Just as our last issue was being released, our Chief Editor headed down to the Miss TransBeauty pageant – where she was asked to be one of the judges. Here’s her account of the event, produced by StarVision in association with London Organic.

It was a night of glamour and riotous fun, as the supporters of each of the contestants loudly clamoured behind us each time their favourite came on stage. It was already heating up to be both an exciting night and a difficult one as the contestants came out in workwear – only to slip behind a towel and emerge in matching red swimsuits. How could we possibly decide who was the worthy winner?

Thankfully, we judges had an in-depth rating system to follow, ranking each contestant on a number of factors such as their elegance, ability to please the crowd, and originality in each round.

When we came to the crowning, winners quickly began to emerge, with several of the entrants receiving multiple sashes for the individual rounds. The final winner was perhaps inevitable: Akiko Obillo had so many sashes she looked as though she might need an extra seat on the way home. Her supporters, carrying light-up letters spelling out her name, were ecstatic.

The second runner-up was Cassandra Concepcion, whose fantasy look you can see highlighted in our images here. It was certainly the most stunning look of the night, but not quite enough to push her score up for that crown. Still, she won several rounds and was definitely popular with the crowd.

Paw Badok Lagria Cadalzo was the third runner-up. She wowed the crowd with stunning evening wear, and her talent round involved finger-painting an image of Jesus in blue paint from scratch. She also answered my judging question: “What fashion advice would
you give to other trans women?” Her answer: that to show everything is not always necessary. Modesty can be flattering!

My fellow judges were two pageant queens – Miss Africa GB, Leila Samati, and Miss Paragon International, Emma Jay Baker. Alongside them was Dele Onabowu, the organiser behind Miss Africa GB. We also shared our panel with Glaiza de Castro, an actress who was mobbed by fans at every opportunity, and model/actor Steven St Catherine. The show was hosted by Alexandra Marie Diaz, and we also enjoyed a number of performances from singers and dancers to entertain us between rounds.

Images provided by Bonnie Salvador.

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