Fashion designer Veejay Floresca is no stranger to the pageant circuit. Her creations have been worn by beauty queens such as Gazini Ganados, Rabiya Mateo, and Katrina Dimaranan. While dressing Miss Universe candidates has been a point of pride for her, Floresca is ready to take the spotlight and vie for her own crown in the Miss Trans Star International 2022 pageant.
The Los Angeles-based trans designer and “Project Runway Philippines” alum has won several international design competitions and staged fashion shows for her eponymous brand as well as her Madore bridalwear. If Floresca’s pageant portrait and New York Fashion Week runway/pageant walk videos are any indication, her experience as a designer is giving her a leg up in the competition. How many beauty queens can say that they’re sporting self-designed custom gowns and strutting on runways?
This year’s Miss Trans Star International pageant will be held in Santa Susanna, Spain. Its national costume and preliminary competitions will be held on March 11, followed by the grand coronation on March 12. Floresca revealed in a post that she has finished sewing her own national costume and we can’t wait to see it. Who is doing it like her?
In her introduction video, Floresca shared her reason for joining the pageant: “I want to be the next Miss Trans Star International because I believe that beauty pageants have evolved. It’s not just about winning the crown. If I will be blessed to win the crown, I will take the responsibility [of being] the next spokesperson of the organization and to promote equality, love, respect, and most importantly, to help eradicate transphobia in the community.”
“Transphobia is one of the biggest problems in our society today and one of the simple ways to eradicate transphobia is proper communication. Misinformed people tend to judge or discriminate so easily,” said Floresca. “I hope that one day, we’re not even supposed to talk about this anymore because everything (about being trans) is normal. And most importantly, I want the next generation to live in a place without fear, butjust appreciation [for] who we are and our uniqueness. That is my hope.”
Here’s to hoping that Floresca brings home the crown and that more beauty pageants welcome trans candidates into the competition. Currently, Miss Earth does not accept trans candidates while Miss Universe rules stipulate that a trans candidate must provide legal gender recognition requirements in order to compete. Local beauty queens and pageant experts are also divided on whether or not they believe that trans women deserve a place in “traditional” pageants.
But make no mistake, this closed-mindedness is thinly veiled transphobia. Trans women are real women. This isn’t up for debate, and in joining trans pageants, trans women like Floresca are showing the world that they will get their voices heard, regardless of others’ opinions.