Miss New York, Claire Buffie, who is a contestant in this years Miss America Pageant is running on a platform of LGBT Rights.
Miss New York, Claire Buffie, who is a contestant in this years Miss America Pageant is running on a platform of LGBT Rights. This is the first time in the 91 year history of the contest that any one has taken the Gay Agenda. Claire has worked for PFLAG, and their Safe Schools Program, which helps middle and high school students coming out. Claire’s older sister is also an out lesbian.
Here’s what she had to say to gay.com:
Can you talk about your work with the Safe Schools Program in New York?
We focus on middle and high schools, and usually have two to three speakers per classroom or presentation. For one that I did for Action Academy in the Bronx, we had a gay man, a straight mother of a gay son, and myself speaking to a group of eighty sixth-grade girls. We shared our different stories and then opened it up for questions. The first girl to stand up was timid at first, and then she started crying. “I think I’m gay,” she said, “And all I hear is my mom talk about how disgusting gay people are. So I can never tell my mom. Who am I supposed to go to?” At the same time, completely unprompted, a girl reached back awkwardly from a row ahead of her and grabbed onto this girl’s hand. I was basically in tears now and I pointed to this girl, and said, “That is who you can tell. These are the people who you can tell and who you can be yourself with.”
The fact that she had the confidence to stand up in front of her peers and share that was incredible. At one point all the girls started clapping for her and then the Vice Principal of their school stood up and said, “I am a mother of my own two kids, but I am a mother to every single one of these girls when they don’t have one who supports them.” That’s what we’re doing: We’re opening up these kids who have been holding things in for so long. And we’re revealing allies for them in the schools. Because when we leave, something has to stay there as a lasting impression and a support group at school. For so many kids, their family is not necessarily a safe place.
Would you go across the country with this type of program as Miss America?
With this platform, and with the passion that I have behind it, I’m going to work as hard as I possibly can to do that.
Do you have a message for the straight family members of gay people?
I think the most important thing you can do is reflect on the feelings that you had about your child three days before they came out. And remember that. Because your child is still the same person. They’re just happier now, and they’re free, and they’re more confident in who they are. And after spending years in the closet, they have gone through so much inner turmoil, and this is their chance to finally be who they are—who a higher power created them to be. They’re still your child, and they’re still the same person who loves you and who deserves to be loved by you.