Adrian Reyes aims for
Miss International Queen crown
Days before she flies to Pattaya City, Thailand, to compete in an international beauty pageant, Adrian Reyes was still hard at work with rehearsals and needed preparations.
The 28-year-old Winnipegger is the official Canadian representative to the Miss International Queen 2023, considered the world’s biggest beauty pageant for transgender women.
Pilipino Express (PE) spoke to Adrian about her quest for the crown.
PE: When or how did you become the official representative of Canada to Miss International Queen 2023?
Adrian: March last year, I won my very first national competition, the Miss Philippines-Canada Queen Pride in Calgary. I believe this gave me an edge when I applied to represent Canada for Miss international Queen back in December, as well as my community work. January, I was informed that I was chosen to represent Canada. By March we started preparing.
PE: Tell us about the preparations you’re doing.
Adrian: First, I had to create a team. It consists of a trainer for my walk, trainer for the Q&A, for fitness, and my gowns. And I’m proud to say that all my gowns were made by local Fil-Canadian designers.
PE: How does your family feel about all this?
Adrian: My family is very supportive. Since I was little, I’ve always been flamboyant. I am very attuned to my feminine side. I liked playing with dolls rather than cars. I liked girl playmates more. My family accepts me for who I am.
PE: What do you wish to achieve by joining the pageant?
Adrian: I would like people to have a better understanding and acceptance of the LGBTQ + community.
I would like people to realize that transgender people are like everyone else just trying to live their lives. That is why my advocacy is trans visibility – to be seen, to be heard, to be accepted. To have the same dignity and rights as everyone else.
PE: Is there a particular issue that you want to highlight in joining the competition?
Adrian: People should stop treating trans people as abnormal, or that being one is a disease. Threats should stop. There should be more education and awareness about this.
PE: Have you experienced discrimination yourself because you’re transgender?
Adrian: Many times! I was called names; I was looked at funny when I tried to use the girls’ washroom in school. At first I got mad, but then I realized they’re just ignorant. That is why I believe more awareness and education is needed. We are not going away. We also want to make a mark in this world. We need real acceptance.
PE: How can kababayans in Winnipeg help or support your quest for the crown?
Adrian: They can support my social media, @thequeenadrian. I also have a Go Fund Me page.
The Miss International Queen is an annual pageant held in Pattaya, Thailand since 2004. It aims to bring awareness to the LGBTQ + community and equality in society as well as in the workforce, while all the monetary profits from the television broadcast go to the Royal Charity AIDS Foundation of Thailand.
This year’s pageant will be held on June 24, 2023.
The reigning Miss International Queen is Fuschia Anne Ravena from the Philippines who was crowned on June 25, 2022.
Pilipino Express interview by Lucille Nolasco-Garrido