The former Miss Kentucky Djuan Trent’s (pictured) announcement where she admitted being “queer” in a lengthy, personal blog post, “Life Is 27,” was prompted by a recent gay marriage ruling in her home state. The state’s ban on recognizing out-of-state gay marriages was ruled unconstitutional by a federal judge last month.
Trent, who won the Miss Kentucky crown in 2010 and finished in the Top 10 of the famed Miss America pageant in 2011, is a history-maker; she is the first national pageant contestant to come out publicly as a lesbian.
The 27-year-old beauty, who came out to her mother when she was in fourth grade, said she struggled with making her private secret public, but thought it was crucial to do so because of the current battle over gay marriage.
Trent eloquently expresses not only her trepidation over letting the world know about her sexuality but expressed her hope that one-by-one, others will join her march so a “‘QUEER’ stamp” won’t have to be on foreheads:
I am queer.
Well, that was easy! But wait-was it really? Sure, it was easy to type up that three-word sentence, sure. But that doesn’t discount the fact that my armpits are sweating, my mind is racing, and my hands are shaking just a bit. I can’t control the sweaty pits, racing mind, and jittery hands, so I’ll just keep writing.
I could write about how disappointed I have been in myself for being an open supporter by day, and living it up in the safety of the closet by night. I could write books about all of those things…but what has really fueled my passion in writing today, has been this…
Last week, U.S. District Judge John G. Heyburn II ruled that Kentucky’s prohibition violates the U.S. Constitution’s guarantee of equal protection under the law by treating queer folks “differently in a way that demeans them.” You can imagine the conversation that this ruling has sparked amongst Kentuckians-those who support as well as those who oppose. I have listened to people talk about “the abomination of our nation” and “Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve.” I am not surprised that some people would react this way…I mean, if people didn’t react that way, then there would be no need for a movement, no need to fight for OUR rights (ooh, “our”…that felt good).
I applaud those who take that step in speaking up and speaking out, because in your doing so, you create a sense of awareness amongst your friends, family, and peers, letting them know that this hits a lot closer to home than they may have realized. You create a sense of community, letting others know that they are not alone, and giving them the courage to also speak up and speak out.
Thank you for giving me the courage to change my “they” to “we”, “them” to “us”, and “their” to “our.” You have given me the courage to speak up and speak out when I forget my “QUEER” stamp in the mornings. And I can only hope, that I might inspire someone else in that same way.
…and my armpits have stopped sweating…in case anyone was wondering.”