Amid ongoing discussions about the inclusion of transgender women in pageants around the world, two contestants of the upcoming Miss Philippines Earth pageant have said that transgender women are not ready to join beauty tilts.
During an online press conference for some of the participants of the Miss Philippines Earth 2021 pageant on Tuesday, June 1, Miss El Nido, Palawan Daena Yapparcon and Miss Caloocan Jeremi Nuqui were asked by a member of the media if they “would be okay with the prospect of competing with transgender women for Miss Philippines Earth.”
Yapparcon said that she believes that beauty pageants celebrate the “natural beauty of women.”
“So, I do believe that it already celebrates the femininity,” she added. “I believe that transgenders should have their own beauty pageants. And it’s because it’s to celebrate their own beauty and to let people know that… to have the respect that they deserve.”
Meanwhile, Nuqui said outright that her answer is “no,” explaining that while she respects transgenders, she also believes that “we need inclusivity.”
"I respect transgender. I respect their community, as their opinion on their selves," she said.
“But I also believe we need inclusivity. You know, Miss Universe, we are celebrating the natural beauty of natural-born women.
“And I believe too that this transgender, they have their own pageants where they can showcase their skills, their talents, their beauty.
“And as long as we respect each other’s values, I think we can have a better world where a war-zone earth can turn into a beautiful and a wonderful one.”
Miss Philippines Earth is a national beauty pageant that sends representatives to the international Miss Earth tilt. Both pageants are owned by Philippine-based Carousel Productions.
Miss Earth is considered by pageant fans as one of the so-called major four international beauty pageants—with the Miss Universe, Miss World, and Miss International pageants.
Miss Universe allows transgender contestants to join. The Miss Universe organization previously barred transgender women from joining the contest. But the ban was lifted after it allowed Jenna Talackova from joining the Miss Universe Canada pageant in 2012.
In 2018, Angela Ponce of Spain became the first transgender woman to compete in the Miss Universe pageant.
Last week Miss South Africa—the franchise that sends delegates to the Miss Universe pageant—announced that it is now open to transgender entrants.
Philstar L!fe has reached out to Miss Philippines Earth regarding their official stance on transgender entrants. We are waiting for their response.
In 2012, following the news of Miss Universe’s lifting the ban on transgender contestants, Miss Earth executives said in an interview that only “naturally born” women should be allowed to join their pageant, at least at that time.
In the same 2012 report, Carousel Productions vice president Peachy Veneracion was quoted as to saying, "I don't think we're ready for that yet."
Carousel Productions CEO Lorraine Schuck added, "We have religions here that are really conservative. We're talking about Moslems, Christians, Catholics. So I don't think it will happen in the near future."
Banner photo from Miss Philippines Earth website