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MEDIA RELEASES

From The Office Of Miss Gay & Miss Transsexual Australia International

For Immediate Release: February 1, 2017

I entered myself in a beauty pageant to inspire my friend with cancer, says Miss Transsexual Australia International 2017 first runner up

 

Hearing news and then seeing your loved ones die from cancer can be traumatic. Earlier this year, Shepparton hairdresser, make-up artist and milliner Dahyna Heenan found out that a close family friend had been diagnosed with cancer.

 

That was enough reason for Dahyna to overcome her insecurities as “a plus-size transgender woman” to enter the Miss Transsexual Australia International 2017 beauty pageant in Melbourne’s Yarraville Club on January 28 as part of the Midsumma Festival. And she was named first runner up.

 

“It’s devastating watching your family and friends die from cancer,” said Dahyna, who also won Best in Evening Gown and Miss Congeniality.

 

“When a very special lady in my life, who is like a grandmother to me, told me she was diagnosed with cancer, it was enough motivation for a plus-size woman battling insecurities with my body image, to register as a beauty queen at the age of 36.”

 

The former ballroom dancing champion and cabaret performer competed in the pageant under as “the only Australian girl from country Victoria and plus-size contestant in the pageant representing Melbourne”.

 

“I wanted to promote Cancer Council Victoria and cancer awareness during the competition, and, to send a loud, clear message to the world that you don’t have to be a size 6 to 10 to be happy in your own skin and take part in a beauty pageant,” said Dahyna. “It took a lot of courage, determination and commitment to compete in a pageant full of skinny girls – and I took it very seriously.

 

“I did everything possible to feel confident in my plus-size body, from designing my own costume and gown for the pageant, to making regular visits to the gym which helped me shed more than 30kg for the swimsuit competition. I am proud that my efforts have not gone unrecognised.”

 

A crowd favourite, Dahyna’s stage name Marnie Monroe was called out even before the pageant’s host Clinton Jack announced the name of the winner, Malaysian businesswoman, model, actor, singer, cabaret performer and French-trained culinary and pastry chef Laeticia Raveena. Dahyna will wear the crown should the reigning winner not be able to fulfil her obligations.

 

Staged since 2010, Miss Transsexual Australia International is the country’s biggest and most prestigious beauty pageant for transgender women. 

 

MEDIA ENQUIRIES: Gayzha Davao, Pageant Founder & Director, Miss Gay and Miss Transsexual Australia International, 0407 073 350

For Immediate Release: January 30, 2017

Pattaya-based Malaysian transgender pastry chef Laeticia Raveena wins Miss Transsexual Australia International 2017

 

A former showgirl from one of Thailand’s world-famous transgender cabaret revue was crowned the winner of Australia’s biggest and most prestigious transgender beauty pageant on the weekend.

 

Laeticia Raveena, who lives in Pattaya and used to work as a lead performer at Alcazar Cabaret for 10 years, was crowned Miss Transsexual Australia International 2017 in the Yarraville Club in Melbourne on January 28 as part of the Midsumma Festival.

 

Malaysian-born Ms Raveena, who is of Indian heritage from Kuala Lumpur, also won ‘Best in Rio Costume’. She beat ten other entrants to win more than $20,000 in cash and kind prizes, including a US15,000 voucher for gender correction or cosmetic surgery at Kamol Cosmetic Hospital, in Bangkok.

 

“I wasn't expecting to win, especially since I had two minds about taking part in an international pageant in Australia and then feeling ill on the final day of the competition and having doubts about performing my best,” said Ms Raveena.

 

“It was totally unexpected when they called my name for the crown!”

 

During the pageant, Ms Raveena promoted her advocacy group Rising Star, which aims to empower and support gifted young transgender women to achieve their full potential.

 

“When I first started my transition to become a woman, I had a hard time finding a support network or role models,” she said.

 

“I had to find out all the information about transition online and was not supported by my peers who had already completed their transition.

 

“I felt secluded and pushed away at an important time when a young transgender woman like myself was struggling to find her identity and place in society.

 

“I am really pleased to now have the opportunity to use my platform as Miss Transsexual Australia 2017 to inform, educate and mentor younger transgender women starting their transition.”

 

Ms Raveena has lived and worked in Malaysia, England, Ireland and Thailand as a businesswoman, model, actor, singer, cabaret performer and French-trained culinary and pastry chef of Le Cordon Bleu Dusit Culinary School.

 

A self-professed “citizen of the world”, she describes herself as “a creative, sensitive and well-lived transgender woman” who has successfully integrated herself into society, according to her social media profile. She is fluent in English, Tamil, Malay, Indonesian, Thai and Cantonese and is learning French.

 

Ms Raveena was crowned by outgoing Miss Transsexual Australia Andrea Jaca-Smith.

 

Miss Transsexual Australia International has been held since 2010. Contestants must be born male and may be in any stage of their gender transition.

 

Themed ‘Spectacular Beauty with A Purpose’, the three-hour stage show featured a costume, evening wear, swim wear and question-and-answer round.

 

Judges included: Michelle Sheppard, an award-winning entrepreneur, transgender advocate, public speaker and radio co-host and producer known for making workplaces more inclusive for GLBTI graduates and jobseekers; Drew-Elizabeth Johnstone, a top hair and makeup artist from New Zealand; David Micallef, President of Melbourne GLBTI business group GLOBE (Gay and Lesbian Organisation of Business and Enterprise) and a leading communications and public relations expert; local mayor Councillor Andrea Surace, Mayor of the City of Moonee Valley; Chelsey Mikimoto, an entrepreneur, public relations executive, former cabaret entertainer and the first ever Miss Transsexual Australia; Trixie Maristela, a model, actress, author, television presenter, Miss International Queen 2015, Miss Gay Manila 2015 and LGBTI rights advocate from the Philippines; and Danai Tanamee, marketing and promotions executive from major sponsor Kamol Cosmetic Hospital in Thailand.

 

MEDIA ENQUIRIES: Gayzha Davao, Pageant Founder & Director, Miss Gay and Miss Transsexual Australia International, +61 407 073 350 (outside Australia) or mgmtaus@gmail.com

For Immediate Release: January 30, 2017

Jacqui Meoff and Laeticia Raveena crowned new beauty queens in Miss Gay and Miss Transsexual Australia International 2017

 

Melbourne drag queen Jacqui Meoff and Malaysian-born transgender showgirl Laeticia Raveena were crowned Miss Gay Australia International 2017 and Miss Transsexual Australia International 2017 respectively at the eighth Miss Gay and Miss Transsexual International pageant in Melbourne’s Yarraville Club on Saturday, January 28.

 

“It is still surreal knowing I had won the crown of Miss Gay Australia International 2017,” said 27-year-old Jacqui from Balaclava, who performed a choreographed three-and-a-half minute lip-sync of JLo’s ‘Let’s Get Loud’ and promoted the Movember Foundation during the competition. She also won Miss Gay Photogenic, Best in Carnival Costume, Best in Evening Gown and Best in Talent.

 

“I have been part of the Melbourne drag scene for more than seven years, and took part in the pageant in the last few years to see how far I could go with my brand of female impersonation.”

 

Jacqui, who works as a retail supervisor when she is not a drag queen, walked away with the second prize in the pageant last year and decided she was going to keep trying until she won the crown. She was crowned by outgoing Miss Gay Australia, Honey Montana.

