Credit: Chaiwat Subprasom/SOPA Images/SIPAPRE/Sipa USA/AP
Filipina beauty queen wins major transgender pageant
Filipina beauty queen Fuschia Anne Ravena has been named winner of Miss International Queen 2022, a contest described by organizers as the world's largest beauty pageant for transgender women.
The 27-year-old entrepreneur, who hails from Cebu province in the Philippines, won the crown during a televised finale in the Thai city of Pattaya on Saturday.
Launched in 2004, Miss International Queen is open to transgender women who were assigned male at birth. Usually held annually, the event was canceled in 2021 due to the Covid-19 pandemic. This year's event was timed to coincide with Pride month, and was themed "Pride Together."
Ravena was among 23 contestants participating in pageant, with Colombia's Jasmine Jimenez and France's Aëla Chanel finishing second and third, respectively. She is the third Filipina to win the title, according to CNN affiliate CNN Philippines.
Saturday's finale, which was broadcast live on Thai television, saw contestants take the stage in evening gowns and national costumes from their respective countries. In a question-and-answer segment, Ravena said that the goal of being a transgender beauty queen was "to inspire other people."
"I always think that the most beautiful asset of being a human and being a trans woman is not just a head that's full of knowledge -- (it) should be a heart that's full of love and respect, an ear that's ready to listen and hands that (are) willing to help other people," she said on stage.
In a video published by pageant organizers ahead of the show, Ravena said that her gender transition had "not been easy."
"The acceptance in my own home is the best gift I've received throughout my trans journey," said Ravena, who later dedicated the win to her mother.
"The trans community still has so (far) to go in the fight for equality" Ravena added in the video. "And to be given this moment to speak up, I really want to maximize this opportunity and make a difference as much as I can."
Ravena was awarded 450,000 Thai baht ($12,700) in prize money, alongside gifts from various sponsors.