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Kansas City performer KC Sunshine reflects on 'dream come true' year as Mr. Gay America 2022

A man wearing a yellow T-shirt smiles while talking at a microphone inside a radio studio. He is wearing a sparkly brooch that reads "Mr. GA 2022."
Carlos Moreno
KCUR 89.3
Kansas City native Aniseto Herrera-Lyell might be better known by his stage name, KC Sunshine, under which he performs as a Michael Jackson impersonator.

To some, Aniseto Herrera-Lyell is a fourth-grade teacher. To others, he's KC Sunshine, a performer known for his Michael Jackson impersonation. But to the whole country, he's Mr. Gay America 2022. Herrera-Lyell won the title in October.

In the nine months since Aniseto Herrera-Lyell was named Mr. Gay America 2022, he's spent nearly every weekend traveling the country as a performer and advocate.

He says serving as an ambassador for the LGBTQ+ community while legislators are targeting gay and trans people has made him more conscious of the way the community is represented.

"I think a lot of times people might just see the club scene and the bar scene, which is a big part of our culture and our community in the LGBTQ world," Herrera-Lyell told KCUR. "But there's also so much beauty and diversity."

  • Aniseto Herrera-Lyell (also known as KC Sunshine), Mr. Gay America 2022
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