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Miss Utah Rachel Slawson will make history as Miss USA's first openly bisexual contestant

Cydney Henderson, USA TODAY

Miss Utah Rachel Slawson will make history at Miss USA.

Slawson, 25, was crowned Miss Utah on Saturday and will go on to compete at Miss USA, where she will become the first openly bisexual contestant.

"This is my 7th pageant, my 5th time competing at Miss Utah USA, and tonight I finally experienced hands down the biggest dream of my life," Slawson said.

The beauty queen opened up about her mental health struggles leading up to her win, revealing that she "tried to end my life… the night I lost Miss Utah USA" at age 19 because she questioned, "'Why wasn’t I enough?'"

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"After a few trips to the psych ward, being diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder… and finally coming to terms with who I am as a queer woman," Slawson said she found her true worth.

"The only difference between tonight, and the night I left broken-hearted wishing I wasn’t alive, is that I knew I was enough before I arrived," she added. 

GLAAD (the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation) applauded Slawson's win.

"Rachel’s presence on the Miss USA stage later this year will most definitely send a powerful message to LGBTQ Americans and Utahns, especially those in the bisexual+ community," tweeted Anthony Ramos, GLAAD’s head of talent.

As the new Miss Utah, Slawson promised to "share my truth" during her reign. 

"If I’m being honest with you, this crown is a new job, not an answer to the question I spent the last 9 years asking. 'Why am I even here?' I am why," she said.

Slawson concluded her message, "I am so grateful for this crown."

The Utah native will follow in the footsteps of Swe Zin Htet, who became the first openly lesbian woman to compete for Miss Universe in 2019, despite homosexuality being illegal in her home country of Myanmar.

In 2016, Miss Missouri's Erin O’Flaherty became the first openly gay contestant to compete in Miss America, a different pageant from Miss USA. 

The date for Miss USA 2020 hasn't been announced yet. 

More: Miss Missouri's road to the Miss America pageant

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Rachel Slawson will become Miss USA's first openly bisexual contestant

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