As many of you Projectors know, I'm a huge pageant fan, be they GLBT or not. I just love the drama, the suspense, the competition, and the evening gowns.
I have to admit that watching a GLBT pageant is more fun. There's always a slight chance that some shady behavior is gonna break out that will cause more drama than we bargained for.
One of the big international GLBT ones is taking place in the Thai resort city of Pattaya. It's called the Miss Tiffany's Universe Pageant and thirty girls have been competing this week to succeed 2007 winner Thanyarat Jiraphatpakorn, aka Nong Film.
Like this Texas girl, Asians and other Pacific Rim nations take their pageants seriously. The Vietnamese are gearing up to host the Miss Universe Pageant this July and are determined to put on a memorable, beautiful and trouble free show.
The Thais take a backseat to no one in terms of their love for beauty pageants or production values. The fact that this one features transgender women doesn't faze them at all. They take it just as seriously as any Miss Thailand pageant for biowomen.
How seriously? This year's edition has 22 corporate sponsors and the May 30 Miss Tiffany Universe finals will be broadcast live on Thai television.
This pageant started 11 years ago as a way for the Tiffany's transgender cabaret show to find the most attractive and talented t-girls for its burgeoning and popular cabaret show. Over time the pageant has evolved into an AIDS fundraiser and acts as a vehicle for improving the perceptions of transwomen in Thailand and around the globe
According to the Pattaya Daily News, Ms. Alisa Bpanthusak, the chair of the contest and Assistant Managing Director of Tiffany's, noted in a May 7 Bangkok press conference that the quality of the transwomen entering the pageant includes more college students and budding thespians. The increasing positive international media attention for this pageant was also attributed as to why they have been able to attract 22 businesses to sponsor it as well.
They began earlier this week by whittling down applicants from all over Thailand to the 30 girls who would compete for the title. Sorry pageant girls- the Miss Tiffany Universe pageant is only open to Thai citizens.
The winner not only gets the crown, a trophy, 100,000 baht ($3000 USD) and a car- they are Thailand's representative for the Miss International Show Queen Pageant that's held later in the year at Tiffany's and is open to international transgender women.
And it's a lot of fun to watch as well.