Miss Universe Philippines 2016 Maxine Medina issued an apology regarding her statement about Miss Universe Spain 2018 Angela Ponce, the first transgender woman to join the pageant.
It can be remembered that Maxine previously expressed her disapproval about transgender women, joining the Miss Universe pageant which gained backlash from netizens.
On her Instagram account, Maxine apologized over her past statement after some netizens noticed her presence at the MEGA Equality Ball which focused on promoting equality for the LGBTQIA+ community.
She wrote: “Pride month and yesterday’s #MEGAForAll and #MEGAEqualityBall saw a resurfacing of a statement I made last year regarding my opinion on Angela Ponce, the first transwoman to join Miss Universe. While I was truly caught in a moment, I’ll graciously and humbly say that it was misinformed, and lacking in empathy and understanding. I know first-hand how it is to feel invalidated as I have been bullied all my life, been called names. That’s why I really apologize if this is how you felt and still feel.
“It isn’t that I am not supporting a transwoman beauty queen, in fact I was actually proud of Angela, Miss Spain that she made a big step doing this to inspire others and that she had the courage of joining and asking Miss Universe to represent her country as a transwoman. It is such a big step forward for us to realize that we shouldn’t be scared of change. We should embrace it because no matter what, we are aiming for the better future for all.
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On this day of independence, we are breaking barriers. More than just nationalistic pride, today marks a freedom of self—where we dismiss the fear of being judged, show the world who we truly are, and stand with confidence in our truth. With self-assurance and humility in skill, patronage in advocacy, as well as to demonstrate #HMLoveForAll—regardless of gender, race, status, and beliefs—we are all equal. True freedom is about equality. More than just a photograph, this is a stand in visible solidarity for equality for all mankind. A call to #ReignWithPride, a necessary rejection of labels and breaking away from stereotype, this is an earnest pledge to exercise our human ability to tolerate, accept, and love in equivalence to each other, engaging and fighting for it today, and for the #NextGeneration. I am MAXINE MEDINA, and this is my stand, my state of pride. #MEGAForAll #MEGAEquality #Hm