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.”
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.
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.