Filipino LGBTQ advocate wins Miss Trans Global 2020 pageant

Published September 13, 2020, 11:45 AM

by Robert Requintina

Filipino transgender woman Mela Franco Habijan was crowned Miss Trans Global 2020 during a virtual pageant held last Saturday.

Mela Franco Habijan

“We did it! Naiuwi natin ang korona. Thank you very much for your love. Mahigpit na yakap,” said Habijan in a text message. “Ganda ng gising ko. Tears of joy. Nakaka-speech-less.” 

Habijan is a communication graduate of Ateneo de Manila University in 2008 (cum laude). She served as a writer for ABS-CBN’s Gandang Gabi Vice, The Buzz, Simply KC, and Your Face Sounds Familiar. She also teaches writing for media and mentors campus journalists on feature writing.

The pageant’s website said that the winner of Miss Trans Global will be the spokesperson of the organization and work digitally to influence positive changes in the community internationally. They will work closely with activist organizations such as TransValid, TransBeauty Magazine and many more to raise money, educate, and inspire transgender people globally.

Other winners were: Rebeckah Loveday, Miss Trans Global Australia, Duchess Global, 1st runner-up; Veso Golden, Miss Trans Global Ghana, Marchioness Global, 2nd runner-up; Semakaleng Sma Mothapo, Miss Trans Global South Africa, Countess Global, 3rd runner-up; and Danielly Drugge, Miss Trans Global Sweden, Baroness Global, 4th runner-up.

Recipients of special awards were: Danielly Drugge, Miss Trans Global Sweden, Queen of Hearts; Mela Franco Habijan, Miss Trans Global Philippines, Eloquent Queen of The Year, SuperModel of the Year; and Glam Beauty of the Year; Veso Golden, Miss Trans Global Ghana, Stylish Star of the Year, and Gifted Idol of the Year; and Niña Marie Similatan, Miss Trans Global Philippines, Popular Goddess of The Year.

Eighteen trans women competed in the pageant, five of them from the Philippines. 

Miss Trans Global© is an international online pageant for trans and gender nonconforming people from all backgrounds to raise awareness on transgender and LGB issues around the world.

“We decided to create a virtual pageant which gives transgender women from all around the world a platform to showcase their abundant talent, creativity and wits. We hope to use this opportunity to raise awareness for transgender women suffering worldwide who are struggling to survive at these difficult times of COVID-19 due to family rejections, homelessness, lack of jobs and earning opportunities,” pageant organizers said.