Nairobi, 24 October, 2023 / 5:10 pm (ACI Africa).
The inclusion of transgender men as participants in the Miss Universe pageant is “a stark departure” from an age-old practice that has made the contest “a cultural touchstone” and distress to female contestants, Catholic activists under their umbrella organization, CitizenGO Africa, have said.
In a Monday, October 23 petition addressed to Miss Universe Organization, CitizenGo Africa officials raise concern about the participation of two transgender women, Marina Machete and Rikkie Kolle, Miss Portugal, and Miss Netherlands, respectively, in the beauty contest.
“Allowing men who 'identify as women' to compete in this global pageant is a stark departure from the traditions that have made this competition a cultural touchstone,” the Catholic activists say.
They add that the inclusion of transgender men into the pageant will be “emotionally distressing” to female contestants.
“Think about the emotional turmoil this decision will inflict on countless contestants who've dreamt of participating in a competition crafted exclusively for women,” they lament, adding, “Their hopes and aspirations are being trampled upon.”