The search for the next Miss South Africa has begun, and 2021 is proving to pave the way for progression.
For the first time, South Africa’s most elite pageant is allowing transgender women to enter and compete, as per the Miss South Africa entry page.
“However, in order to be eligible to compete internationally, the contestant must be in possession of a valid South African ID document reflecting that their amended sex is female.”
The first openly queer woman in the pageant was Sibabalwe Gcilitshana who was part of the 2019 running. She said to DRUM that “I’m so proud to be the first queer woman on the competition because this shows us how progressive our country has become, and representation matters.”
For many, her openness in her sexuality was a starting point for representation of the LGBTQ.
Considering the diversity and progressive movements in our country, the allowance of transgender women to enter into the pageant has caused a lot of South Africans to be incredibly proud of the decision. Social media has seen waves of support.
MissSA accepting trans women IN the competition is a BIG DEAL!!! 🎉🔥🏳️🌈❤️
— QueerSocials_ 🏳️🌈 (@QueerSocialsBFN) May 25, 2021
Miss SA is accepting trans women this year. This is exciting news!!!!!
— Duchess of Modelling 👠 (@Rivoningo_C) May 24, 2021
If there’s gonna be any Trans women on Miss SA pageant this year, can we 🏳️🌈come together to protect them & shower them with love/support. I can’t imagine the hate they are gonna face just by simply being on there😩
— YouTube: Chommi yam uSkye (@SkyeSehahabane) May 27, 2021
Miss SA is accepting Transwomen in 2021.
This is the freedom Nelson Mandela fought for.
— Precious Shange (@PreciousShange) May 25, 2021
For a Trans women to win Miss SA 🕯🕯🕯🕯
— Hlehle Lupindo (@Hlehle_Lupindo) May 25, 2021
However, there are some people who have raised interesting points regarding the decision. These include a forewarning towards the hate that transgender applicants might receive, and speculations about their protection. Although many people are for the decision, there are also many who are against it, raising hate speech.
miss SA welcomes trans contestants; transphobic pageant fans in 3… 2… 1…
— jax (@ajanicks) May 28, 2021
The transphobic comments on the stories about Miss SA allowing trans women just shows that these cishets refuse to learn or treat queer people with common human decency. pic.twitter.com/ILaoaC5Zya
— Call Me J4M4L 🌈 (@CallMeJ4m4l) May 27, 2021
Additionally, there are those who have questioned whether there should be a transgender MissSA as it’s own competition, although the motives for such an idea are different. Some people believe it would allow for a safer space for the entrants, others are saying it’s raising competitive levels.
Not fair, women will now compete with trans ? 😳
Why don’t they do a Miss Trans SA
— Smaqd’Aploz (@SAploz) May 25, 2021
Irregardless, Miss South Africa has made a decision to truly be inclusive whether critics are supportive or not and we can’t wait to see all the entries for this year’s Miss South Africa!
entries are open until 24 June.
Picture: Twitter/ Mambagirl