Former Cree pageant princess stands against controversial LGBT rule change

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12/07/2023

The first openly two-spirit Miss Eeyou Eenou Iskwaau (MEEI) in northern Quebec says they didn’t feel welcome to attend a regional pageant to crown their replacement and worry how a controversy over an eligibility rule will make lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) youth in Eeyou Istchee feel. Geraldine Shecapio, who goes by they/them pronouns, was crowned in 2021. At the time, their name was Geraldine Trapper. The regional Cree princess pageant to choose the next Miss Eeyou Eenou Iskwaau to replace Shecapio was held Nov. 17 and 18 in Eastmain. But a draft application package circulated by pageant organizers, the Cree Women of Eeyou Istchee Association (CWEIA), in the weeks leading up to the event, outlined eligibility criteria that contestants needed to identify as female. “I thought that requirement was very anti-trans and anti-LGBT. I didn’t like it,” said Shecapio, adding it wasn’t there when they competed in 2021.

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