News (USA)

First trans woman to become Miss Maryland USA wants to inspire trans kids

A woman on the red carpet
Photo: Shutterstock

On June 1, Bailey Anne Kennedy became the first trans woman to be crowned Miss Maryland USA. She now hopes that her victory will inspire LGBTQ+ kids across the nation.

“Not everyone has to agree with the spaces that you occupy, and it doesn’t mean that you aren’t worthy of these opportunities,” she wrote on her Instagram.

“The work that I will do for the remainder of my life is to make sure that children who feel like me will never have to worry about the consequences of being who they are by simply being myself and being a positive contribution to society.”

Kennedy is a Cambodian American, making her also the first Asian American to win the pageant. She holds the honor of being the first military spouse to win as well.

She told DC News Now that she hopes this victory “will open up some doors, open up some hearts for people to see that there are many aspects of LGBT community out there, and I hope I can be a positive contribution to society in making a difference like the USO program like I’m working with.”

Kennedy knew “it was going to mean a lot for all the LGBTQ kids out there who might feel like they don’t belong in a box – like me growing up.”

In 2021, Kataluna Enriquez was the first transgender woman to be crowned Miss Nevada. In 2018, she was also the first trans woman to compete in the national Miss USA pageant.

Marina Machete was the first trans woman to be crowned Miss Portugal, and Rikkie Valerie Kollé was the first trans woman to be crowned Miss Netherlands. Angela Ponce was the first trans woman to ever compete in the Miss Universe pageant, having won the title of Miss Spain in 2018.

”Kennedy’s victory marks a transformative moment in how transgender individuals are perceived across the nation,” said Tramour Wilson, senior director of advocacy and community engagement for Pride Center Maryland, to Baltimore Banner.

”This milestone is poised to inspire confidence within the trans community, encouraging more trans and gender nonconforming individuals to aspire towards their dreams and break barriers.”

Don't forget to share:

Good News is your section for queer joy! Subscribe to our newsletter to get the most positive and fun stories from the site delivered to your inbox every weekend. Send us your suggestions for uplifiting and inspiring stories.

Support vital LGBTQ+ journalism

Reader contributions help keep LGBTQ Nation free, so that queer people get the news they need, with stories that mainstream media often leaves out. Can you contribute today?

Cancel anytime · Proudly LGBTQ+ owned and operated