25-year-old Monroe Lace has been crowned the first trans Miss San Francisco in the pageant's 99-year history, and she will now compete for the title of Miss California, and possibly even Miss America.

We don’t do much pageant coverage here at SFist, or at least, we haven’t since the days when it was Heklina throwing filthy drag pageants. But given some recent developments, we must explain that there is such a thing as the Miss San Francisco pageant (also a Miss Golden Gate), which are preliminaries where the winners go on to the Miss California pageant, and that winner goes on to the big Miss America competition.

And hold on to your tiara, as the Bay Area Reporter informed us in March that a trans woman had won the Miss San Francisco competition. That’s 25-year-old Monroe Lace, a Bay Area native and UCLA grad, the only trans woman to win Miss San Francisco in the title’s 99-year history. She’s only the second trans woman to win any Miss America-affiliated titles, following Brían Nguyen’s 2022 Miss Greater Derry win as part of the Miss New Hampshire competition.

The above KRON4 interview is from two months ago, right after Lace won the title. And as Lace explains in a new KPIX interview, the duties mostly involve visiting elementary schools (nearly every day) as these pageants are trying to evolve from their sexist, swimsuit-competition past.

"Every time I put on the sash, the weight of it reminds me of the weight of my job; of the responsibility I have to make a difference for young children," Monroe told KPIX.

"I've gotten death threats. I've gotten mean comments about my appearance or the way that I look," she added. "Even though there are hateful comments that say those things, I also know that there is a trans kid out there or a victim out there who is reading that story as well. Maybe not commenting on it, but reading it and knowing that I'm going to be ok."

And yes, there is a not-zero chance that Lace could eventually be Miss America. The 2023 Miss California Week starts on June 25 (still Pride Month) at the Visalia Convention Center in San Joaquin Valley, and the finals are Saturday, July 1. That winner then goes on to the 2024 Miss America pageant this coming December.

Related: Oakland's Own 'Jeopardy!' Champ Amy Schneider Invited to White House for Transgender Day of Visibility [SFist]

Image via Monroe Lace