Scores of female-to-male trans individuals entered the Miss Italy beauty pageant in protest of its “born female” rule.
Trans Men Make a Bold Statement
In a bold move that turned heads across the globe, over 100 trans men entered the Miss Italy beauty pageant.
Controversial Remarks Spark Action
This unexpected tide of entries came in response to controversial remarks by the pageant’s organizer, Patrizia Mirigliani, who emphasized that contestants should be “women from birth.”
Patrizia Mirigliani’s Views on Trans Inclusion
During an earlier conversation on Radio Cusano, Mirigliani expressed her firm stance against revising the pageant’s entry regulations, which excluded trans women.
Dismissing the broader acceptance of trans rights in beauty pageants, she stated her unwillingness to join what she termed the “glittery bandwagon of trans activism.”
Miss Netherlands’ Historic Win
Mirigliani’s comments were made after a 22-year-old trans woman, Rikkie Valerie Kollé was crowned Miss Netherlands on July 8 – a historic moment.
The Organizer’s Remarks Ignited Backlash
When asked about this groundbreaking event, Mirigliani expressed skepticism, remarking, “Lately, beauty pageants have been trying to make headlines by also using strategies that I think are a bit absurd.”
Trans Men Rise to the Challenge
But her comments didn’t sit well with many, particularly those in the trans community.
In response, a group of trans men in Italy began challenging the beauty pageant.
Using a technicality in Italy’s gender recognition process, they registered for the Miss Italy contest.
Navigating Gender Recognition
As it stands, the process to legally recognize one’s preferred gender and name in Italy is a long one.
Because of this, these trans men technically met all the competition’s criteria: They were above 18, held Italian nationality or citizenship, were still registered as “female” on official documents, and had been assigned female at birth.
A Trans Activist Lead the Charge
Trans activist Federico Barbarossa took the first step, launching the campaign that encouraged trans men to apply for the pageant.
Trans Men on a Mission
Speaking to the Italian newspaper La Repubblica, he explained that the intention behind this initiative was “to trigger, through a joke, a reflection on the absurdity of some logics out of time and out of the world.”
Addressing the problematic representation of trans individuals in media, Barbarossa asserted, “People imagine us as three-headed monsters who could never aspire to win a beauty contest because even the media representation often brings forward narratives that fetishize our bodies.”
Trans Men Unite Across Italy
Barbarossa’s footsteps inspired numerous other trans men across Italy.
Elia Bonci’s Role in the Miss Italy Movement
Among these was Elia Bonci, another prominent trans activist. Echoing Barbarossa’s sentiments in a separate interview with La Repubblica, Bonci stated, “I took courage, used my deadname, and signed up for Miss Italy. Because fighting transphobia is intersectional, and even though I’m not a trans woman, I’ve decided to fight for their rights.”
Miss Italy as More Than a Beauty Pageant
Bonci shed light on the deeper cultural implications of the Miss Italy contest, expressing, “Miss Italy is not just a beauty contest, but it is part of the country’s cultural history. And excluding trans women automatically means excluding them from history. Pretend they don’t exist.”
Far-Right Politics and LGBTQ+ Rights
The Miss Italy registration campaign unfurled against a backdrop of heightened anti-LGBTQ+ sentiment throughout Italy.
Last year, the country saw the election of far-right prime minister Giorgia Meloni.
Meloni has had extensive connections with explicitly neo-fascist movements in Italy throughout her life, and she has lavished praise on Italy’s WWII fascist dictator, Benito Mussolini.
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The post Trans Men Are INVADING Italy’s Beauty Pageant! What Is Causing This Outrageous Turn of Events? first appeared on Career Step Up.
Featured Image Credit: Shutterstock / HBRH. The people shown in the images are for illustrative purposes only, not the actual people featured in the story.