Last week it was reported that Philadelphia’s Maria Walsh took the crown in the 55th annual Irish international beauty pageant Rose of Tralee. The pageant crowns young women of Irish descent from around the world.
This week Walsh is making headlines again by coming out of the closet to a reporter from The Irish Sun, saying, “I’m confident in who I am as a person. The Rose of Tralee is about celebrating women’s intelligence, careers, their volunteer work.”
She went on to give a very logical explanation when asked why it took her this long to come out. “The question of sexuality never came up. To me, being gay is normal. It’s natural.”
The 27-year-old Boston native studied Journalism and Visual Media at Dublin’s Griffith College. Later she moved to Philadelphia via New York, where she works as a studio manager at Anthropologie. She is the first Rose from Philadelphia to earn the crown. Read more about her background here.