Gay alumna wins Miss Golden Gate crown in non-traditional style

Soon you can find Bryn Carlson ’12 sitting atop floats at parades or smiling for the camera at ribbon cuttings with San Francisco officials. As the newly-crowned Miss Golden Gate 2014 she’ll wear the glitzy dresses, the sash, the glimmering crown, and never have a hair out of place. She’ll exemplify the traditional qualities of a poised, confident and pretty pageant queen.

woman smiling

Bryn Carlson ’12 is crowned Miss Golden Gate 2014 by former title holder, Raquel Fatiuk, at the Miss San Francisco Pageant.

But Carlson is not a cliché crown holder. This Miss Golden Gate 2014 sports a tattoo, performs hula dancing for the talent portion of her pageant program and will be the first openly gay contestant as she advances to compete in the
Miss California Organization
pageant this June.

Carlson says she entered the Miss Golden Gate contest, which is part of the Miss San Francisco program, to raise awareness about the issues of homophobia toward gay youth, but even she was surprised to win the title at the March 9 event.

“I was very surprised when my name was announced,” says Carlson, who earned her degree in health sciences. “I have a non-traditional platform, a non-traditional talent, a tattoo, and have only competed in three pageants. I felt like I was testing the boundaries to a certain extent. The Miss America Organization has been around since 1921 and is still rather conservative.”

As an official representative for San Francisco at the Miss California pageant, she will promote her personal platform,
Acceptance for LGBT Youth: Taking Homophobia out of the Home
. It is an issue that Carlson has personally struggled with and is an experience she is eager to share with others. She stresses the importance of family support and understanding, and believes that her platform will encourage happier lives for LGBT youth.

“I want family members to know that just because their child may not have the future they envisioned, it doesn’t mean that he or she does not have a bright future,” she says.

group smiling at camera

Chapman alumni and students pose with panther claws at the recent Miss Golden Gate pageant. From left are Gabbie Boyadjian ’14, Miss City of Orange 2014; Jordan Krinke ’12, Miss San Francisco 2014; Stephanie Patterson ’12, Miss Orange Coast 2014; Connie Benson ’93, Miss San Francisco pageant judge; and Bryn Carlson ’12, Miss Golden Gate 2014.

Carlson became interested in pageants because of other Chapman alumni, including Noelle Freeman ’11, who was Miss California 2011, and Stephanie Patterson ’12, who was Miss South Coast 2012.

“I remember when I signed up to do my first pageant I had absolutely no idea what was going on and all that is involved in the world of pageantry,” Carlson recalls. “I reached out to Stephanie through Facebook and we chatted for a good while. The Chapman community has always been so supportive.”

After graduation, Carlson entered a master’s program in nursing and worked in a chiropractic office. She currently attends fashion school in San Francisco, but may apply to a midwife program. She interned as a doula at South Coast Midwifery as part of her senior capstone class and says that it is something she wants to pursue.

Wherever she goes, she says she will always be a Panther at heart and grateful for the Chapman connections she has made over the years.

“One of my sister titleholders, Jordan Krinke ’12, is a Chapman alum, as is Connie Benson ’93, who was one of our judges. We’re everywhere!” she says.

Carlson will compete for the Miss California title June 24-28 at the William Saroyan Theatre in Fresno, Calif. The Miss California competition is an official preliminary for the
Miss America Organization
, which means she has a chance to become a Miss America.

1 comment

  • Timely ideas ! I loved the specifics . Does someone know where I might be able to get a blank 2015 CA DMV 227 form to fill in ?

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