Dozens of trans men enter Miss Italy pageant in protest


Trans activist Federico Barbarossa posted his confirmation of entry from the Miss Italy pageant on Instagram (Photo: Federico Barbarossa / Instagram)

Dozens of transgender men are making a bold statement by entering the Miss Italy pageant in protest after the organisers confirmed they won’t allow transgender women to participate.

More than 100 trans men signed up for the contest as a response to the controversial decision. The event’s official patron, Patrizia Mirigliani, stated in a radio interview that only “women from birth” are eligible to compete.

She criticised other pageants that embrace trans women, calling their strategies “absurd” and accused them of seeking attention.

Her comment were in response to Miss Netherlands making headlines earlier this month by crowning its first-ever transgender woman, Rikkie Valerie Kollé.

Mirigliani said Miss Italy refused join the “glittery bandwagon of trans activism” and compared transgender women to women with tattoos and piercings, dismissing this as an “excessive emphasis on aesthetics.”

In reaction to the pageant’s discriminatory stance, trans activist Federico Barbarossa launched a campaign urging trans men to enter Miss Italy en masse.

Since changing gender markers can be challenging in Italy, many of these men are still legally recognised as “women from birth,” technically meeting the eligibility criteria for the competition.

Barbarossa told Italian newspaper La Repubblica that the aim of the campaign was “to spark reflection on the absurdity of outdated and out of touch thinking.”

Trans writer, Elia Bonci, decided to enter the pageant under his ‘dead name’ to support trans women’s rights, stating that fighting transphobia is an intersectional effort.

Bonci told La Repubblica: “Miss Italy is not just a beauty contest, but it is part of the country’s cultural history. And excluding trans women automatically means excluding them from history.”

The recently crowned Miss Netherlands, Rikkie Valerie Kollé, responded to the ban by expressing her sadness. “Instead of moving forward. It seems that we are only moving further back,” she wrote on Instagram.


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