US contestant Jazell Barbie Royale made history at a transgender beauty pageant in the Thai city of Pattaya on Friday (8 March).
Judges at the world’s largest transgender beauty pageant named her Miss International Queen.
Jazell Barbie Royale became the first person of color to take the title in the competition’s 15-year history, according to the Bangkok Post.
The 31-year-old HIV activist from Florida beat 19 other candidates from around the world.
Congrats to JAZELL BARBIE ROYALE ON BEING THE FIRST WOMAN OF COLOR TO WIN MISS INTERNATIONAL QUEEN IN THAILAND!!! pic.twitter.com/AUGqTI1HVv
— Micah Pierce (@MicahAdrian) March 8, 2019
She said she would use her new position to advocate for HIV education, prevention, and care.
‘There are a lot of living with HIV but don’t go to get treatment’ AFP quoted her as saying.
She also said she hoped her win would inspire other people of color to compete in the competition.
Jazell Barbie Royale also had a message to US President Donald Trump, who has headed a number of anti-LGBT policies.
‘Please don’t run for next term’ she said.
Miss International Queen
Organizers hold the world’s largest transgender beauty pageant annually in Pattaya, on the Gulf of Thailand.
It aims to promote trans and LGBTI visibility and foster equality in society.
All profits of the televised show go to the Royal AIDS Foundation of Thailand.
This year’s first runner up was Kanwara Kaewjin from Thailand. Judges named Yaya from China as second runner up.
Transgender women are part of Thai culture. They are more empowered than in other Southeast Asian countries.
The country’s first transgender candidate for prime minister announced they were running for office last month.
Miss Universe welcomed its first-ever transgender contestant when the competition was held in Thailand the last year.
Thailand was also the first place outside of the US to air a version of RuPaul’s Drag Race.
Two of Thailand’s most eminent drag queens—Art Arya and Pangina Heals—present the show in lieu of the queen herself RuPaul.
The Thai version came nearly a decade after RuPaul launched her show on a little-known gay network in the US.
When Thailand hosted the Miss Universe contest last year Miss Spain was the first-ever transgender contestant.
Author: Rik Glauert
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