Peacock Productions, Inc. Co-Founder, President and Peacock in the Park hostess Maria has been a leader in the gay community for more than 30 years. A natural born entertainer, Maria gave her first drag-style performance in 1986 at the infamous Darcelle XV Showplace. She became a member of Oregon’s oldest gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender organization — The Portland Forum — and was elected to serve as Ms. Gay Portland II the following year.
In 1988, she was selected by a panel of judges to serve as Ms. Gay Oregon VI. During her year as Ms. Gay Oregon, The Portland Forum merged with the Imperial Sovereign Rose Court (ISRC), and Maria became the first Ms. Gay Oregon to serve under the newly consolidated group.
Using her loveable personality, tenacity, talent and hard work, Maria continued to break down barriers in the largely male-dominated gay community. In 1990 she became the first woman elevated to the title of Princess of the ISRC and in October 1993, she became the first woman elected by the citizens of Portland to serve as Empress of the ISRC. To date, Rose Empress XXXVI Maria and her Rose Emperor XX Babalou are the only all female reign in Rose Court history.
Just three days after her crowning as Rose Empress, Maria’s dear friend and the founder of Peacock in the Park and the Audria M. Edwards Scholarship Fund; Lady Elaine Peacock died due to complications from AIDS. At her bedside, Maria and Kimberlee were informed that it was Peacock’s wish for them to assume leadership of Peacock in the Park and the AME Scholarship Fund. In the summer of 1994, Maria took her position as the new hostess of Peacock in the Park.
In 1999, Maria and Kimberlee incorporated Peacock Productions and Maria became President of the board of directors, a job she continues to this day. Under their leadership the Scholarship Fund has continued to grow with annual grants ranging from $5,000-$20,000 to GLBT individuals and/or their children for post-secondary education.
In addition to her work with Peacock Productions, Inc., the Audria M. Edwards Scholarship Fund and the Imperial Sovereign Rose Court, Maria also owns the Mr., Miss and Ms. Gay Pride Pageant, is the treasurer of Saturday in the Park (Vancouver’s Pride Festival) and an active member of her church and church choir. When not working Maria loves to spend time with her dog Romeo, her daughter, son-in-law, two granddaughters and close friends.