Filipina queens speak on a transgender Miss Universe contender

13 Jul 2018 | Angelique Reyes

Miss Universe Spain 2018 recently crowned their contender, and in a progressive move, they crowned a transgender beauty to represent them at the Miss Universe 2018 pageant. Miss Universe Spain 2018 Angela Ponce has become a hot topic of discussion since her crowning and has sparked up the discussion of whether trans women should be allowed to compete under the Miss Universe Franchise.

The debate has also affected pageant fans and queens in Philippines, and the queens are now coming forward with their views on it. It first started with Miss Universe Philippines 2018 Catriona Elisa Gray.

Catriona was questioned by an interviewer on whether she was comfortable competing alongside a trans woman. To this she replied, "Personally, I have no problem with it. But I do understand why there's quite an uproar amongst all the fans and different people looking at the issue."


Filipina queens speak on a transgender Miss Universe contender


"But you know I think it really depends, one on the Miss Universe Organization, if they allow it and that's their prerogative; and the bansa, or the country itself. If that contestant can go through the casting process, become a candidate, and earn the right to represent her country, then why not? Who are we to say, 'You know that's wrong.’ I mean it's the discretion talaga of the organization," Gray added.

The next queen, Reina Hispanoamericana 2017 Teresita Wyn Marquez had slightly opposite views on the matter. On being asked if she felt allowing a trans woman to compete at Miss Universe 2018 was the right choice, Teresita said, “I’m really proud na sobrang happy, out na talaga, and everyone is respecting them, di ba? Pero Miss Universe per se, sana ibigay na lang sa natural-born women (I'm really proud of being super happy, out really, and everyone is respecting them, right? But Miss Universe per se, let's just give it to natural-born women,),” she said in an interview with the entertainment website. “Kasi there is Miss International Queen, it’s a prestigious pageant also. And Miss International Queen ay isang beauty pageant na ekslusibo para sa mga transwomen. (There's Miss International Queen, it's a prestigious pageant too. And Miss International Queen is a beauty pageant exclusively for transwomen.)”

Nevertheless, Marquez said she will support the decision of the Miss Universe Organization should they decide to include transwomen in their list of official candidates this year.

“Kung i-allow naman ng (If you allow it to) Miss Universe Organization, then we should accept it also. Walang problema (No problem). Wala pang official statement ang Miss Universe Organization kung pahihintulutan nilang makasali si Angela sa susunod na Miss Universe pageant (Miss Universe Organization has no official statement if they allow Angela to join the Miss Universe pageant),” she elaborated.

Marquez was then asked if she was afraid of being bashed by the Latino community on account of her answer, she replied, “Everyone is entitled to her own opinion… Kung ano man ang opinyon nila, kung gusto niyang sumali (Whatever their opinion, if he wants to join), we have to respect. And kung ayaw naman ng isa (if one does not want to), we also have to respect that.”

However, she also concluded with the same words as Catriona. She said, “It all boils down to what the Miss Universe Organization will do. If they accept, then we all have to accept it.”

In the end, Miss Universe 2015 Pia Wurtzbach talked about Angela in an interview, and said, “You don’t have to be natural born woman to be Miss Universe!”

While the Filipina queens are talking about this issue at hand, other pageants like Miss Earth are considering revising their rule set to include trans women a well. Other pageants like Miss Universe Puerto Rico have already taken the step, and revise their rules to let trans women participate in their pageants.

Is this a move forward?