A local beauty pageant is attracting ample mockery on social media after a trans-identified male was crowned the winner of the competition and awarded a scholarship intended for young women.
Brían Nguyen, 19, was awarded the crown in the Miss Greater Derry pageant, held on November 8 in the Greater Derry area of New Hampshire. The competition is a locally-run event under the national Miss America series of pageants.
Nguyen, who is male, is a freshman at Nashua Community College majoring in Business Management. After his win, Nguyen wrote on Facebook:
“I am ecstatic to be the FIRST transgender woman to be a Miss America local titleholder, and I hope to make everyone proud and become the first to walk the Miss America stage. I am Brían Nguyen, your Miss Greater Derry 2023.”
Nguyen had previously announced on Instagram that he has intentions to compete in Miss Universe.
After news of his win reached social media, along with group photos of the contestants, many were quick to point out that Nguyen appeared to have been held to a much lower standard when compared to the female competitors.
“Women: you must be thin, have good breasts, nice legs, a beautiful face, and a non-threatening personality. We might even give you a scholarship for complying. Unless you’re Brian. Then you can be any kind of woman you want,” feminist author Sophie Walker wrote on twitter.
“I am anti-beauty pageants, but if an overweight, unfit, ugly woman wouldn’t be allowed to win, why should this overweight, unfit, ugly, male in a frock? The double standards are out of the park,” @TwelveDaisiestweeted.
Even users on Twitter who expressed distaste for beauty pageants in general noted that, at the very least, the Miss Greater Derry competition provided young women with an opportunity for an academic boost in the form of a $7,500 scholarship.
According to the Miss Greater Derry website, the intention of the scholarship is to provide “young women between the ages of 17 and 24” an opportunity by “recognizing their outstanding achievements in scholastic aptitude, talent, character, community service and poise,” as outlined by the Miss New Hampshire and Miss America guidelines.
“A male won ‘Miss Greater Derry,’ a pageant held by @MissAmericaOrg. The winner also gets a scholarship. So a dude took a scholarship that was earmarked for a young woman,” one user tweeted.
News of Nguyen’s win was shared by popular Twitter account, LibsofTiktok. Their tweet, which included a photo of Nguyen and the other competitors, has wracked up over 36,000 likes and over 16,000 replies at the time of this article’s writing. The response was almost entirely negative, with many pointing out the double-standard that appeared to have been applied to crown Nguyen the winner.
As the news spread to Facebook, the reactions were similarly negative. Under his Facebook post announcing his win, Nguyen was slammed with similar criticism.
Nguyen’s win came just days after a San Francisco Court ruled that women’s beauty pageants were not legally obligated to let trans-identified males to compete.
The case had been brought to court after a trans activist, Anita Green, filed a lawsuit against Miss United States of America after they barred him from competing in 2019. In their decision, the judges in the case said that forcing pageants to include “transgender” contestants amounted to compelled speech as beauty pageants aim to “to express the ideal vision” of American womanhood.
“The First Amendment affords the Pageant the ability to voice this message, and to enforce its ‘natural-born female rule,” stated the court.
Linn da Quebrada, a male social media influencer, took home the top award despite the fact he has stated he does not identify as a woman, and does not believe women ‘exist.’
In an interview with presenter Pedro Bial, a journalist from Globo Television Network, Quebrada stated “I’m not a woman, I’m a transvestite,” going on to say: “let’s be honest, there’s no such thing as ‘a woman.’”