As the highly-anticipated return of the Rose of Tralee quickly approaches, host Dáithí Ó Sé has said that the competition “is for everyone” and that he “can’t wait” to have a Trans woman participating.
“I mean could you imagine the conversation?” he continued. “I think it would be hugely positive to get to hear about that person’s life, from the day they were born to the day they came on stage.”
After being postponed for the last two years due to Covid-19, the 2022 edition of the show takes place from August 19 to 23. With 33 women set to compete, Dáithí Ó Sé said: “I haven’t met the current Roses yet, so I don’t know if we have a trans contestant this year, but we need to put out those positive vibes.”
While Trans women were never explicitly excluded from the show, organisers officially confirmed in December 2021 that “anyone identifying as female” was invited to enter.
Speaking at the time, the Rose of Tralee’s Executive Chair, Anthony O’Gara commented: “In case there is any doubt, we never said that Transgender people could not take part.
“We weren’t clear enough about it before. Now we’re being proactive and stating clearly that the Rose of Tralee is open to all people who identify as women.
“This isn’t a change of policy, it’s clarifying our existing policy,” he continued.
They made the statement alongside announcing a new venue – the Munster Technological University’s sports arena, and a set of new eligibility rules. From 2022, any woman, whether single or married, may apply, so long as they are between the ages of 18 and 29, are an Irish citizen or of Irish origin, and have never previously represented any Centre as a Rose in the Regional Festival or International Rose of Tralee Selection. The entrant sponsorship fee was also lowered from €300 to €200, making the application process more accessible.
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