 

“I just can't describe how much it means to me to be validated for the hours of planning and work that go into perfecting my art.

 

“Now I can look back when I am older and be proud of another feather on my cap as a drag queen performer.”

 

For Malaysian-born Laeticia, travelling all the way to Melbourne from Thailand to compete in a pageant has been an exciting journey.

 

“I wasn't expecting to win, especially since I had two minds about taking part in an international pageant in Australia and then feeling ill on the final day of the competition and having doubts about performing my best,” said the businesswoman, model, actor, singer, former leading showgirl of the world-famous Alcazar ladyboy cabaret and French-trained culinary and pastry chef of Le Cordon Bleu Dusit Culinary School. “It was totally unexpected when they called my name for the crown!”

 

Laeticia, who also won in Best in Rio Costume, beat ten other entrants to win more than $20,000 in cash and kind prizes, including a US15,000 voucher for gender correction or cosmetic surgery at Kamol Cosmetic Hospital, in Bangkok.

 

During the pageant, she promoted Rising Star, a group she kicked off to empower and support gifted young transgender women to achieve their full potential.

 

“When I first started my transition to become a woman, I had a hard time finding a support network or role models,” said Laeticia, who was crowned by outgoing Miss Transsexual Australia, Andrea Jaca-Smith.

 

“I had to find out all the information about transition online and was not supported by my peers who had already completed their transition.

 

I am really pleased to now have the opportunity to use my platform as Miss Transsexual Australia 2017 to inform, educate and mentor younger transgender women starting their transition.”

 

Contestants in this year’s pageant, hosted by Clinton Jack and Miss Transsexual Australia 2015 JO Rojas, competed in costume, evening gown, talent (female impersonator entrants), swim wear (transgender contestants) and interview.

 

Judges included Michelle Sheppard, an award-winning entrepreneur, transgender advocate, public speaker and radio co-host and producer known for making workplaces more inclusive for GLBTI graduates and jobseekers; Drew-Elizabeth Johnstone, a top hair and makeup artist from New Zealand; David Micallef, President of Melbourne GLBTI business group GLOBE (Gay and Lesbian Organisation of Business and Enterprise) and a leading communications and public relations expert; local mayor Councillor Andrea Surace, Mayor of the City of Moonee Valley; Chelsey Mikimoto, an entrepreneur, public relations executive, former cabaret entertainer and the first ever Miss Transsexual Australia; Trixie Maristela, a model, actress, author, television presenter, Miss International Queen 2015, Miss Gay Manila 2015 and LGBTI rights advocate from the Philippines; and Danai Tanamee, marketing and promotions executive from major sponsor Kamol Cosmetic Hospital, from Thailand.

 

MEDIA ENQUIRIES: Gayzha Davao, Pageant Founder & Director, Miss Gay and Miss Transsexual Australia International, 0407 073 350 or mgmtaus@gmail.com

For Immediate Release: January 20, 2017

Meet the judges of Miss Gay and Miss Transsexual Australia International 2017Miss Gay and Miss Transsexual Australia International 2017 – Australia’s biggest beauty pageant for female impersonators and transgender women – will be held at the Yarraville Club, 135 Stephen Street, Yarraville on Saturday, January 28 (6pm-10pm) as part of the Midsumma Festival. It will be hosted by radio personality Clinton Jack and co-host Miss Transsexual Australia 2015 J.O. Rojas.This year’s judges who will help crown the next ‘Miss Gay Australia International’ and ‘Miss Transsexual Australia International’ include:Drew-Elizabeth Johnstone is proof that if you love your work then you will find pleasure in mastering it. With a rich and illustrious career spanning some 30 years across the Tasman, the multi-talented hair and makeup artist, actor and cabaret entertainer from Auckland, New Zealand has worked with some of the biggest names in entertainment, modeling and fashion, including Dolly Parton, Patti Lupone, Caroline O’Connor, Linda Evangelista, Elle Magazine, Vogue Magazine and Fashion Quarterly Magazine. Drew-Elizabeth has set up and managed the hair and makeup units for Broadway, West End and Australian productions including The Rocky Horror Show, Chicago The Musical, Priscilla Queen of the Desert The Musical, Dusty The Musical, Swan Lake, Georgy Girl – The Seekers Musical, Grease The Musical, Dream Lover: The Bobby Darin Musical, Cabaret The Musical, Jersey Boys, Buddy – The Buddy Holly Story and Madame Tango. She has collaborated with record companies to style and tour with top artists, worked with top modeling agencies Elite Model Management and Visage, taught deportment and modelling at June Dally-Watkins Business Finishing College, worked as an assistant fashion editor on New Zealand Women’s Weekly, and been a judge and stylist on numerous beauty pageants. In addition to her behind-the-scenes work, Drew-Elizabeth was a lead performer in Les Girls in Sydney for eight years, toured with a leading beer company playing Tina Turner for two years, modelled in an advertising campaign for Levi’s, and recently worked in a feature film opposite Gretel Kileen based on the book Jimmy and Gret Don't Do Sex.International LGBTIA+ icon Chelsey Mikimoto is best known for being the first ever Miss Transsexual Australia in 2010. Not just a pretty face, the Singapore-born Australian cabaret entertainer-turned-businesswoman from Melbourne made her mark in modelling, advertising, public relations and corporate entertainment before completing her transition in 2009. Since being crowned, she has gone on to find success in public relations and real estate development. Through her creativity, ingenuity and tenacity, Chelsey has successfully raised the media profile of transgender women in the mainstream community.LGBTIA+ community leader and communications and public relations expert David Micallef is President of GLOBE (Gay and Lesbian Organisation of Business and Enterprise), which promotes the careers and businesses of those that identify as LGBTQIA+. A trusted advisor to clients in government, not-for-profit and the private sector, he has worked in all areas of public relations including media, crisis and issues management, internal communications, strategy and campaign development and social media.Award-winning entrepreneur, radio personality, transgender advocate and public speaker Michelle Sheppard is recognised for making workplaces more inclusive and diverse for the LGBTIA+ community. Michelle’s project ‘LGBTI Jobs’, which pairs LGBTI graduates and jobseekers to companies that embrace inclusion initiatives, won in the ‘ANZ Excellence in Business’ category of the ‘2016 GLOBE Community Awards’. A co-host and co-producer of ‘Trans Positions’ and ‘Family Matters’ on community radio JOY FM, Michelle has improved the dialogue of transgender, gender diverse and intersex issues.Award-winning dancer Paul Jesseph Base Hickman was appointed artistic director of the FilOz Contemporary Dance Theatre Cebu Philippines in 2016. In the same year, he received the Filipino Australian Achiever Award and was named Filipino Australian of the Year at the Biennial Filipino Communities Council of Australia Awards. In 2014, Paul received the Filipino-Australian Career Achievement Award in his hometown of Adelaide. He is a passionate clinical and health care professional who co-founded and manages Duxton Allcare, a stay-at-home caring and nursing service. Paul is also the face of Fight Cancer Foundation, which cares, treats and supports people with leukaemia and other forms of cancer.Councillor Andrea Surace, Mayor of the City of Moonee Valley, returns to the judging panel for the second year in a row. The local government councilor, who is also a small business owner and mother of three, sees “community spirit and diversity” as one of the strengths of her municipality.Visiting from the Philippines, high-profile transgender beauty queen, model, actress, writer, television presenter and LGBTIA+ rights advocate Trixie Maristela is best known for being the first ever Miss Gay Manila in 2015, and later the same year, Miss International Queen 2015. She is author of He's Dating The Transgender, a book about a love story between a cisgender man and transgender woman, and has made guest appearances on popular television shows. In 2016, Trixie made her acting debut on the Filipino TV drama Karelasyon, where she played a transgender woman with a complicated love life, and in the same year, played herself in the TV drama Magpakailanman: Love Knows No Gender.Visiting from Thailand, Kamol Cosmetic Hospital’s marketing and promotions guru Danai Tanamee, who will be the pageant’s second international judge. Danai will also present a US$15,000 voucher on behalf of major sponsor Kamol Cosmetic Hospital, in Bangkok, for all-expenses-paid cosmetic surgery to the winner of Miss Transsexual Australia International 2017.The judges will score the two categories of contestants on costume, evening wear and question-and-answer rounds, swim wear (Miss Transsexual Australia International 2017) and talent (Miss Gay Australia International 2017). Radio personality Clinton Jack will host the pageant with co-host Miss Transsexual Australia 2015 J.O. Rojas.Tickets are available from: https://midsumma.org.au/k2event/miss-gay-and-trans-2017 for $35 (Concession $30).MEDIA ENQUIRIES: Gayzha Davao, Pageant Founder & Director, Miss Gay and Miss Transsexual Australia International, 0407 073 350 or mgmtaus@gmail.com

