Glade. There you either danced or sang live. There was no pantomime. Brandy was an incredible singer who was an inspiration to us all. Next I met an entertainer from Kansas City by the name of Roby Landers. She was a queen at the Jewel Box. She became sort of a drag mother to me and the other 6 girls from Hawaii. We all became family. She’s actually the reason I worked for the Baton. If she hadn’t made Chicago sound so amazing, I probably would have never made it there. I think my biggest inspiration was the second Miss Gay America, The Lady Baronessa. She was the first queen that made me believe that she was singing the songs. I tried to copy everything she did. When did you work for the Baton? I worked for Jim Flint at the Baton for 4 years: 1971 to 1975. Is Chicago where you caught the pageant bug? Actually, I’ve been doing pageants all my life. My first pageant was Baby of the Year. I entered that pageant in 1949. I’ll mail you the picture. However, this was my first venture in to drag pageants. My first pageant was the Original Entertainer of the Year pageant. I entered that in 1971 and was 1st Runner-up to Peaches. In 1975 I won Miss Gay Chicago, and was so happy to beat out all the top girls from the area. Bertha Butts was 1st Runner-up. Audrey Brian was 2nd Runner-up and Kiki St John (I think that was her name) was 3rd Runner-up. I wonder if any of your readers know any of those girls. Winning this pageant gave me bunches of confidence. What was your greatest pageant moment? You know, I can honestly say that I don’t think I’ve reached that moment yet. You know, when you feel like this moment was made for me. This is MY moment. I’ve wanted Miss Continental real bad. I’ve competed a few times and was 1st Runner-up in to Tiffany Arieagus. I actually will mail you that picture as well. Miss Continental always has eluded me, but it has taught me to continue to strive for what I want.
Who else was in the pageant that year? I can’t really remember everyone, but the other finalists were Andrea Nicole 2nd Runner-up, Cherine Alexander 3rd Runner-up, and Jahna Steele 4th Runner-up. Wow that seems like one hell of a pageant. Yes it was baby, yes it was. Girls battled those days. There were no front-runners. Everyone came in on a level playing field and just battled. I’ll work on that for you. Who were some of the instrumental people in your early beginnings? Oh my, that’s such a long list. So many people: Jim Flint, Roskie Fernandez, Orlando Del Sol, Brandy Lee, Chena Black, Paul Fields, but I think mostly Rachel Wells, she’s a former Miss Gay America and to me she was Alpha Woman. I simply love and respect her. Recently we see more and more acceptance of our community. Have you ever thought of venturing into “mainstream” entertainment? Baby, I’ve always been mainstream. I’ve entertained for the straight community since day one. It’s no surprise to me that we are being more widely accepted. It was only a matter of time. This past November we all got to witness history. Where were you? I was right here in Hawaii. It was an amazing time here (I guess almost as good as it must have been to be in DC on Inauguration.) Yeah that was the most amazing time of my life. So I can imagine the party. We cried for hours. It was just an amazing moment. I’m still living in that moment. Actually, I live like 8 blocks from his grandmother’s house. You are a former Universal Show Queen and former Miss USA (before Jerry Bird took it over.) What were those experiences like for you? You know this is kind of an emotional subject for me. I would LOVE to walk with my USofA sisters. But I was a Miss USA before Jerry owned it. So I guess we’re not sisters. I’m sure all the former Miss USofA’s consider you a sister. I hope. I did crown Michael Andrews in Houston at the Copa. It was a GRAND night. Jerry has shown me nothing but love and respect and I agree with him that it’s not his place to put me up there with the other USofA’s. As far as Universal Show Queen, that special moment in my life happened on March 31st, 1990. It was the first time in my entire life that my family got to see the polished version of who they watched blossom into Dina Jacobs. That night was a blast. Everyone was chanting Dina, Dina, Dina. It was so special. However, I’m still missing that one moment which I so richly deserve. You are also a former TX Continental. Is Continental still a dream of yours?
I was never a TX Continental. I was a former TN Continental, IL Continental and GA alternate.I’m so sorry. I blame it on faulty information.That didn’t work for Dan Rather it won’t work for you… just kidding. I’m old and you’re very young, it’s hard to research old queens. It’s not like there is an encyclopedia. I’m grateful you did any research at all. Thank you, but an encyclopedia would rock. To answer your question: the dream is still alive. I want nothing more than to be a Miss Continental. I guess now I’ll have to settle for Elite. You don’t have to settle. If Continental is what you want, you can be Miss Continental I know but Elite is just as good. It is Continental. I was also a TX Classic. I won that two years ago, and am very excited to return this year as a former. As I said, I love pageants. It keeps me young. As you know, this interview is for CarrieFairfield.com. Everyone has his/her own opinion of message boards. What is yours? I think message boards are great. Times are changing and we need to change with them. CarrieFairfield.com is a wonderful to way to get to the mainstream and it just helps all of us in the industry keep up on things. Who would have thought that 10 years ago, we would have a way for thousands across the country, to keep up and network and just experience the joy of drag and pageantry from the comfort of his/her home? Carrie Fairfield did. God Bless her. Ok Dina, I’ve had a blast talking to you this afternoon. For my final question, are we going to see you competing again? Well, all I will say is that you should NEVER SAY NEVER. Any closing words or advice for our readers? Actually I have some words of wisdom for some of the old school girls out there. If you were lucky enough to win a title back in the day, I hope you make every effort to return as a former as much as possible. Once a Miss So and So, always a Miss So and So. Not coming back would be a waste of so much time, money, and support. You all have fans that want nothing more than to applaud you now. Think it over ladies. Makes our kids happy. Thank you Dina for taking the time out to chat with me. Thank you Khori, you have made and old broad extremely happy and PROUD. Love, DINA (da Jurassic classic)
"I can look flawless and so fishy on the stage - then you hear my voice and realize you can't put EVERYTHING on a Visa card."

