Gloria Diaz said that she is not in favor of transwomen, married women, and single mothers joining Miss Universe, pointing out that they should establish their own pageants instead.
Diaz, herself a former Miss Universe titleholder, made known her sentiments during an ambush interview which was posted by showbiz platform Push on its YouTube channel last Tuesday, May 2, where she was asked to give her opinion about the Miss Universe Organization (MUO) waiving its rule against transwomen, married women, and those with children.
“Edi dapat ‘Universe’ na lang [ang tawag], huwag nang ‘Miss,’ kasi hindi na ‘Miss’ ‘yun, diba? Siyempre, [keeping up] with the times pero in my personal opinion, which is not to be taken in a negative way, dapat may sarili silang contest,” she said.
The Miss Universe 1969 titleholder then listed down the possible pageants that can be held for married women, women with children, and queer candidates, as she stressed that there is “room for so much” at the moment.
“Dapat may sariling concept like Mrs. Universe, may Lesbian Universe, may Tr*nny Universe. There is room for so much [candidates in pageantry]. Dapat may sarili silang category. Kasi sa Mrs. Universe naman, maraming maganda diyan,” she added.
The former beauty queen then noted that during her time, 23-year-old candidates were already considered to be the “oldest,” saying that waiving the age limits is a “very new” idea in pageantry.
“Nag-umpisa ‘yata ‘yung [waiving of age limit] ever since na-suggest nila na 28 years old ang mananalo sa Miss Universe. Kasi kapag 28 ka na, dapat may career ka na. Dapat like during my time, from 17, 18, to 23, ikaw na ‘yung pinakamatanda. Like during my time, sinasabi ‘yung ‘And the oldest candidate at 23 years old.’ Ganyan, parang ikaw ang bukod-tanging ikaw ang pinakamatanda,” she said.
“Eh ngayon, nakaka-28 ka na, pwede pa rin eh. It’s hard. I think it’s a very new idea na sa akin, not very acceptable. Dapat kanya-kanya, at least. It gives people more chances kasi you’re representing the country eh what if may mas magandang babae or mas magandang trans,” she further added.
The seasoned actress also pointed out that it’s “more difficult” for cis women to compete with transwomen in pageants.
“Mas mahirap kalaban ang tr*nny kasi I’ve been a judge sa mga ‘Sireyna’ [pageants], ang gaganda talaga nila at palaban. Kaya nilang makipagsabayan. Hindi siya acceptable para sa akin kasi dapat may sarili silang contest, not that I’m ostracizing them, but they are good in some places. Talent portion pa lang eh,” she said.
Despite her controversial stand, Diaz clarified that she’s not “homophobic” and that she “loves” the LGBTQ community.
“I love the [LGBTQ] community. Pero dapat kanya-kanya,” she said, as she also reiterated that Miss Universe is meant for single women only. “For ‘Miss Universe,’ dapat walang anak, diba? Kasi ang labo naman n’un,” she added.
When asked if a transwoman, married woman, or a mother would win Miss Universe in the future, she said that she would “accept” the decision of the organizers.
“Well, of course, I would always accept whatever the organizers [want]. Kung ayaw ko n’un, edi aalis na lang ako. But it’s just an opinion,” she stated.
Diaz was the first Filipina to be crowned Miss Universe following her amusing but practical answer to a question about a man landing from the moon. Following her reign, Margarita Moran, Pia Wurtzbach, and Catriona Gray also won the title in 1973, 2015, and 2018, respectively.
Incidentally, the new owner of the MUO is billionaire Anne Jakrajutatip, a Thai who identifies herself as a woman.
In 2012, MUO said it will allow transgender women to compete in its pageants. In September 2021, the Miss Universe Philippines Organization (MUPh) has adjusted the age requirement for aspiring candidates, where applicants aged 18 to 28 years old can join the national pageant.
Meanwhile, the MUO president Paula Shugart confirmed in September 2022 that starting on its 72nd edition, married women and delegates with children would be given a chance to join Miss Universe. EDV