1. This is Analouisa Valencia, Miss Lymon South Carolina.
She is in the running for Miss South Carolina 2013. The competition starts today.
2. Oh, and she’s also the first out lesbian to compete in South Carolina.
Analouisa competed last year, but wasn’t out. She said, “This is who I am. People tell me I am the most real pageant contestant they have ever met. I wasn’t open about it last year, and that’s why I think I was so uncomfortable competing.”
3. The response to her being out has been pretty wonderful.
“I’ve gotten a lot of positive feedback. I’m really surprised more than anything, but very grateful and humble that I haven’t gotten any feedback, because nobody wants any negativity in their lives.”
6. And she uses these skills to coach Special Olympians in gymnastics.
Yep, she’s perfect.
7. She’s also bilingual.
Seriously, this girl is GOOD AT EVERYTHING.
8. AND she and her girlfriend are super adorable together.
From her Facebook: “Y’all this is my best friend haha , we have the most fun together ! almost 3 years in a committed relationship … LOVE .”
10. And she strives for equality everywhere. She said:
Special Olympics South Carolina is my platform and I’ve been working with them since I was 8-years-old. And I’ve seen so much discrimination towards people with special needs, and I’m Hispanic and African-American and I’ve seen a lot of discrimination there, as well as with other minorities. So, I try to be an advocate for equality for everyone and be that positive role model. If I can’t be that role model and be positive and comfortable in what I have to say then I shouldn’t have it as my platform.
11. One more thing… it’s her birthday today!
HAPPY BIRTHDAY ANALOUISA!
13. The pageant lasts until July 13, with results posted here.
Correction: Analouisa Valencia is the first out Miss South Carolina Contestant. An earlier version of this item listed her as the first out contestant in the Miss America system.