Erin O'Flaherty Photos: Must-See Pictures of Miss Missouri

Erin O’Flaherty, who was crowned last night as Miss Missouri, just became the first openly gay woman to compete in Miss America. The 23-year-old Erin is originally from South Carolina and came out as a lesbian back when she was 18, but wants to make it clear that she’s not making her sexuality a big part of her pageant platform.

“My focus of my year isn’t going to be that I’m gay,” said O’Flaherty. “It’s certainly a big part of who I am, and I will be promoting it and raising awareness for the LGBT community. But also there will be many appearances that I do that have nothing to do with that.” Instead, Erin wants to bring awareness to suicide prevention.

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