Why This LGBT Beauty Queen Is Making History

Last week, reigning Miss Spain Patricia Yurena Rodríguez came out as a lesbian when she posted a picture with her partner Vanesa Cortes to her Instagram profile, captioning it “Romeo and Juliet.” In the days since, there’s been a lot of buzz about Rodríguez, and whether or not this makes her the first LGBT beauty queen. (More on that later. . .)

Here are six cool facts about the kick-ass, ground-breaking pageant queen.

1. She’s a two-time winner of the Miss Spain beauty pageant.

Rodríguez took home the title in 2008 and 2013, making her the only contestant in the pageant’s 85-year history. Earlier this year, the company that hosts the competition filed for bankruptcy, making it entirely possible that Rodríguez will be the final person to hold the title.

2. Despite the fact that she won the title of Miss Spain in 2008, she did not compete in the Miss Universe pageant that year.

Miss Universe eligibility rules require that contestants be 18 on or before February 1st. Unfortunately for Rodríguez, she didn’t turn 18 until March 6th, rendering her ineligible. Madrid’s Claudia Moro competed in her place.

3. She finished 1st runner-up in the 2013 Miss Universe pageant.

Rodríguez came so very close to victory, but lost to Maria Gabriela Isler of Venezuela. Rodríguez would have been the first Spanish Miss Universe winner, joining Amparo Muñoz, who won in 1974.

4. Her partner is Vanesa Cortes, a Spanish singer and House DJ.

Aside from having amazing hair, Cortes is a prominent force on the Spanish House circuit, better known as Vanesa Klein.

5. Rodríguez has hobbies and–like us the rest of us–can even be a bit clumsy.

According to her Miss Universe profile, Rodríguez enjoys painting, playing guitar, and acting—all skills she learned at a young age. Additionally, it notes that she was once so excited and nervous about going to school that she tripped down a flight of stairs, knocking over three people in the process.

6. She’s actually not the first LGBT beauty queen.

Earlier this year, Djuan Trent came out, penning a blog post, “I am Queer.” Trent is a former Miss Kentucky, winning the title in 2010. The following year, she finished in the top 10 at the Miss America pageant.

Additionally, in 2012, 23-year-old Jenna Talackova fought to compete in the Miss Universe Canada pageant. Talackova was initially disqualified when it was learned that she is transgender. She was eventually given the go ahead to compete, and while she didn’t win, she did share in the title of Miss Congeniality with three other contestants.

(Images via and via)

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