Philadelphia Rose Maria Walsh, the 2014 winner of Irish international beauty pageant The Rose of Tralee, has revealed that she is gay
Now in its 55th year, the Rose of Tralee includes young women of Irish descent from Ireland and around the world.
In an interview with the Irish Sun, Walsh, who was crowned the new Rose in County Kerry on Saturday night, said:
"I'm confident in who I am as a person. The Rose of Tralee is about celebrating women's intelligence, careers, their volunteer work. The question of sexuality never came up. To me, being gay is normal. It's natural."
Walsh is a Boston native who moved to County Mayo with her family 20 years ago. Following her graduation, she moved to New York and later to Philadelphia.
Last week, reigning Miss Spain Patricia Yurena became the first openly gay national pageant queen.
Watch an interview with Walsh, AFTER THE JUMP…