‘Mali ako’: Kevin Balot apologizes for remarks on trans women joining 'traditional' pageants | Inquirer Entertainment
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‘Mali ako’: Kevin Balot apologizes for remarks on trans women joining ‘traditional’ pageants

/ 05:46 PM June 25, 2020
Kevin Balot

Miss International Queen 2012 Kevin Balot. Image: Instagram/@kevinbalot

Beauty queen Kevin Balot apologized after drawing flak for stating that “it’s not equality anymore” if fellow transgender women joined “traditional” beauty pageants.

She clarified her statements made on an online show with fellow beauty queens, citing that she used the “wrong terms” because she struggles with speaking in English.

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Balot was asked if trans women should join beauty pageants that are commonly dominated by cisgender women, such as Miss Universe, during the online show “Queentuhan” on Tuesday.

Balot told the show’s hosts, beauty queens Carla Lizardo, Bianca Guidotti and Pia Wurtzbach, that “it’s asking too much” for trans women to join “traditional” beauty pageants since they have their own pageants.

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“Hindi na siya equality eh, parang asking too much na,” she remarked.

“Not unless if the organizers will allow us to join,” Balot said, referring to Miss Universe and other beauty pageants. “We have to respect each other.”

The Miss International Queen 2012 winner added that she wants more support to boost their own platform.

After hearing Balot, Lizardo said that Miss International Queen should have the same prestige as other pageants like Miss Universe. Wurtzbach looked surprised and noted that trans women have different stands about the issue.

Episode 6: Queentuhan with Kevin Balot

For this week's episode, the Queens are one with the LGBT community in celebrating Pride Month. Joining our Queentuhan is Miss International Queen 2012 Kevin Balot. We'll be talking about her journey of self-discovery, pageant experience, and how she uses her influence as one of the most prominent faces of the trans community in the Philippines.

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Posted by Trypod Network on Tuesday, June 23, 2020

Balot’s statement angered some members of the LGBTQ+ community online. Some expressed their disappointment towards the beauty queen, while others called her a “traitor.”

Balot eventually clarified her stand via Twitter on the same day. She said that as a representative of Miss International Queen, she only wants the pageant to be recognized as the most prestigious pageant for trans women.

The beauty queen explained that she is not very good at articulating herself in English and used the wrong terms during the interviews.

“I know na mali ako for saying na ‘too much’ na or ‘hindi na equality’ yun pero just know na hinding hindi po ayun ang paniniwala ko,” she stated in a follow-up tweet.

(I know I was wrong to say that it is “too much” or that “it is not equality” but just know that that is not what I believe in.)

Balot thanked everyone for their comments and she promised that she will reflect on them to improve her way of thinking.

“Please know na kaisa [n’yo] ako sa pakikipaglaban para sa pagkakapantay-pantay ng lahat (I am with you in fighting for equality for all),” she said. “I’m really sorry for the confusion.”

To set the record straight, a netizen asked Balot if she agrees that trans women could join Miss Universe.

“Opo. [Agree] ako,” Balot said. “[Sinabi] ko naman sa interview ko kanina na kung may trans sister ako na sumali sa [Miss Universe or Binibining Pilipinas,] magiging masaya ako.”

(Yes. I agree. I said in my interview that if a trans sister joins Miss Universe or Binibining Pilipinas, I would be happy.) NVG

RELATED STORIES:

‘Don’t invalidate transwomen as women’: Pia Wurtzbach speaks up on Pride Month

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TAGS: Beauty Pageant, beauty queens, Kevin Balot, LGBTQ, LGBTQ community, Miss Universe, Pia Wurtzbach, transgender
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