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Miss America preliminaries begin with first gay contestant

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Carmela Zoppi | 07 Settembre, 2016, 14:52

"Behind the scenes, we've been well-represented, but I'm the first openly gay title holder, so I'm very excited", she told The Associated Press. "I'm ready to go to Miss America, and I'm really happy to have made history", O'Flaherty said on "Entertainment Tonight."

"You let your light shine and then other people are able to see that", Jackson said after her win, thanking her pageant trainer, adding that he works with other Miss America contestants, including Miss West Virginia and Miss Maryland.

So as the women face off in Atlantic City this week for a chance on stage this weekend, O'Flaherty has not only the people of Missouri cheering for her, but the entire LGBT community as well.

Miss Mississippi Laura Lee Lewis sang "A Piece Of the Sky" from "Yentl", and Miss Colorado Shannon Patilla sang "Something's Got A Hold On Me".

The 23-year old Miss Missouri spoke with Robin Roberts on "GMA" and spoke about her excitement to compete.

Miss America will be crowned Sunday September 11th on ABC.

After a week of service and appearances around the area, the Miss America contestants took to the stage Tuesday night in the first preliminary of the competition. It was Miss Kentucky 2010 Djuan Trent.

30, 2016 photo shows Miss Vermont Rylee Field at a welcoming ceremony for the Miss America contestants in Atlantic City.

The Miss America Organization unveiled the contestants shoes for the annual "Show us your Sh..." According to the pageant's website, the majority of this year's contestants will either be dancing or singing.

The 2017 Miss America will be crowned on Sunday night during a live TV broadcast.

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