She won the pageant, now she wants to fight a bigger battle.
A Vietnamese singer who won a transgender beauty pageant on Friday promised to use her elevated profile to fight for equality.
Nguyen Huong Giang was declared Miss International Queen Pageant 2018 Friday night in Pattaya, Thailand, surpassing 27 other finalists.
The transgender beauty contest has been around since 2004, but the 26-year-old Nguyen was the first contestant from Vietnam.
Nguyen, in the pageant’s Q&A portion, made it clear she would be an activist during her reign.
“I will fight for equality for transgender people,” she said, according to Agence France-Presse. “Everyone wants to be happy, and so do transgender people. We all want a good life where we are treated like everyone else and not discriminated against.”
Although the competition was fierce, contestants from countries that don’t prioritize transgender rights appreciated the opportunity to connect with other trans women.
“This is my first international experience of coming to a pageant where it is really a big exposure to all my trans sisters all over the world,” Nitasha Biswas, from India, told AFP.
Nguyen won $14,377 and several prizes along with her crown.
Her win comes at a time when Vietnam’s government is considering legally recognizing gender changes, according to Yahoo! New U.K.
Nguyen’s crowning at the pageant is expected to help boost the measure.