For Immediate Release: January 16, 2017

Reigning Miss Transsexual Australia 2016 Andrea Jaca-Smith now happier as “a real woman”

 

There may be beautiful women in swimwear and gowns, tiaras and sashes, but Miss Transsexual Australia International is not your typical beauty pageant. All contestants must be born male and the top prize is all-expenses-paid gender-correction surgery or cosmetic surgery at a top cosmetic hospital in Thailand.

 

For current Miss Transsexual Australia 2016 Andrea Jaca-Smith, 36, of Springvale, Victoria, winning the prestigious beauty queen pageant was a “godsend”.

 

“I could not be happier winning the pageant,” said Ms Jaca-Smith, reflecting on her reign. ”It came just a few weeks before I was going to complete my lifelong dream to become a woman in Thailand.”

 

Ms Jaca-Smith used her US15,000 major prize voucher from leading Thai cosmetic surgery hospital Kamol Cosmetic Hospital to undergo her gender-reassignment surgery in Bangkok in July 2016. She had originally booked to have her surgery at another Thai hospital in February earlier that year.

 

“My journey to becoming a real woman has been one of emotional ups and downs,” said Ms Jaca-Smith. “I have learnt to appreciate the transition from being someone who could not even bear to look at themselves in the mirror without clothes on, to a woman who is proud of her body and posts regular selfies on social media. I love my new life I am so happy that I would not change anything.”

 

Ms Jaca-Smith will crown the new Miss Transsexual Australia International at the Miss Gay and Miss Transsexual Australia International 2017 crowing ceremony, in Yarraville Club, 135 Stephen Street, Yarraville, on January 28, as part of the Midsumma Festival.

 

Staged annually in Melbourne since 2010, Miss Transsexual Australia International is the biggest annual beauty pageant for pre- or post-operative transsexual women in Australia that aims to promote visibility of transgender women and build awareness of transgender rights.

 

All contestants will take part in social media and community events before and after the pageant, including the Midsumma Carnival, Australia Day Street Parade and Pride March. 

 

Tickets are available from: https://midsumma.org.au/k2event/miss-gay-and-trans-2017 for $35 (Concession $30).

 

MEDIA ENQUIRIES: Gayzha Davao, Pageant Founder & Director, Miss Gay and Miss Transsexual Australia, 0407 073 350 or mgmtaus@gmail.com

For Immediate Release: January 27, 2017

Meet the contestants of Miss Gay and Miss Transsexual Australia International 2017

 

PICTURE/INTERVIEW OPPORTUNITY:

WHAT: Contestants in the 2017 Australia Day Parade on Swanston Street

WHO: Contestants in their evening gowns/costumes

WHEN: Thursday, January 26, 9am-11am

WHERE: Between Bourke/Swanston Street, Melbourne

 

PICTURE/INTERVIEW OPPORTUNITY:

WHAT: Contestants doing a photo shoot for the pageant

WHO: Contestants in their evening gowns/costumes

WHEN: Friday, January 27, 8am-10am

WHERE: Queensbridge Street (Banana Alley), Southbank, Melbourne

 

Miss Gay and Miss Transsexual Australia International is the nation’s biggest and most prestigious beauty pageant for female impersonators and transgender women.

 

Seventeen contestants are competing in the pageant: six in Miss Gay Australia International 2017; and eleven in Miss Transsexual Australia International 2017.

 

The three-hour stage show will be held at the Yarraville Club, 135 Stephen Street, Yarraville, on Saturday January 28, as part of the Midsumma Festival.

 

The reigning Miss Gay Australia Honey Montana and Miss Transsexual Australia Andrea Jaca-Smith will be available for photos and interviews.

 

Staged annually in Melbourne since 2010, Miss Transsexual Australia International aims to promote visibility of transgender women and build awareness of transgender rights. Contestants must be born male.

 

The top prize for Miss Transsexual Australia International 2017 is a US$15,000 all-expenses-paid gender-correction surgery or cosmetic surgery at Kamol Cosmetic Hospital, a top international cosmetic hospital in Bangkok, Thailand.

 

Tickets are available from: https://midsumma.org.au/k2event/miss-gay-and-trans-2017 for $35 (Concession $30).

 

MEDIA ENQUIRIES: Gayzha Davao, Pageant Founder & Director, Miss Gay and Miss Transsexual Australia International, 0407 073 350 or mgmtaus@gmail.com

For Immediate Release: January 19, 2017

Miss Transsexual Australia International 2017 contestants to walk in Australia Day Parade

 

Members of the public will get a chance to meet the contestants of the Miss Transsexual Australia International 2017 beauty pageant in Melbourne CBD when they walk in the 2017 Australia Day Parade on January 26.

 

This is the second time that the contestants are making their public appearance this year as part of its pre-pageant activities – two days before they compete in the country’s biggest beauty pageant for transgender women.

 

Miss Transsexual Australia International 2017 will be held alongside Miss Gay Australia International 2017 (talent competition for drag queen performers) at the Yarraville Club on January 28, as part of the Midsumma Festival.

 

Earlier this week (January 15), contestants met with the LGBTI community at the 2017 Midsumma Carnival in Alexandra Gardens. Following the pageant, they will also take part in the Midsumma Pride March in St Kilda on January 29.

 

Contestants in the parade will include Sydney law student ALEXIS TAN; Sydney fashion stylist and beautician AMELIA GIANNI; Sydney business administration student FAIEL LICDAN VALENCIANO; Sydney model, dancer and cabaret performer IVANNA; Sydney business student JESSICA ALBORNOZ; Melbourne businesswoman, former model, actor, singer, cabaret performer and French-trained culinary and pastry chef LAETICIA RAVEENA; Melbourne dental nurse LORREN CACHERO; Shepparton hairdresser, makeup artist, milliner and former cabaret performer and ballroom dancing champion MARNIE MONROE; Sydney charity worker SERINNA RIVERA; Sydney makeup artist and fragrance specialist SKYE PAEZ; and Sydney DJ and showgirl VICTORIA ANTHONY. Reigning Miss Transsexual Australia Andrea Jaca-Smith and former Miss Transsexual Australia winners will also be part of the pageant contingent.

