Brazil’s popular Miss BumBum beauty pageant has officially opened up the competition to trans women, and some competitors aren’t having it.
The annual derriere contest, designed to honor the best bum in all of Brazil’s 27 states, awards its winner a prize of $50,000 reais (about $13,600).
For the first time, this year’s edition of the competition will include two trans woman, Paula Oliveira and Giovanna Spinella. Both women celebrated the inclusion as a victory—but now, they say they’re experiencing transphobic harassment from fellow competitors, who think they shouldn’t be allowed to compete.
“The competition is supposed to be 100% feminine and yet we’re going to have bottoms which are men’s bottoms,” one fellow contestant, 31-year-old Ellen Santana, told The Sun.
But Oliveira and Spinella are shrugging off the backlash: “They are feeling threatened because they are seeing a trans [person] who is more beautiful than them,” Oliveira said. “I’m not offended by what they said, because it’s clear they want me out because I’ve got a much sexier ass.”
The theme of Miss BumBum 2018 is diversity—and officials from the contest, including founder Cacau Oliver, have threatened to disqualify competitors if they continue to harass the two trans women.
“As long as these women have undergone sex reassignment surgery, and have become fully women, there is nothing that prevents them from taking part,” Oliver told The Sun. “The truth is that, by the law, they are 100% women.”
Brazil has offered free gender-confirming surgeries for its trans community since 2007, although the country also has some of the most staggering rates of anti-LGBT violence in the world. As recently as last week, a non-binary model was found murdered in the poverty-striken favelas of Rio de Janeiro after she went missing in April.