The saga over LGBTQ inclusion in the Staten Island St. Patrick’s Day Parade rages on, this time with a surprising turn. Madison L’Insalata, the presiding Miss Staten Island who was scheduled to appear in the parade, just came out as bisexual. Parade organizers banned her from the event.
CBS News reports that as the parade kicked off on Sunday, L’Insalata, 23, stood on the sidelines wearing her Miss Staten Island sash as well as a rainbow scarf. “I am proud of Staten Island and I am proud of the title that I have because I know that myself and all the other girls involved do a lot of really great things for our community,” L’Insalata told reporters. “So it’s a shame that this really great community event, we ended up not being allowed to be a part of.”
L’Insalata learned of her ban just hours before the parade stepped off, when director Jim Smith notified her of the news. Both she and another pageant queen who had spoken up in support of L’Insalata were banned from the march.
Smith has faced wide criticism over continuing to enforce a decades-old ban on LGBTQ participation in the St. Patrick’s Day Parade.