The recent winner of the Rose of Tralee competition has opened up about her sexuality in an interview with the Irish Sun today.
“I’m confident in who I am as a person. To me, being gay is normal. I told my parents and they were supportive, as I knew they would be.”
Originally hailing from Boston, Maria Walsh moved to Shrule in Mayo with her family almost 20 years ago, but has since left these shores and returned stateside following her graduation from Griffith College to pursue a career in journalism and visual media.
Marie drew tears from the crowd when she spoke about her cousin who was one of a number of people killed in a crash in 2009. Maria has three ladybirds tattooed behind her left ear in memory of her cousin Teresa. She went on to speak about how the Rose of Tralee is much more than a beauty pageant and that she thinks Teresa is watching over her.
“It’s moments like this, like being in the Rose of Tralee, that make you really seize the day and appreciate life and take everything as it comes.She has given me a lot of good luck to date, so I know she’s looking down on me and my family.
The Rose of Tralee is about celebrating women’s intelligence, careers, and their volunteer work.”
The Philadelphia Rose was crowned the 56th winner of the two-night event in Kerry last week and is currently single, having been involved in a relationship with another woman for a number of years. It’s refreshing to see a person speak out in a positive way about a topic that is still treated as taboo in some circles and we wish her all the best in her future endeavours. Marie is a fantastic example to young people everywhere.
(Images and source – Independent, Irish Sun)