Appearing on CNN, Erin O'Flaherty said
that she was excited to represent the LGBT community this fall at the
Miss America pageant.
Late last month, O'Flaherty, 23, was
crowned Miss Missouri, making her the first openly gay Miss America
contestant in the pageant's 95-year history.
O'Flaherty told Ashleigh Banfield, host
of CNN's Legal View, that she was overwhelmed by the support
“It's overwhelming the amount of love
and support that I've received, not only from the LGBT community but
from so many others as well,” O'Flaherty said. “And really I
still just feel like just Erin. So, not much has changed other than
now I get to be someone that's in a public position of influence for
my community, and I'm really excited about that.”
Asked whether other contestants were
uncomfortable by her presence in “common spaces,” O'Flaherty
answered that she felt accepted.
“Everybody just accepts everybody
backstage. … There were really no problems I ever ran into with
that,” she said.