“I want them to see that we are beautiful, we are educated, we are talented and we can maneuver in society just like everyone else.”-Jazell Barbie Royale, MIQ 19
History was made in Pattaya last night just in time for International Women’s Day as 31 year old Jazell Barbie Royale became the first ever Black winner of the Miss International Queen trans beauty pageant.
In addition to her becoming the first ever Black winner of MIQ in its 15 plus year history, she also became the first American to snatch this crown since Mimi Marks did so in 2005.
Like Mimi Marks, she is also a Miss Continental pageant titleholder, having won that title in 2016
First runner up was Kanwara Kaewijn from Thailand (another Miss Tiffany’s pageant winner) and second runner up was Yaya from China
When she’s not competing, the Florida native is an HIV advocate, and said in an interview that what she would like to do if she won is become a trans advocate, especially to those not well educated about trans issues.
She also noted the pageant being devoid of Black contestants, as I have pointed out more than a few times over the years as the perceived anti-Blackness has discouraged Black trans contestants around the globe from even attempting to compete in it.
“There is no one else in the pageant that has won that looks like me, there is no one in the pageant that looks like me. I would be able to inspire so many other people out there,” she said in a Travel News Asia interview .
Well, the Miss International Queen Pageant FINALLY has a Black queen. Still isn’t going to stop me from calling out the other problematic elements of the pageant.
But this is a nice start. Congratulations Jazell for making history and becoming Miss International Queen.. May you be just the beginning of more Black trans women from around the world who capture this title