Janet Mock Will Be A Judge At Miss USA Pageant

Mock will be the first transgender judge in the competitions 65-year history.

Janet Mock will join the judges panel at the Miss USA pageant 2017, this Sunday in Las Vegas. She joins five other judges at the competition, which rates 51 single women on swimsuit, gown, and interview segments.

On Instagram, the trans writer and activist admitted she “felt conflicted” about the gig.

“Then I remembered that as a feminist my job is to champion other women and celebrate their choices and dreams,” said Mock, whose memoir Surpassing Certainty hits stores in June. “With that said, I am ecstatic to be part of a panel that will help a woman extend her platform and use her voice, her intellect, her personal experiences, and yes, her beauty to shine a light on the issues that matter to her most.”

Transgender women have been allowed to compete in Miss USA and Miss Universe since 2012, when Canada’s Jenna Talackova became the first trans entrant in Miss Universe.

Launched in 1952, Miss USA is held to select the American entrant in the annual Miss Universe pageant. Both competitions were owned and produced by Donald Trump starting in 1996. In 2015, after Trump’s remarks about undocumented immigrants during his presidential campaign, Univision dropped the pageants, and NBCUniversal took steps to remove itself from a broadcast arrangement.

Carley Margolis/FilmMagic

Both Miss Teen USA and Miss Universe were sold to WME/IMG in September 2015, and they began airing on Fox since 2016.

As LGBTQ Nation points out, WME/IMG’s chief financial officer, Chris Liddell, was hired in January to be an assistant to the president and director of strategic initiatives for the Trump administration.

Other judges this year include Drag Race panelist Carson Kressley, Miss USA 1997 Brook Lee, Dress for Success’ Nancy Lublin, daytime host Jeannie Mai and Halima Aden, the first woman to compete in a Miss USA state pageant wearing a hijab and burkini.

The 2017 Miss USA Pageant airs Sunday at 8pm on Fox.

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