A California teen says she will be the first Jewish, LGBTQ and glasses-wearing queen to reign over Pasadena’s storied Rose Parade.
Louise Deser Siskel, of San Marino, was chosen as the Rose Queen in October, and will preside over a series of events leading up to the parade and the Rose Bowl game between football powerhouse The Ohio State University and Washington on New Year’s Day.
She told the Pasadena Star-News last week that she is the first queen chosen who is Jewish, LGBTQ and who wears glasses.
“What was important to me throughout the interview process was that I was completely transparent about who I was, about the things that I value, and about the things that I advocate for,” she told the news outlet. “I feel lucky that I was selected by the committee for those reasons. That, to me, gives me great faith in the organization and a great amount of respect for the committee.”
It was impossible to confirm if Deser Siskel was in fact the first to fit any of those categories for the Tournament of Roses, whose queens go back over 100 years.
The Tournament of Roses Association said they do not ask queens to disclose information about race, ethnicity, religion or sexual orientation, local news channel ABC7 reported.
According to the Tournament of Roses, Deser Siskel “is currently a member of the Debate Team, the Judicial Committee at Sequoyah High School, and YMCA Youth and Government. Her research in space biology has been funded by NASA Ames, and she is currently conducting breast cancer research at Charles Drew University.”