Thai contestant crowned Miss Ladyboy International Queen

Newly crowned Jiratchaya Sirimongkolnawin (centre) is kissed by first runner up Nathalie de Oliveira (right) of Brazil and second runner up Andrea Collazo of Venezuela during the annual transgender beauty contest of Miss International Queen 2016 in Pattaya on Friday. (EPA photo)
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PATTAYA – Jiratchaya Sirimongkolnawin was crowned Miss International Queen 2016 on Friday at a contest billed as the world’s largest and most popular transgender pageant.

The 25-year-old beat 24 other contestants for the crown, with the second and third place going to contestants from Brazil and Venezuela, respectively.

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The pageant, which brings together transgender people from around the world, was launched over a decade ago to help transgender women feel more accepted by society.

“It’s like a new category, but the gender already existed a long time ago,” said Jiratchaya, donning a white glittering and black side rim evening gown.

The contest, in its 12th year, was held at the Tiffany’s nightclub, which is famous for its transvestite cabaret.

Like other beauty pageants, contestants paraded in national costumes, evening gowns and swimsuits.

For many, the contest represents a springboard for future opportunities.

The 2016 show was postponed from November last year due to Thailand’s mourning period of its late King Bhumibol Adulyadej.

-The Bangkok Post

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