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Tuesday, December 11, 2018

How do Pinay queens feel about Angela?

ANGELA Ponce, 26, is the first transgender woman to win Miss Spain. She was crowned last June 29. She will also be Miss Universe’s first transgender contestant as she will be representing Spain in the prestigious beauty pageant this year.

But how do Filipina beauty queens feel about having a transgender Miss Universe contestant?

In an interview with entertainment website Push, Miss Universe 2015 Pia Wurtzbach said that she has nothing against transwomen joining the pageant.

“Well, I always knew that transgenders are allowed to join Miss Universe and win Miss Universe,” Wurtzbach said. Miss Universe has allowed transgender women to join the contest since 2012.

Miss International 2013 Bea Rose Santiago said, in a separate interview with Push, that she does not see anything wrong with transwomen joining Miss Universe.

Santiago said that she has no problem with it because she grew up with a lot of friends and family members who are part of the LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer) community.

“For me, it’s kind of old news because I think years ago, Miss Universe Canada wanted to push the barrier, and that’s the reason why allowed na ‘yung transgender community to join Miss Universe,” said Santiago.

“So it wasn’t really, like, new kasi alam na natin. It’s just a matter kung sinong ma-uunang magpadala ng representative who’s a transgender,” she continued.

Santiago thanked the LGBTQ community because they played an important role in her journey as a beauty queen.

“All of my mentors (are gay). I wouldn’t win Miss International if it wasn’t for them,” said Santiago.

In another interview, Miss Universe Philippines 2018 Catriona Gray said that she is open to the decision of the Miss Universe Organization to let transwomen join the competition.

“I am very open-minded to it. It gives us the opportunity to learn more about the LGBTQ community, the challenges and issues that they’re facing,” said Gray.

“A lot of people, like us, we’re talking about it, and I think it’s a good thing,” she added.

However, Reina Hispanoamericana 2017 Teresita Ssen Marquez has a different view about it.

In an interview with Glitz.ph, Marquez said that while she loved the idea of Spain permitting Ponce to participate, she thinks Miss Universe, per se, should be given to natural-born women.

“Kasi there is Miss International Queen, tama ba? It’s a prestigious pageant also... let’s just give it (Miss Universe) to the natural-born women, and for transgenders to have their own prestigious pageant,” said Marquez.

“Pero kung i-allow naman ng Miss Universe pageant, then we should accept it also,” she continued.

Marquez also clarified that she has nothing against transgenders.

The 67th Miss Universe pageant will be held later this year.

Ponce, for her part, wants to make history as a role model for trans children around the globe—no matter whether she wins or not the top beauty title.

The location and dates for this year’s contest have yet to be announced. But Ponce is already planning to use it as a platform to draw attention toward high rates of suicides among trans teenagers, as well as legal codes that still discriminate against them around the world.

“If my going through all this contributes to the world moving a little step forward, then that’s a personal crown that will always accompany me,” Ponce said.

Ponce said she had suffered discrimination before as a model, being rejected for fashion events or shoots once designers or organizers discovered she had undergone a sex reassignment procedure.

But in those moments, she said her life motto—“To be the best is not an option, is a must”—gave her strength.

She said her experience growing up in a “loving and supporting family” but without any role models in a small town in southern Spain, near Sevilla, can be a useful story for others.

“My parents never had to go to school to demand any changes in attitudes, I did it myself,” Ponce said, highlighting how she would meet aside with every new teacher and tell them: “Whatever name appears in the roll call, you should call me Angela.”

The five 5 foot, 11 inch model’s career took off after she won a provincial beauty award in 2015, reaching new heights last month with the Miss Universe pageant.

“I closed my eyes,” she said recalling the victory. “All I wanted was to feel how they put on the crown because I was aware that it was a historical moment.”

In 2012, 23-year-old Jenna Talackova was banned from Canada’s Miss Universe pageant for not being a “naturally born” female. The organization—run at the time by now US President Donald Trump—changed the regulations after she threatened legal action. Talackova made it to the shortlist in Canada, but didn’t win entry to the international contest.

Six years later, Ponce said that transphobia remains a global problem, even in Spain, a country she sees as a pioneer in the protection of LGBTQ rights.

After Ponce’s victory in the Spanish beauty title, she received hundreds of messages of support on social media, but also some criticism—even from some feminist, gay or transgender users who decried beauty pageants in general as objectification.

“We can’t be hypocritical,” said Ponce, rejecting the charges and describing her victories as success for all transgender people. “Beauty is used to sell everything around us, and beauty can also help us spread a message of equality.”

Marquez also clarified that she has nothing against transgenders.

The 67th Miss Universe pageant will be held later this year.

Ponce, for her part, wants to make history as a role model for trans children around the globe—whether she wins the top beauty title or not.

The location and dates for this year’s contest have yet to be announced. But Ponce is already planning to use it as a platform to draw attention toward the high rates of suicides among trans teenagers, as well as legal codes that still discriminate against them around the world.

“If my going through all this contributes to the world moving a little step forward, then that’s a personal crown that will always accompany me,” Ponce said.

Ponce said she had suffered discrimination before as a model, being rejected for fashion events or shoots once designers or organizers discovered she had undergone a sex reassignment procedure.

But in those moments, she said her life motto—“To be the best is not an option, it is a must”—gave her strength.

She said her experience growing up in a “loving and supportive family” but without any role models in a small town in southern Spain, near Sevilla, can be a useful story for others.

“My parents never had to go to school to demand any changes in attitudes. I did it myself,” Ponce said, highlighting how she would meet aside with every new teacher and tell them: “Whatever name appears in the roll call, you should call me Angela.”

The 5 foot, 11 inch model’s career took off after she won a provincial beauty award in 2015, reaching new heights last month with the Miss Universe pageant.

“I closed my eyes,” she said, recalling the victory. “All I wanted was to feel how they put on the crown because I was aware that it was a historical moment.”

In 2012, 23-year-old Jenna Talackova was banned from Canada’s Miss Universe pageant for not being a “naturally born” female. The organization—run at the time by now US President Donald Trump—changed the regulations after she threatened legal action. Talackova made it to the shortlist in Canada, but didn’t win entry to the international contest.

Six years later, Ponce said that transphobia remains a global problem, even in Spain, a country she sees as a pioneer in the protection of LGBTQ rights.

After Ponce’s victory in the Spanish beauty title, she received hundreds of messages of support on social media, but also some criticism—even from some feminist, gay or transgender users who decried beauty pageants in general as objectification.

“We can’t be hypocritical,” said Ponce, rejecting the charges and describing her victories as success for all transgender people. “Beauty is used to sell everything around us, and beauty can also help us spread a message of equality.” (AP)


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