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You're About to Fall In Love with the First Openly Lesbian Miss America Contestant

You're About to Fall In Love with the First Openly Lesbian Miss America Contestant

You're About to Fall In Love with the First Openly Lesbian Miss America Contestant

Miss Missouri is the first openly lesbian Miss America contestant, and we couldn't adore her more.


Whether or not she wins this year's Miss America pageant, Erin O'Flaherty is making history. The first openly lesbian Miss Missouri winner will be the first-ever out contestant on Miss America, and she's thrilled to be taking that title. LGBT people have certainly been a part of pageants for a while now, but all that involvement has so far been behind-the-scenes, so much so that there's even a drag pageant called "Miss'd America," titled in honor of those who can't watch the pageant since they're working on it. Now, however, Erin will be front and center, and she couldn't be more excited to promote her incredibly positive messages.

"Behind the scenes, we've been well-represented, but I'm the first openly gay title holder, so I'm very excited," stated Erin in an AP interview, "I knew going in that I had the opportunity to make history. Now I get to be more visible to the community and meet more people." 

Erin's also embracing her responsibility to get messages about the LGBT community into the world, and her platform majorly includes working closely with the Trevor Project and the American Foundation for Suicide Foundation to deal with suicide prevention. Get to know Erin herself a little bit more in this Good Morning America interview with Robin Roberts right here:

While Erin's the first openly lesbian contestant in the pageant, she's not the first queer woman to compete. Djuan Trent competed as Miss Kentucky in 2011 and came out three years later in 2014. Additionally, two-time Miss Spain winner and 2013 Miss Universe runner-up Patricia Yurena came out in 2014, and Miss California USA saw two lesbian contestants, Jenelle Hutcherson and Mollie Thomas, who did not advance. We hope these ladies keep inspiring openly queer women to compete, and we'll certainly be rooting for Erin this weekend when Miss America airs September 11th on ABC!

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Preston Max Allen