Chinese transsexual Chen Lili disqualified from Miss Universe

It is certainly food for thought — is a woman who used to be a man a “real” woman? China’s organizing committee for the Miss Universe contest first thought Yes, but apparently now thinks No.

Chen Lili, a 24-year-old trans-sexual from Sichuan Province, was shut out of the Miss Universe contest by organisers, saying she is an artificial woman.

In a fax to the Sichuan organising committee, the Miss Universe headquarters says Chen is disqualified because she is a transsexual. It says there never has been any such case in the 53-year history of the contest.

Lili was granted permission early this week to participate in the international event by Miss Universe-China contest officials in New York.

“A sex-change woman registering for the Miss Universe contest is something that has never happened before,” Miss Universe selection committee chairman Mr Zhang Ruiling told reporters.

Mr Cao Gang, a beauty contest expert in Shanghai, offered his support to Lili: “She has been granted the status as a woman, and is protected and recognised by law. There is no reason to kick her out.”

Gay and lesbian groups around the world had hailed her entry in the contest as a new precedent. Maybe next time….?

(For those interested, Danwei’s got some before & after photos Chen Lili here.)

______________

Richard Burger is the author of Behind the Red Door: Sex in China, an exploration of China's sexual revolution and its clash with traditional Chinese values.

The Discussion: 12 Comments

this has nothing to do with gay or lesbian rights. it’s like a cloned dog in a dog show – how fair is it when you’ve got a guy who had a shitload of surgery to make him a “beautiful woman”?

March 3, 2004 @ 4:38 am | Comment

nice

can sit on my face anytime

March 5, 2004 @ 5:03 pm | Comment

It is sickening that she is trying to pass himself off as a woman when he is not. He can alterhimself all he wants, he is still a he. what a shame.

March 10, 2004 @ 12:48 am | Comment

I think that now she is a woman, nothing to do with a man. Certanly nature made him a tragic mistake, to put male attributes to such female body. I think that surgery has simply correct that mistake. I don’t see nothing strange or scandalistic to take part to that beauty competition. a woman between other women. Is it her horrible guilty to be the best beauty of all???

March 13, 2004 @ 9:04 pm | Comment

If you had not found out she was previously a man, would it have mattered that you found her beautiful? How about giving her a standing ovation for looking good as a woman when there are a few “natural” women out there who can’t even make themselves look good!

March 16, 2004 @ 7:03 am | Comment

how is this different than any other woman who has a “shit load” of surgery to make herself a beautiful woman? also, why do you assume it takes a “shitload” of surgery to make her beautiful? i’ve seen some pretty boys who always looked like pretty girls even before they had surgery. but i dont understand the point of pageants period, so whatever.

March 16, 2004 @ 7:53 am | Comment

She should be allowed to participate. If that transsexual golfer was allowed to participate in the womens Australian Open then why can’t she be in the Miss Universe paegent? Surely no one can argue she has an ‘unfair advantage’ in this case as has routinely been done in others.

March 16, 2004 @ 10:47 am | Comment

yzgm poiuyt http://ghjklutuymvcilrg.com/

April 3, 2005 @ 10:59 am | Comment

I agree with Lenny.

July 7, 2005 @ 6:25 pm | Comment

its beautifull

September 20, 2005 @ 7:39 am | Comment

i feel she should be allowed to participate… it’s hard for me to articulate, but issue is nothing like a “cloned dog in a dog show” as saywhat said, do not compare people to animals when regarding an issue this controversial and emotionally deep… one does not embark on the process to become the other gender merely to have some kind of advantage in a beauty pagent from the surgury… chen lili became a woman because that was more right for her then being a man… the process is long, i’m sure it is painful at times, emotionally wrenching, uplifting (i hope) when it is finished, and leaves you barren… no children… not even a possibility unless you have a partner already, or save sperm somehow (spermbank?)… i think chen should be allowed to participate, and i think there should be more education about issues such as these and homosexuality in schools so that rumors like “lifestyle choice” don’t get mixed up with truth…

September 27, 2005 @ 7:06 pm | Comment

Biased people like you make me sick. She is a woman, trapped in a mans body and is actually brave enough to do something unlike the rest of you so called “men”. Being a man doesn’t only have to do with his anatomy, its also if he’s willing to be brave enough to fight for what he wants. All you women who think its wrong are just jelous that SHE is way better looking than you’ll ever be, and all you men who think its wrong are just covering up for your own insecurities. Its time to grow up and face the fact that its out there and they deserve the same respect you all do.

May 23, 2006 @ 2:30 am | Comment

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URL

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.