Pageant contestants keen to compete against transgender teen

Battle of the babes contestants Alexis Lawson, Denise Ghiglione, Shanise Siriana Wongchiu, Shard McNeil, Nancy, Zhang and Brittany Loran Macdonald. Photo / Chris Gorman
Battle of the babes contestants Alexis Lawson, Denise Ghiglione, Shanise Siriana Wongchiu, Shard McNeil, Nancy, Zhang and Brittany Loran Macdonald. Photo / Chris Gorman

Contestants of a "battle of the babes" competition say they're looking forward to competing against a transgender teenager at the New Zealand final tonight.

Amy Brosnahan, 18, rewrote pageant history last month when she was selected as one of 30 finalists of the competition.

She was originally told she could not enter after revealing to the pageant's organisers that she was not born a female, but was reinstated after the Human Rights Commission became involved.


Transgender contestant Amy Brosnahan. Photo / Chris Loufte

The competition's organiser Andrew Featherston said Ms Brosnahan had earned her place on merit. "We didn't refer to the transgender thing at all.

It was all about her performance and on her looks."

At the Juice Bar in Parnell yesterday, the venue for tonight's New Zealand's final, Ms Brosnahan's fellow competitors said they were looking forward to competing against her.

She didn't make it to the pre-event promotion, but Mr Featherston was confident she would make it to tonight's final, saying when he last spoke to her she seemed "pretty amped about it all".

Finalist Shanise Siriana Wongchiu said she met Ms Brosnahan at the Auckland final.

"She was really nervous, she was just getting ready ... she has full potential to actually win this."

Ms Wongchiu said they bonded after realising Ms Brosnahan was also part-Samoan.

"I personally think good on her, it's awesome," finalist Shard McNeill said.

The winner of tonight's final will represent New Zealand at the World Final in Hong Kong in August.

- APNZ

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