There are a lot of things that are great about Mexico—the tequila, Frida Kahlo, the fresh and spicy cuisine, the gorgeous people, the colorful arts and costumes and homes, the hospitality, the beaches, the music… I could go on.
If that isn’t enough, now there is a special pageant: Miss Transgender Beauty Mexico.
The Mexico City finale recently crowned the incredible Ivanna Cázares as Miss Transgender Beauty Mexico 2019.
The twenty-two contestants came from all over the nation, and competed in evening gowns, traditional regional Mexican attire, and bikinis. They were also asked questions about key issues like climate change and human rights, revealing they were more than just pretty faces.
Mexicans love beautiful women and see beauty in a range of bodies, ages, and expressions, so it’s no surprise that, despite a reputation for machismo, there is a pageant celebrating the beauty of transgender women.
While some Mexican human rights groups lament that Mexico is one of the world’s most dangerous countries for trans people, others suggest that the country has one of the highest rape and murder rates of any nation, period, and that the general population has looked the other way on LGBT issues for a long time, quietly tolerating if not actively accepting gay or trans people.
While Mexico can be dangerous and violent, this stems from government corruption and the organized crime of the cartel industries. Many would be surprised to learn that several indigenous populations of Mexico, including the Maya, were accepting of sexual diversity. Gay marriage is now legal and recognized, and in fact there have been well attended pride parades in Mexico since 1979!
Many Mexican cities have also made themselves welcome to gay and transgender tourism, such as Puerto Vallarta, thus attracting large and vibrant communities from more conservative parts of the country.
Ivanna Cázares, who now wears the crown, will use her influence as a spokeswoman on behalf of Mexico’s transgender population. “We want to bring a message to society of respect for the trans girls of Mexico,” she told the Associated Press. Cázares studied communications and also owns a beauty salon.