After representatives for the Miss Italy pageant said that transgender women could not participate in the competition, transgender men registered for the pageant en masse to protest. In mid-July, Patrizia Mirigliani, the pageant’s patron, told Italian station Radio Cusano she thought inclusivity for transgender women in pageants was a bit absurd, and said she would not jump on the glittery bandwagon of trans activism. Her comments were made after a transgender woman, Rikkie Valerie Kollé, won the Miss Netherlands contest for the first time. Her comments caused a stir in the transgender community, especially because, as NBC News reported, the Miss Italy contest feeds into the larger Miss Universe pageant, which is owned by Anne Jakkaphong Jakrajutatip, a trans businesswoman. In response to Mirigliani’s statements, trans activist Federico Barbarossa decided to sign up for Miss Italy himself, since he technically fits the criteria to enter, and encouraged dozens of other trans men to do the same. It has been noted by media outlets that because the process of finalizing a name and gender change in Italy is difficult, many transgender men qualify for the pageant despite their identification — they have Italian nationality or citizenship, are over 18, were assigned female at birth, and are still registered as female on various identity documents.