Here’s some good news just in time for pride month: for the first time, South Africa’s most prestigious beauty pageant is allowing transgender women to enter the contest, which garnered praise worldwide. YAAAAS!
“Trans women are eligible to enter the Miss South Africa pageant,” the Miss SA website stated. “However, in order to be eligible to compete internationally, the contestant must be in possession of a valid South African ID document reflecting that their amended sex is female.”
This historic move was widely appreciated all over social media. Homosexuality is legal in South Africa, making it more progressive than its neighboring countries plagued by homophobia, and where same-sex relationships are frowned upon.
The pageant previously broke barriers by crowning Zozibini Tunzi—a short-haired woman with a darker complexion—as the 2019 winner. Tunzi later on made history by becoming the first Miss Universe with a short, natural haircut, a move applauded by black people all over the world.
South Africa is not the first country to open its premiere beauty pageants to transwomen. In 2018, Miss Spain, Angela Ponce, made history as the first transgender contestan in Miss Universe. While Ponce did not place during the competition, she was honored by the Miss Universe pageant with a video clip during the finals.
As the world becomes more accepting of the LGBTQIA+ community, will the Philippines follow suit, and allow Pinay transwomen to join as well? As the community is a staunch supporter of beauty pageants, especially Miss Universe, the move would be monumental, and a lot of trans women would appreciate being recognized. Well, only time can tell. For now, it’s inspiring to see other countries make progress, and be examples of inclusivity. Applications for the Miss South Africa pageant have officially opened.