DULAG, Leyte- A beach resort, this town, was transformed into a venue where 18 transgenders sashayed in colorful gowns and swimwears to win the title as ‘Queen of the Philippines Visayas’ held on August 10.
While the pageant has all the hallmarks of the run-on-mill beauty pageant like the gown and swim suit competitions and the question and answer portion, it has a ‘higher’ aim, said its organizers.
Jojo Mesa, whose D&S Events and Production is the franchise holder of the beauty pageant, insisted that the ‘Queen of the Philippines’ is aiming for respect among transgenders who are participating the pageant.
“It’s sad that we have several beauty pageants for our gays that only depicts them like funny characters which result for them not to be respected and only result to further discrimination against members of the community,” Mesa said.
“This contest, Queen of the Philippines, aims to change that perception. We want our gays and transgenders be respected and accepted as they are,” he added.
According to Mesa, one of the qualifications of the contest is for the candidates to really look like a woman in physical aspect.
In this contest, he said, gone are those gay candidates who still display their masculine side.
“They are all transgenders. They all look like women-having breasts and long hair. They don’t sport muscles unlike in gay contests we seen in the barangays,” Mesa said.
The 18 candidates who vied for the title came from various parts of the Visayas like Cebu, Biliran, Tacloban City and other parts of Samar and Leyte.
Mesa said that they hope that pageants involving members of the LGBT community will be totally accepted by the public just like the regular beauty pageants involving natural women.
“That is our aim. That is why, we carefully screen the candidates and we get respected members of the community as our judges,” he said.
Among the judges of the pageant was the mayor of Dulag, Joy Que who provided security detail at the ShayDan’s Beach Resort and Spa, the venue of the first ever staging of the Queen of the Philippines in Leyte. (JOEY A. GABIETA)