LOUISVILLE, Ky. — On July 28 Charlotte, N.C.’s Buff Faye was crowned Miss National Entertainer of the Year (NEOY) 2019 at the C2 Event Venue in Louisville, Ky.

This was Buff Faye’s fifth year competing in NEOY — placing second alternate in 2018 and in the top five contestants in 2017. She was the former North Carolina Entertainer of the Year in 2017 and represented Michigan Entertainer of the Year the last two years. Buff Faye began doing drag in 2007 as a way to raise money for local and national charities.

Buff Faye, whose name is Shane Windmeyer, is a national LGBTQ author, long-standing civil rights leader and pioneer for LGBTQ youth across the country. He works as the founder and executive director of Campus Pride, an organization for LGBTQ youth at colleges and universities.

Windmeyer said, “I am humbled and honored to win National Entertainer of the Year and carry on the national legacy of creativity and excellence in entertainment. This would not have been possible without the many fans locally who come to my brunches and shows. I am deeply appreciative and look forward to an amazing year ahead traveling the country.” Buff Faye will travel the country as EOY and promote preliminary pageant contest and plan next year’s 30th anniversary celebration.

This year’s NEOY first alternate is Jessica Jade from Roanoke, Va. and second alternate is Sabrina White from St. Louis, Mo.

For the last 29 years, the NEOY pageantry system has served as a charitable contest raising funds for the non-profit SLS Pride Foundation which is “dedicated to the betterment of diverse cultures.” This was the third national titleholder and first National EOY FI titleholder from Charlotte area.

Next year, NEOY will celebrate its 30th Anniversary on July 24-26, 2020 in Louisville, Ky.

The National Entertainer of the Year pageantry system started in 1991 showcasing drag creativity and entertainment honoring Emeritus Naomi Sims.

info: EOY.net. campuspride.org.

Lainey Millen

Lainey Millen was formerly QNotes' associate editor, special assignments writer, N.C. and U.S./World News Notes columnist and production director from 2001-2019 when she retired.