UPDATE, NOV. 14, 3:59 P.M.: While Jenelle Hutcherson wasn't crowned this weekend, she wrote on her Facebook page that "history has been made." See her pose on stage in her handmade tux and swimsuit at the end of the post. Kristin Bopp was named Miss Long Beach.
ORIGINAL POST, NOV. 2., 3:33 P.M. Here she is . . . a beauty pageant contestant who's nothing like those leggy cookie-cutter chicks.
Next month, 25-year-old hair stylist Jenelle Hutcherson will be the first out lesbian to compete for the Miss Long Beach crown. Out in the 562 has great profile of the tattooed and spiky-haired contestant, who entered the pageant to "re-define the face of Long Beach," according to her Facebook page.
Hutcherson was encouraged to take the leap by pageant director Justin Rudd, a client of hers at The Den Salon. The event is Sunday, and instead of a slinky dress and heels, she'll be wearing a homemade tuxedo, one that's "elegant with a metallic and punk-rock edge," she tells Out in the 562. For the swimsuit category, she'll don "Dr. Seuss-inspired board shorts with red and white strips" and a short tank top.
Her next quest is to enter the 2012 Miss California USA pageant. (Update: Hutcherson tells us that she has been accepted into the Miss California USA pageant and will be representing Downtown Long Beach on Jan. 6-8 in Palm Desert!) She has set up a donation box on her Facebook page to cover the costs of registration, wardrobe and travel. Hutcherson calls the endeavor "history in the making."
"Help me to represent diversity, and a message of equality," she writes. "To believe in oneself and to love who you are."
Photos from the pageant by Justin Rudd. See more here.