Miriam Quiambao reacts to Miss Universe pageant's new rule allowing transgender women to join

IMAGE Noel Orsal

In one of her tweets to Miss Universe co-owner Donald Trump, 1999 first runner-up Miriam Quiambao asked, “Whatever happened to the "essence of a woman?” borrowing a phrase from the question answered by 1994 pageant winner Sushmita Sen during the final round.

The Miss Universe beauty pageant continues to sit in controversy over the appeals of disqualified Canadian candidate Jenna Talackova, a transgender woman.

Yesterday, April 10, the Miss Universe Organization (MUO) announced that they have lifted the disqualification and has decided to reinstate Talackova in the competition.

Furthermore, the organization also said that they are going to revamp the pageant rules to accommodate transgender women in the contest beginning 2013.

According to MUO president Paula Shugart, who was quoted in an article published on the official website of the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Discrimination (GLAAD):

“We want to give credit where credit is due, and the decision to include transgender women in our beauty competitions is a result of our ongoing discussions with GLAAD and not Jenna’s legal representation, which if anything, delayed the process.

“We have a long history of supporting equality for all women, and this was something we took very seriously.”


MIRIAM QUIMABAO SAYS "NO." Members of the gay and lesbian community who rallied alongside Talackova were thrilled to hear this news.

However, for some people, it was an appaling idea to even consider—that includes Miss Universe 1999 first runner-up Miriam Quiambao who took to Twitter today, April 11, to express her firm opposition of the new rule.

“In my humble opinion, transgenders should not be allowed to join the MissU because it's only for REAL women.

“We should all make a stand. Just because it's popular, it doesn't mean that it's right.”

She even made her views known to MUO co-owner Donald Trump through direct tweets she sent to him:

“@realDonaldTrump in my humble opinion, the decision to include transgenders in the @MissUniverse pageant sends the wrong message.

“This may set a precedent that one day most participants in @MissUniverse are transgenders. #essenceofawoman? #majormistake @realDonaldTrump”

RULES ARE RULES. Even before bashers had the chance to hound Miriam with negative comments, she was already quick to defend herself from people who might call her judgmental towards members of the third sex.


She said, “I'm not judging gays/transgenders and I love them anyway but @MissUniverse should be for natural born women only.”

She also responded to some Twitter users who are in favor of the MUO's decision.

She answered user @FTal’s question, “Wouldn't it be interesting if she [Jenna Talackova] won?--It would be...but @MissUniverse would have just lost their INTEGRITY.”

In another tweet to Trump, Miriam also asked, “Whatever happened to the "essence of a woman?" borrowing a phrase from the question answered by Miss Universe 1994 Sushmita Sen during the pageant’s final round.

And again Miriam reiterated, “The @MissUniverse pageant should be for natural born women.”

According to information posted on the Miss Universe official website, the qualifications for a pageant candidate are that women must be 18 to 27 years old to join; must not have ever been married, not had a marriage annulled; and must not have given birth to or parented a child.


Titleholders are also required to remain single throughout their reigning year.

COMMENTS FROM OTHER TWITTER USERS. Majority of sentiments from other Filipino Twitter users are echoing Miriam’s opinion about the issue.

@thon_kage said, “kung ung mga babaeng may asawa nga di pwedeng sumali, sila pa?”

@bee2urgello said: “@miriamq i know, right? im a transgender but i dont agree with this. we have our own arena.”

@davepilapil07 said: “I really respect transgenders but Miss Universe should be exclusive for naturally born women & I hope that we're going to leave it that way.”

@maCZARap said: “If they allowed a transgender to join, might as well allow petite and plus size women to join as well.”

@banpydiaries said: “add to that the discrimination towards fat but beautiful women”

Now we ask you, PEPsters, what do you think about this issue?


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