Passion drives Sean Peschl-Ori in his bid to be named Miss Gay Australia at St Kilda pageant

CROWN CHASING: Sean Peschl-Ori, known as Rhea Listik on stage, is gunning for the Miss Gay Australia International title in St Kilda this month. Picture: supplied.
CROWN CHASING: Sean Peschl-Ori, known as Rhea Listik on stage, is gunning for the Miss Gay Australia International title in St Kilda this month. Picture: supplied.

Sean Peschl-Ori will be Newcastle’s best bet in a bid for the title of Miss Gay Australia International 2018, held at a pageant at the end of the month.

The Mayfield West female impersonator and medical administrator will be competing in the contest for the first time.

Peschl-Ori, appearing as his female alter-ego ‘Rhea Listik’, is looking forward to challenging for the top spot in the gender illusionist event.

“I cannot imagine life without drag after discovering my passion for the creative arts and performing,” he said.

“I just love the creativity, attention to detail and adrenaline that goes into presenting a fabulous look and learning new songs to lip-sync and choreograph to.”

Peschl-Ori, 24, will be up against eight other contestants for the crown at the Miss Gay & Miss Transsexual Australia International 2018 beauty pageant, set to be held in Melbourne's St Kilda Town Hall on January 27.

The event is part of the Midsumma Festival, and Peschl-Ori is looking to add to the silverware he collected for drag competitions in 2014.

“Competing for the Miss Gay Australia International crown at Miss Gay & Miss Transsexual Australia International 2018 will be challenging,” he said.

“I’m really gearing up for it and hope to wow the judges with my brand of drag.”

If the Novocastrian drag queen were to claim victory at the St Kilda competition, he confirmed that he would continue on with competitions in the near future.

Through his competing, he would promote his advocacy for Safe Schools Coalition Australia, a movement that encourages inclusion for all.

“Schools should be safe and inclusive for LGBTQI+ students, families and staff,” he said.

A victory would also retain the crown for the Hunter, after former Muswellbrook High School student Hugh Battistello won the title at the 2017 event.

The St Kilda East drag performer reaped the spoils at the popular beauty show, after judges were impressed by his three-and-a-half minute lip-sync performance of Jennifer Lopez’s hit, Let’s Get Loud, during the annual competition.

The 27-year-old, who performs under the moniker Jacqui Meoff, was also named Best in Rio Carnival Costume, Best in Evening Gown, Best in Talent and Miss Photogenic at the event last January.

Miss Gay & Miss Transsexual Australia International is the first beauty pageant in the world to feature male-born contestants competing for two crowns – Miss Gay Australia International and Miss Transsexual Australia International.

Tickets to see the new champions of both competitions crowned can be purchased at midsumma.org.au/program/mgamt18.