Former Miss Universe Philippines Maxine Medina made a turnaround from last year on her views about transgender candidates in beauty pageants.
Medina represented the Philippines at the Miss Universe in 2016 and finished among the top 10 candidates.
In 2018, she said that there are other pageants that transgender women such as Miss Spain Angela Ponce can enter aside from Miss Universe.
However, she appeared to change tune with her caption for a magazine shoot of a local fashion magazine’s gender campaign.
After gathering criticisms for it, Medina later shared another photo with a lengthier explanation of her views.
“It isn’t that I am not supporting a transwoman beauty queen, in fact I was actually proud of Angela, Miss Spain that she made a big step doing this to inspire others and that she had the courage of joining and asking Miss Universe to represent her country as a transwoman,” part of the caption said.
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She acknowledged her limited understanding of the issue before.
“I have much to learn and understand, and that I am willing to do the necessary next steps to more understands the importance of equality in beauty pageants through meeting, speaking with and interacting with people who have different opinions than mine. Equality, I realized, is also about education and learning, not just based on what I know and believe, but also those of others as well,” she said.
Prior to this, her initial photo has the following caption that critics perceived to be inconsistent.
“More than just a photograph, this is a stand in visible solidarity for equality for all mankind,” the beauty queen said.
“A call to #ReignWithPride, a necessary rejection of labels and breaking away from stereotype, this is an earnest pledge to exercise our human ability to tolerate, accept, and love in equivalence to each other, engaging and fighting for it today, and for the #NextGeneration,” she added.
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Medina also made a confusing tweet after that expresses her concern for other female candidates.
“I was concerned about the other girls joining Miss Universe but that doesn’t mean I am transphobic,” she said.
“I am proud of Angela and I respect her and the community,” she added.
When I took a stand, that’s not for me to disregard Angela. I was concerned about the other girls joining Miss Universe but that doesn’t mean I am transphobic. I am proud of Angela and I respect her and the community.
— Maxine Medina (@maxinemedina) June 13, 2019
Advocates of the LGBT community found her comments confusing and inconsistent.
The participation of Miss Universe Spain Angela Ponce, a transgender beauty candidate, in the prestigious competition was questioned in 2018 even if the organization has allowed transgender models to compete for many years.
The month of June had since been declared as LGBT or Pride Month to celebrate awareness and reiterate advocacies.
On transgender women in Miss U
Teresita Ssen “Winwyn” Marquez, 2017 Reina Hispanoamericana, expressed that she was uncomfortable about Ponce entering the renowned competition given that it was only for “natural-born women.”
“Kasi (Because) there is Miss International Queen, tama ba (is that right)? It’s a prestigious pageant also… let’s just give it (Miss Universe) for natural born-women and for transgenders to have their own prestigious pageant,” Marquez said in an interview.
Previous Miss Universe winners Gloria Diaz and Margie Moran also made similar opinions as they see these contests for biological women only.
However, recent winners Miss Universe 2018 Catriona Gray and Miss Universe 2015 Pia Wurtzbach defended Ponce and the rest of the LGBT sector against such perceptions.