Why This Southern Beauty Queen Came Out As Queer.

Djuan Trent

Polls show that America is pretty split on the issue to gay marriage. Even so, there’s been a huge cultural shift as it relates to gay rights, laws are changing as well as hearts and minds. Last month, Djuan Trent, Miss Kentucky 2010, 2011 contestant at the Miss America Pageant (top ten semi-finalist) came out on her blog. In an article by the Huffington Post, Trent talked about why she came out:

“A lot of people were talking to me as if I agreed with their views, which were anti-equality… “They were not for gay and lesbian marriages. And it just kind of fired me up a little bit. So I sat down at my computer and I just started typing away and that is what came.”

Why she used the term “Queer”

“I originally wrote the blog, and wrote, ‘I am gay….I went back and I looked at it and I decided I wanted to change it. I wanted to put ‘queer’ there, because it’s a word that I like. I feel that a lot of people outside the LGBTQ community don’t know it’s a thing, that it’s okay.”

“I think it’s one of those words that doesn’t put you in such a box,” she said. If you choose other labels, sometimes you feel like you’re in a bit of a box. My favorite example, that I always love to use, is that girls I went to college with, who ran all around campus waving rainbow flags — they were like, ‘Lesbian for life! Yeah, forever!’ And now, how ever many years later, I’m seeing them on Facebook and they’re like, ‘He proposed, and I said, “yes!”’ And I’m looking, like, ‘What?!’ So I think that ‘queer’ is one of those things that… it is more inclusive. It kind of opens to a whole other conversation about the fluidity of sexuality and being able to embrace that.”

Why visibility is so important:

“People need to be able to see more people who look like them. I know, for me, when Raven-Symone came out, I was like, ‘What?! Oh my gosh! You know, like, I was more excited about Raven-Symone coming out than I was about Ellen. And I mean, I love Ellen. Who doesn’t love Ellen? But Raven looks a little more like me. It’s good to be able to see people who look like you. I’ve had so much outreach coming from young women in the pageant community, young African-American women, young feminine women, who [now] feel a little less invisible, who feel that there’s not something wrong with them. And that, to me, is amazing.”

P.S I too was excited when Raven-Symone came out!!