Beauty queens divided as Miss Universe Philippines, other countries open to transgender bets

Beauty queens divided as Miss Universe Philippines, other countries open to transgender bets

MANILA, Philippines — After Miss Universe Spain 2018 Angela Ponce made a splash as the first transgender woman to have competed Miss Universe, the Miss Universe Vietnam organization follows through with its acceptance of Do Tay Ha, a Business Administration student at the Ho Chi Minh University, as the national pageant's first transgender applicant.

The Miss Universe South Africa organization is, likewise, opening its pageant to transgender women.

Likewise, the Miss Universe Philippines organization has also given its assent. "As long as they have legal documents to prove they are now female and they already underwent gender reassignment surgery," intoned national director Shamcey Supsup-Lee.

The inclusion of transgender women in the Miss Universe competition is a tricky issue for many women. Among them is Miss Universe Colombia 2018 Valeria Morales, who refused to be Miss Universe Spain 2018 Angela Ponce's roommate because she said "Angela was still a man."

While both delegates did not advance to the semi-final round, Angela was, however, given the spotlight in recognition of her being the first transgender candidate in the history of the Miss Universe pageant.

It was a victory, of sorts, both for Angela and Thailand, who has a sizeable community of transgender who are now living the "life of a woman."

Miss Universe 2018 Catriona Gray, who competed with Angela Ponce in Bangkok, said that "personally, I have no problem with it." This was her stand when the question was brought up during a "Bottomline" show interview with Boy Abunda, prior to her departure for Thailand.

For her part, Miss Universe 2015 Pia Wurtzbach said that "well, I always knew that transgenders are allowed to join and win Miss Universe," while Miss Universe 2013 runner-up Ariella Arida stated that "it is a milestone for Miss Universe. I'm fine with it."

On the other hand, Reina Hispanoamericana 2017 Teresita Ssen Marquez opined that "sana ibigay nalang sa natural-born woman," while Miss Intercontinental Queen 2012 Kevin Balot concurred by saying that "transgender women joining the Miss Universe is not equality anymore."

Bb. Pilipinas-International 2014 Bianca Guidotti pointed out that "a pageant should not validate you (your gender)."

And with Alex Mariah Peter making history as the first transgender winning Germany's recent "Next Top Model," the discourses and debate toward this issue will go a long, long way still.

RELATED: First Binibining Pilipinas winner's descendant eyed for Miss Grand International 2021

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