Back in June Erin O’Flaherty was crowned Miss Missouri making her the first openly lady loving beauty queen to compete in September’s Miss America pageant. While we’re not fans of the beauty pageant scene, we did briefly tune in to see the 23-year-old compete in the swimsuit and evening gown contests last night.

O’Flaherty, who has been out since the age of 18, has based her entire pageant platform on raising awareness for suicide prevention and took the opportunity to speak about it last night during the on-stage question period.

“I’m excited to represent the LGBT community,” she said during a GMA interview. “We are underrepresented in positions of influence. So I am excited to take that on and I hope that my presence will help with visibility for the community.”

In total 52 women are vying for the crown this year, most of whom are white.miss america 2016 contestants“Through every major milestone of our nation’s evolution, Miss America has provided a voice for women from all walks of life, and, this year, we welcome our first openly gay contestant,” Miss America’s COO Josh Randle said. “Miss America contestants continue to be the best and brightest in the country, and we proudly support each and every young woman who competes in our national program.”

Miss America will be crowned on Sunday September 11.

Image credit: Twitter