I agree with the sentiments expressed by John Walter Brown Juat in his letter “Natural beauty only, please.” (Inquirer, 4/28/12). I know that writing this rejoinder puts me at risk of being perceived as intolerant or a bigot, which I am not. But I feel strongly enough about the matter, that is why I am also making my feelings known.
Organizers of beauty pageants for women—whether local or international—should not be so radical as to allow transgenders to participate. Transgenders are unique people living in a world where countless many find it very hard or simply refuse to accept their existence. Before there can be acceptance, there must be understanding. To field a transgender candidate in the Miss Universe pageant might not be the right way to make people understand what a transgender is. This move might even backfire, as they might be seen as a distraction or an oddity in an event which, since time immemorial, has celebrated the beauty (both internal and physical) of a naturally born woman.
Instead, why not have an international pageant for transgenders patterned after the Miss Universe? It is during the event’s question-and-answer portions where the candidates can really communicate to the viewing public about who and what they are by answering questions pertaining to transgenders. That way, the candidates would be on equal footing in terms of this major commonality among them.
Perhaps this is the direction that Miss Universe owner and business mogul Donald Trump should go if he is that sincere in giving transgenders a strong voice in this world. “Miss Transgender Universe”! What do you say, Mr. Trump?—CARMELA NIERVA, firstname.lastname@example.org