MAKATI CITY, Philippines—The Miss Asia Pacific International pageant promotes “beauty in diversity,” and its reigning queen Chaiyenne Huisman joins the LGBTQIA+ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex, asexual, etc.) community in celebrating “Pride Month” this June.
“I think Pride Month is aptly named. For people who have been forced to hide their identities, they should take pride in embracing their freedom of expressing their true selves,” Huisman told the Inquirer in an online interview.
For the Dutch-Spanish polyglot, taking part in the global celebration “goes a long way in showing the LGBTQIA+ community that we welcome them to the society equally, we respect their rights, and we champion their welfare as if it’s our own.”
Huisman said the community’s fight for equal rights “shouldn’t even be an issue anymore.”
For her, the world will become a better place “once we see diversity as our strength, not our weakness.”
The beauty queen continued: “Never in history did hate bring good for the world. So let’s leave discrimination in the past and use our differences to build a better society.”
She would want the LGBTQIA+ community to know that “it is my honor to be an ally of your community, and I hope and pray for the day that we no longer have to fight so hard for respect and equal rights.”
Huisman rallied behind the community to “keep being you, keep inspiring, and let’s all rise above the hate!”
And to those who still do not welcome members of the LGBTQIA+ community, Huisman had this to say: “If you start seeing them as human beings who have intrinsic value and a rightful place in this world, regardless of their gender, you’d realize we have a lot more in common to celebrate than differences to hate.”
Huisman was crowned in the Philippines in the pageant’s 51st anniversary edition in 2019. Her reign has been extended twice now after the Manila-based organizers decided to postpone the global tilt’s 2020 and 2021 editions because of the COVID-19 pandemic.