The United States of America Pageants is being sued by beauty queen contender Anita Green, who is biologically male and transgender, after being denied a chance to compete in the Miss Oregon pageant due to his sex.
Claiming discrimination, Green is attempting to force the pageant to change its rules and is seeking “unspecified monetary damages,” according to a report from Willamette Week.
“This is about giving minorities a voice,” Green claims, according to the outlet. “I believe I’m beautiful, and I want to set an example for all women — cisgender and transgender — that beauty doesn’t have to fit into specific molds.”
The pageant’s website, however, specifically details in its rules that only “natural born female” contestants are permitted. Contestants who have posed nude in film or print or have given birth are also barred from competing, per the spelled out “eligibility requirements“:
1. Is between 13–17 years of age.
2. Is a U.S. citizen or has been granted Permanent Residency by the United States.
3. Is a resident, works, or goes to school in the state they are competing.
4. Is a natural born female.
5. Has never posed nude in film or print media.
6. Is single, not married, has never been married & has never given birth.
Moreover, when Green informed the pageant that his sex is male, a director offered to find a pageant that allows trans folks in which Green could compete. That’s when Green threatened legal action.
Here’s the interaction via Facebook message, according to Willamette Week:
[United States of America Pageants and its Miss Oregon director, Tanice] Smith sent a link with the pageant rules, and after reading them, Green responded, “You know I’m transgender, right?”
“I did not,” Smith wrote back. “Our rules and regulations allow same-sex marriage, however this is a natural pageant.”
Smith then offered to help Green find another pageant. Green asked if Smith would “be willing to change the rules to allow transgender women to compete.”
“Again,” Smith wrote, “we would be happy to help you find a pageant that you qualify for, however at this time we do not anticipate the rules changing.”
The pageant returned Green’s $195 entry fee, following the interaction.
“I felt as though I was being invalidated,” Green claims. “I felt as though the organization was saying I am not a woman and I’m not woman enough.”
If Green were to win the suit, it could change the landscape of beauty pageants across the country, argues Willamette Week: “If she wins, it could establish a legal precedent for Oregon and 20 other states with similar nondiscrimination laws, requiring pageant organizers to allow transgender people to compete.”
In other words, you can kiss all-female pageants goodbye.
This isn’t the only female space the transgender issue has disrupted. Schools across the country are now dealing with biologically male athletes who identify as transgender entering female-only sports competitions.