 

Staged annually in Melbourne since 2010, Miss Transsexual Australia International aims to promote visibility of transgender women and build awareness of transgender rights.

 

Contestants must be born male and the top prize is a US$15,000 all-expenses-paid gender-correction surgery or cosmetic surgery at Kamol Cosmetic Hospital, a top international cosmetic hospital in Bangkok, Thailand.

 

Tickets are available from: https://midsumma.org.au/k2event/miss-gay-and-trans-2017 for $35 (Concession $30).

 

MEDIA ENQUIRIES: Gayzha Davao, Pageant Founder & Director, Miss Gay and Miss Transsexual Australia, 0407 073 350 or mgmtaus@gmail.com

For Immediate Release: January 2, 2017

Eleven entrants vie for Miss Transsexual Australia International 2017

 

A law student, a former ballroom dancing champion and a dental nurse are among the fourteen hopefuls of the Miss Transsexual Australia International 2017 beauty pageant in Melbourne’s Yarraville Club, 135 Stephen Street, Yarraville, on Saturday, 28 January 2017, as part of the Midsumma Festival.

 

ALEXIS TAN is a Sydney law student and graduate of fashion design and fine arts. Originally from the Philippines with part-Chinese heritage, Alexis hopes to one day become an international human rights lawyer in the United Nations. She loves to travel, draw, paint, sing, dance and watch documentaries about history, society and culture. Alexis hopes to be a role model for the younger transgender generation; she started her own transgender group ‘I Am SHE’ to support and empower transgender youth during their transition.

 

AMELIA GIANNI is a Sydney fashion stylist and beautician whose passions are in comedy, acting and modelling. Amelia, who is of Italian-New Zealand heritage, chose the Australian Childhood Foundation as her chosen advocacy and hopes to share her personal experience as a child abuse survivor.

 

FAIEL LICDAN VALENCIANO is a Sydney business administration student who loves cooking, travelling and experiencing new cultures. When not studying, she can be found cooking up recipes. If she becomes the next Miss Transsexual Australia International, Faiel hopes to promote better community understanding of gender sensitivity.

 

IVANNA is a Sydney model, dancer and cabaret performer who is known for having an artistic side. She turned to talent competitions and beauty pageants to challenge herself in a new way. If she wins, she hopes to promote transgender rights and issues through her chosen advocacy, Carmen Rupe Memorial Trust.

 

JESSICA ALBORNOZ is a Sydney international student of business, actor and model from Venezuela. Miss Albornoz enjoys expressing herself through movement and specialises in salsa, merengue, samba, belly, hip hop and contemporary dance. She hopes to fulfil her goal of being a voice for the transgender community through her advocacy group, The Gender Centre.

 

LAETICIA RAVEENA is “a creative, sensitive and well-lived transgender woman” who has successfully integrated herself into society. Visiting Melbourne from Thailand where she is based, the Malaysian-born businesswoman and former international model, actor, singer, cabaret performer and French-trained culinary and pastry chef is a self-professed “citizen of the world” who has lived, grown up, studied and worked in England, Ireland, Malaysia and Thailand. Laeticia, who is of Indian, speaks, reads and writes English, Tamil, Malay, Indonesian, Thai, Cantonese and Mandarin, and is learning French. If she wins, she hopes to use her title to promote Rising Star, an organisation she set up to inspire gifted younger transgender women to achieve their full potential.

 

LORREN CACHERO is a Melbourne dental nurse who worked as a dentist before moving to Australia from the Philippines. An avid volleyball player who plays competitively and socially, Lorren believes that good health should never be taken for granted. She supports Equinox, a Melbourne gender diverse health service that offers bulk billing general practice services to the trans and gender diverse community.

 

MARNIE MONROE, from Shepparton, Victoria, is no stranger to being on the stage and in the spotlight. The former cabaret performer and ballroom dancing champion’s talent and passion are in the arts, where she has gained recognition. Now running her own salon as a hairdresser, makeup artist and milliner, she hopes to raise awareness and support for cancer research through Cancer Australia.

 

SERINNA RIVERA is a Sydney outdoor junkie who is always hungry for new experiences and knowledge for self-growth. She enjoys scuba diving, hiking, swimming, kayaking, music and films. Originally from the Philippines, Serinna believes in helping those in need. In her home country, she supported her family’s charity program to build kindergartens, feed the poor and raise funds for typhoon-affected communities. A kidney donor to her sister, Serinna hopes that her journey to the crown will help her grow even more and inspire others through her chosen charity, Kidney Health Australia.

 

SKYE PAEZ is a Sydney-born makeup artist and fragrance specialist of Chilean-Uruguayan heritage who has a passion for fashion, enjoys swimming, sensual dancing, travelling, world movies and documentaries. Through her chosen charity Transgender Victoria, she hopes to support the important work it does to promote justice, equity and quality health and community service provision for trans and gender diverse people, their partners, families and friends.

 

VICTORIA ANTHONY is a Sydney DJ and showgirl believes in being happy, positive and living proudly as transgender. Victoria, who is of Italian-Filipino heritage, has a Bachelor of Music (Honours) from the University of Western Sydney. She loves travelling and has visited the Dominican Republic, The USA, The Philippines, New Zealand, and many cities in Australia. She is looking forward to meeting and sharing her positive energy with all the other contestants in the pageant and if crowned, hopes to raise the profile of Twenty10, which aims to create and nurture safe places for people of diverse, genders, sexualities and sexes, their families and communities.

 

Now in its eighth year, Miss Transsexual Australia International is the biggest annual beauty pageant for transgender women in Australia. Themed ‘Spectacular Beauty with a Purpose’, this year’s entrants will parade on stage for Costume, Swim Wear, Evening Wear and Question-and-Answer rounds.

 

The 2107 winner will walk away with more than $20,000 in cash and kind prizes, which includes a US15,000 voucher for optional gender surgery at Kamol Cosmetic Hospital, in Thailand.

 

Pageant Founder and Director Gayzha Davao said the calibre of contestants this year was impressive.

 

“Miss Transsexual Australia International aims to raise community awareness and promote acceptance and positive images of transgender women,” Ms Davao said.

 

“The 2016 contestants were quite outstanding and it is exciting to see a high calibre of entries for 2017.”

 

The winner will be crowned by the reigning Miss Transsexual Australia 2016 Andrea Jaca-Smith, who underwent all-expenses-paid gender-correction surgery at Kamol Cosmetic Hospital in July 2016, as part of her prize.

 

All contestants will take part in social media and community events before and after the pageant, including the Midsumma Carnival, Australia Day Street Parade and Pride March. 

 

Tickets are available from: https://midsumma.org.au/k2event/miss-gay-and-trans-2017 for $35 (Concession $30).

 

MEDIA ENQUIRIES: Gayzha Davao, Pageant Founder & Director, Miss Gay and Miss Transsexual Australia International, 0407 073 350 or mgmtaus@gmail.com

For Immediate Release: February 2, 2016

New beauty queens crowned in Miss Gay and Miss Transsexual Australia 2016

 

Twenty female impersonators and transgender women from across Australia sashayed and strutted across the stage in this year’s Miss Gay and Miss Transsexual Australia 2016 beauty pageant but it was two Melburnians who walked away with the prestigious top crowns.

