There’s a Gay Miss America Contestant Just In Time For Pride

Well America, we finally have our first openly gay Miss America contestant.

On Saturday night, 23-year-old Erin O’Flaherty won the title of Miss Missouri, which she honestly didn’t see coming because as she told the Riverfront Times “progressive is not exactly a word people might think of when you think Missouri.”

O’Flaherty has been out since winning the title of Miss University of Central Florida as an 18-year-old freshman, which she says was “hard because you want it to be very private. The public access to that was very challenging because I wanted to protect my relationship and who I am and come to terms with myself before the rest of the world got a chance to.”

Even though O’Flaherty hopes her tenure as Miss Missouri, and possibly Miss America and/or Universe, will give her the opportunity to raise awareness for the LGBT community, “I don’t carry a rainbow flag with me everywhere I go, you know. It’s not going to be my focus, but I certainly hope my presence will help people open up a little bit more. I’m very open about it. It’s never going to be something I try to hide because I’m very proud to be a member of the LGBT community.”

Go Erin go.

[H/T Us Magazine]

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