Few things are as all-American than football, Thanksgiving, and Miss America. Many people were raised watching these beautiful women teetered on stage in tasteful swimsuits and dazzling ball gowns. And let’s not forget the interview portion, where the contestants espouse their opinions about starving children or literacy or some other politically correct cause. We never thought we’d see the day when a lesbian was in the ranks of this prestigious contest talking about human rights, marriage equality, and gay teen suicide... until Mollie Thomas came along.

Thomas' announced her intention to run for Miss California in this weekend's pageant and stirred a very sacred pot. Beauty pageants are typically reserved for the proper, the straight, and the narrow. This girl is anything but. The bright 19-year-old was raised both on a horse farm in Pennsylvania and in Manhattan by an American mother and a French father. She does not remember ever coming out officially, saying that her family has always been aware, supportive, and progressive. Thomas states, "My family is so open and accepting that I knew very young who I was and who I loved."

Growing up with a father in the travel industry, Thomas explored the world with her family and lived in Switzerland for the majority of last year. She has also spent time in Thailand working on an elephant reserve. She explains, "The Thai people are amazing, and the culture is beautiful." Thomas recently moved to West Hollywood and claims The Abbey as her favorite restaurant. She currently takes classes part-time at UCLA, and hopes to eventually major in political science or gender studies.

When asked about her fears about participating in the pageant, Thomas paused and said, "I don't have any. Initially I wondered if the organizers and other contestants would accept or ostracize me, but I've been fine." Her ultimate goal in participating was twofold: she strived to raise visibility in the community and beyond while being a positive role model; secondly, she planned to parlay this exposure into new adventures in the pageant industry. Thomas has a strong urge to work with youth and give back the LGBT community.

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Article and photo courtesy of: http://www.huffingtonpost.com

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