Miss Klingon Empire
(Rheingold Compacted Remix)
from DragonCon 2000
by Justin Hall

How do humans host an alien beauty pageant? I braved the Miss Klingon Empire contest to find out.

In a small conference room in the basement of the Atlanta Hyatt, over one hundred and fifty humans and klingons jammed in together for some social miscegenation. Two stout Klingons armed with accoustic guitars, a duo called Warbands, entertained us with a song that went "TK" They followed that with "Klingon Blues," like any other blues songs except there was much bloodshed and dying alien races.

Then the females presented themselves. Nine women had worked hard to make themselves Klingon-beautiful. Seven had the immense brows and foreheads with long, bushy hair. A few had hand-sewn costumes with all manner of badges and Klingon accessories, including knives. One woman brandished a rather large sausage in a custom foxfur-carrying case.
sausage lady
Below her bosom, this lady carries a sausage wrapped in fur.
As each of them sauntered down the runway, the human narrator read the contestant's personal history - some had extremely extensive backgrounds, involving time travel and the discovery of rare precious metals, as well as Klingon-Human breeding in caves in the American Southwest. One had been involved with Klingon-sponsored charities, including a pet shelter.

Klingons are an exceptionally warlike people and this carries over into their beauty pageants. The women who were warlike and brazenly violent attracted the greatest reaction from the crowd. One contestant had a short gutteral Klingon name; each time the host said it, she vehemently corrected him. Finally by the end, she was threatening him in Klingon and waving her betleH blade at him menacingly, all to roars of audience approval.

Standard betleH
Standard betleH
Photo: Klingon Imperial Weapons Guild.

Besides the theme of violence, there was plenty of sex in the house as well. A few of the contestants shared a full faceful of cleavage - breasts restrained and cloth cut so as to show two or more handspans of vertical valley. More than one Klingon kontestant approached the judge's table blowing kisses or whispering sweet bribes. The audience was loud and largely celebratory, letting out "Yaars!" and other suitable Klingon cries of approval as each successive battle wench walked the aisle.

Besides the brawns and beauty, there was a talent portion of the contest, and the most surreal moments of Klingon cultural immersion happened during these amazing performances.

One woman had written a brief song, which she taught us: "We are Klingonese / I've got all my warriors with me / We are Klingonese / Get up everybody and fight!" After repeating it a few times, she encouraged a We are Klingonese singing competition between semi-willing sections of the audience.

Exotic Dance
A can-can moment during this Klingon exotic dance
For another woman's skit, two large Klingon men in Hawaiian shirts sat on chairs in the aisle as she gyrated around and on top of them. It was a Klingon erotic dance performed to a techno song made with Star Trek samples. Her movements were ultimately neither erotic nor ironic, and because she was neither a committed sexy dancer nor a comedian, the performance was too deeply surreal not to be disturbing. It reached a point where I felt as though I was going to explode: I couldn't decide whether to laugh or cry or flee for the sake of my sanity. One woman performed a Klingon comedy routine about Klingon sex toys and her depressed sex life - it looked like some things remain the same in deep space.

In the final portion of the pageant, each of the women was asked a different question. When asked what she was looking for in a mate, one woman raised her arms in the air and cried "Pain!" and the audience erupted in cheers. Another woman was asked what she wanted to achieve; she looked at the emcee and said "Bend over." The woman brandishing the sausage was asked why she should win; she looked at the judges and kissed the sausage.

Miss Klingon and Me
Your author, and Miss Klingon Empire 2000. Miss Klingon is on the right.
After all this madness, it was the woman with the most overtly Klingon answers who won. For her talent piece she had addressed misconceptions about Klingons; and in response to "Who would you most like to kill?" she answered "the Klingon traitor Warf and Barney the dinosaur." She had been a crowd favorite probably because of her stately demeanor, her pleasantly colored costume and her enormous cleavage. I was told that she uses the same costume for Renaissance fairs - it was a green and leather arrangement, which looked very nice with her auburn wig. It was more colorful and aesthetically pleasing than the warrior grays and blacks of the other contestants, though perhaps less "Traditionally Klingon."

It had been a hard-fought contest by the time the winner was declared, and after all this martial talk, I thought for sure that the victory would be contested. Even after I yelled, "Where's the fight?" the other women took their defeat gracefully.

Hrheingold: Not only do these people construct their own world, it's a world of villains! Hrheingold: They celebrate what the straight culture considers ugly! A beauty pageant was an unlikely way to celebrate Klingon culture. The women were great performers, and they were supported by a loving audience. It was one of the largest conscentual hallucinations I've ever been a part of - these people are able to have such a surreally good time because they have a community where that's encouraged. It was contagious - after an hour or two of Klingon culture, I felt like having some blood wine and passing out in a large bosom myself.

Check out coverage from Miss Klingon Empire 1999.