Crystal Chante during Onstage Question - 1996 Miss North Carolina America Pageant


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#2 Jon

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Posted 13 March 2009 - 03:48 PM

WOW Dina You are Amazing!

Thanks for sharing the Drag with all of us.

We Love you here in Texas as much as Georgia loves you.


Jon
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#3 txcraigann

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Posted 13 March 2009 - 03:49 PM

I love Dina ! I am so excited to have her back this year at Miss Texas Classic on APril 19th in HOuston. DIna is going to stay a few days with me and my mom. It will be fun, laughs and drinks of course.

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#4 AVK

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Posted 13 March 2009 - 05:09 PM

Great interview - BERTHA BUTTS, wow a name from Chicago's drag history, lol.
I really like the parting words to former titleholders - returning to systems as a former titleholder for the fans, should be as important as having won it. :P
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#5 Gay Brent

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Posted 13 March 2009 - 05:13 PM

I really enjoyed this interview. Very very nice.
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#6 Passion Armani Cassadine

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Posted 13 March 2009 - 05:19 PM

WOW! I am amazed! Didn't quite figure out the age. Anyone? Lol And i bet she is still amazing today as she was yesterday!
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Miss Sexxy Bayou Black Continental....

.....Representing "The Big Easy with CLASS!!!"


#7 Mz Peachez

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Posted 13 March 2009 - 05:26 PM

WOW....I THOROUGHLY ENJOYED IT AND VERY UPSET I DIDN'T SPEAK TO HER ON LAST NIGHT....I WOULDN'T HAVE NEVER THOUGHT SHE WAS THAT OLD.......MAMA U LOOK EVERY BIT OF 40.......HOPE TO SEE YOU BACK IN ACTION!!!
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#8 CharityCase

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Posted 13 March 2009 - 08:55 PM

Love you Dina and what a nice read... See you soon :rofl:
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#9 Khori T. Ross

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Posted 13 March 2009 - 09:11 PM

This interview was such a joy. Dina actually mailed me about 20 pics. When I get a chance I'll post them all.

It was a joy to get to know Dina. This was a LONG process, but in the end I'm pleased with the outcome.
The only thing we have in our lives that no one can take away from us is OUR CHOICES...Dina Jacobs.

I go insane, crazy sometime, trying to keep you from losing your mind. Open your eyes, see what's in front of your face. Save me my fistfull of tears--Maxwell

#10 Android

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Posted 13 March 2009 - 09:22 PM

Another great interview from the legend era of drag. I loved it.

While I don't understand all the reasons Jerry doesn't recognize the formers from before he owned it I am sure there are legitimate reasons. But it would be nice to see a section on the website called "USofA Pioneers" or something where some of the early figures could at least be recognized for their efforts in the early years for what would become such a mainstay in gay pageantry. This has come up in both Dina and Lisa Kings interview ..they were both so very proud to have been a former Miss USA.
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#11 Mz Peachez

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Posted 13 March 2009 - 11:33 PM

Another great interview from the legend era of drag. I loved it.

While I don't understand all the reasons Jerry doesn't recognize the formers from before he owned it I am sure there are legitimate reasons. But it would be nice to see a section on the website called "USofA Pioneers" or something where some of the early figures could at least be recognized for their efforts in the early years for what would become such a mainstay in gay pageantry. This has come up in both Dina and Lisa Kings interview ..they were both so very proud to have been a former Miss USA.



I AGREE ANDY......

...AND GREAT JOB KHORI, YOU SHOULD DO THE INTERVIEWS MORE OFTEN.....BYTCH YOU GET STRAIGHT TO THE POINT!!!!
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MY CUP IS LOOKING FOR TEA, SWEET TEA......

world peace..........I LOVE YOU


I AM 100% RESPONSIBLE FOR HOW I CHOOSE TO RESPOND TO PEOPLE AND CIRCUMSTANCES IN MY LIFE....EVERYONE ELSE IS 0% RESPONSIBLE

#12 Mystique

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Posted 14 March 2009 - 01:10 AM

I enjoyed the interview.
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#13 NewChild

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Posted 14 March 2009 - 12:54 PM

Khori thank you for taking the time to interview
a pioneer in the art of female impersonation.
Dina we love you and can't wait for a triumphant
return.
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#14 BRayP

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Posted 15 March 2009 - 09:10 AM

I really like the parting words to former titleholders - returning to systems as a former titleholder for the fans, should be as important as having won it. :rolleyes:



I agree! It was great seeing Jamie Monroe at Miss GA USofA this past week and it reminded me on how wonderful it would be if other formers returned as much as possible to give the fans something.

Bravo Dina!
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#15 BobTaylor

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Posted 15 March 2009 - 09:48 AM

Dina is an incredible inspiration to many, including me....what a legend!




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