Backstage with national entertainer, Louisville’s sweetheart, Mykul Jay Valentine

By Alixandria Thomason

Mykul Jay Valentine is a born performer. From gymnastics at age five, to cheerleading at fourteen, he has spent his whole life in preparation to be a multinational title holder. Raised in the small town of Shepherdsville, KY, Mykul spent his childhood surrounded by nature and the thrill of competition. He attended high school in Bardstown, KY, and quickly made friends in the cheerleading circuit. Despite living in a small town, Mykul says he was never bullied or picked on for his sexuality and always felt supported, especially by his mom. As an only child, they had a special bond that continues to this day. 

Success in the pageant scene began early for Mykul. In 2008 he attended the EOY (Entertainer of the Year) pageant. Despite it being his debut, he took first place by a single point, though due to a clerical error he didn’t find out until the end of the year, after they had already given someone else the title. In 2011 he took first place again, winning the national title. In 2016 he won Mr. Continental, and most recently he took home the crown for All American Gent in 2021 with his mom and grandmother cheering from the audience. 

Part of Mykul’s success in pageantry comes from his creative and spectacular talent portions, such as performing silks. He took classes from Turner’s Circus and Suspend Louisville and work with a traveling circus based in Bloomington, IN. During his time in the circus he honed his silks act and got to wear snake body paint. At intermissions he walked around with a live boa for the audience to meet. 

Despite the high of competing, being a big name comes with its downsides too. Mykul worries that sometimes people seem to want to be around him simply because of his fame in entertainment, especially when it comes to dating. He says, “they don’t want to date me, they want to date the person they see on the stage.” Then there‚Äôs the high stress levels leading up to a competition. Emotional breakdowns before a show are not uncommon, and the support of friends and family is essential to surviving and thriving in the public eye. 

But the rewarding moments more than make up for the downsides. When asked about his favorite part of being an entertainer, Mykul says that inspiring others to get onto the stage is the best part. He has learned from so many talented people in the entertainment world, such as Hurricane Summers and David Hunter, and of course the group he started with, Nine Inch Males. 

When Mykul isn’t on stage, he enjoys the nerdier things in life such as Pokemon and X-Men, and can hold his own in any anime conversation. He is also starting nursing school this summer and hopes to one day have a career in cosmetic procedures. No matter what Mykul goes after in life, he takes it on with a ferocity and devotion that will serve him well both in and outside of the entertainment scene.