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Miss International Queen®is the world's beauty pageant for transgender women from different parts of the world. The pageant is a registered trademark of Thailand company - Tiffany's Show Pattaya Co, Ltd.
The pageant was also named largest and most prestigious by CNN original documentary television series "This Is Life with Lisa Ling" aired on 26 November 2017. It is held annually in Pattaya City, Thailand since 2004. The mission of the pageant aims towards LGBTQ and Transgender awareness and equality in both society and workforce, while all the monetary profits of the actual televised show goes to the Royal Charity AIDS Foundation of Thailand.
The current Miss International Queen is Jazell Barbie Royale from United States, who was crowned on 8 March 2019 She is the first woman of African descend to win this international title.
Miss International Queen Pageant
The Miss International Queen official website states that the beauty pageant was established with the intent to, "offer an international competition for transgender and transsexual from around the world, to provide an opportunity for transgender/transsexual to be more accepted in today's world, to create human rights awareness among international communities and to build friendship and exchange ideas among international lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender/transsexual communities."
The contestants must have been born male, can be pre- or post-operation and between the ages of 18 to 35. In addition, participants can only represent their country of birth or that listed in their passport and must not have previously joined any publication/website/adult film/prostitution showcasing nudity. Previous winners or runner-up contestants are not allowed to join again. Repeat non-placement candidates are allowed to re-submit their credentials and application.
Only about 25 semi-final contestants chosen would go on to compete in the final round and are required to participate in two weeks of activities: photo shoots, luncheons with city officials, dinner with the press, sponsor visits and community outreach, similar conditions to competitors in other beauty pageants. The final show will be aired on Thai television as well as live online streaming.
Crown design and prize
In 2011, the crown for Miss International Queen Crown was re-designed by an inspiration of butterflies and the crown of Lady Liberty. The butterflies were intended to symbolize beauty found in nature and the idea of rebirth. The crown remains with the Miss International Queen Organization at an estimated value of US$10,000.The Miss International Queen winner receives 450,000 Thai baht (US$14,500), sponsor gifts, an apartment at Woodland Resort during her reign and memories that last a lifetime.
Miss International Queen is a registered trademark and a non-profit sector of the organizer Tiffany's Show Pattaya Co., Ltd., world's largest transgender cabaret show since 1974 and sponsored by Tourism Authority of Thailand. All the monetary profits of the final televised show goes to the Royal Charity AIDS Foundation of Thailand.
Transgender inclusion in pageants
According to recent studies, transgender and transsexual individuals are often the victims of social and political discrimination. The Miss International Queen pageant offers contestants the opportunity to compete and showcase their talent and beauty in a LGBT friendly environment.
Transgender pageant cases
Recent events have drawn attention to the treatment of transgender pageant contestants and how their personal identification impacts their eligibility. There have been instances where transgender and transsexual pageant winners have lost their title for not being "transgender enough". On the other hand, certain participants have also been disqualified from cisgender female pageants for not being a "natural born female". In 2012, Jenna Talackova who participated in Miss International Queen in 2010 was disqualified from Miss Universe Canada on the basis of competing as a woman when she was born a male. Supporters of Talackova argue that there were no rules explicitly banning transsexuals from competing.Talackova joined in the 2010 Miss International Queen competition. This instance sparked a debate as to how Talackova's gender identification affected her eligibility to compete in both competitions.Talackova argued that if she was transgender, she could participate in transgender pageants. At the same time, if she identified as a woman, she would have had the right to participate fairly in the Miss Universe Canada competition. Jenna Talackova's case is one that brings awareness to the public perception and personal opinions pertaining to transgenders competing in pageants.
A similar case occurred later in 2016 when the winner of the Miss Transgender UK, Jai Dara Latto, was stripped of her title after pageant organizers claimed she was not living "full time" as a woman. This was after footage was uncovered of Latto walking around in boxers rather than female undergarments. Latto was pegged as a "drag queen" rather than a transgender woman and proceeded to forfeit her pageant title and earnings. Latto pledged to walk thirty miles in high heels in honor of transgender rights after the allegations.
Both Talackova and Latto's cases raise the question as to who is eligible to win a cisgender pageant and also what qualifications or standards must be met in order for a transgender pageant winner to retain her title. Participants are eligible to compete and win the title of Miss International Queen if they were born male and their sexual or gender identification is that of a female. These recent events have sparked a debate involving the social inclusion and equality that is associated with an individual's sexual and gender identification.
For more information go to: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Miss_International_Queen
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