MANILA, Philippines – A gay rights group is urging Miss Universe 1999 first runner-up Miriam Quiambao to reconsider her opposition to the inclusion of transgenders in the international Miss Universe pageant.
In a statement, the Progressive Organization of Gays (ProGay Philippines) asked Quiambao to “be more thoughtful” and “welcome her sisters among the ranks of women who fight for equal rights.”
ProGay Philippines also called Quiambao their “idol.”
On Wednesday, Quiambao said on Twitter that transgenders should not be allowed to join the Miss Universe pageant "because it’s for real women.”
The beauty queen made the statement following the decision of the Miss Universe Organization to give transgender contestants a chance to be crowned the world’s most beautiful woman.
ProGay praised the latest move of the Miss Universe Organization, and asked organizers of the local Binibining Pilipinas pageant to follow suit.
Binibining Pilipinas Charities Inc., which sends representatives to Miss Universe and other international pageants, has said that it respects the group’s latest policy on transgenders.
But the group, which will hold this year’s Binibining Pilipinas coronation night on Sunday, did not mention if it will apply the same rules to its own pageant.
Representatives of Carousel Productions, which run the Miss Philippines-Earth and Miss Earth pageants, earlier stressed that only “naturally born” women should be allowed to join their beauty contests -- at least for now.