Melbourne, Australia – A live singing drag queen and a transgender beauty specialist were crowned at the ninth annual Miss Gay & Miss Transsexual Australia International beauty pageant on the weekend.
Esther Rix (Kristian Zorino), of Elwood, Victoria, Australia, and, Nisarat Kidhatong, of Pattaya, Thailand, beat their rivals to win the ‘Miss Gay Australia International 2018’ and ‘Miss Transsexual Australia International 2018’ titles respectively.
They was crowned by outgoing winners, Melbourne drag queen performer Jacqui Meoff, Miss Transsexual Australia International 2017, and, Malaysian-born Thailand-based pastry chef and showgirl Laeticia Raveena, Miss Transsexual Australia International 2017, in St Kilda Town Hall on January 27.
Rix was also awarded Miss Social Media.
Kidhatong received Miss Congeniality, Miss Photogenic, Best in Swimsuit, and, Best in Evening Gown.
Both winners will reign for at least 12 months before handing over their title to their successors the following year.
Ashley Madison (Sean Glasson), of Melbourne's Brunswick West, was named the first runner-up and also awarded Best in Evening Gown, while Melbourne-based Mercedes Benzover (Mahendran M Veran), of Singapore, was the second runner-up of Miss Gay Australia International 2018.
Other Miss Gay Australia International 2018 awardees included: Felisha Phoenix (Anthony Birrell), of Warrnambool, Victoria, for Miss Photogenic and Best in Talent; Ivana Kebab (Nicholas Gerardi), of Geelong, Victoria, for Best in Costume; and Lydia Vanity (Steven Charles), of Melbourne's Keilor Downs, for Miss Ticket Sales.
Serina Rivera, of the Gold Coast, was named the first runner-up and also awarded Best in Costume; Rical Ardani, of Indonesia, was the second runner-up and also awarded Miss Advocacy; Michelle Montecarlo, from the Philippines, was named third runner-up; and, Amelia Gianni, from Sydney, was named fourth runner-up of Miss Transsexual Australia International 2018. Gzelle Kabir, of New South Wales, was named Miss Social Media.
Gianni was also named Kamol Dream Girl 2018, receiving a US15,000 gift voucher for cosmetic surgery at Kamol Cosmetic Hospital in Bangkok, Thailand, and, will be the Bangkok-based international hospital’s beauty ambassador for the year. She was picked by Kamol Cosmetic Hospital marketing and promotions manager Danai Tanamee, who was in Melbourne to pick the recipient and award the prize.
The pageant attracted 20 entrants who competed in themed costume, talent (Miss Gay Australia International 2018), swimwear (Miss Transsexual Australia International 2018), evening gown or couture, and, onstage question and answer.
In addition to competing on stage at the pageant presentation and coronation in St Kilda Town Hall, contestants participated in rehearsals, photo shoots and promotional activities for the pageant at Melbourne's Midsumma Carnival, Pride Night at Queen Victoria Market, Australia Day Parade though the heart of the city, and, Midsumma Pride March.
“With contestants from across Australia and a growing number from outside the country, many contestants are seeing Miss Gay & Miss Transsexual Australia International as a major international beauty pageant,” pageant founder and organiser, Gayza Davao said.
“We are absolutely delighted with the outstanding support from sponsors, donors, partners, judges and other volunteers and supporters from the LGBTQIA+ and wider community of the pageant, which has helped us grow year after year.”
The panel of judges included: Miss International Australia 2017 Amber Dew; Australian drag entertainer Chelsea Bun; Australian celebrity bridal and couture designer Craig Braybrook; Kamol Cosmetic Hospital marketing and promotions manager Danai Tanamee; founder of Miss T World transgender beauty pageant Nicole Fontanelli; award-winning Australian dancer, dance director and Duxton Allcare co-founder and managing director Paul Hickman; Australian employment consultant, radio host, diversity director, actor of the Netflix series Deadly Women and transgender advocate Rebeckah Loveday; and Singaporean transgender editorial, television, fashion show and personal stylist Sasja Sydek.
Leading transgender performers from Australia’s LGBTQIA+ community entertained the audience at the four-hour stage event, which attracted about 500 people and is part of Melbourne’s Midsumma Festival. The event is billed as the world's only and biggest Australian-based international drag queen and transgender beauty pageant.
Miss Gay & Miss Transsexual Australia International is staged annually by Trans Angels Victoria Incorporated, a non-profit group started in 2009 in Melbourne to promote inclusion, diversity and equality for the LGBTQIA+ community. Contestants have to nominate and promote an advocacy of their choice during the competition and throughout the year if they win.
Miss Gay & Miss Transsexual Australia International 2018 is supported by international and local businesses and organisations, including Kamol Cosmetic Hospital, Alexi Darling Management, Bute Lighting, Duxton Allcare, The House of Sofiya, Maison De Poupées, House of Priscilla, Charismatico Dancewear, Gage Roads Brewing Co., Salon Shique, The Famous Arthur Daley’s, Turtle Cove Beach Resort, Judicate Lawyers, Haigh’s Chocolates, McGrath Estate Agents, Care Builders Group, Ladyboy Dining & Bar, Kroylan Australia, Creative Wigs, Cochin Wine Bar & Restaurant and Mjr Tom Kitchen.
Miss Gay & Miss Transsexual Australia International: https://www.mgmtaus.com.
FOR MORE INFORMATION, PLEASE CONTACT:
Gayzha Davao, Pageant Founder & Director, Miss Gay and Miss Transsexual Australia International, 0407 073 350 (within Australia), +61 407 073 350 (outside Australia), firstname.lastname@example.org