From baseball players to beauty queens: LGBTQ firsts in Sonoma County

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Rhiannon Jones this month was crowned Miss Sonoma County. The 21-year-old Sonoma State student was the first openly gay woman to win the competition in its 73-year history.

She’s among the many members of Sonoma County’s LGBTQ community to break barriers in recent years. Janet Orchard, John Sawyer and Gabe Kearney are some of the county’s first openly LGBTQ city council members.

Katie Morrison, a Sonoma Valley teacher and minister, made national news in 2001 as the first openly gay seminary graduate to be ordained by the Presbyterian Church. Sonoma Stompers pitcher Sean Conroy became professional baseball’s first openly gay player in 2015.

Click through our gallery above to explore some of the other LGBTQ members who broke barriers.

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