COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - Gowns and crowns will be gracing the Miss South Carolina Pageant next week, but all the pomp and circumstance is taking a back seat to one contestant in particular who is making national headlines.
For the first time in history, the pageant has an openly gay contestant. She's also multi-racial, and many are calling her the new face of the south.
Her name is Analouisa Valencia.
"Why should she not win," asked Analouisa's mom, Hattie Palasox. "She's got everything."
It's take two for beauty queen Valencia, who will compete against 48 other contestants next week to win the title of Miss South Carolina.
"Last year, I did compete at state, but I wasn't as comfortable because of the fact I was hiding who I was," said Valencia. "This is my first year coming out and saying, 'This is me, girls. Sorry, I'm going to be changing in the same dressing room as you. This is what's going to happen.'"