Miss Calaveras 2019 to compete for Miss California on platform of LGBTQ rights, disability inclusion | Information

A UCLA graduate daughter from Calaveras County will compete for Miss California on the platform for LGBTQ rights and inclusion for people with disabilities – two qualities that she believes have defined her identity.

“It doesn’t affect much of my daily life here in LA, but in Calaveras it was something that influenced me,” said Katherine Sharp, who is lesbian, gender neutral, has ADHD, was and will be 20 years old in 2019, Miss Calaveras be. “I wanted to show young people that it is also possible to be on a stage like this. It’s a part of my identity that I don’t want to hide when I’m on stage.”

Sharp was an atypical winner for Miss Calaveras in 2019, and she sees herself even more as a unique runaway for the Miss California contest, complete with short hair and slightly different fashion.

“Sometimes I feel a lot like a woman and most of the time I present myself as more feminine, but my gender identity fluctuates beyond that. Sometimes I can be very androgynous. I don’t fit all assumptions about women,” said Scharf.

Sharp is lesbian and identifies as gender fluid, which in the LGBTQ term falls under the term of non-binary gender information. LGBTQ stands for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer.

“It’s a big step for her to quit like this,” said her mother Shannon Sharp. “She would certainly like to inspire other young people who have the feeling of having to hide in the shadows, they have the opportunity to let their self-confidence and their skills shine brightly.”

Katherine Sharp’s identity is unique to the circumstances of the Miss California contest, which she believes are women.

She said she wanted to be open about her identity when taking part in the competition in order to promote inclusion both within the competitive industry and in social circles.

At the time of the Miss Calaveras Contest, Katherine Sharp was “out” with family and friends about her sexuality and identity, but not on stage or with the public. A month after she won, she announced it on her social media.

“It was important for me to be open about my feelings about gender because it’s a term that doesn’t mean the same thing to everyone,” she said.

This identity was created by Katherine Sharp’s planned platform for Miss California, as she will campaign for the inclusion of disabilities in social spaces.

Katherine Sharp, who suffers from attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), said her support is for anything defined as a disability under the Americans with Disabilities Act, including physical, cognitive, intellectual, or neurological disabilities.

“My goal is to advocate the inclusion of people with disabilities in social spaces. Once that barrier is broken, this segregation will help our social world and help people better understand the difficulties they are facing, ”she said.

Katherine Sharp didn’t grow up in local competitions and instead tried to become Calaveras Saddle Queen, a title she won in 2018 at the age of 16. The next year, the Miss Calaveras competition was missing participants and the scholarship award was increased to $ 3,000. This year, she noted, it’s up to $ 5,000.

Her talent this year was dog training on stage, which grew out of a non-profit talent of dog training for the blind.

“I signed up to do it as my girlfriend like it was a fun thing,” she said. “I’m glad I did it and didn’t expect to win the night I won. All of the girls in the competition were so great and had amazing things to say.”

Katherine Sharp attended Connecting Waters Charter School in Stanislaus County and was enrolled at Modesto Junior College.

“Profit wasn’t my ultimate goal in the competition, it was growth,” she said. “This is how I approach Miss CA. If it leads to a placement, that’s amazing. “

The county did not have a Miss Calaveras 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Katherine Sharp is considered the first Miss Calaveras to participate in the Miss California Competition as the sole representative of her county. Miss Gold Country, which spans several counties in the region, previously participated in the event.

“This is a first,” she said.

The Miss California website describes the competition as 94 years old and “changing times as women have evolved in society”. It’s a forerunner to the Miss America competition.

Katherine Sharp described the competition as being less about beauty and more about developing education and careers for young women. In 2018, the Miss America competitions left the swimsuit portion of the competition well behind.

“The organization believes in empowering young women in every corner of the state to be the best they can be through leadership, talent, communication skills and intelligence,” states Miss California’s website.

As the Calaveras County winner, Katherine Sharp will compete against representatives from various counties, regions, and cities across the state. Other competitors from the general area include Jenna Holt, Miss Sierra Nevada, and Cristina Bequer, Miss Yosemite Valley.

The competition will take place in Fresno June 22-25.

“I think it’s going to be a really great competition,” said Katherine Sharp. “All of their platforms, their talents, they seem so cool. It’s definitely about joining a community by entering this competition and I’m looking forward to all of that. ”

As with the county competition, Katherine Sharp has to show a stage talent despite being unable to do dog training due to a Miss California rule against live accompaniment. Instead, she plans to do “speed painting” – a talent she reportedly picked up during the pandemic quarantine – and make it a tribute to Calaveras County.

Katherine Sharp will return to her parents’ home at the Mountain Ranch for the summer after her sophomore year at the University of California, Los Angeles. She is aiming for a double degree in pedagogy and social transformation as well as psychology with a planned completion date in 2023.

She also hosts a fundraiser on GoFundMe to raise funds to help cover costs related to the competition, including a donation to the Miss America Foundation, which supports scholarships. The cost also includes “transportation and accommodation, clothing for the competition, and personal coaching and essentials” while she prepares for the competition.

Any additional funds that exceed their target will be donated equally to Guide Dogs for the Blind and Disability Rights California, the Post said. By Thursday, she had raised $ 1,200 from a $ 3,000 goal.

This story was edited from an earlier version to correct a mistake in Katherine Sharp’s first quote.

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