From this year, transgender women will be able to participate in the Miss Panama national beauty contest.
The Señorita Panama pageant, which is responsible for sending a representative from the Central American country to the international Miss Universe competition, confirmed that transgender women “who have completed legal and medical procedures” would be welcome to compete in the contest.
“Following the foundations of the agreements with Miss Universe, we announce that as of 2021, legally recognized women will be officially allowed, and the door is opened to transgender women,” the organization said a statement.
President of Miss Panama, Cesar Anel Rodriguez, told AFP that this inclusive initiative is a response to the Miss Universe regulation in regards to transgender women.
“We investigated the issue of people who are legally recognized for changing their gender” in Panama, he said.
“Guaranteed to be an inclusive organization, we approved this decision based on strict legal guidelines and according to previous international agreements,” the organization’s statement said.
Panama joins other nations such as Spain, Nepal, and Canada in welcoming transgender women to participate in the contest.
The Miss Universe contest revoked a prohibition on transgender contestants in 2012. However, it was not until six years later in 2018 that the first openly transgender woman, Spain’s Angela Ponce, competed at the pageant.
This is certainly a great step towards making the contest more inclusive. What do you think?