Italian trans men stand in solidarity with their trans sisters

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Trans men enter Miss Italy pageant in droves after trans women are told they can’t compete.

Trans activist Federico Barbarossa entered the Miss Italy pageant after its organizer said trans women weren’t allowed. His protest went viral and more than 100 trans men signed up, he said.

More than 100 transgender men have entered the Miss Italy pageant this week, according to an activist leading a protest against recent comments by the pageant’s organizer, who said trans women wouldn’t be allowed to compete.

The comments came after another European pageant, Miss Netherlands, crowned its first transgender winner, Rikkie Valerie Kollé, this month. About a week later, Patrizia Mirigliani, the official organizer of Miss Italy, told an Italian radio station that Miss Italy wouldn’t allow trans women to compete. 

“Lately, beauty contests have been trying to make the news using strategies that I think are a bit absurd,” Mirigliani said, according to the Italian news outlet Il Primato Nazionale.

She added that Miss Italy has historically allowed only people who were assigned female at birth to enter, “probably because, even then, it was foreseen that beauty could undergo modifications, or that women could undergo modifications, or that men could become women,” according to Il Primato Nazionale. 

Trans activist Federico Barbarossa, who lives in Bari, a town in southern Italy, said that he became angry when he saw Mirigliani’s comments but that he was “also kind of amused by it, because I was like, ‘Yeah, well, I was assigned female at birth, but they would reject me because I look like a boy, and they would consider me as a boy,’” he said in an interview with NBC News.

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