Pageantry or Buffoonery

New rule, according to the Associated Press The Miss Universe Pageant will now allow transgender women to participate in the beauty contest.

What. Are you serious? Does this bother anyone else? Okay, maybe I’m a little sensitive. I was a pageant girl and while I was never in the Miss Universe Pageant I was in and won enough pageants to believe in them. I clearly remember the notoriety, scholarships and public speaking skills that I honed as a pageant contestant. .

For the record I had no intention on my princess following this aspect of my past, but I certainly would not have knocked it. I would have said, go forth and prosper. Be you and be fabulous, but not now.

For those unfamiliar with this situation, the Miss Universe organization decided to allow Jenna Talackova to compete for Canada’s spot in the Miss Universe pageant this year. Talackova was born a male and underwent a sex change operation four years ago and is drop dead gorgeous.

I guess this is a good time for my disclaimer that while I don’t personally know anyone that has had the surgery, it ain’t my business and I ain’t one to judge. But beauty pageants are about judging. In addition to poise, attitude and diction there are points associated with physical appearance and measurements. I have a hard time thinking it fair that my daughter would have to compete with someone that has gone under the knife to achieve constructive genitalia.

So what’s the difference between breast augmentation and a sex change operation? Truthfully, I’m not sure I agree with breast augmentation being acceptable either, but then I think about mastectomies and deformed breast that might get my vote. But I can’t so-sign on a sex change operation allowing you to compete for Miss Universe.

Yes, everyone should be allowed to compete, but why not have a transgender beauty pageant? Oh yeah that’s right they have those already. And before anyone asks me how would I feel about an all black pageant, I was a runner-up in the Miss Black World Pageant in the late 90s.

And what about the authenticity of pageants? For years I defended them. “They are about more than just pretty faces,” I would say. “They are about character and intelligence and confidence.” But I find this new rule hard to defend and unworthy of my fortitude.

So where’s the line in the sand. Will we have all co-ed teams in high school and college? Will men sue to play in the WNBA or vice versa? Will Mr. Universe and Mr. Wonderful have to include transgender males?  Will we have to allow steroid use again to be accepting of entries from transgender contestants?

There is a place in this world for everyone and I am fully aware that society is changing right in front of my eyes. Hell, there are a slew of Lesbian, Gay, Bi-sexual and Transgender beauty pageants that wouldn’t mind Miss Jenna competing for whatever title she wishes. Now I am left wishing that the title of Miss Universe does not become one of my daughter’s dreams.


5 thoughts on “Pageantry or Buffoonery

  1. Hey Diane, I like your Chocolate Mother and I love reading it. 🙂 There ARE transgender beauty pageants but the whole thing w/ this chic is she’s been living as a woman since she was 4, been undergoing hormones and surgeries since she was 14. her body NEVER matched her mind. i know you mentioned not knowing any transgendered folks but I know A LOT of them. not gay, not bi, trans. its totally different. I know more than i can count. people who are pre-op and post-op. It’s not easy. These pageants are about beauty really and the only requirement to compete as a woman in a pageant is a vagina. and this WOMAN has one. she wasn’t born with one but she has one now. And I think it’s hard, REALLY HARD, for a trans woman to even place in a beauty pageant as most of them don’t look like this chic, they look like men in wigs, even with hormones. i think, just like there are black pageants but black people compete in Miss USA, there are trans pageants and they should be able to compete in MIss USA or whatever. it’s not like she has an advantage, she has a disadvantage cause it’s not easy for women born women to make it in these type things and i know you know that. it’s not her fault she was born a man. and if the judges like her and she fits the criteria and, again, has a vagina, what the hell difference does it make if she competes. it’s not like they are letting a dude compete cause she’s sooooo obviously a woman and has all the lady parts she needs. some people define women by being able to have kids but a great many women can’t do that. a great many women don’t have breasts for various reasons but women all have one thing in common-a vagina. and what about intersex women, they were born both male AND female, so if an intersex person prefers living as a woman should she not compete just cause she has both?? I know it’s super long (sorry:) and took forever but my point is no, she wasn’t born a woman but she is one now and that’s really all that matters.:) xo

    • I have also known and worked as a therapist with LGBT individuals, couples and families. Believe me these are just people like the rest of us. I say, let them do what they were born to do. People’s sexual identity, religion, race, gender are not my business. As a minority myself -an old, white, professional, working woman- I have nothing but respect for the courage of those who refuse to allow society’s expectations to keep them from doing the things they want to do. Just my opinion.

