TWENTY ONE year-old Filipino transgender Kevin Balot, a nursing graduate from Tarlac City, Philippines was crowned Miss International Queen 2012 Thursday night in Pattaya, Thailand.
The annual pageant, which was aired live on Thai television, is considered the Miss Universe-counterpart for transgenders or transsexuals organized by the Tiffany Show and Piton Communications.
Balot, who was also voted as Miss Photogenic bested 20 other contestants from 15 countries, all of them born male, who competed in the week-long annual event. Balot was the first Filipino to win the eight year-old pageant.
Jessika Simoes from Brazil won First Runner-Up while Thailand’s Panvilas Mongkol won Second Runner-Up.
Balot won $10,000 cash prize, a trophy and some other prizes, and “memories to last a lifetime”. With her success, the Filipino transgender beauty titlist has only one wish, “acceptance” from her family.
“I’m very proud to be the first here, and I hope my dad will accept me. Because in the family I’m the only boy, and my dad has big expectations of me. I made it. I won the International Queen Pageant, and I believe that my dad will accept me not only as his son but also as his daughter,” Balot said.
The pageant aims to provide an opportunity for transgender/transsexual to be more accepted in today’s world, create human rights awareness among international communities, and build friendship and exchange ideas among international lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender/transsexual communities, the pageant’s website said.
Another Filipino in the competition, Stefania Cruz, won Miss Ripley’s Popular Vote while the two others, Michelle Montecarlo and Miriam Jimenez made it to the Top 10.
Other Special Awards Winners:
Best Evening Gown – Sunny Dee-Lite (United States)
Miss Congeniality – Noah Herrera (Venezuela)
Miss National Costume – Yuki Tachibana (Japan)
The Angel Talent Competition – Beni Tukishima (Japan)
Miss Perfect Skin By Asoke Skin Hospital – Matricia Mae Centino (Guam)
Photos: Tiffany Show/Piton Communications
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Ely Valendez is an award-winning blogger-journalist based in the Philippines. He handles several social media marketing projects for various brands in his home country as well as for a US-based IT/e-commerce company, PCM where he works full time. He uses his spare time doing financial consultancy for a UK-based company. He also sits as member of the Board of Directors of the Philippines Communication Society and serves as a web manager and resource person of the Philippine Press Institute.
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