A Cebu-based transpinay won the Miss Deaf Queen Philippines 2015 title, with Linzy Balbuena Del Mar now aiming to give face to the issues concerning Deaf LGBT Filipinos in particular, and the Deaf community in general.
The pageant – held for the third time by TransDeaf Philippines (TDP), the transgender-specific arm of Pinoy Deaf Rainbow, the pioneering organization for Deaf LGBT people in the Philippines – was said to “not only celebrate beauty, but also highlight the Deaf community’s issues,” said Disney Aguila, TDP head.
Of particular interest to the Deaf community in the Philippines is the pushing for a law that will recognize Filipino Sign Language (FSL), and make its use pervasive.
In her interview, Del Mar said that this is important “as Deaf people show we’re at par with the Hearing community.” The aim is now to use the title as a platform to be seen, “so our issues are heard.”
The runners up were (from first to fourth runner up): Vhaniz A. Gonza from Caloocan City, Angel Rose Apsay from Mandaluyong City, Neal Cortez from Pasig City, and Rica Bonales from Mandaue City.
Runner up Cortez, a crowd favorite, stressed the need to “work together, not just Deaf people, but for us to partner with other minority groups and fight for our human rights.”