For some gay men, beauty pageants are a special thing; the pageantry, the gowns, the drag queeniness of some of the contestants. Me? Not so much. Give me a good awards show and someone drunk on a Red Carpet and I’m in; but, that may change since I heard this story.
The Miss South Carolina Pageant is next week, with the gowns and the glitter and the gaffes during the question and answer portion of the show—Caite Upton, anyone? See HERE—but this year there is a special contestant like we’ve never seen before in the Palmetto State. For the first time in history, the pageant has an openly gay contestant; and she’s multi-racial.
Her name is Analouisa Valencia and many are calling her the new face of the south.
The South could use a new face; just sayin'.
And while this is the second time Analouisa has competed, this is the first year she's competing as an out lesbian.
"Last year, I did compete at state, but I wasn't as comfortable because of the fact I was hiding who I was. This is my first year coming out and saying, 'This is me, girls. Sorry, I'm going to be changing in the same dressing room as you. This is what's going to happen.'"— Analouisa Valencia
But, while it might seem having an openly gay contestant is a first for South Carolina, she is also the first bilingual contestant in pageant history.
Seriously? 2013? And she’s the first bilingual contestant? Oh yeah, South Carolina.
And, with three titles already under her belt, Valencia's family says her success represents the changing face of the south, though it’s a change which finds many folks unprepared as they focus on her sexual orientation and her ethnicity. But Valencia says it’s her passion for coaching Special Olympic athletes that she wants judges to remember. She doesn’t want to be The Gay Contestant, or The Multi-Ethnic Contestant, she wants to be Analouisa, and, hopefully, that’s how people will see her.
And this particular gay might just find himself sitting in front of a TV next week, rooting on one particular pageant gal.
Good luck, Analouisa.
And, if you win, and collect the $25,000 scholarship, there's also a Coming Out Toaster Oven, and copy of The Gay Agenda for you.
It’s a win-win, though, any way you look at it.