  2. ‎@Tiffany, women in these pageants “manipulate the human eye and under go surgery” a llllll the time. so what’s the difference? @angela, this isn’t a baby pageant so what you were being born doesn’t matter, only what you are at the age the pageant requires to compete. and she’s trans but she’s in the same class as us, female, the same race as us, the human race. And she’s a woman NOW, i think people are focusing too much on the past. she’s a woman and has a woman’s body. Diane Taylor i hear what you saying but this woman can’t compete in the Mr. Universe or the NBA either. she has a vagina now so she couldn’t be in ANY male pageants. and this is hypothetical cause i know you don’t want to do this(lol) but if you DID want to compete in a MR Universe you could, just have gender reassignment to become a man. its not quick and easy tho, it takes two years of psychiatric review to make sure you can handle it and are a good candidate and its not cheap either. but ftm (female to male) trans men had penises and DO compete in bodybuilding. and there are ftm men who are big as hell and looked more like men before the operation that wouldn’t necessarily be at a physical disadvantage. and as for the lines, the lines have been blurred for a loooooong time. there are women that use urinals that don’t even HAVE penises. Heterosexual women at that. what really is the difference in our needs? are they real or did society construct them? as a woman there are certain things i need and there are some men who need those same things. and vice versa. i think there are lines in regards to sexual orientation. men and women who like women have certain similarities and men and women who like men have certain similarities. there IS a difference between women and men. women have vaginas and men have penises. My basis is if the person is NOT intersex and has a vagina, then she’s a woman. and if the person has a penis, then he’s a man. and we have to remember, it’s 2012 so people are talking about this but these surgeries have been going on for the last 60 years and a lot of those people just assimilated into society and no one ever knew so who’s to say that mtf(male to female) women have competed in it before?? the only difference in gender are our sex parts and they do not define who we are or who we love. i know this entry is all extra LOL but i have these conversations with people all the time, especially my parents, cause they can’t understand trans at all. they think it’s transvestite, which is different and is a sexual thing and most male transvestites are heterosexual. and that’s different from drag queens who tend to be gay. and, just to add, i know this big black woman that’s trans but she refused to get rid of her penis cause she said “i grew up a black man and my penis is a part of me” and she lived COMPLETELY as a woman and changed her name and everything. she could NOT compete in a traditional female pageant cause she does NOT have a vagina. i think people are confused with men that dress as women and men who have BECOME women. it’s not like being gay which the country is just starting to be more open to. People are just becoming aware the last few years of what trans is, so they can’t understand it. but talking to trans and intersex people, they are just like us, it just takes a few years for their minds and bodies to get right. look at intersex people who, at birth, are made into men or women without their knowledge. so many intersex people have had their gender chosen by their parents and not by them. had their female parts cut off and raised as boys only to learn in adolescence that they are actually girls who were born w/ a penis or vice versa. The intersex community encourages parents now that are presented with this problem to just wait, let them keep both until they get to an age where it becomes apparent which sex they are. usually around 5 or 6. i know this is a lot but this is an issue i care about cause i have people i love who have to deal with not being considered women every day, even though they DO have vaginas and live as women. i believe God makes no mistakes. I believe when you’re born whether it’s with a disability or autism or w/ a gender disorder that’s a work of God. And he then gives you the free will to either live as others want you to or be who you really are. I think people that are born w/ a disadvantage are actually blessed cause you get to see people and the world as they really are, cause you’re not treated as a whole person a lot of the time. anyway, long ass story short, God gave her a male body and a female mind and the rest was up to her and her family. And they did the right thing,they let her become who she really was and her competing in a pageant, I believe to be silly and misogynist anyway cause beauty does not make a great person character does, then let her. who are we to say she can’t cause she’s for damn sure a woman now. and don’t worry i won’t comment anymore. i get too hyped up on this subject and i need to feed my child. 🙂 xo

  3. If she wasn’t born a woman she shouldn’t be in a women’s pageant…. he had to manipulate the human eye and under go surgery in order to become a woman….I’m in total disagreement with them allowing transgenders to enter The Miss Universe Pageants ….and I haven’t read the whole story or seen any pics its just my opinion

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