Filipino wins transgender pageant in Thailand

Filipino wins transgender pageant in Thailand

Filipino wins transgender pageant in Thailand

Trixie Maristela from the Philippines was crowned Miss International Queen 2015 at the world's largest transgender beauty pageant held in Thailand's resort city of Pattaya, the media reported on Saturday.

The 29-year-old graduate from the University of Philippines on Friday received the crown and a prize money of 400,000 baht ($11,161) and the option of free cosmetic surgery in Bangkok, The Bangkok Post reported.

The first runner-up was Valesca Dominik Ferraz from Brazil and the second runner-up was Sopida Siriwattananukoon from Thailand.

Twenty-seven contestants from 17 countries participated in the event formatted like other beauty pageants with a talent and a swimsuit portion.

Miss International Queen, organised by Thailand's transgender cabaret show Tiffany's, is held annually in Pattaya and aims to create transgender rights awareness among international communities.

Since its start in 2014, past winners include contestants from Thailand, the US, Mexico, Japan, South Korea, Brazil, Venezuela and the Philippines.

Thailand has no laws recognising same-sex unions. However, it has a very strong lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community, with many being a part of the country's entertainment industry.

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