The winner of the Miss Transgender UK pageant was stripped of her crown for not being “full-time” transgender, the organiser has claimed.
The pageant launched for the first time last year – but attracted controversy for offering all-expenses-paid gender reassignment surgery in India as a ‘prize’.
Scottish trans woman Jai Dara Latto was initially named the winner of the contest – but organiser Rachael Bailey hit out at her this week, amid coverage of Ms Latto going on a charity hike.
In an email to PinkNews, Ms Bailey said she was “speaking legal advice” [sic] against the “fraudulent media” for referencing Ms Latto as the winner of the contest, when she has since been “dethroned”.
She told the Scotsman: “When Jai entered the competition, she said she was full time and she is not, she is a drag queen.
“When I confronted her, she just said that I didn’t have a leg to stand on and it is difficult. It is basically one transgender person saying to another ‘You’re not transgender enough to be in our competition’. It sounds daft when you put it like that.”
The controversy came after Ms Latto was filmed for a BBC Three documentary wearing boxers, and donning a T-shirt and shorts to work out.
Ms Latto rejects the claim that she is a “drag queen” or a “part-time” woman, adding that she has begun hormone treatment and is currently awaiting gender reassignment treatment in Scotland, having declined the pageant surgery prize.
She told the newspaper: “I am transgender. It seems to me that Rachael has based [the claim] on her subjective opinion from having viewed the documentary Miss Transgender, which is yet to be aired.”
She added: “The documentary clearly shows me living full time in my community functioning on a daily basis interacting with family, friends and others in my desired gender role.
“Being transgender is not some exclusive club. There are many of us in it and we are all different from one another.”
Former boxing promoter Kellie Maloney was previously affiliated with the contest, but PinkNews understands she has cut all ties with Ms Bailey and Miss Transgender UK.