Miss Kentucky 2010 had a secret.
Djuan Trent, the strikingly gorgeous beauty queen who’s lived her whole life in the south, didn’t quite know how to tell people, or herself for that matter, that she is queer.
So she put it up on her blog, Life in 27, and sat back to see what would happen.
She didn’t expect much attention, but “queer beauty queen” does have a nice ring to it. Many still didn’t know what to make of the term “queer,” finding sexual fluidity much harder to grasp than the easily digestible gay or straight.
“To me it’s understanding that we as human beings reserve the right to be attracted to a person, to a soul, and not necessarily the sex that’s attached to that,” she explains. “You could go through your whole life being attracted to only men or only women and then you meet that one person who’s not what you had been attracted to, but that’s OK because you have that connection and it works.”
Nor was it an easy concept for Djuan herself to come to terms with while she was exploring identity, labels and instinct.
“All of the guys I dated, I would tell them ‘So I think you need to know this about me. I used to be attracted to girls but now I’m not anymore. I prayed it away and that’s a part of my life that doesn’t exist anymore,’” she says.
Djuan is the subject of a Story magazine cover profile, and the 27-year-old comes across with poise and reflection that go beyond her years.
She talks about her religious upbringing and how it clouded her coming out process, her family’s reactions and how she plans to use her platform to “make some difference.”
And we don’t think she means world peace.