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“It was scary because of what I felt like I represented. Probably more than anything it was my mom — she is like the greatest mom ever — and I didn’t want to do anything that might cast a bad light on her or make her feel uncomfortable.”Kerr had not yet come out in 1983, her year as Miss Oklahoma, which was the year that Vanessa Williams won the crown.
The Uptown Band is one of the country’s most-requested and versatile acts.
While the competition originally saw that ideal in the contestant who looked best in a bathing suit, these days it searches for the state representative most deserving of a scholarship.
Dozens of “firsts” dot the pageant’s history, with mileposts reached as the first Jewish, African-American and Native American winners were crowned.
But while O’Flaherty may be the first openly gay contestant, she’s certainly not the first gay contestant.
Trelynda Kerr, Miss Oklahoma 1983, of Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, said the issue simply wasn’t talked about in previous years and that gay contestants competed in the pageant but just weren’t “out.”“Coming out was scary.
Since 1963 the City of Rehoboth Beach has offered free entertainment at the Bandstand for residents and vacationers.