 

Honey Montana and Andrea Jaca-Smith were crowned ‘Miss Gay Australia 2016’ and ‘Miss Transsexual Australia 2016’ respectively at the Midsumma Festival beauty pageant at The Substation in Newtown on Saturday night.

 

Thirty-two-year-old Ms Montana, of St Kilda, is a hair design student, international talent scout, former professional ballerina and singer who started her performing career in Soho, London.

 

She won over the judges and audience with her crowd-pleasing impersonation of pop diva Madonna and bagged the top prize and ‘Best in Talent’.

 

She said she was excited to be able to show drag as “an acceptable, normal expression of one’s identity”.

 

“I never expected to win Miss Gay Australia 2016,” Ms Montana said.

 

“My personal goals are to continue to polish my brand of female impersonation, enjoy my work and be happy.

 

“When I was a child, I used to sneak into my mother’s bedroom to raid her makeup case, wrap a tea towel around my head and bop to British pop group Mel and Kim.

 

“I’ve come so far and want to encourage other young people to express who they are without prejudice.

 

“If they encounter obstacles, they can approach organisations such as Diverse Voices, my chosen charity, for guidance and support.”

 

Ms Montana’s prize package includes a year’s supply of hair care products and tools worth $1000 with Salon Shique; a custom hairpiece designed by hair couturier Pegy Lea; a rhinestone tiara; makeup from Kroylan Professional Make-Up Australia; dancewear by Charismatico; a beauty queen portfolio by a leading photographer; public relations services by Alexi Darling Management; professional representation by Victorian Secrets Promotions; access to various Melbourne events including casting opportunities, cabaret shows, functions and launch parties; personal appearance wardrobe and styling by a Victorian Secrets Promotions stylist; a trophy; $500 cash; public exposure as Miss Gay Australia 2016 that will represent and help raise awareness for her chosen charity.

 

For Ms Smith, her Miss Transsexual Australia 2016 win will enable her to complete her transition to become “a real woman”.

 

“I never thought I would win Miss Transsexual Australia 2016,” said the 35-year-old Philippine-born Springvale make-up artist, choreographer and cabaret showgirl.

 

“In fact, I had booked in my appointment to undergo my sex change surgery in another Thai hospital this month.

 

“The timing of winning the prize could not be more perfect.”

 

Ms Jaca-Smith’s major prize was a US$15,000 voucher for gender reassignment or cosmetic surgery at Kamol Cosmetic Hospital, in Bangkok, Thailand. The prize includes surgery, return airfare, accommodation and cash.

 

“I will be fulfilling my obligations as Miss Transsexual Australia 2016 and promoting AIDS Foundation Victoria throughout my reign. Then I will use my prize from Kamol Cosmetic Hospital to complete my transition journey.”

 

Ms Smith outshined seven other contestants to also pick up ‘Best in Victorian Secrets Wear’ (Swim Wear) and ‘Best in Evening Gown’. She also won other sponsor prizes, including hair services, a year’s supply of hair care products and tools worth $1000 and a before-and-after hair transformation photo shoot with Salon Shique; a custom-designed rhinestone tiara and costume jewellery by jewellery designer Mark Tenchavez for Shandar; makeup from Kroylan Professional Make-Up Australia; dancewear by Charismatico; a beauty queen portfolio by a leading photographer; public relations services by Alexi Darling Management; professional representation by Victorian Secrets Promotions; access to various Melbourne events including casting opportunities, cabaret shows, functions and launch parties; personal appearance wardrobe and styling by a Victorian Secrets Promotions stylist; a trophy; $500 cash; and public exposure as Miss Transsexual Australia 2016 that will help raise awareness for her chosen charity.

 

The Disney and diva-themed Miss Gay and Miss Transsexual Australia 2016 pageant was co-hosted by performance artist Tristan Meecham, Brisbane drag queen Chinta Woo-Allcock and transgender artist Dee Ancajas. Contestants competed in costume, evening gown, talent (female impersonator entrants), swim wear (transgender contestants) and interview. Judges included international ambassador for millinery, fashion authority and CEO and director of ‘Racing Fashion TV’ and ‘Racing Fashion Australia’, Anna Mott; Councillor Andrea Surace, Mayor of the City of Moonee Valley; and award-winning Melbourne-based international fashion couturier, Mathieu Salem.

 

Miss Gay and Miss Transsexual Australia 2016 Official Results:

Miss Gay Australia 2016 – HONEY MONTANA (VIC)

1st Runner Up (2nd Place) – JACQUI MEOFF (VIC)

2nd Runner Up (3rd Place) – TINA BIKKI (QLD)

3rd Runner Up (4th Place) – MANDY MOOBS (QLD)

4th Runner Up (5th Place) – KRISTINA FIERCE (VIC)

Best in Costume - ‘Disney Villain’ – JACQUI MEOFF (VIC)

Best in Evening Gown – MANDY MOOBS (QLD)

Best in Talent - ‘Diva Impersonation’ - HONEY MONTANA (VIC)

Facebook 'Like A Queen Award' – MANDY MOOBS (QLD)

Miss Gay Congeniality – LYDIA VANITY (VIC).

 

Miss Transsexual Australia 2016 – ANDREA JACA SMITH (VIC)

1st Runner Up (2nd Place) – ALYSSA LUCK (NSW)

2nd Runner Up (3rd Place) - TALISSA MAE ANDRADA (VIC)

3rd Runner Up (4th Place) - TALIA (NSW)

4th Runner Up (5th Place) – NADIA CHIN (VIC)

Best in Costume – ‘Disney Princess’ – ALYSSA LUCK (NSW)

Best in Evening Gown – ANDREA JACA SMITH (VIC)

Best in Victorian Secrets Wear (Swimwear) - ANDREA JACA SMITH (VIC)

Facebook 'Like A Goddess Award' – NADIA CHIN (VIC)

Miss Transsexual Congeniality - TALIAH (NSW).

 

Media enquiries: Gayzha Davao, Founder and Organiser, Miss Gay and Miss Transsexual Australia, 0407 073 350

For Immediate Release: January 28, 2016

Who will be crowned in Australia’s biggest transgender beauty pageant?

 

Miss Transsexual Australia 2016 - Australia’s biggest transgender beauty pageant that sparked international media attention for offering gender surgery as a top prize – will be held this weekend in Melbourne.

 

Eight transgender contestants from across Australia are competing in this year’s beauty pageant hosted by Tristan Meecham at The Substation, in Newport, as part of the Midsumma Festival.

 

Earlier this week, pageant organisers raised many eyebrows after announcing that they were offering, for the first time, a gift voucher for full gender reassignment surgery at Kamol Hospital, in Thailand, to the winner. The prize includes return airfare, accommodation and cash worth US15,000.

 

Gayzha Davao, pageant founder and director, was clear about the pageant's message to the world.

 

“If the winner does not require gender reassignment surgery, she can opt to have other cosmetic surgical procedures at Kamol Hospital,” Ms Davao said.

 

“Of course, if the winner decides that surgery, whether sex change or cosmetic and plastic surgery, is not an option for her, then she may choose not to accept the prize. The choice is ultimately hers.”

 

Ms Davao added that the pageant was “not advocating surgery, or sex change surgery, for transgender people.”

 

“As a beauty pageant organiser, our role is to raise awareness and promote acceptance and positive images of transgender people,” she said.

 

“We are not promoting surgery for transgender people. We are saying that surgery is an option for some transgender people to help them complete their transition journey. Certainly the winner who believes surgery is the only option will welcome the prize.”

 

Pageant contestants will parade on stage in Victoria’s Secret-style outfits, evening wear and costumes inspired by Disney characters. The pageant is open to transgender women, who can be pre- or post surgery, above the age of 18.

 

The winner will be announced on Saturday at the crowning ceremony at The Substation, 1 Market Street, Newport.

 

MEDIA ENQUIRIES: Gayzha Davao, Founder and Organiser, Miss Transsexual Australia, 0407 073 350

For Immediate Release: January 21, 2016

Optional sex change surgery is top prize in Australian transgender beauty pageant

 

Optional sex change surgery in Thailand is offered to Miss Transsexual Australia 2016 - the transsexual titleholder - of this year’s Miss Gay & Transsexual Australia 2016 beauty pageant in Melbourne on January 30.

 

The prize, offered by Kamol Cosmetic Hospital, is a gift voucher for cosmetic surgery, which includes male-to-female sex reassignment surgery, at the Bangkok hospital which includes return airfare, accommodation and cash worth US15,000 (about AU$20,000).

 

“The choice of sex change surgery is purely up to the winner,” said pageant organiser, Gayzha Davao.

 

“She can choose to have a sex change, or, undergo cosmetic or plastic surgery services other than a sex change, at one of the Thailand’s top cosmetic and plastic surgery hospitals.”

 

However, Ms Davao said that the pageant organisers were not advocating surgery, or sex change surgery, for transgender people.

 

“As a beauty pageant organiser, our role is to raise awareness and promote acceptance and positive images of transgender people.

 

“We are not promoting surgery for transgender people. We are saying that surgery is an option for some transgender people to help them complete their transition journey.

 

“Certainly the winner who believes surgery is the only option will welcome the prize.”

 

Eight contestants from across Australia are taking part in the pageant, which will run alongside a competition for female impersonators and drag queens.

 

The winner will be announced at the crowning ceremony of the Miss Gay and Miss Transsexual Australia 2016 beauty pageant at The Substation, 1 Market Street, Newport. The event is part of the Midsumma Festival.

 

Kamol Cosmetic Hospital: http://www.kamolhospital.com

                           

MEDIA ENQUIRIES: Gayzha Davao, Founder and Co-Event Organiser, Miss Transsexual Australia, 0407 073 350

For Immediate Release: February 3, 2015

Deaf community members Krista and Victoria are Australia's new beauty symbols

 

The only two Sydneysiders connected to the Deaf community in this year’s ‘Miss Gay and Transsexual Australia 2015’ beauty pageant in Melbourne have won big.

 

Krista Herrington and Victoria Rivera Martin have clinched second place as ‘Miss Gay Australia 2015’ and ‘Miss Transsexual Australia 2015’, respectively, at the ‘Miss Gay and Miss Transsexual Australia 2015’ beauty pageant on Saturday night at the Yarraville Club in Melbourne. This makes them the first deaf and hearing-impaired contestants to receive a major placing in the history of the pageant.

 

Ms Herrington, a 23-year-old disability worker, said she hoped her victory would inspire other people with disabilities.

 

“As a deaf, gay and Aboriginal drag queen, the odds are stacked up against you even more,” said Ms Herrington, who also picked up Best Mardi Gras Costume.

 

“I was pleased with how far I went in the pageant. I believe the experience has given me more confidence to face the world proudly as a drag queen performer.

 

“I say to people with disabilities that you should never let your disability stand in the way of what you want to achieve in life.”

 

For other crowd favorite Ms Martin, taking part in the pageant has cemented her position as a serious beauty pageant enthusiast and contender. She also won Best Las Vegas Costume, Best in Swimsuit and Miss Transsexual Congeniality.

 

“Taking part in the pageant has allowed me to expand my cultural knowledge and social network,” said Ms Martin, a 24-year-old fashion designer.

 

“I had so much fun. My message is that the world is your oyster. Make the best of life and enjoy it.”

 

Both contestants used an Auslan interpretater in their on-stage interviews during the pageant.

 

Other Sydneysiders who took out prizes included Coco Foxx, who took out Miss Gay Congeniality; Cassandra Myles Cabelion, who won Miss Transsexual Australia 2015 Third Runner-Up and Best in Evening Wear; and Cherry Teewara, who was named Miss Transsexual Australia 2015 Fourth Runner-Up. 

 

Media enquiries: Gayzha Davao, Organiser, Miss Gay and Miss Transsexual Australia, 0407 073 350

For Immediate Release: February 3, 2015

Charity Steals and JO Rojas are Australia's new beauty queens

 

Charity Steals, a 32-year-old drag queen performer from West Melbourne, and J.O. Rojas, a 29-year-old registered nurse from Deer Park, have been crowned ‘Miss Gay Australia 2015’ and ‘Miss Transsexual Australia 2015’, respectively, at the ‘Miss Gay and Miss Transsexual Australia 2015’ pageant on Saturday night at the Yarravile Club in Melbourne.

 

Ms Steals, who also won ‘Best in Talent’ and ‘Facebook - Like A Queen Award’, revealed in media interviews before and during the pageant, that drag helped her combat mental health issues such as social anxiety and depression. “Drag gave me a purpose to leave the house and be somewhere different and have more fun in a new environment,” she said.

 

Philippine-born Ms Rojas, who recently competed her studies in nursing, also won the ‘Facebook – Like A Goddess Award’. She said winning the pageant was a dream come true for her. “I am delighted with winning the pageant as I can now use my position to promote Ygender, a peer-led social support and advocacy group for gender diverse young people that is close to my heart,” she said.

 

The Mardi Gras and Las Vegas Showgirl-themed pageant was hosted by performance artist Tristan Meecham and Miss Gay Australia 2011 Chinta Woo-Allcock. Performers included pop singer Mary Ann Van Der Horst; transgender cabaret performer Darlene; transgender singers Dee Ancajas and Lexxy Love; and Miss Transsexual Australia 2012 Vannessa Presley.

 

Judges included: Dizingof Australia owner and director Nirit Eylon; Mutya ng Pilipinas Melbourne 2014 second runner-up Kim Fyfe; Mister Philippines Australia 2014 winner Robert Mcnamara; Racing Fashion TV and Racing Fashion Australia CEO and director Anna Mott; singing nurse and businesswoman Grace Muhi-Iwasaki; City of Maribyrnong mayor Nam Quach; and Transworld CEO and regular transgender beauty pageant judge Scott Sharley.

 

Contestants competed in costume, evening wear, talent, swim wear and interview. They nominated Animals Australia, Ausgender, Beyond Blue, Cancer Council Victoria, Carmen Rupe Memorial Trust, Deaf Australia, Down Syndrome Australia, Lung Foundation Australia, Transkids Purple Rainbow Foundation and Ygender as their advocacy cause.

 

Billed as Australia's biggest and most prestigious beauty pageant for female impersonators and transgender women, Miss Gay and Miss Transsexual Australia 2015 was staged as part of the 2015 Midsumma Festival. 

