The title of Miss Utah USA was just won by Rachel Slawson, and the win makes her the first openly bisexual contestant to compete for the title of Miss USA. In a huge moment for the organization, she will be the first in over 60 years.
Earlier this week, Rachel Slawson of Park City, Utah was crowned Miss Utah USA 2020. The competition took place at the George S. and Dolores Doré Eccles Theater in Salt Lake City. With the win, she will now represent Utah for the title of Miss USA 2020.
Our sources say the organization is excited to have someone amongst their ranks who represents the LGBTQ community and who has done so much work as a mental health advocate.
Slawson will compete for the crown of Miss USA later this year.
Miss Utah USA Opens Up About Mental Illness
Upon winning, Rachel posted a heart-wrenching message on Instagram explaining the tough road she has been on while working towards the goal of winning the Miss Utah USA title. Rachel explains she attempted suicide after losing the same competition, being diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder, and being hospitalized several times for her mental illness.
"Let’s just get straight to the point: The last time I tried to end my life I was 19 years old, and it was the night I lost Miss Utah USA. “Why wasn’t I enough?” 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," she began.
"Coming To Terms With Who I Am As A Queer Woman"
She continued, "After a few trips to the psych ward, being diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder (the reason I had such an extreme reaction to losing a pageant) and finally coming to terms with who I am as a queer woman. And 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. I am so grateful for this crown. And I promise to do right by Utah and spend this year sharing my truth."
Slawson is focused on using her newfound fame to shine a light on these subjects and hopefully make a difference in someone's life who follows her journey.
Miss USA Extremely 'Proud' To Have Her In Its Ranks
"But 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. If you are in crisis, please text TALK to 741741, and remember you are always worthy of help, and you are worthy of your biggest dream," she wrote on Instagram.
Rachel ended her message with, "Your new Miss Utah USA 2020."
Fans Show Tons Of Support
Fans responded on social media, sending messages of support to Slawson, with one person saying, "Excited to follow your journey! Own your truth, THIS is your season, hoping nothing but the best for ya."
Another added, "Wow, you’re amazing. Already rooting for you for Miss USA, speak your truth! So happy for you. You deserve it."
Other's commented on her post, saying, 'Most deserved and truly earned through love and hard work - congratulations beautiful soul."
Many of the messages were similar to this, "You are sooo beautiful inside and out!!!"
Coming Out To Her Friends And Family...
Rachel addressed her decision to come out as bisexual on social media earlier this year. She explained her thoughts on the label, and her experience coming "out of the closet."
"Earlier this year I made the decision to come out of the closet. 🏳️🌈 Mostly because there were lots of spiders and it was hard to breathe," she started her post.
She continued, "I’ve never identified with labels like queer or Bisexual, I’ve never been to a parade, and there’s still so much I don’t know about a community that I belong to just by being me."
"I Had To Speak Up"
The message went on..."I never wanted to come out because I never wanted to be known as that “bi” girl. I get that enough with my experience with Bipolar Disorder. What’s next? Bi-llionaire?! But when I hear how much hatred still lives in the world, towards people with different sexualities, mental health issues, or a confusion between the two, I have to speak up."
The newly crowned Miss Utah USA ended her messages with these final thoughts, "You can never know someone else’s journey."
"You may never understand what it’s like to be me. But we all understand what it’s like to want to give and receive love. And we are all worthy of it."
Why? Because we are here. That’s it. That’s why.