Myanmar joins transgender pageants
- Published: 31 Oct 2013 at 18.31
- Online news:
Pattaya - Twenty-five contestants from 17 countries, including Myanmar, are to compete in Pattaya for the crown of Miss International Queen on Friday, the ninth such pageant since 2004, organisers said.
A contestant from Myanmar, Tanya Maung, 28, poses for a photograph after an interview prior to the Miss International Queen 2013 at Tiffany's Show theatre in Pattaya on Thursday. (EPA photo)
This year, a contestant from Myanmar has entered the pageant for the first time.
"Five years ago I would not have dared to enter," said Tanya Maung, 28, who is studying at Ramkhamhaeng University. "But now Myanmar has democracy, so I feel free to contest.''
Arisa Phanthusak, organiser of the contest and acting manger of Tiffany's, Pattaya's oldest transgender cabaret, said: "The prize is 300,000 baht, a crown with real gems and free surgery for anything at a famed plastic surgery clinic in Bangkok.''
The Tiffany's Show was started by Ms Arisa's father and a business partner 40 years ago to provide Pattaya beach resort, south-east of Bangkok, with a novel form of entertainment while offering transgenders a legitimate career option, she said.
In 2004, the show went international, offering transgenders from other countries an opportunity to bask in the limelight.