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Best of Charlotte 2014

Before we met Jamie Monroe, this year’s Best of Charlotte cover model, she warned us in a Facebook message that what we’d seen on social media wasn’t what we’d be encountering later that day. She called herself a “plain Jane soccer mom by day.” As we sought out the drag performer whom we would crown Queen Charlotte for our biggest issue of the year, we loved the fact that, in our first meeting, Monroe was donning a buttoned-up cardigan and casual slacks with her hair pulled back. She’s been living as a woman since she was 21, and works as a veterinarian tech.

At night, though, Monroe casts aside the scrubs for sparkling dresses, dramatic eyeliner and the spotlight. When she’s not traveling for her performances, you can find her at Bar at 316 or Cathode Azure, often impersonating Marilyn Monroe, Madonna, Janis Joplin or Stevie Nicks. She’s worn a number of crowns, including the one for Miss Gay North Carolina America in 1987.

She is so Charlotte — both conservative and compelling.

There are a lot of obvious reasons why we went with a “Queen” theme for this 27th edition — named for Queen Charlotte, the city is known both as the Queen City and Crown Town. But, more importantly, we wanted to celebrate the very queens — transgender or not — who make where we live fabulous.

As always, we’d like to thank all who helped us put together this year’s Best of Charlotte issue, and that includes our regular writers and critics, our sales staff, photographers, editors, bean counters, printers and distributors. But most of all, thanks to all of you who continue to read Creative Loafing — even when we royally piss you off.

All hail Charlotte’s best.

— Kimberly Lawson, editor

Critics’ Panel / Copywriters: Ailen Arreaza, Lauren Blake, Matt Brunson, Tricia Childress, Grace Cote, Adam Frazier, Jeff Hahne, Megan Henshall, Jerry Klein, Kimberly Lawson, Page Leggett, Keia Mastrianni, Ana McKenzie, Anita Overcash, Melissa Oyler, Andy Smith, Perry Tannenbaum, Erin Tracy-Blackwood, Jonathan Wells, Emiene Wright

Photography: Grant Baldwin, Jonathan Cooper, Justin Driscoll

Section Lead Art: Photography by Jim McGuire

Model: Jamie Monroe

Design: Melissa Oyler


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