Analouisa is crackin’ the closet door for South Cackalack
Analouisa Valencia came to the door in a bright blue facial mask and sweatpants, surprised anyone was coming to see her.
“I’m sorry. I got mixed up and didn’t know you were coming today,” she told the reporter at the door. “Miss South Carolina contestants aren’t supposed to let people see them like this.”
Valencia isn’t the typical pageant contestant in a lot of ways. Her family doesn’t have a lot of money, she is biracial and bilingual and, in what may be a first for the Miss South Carolina and its parent Miss America pageants, she is openly gay.
“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 said.
Valencia, who turns 20 on Tuesday when the pageant’s preliminaries begin, thinks she is the first openly gay contestant ever in the Miss South Carolina pageant, and perhaps in all of the Miss America competitions. The pageants don’t keep up with that information.
Who would have ever thought that South Carolina would have the first openly gay contestant?
“I’ve gotten a lot of positive feedback. I’m really surprised more than anything, but very grateful and humble that I haven’t gotten any feedback, because nobody wants any negativity in their lives,” Valencia said.
Valencia figured out she was gay in ninth grade and told her mother, friends and a few teachers. There was some worry and maybe a bit of disappointment, but it quickly faded away, Valencia said.
She met her girlfriend three years ago, and they went to each other’s high school proms. The couple didn’t get any grief from classmates.
Valencia became interested in pageants in 2000, when she joined a mentoring program for young girls called Palmetto Princesses and met Miss Spartanburg. The tiara got her hooked. She has been competing ever since.
Valencia was in the Miss South Carolina pageant in 2012, competing as Miss Electric City. She didn’t finish in the top 15. She is back this year as Miss Lyman and plans to sing the modern ballad “Footprints in the Sand” by Leona Lewis.
Her platform is “Special Olympics. Be a fan.” She has been a gymnast for much of her life and coaches several Special Olympians in the gym where she grew up. She is going to Spartanburg Community College with a plan to get a business degree and open up her own gyms.
Good luck girl, people will definitely be watching…especially the ladies.
Hit the flip side to see more pics of this beautiful young banger.
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