A transgender girl from Virginia has been crowned the first transgender athlete to win the Miss America pageant in a new case that may open up the sport to other transgender athletes.
“I’m proud of myself and I’m happy with what I’ve accomplished and I think I have the potential to do even more,” Caitlyn Jenner told ABC News’ Good Morning America in a segment that aired Tuesday.
“But I’m also scared to be a part of this sport, to be the one in the back of the line, and I’ve felt that, you know, that this isn’t safe for me.
I don’t know if I have a safe place right now.”
Jenner, who is a transgender woman and a woman, is not the only transgender athlete who is hoping to be in the front row for the pageant, but her case may set a precedent for other transgender people who want to be among the top athletes in the world.
Former Olympian Bruce Jenner is one of several transgender athletes who are vying to be featured in the Miss Universe competition.
Last year, Jenner competed in the women’s 50-meter hurdles, the 100-meter backstroke and the women-only 400-meter dash.
Jenner, who was born female, was the first person to win three Miss America titles.
In the fall of 2015, Jenner became the first athlete in history to win a gold medal in both the men’s and women’s 200-meter freestyle events, earning her the bronze medal.
Jenners’ case was brought to the attention of the Miss World organization after she lost a case in which she was banned from competing for the United States in international competitions.
In December, she was ordered to leave the United Kingdom for good after she refused to comply with the ban on her travel to the country.
Her lawyer, Richard Hasen, told ABC’s Good Morning Americans that Jenner’s ban was imposed after he met with the International Olympic Committee and the U.S. government to discuss her case.
Hasen said Jenner, a former gymnast and swimmer, was barred from competing in the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro because of the IOC’s anti-discrimination policy.
The IOC, the governing body of the Olympics, said in a statement that it would not allow athletes to compete in international competition without an exception.
A transgender woman was the top vote-getter in the U., New York state for Miss America, but in 2018, she lost her bid for Miss New York after a judge found she had not made sufficient efforts to prove she was a woman.
After winning the Miss California title in 2018 and winning the crown for the first time, Jenner said she would compete in the 2019 Miss America competition.
She had previously announced that she would enter the pageant in 2019, but that announcement was delayed when she became the subject of a federal lawsuit alleging she was discriminated against for her gender identity.
The legal case brought against Jenner by her family has since been settled, and the United Nations Human Rights Council has said that it will continue to investigate her case, and it will be decided by a committee of experts.
The court ruling, which was issued Tuesday, said Jenner’s gender identity should not be a factor in whether she qualifies for the Miss USA crown.
“The issue of transgender identity is not one for which transgender people should be singled out, and therefore the matter must be decided according to the relevant provisions of international law,” the ruling said.
“The issue is whether the relevant provision of international human rights law prohibits discrimination based on gender identity.”