Sun.Star Cebu

Bb. Cebu not ready for transgende­r contestant

- CLARENZ JAY MENDOZA / USJ-R Intern

Afew months ago, Angela Ponce was crowned Miss Universe Spain. Just like that, she became the first transgende­r woman to compete in the prestigiou­s Miss Universe pageant, which will be held this year in Thailand in December.

But while

Miss Universe welcomes a transgende­r contestant, Binibining Cebu, which is on its sophomore run this year, is not ready for such a leap.

Binibining Cebu pageant chairperso­n Cary Santiago said that it is not yet the time for the organizati­on to accept transgende­r women in the competitio­n since everything is a step-by-step process.

Even though anyone can join the pageant, transgende­rs have their own platform of pageantry such as the Queen Philippine­s Pageant.

“We all have our own personal opinion. Mine, I think, is that we all have platforms. That’s why I created the Queen Philippine­s Pageant as a platform for the transgende­r women,” said Santiago.

However, Santiago expressed his support for Ponce as Spain’s representa­tive to the 2018 Miss Universe contest.

On the part of Binibining Cebu Charity 2017 Maria Gigante, she believes that men and women share biological difference­s that cannot be overcome by any amount of science and technology for there is something in men that is an advantage over women.

“For me, it’s just, you know, we are all born equal and free, but that equality may take different faces. That doesn’t mean we all have to have the same treatment,” said Gigante.

Binibining Cebu 2017 Apriel Smith agreed with Santiago that transgende­r women’s pageants should be separate from the contests of natural-born women.

“My opinion is I’m not in favor that transgende­r women will join women’s pageantry because we have our own acknowledg­ed pageant. So it should be separate. There are pageants for transgende­rs for them to be acknowledg­ed that they are transgende­r,” said Smith. However, Smith said she is glad that the Miss Universe Organizati­on accepted Ponce as an official candidate. Although Smith and Gigante are not in favor of having a transgende­r contestant in the local pageant, Binibining Cebu

Tourism Samantha Ashley Lo congratula­ted Ponce for the extraordin­ary milestone of becoming Spain’s candidate in the upcoming Miss Universe.

Lo said she is open to everything and is extending her full support to Ponce.

But Santiago is open to the evolution of Binibining Cebu.

“Not for now,” said Santiago about accepting transgende­r women as Binibining Cebu contestant­s. “Maybe in the future. By that, maybe when we are 20 years old or older, we will see. But for now, we only allow naturally born women.”

SMaybe when we are 20 years old or older, we will see. For now, we only allow naturally born women.

CARY SANTIAGO

 ?? CONTRIBUTE­D FOTO / BIG SEED ?? 2017 WINNERS. From left, Bb. Cebu Tourism Samantha Ashley Lo, Bb. Cebu Apriel Smith and Bb. Cebu Charity Maria Gigante.
CONTRIBUTE­D FOTO / BIG SEED 2017 WINNERS. From left, Bb. Cebu Tourism Samantha Ashley Lo, Bb. Cebu Apriel Smith and Bb. Cebu Charity Maria Gigante.
 ?? F0TO / BOSTON HERALD ?? ANGELA PONCE
F0TO / BOSTON HERALD ANGELA PONCE
 ?? FOTOS / PHILIPPINE TATLER ?? CARY SANTIAGO
FOTOS / PHILIPPINE TATLER CARY SANTIAGO

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