MANILA, Philippines -- Filipino transgender Kevin Balot, who was recently crowned Miss International Queen 2012 in Pattaya, Thailand, has not yet decided on getting a sex-change operation.
Part of the prize package for winning the pageant is a free sex-change operation.
"I don’t want to decide now, siguro parang one year to decide,” Balot, who also won a $10,000 cash prize, told ABS-CBN News. “I need to think a million times before I follow my heart's desires.”
|Grabbed from the Official Facebook Fan Page of Kevin Balot
Balot bested 21 contestants from 15 countries and defeated the Brazilian contender during the question and answer portion in the final round.
Four other Filipinos joined the contest, and three reached the top 10.
For Balot, a 21-year-old volunteer nurse from Tarlac, the biggest prize he received from winning the contest is the support of his family on the coronation night in Thailand.
“Nag-surprise lang sila,” said Balot, whose younger sister, Kim, was part of the recent “Pinoy Big Brother Teen Edition 4.” “I felt that I was supported by the most special persons in my life. I felt so strong.”
Balot admitted that it was difficult for his father to accept his sexuality.
“It's not that easy for my dad to accept me for what I am because I’m the only boy in our family and my dad has big expectations,” he said.
But with his victories in the pageant scene, Balot’s father eventually learned to accept his gay son.
“Whenever I’m with my dad, I’m always daddy’s boy. I always hug him, hold hands with him because he will be the best boy I’ve ever had in my life, my dad,” the "beauty queen" said.
Apart from fulfilling his responsibilities as Miss International Queen 2012, Balot said he also accepted an offer to teach English in Thailand. – Report from Ginger Conejero, ABS-CBN News