A model who was in the finals of the Ms Galaxy beauty pageant has reportedly been axed after they learned she was transgender.
Jossy Yendall, the competitor in question, has claimed that Ms Galaxy organisers were aware from the start that she was transgender, but at the last minute was told she wasn’t eligible.
Jossy said: “I got an email through saying congratulations you’ll be a grand finalist. But then when I mentioned in passing being transgender, they suddenly said I’m not eligible.”
When speaking to the Daily Mail about the events, Jossy said that she felt was discriminated against for being transgender, even though she transitioned over a decade ago.
“Ms Galaxy said in an email that I’m not eligible to take part in the competition because I am transgender. But a transgender woman is a woman, and this rejection kind of makes me feel like I’m less of one.”
Her claims of being clear about her gender identity even in the application to the contest hold up, as her website clearly states: “I am a transgender woman looking to get agency signed. I believe that transgender women are under-represented in the media and this needs to change.”
Holly Pirrie, who is the director of the Ms Galaxy competition, has responded to Jossy’s claims: “Jossy had put her web page on Star Now – an online website that we use to promote the competition – that she was transgender and that is an oversight from us. But when she actually entered, we didn’t receive that information. I would never want anyone to feel dejected, but unfortunately the rules are put in place for whatever reason.”
And, sure enough, the beauty pageant’s website does state: “Entrant must be a naturally born genetic female.”
One wonders why on earth this is relevant. A woman is a woman, no matter her birth gender.
Naturally, Jossy is not going to take down this lying down, and brought up the progress of transgender people in the media this year: “This year, Caitlyn Jenner became woman of the year for a magazine and transgender people are evolving in the media. I want to speak up and tell people what’s happened because I think it will make me more determined to create change. In this day and age, transgender women are still being told no and I want that to change.”