A transgender woman thrown out of a beauty contest because she was born a man has started a petition calling for such rules to be changed.
Jossy Yendall, 29, from Gateshead, said she had made it through to the final of the UK-wide competition, Miss Galaxy.
But the care-home worker was told she could no longer take part, because she was transgender.
“I applied for Miss Galaxy in October and got selected to be a finalist, which I was really happy about,” she said.
“I mentioned in my application that I’m a transgender female — it was the first thing I put, so they knew it was there.
“But just before confirming my place, I mentioned to them again, saying it was great for their competition they had accepted me, but they replied, saying the fact I am transgender had been overlooked and I could no longer be part of the final.”
Ms Yendall, who underwent gender reassignment surgery last year, said she was told participants had to be born female.
She has started a petition at Change.org/transbeautypageant. She said beauty pageants should reflect society’s evolving attitudes towards transgender people.
She said: “I cannot help the way I was born and it looks like discrimination to me, as that was the only reason I was given for not being allowed in the competition.
“I’m just a woman and I don’t see why I cannot compete against other women.
“I started the petition to try and make a positive change. I am not moaning and trying to kick up a fuss, but someone needs to stand up and make a change.”
On her petition page, she wrote: “I know that I am not the only one to have experienced this treatment.
“Routinely, women like me are excluded from mainstream pageants, because of the body that we were born in.
“This needs to change.”
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