Filtered By: Lifestyle

Geena Rocero on the future of pageants and transgender queens: 'Things are changing'

Geena Rocero is optimistic about beauty pageants becoming more inclusive, specifically to transgender women.

In an interview with Kapuso reporters, the Fil-Am supermodel and beauty queen said that things have been changing.

"Miss Universe has already accepted transwomen. And yes some people might say that it started with Angela Ponce, she was a first candidate but it was actually Jenna Talackova of Miss Universe Canada," she said.



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Angela Ponce was Spain's bet for the Miss Universe 2018. She made history as the first transgender woman to be a contestant in the prestigious beauty pageant.

Jenna Talackova meanwhile was initially disqualified from Miss Universe Canada in 2012 for being a transgender woman. However, she made history by successfully waging a legal battle to be allowed a spot in the competition.

Geena said it was Jenna's "conviction on standing up, on speaking about the truth and fighting for her rights that led to the changes to what we're seeing now."

"There's a long history of transwomen standing up and fighting for our rights. And I have to say as in global dynamic, there's a fast moving train of inclusivity when it comes to transforming for pageants. I hope it's not just in Miss Universe but like of all the world different types of pageants, different types of pageant system," she added.

Geena said that this year, she was named one of the ambassador for Miss Universe Nepal, the very first transwoman ambassador for the pageant. She was also tapped to become part of the Miss Universe pageant system.

"So things are changing," she said.

She said that more and more countries are allowing transwomen to join the Miss Universe pageant. Aside from Miss Universe Spain and Miss Universe Nepal, there's also Miss Universe Canada, Miss Universe USA, and Miss Universe Mongolia. She encouraged the Philippines to be as open.

"Come on, Miss Universe Philippines. Let's do this," Geena urged.

"There's should be more. I think what's really important is conversation. We need to get a conversation going and also transgender woman has a big role to play in advocating in behalf of transgender systems," she added.

Geena is a supermodel, beauty queen, and activist. After a nine-year career in the modeling industry, she came out as a transgender woman in 2014. 

According to her profile on TED, she was born in Manila and she moved to New York in 2005 when she was 17 to pursue a modeling career. —JCB, GMA News