Filipina Wins World’s Largest Transgender Pageant

Filipina Wins World's Largest Transgender Pageant

Photo from @missinternational queen on Instagram

Trixie Maristela, the reigning Miss Gay Manila and Super Sireyna, bested 26 contestants from 17 countries to be this year’s Miss International Queen. The pageant is described as the world’s largest transgender pageant, and is open to both pre- and post-gender reassignment surgery. Maristela won the crown this Friday in Pattaya, Thailand.

The first runner-up was Brazil’s Valesca Dominik Ferraz of Brazil, followed by Thailand’s Supida Siriwattananukoon as 2nd runner-up.

She* told “I’m very thankful to be given this chance to be Miss International Queen, a very prestigious pageant for transgenders like me. This kind of pageant empowers transwomen like us because Thailand, especially the organizers of Miss International Queen, made us feel that we’re very important people. And because of that, we gained confidence and we’re empowered to do whatever it is…”

Maristela is known for her beauty and intelligence, which Art Sta. Ana, her boyfriend, wrote about in a touching article on Manila Bulletin. The first paragraph read “So I’m dating a transgender. So what?” After making their relationship public, Sta. Ana wrote a book called He’s Dating the Transgender.

During the question and answer portion of Miss International Queen, Maristela was asked, “How do you compare beauty inside and beauty outside?” She answered:

Beauty from the inside starts from the heart but beauty from outside is just a physical appearance. In the end, what matters is beauty in the inside will radiate outside because a true queen does not want just a beautiful face or golden crown, but a true queen also possess a golden heart.

Maristela is the second Filipina to win the prestigious Miss International Queen. The first was Kevin Balot in 2012.

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* purposefully described Maristela as a Filipina and used the pronoun “she” to describe her. This is because Maristela identifies as a woman and it is only polite to respect that.