By Laura Latzko, May 2017 Issue. Meet the other 2017 titleholders here.

Pop artist Tora Woloshin started singing at age 4 and went on to compete in beauty pageants throughout teen her teenage years. Woloshin has toured with B.o.B., opened for Ne-Yo, appeared on the TV show “The X Factor” and even released her latest single, “Off the Chain,” in March. Now she’s added the title of Arizona EOY Femme 2017 to her resume.

Echo: What type of artist do you see yourself as?

Woloshin: I see myself as a positive influence for people who have been through similar situations as I have, traumatic events … I want them to be able to listen to my music, shield themselves from it and learn from their experiences rather than be weakened by them.

Echo: With a background as a singer, what made you decide to try the EOY pageant system?

Woloshin: Before I started permanently writing my life story on my body with tattoos, I did beauty pageants. [They were] so superficial, and it was so damaging to my persona … I saw this [as a] competition that is so accepting, so openhearted and filled with so many beautiful, real people.

Echo: In what ways was this pageant experience different for you?

Woloshin: Being able to be yourself and not worry about what are they going to think of me because I have a tattoo or what are they going to think about me because of my experiences, it’s so good to truly be myself and not have to worry about being judged for it.

Echo: Do you hope to build more of a base in the LGBT[Q] community as an EOY titleholder?

Woloshin: The LGBT[Q] community has always been a big supporter of me, as I have been a big supporter of it. I am actually bisexual … and I absolutely adore the LGBT[Q] community and prefer to surround myself with [you]. I know that that community does face a lot of issues, a lot of judgment, a lot of hate, and I really want to bring a positive outlook.

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