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Trans woman sues beauty pageant for only allowing ‘natural born females’ to compete

Lily Wakefield December 19, 2019
beauty pageant

Anita Green was blocked from applying after she was told it was a "natural pageant". (Miss Earth Elite Oregon/ Facebook)

A trans woman is suing United States of America Pageants, which owns the Miss Oregon beauty pageant, over its rule that a contestant must be a “natural born female”.

Anita Green is the reigning 2019 Miss Earth Elite Oregon queen, a pageant owned by a different organisation, but set her sights on becoming United States of America Pageants’ Miss.

Contestants must be crowned in their home state before going up against 50 other women for the United States of America Pageants title, so she applied to the Miss Oregon pageant.

According to Williamette Week, Green was blocked from applying after the state pageant’s director told her it was “a natural pageant”.

The rules for the United States of America Miss pageants state that to be eligible an applicant must be “a natural born female”.

Green told the publication: “I felt as though I was being invalidated. I felt as though the organisation was saying I am not a woman and I’m not woman enough.”

Now in a lawsuit, filed Tuesday December 17 in the US District Court in Portland, argues United States of America Pageants unfairly discriminated against Green based on her gender identity, which is illegal under Oregon’s public accommodation law.

It also states that although rules insist on contestants being “natural”, women who have had plastic surgery are still allowed to compete.

The lawsuit reads: “Rather, it is intended only to exclude, and is enforced only against, a specific class of individuals—transgender females.”

Green’s lawsuit seeks a change in rules for pageants under the United States of America Pageants umbrella so that trans women are no longer excluded, for beauty pageant staff to be trained on the state’s public accommodation law and for Green to be awarded damages “in an amount to be determined at trial”.

Green said: “This is about giving minorities a voice. 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 moulds.”

She added: “This is about justice and it’s about righting a wrong. No matter what anyone thinks about pageants, trans women should have the choice to compete just like anyone else.”

The Miss Universe organisation, which is owned by a different company, does allow trans women to compete. Last year Angela Ponce failed to win the contest but broke new ground as the first transgender woman to take part in the competition.

United States of America Pageants have been contacted for comment.

More: anita green, beauty pageant, Discrimination, lawsuit, Miss Earth Elite, miss oregon, United States of America Pageants

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