Sibabalwe Gcilitshana is a Miss South Africa finalist and she is openly-gay. She is the first finalist in the history of Miss South Africa to be openly-gay.
In an interview with DRUM Magazine, Sibabalwe said, "I’m so proud to be the first queer woman on the competition because this shows us how progressive our country has become, and representation matters."
"Before entering the competition, I hadn’t given it much thought because it’s my identity. But now, I’m deliberately speaking out about my sexuality because I understand that not everyone has that opportunity. People are still hiding because of fear, and if my speaking out helps someone, then I’ve done what I wanted – to represent and be a voice for the voiceless."
According to her official Miss South Africa bio, she is a 24-year-old parliamentary officer and researcher for Equal Education from Bellville in Cape Town. She is originally from a village called Blythswood in the Eastern Cape. She loves singing, finds her zen with meditation and hiking and has downtime binging on TV shows Breaking Bad and Killing Eve. She is inspired by Cynthia Shange, who won the Miss Black SA title in 1972 and became the first black South African to enter Miss Universe.
Speaking with MamboOnline, Sibabalwe says, "I'm very happy to be able to share what I think is an important aspect of my identity as also as a proud South African woman. I hope that I can use the platform to just empower other young women who see themselves represented in me. I in no means intend to represent anyone else, I just have my experience and my truth to share."
The crowning of Miss South Africa 2019 will take place on 9 August at the Sun Arena at Time Square, Pretoria. The competition also made history by having plus size women for the first time ever and also for declaring that transgender women are eligible to enter the competition.
Header Image Credit: Jacaranda FM