For the first time, a trans woman has won the Miss Maryland USA beauty pageant.

Bailey Anne Kennedy, who hails from Montgomery County in Maryland, was crowned on 1 June by her predecessor, Savena Mushinge.

Following her historic win, the model took to Instagram to express her excitement and gratitude for the groundbreaking achievement.

“Maryland, my heart is still filled with #Pride and joy! Oftentimes, life caught us by a big surprise and we couldn’t help but to show it back to The Universe how grateful we are that sometimes the underdog does win in the end,” she wrote on 2 June.

“Congratulations to all of my sisters who represented Maryland so beautifully last night.”

In addition to breaking down LGBTQIA+ barriers, Kennedy’s win has made her the first Asian American woman, the first immigrant, the first spouse of a military officer and the first woman over the age of 28 to earn the Miss Maryland USA title.

Over the last few weeks, the 32-year-old beauty has effortlessly stepped into her new role, making appearances on various television programs and walking in a handful of Pride celebrations.

During a recent interview with ABC News at Baltimore’s Pride Parade, Kennedy described her title and elevated platform as an “honour”.


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“To be able to be in this position and be able to make an impact on my community, especially the LGBTQIA+ community, military spouses and immigrant women to be able to make such an impact – I think that’s just something that I could never dream up,” she gushed with pride.

She also spoke about taking home the Miss Maryland USA crown as a first-time pageant contestant.

“To win the whole thing, I knew it was bigger than me. I knew that ultimately, this will mean something more to my community, the LGBTQIA+ community and military spouses and immigrant girls,” she added.

“Hopefully, this will send out a message to everybody, and it will be a delicious invitation for people to just be themselves and to forge their own path even if they can’t see.”

While Kennedy has experienced an immense amount of joy and gratitude, she has also been subjected to hate from anti-LGBTQIA+ bigots.

Fortunately, she isn’t letting the pushback get her down, telling the news outlet that she’s only focusing on the positive feedback and support.


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“I think with all the things that are negative, twice as much I get positive feedback, and I get the community that is always there to back me up,” she continued.

“I would like to focus on the positive that I’m receiving and giving that attention and that honour to them. I hope that I can make them proud and that, at the end of the day is all I can do.”

Towards the end of her interview, the USO representative opened up about her hopes for the future, adding: “At the end of the day, I just want people to see my heart.”

As the newly minted Miss Maryland USA, Kennedy will compete in the upcoming Miss USA 2024 pageant on 4 August, which is scheduled to take place at the Peacock Theater in Los Angeles, California.