“I Am Queer.” Djuan Trent Becomes First National Beauty Pageant Contestant To Publicly Come Out

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Former Miss Kentucky, Djaun Trent became the first national pageant contestant to publicly come out after recently announcing she’s a lesbian in a blog titled, “Turning ‘They’ Into ‘We'”.

The beauty queen who also finished in the top 10 of the 2011 Miss America Pageant details her battle with sexual orientation since grade school:

“I could write about what it was like to come out to my mom for the third and final time at the age of 26 (the first time was when I was in the 4th grade and the second time was in college). I could write about the years I spent praying to a God whom I wanted so badly to serve with all of my heart, but couldn’t understand why this God made me “wrong”. I could write about all the times that people have asked me if I have a boyfriend and I’ve purposely chosen to just say “no” with no further explanation. I could write about all the reasons I have been told I shouldn’t be gay (that’s an interesting list). I could write about all the times I talked about how gross it was when a girl had a crush on me, even though I may have secretly liked her too. I could write about how scared I have felt that I would have to watch friends and family members walk out of my life if I ever decided to come out. I could write about how disappointed I have been in myself for being an open supporter by day, and living it up in the safety of the closet by night.”

Like many other celebs, Trent hopes to change the stereotypical images people associate with gays and lesbians, as well as give others the strength and courage to live their lives freely. She says Kentucky’s current battle over gay marriage made her decision to come out that much more difficult:

“People can’t know that their best friend, brother, sister, co-worker, neighbor, news anchor, favorite singer, or local coffee shop barista is being oppressed and denied the rights in which their heterosexual counterparts [that] are so happily welcomed partake, unless you open your mouth and say it.”

The 27 year-old says she has encountered nothing but positive words and encouragement since coming out and is grateful to family, friends and fans for their support. “You have given me the courage to speak up and speak out when I forget my “QUEER” stamp in the mornings,” she said. “And I can only hope, that I might inspire someone else in that same way.”

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