ENLARGE Photo credit: Miss America Miss New York, Claire Buffie
A new Miss America will be crowned on Saturday, Jan. 15, in Las Vegas, and Miss New York, Claire Buffie, has made headlines for being the first Miss America contestant in history to compete on a gay rights platform.
You can watch Buffie discuss equality in the clip below, and vote for her online or by texting MANY to 24470. As many as four of the top 15 finalists will be chosen based on voter input.
In an interview with The Advocate she explained what her platform advocates:
My platform is “Straight for Equality: Let’s Talk.” I feel that it’s really important to promote equality for all people, “all” being the main word. As a straight ally, I think it’s so necessary to have that straight allies’ support for the LGBT community. My platform is politically driven in that I think we need political reform for gay rights, but I’ve really taken it down to organizations like PFLAG where I have the opportunity for personal mentorship.
I would say that during my year as Miss New York, a big focus of mine will be the schools. PFLAG has for the past five years developed a safe schools program but it’s been our main focus for the past two years. Last year we spoke to about 1,600 kids around Manhattan and the five boroughs, speaking a lot in areas like the Bronx, where we have an added level of cultural and racial discrimination, especially toward those in the LGBT community. You’re breaking all the stereotypes. My opportunity is to go into the schools and speak to someone who is five, six, seven years younger than me. I still feel able to identify with them. They’re able to see someone who’s young and straight and a role model.