A former Miss Universe finalist from the Philippines says transgender contestants should be banned from the beauty pageant because they are not real women.
Yesterday (11 April), Miriam Quiambao, runner-up in 1999, tweeted her disgust at the Miss Universe Organization's decision to allow transgender women to compete.
'In my humble opinion, transgenders should not be allowed to join the MissU because it's only for REAL women,' she said in one post.
'We should all make a stand. Just because it's popular, it doesn't mean that it's right.'
In another tweet, she added: 'The @MissUniverse pageant should be for natural born women.'
Quiambao even sent a message to Miss Universe co-owner Donald Trump, saying, '@realDonaldTrump in my humble opinion, the decision to include transgenders in the @MissUniverse pageant sends the wrong message.'
The policy change comes after a wave of negative publicity surrounding the temporary banning of transgender Miss Universe Canada finalist Jenna Talackova.
ProGay Philippines praised the move and called on Quiambao to reconsider her opposition.
Group spokesman Goya Candelario said: 'We ask our idol Ms Quiambao to be more thoughtful and welcome her sisters among the ranks of women who fight for equal rights.'
Candelario added that Talackova's fight is the fight of transgender and gay people in the Philippines and urged the south-east Asian country's Binibining Pilipinas pageant to also allow trans women to compete.
The Binibining Pilipinas Charities Inc, which sends representatives to Miss Universe and other international pageants, said it respects the group’s latest policy change.
But the group, which will hold this year’s Binibining Pilipinas coronation night on Sunday (15 April), did not mention if it will follow suit.