Former Miss Kentucky Djuan Trent came out as queer last month, and she Skyped in on TMZ Live yesterday to discuss the reaction from the LGBT community and her home state. Djuan, who works for the state government out of Lexington, says she found it interesting that some people objected to her identifying as “queer” as opposed to lesbian, bisexual or gay.
“I know there are a lot of people from older generations who do not care for the word because it brings back a lot of bad memories, but there are a lot of people from my generation and especially up North who are using the word a lot more,” Djuan told TMZ. “And I like it, so I used it.”
Out gay host Harvey Levin said he found it strange himself, that people in L.A. don’t use the term.
“I think it’s one of those words that’s been used a lot more in the LGBTQ community,” Djuan said, “because I had an interview a couple months ago and someone asked me about it and they were being very caution with the approach like, ‘Is this OK for me to say as a straight person? Is this like, a thing now?'”
When asked if she was hiding her sexuality while competing in the Miss America pageant, Djuan said she hadn’t.
“I hadn’t really come to terms with myself at that point,” she said. “It was really toward the end of my reign as Miss Kentucky that this was not something that just happened once in my life. It was something that was actually a part of me. So there was no consciously keeping it a secret my year as Miss Kentucky, it was really just something that I was not consciously aware of or really acknowledging.”
As for how it would have affected her chances at winning: “I don’t think so. I don’t think that would have really held any weight. I think it would have been one of those things that is interesting, just like it is now.”
Djuan said the local response to her coming out has been “fine” and that she thinks it’s helped Kentuckians to realize she’s the same person she was when she was serving as their reigning queen. “This has been one of those things that helps people to see it’s a little more in their backyard than they realize,” she said.
Djuan’s TMZ Live segment starts at 32:00 in.