MANILA -- Despite being a transgender beauty queen, Kevin Balot said she wants "traditional" beauty pageants to be exclusive to natural-born women.
Balot, who was crowned Miss International Queen in 2012 and is a known advocate of LGBTQIA rights, made the statement in a pageant-themed online show on Tuesday.
Speaking with the female hosts -- Miss Universe 2015 Pia Wurtzbach, Binibining Pilipinas International 2014 Bianca Guidotti, and Mutya ng Pilipinas Intercontinental 2010 Carla Lizardo -- Balot believes that transgenders joining pageants for natural-born women "is not equality anymore."
"We transwomen always ask for equality... And I believe us transgender women joining sa mga Miss Universe is not equality anymore eh. Hindi lang ako sang-ayon sa mga ganoong bagay kasi we have our own pageant. We have the Miss International Queen pageant which is the most prestigious transgender beauty pageant," she explained.
"Hindi na siya equality eh, parang asking too much na," she added.
Balot said, however, that she has nothing against pageants that have started to accept transgender candidates, such as Miss Universe.
She stressed, however, that it is completely up to the organizers and that they should not be pressured to let transgender women join.
"We have to respect each other," she said.
The three hosts, who were visibly surprised by Balot's statement, began discussing the different perspectives of both natural-born women and transgender women on the issue.
Balot went on to say that she would rather ask for public support for transgender platforms, such as the Miss International Queen pageant, and their fight for equal rights.
"Kailangan lang namin ng mas marami pang suporta para mas ma-boost 'yung platform namin. Kasi platform niyo na 'yan eh," she said, referring to "traditional" pageants.
"Ang kailangan namin is your support. You support us, too."
Watch Balot talk about her opinion on the issue starting at the 43:00 mark in the video below: