Erin O'Flaherty: 5 Things to Know About Miss Missouri

Although she didn't win, O'Flaherty is the girl everyone's talking about.

ByABC News
September 12, 2016, 10:53 AM

— -- Savvy Shields, representing Arkansas, took home the crown at the Miss America pageant Sunday night in Atlantic City. Yet many are still curious about the pageant's first openly lesbian contestant -- Miss Missouri Erin O'Flaherty.

O'Flaherty, 23, came out as a lesbian during her teenage years to a very supportive family. She told "Good Morning America" back in June, the same month in which she won her state title, that she is "excited to represent the LGBT community."

"We're underrepresented in public position of influence," she said on "GMA." "So I'm excited to take that on and I hope that my presence will help with visibility for the community."

If you want a quick rundown about Miss Missouri, here's five things to know about O'Flaherty:

1. Her Pageant Secret? Hairspray

O'Flaherty told USA Today that she sprays hairspray onto the bottom of her shoes before she steps onto the pageant stage to prevent her from slipping. Very smart!

2. O' Flaherty's Platform Is Suicide Prevention

The pageant winner lost one of her close friends to suicide when she was 13. Now, she's made her platform suicide prevention and has partnered with two organizations, the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention and the Trevor Project, an intervention hotline for youth. On "GMA," O'Flaherty said with these organization she hopes "it'll be a great year of social change."

3. Miss Missouri Started Doing Pageants In College

O'Flaherty's first pageant didn't come until she was a freshman at the University of Central Florida when she competed in The Miss UCF pageant. She told USA Today it was because she "didn't know anybody and I needed to make friends. It was a semester-long involvement that I knew would give me friends as driven as I was."

4. She's a Starbucks Addict

It looks like O'Flaherty has a bit of a love affair with Starbucks. So far, there's no word on her favorite cup of joe or tea.

5. She Didn't Grow up in Missouri

Although she represents the Show-Me State, O'Flaherty grew up in Florence, South Carolina, according to Cosmopolitan magazine.