Patricia Rodriguez, who won the title of Miss Spain 2013, came out of the closet with an Instagram post this week.
According to the Huffington Post, the announcement makes Rodriguez the first openly gay national beauty queen.
Rodriguez posted a photo of herself and her partner sharing a romantic moment on Instagram. She captioned the photo “Romeo and Juliet.”
Rodriguez said that she published the photo “impulsively” and was happy to see such a positive reaction from her fans. She posted a followup message a few days later, which read: “I published impulsively, I appreciate the outpouring of support. Thank you.”
The NY Post reports that Rodriguez won the Miss Spain title in 2008 and again in 2013. Her partner, Vanesa Cortes, is a DJ in Spain.
The 24-year-old beauty queen told a Spanish publication: “I don’t regret what I did and I did it because I am happy about what’s going on in my life.”
Gay marriage has been legalized in Spain since 2005 but this is still a big step forward for the LGBT community. Beauty pageants, especially global ones, often become the center of cultural debates. Moscow’s 2013 Miss Universe Pageant, for instance, was marred by the country’s anti-LGBT laws.