First Openly Gay Miss America Contestant Hopes to Give Voice to LGBTQ Community
According to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP), suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the United States. The Trevor Project, reports that lesbian, gay, and bisexual youth are "four times more likely, and questioning youth are three times more likely, to attempt suicide as their straight peers."
With suicide prevention as her platform, Erin O'Flaherty, the first-ever openly gay Miss America contestant representing Miss Missouri, hopes to change this for everyone by promoting the AFSP and working closely with The Trevor Project, a leading national organization that provides crisis and suicide intervention services to the LGBTQ community.
In addition to her platform, O'Flaherty is excited to give a voice to the people who are so often "underrepresented in public positions of influence."
"My focus of this year, I hope, will not be solely on my sexuality," she told "Good Morning America." "I think what my message really is, is that I had dreams and goals and I was very scared at first to become who I am. But once I stepped into who I was is when I became most successful."
Watch O'Flaherty's entire interview with "Good Morning America" below:
Photo Credit: David Pickering Photography/Twitter/@MissAmericaMO