 

Miss Gay and Miss Transsexual Australia 2015 Official Results:

 

Miss Gay Australia 2015

Winner - CHARITY STEALS (VIC)

1st Runner Up (2nd Place) - KRISTA HERRINGTON (NSW)

2nd Runner Up (3rd Place) - JACQUELINE VERONA (VIC)

3rd Runner Up (4th Place) - HONEY MONTANA (VIC)

4th Runner Up (5th Place) - SUE SHE TRAN (QLD)

Best Mardi Gras Costume - KRISTA HERRINGTON (NSW)

Best in Evening Wear - JACQUELINE VERONA (VIC)

Best in Talent - CHARITY STEALS (VIC)

Facebook 'Like A Queen Award' - CHARITY STEALS (VIC)

Miss Congeniality – COCO FOXX (NSW)

 

Miss Transsexual Australia 2015

Winner - J.O. ROJAS (VIC)

1st Runner Up (2nd Place) - VICTORIA RIVERA MARTIN (NSW)

2nd Runner Up (3rd Place) - TALISSA MAE ANDRADA (VIC)

3rd Runner Up (4th Place) - CASSANDRA MYLES CABELION (NSW)

4th Runner Up (5th Place) - CHERRY TEEWARA (NSW)

Best Las Vegas Costume - VICTORIA RIVERA MARTIN (NSW)

Best in Evening Wear - CASSANDRA MYLES CABELLON (NSW)

Best in Swimsuit - VICTORIA RIVERA MARTIN (NSW)

Facebook 'Like A Goddess Award' - J.O. ROJAS (VIC)

Miss Congeniality - VICTORIA RIVERA MARTIN (NSW)

 

Prizes:

‘Miss Gay Transsexual 2015’ and ‘Miss Transsexual Australia 2015’ winners receive: cash prizes totaling $5,000; a custom-made rhinestone tiara designed by Charismatico Dancewear and Shandar Group; a round trip class ticket to travel from Melbourne to Manila provided by Philippine Travel & Tours (Miss Transsexual Australia 2015); cosmetic services provided by Kamol Cosmetic Hospital; public relations representation by Alexi Darling Media; skincare and cosmetic products from Priceline Australia; skincare and cosmetic products from Kryolan Australia; wardrobe from Dizingof Australia; dancewear and swimwear from Charismatico Dancewear; beauty queen portfolio by Iconic Image Group; appearance opportunities and professional representation by Victorian Secrets Promotions; access to personal appearances at transgender beauty pageants by Transworld; travel representing sponsors; and access to Melbourne events.

 

Media enquiries: Gayzha Davao, Founder and Organiser, Miss Gay and Miss Transsexual Australia, 0407 073 350

For Immediate Release: January 21, 2015

Deafness no obstacle for Miss Gay and Miss Transsexual Australia 2015 contestants Krista and Victoria

 

Two aspiring beauty queens in this year's 'Miss Gay and Miss Transsexual Australia 2015' beauty pageant have a special skill like no other contestant.

 

Miss Gay Australia 2015 candidate, Krista Herrington, a female impersonator with a hearing disability from Sydney, and Miss Transsexual Australia entrant, Victoria Rivera Martin, a 24-year-old transgender fashion designer and model, also from Sydney, are both expert lip-readers.

 

“Taking part in Miss Gay Australia 2015 is a wonderful opportunity for me to develop my self-confidence in a national beauty pageant that I would not be able to do in my everyday life,“ said Ms Herrington, who has a hearing disability. “I hope my experience as a showgirl impress the judges on the catwalk.”

 

Ms Martin, who is hard at hearing, is no stranger to beauty pageants. Last year, she took part in Divas and Queens International 2014, Miss Transsexual Australia 2014 and Mardi Gras Queen of the Night 2014.

 

“I’m here to show others that you can do just about anything in life,” said Ms Martin. “Beauty comes from the heart. I want to show the world that I’m out and proud of who I am.”

 

Both Ms Herrington and Ms Martin have nominated Deaf Australia as their advocacy platform in the pageant. If they win, they will become goodwill ambassadors and spokespersons for deaf and hard at hearing people across Australia during their reign.

 

Pageant Director, Gayzha Davao, said, “There are no disability restrictions to Miss Gay and Miss Transsexual Australia. We believe all contestants who satisfy the requirements of the pageant can take part. We encourage everyone to find their own unique beauty, talent and confidence and be the best they can be."

 

'Miss Gay and Miss Transsexual Australia 2015' will be held at the Yarraville Club, 135 Stephen Street, Yarraville, on Saturday, 31 January 2015.

 

Media enquiries: Gayzha Davao, Organiser, Miss Gay and Miss Transsexual Australia 0407 073 350

For Immediate Release: January 27, 2015

Meet the judges for Miss Gay & Miss Transsexual Australia 2015

 

The lives of two contestants in Miss Gay and Miss Transsexual Australia 2015 will change forever when their names are announced. The judges who will decide on the winners include:

 

Nirit Eylon is owner and director of Dizingof Australia, one of the country’s most iconic women's fashion labels. Established 15 years ago, the designer brand has continued to make fashion statements across the country.

 

Mutya ng Pilipinas Australia 2014 second runner-up and Mutya Beach Body Kim Fyfe was a nursing student and model when she won the Mutya ng Pilipinas Melbourne 2014 and competed in Mutya ng Pilipinas Australia 2014.

 

Mister Philippines Australia 2014 Robert Mcnamara was encouraged by his mother to compete to overcome his shyness and also won Best in National Costume, Best in Beachwear, Best in Formal Wear and Mister Photogenic.

 

Anna Mott is the brainchild behind Channel 31 television’s reality television show, 'Racing Fashion TV' and 'Racing Fashion Australia', and one of the coolest straight people in the LGBTIA+ community.

 

Grace Muhi-Iwasaki is a multi-talented businesswoman and nurse who has performed in concerts around Australia as well as judged many beauty pageants, talent contests and singing competitions.

 

Nam Quach is the Mayor of City of Maribyrnong, who soon after he took office in October 2014, called for the community to band together to reject bigotry and prejudice. 

 

Mathieu Salem, a multiple-award-winning fashion designer who has received accolades for his bridal, day, evening and race wear designs and is he founding chair of Australian Creative Collective Inc (WACCI), which raises money for charity through a group of artists and fashion designers.

 

Scott Sharley is an entrepreneur, gender equality advocate and regular judge on transgender beauty pageants from South Australia who started Transworld, on Facebook, to give a voice to the transgender beauty pageant community.

 

Media enquiries: Gayzha Davao, Founder and Organiser, Miss Gay and Miss Transsexual Australia, Victorian Secrets Promotions 0407 073 350

For Immediate Release: January 9, 2015

Australia’s top female impersonator and transgender woman to be crowned in beauty pageant with a difference

 

Australia will crown its finest female impersonator and fairest transgender woman at the sixth annual 'Miss Gay and Miss Transsexual Australia 2015' beauty pageant in Melbourne’s Yarraville Club on Saturday, 31 January 2015.

 

Nineteen contestants from Queensland, New South Wales, South Australia and Victoria will compete for up to $20,000 in cash and sponsor prizes at the three-hour event, billed the country's biggest and glitziest beauty competition for female impersonators and transgender women.

 

"Miss Gay and Miss Transsexual Australia has grown from strength to strength since our inaugural year in 2010," pageant organizer Gayzha Davao, said.

 

"This year, audiences can expect extravagant costumes, sky-high headwear and flamboyant lip-syncing performances – all jam-packed within three hours of live entertainment. There will be jaw-dropping, wolf-whistling and picture-snapping during the night!"

