Transgender Calgarian wins breast implant prize

The landslide winner of a radio station's controversial breast implant contest is a transgender Calgarian.

The landslide winner of a radio station's controversial breast implant contest is a transgender Calgarian.

Avery is the winner of a Calgary radio station's breast implant contest. ((Amp Radio))

The winner of the Amp Radio contest, named by the station only as a musician called Avery, tallied 76 per cent of 30,000 online votes.

In an interview with the radio station, Avery said she is transitioning from a male to a female and having breast implants would mean she wouldn't "have to face so much bigotry on a daily basis."

Alberta delisted sex change surgeries  as a covered medical procedure in 2009 to save the government $700,000 a year.

Avery told the radio station she is paying for hormone treatment therapy and didn't think she would be able to afford breast implants.

"Basically all the funding has been cut off for transgender people to get sexual reassignment, so right now I have to pay all out of my own pocket," she said.

"As far as the surgery, I didn't even think I'd ever be able to get this done. So that is just awesome."

The contest was controversial. Earlier this week, someone painted a crude mock-up of the station's logo on an exterior wall of the station's northeast Calgary headquarters, calling the contest sexist.

Following the vandalism, station manager Vinka Duroja told CBC News that some people had described the contest as being in poor taste, but hundreds entered, including cancer patients.

Judges appointed by the Top 40 radio station picked 10 finalists out of the entrants in mid-July based on the photos they received and the reasons the entrants gave for wanting the $10,000 surgery. Listeners then voted for a winner.