Post submitted by Maureen McCarty, former HRC Deputy Director of Marketing

Nineteen-year-old Analouisa Valencia is breaking down barriers as she preps for the July competition for Miss South Carolina.

The beauty queen is the first open lesbian to compete for Miss South Carolina. Her platform builds on her longtime work with the Special Olympics South Carolina.

“I’ve seen so much discrimination towards people with special needs, and I’m Hispanic and African-American and I’ve seen a lot of discrimination there, as well as with other minorities,” she said in an interview with The Advocate.

“I try to be an advocate for equality for everyone and be that positive role model,” Valencia said.

Valencia has competed in pageant for over 10 years and hopes to one day compete in Miss America.

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