At age 16, Gorman was chosen as "Miss District of Columbia" due to her athletic ability, past accomplishments, and outgoing personality. She was invited on that count to join the Second Annual Atlantic City Pageant as an honored guest held on September 8, 1921. There Gorman was invited to join a new event: the "Inter-City Beauty" Contest see (Timeline of major beauty pageants). She won two titles, "Inter-City Beauty, Amateur," and "The Most Beautiful Bathing Girl in America" after competing in the Bather's Revue. She won the grand prize, the Golden Mermaid troph.