Gloria Diaz: Trans women should have their own pageant

Gloria Diaz: Trans women should have their own pageant

/ 12:20 AM December 05, 2023

Gloria Diaz during the recent “Mallari” media gathering —MARINEL CRUZ

Gloria Diaz during the recent “Mallari” media gathering —MARINEL CRUZ

She was amazing,” declared Miss Universe 1969 Gloria Diaz when asked how Michelle Dee, the country’s representative to this year’s edition of the pageant, performed in the contest held last month in El Salvador.

“She had a beautiful gown. Nainggit nga ako. I liked the black one that looked like a tattoo. She also had good answers. She did really well, it’s just that the judges were looking for someone else this year. Maybe she can compete again next year. That’s the ‘in’ thing now—if you don’t win the first time, you can go for it for the second time, or third, or fourth,” she told Inquirer Entertainment during the media gathering for her latest movie, Derrick Cabrido’s “Mallari.”


Is there someone she would like to see compete on the pageant stage? “I can’t think of someone right now, but I’m telling you that when her mom (Melanie Marquez) competed [and won for Miss International in 1979], I was a judge during the pageant. A lot were saying that she wouldn’t make it because she didn’t speak English, but I really pushed for her. This is not an IQ contest or a contest for who’s the smartest,” she pointed out.



“All these times, I kept saying our contestants should speak in the Filipino language so they will have time to think. There are a lot of interpreters there, anyway. Or if you’re Ilokana, and that’s your first language, then speak Ilokano. For me, Michelle can always join. I don’t know what’s with us Filipinos. We keep saying we got cheated. I guess we just got used to winning.”

She continued: “I get too many questions about the issue of cheating, but to me, everyone deserves to be there. The truth is that once you’re there, you deserve to win. Also, I always feel that it’s fate. You see, I’m not the most beautiful in the pageant. There were others who were prettier, taller and had bigger boobs, which at the time, totoo ‘yon, ‘di ba? But at the end of the day, it’s really destiny.”

Gloria then compared Michelle to her mom by saying, “Michelle is beautiful, she’s tall. She’s everything. Her mother, on a scale of one to 10, is a 10. Michelle is an eight, but she had a good chance of winning. Why do I say this? It’s like if you bought a lotto ticket, you definitely have a chance at winning,” she said.

“In that context, Michelle really did have a good chance at winning. She’s beautiful in and out, whether she is part of the LGBTQIA+ or not,” Gloria added. “During my time, the Miss Universe pageant focused mostly on scholarship, fitness, health and charity. These days, I think they can do anything, even smoke and drink. They don’t even have to bring a chaperone. Also, back then, they sent contestants who were very young. In fact, during my time, 24 was the oldest candidate.”


She then explained why she thought transgender women should have their own beauty contest. “Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against them. I have a lot of beautiful transgender friends. Actually, I think they will beat all those biological women [also known as cisgenders] because they’re better with the movements. They know better how to project themselves,” she began.

Diaz (center) with daughters Ava (left) and Belle. —GLORIA DIAZ/ INSTAGRAM

Diaz (center) with daughters Ava (left) and Belle. —GLORIA DIAZ/ INSTAGRAM

“It’s not fair. They should really have their own. We should let them compete in their own Miss … I don’t know what title to use. Like sports, it’s a different ball game altogether. I just heard someone say, let’s say a biological woman experiences menstrual problems on the night of the contest, then this is already unfair compared to the trans. It’s an unbalanced and unfair competition,” she stressed.


Gloria said she doesn’t mind that her daughters, Belle and Ava, aren’t into joining beauty contests. “I would always tease them, ‘Don’t worry, if you don’t get chosen, I would come up the stage and raise hell. They would always say, ‘Mama, that’s the No. 1 reason we will never join.’ They’re not into it. One of us joining a beauty contest is more than enough,” she pointed out. “They all look like their father, although Belle got some of her features from me. Belle now has three kids and has lost a lot of weight. She loves to do films. I hope producers have a good role for her.”

“Mallari,” which features Piolo Pascual in the lead role, is an entry to the 2023 Metro Manila Film Festival, which starts on Christmas Day. INQ

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