13 April 2012

Bb. Pilipinas Now Open To Transgenders


The Bb. Pilipinas Charities, Inc. (BPCI), which sends representatives to the Miss Universe beauty pageant every year, said Thursday it will respect the decision of the Miss Universe Organization to allow transgenders to compete starting next year.
“We respect the decision of the Miss Universe Organization to change its policy regarding transgender participation in the pageant. At the moment, however, we are still awaiting the guidelines of this policy decision from the Miss Universe Organization,’’ said Tessa Mangahas, Public Relations and Corporate Communications Manager of Araneta Center, Inc.
This developed as officials of the Miss Earth beauty contest said transgenders are not allowed in the Miss Earth pageant, one of the contests rivaling the Miss Universe competition.

"We have religions here that are really conservative. We're talking about Muslims, Christians, Catholics. So I don't think it will happen in the near future," said Lorraine Schuck, chief executive officer of Carousel Productions, which handles the Miss Earth pageant.
"I don't think we're ready for that yet, especially the Philippines," said Peachy Veneracion, vice president of Carousel Productions, in an interview over ABS-CBN.
Last Tuesday, the Miss Universe contest changed its rules and allowed transgender women to compete in the pageant starting in 2013.
The new rule came after Jenna Talackova, 23, a contestant in this year’s Miss Canada Universe pageant, was disqualified because she was not a natural born female.
Billionaire Donald Trump, who owns the Miss Universe franchise, reinstated Talackova after she showed documents that identify her as a woman.
"We have a long history of supporting equality for all women, and this was something we took very seriously," said Paula Shugart, president of the Miss Universe Organization.
The historic decision of the organization drew varied reactions from beauty queens here and abroad.
1999 Miss Universe first runner-up Miriam Quiambao criticized the decision, saying the pageant has lost its essence of being an event for women.
“In my humble opinion, the decision to include transgenders in the Miss Universe pageant sends a wrong message. Whatever happened to the essence of a woman? This may set a precedent that one day most participants in the pageant are transgenders. I’m not judging gays/transgenders. I love them anyway, but Miss Universe should be for natural born women only,’’ Quiambao posted via Tweeter.
2011 Bb. Pilipinas-International Diance Necio expressed concern that most of the contestants in local pageants in the future would be transgenders.
“It would definitely be more exciting to have transgenders compete in a prestigious pageant such as Miss Universe. And I'm sure if they would allow this in the Philippines, three-fourth of the candidates will be transgenders. That's why it should not be implemented. Naturally born women will lose their chance to compete in Miss Universe. Miss Universe Organization should make another pageant for transgenders and make it as prestigious as the said pageant,’’ said Necio, one of the semifinalists in the 2011 Miss International pageant held in China.
By ROBERT R. REQUINTINA
mb.com.ph

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