A transgender beauty queen spoke her mind on Sunday after being banned from competing in another competition. The outrage was directed towards the organizers of the contest after prohibiting her from participating due to being born a male.
Why was she banned?
Miss Transgender UK, Bea Wood, stated that she was rejected when applying for the Miss Inspiration beauty pageant. The feedback she received was that only "natural-born females" could apply.
"I sent pictures with my application for Miss Inspiration and had no problem getting through to the next stage," Wood said. (Read: First Openly Transgender Contestant to Compete in Miss Montana USA).
Wood was born a male named Ben in Scunthorpe, Lincolnshire. She came out as a woman four years ago at the age of 24. She claims that the ban violates equality laws such as the 2004 Gender Recognition Act. However, she has yet to have any surgery.
Wood stated, "I was so excited and started getting in touch with various sponsors ahead of the competition. Never did it cross my mind there would be any issues with me competing."
No issues had initially arisen until Wood was invited to a pajama party where all contestants could socialize face-to-face prior to the competition.
The organizers of the competition were contacted proactively by Wood. She wanted to check to ensure that the other contestants were comfortable with her competing in her "pre-operation status."
She stated, "It quickly became apparent that they weren't going to be accepting and inclusive." (Read: India Crowns First Transgender Titleholder)
After Wood had questioned the rules and eligibility of the competition, she stated that the director said it was their own terms and conditions that she must be a natural-born female.
"You would hope society would be past this, excluding people who are trans," Wood said.
Speaking out against discrimination
After doing some research, Wood has discovered a total of six other contests with the same rules. Once she heard this news, she decided it is now time to call for action.
"I don't understand why some of these big pageants don't accept all and show diversity," Wood said. "They say they empower women – all I see if most of them discriminating."
Wood currently runs a local support service for members of the LGBT community, which may be the perfect platform to speak out against her discrimination claims.