CEBU CITY, Philippines— Linzy Del Mar is hoping to inspire other deaf transwomen as she joins the Reina de Mandaue in Mandaue City on May 9, 2023.
The pageant for transwomen is among the activities held in line with the celebration of the Mandaue City Fiesta on May 8 and the Mid-Year Cultural Summit.
Although she will be the first Deaf to join the Reina de Mandaue, Del Mar isn’t new to pageants. Her first stint was in 2015, which was the Miss Deaf Queen Philippines. She won the crown that year.
The 38-year-old Del Mar continued to show her beauty, confidence, and grace in other pageants such as the Queen Philippines 2017, Diwata sa Sugbo 2019, and Miss Trans Global Philippines 2021.
Her advocacy focuses on standing up against discrimination and bullying towards the Deaf community.
“As part of the deaf community, I believe I have equal human rights to join this pageant in Mandaue. My advocacy is to stand against the discrimination and bullying of the deaf community. I also believe that deaf persons can do things hearing people can. That is why I joined this pageant together with hearing people,” she said.
By participating in Reina de Mandaue, one of the grandest pageants for transwomen in Mandaue City, Del Mar aims to represent and empower the Deaf community not only in her local area but also throughout the country.
Her presence on the stage exemplifies both grace and intelligence, carrying with her a sense of pride that resonates with the entire Deaf community in the country.
Del Mar is from barangay Mambaling in Cebu City.
She recalls that she was six years old when she knew that she was deaf and gay. Growing up, Del Mar said she experienced a lot of challenges. She was often bullied for being different.
“That was really a painful experience, growing up, these are the challenges I face up every day and being able to be surrounded by hearing people who don’t understand me and always bully me because of who I am.”
Still, she persevered and eventually graduated with a degree of Bachelor of Science in Computer Technology at the Cebu Technological University.
Del Mar is the middle child of her two siblings. She is the only Deaf in the family, that’s why at first, she was often misunderstood when her family did not yet learn the Filipino sign language.
Despite the challenges, it did not bring her down. It did inspire her, though, to step up and stand up for people like her, those who have a disability and are part of the LGBTQIA+ community.
Being a fan of beauty pageants Del Mar decided to join to amplify her advocacies hoping to change the perspectives of people on how they see the Deaf and LGBTQIA+ community.
Linzy Del Mar’s story serves as an inspiration to others, demonstrating that confidence, determination, and the pursuit of one’s dreams can help break barriers and create a more inclusive society.
Despite being busy preparing for pageants, Linzy also finds time to volunteer for the Deaf communities of Cebu, spreading inspiration and confidence among her peers.
This is her message to those like her:
“My message to everyone who has disability and at the same time is a member of the LGBT community is to be proud of yourself as to who you are. I’m proud to be where I am right now. I hope you will also be proud of yourself. [Remember that] being different is not an issue. [It is] not a problem.”