There she is: Miss Missouri out of the closet, and ready to be Miss America

Written by Kevin Broady

Miss Missouri, Erin O’Flaherty, is the first openly lesbian contestant to win a state title in the Miss America pageant. “It’s certainly making history and I’m not sure I set out to do that, but I am the first openly gay Miss Missouri and contestant to head to Miss America so I am excited about that. But, mainly, I’m excited to represent the LGBT community,” O’Flaherty, 23, said on Good Morning America.

Her platform is suicide prevention, an issue she says is particularly important with young gay people. “People should understand that my year as Miss Missouri and hopefully as Miss America will not be solely about the fact that I’m gay,” she said. “While I honor the LGBT community and I am proud to be part of it, I have goals that have nothing to do with my sexuality. I encourage people to understand that this is who I am but it’s not all that I am.”

This year the pageant will be held Sunday September 11, 2016 in Atlantic City, NJ and will also air live on ABC at 9 pm. Erin is already a finalists for the 2017 Women in Business Scholarships Award. So follow her on facebook.com/missamericamo or Twitter.com/missamericamo, show her the love and support from the South Florida LGBT and pageant community.