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Miss Maryland just crowned its first transgender winner

Miss Maryland just crowned its first transgender winner


Miss Maryland just crowned its first transgender winner
Anthony M. Gomes/Miss Maryland USA via Instagram (@missmdusa); Instagram (@baileyannekennedy)

Bailey Anne Kennedy just made pageant history in the best way!

Congratulations to Miss Maryland USA, Bailey Anne Kennedy!

Kennedy has made history as the first transgender woman and first Asian American woman to win the title of Miss Maryland USA! She was crowned with the title on Saturday, June 1 and posted on social media sharing how thankful she is.

"Not everyone has to agree with the spaces that you occupy, and it doesn’t mean that you aren’t worthy of these opportunities. The work that I will do for the remainder of my life is to make sure that children who feel like me will never have to worry about the consequences of being who they are by simply being myself and being a positive contribution to society," Kennedy wrote on Instagram.

"For the longest time, I never had the need to tell anyone. Not because it’s a secret but it’s none of anyone’s business. To those who matter to me, they don’t care. Those that care about knowing such private & personal details, don’t matter."

Kennedy, who is 31 and married to a U.S. Marine, entered the contest only after the Miss Universe Organization lifted its restrictions on married women and women over the age of 28. She says that seeing the organization change its rules was "a sign from the universe that they are ready to crown an older, military spouse."

"I knew that it only took 67 years for married women to compete freely. Let alone to have an immigrant who happened to be bullied all of life for her accent and her different ways of doing things," she wrote.

Kennedy also said that she hopes her win will inspire other members of the LGBTQ+ community.

"I knew it was bigger than me. I knew it was going to mean a lot for all the LGBTQ+ kids out there who might feel like they don’t belong in a box — like me growing up," she said, adding that she "hopes it will open up some doors, open up some hearts for people to see that there are many aspects of the LGBT community out there and I hope I can be a positive contribution to society in making a difference like the USO program I'm working with."

Kennedy will compete for the Miss USA title in Los Angeles on August 4.

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Mey Rude

Mey Rude is a journalist and cultural critic who has been covering queer news for a decade. The transgender, Latina lesbian lives in Los Angeles with her fiancée.

Mey Rude is a journalist and cultural critic who has been covering queer news for a decade. The transgender, Latina lesbian lives in Los Angeles with her fiancée.