Miss Montana USA will have its first transgender competitor after President Donald Trump changed the rules in 2012 to allow gender fluid individuals to compete.
“I can definitely tell you that when Trump was elected into office, I knew that I needed to step up and do this,” transgender Anita Green told the Mic Network Thursday. “I was so nervous about this but I knew that I needed to compete. I wanted to be a positive role model in the community and instill a sense of hope within the trans community and give them some positive news.”
Green said he felt the need to fight against discrimination and promote acceptance of the transgender community, which he alleges has largely been shunned by the Trump administration.
Trump owned the Miss Universe pageant until 2015 and made the rule change to include transgenders three years previous to his exit. The only other beauty pageant to include a transgender competitor was Miss USA 2013 in California.
“We need positive role models and hopeful stories, and I want to be someone who is part of that hopeful story,” Green said. “I have a progressive message that I want to get across to people and bring forth some change. I hope that transgender women competing in pageants ultimately shows people that we are women and that we really should be respected as people,” he added.
“I hope that competing inspires other transgender people to feel confident in themselves, and to feel comfortable to be who they are and not be ashamed of their transgender status,” he said, according to People Magazine.
The Miss Montana contestants page also notes in Green’s bio that he was the first openly transgender person in Montana to be elected as a national delegate in 2016.
India, additionally, recently crowned its first transgender beauty queen.
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