Pattaya, Thailand — A Brazilian won the 9th annual Miss International Queen 2013 transgender beauty pageant in Pattaya, Thailand on Friday evening, with contestants from the United States and Thailand placing second and third, respectively.
Marcelo Ohio won first place and prizes including 300,000 baht (US$9,657), a crown with real gemstones, and free surgery “for anything” at a famed plastic surgery clinic in Bangkok, said reports.
American citizen Shantell D’Marco came in second in the contest, and Thai contestant Nethnapada Kanrayanon finished third.
A total of 25 contestants from 17 countries competed in the pageant, which is organized by the Tiffany’s Show Pattaya Company.
The event has been staged annually since 2004 in the Thai beach resort city of Pattaya.
Arisa Phanthusak, Tiffany’s manager and organizer of the Miss International Queen contest, said Tiffany’s was first launched 40 years ago to give Pattaya a novel form of entertainment while offering transgenders a legitimate career option.
In 2004 Tiffany’s went international, offering transgenders from other countries an opportunity to perform.
“After Thailand, I think the Philippines and Brazil are the countries that are most tolerant of transgenders,” said Ms Arisa.
Thailand has numerous transgenders, and many have found successful careers in the entertainment, fashion, and cosmetic fields.
“It is in our character to be tolerant,” Ms Arisa said. “We are free here, and we are service-oriented people.”