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Out in the pageants

Out lesbian vies to become Miss South Carolina and Miss America

Analouisa Valencia, with her Miss Lyman title crown. Credit: Facebook

Analouisa Valencia is making waves in South Carolina.

Valencia, 20, from Spartanburg, South Carolina, thinks she is the first openly lesbian contestant for the Miss South Carolina pageant and its parent, Miss America.

“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,” Valencia told The Augusta Chronicle.

Valencia says she hasn't had any negative reactions since coming out earlier this year.

Officials from Miss South Carolina and Miss America are standing behind Valencia.