That this remains a divisive issue even within the LGBTQIA community goes without saying; but at least the inclusion of transgender women in beauty pageants traditionally only limited to assigned females at birth is already being discussed.
Locally, where do the major beauty pageant organizers stand on this?
Miss Universe Philippines (MUPh) National Director Shamcey Supsup-Lee: “As long as they have legal documents to prove they are now females and they already underwent gender reassignment surgery.”
MUPh Creative Director Jonas Gaffud: “If our law allows it. Right now, it doesn’t. They cannot change genders on passport or birth certificate. It is not easy I know but hopefully more understanding will come to light in the near future.”
MWPO President Arnold Vegafria (via a statement):
“In the interest of gender diversity and equality, the Miss World Philippines organization proudly embraces transgender inclusion in its annual pageant. This means that we are not closing doors to transgender candidates for as long as they comply with all of the Miss World Philippines’ rules and regulations.”
However, “the global Miss World organization has made it very clear that only natural born females can qualify for the title, these transgender candidates are automatically disqualified from winning the Miss World crown.”
Lorraine Schuck, CEO of Carousel Productions:
“Miss Earth remains to be a traditional beauty pageant, and in the spirit of fairness to the rest of the women participating and to keep a level playing field, we find it in the best interest of the organization to follow the current rules, policies and guidelines of previous years. But, we do fully support transgenders in their own respective beauty pageants and competitions, and believe that we all can shine in our own way.”
“In sports, there is a reason for different divisions, different weight classes, and different age groups… it is mainly to keep a level playing field as much as possible in the spirit of fairness to all participants. Likewise, Miss Earth aims to keep the competition as balanced as possible.”