 

For the first time this year, contestants have to nominate a national issue that they care deeply, and, if they win, promote their chosen advocacy cause during their reign. 

 

Performance artist Tristan Meecham and Miss Gay Australia 2011 Chinta Woo-Allcock will host the event. Judges include a local mayor, a fashion designer, a milliner, a beauty queen, a beauty king, two entrepreneurs and a singing nurse who will assess the contestants on their Costume, Talent (Miss Gay Australia 2015), Swim Wear (Miss Transsexual Australia 2015), Evening Wear and Question-and-Answer for the top three finalists.

 

Sponsors include Alex Martin Photography, Alexi Darling Media, Birchbox Flowers, Charismatico Dancewear, Dizingof, Face of Australia, Kamol Cosmetic Hospital, Kryolan Australia and Philippine Tours.

 

The pageant aims to raise awareness and promote acceptance and positive images of female impersonator performers and transgender/transsexual women.

 

Miss Gay and Miss Transsexual Australia 2015 is a major event of the 2015 Midsumma Festival. Tickets at $30 (Concession $25) are available from: https://midsumma.org.au/event/miss-gay-transsexual.

 

Media enquiries: Gayzha Davao, Founder and Organiser, Miss Gay and Miss Transsexual Australia, Victorian Secrets Promotions 0407 073 350

For Immediate Release: November 6, 2013

Miss Transsexual Australia 2014 seeks contestants

 

The organisers of Miss Transsexual Australia 2014 are inviting transgender women from across Australia to compete in the beauty pageant.

 

The event will be held alongside Miss Gay Australia 2014 - a sister pageant for female impersonators - in Melbourne on February 1, 2014.

 

To be eligible to compete, contestants must be Australian citizens, permanent residents or temporary/bridging/work/student visa holders, aged 18 years old as of January 1, 2014. They must be born genetically male and be pre- or post-operative transsexuals of good moral character.

 

The five areas of competition are national costume, talent, swimsuit, evening gown and interview.

 

Miss Transsexual Australia is the most highly publicised beauty pageant for transgender women from across the country.

 

Organised by Victorian Secrets Promotions, the pageant has been held annually in Melbourne since 2010.  The winner receives prize money and prizes from sponsors.

 

The current Miss Transsexual Australia winner is Sofiya Iya Cocaina Vergara from Perth. She won the title on February 2, 2013.

 

Past winners are:

2012 - Vannessa Presley;

2011- Chrizy Licaros;

2010 - Chelsey Mikimoto.

 

For more information about becoming a contestant, visit: http://victoriansecrets.wordpress.com or contact Gayzha Davao on msvicsecrets@yahoo.com.au.

 

MEDIA CONTACT: Gayzha Davao, Director, Miss Gay and Miss Transsexual Australia, 0407 073 350

For Immediate Release: January 11, 2012

Boys make beautiful girls, says pageant with a difference

 

Exotic entertainment is alive and well – and coming to Doncaster! Just ask the organisers of Miss Gay and Miss Transsexual Australia 2012, who are putting the final touches of crystals and rhinestones to the winners' tiaras for the beauty pageant with a difference at Shopping Town Hotel on February 3.

 

Now in its third year, the annual Melbourne beauty pageant for drag queens and transgender women has attracted 18 contestants from all across Australia. It is fashioned after the Miss Universe beauty pageant except that the contestants have to be born male.

 

"Miss Gay and Miss Transsexual Australia 2012 is more than just beautiful, glamorous drag queens or transgender women in glitzy costumes, sequins and rhinestones," said pageant organiser, Gayzha Davao.

 

"It's a celebration of the colour and diversity of Australia's lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community today – and promoting public awareness, understanding and acceptance of the transgender community to mainstream society.”

 

Contestants will be judged on their on their presentation, creativity, talent, attitude and intelligence in Fantasy Wear, Sexy Wear, Talent, Evening Gown and Interview rounds.

 

Miss Gay Australia 2011 Chinta Woo-Allcock and Miss Transsexual Australia 2011 Chrizy Licaros will crown the winners.

 

Sponsors include Alex Martin Photography, Alex SY Herbalife, Charismatico Dancewear, Face Your Beauty Cosmetic Tattoo, Girls Obsession, JY Accounting Services, Kroylan Australia, Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics, Pink Flamingo Resort (Port Douglas), Starshots Photography (Knox City), Turtle Cove Beach Resort (Cairns) and Weaves by Wilma.

 

The pageant has been staged by Melbourne-based not-for-profit group Victorian Secrets Promotions since 2010.

 

WHAT: Miss Gay and Miss Transsexual Australia 2012

WHEN: February 3, 2012, from 7pm

WHERE: Shopping Town Hotel, 13-21 Williamsons Road, Doncaster

 

MEDIA CONTACT: Gayzha Davao, Director, Miss Gay and Miss Transsexual Australia, 0407 073 350

For Immediate Release: February 7, 2010

Chelsey Mikimoto is crowned Miss Transsexual Australia 2010 in Australia’s first-ever transgender beauty pageant

 

Chelsey Mikimoto, a transgender showgirl from Melbourne, was crowned Miss Transsexual Australia 2010 in the country’s first-ever beauty pageant for transsexual women at Melbourne’s Bar 362 on February 6.

 

Contestants were judged on their creativity, talent, wit, beauty and confidence.

 

Singapore-born Ms Mikimoto, who performs at cabaret shows, nightclubs and entertainment venues around Melbourne, wowed the judges with her poise, talent and quick wit.

 

She was announced winner over runner-up Patricia Licaros, a hospitality sales associate from Southbank.

 

“I am absolutely delighted to win the inaugural crown,” said Ms Mikimoto, of East Melbourne.

 

“I am also glad to have had the opportunity to meet and share the experience of being in a pageant with other transsexuals from Australia.”

 

Ms Mikimoto, who cites Australian transsexual actor, model and dancer Estelle Asmodelle as her role model, said she was not trying to be spokesperson for the transgender community, but to be seen as a happy human being.

 

Other runner-up prizes were awarded to Thai international student Jessie Kraus (second runner-up), Malaysian-born transsexual performer Aneeta Mooi (third runner-up) and engineer Alexandra Melati (fourth runner-up).

 

Pageant director Gayzha Davao said the pageant aimed to promote positive images in the media and community about the transgender community.

 

“It’s about strength, character and showing the world who transsexuals are in Australian society,” Ms Davao said.

 

“Transsexuals can step up to the stage to show that beauty exists in all human beings. It’s not about gender.”

 

Miss Transsexual Australia 2010 was held alongside Miss Gay Australia 2010, which attracted participants from Australia’s diverse gay community. The inaugural winners, all from Victoria, included: Thai-Australian drag performer Kamira Holden (winner), Fillipino student Gabriella Mendoza (first runner-up), Singaporean international student and drag performer Mercedez Benz (second runner-up), Malaysian-born drag performer Shireen Sequin (third runner-up) and drag performer and choreographer Selena La’More (fourth runner-up).

 

The pageant is now accepting applications from interested parties from across Australia for Miss Gay & Miss Transsexual Australia 2011.

 

For more information, go to: http://victoriansecrets.wordpress.com or contact Gayzha Davao on 0407 073 350.

 

Media enquiries: Gayzha Davao, Pageant Director, Miss Gay & Miss Transsexual Australia, 0407 073 350

 

 

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