Last updated at: (Beijing Time) Monday, March 08, 2004

Photos: Transexual steals spotlight at Miss Universe-China show

Chen Lili, a 24-year old transsexual from Sichuan Province, was granted an oppotunity to appear at the contest to display her good shape and look. The Miss Universe headquarters says she can not enter the next phase of the beauty pageant because she is not born a woman.


The orange bikini and chocolate-color wig shone under the spotlight, outlining the enchanting figure of Chen Lili, a transexual Chinese woman, at the Miss Universe-China competition in Southwestern Sichuan Province.

Though barred from the contest because she was born a man, Chen was given the chance to perform on Sunday and she cut quite a figure, reported Monday's Shanghai Morning Post.

"Chen seemed to outshine all the 37 beauty queen contestants on the stage," the paper said.

Chen was invited to address the audience before the contest. She talked about her country boy life and said she really "cherished the opportunity to perform here as it means so much to finally stand on this stage".

She performed the song "Wind Season" in Cantonese. Though trying to be feminine, her voice broke in parts, but still the audience gave her great applause.

Chen applied to enter the 54th Miss World Competition, but was denied entry in February as "it would be unfair to the other candidates if we allow a transsexual to participate", said a Sichuan official in charge of the contest.

The 1.73-meter-tall Chen Lili, formerly named Chen Yongjun, meaning "brave soldier" is a stunning fashion model in southwest China's Chongqing Municipality.

She underwent a sex change operation last November in east China's Shandong Province, and picked up the new name "Lili", inspired by a popular Korean transsexual star "Harisu", or in Chinese "He Lixiu", who is her idol.

She was registered as a woman on her national ID from the Nanchong police authority in Sichuan on Feb. 11.

As Monday is International Women's Day and Chen's first women'sday, she had a list of activities with which to enjoy the occasionafter Sunday's performance.

"Shopping, facial, spa, I will do everything women enjoy to celebrate my first women's festival," she said.

Chen Lili, a Chinese transsexual, sings during the Sichuan regional competion of Miss Universe, March 7. [sina]

Chen, in bikini, prepares her hair at the backstage. [sina]

Chen poses on the stage featuring bikini. [sina]

By People's Daily Online

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