Winwyn Marquez on First Transgender Miss Universe Contestant: ‘Let’s just give it to natural-born women’
Soon after all the festivities for Pride Month ended, news broke that Spain has crowned Angela Ponce, a transgender woman, as Miss Universe Spain. Looks like the celebration won’t be ending anytime soon after all. This is a big achievement for the LGBTQ+ community who have been endlessly fighting for their voices to be heard and to be able to express themselves fully and freely in society.
Despite this, beauty queen Teresita “Winwyn” Marquez, crowned Reina Hispanoamericana 2017, expressed her disagreement with the decision of Miss Universe Spain, saying that they should be giving the crown to ‘natural-born women’, according to a report by ABS-CBN News. She stated in an interview, “I’m really proud na sobrang happy, out na talaga, and everyone is respecting them, di ba? Pero Miss Universe per se, sana ibigay na lang sa natural-born women.” She also clarified before the interview started that she had ‘nothing against transgenders.’
Winwyn Marquez also explained that her statement comes from the fact that there’s a Miss International Queen pageant, the world’s largest and most prestigious pageant for transgender women. “Kasi there is Miss International Queen, it’s a prestigious pageant also. And Miss International Queen ay isang beauty pageant na ekslusibo para sa mga transwomen,” Marquez explained.
“Let’s just give it to natural-born women, and for transgenders to have their own prestigious pageant,” she added and said that this was ‘tradition for Miss Universe’.
Marquez said that she will respect whatever decision the Miss Universe Organization will make, seeing that there is still no official statement from the organization regarding Angela Ponce’s win, “It all boils down to what the Miss Universe Organization will do. If they accept, then we all have to accept it.”
Back in 2012, the Miss Universe Organization ended its ban on transgender contestants after coming into discussions with the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD). This came after Jenna Talackova, a Canadian competitor, was disqualified from the competition because she was born male. The Miss Universe Organization relayed to GLAAD that they were open to a policy change in order to include transgender women in both the national and international competitions.