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Tonight With Arnold Clavio

Transgender beauty queen's dad: "Tanggap ko siya"

November 21, 2012 6:47pm
Renato, the father of Kevin Balot, who won the Miss International Queen 2012 pageant, is finally comfortable with his son’s identity as a transgender woman. In an interview on "Tonight with Arnold Clavio," Renato said that he loves his son for who he is.
 
A photo of the Balot family on the set of "Tonight with Arnold Clavio."

“Tinatanggap ko siya bilang magandang anak na lalaki,” said Renato.

It was a dream come true for the 21-year old Kevin, who previously wished for his father’s acceptance after winning the pageant on November 2 in Pattaya, Thailand.

Prior to winning the pageant, Kevin had a tenuous relationship with his father. On the show, Renato admitted to hitting his son while he was in high school when it became clear Kevin was not a heterosexual boy.



On his part, Kevin understands where his father is coming from. “Hindi ito biro,” said Kevin of the situation. “Lalo na’t only boy ako sa family.” Balot has two sisters, Karen and Kim.

“Hindi talaga ako marunong magtanim ng sama ng loob [kahit sa ama ko],” said Kevin, saying he has since forgiven his father.

For winning the pageant, he received $10,000 and a year’s worth of free accommodations from a Thai resort. Kevin revealed that he will use the money to undergo gender reassignment surgery.

As the pageant’s representative, Kevin said he wants to do advocacy work in the future for transgender individuals discriminated in the workplace.

“We face [a lot] of discrimination,” said Kevin. “[But] we were also created by God, and therefore are worth of love and understanding.”

Rightfully, his parents promised to support him every step of the way. “‘Di ko akalain na magdadala ng karangalan sa bansa ang isang ‘beki,’” said his mother, Liberty.

“Pag-ingatan mo ang paghawak ng korona,” she said to her son, “dahil marami ang nakatingin sa’yo.”

“Mahirap magkaroon ng transgender na anak. Pero kung hindi mo sila gagabayan, sino pa ang  magtuturo sa kanila?” said Renato in an appeal to parents of transgender individuals. “Dapat gabayan natin sila para respetuhin nila ang sarili nila, at para respetuhin sila ng lipunan.”—PF, GMA News
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