Transgender Teenager Snags Finalist Spot In UK Beauty Pageant

Jackie Green, an 18-year-old transgender teen, has made it to the semi-finals of the Miss England national competition. She’s the first transgender person to ever do so!

Jackie transitioned just two years ago, the Mirror reports:

Born Jack, she had the seven-hour gender reassignment operation—which is not performed on under-18s in the UK—in Thailand on her 16th birthday.

Her mum Susie remortgaged her house to pay £28,000 for treatment and flights after her daughter attempted suicide five times.

Susie, 43, said: “I’m really proud of her. She’s been through an awful lot but she has chosen to put herself out there and at risk.

“There is a lot of prejudice out there but she is trying to make people understand this isn’t a choice and it can be OK.”

Jackie, for her part, says she’s “ecstastic” to have made it this far, telling the Mirror: “Lots of people have been in touch and it makes me blush to think I have inspired others. I never thought I would be able to inspire anyone.”

Best of luck to Jackie. She and Canada’s Jenna Talackova are certainly blazing trails as transgender beauty-pageant pioneers.