analouisa_leadx400We could all learn a thing or two from Analouisa Valencia, an out lesbian African-American/Latina beauty queen. Not only is she extremely comfortable in her own skin at the tender age of 19, but the Southern belle manages to take the high road in hostile situations.

When asked by Advocate how she would respond to backlash for her orientation, she responded, “Very calmly,” and chuckled. “I’m a very positive person, so I always come back with positive feedback.”

Currently Miss Lyman, S.C., Valencia will compete in the Miss South Carolina contest come July and, hopefully, advance to the Miss America pageant. But having to unapologetically claim her lesbian identity isn’t new to Valencia. The college student has been out for years (since ninth grade). She even took her girlfriend, Tamyra Bell, to her prom and attended Bell’s.

“I’ve experienced a lot of things in life,” she added. “A lot of negativity. I’ve seen a lot of people get bullied, so I try to be on the up side of things…I try to be an advocate for equality for everyone and be that positive role model.”

We’re rooting for you, Analouisa!

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