Miss Spain, Patricia Yurena Rodríguez, came out of the closet last week by posting a photo of her and her girlfriend on her personal Instagram account.
Patricia, who took home the country’s crown in 2008 and 2013, shared a photo of her and her girlfriend DJ Vanesa Cortes in bed together. This revelation makes Patricia the first openly gay national beauty queen, and the first to speak about being homosexual.
The photo, captioned by saying “Romeo and Juliet,” has gained over 7,000 likes.
Rodriguez received an outpouring of support from her fans. So much so that she posted a separate message a few days later to thank them. “I published [the photo] quite naturally and impulsively,” the message, translated from Spanish, read. “I appreciate the outpouring of support and even more to rejoice in my happiness. Thank you!!”
Patricia told the Spanish newspaper La Opinión de Tenerife that she does not regret her decision to speak openly about her sexuality. “[I do not] regret what I did because I’m happy with what is going on in my life,” she told the publication.
In another interview with the Costa Rican newspaper La Nación, Rodriguez explained that she and Cortez met last year, and have been dating for six months.
Rodriguez said that she hopes that by her coming out she will help others who feel repressed. “More people will [come out]” she said. “I don’t encourage people to come out. To each their own. What do I want to encourage people who are repressed to do, is to not feel that way. Don’t try to live a double life, to hide. If you don’t want to come clean, don’t share anything [on social media], but don’t hide from yourself.”