Trans row engulfs Miss Italy as decision to ban males sparks novel protest

Moves to ban transgender women from competing in a Miss Italy pageant have seen more than 100 transgender men enter the competition in protest.

Organisers of the event had said historically only those who were assigned female at birth were allowed to compete.

In response, trans men started signing up to the competition in protest, since they were born female at birth and therefore eligible to enter.

Amongst those entering in protest was Federico Barbarossa, who said he was angry over the ban but also amused by it.

Mr Barbarossa entered the contest under his deadname, the name he was given at birth, before sharing his entry confirmation on social media.

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He urged others to do the same and around 100 transgender men are now believed to have entered the competition – with some making it through to the selection process.

Speaking to NBC News, Mr Barbarossa said he hoped the protest would make organisers “think better next time”.

He added:  “They really have to go through every single application.  ‘I like to think I’m a little part of Italy’s progress in this sense.”

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Mr Barbarossa believes some beauty pageants try to exclude trans women because they don’t understand them.

Speaking to the MailOnline, he added:  “They would never think that a trans person might even aspire to win a beauty pageant, because we’re seen as this kind of, like, three-headed monster, and I think a part of it is that so many people have never seen trans women or trans men or trans people in general.”

Last month Rikkie Valerie Kolle became the first transgender woman to win Miss Netherlands.

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