ORANGE – A Chapman University senior became the first transgender contestant in the university’s annual all-woman pageant Wednesday night, winning the title of Miss Congeniality.
Addie Vincent, 21, faced off against 15 other competitors for the title of Miss Delta Queen, a competition organized by the university’s Greek system. The pageant’s winner was Alexandria Kessinger.
“Tonight was so awesome,” Vincent said after the pageant. “The fact that I was just able to compete was so amazing on its own.”
Throughout the contest, many of the 500 students and audience members whooped and hollered every time Vincent took the stage at Memorial Hall.
For the talent competition, Vincent recited an original poem called “The Look,” which chronicled the stares and stereotypes transgender individuals experience daily. In the poem, Vincent encouraged compassion and understanding for those who don’t fit traditional gender roles.
Following the poem, students shouted, “We love you Addie!” and gave Vincent the night’s only standing ovation.
“Addie has inspired so many people,” said Lauren Chouinard, a friend and former pageant contestant. “Addie sent a message so many people needed to hear.”