Meet the half-Filipina transgender who will represent New Zealand in Miss Intercontinental 2020 beauty pageant.
Arielle Keil, 26, has a bachelor’s degree in fashion design and she’s currently studying creative advertising, according to GMA News.
Keil was born a boy named Andrew in Matina, Davao City but grew up in Auckland.
She claimed that her family were not supportive of her transition and she has not spoken to her mother for more than three years.
When her parents found out she was undergoing hormone treatment, they gave Keil two choices – stop or leave home, she told The Daily Mail recently.
That night, Keil packed everything she owned into a black rubbish bag and walked out.
“My life turned upside down when I transitioned … but I would rather go through hell as a woman than have an easy life as a man. Whatever the universe wants to throw at me – do it,” she said.
Keil revealed that she went to Thailand and paid US$15,000 for the “top to bottom” procedure that involved breast implants and a vaginoplasty.
The beauty queen has called on the public to respect people like her. “They’re not asking you to transition with them, it won’t change your daily life. You won’t lose anything by being kind, loving and supportive.”
This is the second time that a transgender would compete in a popular beauty pageant.
In 2018, Ángela Maria Ponce Camacho of Spain became the first transgender woman to compete in the Miss Universe beauty contest.
Organizers of the Miss Intercontinental 2020 beauty pageant have yet to announce the date of the finals.