BBC Three documentary looks at the UK’s Miss Transgender pageant

BBC3

The film examines the controversial pageant.

A new BBC Three documentary explores the UK’s first ever transgender beauty pageant.

Miss Transgender: Britain’s New Beauty Queens follows several contestants as they vie to win the top prize – which includes gender confirmation surgery.

The pageant was controversial from its inception. Jess Bradley, from Access to Trans Health, wrote in September:  “We believe that access to hormones, surgeries and other transition related treatments are basic, necessary, and life-saving.

“They are not prizes akin to a cruise or an open-top car. Making them prizes just makes our basic healthcare needs seem like luxuries: cosmetic and elective.”

The pageant made further headlines when its winner, Jai Dara Latto, was stripped of her title after she was seen wearing boxer shorts and subsequently accused of “living as a gay man.” She told The Guardian: “It was really shocking. Even though I had been given the title, I was still not good enough, still not woman enough, still not able to join in with them.

“It was extremely childish and I tried to go above it and continue with what I’m doing but it was slowly getting to me.”

Jasleen Kaur Sethi, who directed the documentary, is hopeful for its success: “It’s a different approach and you’re hoping something will go viral in a sense, that people will watch it and tell other people and it will build momentum rather than have a big opening.

“I think a lot of people find their television on iPlayer or catch-up services, not just young people. I’m pretty optimistic about it. I think it will find its audience.”

Damian Kavanagh, BBC3’s Controller, said that the documentary is a perfect fit for the online-only channel, as it will “raise issues and subjects that will inform and provoke debate amongst young people.”

Watch Miss Transgender: Britain’s New Beauty Queens here.

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