Bailey Anne Kennedy has become the first transgender woman to hold the title of Miss Maryland USA.

On Saturday, June 1, Kennedy, 31, made history when she was crowned at the end of the pageant in Bethesda, Maryland. She is also the first Asian American and military wife to win the title, per local outlet DC News Now.

In an Instagram post on Tuesday, June 4, the newly crowned pageant queen opened up about how her identity has played a role in her career, writing candidly about how she deals with detractors.


“Not everyone has to agree with the spaces that you occupy, and it doesn’t mean that you aren’t worthy of these opportunities,” she began the post, alongside a photo of herself tearing up as she won the competition.

“The work that I will do for the remainder of my life is to make sure that children who feel like me will never have to worry about the consequences of being who they are by simply being myself and being a positive contribution to society,” she continued.

“For the longest time, I never had the need to tell anyone,” she added. “Not because it’s a secret but it’s none of anyone’s business. To those who matter to me, they don’t care. Those that care about knowing such private & personal details, don’t matter.”

Kennedy — whose husband is a U.S. Marine — has long been an advocate for military spouses, and has cited the USO as one of her platforms.

“I can’t wait to start my reign and get back to the USO office, and start serving lunches & personally thank our active duty service members like I originally plan to yesterday because that’s what actually matters to me,” she concluded her caption. Following her win, she told DC News Now that claiming the Miss Maryland USA title was a “whirlwind.”

“I knew it was bigger than me. I knew it was going to mean a lot for all the LGBTQ kids out there who might feel like they don’t belong in a box — like me growing up,” she said, adding that she felt the full support of her “sisterhood” of her fellow competitors.

Kennedy also spoke candidly about her age — she also often advocates for what she calls “Beauty Without an Expiration Date” as another one of her platforms.


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