Alyssa Klinzing, Former Miss Kansas USA, sits down with our very own, Trisha, as part of our Queenly Tea Talks Instagram Live series to talk about her journey into the pageant world and more.
Trisha: Thank you so much for coming on! For most of our viewers who do not know, Alyssa came out during Pride Month and this is why I am so excited and happy to have her here to close out Pride Month.
Alyssa: Yes! I am spending most of my time in LA right now. And I had been waiting for years to celebrate my first Pride Month. Unfortunately, LA could not do too many in-person events right now, but it has still been amazing. Well worth it.
T: I am so jealous! We have been so busy in the office and I can’t wait until we are also able to go out!
As you know, we do a lot of our Tea Talks with pageant queens and women role models in general. Alyssa, you are both, so I am so happy you are here.
For our audience, I just want to give out a trigger warning (TW) for the following content: sexual orientation (coming out), homophobia, transphobia
I would love to know your personal story! Can you tell me more about your journey that led to you coming out?
A: Yes! So this is really the first time I have openly talked about this. I realized I was attracted to women at a really young age, maybe around 2nd grade. I did not know there was a label for that. All I knew was that when I watched movies I had crushes on the girls and not the guys. As I grew up, around high school, I knew I identified with this. I have been slowly coming out. It has been a long journey.
T: And I just want to acknowledge that this topic can be very difficult to talk about as opposed to a lot of the other topics we talk about in the pageant industry.
A: I am so happy to be doing this chat with you. As you know, this is my first time talking very publicly about this and it makes me feel a lot more comfortable that it is with you. I have felt very supported and have realized I am not alone as I thought I was.
T: I feel like a lot of women in the community definitely thank you for being so brave. Can you tell me more about why you decided to come out when you did?
A: So I actually was not planning to come out until Pride Month, but I ended up doing it just right before because there was this day that I was out in West Hollywood with my friends and family. You know, we were all dressed up really cute and took some pictures. I knew these were the pictures I wanted to use when I came out.
And so that day, I just felt so loved by my friends, my family, and just everybody, that I just went ahead and did it! It was still terrifying to do. My heart was racing.
T: I know since that post you have received a lot of love! However, I know, first hand, how cruel people can be, especially on social media. How have you dealt with any push back on social media when it comes to your sexuality.
A: Of course you are right. I wake up almost everday to a message or a comment that is homophobic. People are not shy to share it with me. You know, some people know who I am because of my pageant platform, but others really have no idea who I am. I am just sharing this part of my life with the world now, and it is scary.
The best advice I could give someone is to try to not let it get to you. Just how I would not insert my opinion into another person’s life, I am not going to let someone’s opinion be inserted into mine.
T: As you know, I just competed in Miss Nevada USA 2021. And I am so happy with the winner, Kataluna Enriquez, who will be the first to represent transgender women in Miss USA 2021. It was so monumental.
A: Yes! I mean a win for her is a win for all of us in this community. I was so excited to see her crowned. But you know, seeing the aftermath and all the comments on social media has been super disappointing. People have no idea how hard it is.
T: It is so important to have all kinds of representation in every single industry.
A: Exactly, I never had that kind of representation growing up. I am a very femenine girl. I like to get nails done, I like to get dressed up..and I never got that representation when I was younger. On TV I only saw that lesbians had short haircuts and masculine. And so I felt very lost.
T: As you know this is a process and everyone's on their own timeline. What advice would you give to someone who is struggling with their sexuality?
A: Well first, I just wish I could give them a big hug because sometimes that was all I needed. The biggest piece of advice I could give is to not rush yourself and give yourself time. The next biggest thing to identify is: Am I in a safe enough space? For many people, unfortunately, it is not. And I would never want anybody to be in that situation.
T: I completely agree with that! Sexuality is not a choice and it is so important for us as a society to recognize the safety we need to give to the LGBT community.
Thank you, Alyssa! Check out the full interview here and make sure to follow Queenly on Instagram for more exclusive interviews.