Nearly two decades after she was crowned Miss America 2005, Alabama native Deidre Downs is eagerly anticipating the birth of her first child with wife Abbott Jones. In an appearance on the popular podcast “Pregnant-ish,” the couple revealed that the developing fetus is female.
“I will be fine if she wants to do it [Miss America],” Downs said of her future daughter, according to The New York Post. “It was a great experience for me.”
The first openly gay winner in the famed pageant’s history, Downs, an obstetrician-gynecologist, spent her 16 months as reigning monarch traveling to children’s hospitals around the country to raise awareness of pediatric cancer, foreshadowing her current medical career. She was even named the national spokesperson for CureSearch National Childhood Cancer Foundation, according to her personal website.
Downs, 40, has an 11-year-old son from her previous marriage to her college boyfriend. While the two wed in 2009 and didn’t divorce until 2015, cracks in the façade of their relationship appeared once Downs began her medical residency, according to the Post.
Feeling distant from her husband, Downs began seeing a therapist regularly to try to work through some of her marital problems. In the process, she became aware that she was attracted to women.
“That was really the first time I maybe reflected and realized that I was gay,” she said, according to AL.com. She cited her socially conservative surroundings as one of the reasons she initially failed to correctly label her sexual orientation. “In my formative years, thinking about some of these things, it was not acceptable. It was not really a path that you even thought of. That’s what took me so long.”
Emboldened by her epiphany, Downs made a profile on the dating site Match.com, according to the Post. Determined to safeguard her privacy as a public figure, however, she went by a pseudonym and did not include pictures. In 2017, she matched with attorney Abbott Jones.
“My wife loves to tell the story because she is like, ‘Why did I answer that ad?’ Or ‘Why did I engage with a profile on a dating site that didn’t have a picture and ultimately sounded pretty sketchy?'” Downs said, according to Today.
The couple married in 2018 in a ceremony at the Birmingham Museum of Art and covered by national media outlets such as People. “They were actually very supportive,” Downs said of Miss America organizers’ reaction to the news.
Once they made things official, Downs and Jones began trying for a baby together. In fact, Downs drew on her own medical knowledge to perform an embryo transfer on Jones in December, according to the Post. Sure enough, the transfer was successful.
Jones is due to deliver in September, according to AL.com.