By Sabrina Samone, TMP
During the days of slavery, South Carolina was the gateway for slave trade in the new nation. The first to succeed from the union to attempt to hold on to their evil beliefs and when people began calling certain cities of the south, a representation of the new south during the eighties, nowhere in SC was even thought of. Well, just maybe, South Carolina is joining the 21 century and Analouisa Valencia, the recently crowned Miss Palmetto Princess, could be a representation of a new south. Nineteen year old Analouisa Valencia is not only bi-racial, representing the second highest demographic behind Hispanics in S.C., but is an open lesbian who has made equality for LGBT people her platform to be a contestant in the Miss South Carolina pageant in July.
The daughter of a Mexican-American father and African-American mother, she is also an out and proud lesbian since the ninth grade when she took her girlfriend Bell to her high school prom. She will be a first with such a diverse background to win the title of Miss South Carolina, and for the image of this conservative state we surely hope so.
Her Participation in the Miss South Carolina Contest is part a human rights campaign; she is promoting rights for people with special needs, for racial minorities and for lgbt people. She has stated she's already thought of her answers if asked and prepares to be perfectly open and honest about whom she is. According to CNN she says, "I just really wanted to be an advocate for equality for everyone this year. I want to show the judges who I really am."
South Carolina ranks extremely too low, nationally on LGBT rights. There is a ban on same sex marriage and no support for equal employment, housing or hate-crime protections for LGBT people and has unconstitutional sodomy laws still on the books. Obviously any positive visibility is desperately needed here and hopefully well received in the package of such a beautiful, talented and outspoken young woman.
I'd like to think those, African-Americans, Mexican-American and LGBT friends and loved ones passed, that may have never imagined a day in SC would come, will be joining us in a celebration dance this summer when, and with all fingers crossed, Analouisa Valencia is crowned a new representation of beauty, inside and out, as the new Miss South Carolina this summer.
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