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Tipsheet

Transgender Business Tycoon and Activist Buys Miss Universe

Greg Harbaugh

This week, a Thai business tycoon who is a biological male that identifies as a transgender woman purchased the Miss Universe pageant organization for $20 million.

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Chakrapong “Anne” Chakrajutathib controls JKN Global Group Public Co. Ltd. and is outspoken about being a transgender woman, ABC News reported. Chakrajutathib helped create a non-profit aimed at promoting transsexual rights and stars in local versions of Project Runway and Shark Tank:

A profile of Chakrapong in the Bangkok Post newspaper earlier this year said in her youth, she studied at an all-male school where she was harassed for identifying as female. After attaining financial success, she spent 40 million baht ($1 million) on sex reassignment surgery and other procedures, it said.

Reuters noted that Chakrajutathib’s company said Wednesday that this is the first time the Miss Universe organization “will be owned by a woman.”

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JKN purchased the organization from Endeavor Group Holdings Inc., which had owned it since 2015. It used to be owned in part by former President Donald Trump.

In 2021, Kataluna Enriquez made headlines for being crowned Miss Nevada USA, and being the first transgender “woman” to do so. The win qualified Enriquez to compete in the upcoming Miss USA pageant that year. Enriquez defeated 21 other biological women for the spot, according to NPR. Once Miss USA is crowned, they go on to compete in Miss Universe.

NPR’s report added that Enriquez face “discrimination” because pageant organizers would not assign Enriquez a biological female roommate at competitions.

"My win is not just a win for the trans community," Enriquez reportedly  said. "It's a win for all women to be represented."

Enriquez was ultimately eliminated from the Miss USA contest.


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