Filipina crowned at world’s largest and most popular transgender pageant in Thailand

Filipina crowned at world’s largest and most popular transgender pageant in Thailand
‘Acceptance in my own home is best gift I’ve received throughout my trans journey’

Filipina beauty queen Fuschia Anne Ravena has been crowned Miss International Queen 2022, a contest bille as the world’s largest and most popular pageant for transgender women.

The 27-year-old Filipina, who is a business owner in Cebu province in the Philippines, beat 22 other contestants during the televised finale in the city of Pattaya in Thailand on Saturday.

Jasmine Jimenez from Columbia and France’s Aela Chanel finished in the second and third spots, respectively.

Ecstatic after the winner’s name was announced, Ms Ravena broke down in tears on stage and expressed gratitude with folded hands.

“My first message to everyone is to spread love and peace and unity because that is the most important thing that we do as of the moment and what’s happening in the world right now,” said Ms Ravena, who wore a glittery-silver evening gown.

She is the third Filipina to win the title, following 2012’s Kevin Balot and 2015’s Trixia Maristela.

The Miss International Queen pageant, which was launched in 2004, has made a comeback this year after it was halted for two years due to the coronavirus pandemic. The 2022, which incidentally coincided with Pride Month, was themed “Pride Together”.

<p>Fuschia Anne Ravena of the Philippines walks during Miss International Queen 2022 transgender beauty pageant in Pattaya</p>

Fuschia Anne Ravena of the Philippines walks during Miss International Queen 2022 transgender beauty pageant in Pattaya

Ms Ravena said ahead of the show 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,” she said, adding that she would dedicate her win to her mother.

“The trans community still has so [far] to go in the fight for equality” Ms Ravena added in the video, which was put out by the pageant organisers. “And to be given this moment to speak up, I really want to maximise this opportunity and make a difference as much as I can.”

Along with the prestigious title, the winner was awarded 450,000 Thai baht (£10,377) in prize money and gifts from various sponsors.

<p>Ravena poses with other contestants after winning the finale </p>

Ravena poses with other contestants after winning the finale

One of the questions that Ms Ravena and the 23 other contestants from around the world faced was how they would teach the importance of equality, should they win the crown.

“I will start it by influencing other people to spread love, peace, and unity to have world equality because after all we live under one sky. And we breathe the same air. And we all live from differences where love is universal,” Ms Ravena said in her winning answer.

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