Founder Rachael Bailey explains why she named the MTUK beauty contest’s grand prize, SRS, after Leelah Alcorn.
20 gorgeous transgender finalists will compete tomorrow, Sept. 27th each vying for the grand prize, an all-expense paid trip to India for a sexual reassignment surgery.
The winner can also opt for a cash, but the controversy of having transgender beauty judged by external attributes, however that is weighed, and awarded by sexual reassignment surgery named after Leelah, has led to some condemning the competition.
Objections have been raised to the idea of a trans beauty contest judging us on physical beauty as contrary feminist tenets, which the community as a whole strongly identifies with.
As with most pageants external presentation plays well to judges…but it’s not everything.
Fifty percent of the points awarded are based on 3 questions according tho the Website:
1st is based on your home life
2nd is based on your education
3rd is based on your ability to communicate a positive message to the UK about transgender people
The other 50% is judged on you appearance and performance on the night.
Some images of the lovely 2015 MTUK hopefuls….
Make your voice heard in the poll below. How do you feel about this?
The outspoken founder of the pageant Rachael Bailey told Planet transgender this morning when asked about how the response has been overall. “The Trans community as whole is split, the older generation hate it, but the young love it.” explaining why there has been a positive response from the young. “Yes they taken their time understand they will be judged on not looks but what they have done to help their LGBT community and what they want to do to represent LGBT next year fundraising etc.”
Read the stories of the contestants in their own words here.
“The old trans folk just won’t take time off their keyboards to show support for the next generation as if they are just jealous,” Baily said. “This is very sad, but haters will always hate. We need to move on together but all the community seems to do is fight with each other.” My ladies will prove their worth.”
The prize for the winner of the 2013 Miss Trans Brazil in Rio de Janeiro was SRS which prompted Baily to offer a like prize as well. But she said in June she had changed her mind because of negative feedback. When asked what made her reinstate SRS as a prize Baily said it was offered by a sponsor and after asking the contestants they responded positively. The operation will occur if chosen in India, a destination not known for doing sexual reassignment surgery. Baily said. “I looked into the hospital and Dr and thought it safe. So knowing my ladies I know they wanted it.”
The contestants and judges decide where the profits will go and have divided that up among five charities. But there is the issue of a possible profit by Baily. In the video below she makes it clear that trans people have a need, make that a right to make a living. When an entrepreneur whether trans or cisgender break social ground, whatever the intention, and challenge perceptions, there’s bound to be detractors or ‘haters’ as Baily said earlier.
Finally, when asked about an event such as this being named after Leelah Alcorn Baily said, “She wanted her name put in history tomorrow I hope to do that”.
Indeed, she will.
As Rachael Baily said. “We should be happy times are changing.”