In a landmark victory, Bailey Anne Kennedy was crowned Miss Maryland USA in June, marking a series of firsts: she is the first transgender woman and the first Asian American to hold the title.

Kennedy, donning her crystal-embellished tiara and a pink Barbie doll dress, radiated joy and pride as she waved to spectators at the recent Baltimore Pride Parade.

Walking alongside her husband down the rainbow-painted sidewalk in downtown Baltimore, she paused for photos and accepted heartfelt congratulations from residents, celebrating her historic achievement.

Bailey Anne Kennedy is breaking barriers

“Being in this position and making an impact on my community, especially within the LGBTQIA+ community, military spouses, and immigrant women, is beyond my wildest dreams. It’s an incredible honor to be here.”

At 31, Kennedy entered her first pageant last year after Miss USA lifted restrictions on contestants who are married and over 28 years old. Her victory on June 1 also made her the first military officer’s wife and the oldest woman to win the crown.

“Winning this title, I knew it was bigger than just me,” Kennedy reflected. “I hope this sends a powerful message to everyone, encouraging them to be themselves and forge their own paths, even when the way forward isn’t clear.”

Backlash and anti-LGBTQ rhetoric

Kennedy emphasized the overwhelming positive support she receives from her community. “For every negative comment, there’s twice as much positive feedback. At the Pride Parade in Baltimore, people congratulated me, saying, ‘Congratulations, Miss Maryland!’ I choose to focus on the positive and honor those who support me. Making them proud is all I can strive for.”

Kennedy hopes her win will inspire anyone facing adversity, regardless of age, gender, or background. “Representing a community that has endured so much adversity, I hope to open hearts and minds to see that we are just like anyone else. We want to live our dreams, pursue the American dream, and make our families proud.”

With tears in her eyes, Kennedy expressed her desire to be remembered for her heart. “Beyond the dress and the rhinestones, I want people to see my heart. If they can open their hearts to receive it, I believe I can make a difference for future generations.”

Source: 1st transgender woman and Asian American wins Miss Maryland USA: ‘Bigger than me’

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