The grand final will be held at The Athena in Leicester

BY FRAN DI FAZIO

Could Britain’s longest running beauty contest finally get its first openly lesbian beauty queen? Forklift truck driver and plus-size model Emma-Jay Webber, 40, from Bristol, will compete in the 31-44 age category of the Miss Great Britain National Final in Leicester on 21 October.

Emma-Jay, who is also a radio presenter and a mother of two, already made history as the first lesbian winner of the Miss Paragon International Pageant in 2019. By competing for the Ms Great Britain crown, she hopes to put LGBTQI identities on the map, as she stated on her Instagram.

“Being a finalist for Ms Great Britain is much more than a title,” she said. “I hope to represent the change and be the beacon of light for those still hidden from sight due to fears of rejection.”

Emma-Jay has long sought to change the game for LGBTQI women in the highly heteronormative world of pageantry. Her two campaigns – #IAmVisible and #PageantPride – mobilised people across the globe to show that girls of any sexual orientation can become beauty queens. She herself has said that she initially got involved in pageant contests to improve her self-confidence.

Emma-Jay told the press: “I would like to say a huge Thank you to Saffron, the Miss GB Team and sponsor The Skin Confidence Clinic for this incredible opportunity and I really hope I do you proud.”

The grand final will be held at The Athena in Leicester. 65 contestants divided in three age categories – 18-30 for Miss Great Britain, 31-44 for Ms Great Britain and 45+ for Ms Great Britain Classic – will compete in Fashion Wear, Swimwear and Evening Gown Rounds and will go through a panel interview.

For more information about Miss Great Britain, visit www.missgreatbritain.co.uk.

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