Tranny Pageant This Weekend in Las Vegas

Ed Palomar
LAS VEGAS - Here he/she comes – Miss Transsexual America.

The "World’s Most Beautiful Transsexual Contest" is taking place today through Sunday at Las Vegas' Riviera Hotel. Up to $25,000 in prizes is being offered to winners.

According to Wayne Bernath, the publicist and producer of the event, the "World’s Most Beautiful Transsexual Contest" is being modeled after the "Miss America" pageant. Contestants will participate in the talent, bathing suit, and evening gown competitions.

The difference is that “all competitors must be able to prove that they are either pre-op or post-op transsexuals,” Bernath told XBiz. “Pre-op means that they are on their way to becoming women, such as by taking hormones. Proof can be provided with a doctor’s letter. Post-op refers to after they have undergone the gender-changing surgery and operation."

Bernath also ballyhooed the contest as “something new and different that’s never been done before."

"Mainstream Americans will attend out of curiosity ... people who watch Jerry Springer," he said.

Hundreds of tickets have already been sold for the event at the 4,000-seat Riviera’s Convention Center's hall. Ticket prices start at $60.50.

Thirty-five contestants are taking part in preliminaries today.

On Saturday, finalists will compete for the title of the World’s Most Beautiful Transsexual. According to Bernath, the winner will snare $5,000 in cash and a one-week cruise for two to the Bahamas. The first runner-up will win $2,500 in cash, while the second runner-up will receive $1,000. Winners in the best gown and best swimsuit categories will win $500 each. And in keeping with that Miss America tradition, there will also be a Miss Congeniality title.

Bernath told XBiz that preliminary judges include a singer, professional pageant judge, a Las Vegas radio and TV personality, pageant director Lou Haskell (one of the owners of the "Miss USA" contest), and ex-porn star Tom Southern.

The judges for the finals include Chyna Doll, who wrestled for the World Wrestling Entertainment Inc., Hollywood makeup man Joe Blasco, former Miss Nevada Alicia Jacobs, and Las Vegas’ oldest showgirl, 80-something Ruth Gillis, who opened for Liberace in 1955.

The contest’s co-hosts are singer Stuart May and Jahna Steele, who had been voted Las Vegas’ Most Beautiful Showgirl, before being outted as a transsexual by a tabloid TV show.

The pageant is being produced by Norbert Aleman, who also produces the Riviera’s "Crazy Girls" revue. Bernath promotes "Crazy Girls," as well as the Riviera’s transvestite show, "La Cage," which features celebrity impersonators of stars such as Liza Minnelli and Jennifer Lopez.

Bernath said that if the "World’s Most Beautiful Transsexual Contest" is successful, it could lead to Las Vegas’ first transsexual revue.