Erin O'Flaherty, 23, made history as
the first openly gay Miss Missouri when she was crowned on Saturday
in Mexico, Missouri.
According to the AP, she is the first
openly gay woman to be named Miss Missouri.
“I'm on cloud nine really just to be
Miss Missouri,” said O'Flaherty, who owns a clothing store.
She told the AP that she came out five
“I don't know that I intended to be
the first [openly gay Miss Missouri], but I am,” she
said. “So I'm very excited about it.”
O'Flaherty will represent Missouri at
the Miss America scholarship pageant, which is scheduled to take
place September 11 in Atlantic City.
She said that her reign would include
reaching out to the LGBT community.
“It's certainly a big part of who I
am, and I will be promoting it and raising awareness for the LGBT
community. But also there will be many appearances that I do that
have nothing to do with that. And so I'm hoping that I can strike a
really nice balance of staying true to the values of Miss Missouri
and also being able to exercise my personal views,” she said.
O'Flaherty added that she wanted to
raise awareness of suicide prevention.